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Martinique: This French-Caribbean Island's Gems Meet the Demands of Affluent ClientsNovember 22, 2010 By: Joe Pike
For the most part, your clients won't need a big budget in Martinique. But that doesn't mean your affluent clients looking for luxury in this French-Caribbean island will be lost either. Specifically for this market, here are some Martinique selling points.
Best Luxury Properties
Opened in December 2002, the Cap Est has 50 ocean-view suites across three distinct room categories (19 Garden, 24 Deluxe and seven Executive), each comprising a living room and sleeping quarters. Thirty-one rooms have private pools and outdoor showers. The resort has a full-service Spa Guerlain and amenities, and serves excellent cuisine.
In fact, the resort recently earned a coveted fifth star, validating its place among the finest in the Caribbean. The Relais & Chateaux property was judged anonymously by an independent inspection agency overseen by Le Comite Francais d'AccreditationCommittee.
Agents should contact Director of Sales and Marketing Stephane Van de Kerckhove (011-331-537-52-238, [email protected]).
Maison d'Hotes Plein Soleil is an intimate boutique hideaway nestled near the charming town of Le Francois on Martinique's alluring Atlantic coast.
All 16 guest rooms and suites are spread among five villas, each designed in the style of Creole cases, or petite houses adorned with wooden fretwork. Though sharing the same architecture, each villa is unique, with some seemingly carved from the hillside.
Near the hotel's pool area, a single-story villa houses the two Jardin Suites. Each of these 1,033-square-foot suites comes with an airy bedroom with a high ceiling, large bathroom, expansive deck and private plunge pool.
Plein Soleil's bi-level Duplex Suites, spread over 1,302 square feet of living space, provide even greater comfort. An inviting living room welcomes guests at the front-door entrance. A sizable bedroom, deluxe bathroom and private plunge pool are on the ground floor. Additional room categories include Master Rooms (537 square feet) and Guest Rooms (322 square feet). All rooms are expertly outfitted with contemporary designer furnishings, flat-screen TV, Wi-Fi, mini-fridges, direct phone lines and more.
A main attraction at Plein Soleil is its cuisine. Housed in an 1880 French colonial home that serves as the hotel's main building, the restaurant at Plein Soleil features a menu combining traditional French and Creole cooking styles to create gastronomic works of art. The dining area was also expanded as part of the recently completed renovation, stretching over a wide and inviting terrace that is traversed by a tropical fish pond with soothing waterspouts.
Contact owner Jean-Christophe Yoyo (011-596-596-38-0777, [email protected]) with queries.
Martinique has the best of Parisian fashion, jewelery, perfumes, etc., and local treasures. La Galleria Mall is a top shopping spot, while RueVictor Hugo is to Martinique what Fifth Avenue is to New York. Here, shops showcase the latest trends from Paris, the French Riviera and elsewhere. Roger Albert is a long-established emporium of luxury items like Baccarat and Lalique crystal, Cartier perfumes and Lancome cosmetics, which tout the "Made in France" mark. Also on Rue Victor Hugo is La Cave a Vin, one of the city's best restaurants and a prime spot for purchasing the finest French vintages. French department store Galeries Lafayette on rue Schoelcher is to Fort-de-France (and Paris, for that matter), what Bloomingdale's is to New York City. On Rue Perrinon is fashion boutique Mounia, the eponymous owner of which is a former Yves Saint Laurent model who returned to her native Martinique to sell the designs of Christian Lacroix and, of course, Yves Saint Laurent, among other top French brands.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., the 18-hole Golf de l'Imperatrice Josephine in the village of Trois Ilets is the island's sole golf course. It is a challenging 6,640-yard, par-71 championship course — the greens unfloding from Empress Josephine's birthplace across undulating hills and hillocks that look out the exquisite vistas of the turquoise sea.
The par-5 12th hole is the most difficult, with a dogleg to the left. The fairway is very narrow, as is the green, which is also long. You play against the wind on the 12th, and between December and April, when the trade winds are strongest, this hole can be tricky. Other tough holes are the par-3 15th, across a bit of water, and the par-5 16th, played from the land across the water to the fairway, which is an islet, and across the water again to the green.
Try the Rum
Calling itself the Rum Capital of the World, Martinique is home to 15 brands, each produced by a unique rhum agricole method, yielding blends comprabale to fine cognacs. Martinique is home to the only rums that carry the Appellation d'Origine Controlee (AOC) designation formerly reserved for the finest wines. Free tasting is available at all of the island's distilleries.