Scheduled kids' activities during prime vacation weeks
Free buffet breakfast
Plenty of free parking
Small beach with lots of seaweed
Dark, uninviting lobby
Some rooms are sparsely furnished, lacking warmth and
Service and decor not on par with other luxury Caribbean resorts
Limited dinner menu
Car needed to explore nearby sights
The Relais and Chateau rated Le Cap Est Lagoon is Martinique's only true luxury resort; Le Cap delivers the services and style that other hotels on the island lack. Sleek Asian-inspired design paired with a secluded, gated location overlooking the Atlantic combine to create a sophisticated, serene setting. The 50 villas are spacious and private, offering separate living areas, outdoor showers, and terraces with plunge pools. An immaculate pool ringed with white lounge chairs and matching umbrellas, a beachfront restaurant, precise service, and a small spa contribute to Cap Est's luxe factor. All this comes at a price, however, and travelers seeking less-expensive but still stylish accommodations might consider Le Plein Soleil, also in Le Francois, or the Hotel Panoramic on the Caribbean coast.
A serene infinity pool, a private beach, and two restaurants add up to a chill yet sophisticated atmosphere
When the bamboo gate swings open at Cap Est Lagoon Resort and Spa, there are no ocean views to deliver a wow factor. Instead, guests first face one of Martinique's ancient banyan trees, its twisted roots pushing up from the soil and its branches spreading across the sky. The organic, natural setting continues into the lobby, which is dimly lit and notably lacking the vibrant colors often displayed in the Caribbean. Marble floors, sofas wrapped in moss-green and taupe natural woven fabric, and exposed-beam ceilings set the stage as guests are greeted with a welcome drink. At the center of the lobby is a giant urn, separating the entrance from glimpses of the sea.
A few steps out the back of the building and the scene transforms and color emerges. Vibrant fuchsia bougainvillea, red hibiscus, and trees with tiny white jasmine blooms pop against the blue sky. Tall palm trees and lush green hedges line the boardwalk-style path that hugs a curving infinity-edge pool, traversing across a stretch of green lawn before descending gently to a private white-sand beach and the ruffling waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
The hotel is Martinique's only luxury property, and it delivers the style, service, and amenities that go with that distinction. The well-dressed staff is professional but unobtrusive, the restaurant is relaxed yet refined, with guests dressing for long, leisurely dinners followed by post-dinner cocktails at the open-air lounge and bar. A soundtrack of ambient music sets the tone for the intended mood, one that is chill, beautiful, and euphoric.
The hotel's secluded location, paired with its variety of activities and amenities make it easy for guests to check in and stay put. A full breakfast buffet ranges from chocolate croissants to omelets to fresh fruit. The gym is one of the best equipped on the island, and the adjacent spa features treatments that include Guerlain products, a well-established French brand. The hotel offers tennis, snorkeling, kids' camps, and trips aboard a private boat to explore the local waters. Guests looking to to go off property can arrange a variety of excursions, from catamaran rides to helicopter trips, or simply drive to nearby sights such as the Habitation Clement, one of Martinique's rum distilleries. Reclusive types will enjoy the spaciousness of the rooms and the private terraces with plunge pools, some overlooking the ocean.
Three types of suites with Asian style, separate living
areas, well-stocked minibars, and private plunge pools and outdoor showers
Le Cap Est's 50 suites fall into three categories. Executive Suites are the largest (1,400 square feet, or 130 square meters), offering living rooms with sofa beds that look out onto private terraces with lounge chairs, dining tables, and plunge pools. These rooms also offer large dining tables, half-baths near the entry, and spacious bedrooms with a seating areas, walk-in closets, and outdoor showers. Deluxe Suites (645 square feet, or 60 square meters) also offer separate living areas, terraces with plunge pools, and spacious bedrooms and baths with outdoor showers. Junior Suites, popular with families due to their location close to the pool, are similar in size and design to the Deluxe Suites, but they lack the outdoor showers and plunge pools.
All rooms feature a similar Asian-inspired aesthetic with terra-cotta tile floors, woven wicker sofas and chairs finished in natural fabrics in shades of rustic red and brown, and dark-wood desks and furniture. Canopy beds are draped in white mosquito netting and finished with luxurious sheets and two sets of king-size pillows. Other notable amenities include Lavazzo espresso machines, flat-screen TVs, and glass-shelved minibars stocked with full bottles of spirits (including local rum) and mini-fridges filled with snacks and beverages.
The bathrooms feature double marble vanities, his and hers dressing areas with shelving and dressers, separate water closets, robes and slippers, deep bathtubs, and outdoor showers framed with blue and coral colored tile work and bordered by gardens. The rooms also feature outdoor terraces with teak lounge chairs and plunge pools (except in the Junior Suites) framed by privacy hedges. Many of the suites offer the option to be joined to neighboring rooms to accommodate larger families or families traveling together.
An immaculate infinity pool, a Guerlain spa, fitness center, two restaurants, and a lovely stretch of white-sand beach
The Cap Est Lagoon Resort and Spa, with its many luxe amenities, makes it easy for guests to check in and never leave. The hotel's remote location makes it feel as if it is far removed from the rest of the island, and guests will need a car (or driver) if they want to get out and explore local sights.
Le Cap Est's two restaurants include the more casual Le Campeche, a rustic, open-air space close to the beach that specializes in local seafood, lobster (from the tank on-site), and Creole cuisine. Outside the lobby, surrounded by a two-tiered koi pond, is the elegant, but relaxed Le Belem. Headed by a new chef that trained in Michelin three-star restaurants, it serves refined French food for dinner as well as a full breakfast buffet. At the center of the restaurant is a circular wine bar, where guests can choose from a curated collection. Across the path from the restaurant is the Cohi Bar and lounge. Anchored by a huge chandelier and surrounded by lots of cushy banquettes, the bar is well-stocked, but it specializes in rum, offering more than 100 varieties as well as a selection of cigars.
Other notable amenities include a small spa that features Guerlain products, and a well-equipped fitness center with Technogym cardio equipment and a selection of free weights. At the center of the property, between the lobby and the sea, is the serene infinity-edge pool. Bordered by half-walls of glass and tall grasses, the pool offers plenty of space for relaxing among rows of white lounge chairs shadowed by matching white umbrellas emblazoned with the logo of Moet and Chandon Champagne, prompting guests to order the drink that matches the elegant setting.
On one side of the property, an archway of sea-grape hedge leads to the hotel's private dock where a boat awaits guests who book excursions to explore the nearby lagoon and the François Isles, known for the Fonds-Blancs, tall sandbanks that surround the isles and form natural warm-water swimming pools.
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