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Residence Hoteliere Les Cayalines 2.0

Sainte-Luce, Arrondissement of Le Marin, Martinique

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Three-minute walk to beach
  • Less than a five-minute drive to Carrefour Express market
  • Small, lovely pool and sundeck
  • Basic rooms offer kitchenettes, flat-screen TVs, and private balconies
  • Free Wi-Fi in most rooms and common areas
  • Free secure parking in a gated lot

Cons

  • Wi-Fi reception is unreliable
  • No bath amenities or cleaning supplies provided
  • Few attractions or services within walking distance

Bottom Line

Residence Hoteliere Les Cayalines provides basic, two-pearl accommodations with just enough amenities for self-catering travelers in Saint Luce in Martinique's south. The unassuming entrance opens to surprisingly lush, impeccably maintained grounds filled with tall coconut palms and tropical flowers. The 64 rooms are clean and bright, with dated, no-frills decor and modern appointments including kitchenettes, flat-screen TVs, and private balconies. There are few common amenities, except for a small pool and private access to an adjacent beach. However, the public nature of the beach and spotty Wi-Fi access could discourage some guests. For a bit more, Hotel Le Panoramic offers similar amenities and modern rooms, however, it lacks direct beach access.

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Scene

Small hotel with a quiet, family-friendly atmosphere

This property is simple through and through, with a motel-style layout that consists of series of bi-level buildings and exterior hallways. Subtle Caribbean accents, like brightly colored exterior walls and scalloped roof trim, add bits of Martinique flair. The small pool and nearby (public) beach are the only on-site gathering spaces. A basic playground area and ping-pong table provide a few kid-centric activities, however, the property features few “fun” amenities. Like many hotels throughout Martinique, it primarily targets self-catering travelers uninterested in resort-style amenities. As such, many guests use their rooms as somewhere to sleep and eat an occasional meal. During the day, however, the grounds are mostly vacant as guests are off exploring the nearby attractions.

Location

Among other beachfront hotels and inns in Saint Luce, on Martinique's south coast

The hotel is situated on a moderately busy throughway that connects the airport in Fort-de-France to the island’s southern half. As the immediate area or Saint Luce consists of similar, medium-sized hotels, there are no restaurants, bars, services, or other points of interest within walking distance. Carrefour Express (a small grocery store) is less than five minutes away by car (or 20 minutes on foot) and has food and sundries for guests looking to stock their in-room kitchens. Otherwise, the main draw in the area is the undeveloped beach, which is just a three-minute walk from the hotel.

The island’s only international airport -- Aime Cesaire International (FDF) -- is roughly 25 minutes away in Fort-de-France. Taxi rates (especially over long distances) can be exorbitant everywhere on the island. However, a number of brand-name agencies provide rental car counters in the airport terminal. Weekly rates are reasonable and comparable to similar tourist destinations in the Caribbean.

Rooms

Plain, bright rooms with kitchenettes, flat-screen TVs, and private balconies

Each of the property’s 64 rooms is bright and clean. However, the decor is an eclectic mishmash of IKEA-style accents, tropical details, bedspreads and some dated furniture, and posters or paintings of mostly island-life scenes. It's all quite basic, and the aesthetic favors function over style. Still, the rooms are more pleasant than many of the other budget properties that we saw while visiting Martinique. 

Two room categories are available with virtually identical layouts and features, except for the view and location of the kitchenette. Standard View Studio rooms have indoor kitchenettes while Garden View Studios move the kitchenettes to the balcony. All feature small refrigerators (with freezers), stoves, coffeemakers, and microwave/grill combos. Both categories offer private balconies with -- contrary to the confusing nomenclature given to the rooms -- only slight variations in the view. All overlook some portion of the property’s well-manicured landscaping. Tech features are limited to a small flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi. The latter is available in most rooms, though we found the service to be slow and spotty.

Like their respective rooms, bathrooms are plain. White covers every surface, from the walls to the countertops to the floors. However, it feels dated and cheap rather than bright and crisp. Budget fixtures and walk-in shower stalls are standard in both categories. As with many of the island’s budget and mid-range properties, no shower amenities are provided. Packaged shower “kits” are available for purchase in the hotel lobby.

Features

A small, lovely pool and easy beach access

Residence Hoteliere Les Cayalines offers only the basics. The pool is a highlight, with a deck enclosed by a glass half-wall, surrounded on all sides by lovely trees and flowers. It's clean, well-maintained, and small, but adequate relative to the size of the property. Several palapas and a dozen lounge chairs surround the space to provide shaded seating. No poolside services are offered.

At the rear of the property, a secure, hidden gate provides direct access to the nearby beach. Reaching the water requires a three-minute stroll down a long boardwalk enveloped on all sides by mangroves. The beach is public, however, it’s clean, well-maintained, and feels blessedly undeveloped. Given its seclusion from the tourist crowds and typical hawkers, guests will have no problem finding a quiet space of their own to spread out. Guests can rent beach towels for a considerable (though refundable) deposit.

Free self-parking is available in a secure, gated lot. While it is not staffed, the immediate vicinity is safe and quiet.

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Address

Quartier Desert, Sainte-Luce 97228, Caribbean

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