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Reviewed 3 May 2013

We picked La Caravelle for our windsurfing activity and it has not disappointed us. The windsurfing equipment is well maintained and the windsurfing condition in general is the best among the last 4 Club Meds that we went to.
We like the achitecture of the site with a very functioning central lounge which connects to the restaurant, the pool and the theatre.
The evening shows are generally good though I think the "sex" contents of the last show "Carnival" is not well suited to a location with mini-club audiences. The show we enjoyed the most is the Wizard of Oz.
As mentioned by other people, French is the dominant language at the site and many activities are conducted in French. We wish there are a little bit more English speaking though most GOs have no problem speaking English on request. However, we still felt welcome in this French environment. Our favourite GOs are Elodie (aerobic exercise) and Melodie (reception).
The food is a delight and has many varieties.
Our room is very basic but clean. The beach is very nice and we don't feel congested or bothered even it is not a private beach.
The 15 minutes from the Club Med site to the town is very nice and scenic.
Overall, we are happy with our vacation though the return trip is a dread that we need to make 2 connecting flights back to Vancouver.

Room Tip: The Grand Terre building is reasonably maintained but ask for one with a balcony. We don't feel we need to spend extra money to stay in a sea-view room.
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank calohello
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2013

I have been going to club med on and off again for 22 years (I am a gold member) and this was my first visit to Caravelle. I have remained a reliable and dedicated GM. On this vacation, I traveled with my wife, teenage daughter and 11 friends. I did not bring my cell phone, pager, laptop, tablet. We did not watch TV, read any newspapers, or make any phone calls. Remember the old CM motto? “The antidote for civilization.” They should never have changed it.

1. The village: is on a magnificent beach protected by an old coral reef. The beach is superlative, public spaces and rooms are all very clean, neat, well maintained and decorated. As with every Club Med village, the support staff is what makes this village so great: they take great pride in what they do and it shows. The only disappointment was the landscaping – virtually non-existent. Flower beds over grown, leaves and botanical debris everywhere. Unlike the other villages we have been to, no once cleaned up the beach or set the chairs straight. We often found the previous day’s bar debris, towels and cups on the beach on chairs. Not a major problem, but not the typical club med beach hygiene we are accustomed to.

2. The food: typical club med fare at the main restaurant but not as varied as we have found at other villages. Only infrequently did we find fresh grilled fish on the menu. No mangos or other tropical fruit. Pineapple and watermelon was available every day. There was the usual abundance of fresh produce, bread, and salads. The pastries, cheese, pizza and bread were excellent. The menu has changed very little over the years and for good reason: it is healthy and tastes fantastic and provides the necessary energy for the next day’s activities. We would have liked more variety though. We did not eat at the specialty restaurant this time – there was no interest among my group. One very odd thing: virtually no white chocolate bread. We saw only two loaves the entire trip – and these were devoured very quickly. Also, very little traditional chocolate bread. Perhaps the chief chef has a chocolate allergy. This was a disappointment, as was the repetitiveness of the desert counter – all excellent – but never really changes. This is an observation made by several other reviewers as well. One important plus, we were able to enter the restaurant early every day for a quick bite, and to make small sandwiches to take with us on our daily dive trips with Noa Plongee. This was very much appreciated by my group, and we want to thank the chief of the village for making this possible. Thankfully, we did not get badgered about the deluxe wine program this trip (it was available, but CM’s basic table wine is just fine when dining on their diverse menu.

3. Medical: thankfully, we had no need for contact on this trip, so I cannot review this important resource. We took precautions and came prepared for just about any minor medical mishap on our own.

4. Sports: we are all water people, so most of our activities were spent in or on the ocean. We went scuba diving every day. I cannot say enough about the dive operation that CM has contracted with: Noa Plongee. They were just amazing. They put together a program of reef diving along the south and northeast coasts of Grande Terre (Isle de Petit Terre, Port Louis, Banc des Vaisseaux). Just beautiful. This is a fantastic shop, great instructors, equipment and boats, and is only a quick 30min drive from the village. CM helped arrange a taxi-van every morning (same driver each day) for us.

