Still little visited by North American travelers, the pretty, rugged island of Martinique is getting its moment in the spotlight. American Airlines announced four new direct flights from Miami earlier this year, and Norwegian Airlines will start a non-stop service from NYC, Boston and D.C. from December 3. Passported contributor Kim Fredericks visited the French Caribbean island and fell for its "fantastic food, gorgeous flowers and greenery, great roads, and lovely people." Here, she shares her review of the island's only five-star property, Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa.
Martinique's only five-star hotel features 50 suites and villas set among flowering gardens overlooking a private stretch of white sand beach.
- Junior Suites are the most economical choice for families, offering a separate, semi-private living area with a sofa bed and close proximity to the pool but they lack the outdoor showers and plunge pools.
- Executive suites are the largest accommodations, with living rooms with sofa beds, dining tables, and half-baths, as well as large terraces with private pools, dining tables, and water views.
- All of the suites have the option to be joined to neighboring rooms to accommodate larger families or groups.
- The Relais & Chateaux–approved hotel comprises a collection of suites and villas, all styled with natural woods and Asian-French Creole flair, some with private plunge pools, outdoor showers, and ocean views.
- The long infinity pool is the hub of the resort, offering plush white lounge chairs, matching umbrellas and poolside service.
- Opened in 2002, the hotel is located on Martinique's eastern coast, between Le Francois and Le Vauclin, 16 miles from the international airport.
- Trips aboard the resort's private boat to Fonds Blancs, white coral sandbanks that form natural swimming pools in the sea.
- The intimate spa features massage and hydrotherapy treatments, Guerlain products, and an outdoor relaxation lounge deck surrounded by the calm water of the lagoon.
- There's an all-day Kid's Club for children ages 3 to 12 during peak vacation weeks and on sporadic days during the summer months.
- The hotel's secluded location means guests will need a car to access other restaurants and nearby sites and activities.
- The water along the beach is calm and ideal for swimming, but is occasionally murky with seaweed.
- The hotel's restaurant, Le Belem, serves French-influenced cuisine that may be too heavy or fancy for picky eaters.