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
Parking on site
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Franco-Caribbean beach retreat with chic digs and private plunge pools in the heart of the French West Indies
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.
Le Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa
Le Francois, Martinique
How to Get There
Flights are available to Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport (FDF) from major U.S. cities on a variety of carriers. Transfers to/from FDF, about 12 miles away, are approximately $75 for two people, each way, and can be arranged through the property. Taxis are approximately $110, each way. If you’re renting a car for the transfer, self-parking is available free.