A day in Marie-Galante, the island of a hundred mills

Opposite La Toubana Hotel & Spa is Marie-Galante, the quiet and authentic island of the entire Lesser Antilles arc.

Over there, the sugar cane fields stretch as far as the eye can see, paradise beaches follow one another, underwater flora and fauna surprise… Welcome to Île aux Cent Moulins, also called the Grande-Galette, which is worth the detour for a journey rich in discoveries.

Many see Marie-Galante as the Guadeloupe “of yesteryear”. Indeed, life is preserved there, rurality is preserved there so that authenticity is perceived in every corner of the island. Come along the coastal road where you will come across these cabrouets, wooden carts pulled by oxen …

Marie-Galante marks by its natural sites such as Gueule Grand Gouffre, an open pit dug by the sea 50 meters in diameter and 30 meters in height! The beauty of the site is exceptional. If you are looking for a spot for a little relaxing break, you are spoiled for choice of beautiful white sand beaches… Anse Canot, Feuillère Beach, Vieux Fort Beach… they stretch as far as the eye can see. with water with infinite shades of blue.

It is also and above all the island of rum culture! As you stroll through the sugar cane fields, you will come across one of the three distilleries still present on the island. During the tastings, don’t be surprised, Marie-Galante’s rum is reputed to be the strongest of all the islands of Guadeloupe, no less than 59 °…

The visit to the island ends with the Habitation Murat, a former colonial house, now home to an eco-museum of the island’s traditions and folk arts. Between calm, paradise and authenticity, come and appreciate the beauty of Marie-Galante, an island out of time.


Breath-taking view

This market is very popular as it runs alongside one of the most beautiful beaches in the Guadeloupe islands: La Caravelle. Exotic fruits and vegetables are sold here (banana, coconut, guava, mango, manioc, breadfruit, Turban squash, pineapple, yams, etc.), as well as spices (chili, cinnamon, nutmeg, colombo powder, etc.), punch, spiced rum, shellfifi sh, handmade jewelry, pareos…and most of all a lively and especially easy-going atmosphere. We suggest stopping of here for a picnic in this fantastic setting, followed by a dip in the crystal-clear waters. And then, who knows, you may want to finish
your day with an açai bowl at Les Givrés.

A natural reserve just waiting to welcome you

In the spirit of sharing, the Guadeloupe Islands National Park and its natural reserve, the Grand Cul de Sac Marin welcomes nature lovers and scuba divers all year round. This area covers 135,000 hectares and is both fragile and strong at the same time. The region must be explored with care and attention,
to make sure the treasures within are protected. Here’s the account of an excursion between two afternoon naps on the catamaran nets. We arrived at Mahault-Bay marina at 8:30 am The view is divine in the early light of the morning. The coral reef and small nearby islands protect the lagoon from big waves, surrounded by the natural environment and tropical trees.
The water is always calm and still.

The Azimut catamaran can be accessed by taking a little dinghy. After a short briefing and an introduction to the basics of sailing, the team sets sail, with a northerly course, towards the wreckage of a boat that used to supply the
Arbousier distillery. The barge went down on the coral barrier in 1989. Marked at a depth of 1 meter 20 on the maps, it is clearly visible through the crystal-clear waters. Equipped with flippers, scuba masks and snorkels, we are invited to explore the site and its new inhabitants: a multitude of tropical fish.
The second step is an excursion to the Caret islands for a drink on the water’s edge. This is a great activity for children and those who would rather enjoy the shallow depth of the natural pool rather than delve into the depths of the ocean. This little stop allows visitors to talk to the excursion leaders and learn that this little island carries the same name as the Caret turtles that come to lay their eggs in the sand here once a year. The last stop of the day is between Fageou island and the coral reef. The team makes sure to drop the anchor on
top of a buoy to ensure that it doesn’t drag along the sea bed. This is the heart of the reserve, therefore jet skis and fishing are strictly regulated. This region is marked off by special buoys: yellow buoys with the cross of Saint-André painted upon them. “We all need a purpose in life. For us, it is respecting the  nvironment”, explained the Captain. While the team prepares lunch, we set out to explore a real tropical rainforest of the ocean, one of the most spectacular  marine ecosystems that is home to thousands of animal and plant species. Before our astonished eyes we come across tangs, parrot fish, butterfly fish and barracudas as well as polyps (enormous coral) where some species lay their eggs, away from the eyes of predators.


