New Caledonia L’Escapade Island Resort

Updated: August 3, 2018

L’Escapade Island Resort – Island retreat with Noumea’s only above-water bungalows, but surprisingly plain overall.

Only 25 minutes by boat from the city centre, this appropriately-named resort is based on a Crusoe-esque islet of forests and coral. The design of the Overwater Bungalows is unexpectedly ordinary, bordering on unattractive, with an oversized roof and what looks like an added-on room. Inside, there are touches of Melanesia among the bland furnishings, and the bungalows are spacious enough, with a separate lounge area and huge marble bathroom. But it’s really all about the setting: perched above the water over 50m from the shore with broad views across the harbour. The Garden Bungalows, however, are clustered too tightly together, with walls of windows offering maximum views but minimal privacy. Those facing the sea are far better, of course. The pool is always busy and the beaches mostly rocky, but the water is reasonably calm. Avoid weekends and school holidays when rates can triple, and crowds, including day-trippers, are overwhelming.

L’Escapade Island Resort – The Basics

  • Location: On Îlot Maître island, accessible by free resort boat four times a day (25 minutes). Boats leave from a special terminal at the Baie de la Moselle marina, just down from the market in the centre of Noumea on the main island. The terminal is about 40 minutes from the international airport and 15 minutes from the domestic airport. Note: the resort is spread across one half of the island; the rest is also open to the public.
  • Guests: More suited to couples seeking a quiet getaway, but families with younger children would also enjoy the setting.
  • Beach: The best strip of sand is the public beach along the western half of the island. Most of the shoreline around the resort grounds is rocky, but still swimmable and excellent for snorkelling.
  • Views: All Overwater Bungalows face the sea, with 180-degree views. Garden Bungalows may offer some sea glimpses, while the Beach Bungalows overlook the water.
  • Wi-Fi Internet: Decent amount of data offered free per day per bungalow.
  • Parking: No vehicles on the island. Ask management about parking on the mainland.
  • Phone: (687) 26 05 12
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: http://www.glphotels.nc/escapade-ilot-maitre-en.html
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates. Use the website specific to your language, currency, and home-country for easiest use: UKUSAFrançaisDeutschNederlands.

L’Escapade Island Resort – Amenities

  • Pool: Nice setting: raised and facing the sea. But always busy, and alongside the bar/restaurant and with a swim-up bar it’s often noisy.
  • Spa: A hut in the far eastern end of the island offers Thai massages but nothing else.
  • Fitness Center: Perhaps, surprisingly, there isn’t one.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: None.
  • Activities: All sorts of water-sports can be arranged, but costs are high, including paddleboards, jet-skis, banana boats and kayaks.

L’Escapade Island Resort – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants & Bars: Le Restaurant serves substantial buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with some à la carte options also available. The public are always welcome; in fact, a buffet lunch is part of a popular daytrip from the city. The Snack Bar in the public (western) half of the island offers simple meals and cold drinks.
  • Breakfast: A full buffet breakfast is included in the rates.
  • Room Service: Available 24 hours a day.

L’Escapade Island Resort – Rooms

  • Room Types: Overwater Bungalows • Beach Bungalows • Garden Bungalows
  • Smoking Rooms: Smoking not allowed anywhere in or near the rooms or public areas, but OK in the gardens and on the beaches.
  • Best Room: Of course, the place to stay is in one of the gorgeous Overwater Bungalows perched above the sea. The décor may be surprisingly bland, but they are reasonably spacious and the views are unparalleled anywhere in or near Noumea.

L’Escapade Island Resort – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    There are no other places to eat or drink on the island. The resort boat to the mainland is timed to allow guests to enjoy lunch in (and a walk around) the city centre, but not for evening meals.

  • Market or Grocery: Very basic supplies available on the island, so come prepared.

Local Transport

    No transport on the island. See above for details about reaching the island by boat.

L’Escapade Island Resort – What’s Nearby?

The resort boat leaves from the Noumea marina 4 times a day.

Four times a day the resort boat leaves a special terminal in the Baie de la Moselle marina in the centre of Noumea.

The comfortable resort boat takes guests to the mainland for free.

The large and comfortable resort boat is free for guests, and takes about 25 minutes to reach the island.

The boat to the mainland can be access using the extended island jetty.

The boat from the mainland docks at the end of an extended jetty on the island.

The clear waters are ideal for snorkeling.

Waters around the island are ideal for snorkelling.

The resort features exclusive Overwater Bungalows.

The resort is renowned for its over-the-water bungalows, the only ones in and around Noumea.

The pool is by the water and gives excellent views.

The pool is raised above the sand and faces the harbour.

The pool and swim-up bar are always busy and noisy.

The pool is always busy and often, noisy because of the swim-up bar and location alongside the restaurant.

The large pool has 2 sections and is very inviting.

The pool has two sections, with plenty of space for everyone.

The views from the island extend to Noumea.

Although the island is about 25 minutes from the mainland, views from the beaches extend to Noumea.

The resort coastline sports white sands and calm waters.

Some of the coastline around the resort has white sands and calm waters.

The beach is rocky and unsuitable for walking in places.

Not all of the shore around the island is sandy, with many rocky parts unsuitable for walking, but still OK for swimming and snorkelling.

The Garden Bungalows can be reached by shady paths.

Shady paths through the island lead to the Garden Bungalows.

The old chapel on the island is still used for services.

Among the undeveloped part of the island is an old chapel, still used for services.

The guests' lounge by the lobby is very appealing.

The guests’ lounge near the lobby area adds to the relaxed ambience.

The bar at Le Restaurant is popular for dinks.

Le Restaurant features an extended bar that serves all sorts of drinks.

The restaurant buffers are very popular.

The resort restaurant offers substantial buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner, which are also available to the public.

Overwater Bungalows are connected by an extended pier.

An extended pier leads to the Overwater Bungalows over 50m from the shore.

The Overwater Bungalows are plain and boxy.

The design of the bungalows is surprisingly plain, with an oversized roof and box-shaped bathroom.

The Overwater Bungalows have several windows that optimize the sea views.

Plenty of windows maximise the magnificent sea views.

Overwater Bungalow furnishing are bland but nice.

Furnishings in the Overwater Bungalows are a tad bland, but nice enough.

The Overwater Bungalows have ample seating.

There are plenty of seats from which to enjoy the sea views.

The wooden patio of Overwater Bungalows offers great views.

Each Overwater Bungalow contains a wooden patio with lounge chairs.

The patio has a ladder going down to the water.

A ladder from the patio leads to the sparkling waters.

The Overwater Bungalows have marble bathrooms.

The Overwater Bungalows feature a large marble bathroom.

Overwater Bungalow bedrooms are plain but afford nice views.

Bedrooms in the Overwater Bungalows are surprisingly plain, but do boast lovely views.

The window walls of Garden Bungalows hamper privacy.

Garden Bungalows feature two walls of windows, which affect privacy.

The resort spa only offers Thai massages.

Inside this modest building Thai massages are offered, but no other treatments expected of a resort-style spa.

The resort occupies only half of the island.

The resort is based on half of the island; the rest is open to the public.

The Snack Bar serves cold drinks and simple meals.

The Snack Bar on the public half of the island serves cold drinks and simple meals.

The resort offers water sports facilities.

Water-sports are available to guests and the public.

Jet-skiing is very popular at the resort.

Jet-skiing is one of the many water-sports available on the island.

The public half of the island is very busy on weekends and holidays.

The half of the island open to the public can become very busy during weekends and school holidays.

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