An American in Guadeloupe.... Part Une

Karibea Beach Resort Clipper 

 Since I've returned all I can do is rave about Guadeloupe, the food, the beaches, the people, the culture all day and  all night. I've become one of those annoying people who get all starry eyed and rant about Guadeloupe being my top Caribbean island and that I am self diagnosed as suffering from Post Travel Depression. The day we returned it was grey, cold, wet and rainy... but back to Guadeloupe, travel guides don't do this butterfly shaped island in the French Antilles justice.  First off, the island is very French so if you are a hedonistic drunken fool looking for an excuse to go somewhere warm and be a sweaty drunk mess, Guadeloupe's not for you. No it's not boring,  there are tons of things to do while visiting Guadeloupe, from excursions, island hopping,  museums, surfing, tours of rum factories all what you expect in tourism but when I say very French, I mean reserved, subdued hell, I'm going to go off the bat and even say elegant.

It all started with the website TravelPirates, back  in September the low cost  Norwegian Airlines  posted  deals to Martinique and Guadeloupe for the  super low price of  $49 one way, leaving from JFK.  I love a great travel deal and part of my resolution for 2016 was to travel more.  I reached out to my travel buddy and we agreed on Guadeloupe, well more she decided on it because I couldn't make up my mind but it was one of the best decisions.

The flight was easy you just have to keep in mind, how low cost carriers operate, Norwegian Airlines  is very very low frills, although the flight is very cheap, you have to be aware of everything else, choosing a seat, check in luggage,  even water will cost you so to avoid any issues, I decided that I didn't care where I sat for a 3 hour and 40 minute flight, so I wasn't going to pay for  that, I did know I would be buying rum in Guadeloupe  so I purchased round-trip  baggage a week ahead, that cost me an additional $32. Regarding food and beverages, I purchased a sandwich plus a few snacks in my purse and after passing TSA, purchased a bottled water with my Starbucks gift card. Also, no movies on this flight but, I downloaded enough entertainment into my phone for quite a few trips. With saying, the staff for Norwegian was professional and I have no complaints coming or going.

As part of French overseas territories, the  Euro is the form of currency, I like to have cash prior to when I arrive in a country, so I was covered and I knew that our first transaction, a taxi, would be cash.  We arrived into Pointe a Pitre, the capital of Guadeloupe located on Grand Barre, the larger and more commercial of the five islands in total that make up Guadeloupe. A quick 20 minute ride from the airport and we were at our hotel the Karibea Beach Resort located in Gosier, which was centrally located.

So a few days before our trip I looked up reviews and was pretty scared that we were going to be staying in a roach motel. The reviews had me thinking there was no beach but  sewage, no towels and an invisible staff, that was never available, WRONG! The Karibea Beach Resort was excellent, so what you carried your bags to your room and there wasn't room service, you'll be okay. The rooms were clean, the bathrooms were recently renovated with perfect bathroom amenities. The Karibea is composed of three different buildings , the Residence which is for long term stays and has kitchenettes, excellent for families. Then there is the Clipper, which has a more nautical theme but I suggest  you book the Salako, it is the most  recently renovated, has great views of the beach and free buffet breakfast.
Rhum  and Ti Punch 

Great thing about the Karibea Resort, you are walking distance  from restaurants, bars and a casino plus, you can also visiting neighboring properties such as the Le Creole Beach  Hotel and Spa for their entertainment and nightlife.  A quick outfit change and we hit the restaurant row and chose Le Massai ran by two brothers originally from Senegal.Great food, great service, and our first night of trying out Ti Punch, the national drink of local rhum, local sugar and lime and oh, the rum is very strong..  We tried the Tiep Boudienne which is the national fish dish of Senegal and it was a hit. Well seasoned, exceptionally fresh and a dash of heat  all the factors that add up to a great meal on our first night.
Le Massai Red Snapper Dish 

Stay tuned to Part Duex...