The tip of Fageot Island is pretty much one of the best scuba diving spots, here just by snorkeling, you can easily see a variety of colorful fish. A clear advantage for this site is that it is hard to get to because you have to make way through coral heads, something not everyone can do. More and more protective measures have been put in place to maintain the population level and the current condition of the water. Come and see this beautiful place with your own eyes, on an excursion that is accessible to all, all year round and very day during the tourist season.

The Mai Tai Cocktail for a tasteful trip to the Guadeloupe Islands !

A desire to decompress and impress your family in this time of confinement?

Our barman at the Bar de La Mer reveals his recipe for the famous Mai Tai cocktail.
It is a rum-based cocktail that cannot be ignored.
A cocktail with tropical sounds, one could easily believe that Mai Tai was invented in Polynesia.
For the record, this cocktail actually comes straight from Oakland, California… The restaurateur Victor Bergeron decided to create his own cocktail based on rum from the islands. One evening, he offered some to two Tahitian friends and one of them, after tasting this cocktail, raised his glass and said “Mai tai roa ae” meaning “the best in the world”. Mai Tai had its name and the legend continued when Elvis Presley appeared sipping his little glass of Mai Tai in the movie Blue Hawaii.

So don’t wait any longer, get your shaker!

– 3cl of Guadeloupe white rum…
– 3 cl of old Guadeloupean rum
– 1.5 cl lime juice
– 1.5 cl barley syrup
– 1 cl of Cointreau or orange liqueur

The preparation:
Pour all the ingredients into a shaker, previously filled with ice.
Shake it all.
Remember to strain the ice while serving!
Decorate with a slice of orange and serve it, as tradition dictates, in a tulip glass, so that the aromas can be best perceived.

An explosion of flavours will delight your taste buds and this cocktail will essentially be an invitation to travel…
Beware, this Mai Tai cocktail is relatively powerful, beware of the side effects!

My homemade coco scrub !

Today is a moment just for you!
Our experts at Spa La Toubana, reveal their secret recipe of “Coconut Scrub” for a moment of well-being at home.

After this 100% natural body scrub, the benefits are immediate!
The skin is fresh, clean and delicately perfumed, and its texture is refined.

How does it work?
The small coconut grains mixed with powdered sugar will gently remove and exfoliate dead skin. The coconut oil mixed with lemon and geranium will smooth and moisturize the skin. This delicious fruity mixture will deeply regenerate the skin.
The coconut scrub is abrasive enough for use on the face, you will have to choose another recipe.

How long does it take?
20 minutes.

For which skin type(s)?
All skin types.

What kind of preservation?
Store away from light, heat and air and can be kept for 3 months.
The necessary ingredients are easy to find are all for outstanding women like us!

Ingredients per 100 grams :
50g coconut oil
50g powdered sugar
10 drops of lemon essential oil (possible with orange or grapefruit)
10 drops of essential oil of rose geranium

Let’s get ready!
Step 1: Mix the solid coconut oil and sugar in a bowl.
Step 2: add the essential oil of lemon and rose geranium.
Step 3: Mix well to obtain a homogeneous mixture.
Step 5: Put everything in a container, put a label on it and that’s it!

You get a divine texture, a bewitching and relaxing scent for a 100% natural effectiveness!
Apply the treatment all over the body, massage and then rinse with clear water!

Our Experts at La Toubana Hôtel & Spa have tested and unveil this homemade recipe just for you!

Aurélien Bulgheroni revolutionizes the Toubana Hotel & Spa ***** card !

After falling in love with cooking in Monaco, Aurélien Bulgheroni mixes the heritage of several years spent with renowned chefs in Canada, Australia and Bora Bora. His international creativity blends perfectly with local products.

DHDI: What have you made evolve on the menu of La Toubana Hotel and SPA?
AB : First of all, I changed the dynamics of the cuisine, I tried to organize the rhythm and then I modified the menu to better correspond to the expectations of the customers. We use some international products, but we will especially adapt to local products, especially seasonal vegetables.

