In late April (2013), my wife and I spent a relaxing week at Hostellerie des Chateaux. Michel, the proprietor, treats all his guests with warmth and provides help or assistance with planning trips to local destinations and activities. One of the big advantages of staying at the Hostellerie des Chateaux is that Michel is fluent in French and English (and German) and can help guests plan their day trips. Given that almost all the tourists come from mainland France and that the residents (shop owners, etc.) primarily only speak French, Guadeloupe may be a bit off-putting. Americans should note that Guadalupe is a department of France, similar to one of the U.S. states, and is not an independent country. Although, Michel’s multi-language fluency made our stay there much more enjoyable, our French phrasebooks and my wife’s high school French allowed us to get by outside Michel’s “compound.”
Hostellerie des Chateaux is a small hotel with the primary accommodations consisting of individual bungalows built by Michel after he acquired the property. The bungalows are pleasant and functional. One of the key features is an air conditioning unit that is extremely quiet (not the typical racket with hotel room air conditioners when they turn on and off). There is also a small outdoor kitchen area that we used sparingly. For me, another key amenity was the enormous pool located adjacent to the restaurant; the water was pleasantly cool and crystal clear.
For dinner, the onsite restaurant almost solely caters to the guests with a few locals “in the know.” We understand that a new resident chef was brought in soon after our departure, but during our stay under the previous chef, the food was excellent and included a mix of seafood, grilled meats, pasta, and variations of local dishes. The morning breakfast (included in the room rate) is served in the pavilion adjoining the pool and consisted of fresh fruit and breads, yogurts, etc. with cooked items upon request. The coffee was rich and flavorful (a stark contrast to most American hotels).
Tourists looking for upscale entertainment and accommodations probably should stick to other Caribbean destinations. Guadeloupe seems to be trapped in time a bit. Tourism to Guadeloupe peaked out in the 1980s or so and there are reminders of the downturn (closed hotels, restaurants, and a derelict feeling in portions of the towns). But for the somewhat adventuresome, Guadeloupe provides uncrowded beaches and restaurants. The residents are generally friendly, although I ran into some localism when surfing the reefs off Saint Francois. Key destinations for visitors should include a snorkeling or scuba diving visit to the Cousteau Underwater Reserve (on the west side of Basse-Terre) and a catamaran trip to the Îles des Saintes (islands off the south coast of Grand-Terre) that have great snorkeling and are home to a local species of iguana. You also might not want to miss the rum factory near Le Moule. We hope to return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are a small hotel with 4 bungalows, 4 rooms in the main house and a restaurant around a large swimingpool in a tropical garden with a nice seasight. We are located near the reserve of Pointe des châteaux and the nices beaches in Guadeloupe ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hostellerie Des Chateaux Guadeloupe/Saint Francois