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The Civilized Explorer

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Hotel Matic
An inexpensive place to stay in Guadeloupe

We found an advertisement for Hotel Matic in the brochures at the airport upon our arrival at Pointe-a-Pitre in February of 1998. The rates at that time were listed as 265 FrF for one, two, or three persons. We decided to check it out, and as we were staying in Ste. Anne, a good distance from the airport, we decided to check in the night before our departure. Access to the building from the front was locked, and a sign pointed down the highway to an entrance near a child care center. We drove around back and entered from the rear. The building is of somewhat unusual design, being narrower at the bottom than at the top. The lobby is lighted during the day by the large glass entrance, and there is a clerk there during the day. A photograph of the outside of the hotel is at Hotel Matic.

We were getting about six francs per dollar at the time of our stay, so the cost in U.S. dollars was about $44. Both exchange rates and room rates are guaranteed to change. We reserved our room ahead of time, and the clerk's English and my French were sufficient for the task. We were told we would have to call the day before our stay to get the room number and the key code. The lobby has a soda machine, a microwave, and a coffee vending machine. There are pay phones in the lobby, as well. We have a photograph of the lobby here.

Rooms have a numbered keypad instead of a key. In the photograph of the hotel, you may be able to see a large glass entrance, and to the right of it is a structure that looks like an ATM machine, This is an automatic room vendor. It is operated in a manner similar to an ATM machine and allows one to obtain a room after the clerk has gone for the day. Payment is by credit or debit card, and the room and keycode are given out by the computer.

We had considerable luggage, so we asked for a room on the ground floor. To assure this, the clerk assigned us " 1 Chambre Handicap." Our room was small, but efficiently laid out. Our bath was on the right and it was not quite two steps wide from the bath to the wall on the left. There is one overhead light on the left wall near the television. (Although this was a "handicap" room, there is no remote control, and the television set is not reachable from a seated position.) There was a small armoir between the foot of the bed and the wall of the bath unit, a bunk bed with a queen- size bed on bottom and a single on top (for one, two, or three persons), and a desk top in the corner opposite the bed, with a lamp on it. One narrow window and an air conditioner above the window completes the room.
A photograph of the room. NOTE: The photograph was taken with an 18 mm lens, so the proportions are distorted. The room looks wider and deeper than it is.

The width of the room at the bed was about two steps, leaving us with the joke that we had to go out into the hall to change our minds. Seating was a choice of a small stool with no back or the bed. With four large pieces of luggage and four small carry on sized bags, we were cramped for space, but it was bearable.

The bathroom was what made the room accessible (aside from being on the ground floor). The bathroom is clearly a plug- in unit. It sits directly on the floor, with the shower having no curb or lip, all very nice if you need to wheel in a chair. We have some reservations about maneuvering a chair within the confines of the room, especially getting into the bath unit, but we have no way of confirming our suspicion that it may be too tight a fit. If that is of concern to you, go when there is a clerk. Ours showed us a room before we reserved it, so you can check the dimensions for yourself. See the bathroom.

Because the shower had no curbing and the curtain did not meet the floor, a shower flooded the floor in front of the sink (shown on the left; it is yellow). The soap dispenser for the shower was the wrong fitting, so it was set on the sink, a minor inconvenience for us. Somewhat more inconvenient, the commode would not stop running after it was flushed until we removed the top and adjusted the inner workings by hand. The water in the shower was quickly hot, and it was very hot. However, the shower had a handheld wand. There was no way to leave the water running while soaping, and it made squirting water out onto the floor while wetting and rinsing a foregone conclusion. Although there were two of us, we were given one bath towel and one hand towel.

Overall, we give the room an acceptable rating, taking into account what it is. The room was clean, the air conditioner worked, and it was easily set for our comfort. We were there on a Saturday night and had no noises or other interruptions to our night's rest. We had brought a couple of pans au chocolat with us, heated them up in the microwave, bought coffee from the machine (ten FrF each), and had a quick breakfast before leaving for the airport, a fifteen minute trip.

If you want to call for reservations, the country code is 590, and the telephone number is 26.96.66; fax 26.94.20. To write for information, the address is:
Hotel Matic
Z.I. de Jarry
97122 Baie-Mahault

This page is located at http://www.cieux.com/hotelmatic.html

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