What are the best-sellers to test at La Toubana?
On the menu, we have some local specialities such as grilled lobster, chatrou but I advise you to try our flagship dishes: tuna ceviche with a lemon confit vinaigrette which makes all the difference because
in the mouth it is soft, not acidic and allows to appreciate the freshness of the
tuna while raising the dish a little. It is served with salad and a gratin.
of sweet potato. Then we have the dorado that we get directly from the
morning of the fisherman, we pre-cook it in a frying pan and then we poached it in a
coconut milk lightly flavoured with lemongrass. The flesh is tender, never
dry. A few small roasted plantain bananas are added on top of it and a
rice chips. For dessert, the coconut flan is a classic and as a novelty we have chocolate in all its states: white, dark, milk, with several textures, biscuit, ganache, ice cream and chocolate chips.

Is there a brunch on Sunday?                                                                                                        Yes of course, a brunch in the form of a cold buffet: all kinds of fish gravelax, ceviche, many varieties of salads with seasonal products, giraumon, cabbage, sweet potatoes etc., meat tataki, beef carpaccio. In addition, we have a barbecue station, where customers order directly from the cooks what they want to cook, which can be shrimp skewers, Cajun faux filet, beef entrecote, chicken melon, sea bream marinated in lemon confit, with lots of small fillings and sauces, and behind that a buffet of traditional desserts is offered without forgetting the unmistakable banana flambé.

Your next assignment?
I’d like to modernize the snack menu at the beach restaurant. I’ve already got some crazy ideas: like a poke salad made with tortilla chips mixed with tuna sashimi, an Asian-style dressing, some
lawyers… And, in my wildest dreams, I’d like to throw tapas from 3:00 to
7pm but in a more elaborate style than traditional tapas. And, three evenings a week, open the beach restaurant with a very elegant trattoria spirit.

Aurélien Bulgheroni
revolutionizes the maps of La Toubana
Hotel & Spa *****
The Big Blue Bus – Toubana The Beach – The Sea Bass
Reservations by phone at +590 (0)5 90 88 25 57
or by mail info@toubana.com

ART : The black model from Géricault to Picasso

A very innovative project and a great international first at the ACTe Memorial, this exhibition has already had a first stop in New York at the Wallach Art Gallery of Columbia University and a second stop in Paris at the Musée d’Orsay. It will be held in Pointe-à-Pitre from September to December 2019 and shows, through 110 works, the representation of black figures in the fine arts over a period of more than two centuries.

2. Delacroix Ferdinand Victor Eugène Étude d’après le modèle Aspasie, oil on canvas, circa 1824-1828, © Musée Fabre de Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole, photograph Frédéric Jaulmes.


Going well beyond the artistic dimension, this exhibition looks at the aesthetic, political, social and racial issues, but also at the imaginary that these representations have generated over the decades. It deals with a great unspoken, unseen part of art history, which is the relationship between the
modern artists with black models. A dialogue between the artist who paints, sculpts or photographs and his subject who poses for him. The artists are engaged with these figures who pose, often in the greatest silence, at a time when it is difficult to recognize their own identity.

Géricault, Delacroix, Carpeaux, Matisse, Cézanne, Rousseau and Gauguin, committed artists who, out of militancy, denounced the slave trade and fought, brushes in hand, to rehabilitate their human conditions.
Although the abolition of slavery was declared in 1794, it would be half a century before society really integrated this new condition as a reality.

… is the result of a fruitful collaboration on both sides of the Atlantic between Denise Murrell, PhD, a Ford Foundation postdoctoral researcher at the Wallach Art Gallery in New York and the Musée d’Orsay. Her thesis, Seeing Laure: Race and Modernity from Manet’s “Olympia” to Matisse, Bearden and Beyond, which she defended in 2013 at Columbia University, was the basis for a whole reflection.

Who knew, before this exhibition, that the famous maid in Manet’s painting “Olympia”, a painting that caused a scandal in 1865, was named Laure? Who remembered that one of Matisse’s favorite models, “The Haitian dancer”, was named Carmen? Who remembered that Géricault’s model, overlooking the famous painting “Raft of the Medusa” was black? Coming from the former colony of Santo Domingo, which later became Haiti, he embodies this victorious figurehead, conqueror and optimist, who stands out from the other prostrate shipwrecked people. His first name? Joseph.




Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux Pourquoi naître esclave ?, after 1875, polychrome plaster ©Musée des Beaux-Arts de la ville de Reims, photograph C Devleeschauwer.


Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Jeune Noir à l’épée, , oil on canvas, 1848-1849, © Musée d’Orsay, Paris.

The art of tanning

How to obtain (and maintain) a tan without getting sunburned? Three expert tips to follow to the letter.

