The Best Hotels in Martinique, a Slice of France in the Caribbean
Martinique has for years flown outside the radar of American travelers, but Europeans—the French in particular—have been escaping here for years. We can see why: sure, luxury resorts don’t line every beach, and those you do find charge a pretty penny, but what the island lacks in water parks and beach clubs it makes up for in sheer beauty—we’re talking tropical rainforests, quiet beaches, dramatic mountains, and a unique European spin on both culture and cuisine. With new nonstop services from Norwegian Air and hot new places to stay in the capital of Fort-de-France, there’s never been a better time to go. Here's where to stay when you do.
Le Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa
Martinique's most classic luxury escape is as French as it is tropical. You’ll find a Guerlain spa, classic French cuisine at seafood restaurant Le Bélem, and a host of sun-seeking escapees from the homeland. Not that you won’t feel like you’re in the Caribbean: 50 all-suite Creole cottages are gathered around a plantation-style main building—many of them with views of the well-kept beach and pool, some with private plunge pools and outdoor showers—and snorkeling, windsurfing, and catamaran cruises offshore are all part of the day’s activities. During peak season, keep your eyes peeled for the local jazz trio.
A member of Small Luxury Hotels, French Coco opened to much fanfare in 2016 when it became one of the only other five-star resorts on the island. Unlike many of the island’s other resorts located near in busier hubs, this one feels the most remote, tucked away in the village of Tartane on the outskirts of a nature reserve on the Caravelle Peninsula. There are just 17 suites that come with their own private pool, covered terrace, or garden, but the real highlight here is the food: at the restaurant, French dishes are given an elevated Creole twist and feature vegetables and herbs picked from the hotel’s own garden. Wash it all down with a taste of vintage rum.
An old-school Caribbean vibe still surrounds Hotel Bakoua, a former colonial-era home at the edge of a peninsula that’s seen a score of rebrands but has yet to give up its character. Rooms are typical of the islands—contemporary and comfortable, with balconies (or porches) that keep the emphasis on your surroundings—but the property is what truly impresses. The beach is beautiful, an infinity pool overlooks the yacht-filled bay and mountains beyond, and there’s a thatch-roof bar at the edge of the pier where the social scene picks up early on in the day.
Hotel La Pagerie
Because the beach is a five-minute walk away, there are no sea views at this Pointe du Bout stay, but that’s about all there is to complain about. Thanks to a recent renovation that bumped La Pagerie up as one of Martinique’s top hotels, you’ll now find attractive European décor, a buzzy restaurant next to a scene-stealing pool with dramatic up-lighting, and the Palm Bar, where all walks of life come to enjoy tropical cocktails and Saturday night performances by local folk ballet group Tifermasc. You’re also within spitting distance of Village Creole and its shops, bars, and restaurants.
One of the island’s newer hotels, Simon Hotel offers a breath of fresh air for those who need a break from island kitsch. Facing the bay in downtown Fort-de-France, the 94-room high-rise is an urban take on the Caribbean experience—we’re talking sleek, minimalist guest rooms with giant abstract murals, bold striped carpets, and moody black-and-gold color palettes; a well-equipped gym; and two restaurants led by native chef Marcel Ravin, whose Monaco-based restaurant Blue Bay holds a Michelin star.
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