Can you get away? You look a little pale. Some sunshine and beach time would do you good. They might help kick the lingering cold out of your system in the process. All you need is a few days. In just four-and-a-half hours, you could be at a Caribbean resort with temperatures in the 80s. Sounds good, right?
So how about February? That’s when JetBlue launches nonstop flights to Guadeloupe. The archipelago—that includes six main islands and a handful of uninhabited ones—is a French department. It lies in between Antigua and Dominica in the Lesser Antilles. The two largest islands, Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre, are separated by the narrow Rivière Salée. Together, they form the shape of a butterfly, hence the nickname “the Butterfly Island.” Since limited flights used to hinder visitors who weren’t French, Guadeloupe has long been considered one of the best-kept secrets in the Caribbean. Think about it.
Once you land in Pointe-à-Pitre, the archipelago’s largest city, it’s a quick ride south to Le Gosier. The south coast town, which has a French Riviera vibe, is lined with resorts. It’s known for its French fort (Fleur d’épée), offshore island (Îlet du Gosier), chic restaurants, and music-based nightlife. But it’s famous for its white-sand beaches.
Pointe de la Verdure is one of those beaches. That’s where you’ll find La Créole Beach Hôtel & Spa. The laid-back resort sits on 10 beachfront acres. Its tropical gardens are filled with palm trees and hibiscus. Low-key rooms are spread across two-story buildings. They feature wooden decorations, white bedding, and turquoise accents. You’ll find French windows with a spectacular view in your ocean view junior suite.
The views get even better, though. From La Case Beach Pizza, a bright pink snack bar, you’re just steps from the sand. From La Créole Spa’s outdoor massage hut, you’re atop volcanic boulders at the edge of the beach. While at Le Zawag, a restaurant that serves traditional Créole dishes, you’re hanging over the water on its wooden deck. It’s the perfect spot to eat white sea urchin, lobster, and macarons as the sun goes down. Are you sure you can’t get away?