Avoid burning!

“Apply suncream with a sun protection factor that suits your skin type. Repeat this at least every two hours and after bathing, using a biodegradable cream that is friendly to the marine environment. You should also avoid exposure when the sun’s rays are at their strongest (between 12 noon and 4 pm).” Laure Calvel, Director of Lancaster.

Eat a balanced diet!

“To prepare your skin for tanning, take a course of beta-carotene! This “Provitamin A” is rich in antioxidants, stimulates melanin production and protects the skin against aging. Also, eat plenty of orange-colored produce like sweet potatoes, carrots and apricots, as well as spinach and lamb’s lettuce!” Cécile Espinasse, beauty editor.

Use body oil after a shower !

“Since monoi contains no sun filters, I use it in the evenings after my shower. On moist skin, it turns into an emulsion, spreads easily and penetrates better. It is full of fatty acids and antioxidant vitamin E, which makes it the ideal substitute for my usual body milk.” Jeanne Dréan, beauty editor.

See our article about the beaches to explore with your family

(Français) La Toubana Hôtel & Spa, en route vers la 5e étoile

Before it became one of the finest hotels of Guadeloupe,  La Toubana Hôtel & Spa built its reputation step by step, thanks  to the energy and passion of the family who run it. For more than thirty years, from father to son, from parent to child,  the clan has striven to meet the needs of its clients, with sincerity,  taste and refinement. A fifth star will make this magical place  the first of its category in Guadeloupe.

In the 1950s, Robert Vial Collet, from the French region of Savoie, arrived in Guadeloupe by boat. There, he met a beautiful Guadeloupean, Michèle. They married and had three children. In the 70s, this man of vision purchased the land which was to become the site of La Toubana. At the time, his father-in-law told him he was making a serious mistake by buying a rocky cliff where neither bananas nor sugar cane would grow! In 1984, the hotel finally opened its doors, proposing 18 little 2-star “boxrooms”. In 2005, the family obtained a third star, then a fourth in 2012. The establishment was next run by Robert’s son, Patrick, and his wife, Corinne, who later passed it on to Chloe and Aston, their children, who are still in charge today.

At La Toubana, each bungalow nestles in a little cocoon surrounded by vegetation. Each one has its own beautiful patio and a breathtaking view over the sea. Inside, the shutters allow the light in, creating a calm, embracing atmosphere. The communal areas are a continuation of that atmosphere, with a cozy and chic Creole style. The restaurant and bar can be found by the infinity pool. From up there, the view over Marie-Galante and the beach of La Caravelle is stunning.

Two restaurants, two ambiances. One is by the sea, next to the beach, the other is up by the pool. Every year, the menus of both restaurants are rewritten but certain iconic dishes, like grilled lobster, always remain! Each dish is created and concocted with seasonal produce selected from small growers. We use typical, local, fresh ingredients!

The “villas” section was built and included in the hotel complex in 2014. It is totally independent from the bungalow area, with 3 luxury villas and 12 suites, including 2 with their own pools. Architect Guy Benoist and decorator Muriel Chabernaud were called upon to ensure the site retained its original spirit and distinctive charm, without adopting an overly modern style. The rooms are arranged in such a way as to make them completely independent. This bright, spacious area allows good freedom of movement. In the early morning, the spectacle of nature over the sea and the song of birds promise a wonderful day. While allowing the daylight in, the shutters create a pleasant, soothing atmosphere. Far from the hustle and bustle of the outside world, the body relaxes under the jets of the Italian-style shower. A real cocoon of happiness to share with your loved ones.

The new, fully refurbished reception area… and the beaming smiles of our staff… make you want to stay a while. And who better than the locals, who know the island so well, to put the finishing touches to your vacation? As for our beauty facilities, the Spa has a brand new reception area and relaxation lounge, as well as new cabins and changing rooms. At the beach, the seawall is now a beach in its own right. For pareos, beach tunics and bags, we have opened a handy boutique.

“When you hire a villa at La Toubana, you also get access to all of the hotel’s facilities and services, including daily cleaning, your own chef if you so wish, access to the Spa and swimming pool, as well as beach services. Our team will always do everything they can to satisfy you, within reasonable limits. If you want a butler, a yoga lesson, a chef, a massage or a swimming lesson… all of this is possible” explains Chloe. When the dream becomes reality…

Faustine François