Le Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa
What We Love
- Free WiFi throughout the resort
- The spa features an exclusive Guerlain treatment menu
- Twin restaurants serve Caribbean fusion fare in indoor/outdoor spaces
What To Know
- Guests come here for privacy; the social scene is sparse
- Beachfront is relatively small for a nine-acre property
- Round-trip airport shuttles run 55 euros (around $75) for two people, each way
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Tucked amid the banana fields of the island’s Le François region, Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa is the grande dame of Martinique, artfully melding Creole and Southeast Asian influences to form a five-star retreat that’s still decidedly Caribbean at heart. Made up of 18 pavilions housing 50 generously proportioned suites, two restaurants and a top-notch spa, Cap Est recalls its sister French isle St. Bart’s with its ruddy roofs peeking from between the palms that punctuate the shoreline.
Bed & Bath
Spacious even for a sprawling luxury resort, all 50 suites unfold to a landscaped terrace or veranda, revealing sweeping views of the mountains, manicured gardens and lagoon, and inviting the island’s trade winds to cool the interiors year-round. Still, rooms come standard with AC, plus a range of en suite amenities that afford all the comforts of home, including plasma TVs, minibars and CD/DVD players. Crisp linens and sheer white canopies offset dark wood furnishings, and there are small private plunge pools in most suites.
This is the only Relais & Châteaux property on either Martinique or neighboring Guadeloupe, so you can be sure the amenities and services are tops, from the show-stopping main pool to the blissful spa, which offers an extensive menu of luxurious Guerlain treatments. Sip a traditional Ti’ punch on the beach by day, and by night dine alfresco on lobster straight from the tank at the Campêche or the Belém — twin fusion restaurants under the direction of star chef Guillaume Bregeat, who is renowned for his inventive take on traditional French and Caribbean fare.
In the Area
If you can tear yourself away from Cap Est’s inclusive selection of lagoon and non-motorized water sports diversions to venture beyond the property, you’ll be rewarded with rum — and plenty of it. For 125 years nearby Habitation Clément has produced the island’s signature Rhum Agricole using local sugarcane and traditional Martiniquean distillation techniques. Tour the Creole plantation and botanical gardens that comprise this French historical landmark, and snag a bottle of vintage rum for the trip home. For a bird’s-eye view of lush Martinique, charter a helicopter tour with local outfitter Héliblue, in Trois Ilets, and scope out the Pitons du Carbet and Monagne Pelée, which rise from the crystalline waters surrounding the island. Then pick your favorite swath of shoreline, from the rain forest–ringed Anse Coulevre to the snorkeling haven at Les Fonds Blancs, and dive in.
How to Get There
Rooms distributed in blocks typically each with 3 rooms or suites. Many with sea view and some with small private pools. Hotel is located on the East coast, the Atlantic side. In half an hour by car you can reach the South coast and in less than one hour the West coast, the Caribien Sea, both with a wide selection of wonderful beaches.
To be fair, I’ll start with the good:
- Gorgeous property with a well-maintained beach and pool
- Decent breakfast
But then there’s the bad:
- We stayed for five nights, and ran out of toiletries on day one. The cleaning staff did not replace them ONCE during our stay. We also found a significant amount of dust/dirt in the corner of the bath; we left it there simply to see if it would get cleaned — it didn’t. The shower wasn’t cleaned properly, either.
- Got a very basic pedicure (no massage or add-ons) at the spa...it cost me US $110. I live in NYC — I’m used to high prices and am also prepared to pay more at resort spas, but this felt like particularly poor value as it chipped while I was sitting at dinner a few hours later. I get much better pedicures at my local place in New York, for about $22...womp womp.
- My boyfriend and I went to the gym one morning and were immediately asked to leave because the maintenance man was allegedly fixing the air conditioning (there was a huge hole in the ceiling and the room smelt like mildew). The staff told us we had five minutes, but then stood there staring directly at us the entire time. We went back to the gym every day during our visit...and the hole in the ceiling was still there!
- The gym was also dirty. I picked up a pair of weights, and ended up with dirt and cobwebs all over my hands...seriously. Gross.
- There was a ceiling leak that was dripping into a hanging basket on the floor. This was there, in the entrance of the spa/gym, for the entirety of our stay. Several days, it overflowed so the floor was slippery.
- The phone in our room was broken, so we couldn’t reach front desk.
- General inefficiency and laziness among front desk staff. We asked one lady to book a tour on our behalf; she said they would be making the call after 5pm. We went back the following day and it just...hadn’t been done.
I’d suggest saving your money and staying elsewhere. After we checked out of Le Cap Est we ended up spending a night at a gorgeous place that was a fraction of the price and the owners were so much more attentive! It was like night and day.
I have stayed at Cap Est for 7 to 8 days per year for the last three years. I happen to love the place. It is secluded. The rooms are extremely large. And the staff does it's best with our AWFUL French.
People have complained about the price. But, if you have to complain about it, then you should consider Club Med. The reason Cap Est exists is to offer individuals an alternative to Club Med.
If you are looking for a resort where you don't have to leave, by all means, skip Cat Esp. But, rent a car and explore. And trust me, when you go to other beaches, full of cruise ship passengers, you will long for the solitude Cap Est offers.
Finally, go to the grocery store in Le Francois. But meat, cheese and all other things can be bought for snacks. It happens to be my favorite part - supplementing room service with other items...
I am staying there for Thanksgiving, and look forward to it.
Disclaimer: I am a repeat customer. I have looked at other hotels on the island. And have continually chose to stay at Cap Est. Waking up over the water is amazing.
Such an amazing place to relax and enjoy the carribean sea!! The restaurant Campeche is right on the beach and we had the most delicious sea food!! The staff was always very nice and helpful, I strongly recommend this hotel!!
Traveled to hotel July 2018. Checked into room and had a nice first evening until dinner. The menu had English translations below the French which I was excited about. I ordered tuna cooked rare. The meal came and i received Salmon. We told our waitress our food was incorrect and asked for the manager. He came over and said I had ordered the fish of the day which was salmon not tuna. We did not want to complain or make a bigger deal of it so I just ate the salmon which ended up being very tasty. They brought menus back for us to order dessert and the menu did say tuna as I checked a 2nd time. Next morning we were told our room (226) had a plumbing issue. They moved us to the next room 224. The hot water did not work in this room. They then moved us to 216 where the a/c sevearly leaked. They offered to move us again but we decided to go to another resort at this point. None of the 3 rooms we stayed in were dusted before or during our stay. Mini bars were barely stocked and hardly cooled drinks below room temp. Staff seemed friendly but are no where near ready to deliver the level of service US clients expect . Owner of property needs to make improvements to quality of service and facility before marketing to US clients. This property will not meet 4 star US standards at current levels.
If you are looking to rent a car they will tell you that you can not rent a car at the airport. Their statements are incorrect. You can rent a car from several companies at the airport. They simply want you to use the rental car company at their property and use their "shuttle" service to be transported from the airport. We were charged 55€ to be driven from the airport to the resort in a old van. We could have paid for more than a whole days rental fee with that 55€. Roads are easy to drive on and well maintained.
This property is on the less traveled side of the island. US clients looking for white sand beaches should stay on the southern end of the island.
Us clients should understand in French culture meal service is much slower paced. US travelers need to be aware on Martinique 2 hour meals are common. Few US citizens want to spend 2 hours to eat a meal.
US guests should also be prepared for the lack of deodorant worn by some of the workers on the property. I can understand some cultural differences but there is no excuse for employees who stink. One individual who helped move us from our second room smelled so bad I had to hold my breath walking up the stairs behind him.