We also spent time sailing – unfortunately the village only has three (3) boats (Hobie-15). So one had to reserve a boat each day in order to go sailing. The sea conditions and wind were just excellent almost every day. And the boats are in excellent condition. The GO’s were very friendly and helpful – excellent customer service. We did not play tennis on this trip, so I cannot review this activity.

5. Language: was not an issue. English is spoken by nearly all the GO’s and staff. CM is a friendly place and language barriers have not and should not ever prevent GM’s from having fun.

6. Accommodations: were excellent. We chose to upgrade to their renovated Grande Terre building – and had a terrific ocean view. Our room was cleaned and spotless by noon, everyday. What we found lacking in the landscaping and groundkeeping, was made up for in housekeeping. Typical CM décor, tile floors, colorful artwork, clean linens, and a large shower with great water pressure and plenty of hot water As with most CM villages, the air conditioning is only just able to keep the humidity and moldy smells away. The room never got really cool, but it was comfortable enough. We always leave one of our room keycards in the slot –to keep the AC running all day. Otherwise things warm up too much and it never gets cool again at night for sleeping. We always leave a tip for the housekeeper because their hard work enhances the overall experience.

7. Travel: was relatively easy via Miami. A direct flight on American Airlines – on time and great service. The airport is modern, clean, efficient, and close to the village. Just perfect. We passed through security very quickly. Not like the nightmare that awaits you in the Turks and Caicos. The only negative was a nearly 70 minute delay through immigration in Miami – due to funding cutbacks and the sequester. What an embarrassment after passing into and out of Guadeloupe so easily.

8. On this trip, we spent some time walking around St-Anne. They have a small market where you can buy creole spices, produce, nick-nacks and t-shirts. We also traveled around Grande Terre during our dive trips. We wanted to go to the rainforest on Basse Terre, but did not want to deal with the two-hour car ride (each way). I wish we had done this excursion though. Next time.

9. Our kids spent very little time in the kids club. What we did see though, was a well organized, clean, and safe experience for the kids that did spend their time here. I would expect nothing less from CM.

10. The evening shows: we went to very few of them. Typical CM humor. But we were too exhausted by the day’s activities to participate every night.
11. Would we go back again? Yes. But we will probably go to Martinique next time

Room Tip: upgrade to a larger room in Grande Terre with an ocean view. You made the trip, don't skimp on the view!
  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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6  Thank Thunderball5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2013

My wife and I, and 3 friends with children, stayed at the Club Med La Caravelle. Most of us were scuba divers. In a word, the Club and diving were "wonderful." This was my second Club Med, the first in the Turks and Caicos.

Room-wise, the two were similar. Small rooms, though we got moved to a larger one. We had some early frustrations with the front desk not delivering on some small requests, but when we met the managers that evening, problems got fixed ASAP. Some of my friends that started out a little down on the place ended up being very pleased with the food and accommodations. Club Med has won them over.

The property sits on a large lagoon shelter by breakers. We snorkeled around the lagoon and past the breakers. Much to see.

My friends all had kids ranging from an infant to teenagers. All I know is that when the kids went to the mini-club, they did not want their parents to pick them up. The staff keep the kids busy with enjoyable things to do.

The food was very good. The bread and pastries, outstanding, as you would expect with the French. I participated in the water aerobics, which was fun, but not to exhausting.

I wish I had brushed up on my French before leaving. Just a few simple words and phrases would have been nice. Next time!

