I have been going to club med on and off again for 22 years (I am a gold member) and this was my first visit to Caravelle. I have remained a reliable and dedicated GM. On this vacation, I traveled with my wife, teenage daughter and 11 friends. I did not bring my cell phone, pager, laptop, tablet. We did not watch TV, read any newspapers, or make any phone calls. Remember the old CM motto? “The antidote for civilization.” They should never have changed it.
1. The village: is on a magnificent beach protected by an old coral reef. The beach is superlative, public spaces and rooms are all very clean, neat, well maintained and decorated. As with every Club Med village, the support staff is what makes this village so great: they take great pride in what they do and it shows. The only disappointment was the landscaping – virtually non-existent. Flower beds over grown, leaves and botanical debris everywhere. Unlike the other villages we have been to, no once cleaned up the beach or set the chairs straight. We often found the previous day’s bar debris, towels and cups on the beach on chairs. Not a major problem, but not the typical club med beach hygiene we are accustomed to.
2. The food: typical club med fare at the main restaurant but not as varied as we have found at other villages. Only infrequently did we find fresh grilled fish on the menu. No mangos or other tropical fruit. Pineapple and watermelon was available every day. There was the usual abundance of fresh produce, bread, and salads. The pastries, cheese, pizza and bread were excellent. The menu has changed very little over the years and for good reason: it is healthy and tastes fantastic and provides the necessary energy for the next day’s activities. We would have liked more variety though. We did not eat at the specialty restaurant this time – there was no interest among my group. One very odd thing: virtually no white chocolate bread. We saw only two loaves the entire trip – and these were devoured very quickly. Also, very little traditional chocolate bread. Perhaps the chief chef has a chocolate allergy. This was a disappointment, as was the repetitiveness of the desert counter – all excellent – but never really changes. This is an observation made by several other reviewers as well. One important plus, we were able to enter the restaurant early every day for a quick bite, and to make small sandwiches to take with us on our daily dive trips with Noa Plongee. This was very much appreciated by my group, and we want to thank the chief of the village for making this possible. Thankfully, we did not get badgered about the deluxe wine program this trip (it was available, but CM’s basic table wine is just fine when dining on their diverse menu.
3. Medical: thankfully, we had no need for contact on this trip, so I cannot review this important resource. We took precautions and came prepared for just about any minor medical mishap on our own.
4. Sports: we are all water people, so most of our activities were spent in or on the ocean. We went scuba diving every day. I cannot say enough about the dive operation that CM has contracted with: Noa Plongee. They were just amazing. They put together a program of reef diving along the south and northeast coasts of Grande Terre (Isle de Petit Terre, Port Louis, Banc des Vaisseaux). Just beautiful. This is a fantastic shop, great instructors, equipment and boats, and is only a quick 30min drive from the village. CM helped arrange a taxi-van every morning (same driver each day) for us.
We also spent time sailing – unfortunately the village only has three (3) boats (Hobie-15). So one had to reserve a boat each day in order to go sailing. The sea conditions and wind were just excellent almost every day. And the boats are in excellent condition. The GO’s were very friendly and helpful – excellent customer service. We did not play tennis on this trip, so I cannot review this activity.
5. Language: was not an issue. English is spoken by nearly all the GO’s and staff. CM is a friendly place and language barriers have not and should not ever prevent GM’s from having fun.
6. Accommodations: were excellent. We chose to upgrade to their renovated Grande Terre building – and had a terrific ocean view. Our room was cleaned and spotless by noon, everyday. What we found lacking in the landscaping and groundkeeping, was made up for in housekeeping. Typical CM décor, tile floors, colorful artwork, clean linens, and a large shower with great water pressure and plenty of hot water As with most CM villages, the air conditioning is only just able to keep the humidity and moldy smells away. The room never got really cool, but it was comfortable enough. We always leave one of our room keycards in the slot –to keep the AC running all day. Otherwise things warm up too much and it never gets cool again at night for sleeping. We always leave a tip for the housekeeper because their hard work enhances the overall experience.
7. Travel: was relatively easy via Miami. A direct flight on American Airlines – on time and great service. The airport is modern, clean, efficient, and close to the village. Just perfect. We passed through security very quickly. Not like the nightmare that awaits you in the Turks and Caicos. The only negative was a nearly 70 minute delay through immigration in Miami – due to funding cutbacks and the sequester. What an embarrassment after passing into and out of Guadeloupe so easily.
8. On this trip, we spent some time walking around St-Anne. They have a small market where you can buy creole spices, produce, nick-nacks and t-shirts. We also traveled around Grande Terre during our dive trips. We wanted to go to the rainforest on Basse Terre, but did not want to deal with the two-hour car ride (each way). I wish we had done this excursion though. Next time.
9. Our kids spent very little time in the kids club. What we did see though, was a well organized, clean, and safe experience for the kids that did spend their time here. I would expect nothing less from CM.
10. The evening shows: we went to very few of them. Typical CM humor. But we were too exhausted by the day’s activities to participate every night.
11. Would we go back again? Yes. But we will probably go to Martinique next time
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An all inclusive resort on one of Guadeloupe's finest beaches. Located in the heart of the Caribbean, La Caravelle all inclusive resort is an ideal setting for a vacation retreat. Soak in the Caribbean sun on the golden beaches of Guadeloupe, experience island culture in the markets and shops of Point-A-Pitre, or treat yourself to the ultimate spa treatments at the resort's wellness center. With activities for both parents and children, La Caravelle is the perfect winter retreat for the entire family. Children, young and old, will be thrilled to take a class at the truly unique trapeze and circus school on the resort grounds. While the children try their hand at juggling, trampolines, or tight ropes, parents can enjoy a peaceful meal at one of the many beach side restaurants. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Club Med La Caravelle Hotel Sainte-Anne
- Club Med Ste Anne
- La Caravelle Club Med
- Club Med Guadeloupe
- Ste. Anne Club Med
- Club Med La Caravelle Guadeloupe/Sainte-Anne