Guadeloupeans maintain that the beguine began here, and for sure, the beguine and mazurkas were heavily influenced by the European quadrille and orchestrated melodies. Their merging is the origin of West Indian music, and it gave birth to zouk (music with an African-influenced Caribbean rhythm) at the beginning of the 1980s. Still the rage here, it has spread not only to France but to other European countries. Many resorts have dinner dancing or offer regularly scheduled entertainment by steel bands and folkloric groups.

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  • 1. Bar de la Vieille Tour

    The atmospheric piano bar, with its planters' chairs and whirring fan blades, is as memorable as Rick's Café in Casablanca. The terrace tables give you the best views of the Caribbean through multicolored bougainvillea. Accras (salt-fish fritters), peanuts, and olives usually arrive with your cocktail, which will be as tasty as it is pretty. A bar menu offers a selection of tapas, and the rum cart is extensive—some available by the flight. The barman makes a perfect piña colada and creates a nightly cocktail du jour. On Wednesday and Friday evenings, there's live piano music; in high season, more live music—like a jazz trio.

    Rte. de Montauban, Grande-Terre, 97190, Guadeloupe
  • 2. Casino de Saint-François

    The small Casino de St-François has a contemporary élan that makes you want to dress up and come on out. There's a dramatic water installation, leather furniture, and an appealing restaurant, Le Joker, open for both lunch and dinner. The casino has a bar, a piano, and a stage for performers, which also doubles as a disco on Friday and Saturday. The casino is open daily from 10 am. There are 92 slots, as well as English roulette and blackjack.

    Grande-Terre, 97118, Guadeloupe
  • 3. Club Med By Night

    Club Med sells night passes that include all cocktails, dinner with wine, and a show in the theater, followed by admission to the disco. Go on Friday for the gala dinner and the most creative show, or on a Tuesday, another special night. A night pass is a good option for single women, who will feel comfortable and safe at the disco, where there are plenty of fun staffers (G.O.s) willing to be dance partners.

    Grande-Terre, 97180, Guadeloupe

    Nightlife Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sept.–early Nov.
  • 4. La Rhumerie Bar & Lounge

    Something is always happening at La Créole Beach Hotel. Bands often play beguine and zouk or piano with bass, all of which are very danceable and add to the hotel's conviviality. The tom-tom drummers accompanied by a bevy of native dancers are exciting. A steel band also plays, usually on Monday night. On Wednesday, Gwoka (a type of Creole music) plays during Creole Night. The busy bar specializes in quality rums from various Caribbean islands and serves creole tapas, including traditional accras.

    Pointe de la Verdure, Grande-Terre, 97190, Guadeloupe
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