But for the most part, we went to dive. This Club Med does not have a dive shop on its premises, but they have an arrangement with NOA Plongee. A taxi took us every day to the dive shop, where we took a nice boat to various reefs. The water was aquarium-style, much to my delight. The reefs seemed young, even the protected reef we dove north and to the west of Grand Terre. The corals were small, but abundant and beautiful. I've not seen so many anemones and different fans and colorful polyps as I saw on this trip. Beautiful fish, but the corals and anemones were the highlight. I took many photographs.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Diverguy33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2013

Stayed for one week in April, weather was fine, temperature in low 30s, only few rain showers during whole stay. This is a beachfront resort on La Caravelle beach. La Caravelle is one of the finest beaches on Guadeloupe- has white sand and clean, easy accessible both for children and adults marina.
I stayed 2 days in Club room and 5 days in Les Saints, Club rooms clean and spacious, indeed can be rated as good standard 4star accommodation however Les Saints rooms are very basic and would hardly deserve any star rating. Apart from CNN no other English language channel on tv so I didn't spend much time in room. Beach was long with plenty sunbeds . This is not a private beach however it's only little bit crowded during weekends when locals and other tourists coming in. Resort has two restaurants however La Biguine only works Sun-Thu and for diner you have to book in advance. Food in both restaurants mainly french with plenty choices of salads, fish, meat, chicken. The only downside meat and fish were not well done so I had to request each time to cook my meal a bit longer to make it eatable. Various alcohol and non-alcohol drinks included Coca-cola range fizzy drinks, Tropicana juices, good quality spirits, lager and vines. I have tried almost all cocktails and they're good too. Manager Julien and his staff very friendly, professional and hardworking. You can see him running around from 8am, then serving fruits at the beach, greeting you during lunch and dinner and then running everyday shows at 9.30pm and ending up being DJ at disco(finishes at 12am)- incredible. Most staff working during the day usually joins him on the show every evenings. Shows are amateur with some elements of acrobatics and mainly screened for their main group tourist(upper class french middle age couples, families). About 90% of all tourist were french so if you have little or no knowledge of french like me then things can be little bit difficult. In resort shop overpriced( t-shirt with number 45 cost over 30Eur!). Went to tour called Tropical adventure - visited botanical garden, zoo, waterfall - good tour although overpriced 84Eur. Other tours in the similar price range. Having been in many places before somewhat I found Guadeloupe quite expensive so I guess all inclusive with CM is best overall value to visit this island.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank Romio13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2013

We are a family of 4, 3 adults and an 8 year old daughter, and in looking to get away from the cold European weather of last winter we have booked an 11 day stay at this resort. It was our first Club Med experience and definitly not the last. I was a bit aprehensive when I read the reviews, but as it was the best option in the area we took the chance.
1. Reception: friendly, quite efficient, no fuss, welcoming: 8,5 out of 10
2. Building and rooms: it is a building that is showing on some places its age (no idea how many years, but in the tropics everything ages quickly) nothing disturbing and seriously noone wants to stay inside anyway. the rooms: we were staying in the Grande Terre building which was renovated a couple of years back, and it was OK, not new 5 star, but clean and everything was working, the beds were quite good for a Hotel, mattress not thin and hard, but really comfortable.
water pressure was a bit low for the shower, but again nothing disturbing. 8/10
3. surroundings and sport facilities: beautiful...well maintained, very nice, even if the beach is a public one; you do not really notice that much as 95% of the people on the beach are hotel guests. no issue with sun-lounger availability and the palm trees are just perfect in their role as natural shade providers. water is clean warm and perfect for swimming or snorkelling. 9/10
4. FOOD & Drinks: no complaints whatsoever, so much variety and tasty quality, only thanks to the sports activities I did not gain any weight :). the wine is not top notch but drinkable (white and Rose are better than the red) otherwise there is plenty of choice to keep the whole family happy (and/or Tipsy )
5. Staff: read the other reviews :) they are friendly and very open, real good fun (efficient as well)
6. Other guests: a dream...most guests are French or French speaking, with Canadians, some other nationalities, lots of kids (all well behaving) and they are neighbours from heaven, there when you want to chat, but if you want to be left alone, all is just as well. no noise or drunk behaviour and if you speak French a nice way to meet new people.

Would I go back: YES, but do not bother to book the excursions, a bit expensive for what it is, better is to buy a guide and rent a car.

Enjoy your holidays :)

Room Tip: Grande Terre, ground floor
  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Pieterjan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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