Floating on a turquoise lagoon, L'escapade Resort offers boutique accommodation and a unique resort experience in a private marine reserve park. Part of GLP Hotels which includes other gay welcoming properties in Noumea, this is the only dedicated small island luxury resort in New Caledonia — and it's good value for a day or for a weekend.
Escapade is situated on a idyllic isle about 20 minutes by boat from Noumea. (Access to the island is by the hotel’s own boat, and helicopter transfers available on request.)
There's a choice of overwater bungalows offering steps into the turquoise lagoon, or garden bungalows which are spacious enough to cater for families or groups of liked-minded, sea loving friends. Either choice, Escapade offers truly breathtaking views and friendly atmosphere for a paradise-like escape.
For romantics, L'escapade features an on-site wedding chapel (where same-same ceremonies can be arranged). For the active visitors, there is a water sports centre and a tour desk (for day trippers or overnight guests). It has an outdoor pool with a poolside restaurant (and unexpected fine wine cellar) and popular swim-up bar. French Champagne anyone?
The island itself is small — so small it takes just over half an hour to walk the perimeter on the beach. There are plenty of water activities naturally, including snorkeling in the lagoon, jet skiing, paddle and pedal boating, stand up paddle boarding, wind surfing or safe swimming.
The island is open to day visitors with the resort restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as free standing barbeques for daytrippers who want to cook their own food. I enjoyed a full buffet lunch of local seafood, swam in the crystal clear lagoon, and later relaxed by the pool before sailing to back to Noumea. Gave new meaning to "9 to 5".
You really can have it all in New Caledonia (just 2.5 hours flight from Sydney or Auckland) and a day trip to L’Escapade Ilot Maître Island simply wasn’t enough – I could have easily spent a weekend chilling out on the blue lagoon.
l visited Noumea twice as a guest of Tourism Novelle Caledonie, Air Calin and GLP Hotels to accord them Rainbow Tourism Accreditation. The destination and accommodation operators welcome gay and lesbian travelers. The place is next to paradise. Bonjour and bon voyage!