Somewhere along the southern Caribbean Sea is an archipelago of five main islands that offers a French retreat blended with the tropical sun. Guadeloupe is where Miami’s ultra-rich go to keep a low profile and for a French fix that’s closer to home.
This French-Caribbean destination is known for a culinary tradition that blends French, Creole and Indian influences, as well as for yachting, hiking and volcano-seeing and digital detoxing. Despite taking a lashing from Hurricane Irma in September, Guadeloupe remains a top vacation spot for island travelers. Here are some of the best places to stay, see and explore:
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1. Villa Ayati at La Toubana Hotel & Spa
For an uber-luxury experience, Villa Ayati is Guadeloupe’s most high-end accommodation. This exclusive four-bedroom villa sits atop a hill with a breathtaking view overlooking the Atlantic. Lay out at the villa’s 82-foot infinity pool or at its private beach. Chef and butler services will cater to you, or dine on fresh lobsters at the onsite Au Grand Bleu.
2. Tendacayou Ecolodge and Spa
This posh accommodation in the heart of Guadeloupe’s rainforest puts you in touch with nature in an eco-chic environment. Relax in a natural spa, then continue the escape with a horseback ride through the National Park, rewarding yourself with a seafood meal at the property’s Red Fish restaurant.
3. Les Saintes
This mini archipelago six miles south of Guadeloupe’s mainland offers low-key luxury and charming scenery with its bistro-lined streets and lively Creole culture. You can’t go wrong with a stay at the Aqua Lodge (aqualodge.fr/en), a self-sustaining floating home, and dining at Au Bon Vivre (aubonvivre.com) with cuisine from the south of France.