We stayed for three nights in this delightful small hotel in Les Saintes. The place exceeded our expectations in terms of quality, service, friendliness and location.
The hotel is large converted old colonial era house, within walking distance from the main ferry dock in Terre de Haut, which is the main island in Les Saintes. The house had been owned by a person who had lived in various parts of the world and as a result is full of colonial furniture and antiques. This place is more like a small museum.
Perched on a steep slope over the town, the hotel has beautiful views looking down to the Terre de Haut harbour and beyond to the town of Trois Reverie on the mainland Guadeloupe, from where you take the ferry to Les Saintes. The small, steep garden is full of tropical flora, flowers, mango trees and coconut trees. There is a beautiful pool right in front of the house and from the deck of the pool one has a spectacular view of the town and the harbor below.
The hotel has may be 10 rooms in total, each one full of old, colonial furniture. The rooms are individually air conditioned, large living area and an open verandah that is the restaurant. The breakfast is included with the room and the restaurant is usually open for dinner. The hotel is run by a delightful couple, Pierre and Mireille and a bunch of very friendly staff and the two resident cats, bai bai and babu.
Breakfast was usually a cold, with croissants, baguettes, ham, cheese, cereal and fruit . The mangos they served were from their own tree in the garden. The dinner was a-la-crate, not a long menu but with enough interesting entrees. We thought the food was excellent. Les Saints has many good restaurants for you to try, so there is really no need to stick to the hotel restaurant. Being an island with a strong fishing tradition, seafood obviously is the main specialty in this place, although I had a really nice stake for dinner one night. Not having a working knowledge of French can be a problem in restaurants, as most menus are in that language. However we found that the servers would go out of their way to explain things to you in English and in mime! This was one place that bears absolutely no relation to the infamously rude French service industry that one hears a lot about in connection with the mainland France. People are relaxed and friendly and were ready to help you out anyway they could everywhere we went.
The seven islands of Les Saintes is like no other place that I had ever visited. The scenery is breathtaking and snorkelling and scuba is out of this world. The best place to snorkel was in the white sandy bay of Pain de Sucre. Being sheltered, the water there was calm and absolutely clear. The visibility underwater is almost unlimited. With hundreds of reef fish swimming below, you are literally s in a natural aquarium. The other place that we swam was at the Pompierre beach on the other end of the island. Here the conditions are not as good as at Pain de Sucre, but the shouldered sandy bay is larger and you still do see a lot of fish. The exposed south facing beach of Grande Anse is again very beautiful but with strong rip currents and is not recommended for swimming.
Most of the population in Les Saintes lives on the main island of Terre de Haut. The town is quaint and pretty, layered vertically above the harbor and the main shopping area close to the beach. It really has the atmosphere of a colonial town at the turn of 20th century. The town has only a few cars but hundreds and hundreds of scooters and other forms of motorized bicycles, skate boards and small all-terrain vehicles. After a while the sounds of the scooters whipping past on the narrow roads will get to you, this being only drawback on this delightful place. The island is small, so getting about is not too difficult, however there is quite a bit of climbing and descending to do as the terrain is very hilly. So walking even small distances may take significant time. Taxis are an option, but there are only a handful of those around so it may be difficult to get one when you want it.
The regular ferry service to Les Saintes is from Trois Rivierers , two times daily, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. A return ticket costs 22 Euros. You can park your car near the ferry dock in Trois Reverie for 2 Euros a day. Many people who make day trips to Les Saintes park their cars there. There are only 4 hotels in the island with a total of 60 rooms, so it is advisable to make reservations in advance especially during winter months. We were told that Les Petits Saints is generally booked solid during the winter months . Other than hotels, there are many places with rooms to rent, however, these would not have all the comforts and amenities of a hotel. One feels very relaxed and safe here. One of the islanders said jokingly that the police here has the easiest job in the world.
In summary, we had a very nice stay here. Both the hotel and the island will give you an unforgettable experience. Paradise indeed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In a beautiful Creole-style cottage with swimming pool offering panorama views over the Saintes bay. Amazing, comfortable air- conditioned rooms, bungalows and suites with TV. Every piece of your room's furniture has been chosen for your comfort and pleasure. Our Chef proposes his creative refined cuisine with creole inspirations. Laurence and Jean will welcome you as their friends. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Les Petits Saints Hotel Terre-De-Haut
- Les Petits Saints Guadeloupe/Terre-De-Haut