by Kaitlin Braun
Near the region of Deshaies along the northwest coast of Basse-Terre, the charming Caraib’Bay Hotel features a secluded, quiet piece of paradise. Wander the tropical garden full of tropical plants and hummingbirds, take a swim in the stunning saltwater pool, get a hydromassage inside the solarium, and reserve a babysitting session so you can enjoy some alone time with a cocktail or two in hand. The gorgeous Grand Anse beach is a few minutes away by car and is very easy to walk to.
The hotel’s accommodation options are as sizeable as you need; families of up to four will have their needs met by Villa Kariakou, while larger ones can spread out in Ka’Mango or Kanouan (the latter includes a private spa). All feature air-conditioned bedrooms, outdoor showers, and terrace kitchens. Free Wi-Fi is available around the swimming pool and on the terrace, and board games and books are available for borrowing. In the morning, you’ll find a complimentary breakfast buffet in the bar area.
Our Editor Loves
- Beautiful saltwater pool
- Rustic yet modern villas
- Complimentary buffet breakfast
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
The Cariab Bay Hotel is a very comfortable compound with several lodges or duplexes, that are spacious and clean, airconditioned, and attractive. The bathrooms are large and modern, with solar hot water that is hot (not just warm). The hotel is eco-friendly which means that they encourage limiting waste and extra laundry. The grounds are very well kept, with regular gardening and fresh foliage around. You may very well see hummingbirds out your windows.
But, if you're interested in relaxing at Gran Anse beach, you can't find a closer , more convenient locale, just up the gently sloping street from the beach. We began our days, after breakfast, by driving 3 minutes to the Gran Anse parking lot, and reveled in the beautiful water and palm-shaded sands for half the day. We could have walk the 10 minutes there too.
Catherine and Christophe were helpful , kind, and interested proprietors. And the staff was friendly and accomodating. Even though French is the main language, they were patient and considerate when trying to understand our requests.
Breakfast is served by 7:30 out on a spacious veranda. It consisted of a typically European format: Fresh Juices, good coffee, croissants, yogurt, cheese, fruits, and hard boiled eggs. It was delicious and filling.
They have a full bar and offer a complimentary first drink. But, it turned out the free drinks were limited to a planters punch and 2 other rum drinks. We had ordered pina coladas the next day, and when we checked out discovered that they had charged us $15 for the 2 drinks (not free). They offered us a free drink at checkout, and we took it.
We swam in the pool (which isn't heated). It was icy cold, and numbing. It may warm up in the summertime, but don't expect to use it much in the cooler seasons.
We had a suite which comes with a double bed and 2-3 singles. I asked for an additional double/full (for me and my friend...2 single adults), but discovered that the larger bed was 2 singles pushed together. Sa La vie.
The island(s) of Guadeloupe are scenic and enchanting. The beaches are terrific and their plenty to do, especially if you like nature attractions.
The roads are superb, but if your French is poor, you might have trouble deciphering the signs.
The majority local creole (black) residents can be found in the countryside and villages, but they are relegated to the periphery on this French (white) protectorate (colony). They speak Creole which doesn't always translate well to French.
Nonetheless, I would return to Guadeloupe. The French maintain their island playground very well, and it makes the vacation experience easy and rejuvenating.
Caraib' Bay Hotel is a real gem near Deshaies, just up the hill from Grand Anse beach. Our accommodations were spotless, had a great bathroom with bidet, small well equipped kitchenette and comfortable beds with mosquito nets. There are many artful touches from hardwood floors to handprinted murals. Breakfast is served in an open-air cafe area daily which becomes a bar in the evenings and has wifi and a computer. The owners and staff were warm and helpful, they have beach towels snorkel equipment and all manner of toys and games - even a tub of umbrellas to grab during a tropical downpour. We would return here again!