There’s a certain je ne sais quoi that makes a vacation to Club Med special, and Club Med La Caravelle in Guadeloupe, the butterfly-shaped island’s only all-inclusive resort, is no exception, writes Ashley Rochefort in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier. Staff await your arrival and eagerly wave you into the open-air reception space with a cold drink and a warm welcome. If fact, all the common areas are open-air, offering views of the beautiful shoreline and distant mountains. This creates a feeling of spaciousness at a resort whose acreage is actually very manageable on foot.
At the heart of the resort village is one massive awning that houses the main pool with daily activities; Mango Bar hosting evening cocktail receptions and late night dance parties; a theatre that boasts nightly entertainment, beginning at 9.30pm, of skilled performances incorporating contemporary choreography, modern dance, and impressive acrobatics; La Cave for celebrating special occasions with a bottle of bubbly; and the resort’s main buffet restaurant, Hibiscus. Specializing in seafood and rich sauces, a nod to the French influence, every meal at Hibiscus offers diners an excellent selection of cheeses, fresh breads, a kid’s menu, creole inspired dishes, a variety of daily specials, and authentic French desserts like macarons, financiers, and Paris-Brest. But every day the live cooking station wows guests with different offerings – caprese salad with hand-pulled mozzarella for lunch or a grilled fish station with a selection of spicy fruit salsas at dinner.
Bookings are never required at either restaurant, or at sporting activities for that matter. Guests are encouraged to do what they want, when they want. It’s all part of the Club Med experience. The resort is set up to encourage togetherness. Guests happily interact with other vacationers and your friendly G.O. (short for the French title Gentil Organisateur) is always available to help procure food, snacks, or drinks, participate in sports and activities, they’ll even join you for dinner. The G.O. is a pillar of the Club Med brand and helps create that ineffable ambience that makes guests return to Club Med again and again.
With 60% of Canadian guests at La Caravelle coming from Quebec, Air Canada and Transat service to Guadeloupe direct only from Montreal, but connections from other Canadian cities are widely available. In early 2020, JetBlue will also be flying direct from NYC which could be a more convenient connection for some travellers.
For the full story, check out this week’s cover story in Travel Courier.