In several ways Le Cap Est Lagoon Resort on the eastern shores of the island of Martinique competes with other elite destinations we have enjoyed in the Caribbean. First and foremost, the property is quite isolated and isn't that what you look for if you want to escape the rat race back home? With its own charm and atmosphere this exclusive resort is complete different compared with the more busy resorts on Martinique’s west-coast.
The resort’s lobby is perched on a ridge overlooking the private beach/ocean 200 meters below where the lush jungle with huge tropical trees meets the turquoise waters of a lagoon. One finds layers of beauty within the property and its environs. The 50 suites are located on another ridge and enjoy the same magnificent views. Besides very good beds and strong Wi-Fi, most have gardens, some overlook the main pool, others have their own small pool, outdoor jacuzzies or showers; great for both adults and kids to take a refreshing dip at the hot day. No matter which one you pick, all have been designed with real care and are highly comfortable although some are in need of some refreshing when it comes to the paintwork.
Guests here are mainly Frnch, so for the English-speaking guests, there can be the occasionally language barrier however there is usually a staff member close by who’s English’s is fluent. The overall staff-guest ratio is almost 1 on 2! The overall atmosphere is pleasant and not to stuffy at all, although it just misses out on a few details to be rated as a truly high-end resort.
The main restaurant features haute cuisine and some Caribbean inspired dishes and there’s the Campeche (Beach) restaurant. Furthermore, there are good restaurants in the neighboorhood and we found the modern super market in Francois in a 15-minute drive. Breakfast offers fresh fruit, fresh juices, bottled water, eggs/omelets made on request, all different sorts of pastries, breads and cakes, yogurt, sausages, cereal, with strong coffee. As it’s an open-air seating in the evening you will probably enjoy a symphony of frogs, birds and insects. So better keep some insect repellent on hand.
Le Cap Est is situated on the windward side of the island so do expect some strong winds, although you might find it refreshing and cooling in the hot sun. And it creates an ideal setting for kite and wind surfing. Just enjoy the thrilling stunts from one of the sundecks or if you feel like being part of the action a qualified instructor is available for lessons.
The down side of all this is that it can get quite crowdy out there so be careful if you go for a swim. Sometimes seaweeds can add to the annoyance, but the beautiful pool area surely will compensate for this.
And in case the weeds take over the beach, you can still use the pier on the other side to access the water. We used it as a starting point for some snorkeling, but unfortunately didn’t spot any fish. Or you can explore the lagoon by boat and get yourself to the islets of Loup-Garou and Chancel which has a huge diversity of flora. And if that isn’t enough, you can take up some deep-sea diving or sport fishing. If you really have some cash to burn, go for a helicopter or plane flight. The resort also offers a fitness room and a tennis court.
After all this activity you might opt for some rest at the very comfortable sun loungers by the pool or by the lagoon. And we also highly recommend the spa (adults only), with well-trained staff and a beautiful setting.
The hotel now offers a family discovery stay. Besides a suite this includes a gift for the children, breakfast and dinner. Two children under 12 years old are welcome for free in the suite. There are kayaks and stand up paddles given out without additional costs to adults and children in the aqua center. And apparently on Saturday night they offer a kids club fot children up to 12 years old, so you can enjoy a romantic dinner.
Note that nothing of interest is at walking distance, so we suggest you arrange for a rental car as there are some wonderful restaurants and sights to visit. The hotel offers cars at reasonable rental rate and the roads are in good condition. With the car, we were free to check out all places on the really not so big island. There's a beautiful and quaint fishing village St. Anne which is a 35-minute drive with many local shops and historic 150-years-old church. We went for the Banana Museum (le Musee de la Banana), where we learned all we ever wanted to know about bananas. It's not just a museum but also a garden/park with all varieties of bananas and flowers that you can walk through. The landscaping is beautiful. And we were impressed by Saint-Pierre, a town destroyed in 1902 when the volcano Mount Pelée erupted.
# There’s a lot of staff around: this is surely remarkable and one of the better features of this beautiful destination!
# Especially for kite surfers Le Cap Est is a great place to stay.
# The hotel is situated on a magnificent lagoon, just gorgeous.