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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Go Barefoot on Les Saintes

Skip the Caribbean party scene in favor of this quiet French archipelago off the coast of Guadeloupe, where uncrowded beaches, rustic inns, and car-free streets are still the norm.

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1. Where to Stay

Both the pool and beach are mere steps from the bungalows at Le Bois Joli.  

Curl up at cozy Auberge Les Petits Saints (from $212), an antique-filled private home turned guesthouse. Perched among the green hills of a quiet residential area, the inn is an oasis of lush coconut and mango trees, cheerful lime and orange walls, and killer bay views. Bask in the sun on the decked pool’s wicker chairs, or cool off in the exotically decorated living room nearby, amid leopard-print cushions, Indonesian wood panels, and African masks. Reserve a pool-front suite—each brightly painted room offers air-conditioning, satellite TV, and a sea or hill view—and rise early to take in the infinite horizon of endless blues and passing sailboats.

Wake up to a glorious view of the bay from your seafront balcony at LôBleu Hotel (from $182). Painted peach, blue, and white and situated directly on a clean, golden beach, the ten-room hotel feels more like a remote cottage, though it’s just a stone’s throw from the action in town. What the rooms lack in size, they make up for in decor—paintings from local artists depicting vibrantly colored scenes of everyday life on the islands, above and under water. Take a dip in the bay, laze on the hotel’s chaises, or simply linger over fresh breads and fruits at breakfast on perhaps the most literally waterfront veranda on the island.

Embrace the island’s snail pace from your pink, wooden beach bungalow at Le Bois Joli (from $272). Relax poolside with a Planteur rum-punch cocktail—a blend of Guadeloupe’s Bellevue white rum, orange, and guava juice, topped with sugar-cane syrup—from the open-air snack bar. You won’t need much more than swimwear and cover-ups while staying here, especially if you opt for one of the two cottages with a kitchenette, though the onsite restaurant—set on the veranda of the main Colonial house, with panoramic island views—offers local specialties worth sampling, like the ouassous, a type of crawfish, or a boudin Créole—blood sausage.

Published on Feb 13, 2014 as a web exclusive.

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