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Martinique's New Tour Operator PartnersJanuary 13, 2012 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent
|La Suite Villa in Trois-Ilets is a perfect pitch for families with older children.|
The “Caribbean island with French Flair,” “The Isle of Flowers,” “The Rum Capital of the World,” “The Isle of the Famed Poet (Aimé Césaire)”—or whatever else you choose to call Martinique—is going to get a tourism boost in 2012 with the addition of two new tour operator partners.
Classic Vacations and Pleasant Holidays announced last month their plans to begin packaging several hotels in this culinary hot spot. Travel Agent gives you the skinny on both and profiles the resorts that will now be included in both operators’ portfolios.
Classic Vacations’ Hotel Offerings
Here’s a quick rundown on the two properties.
Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa: Widely considered Martinique’s best luxury resort, Cap Est Lagoon is the island’s only five-star property and a Travel Agent favorite. There are 50 suites, 30 of which have private plunge pools. Executive Suite Duplex #133 has an outdoor shower and a TV that rotates so guests can watch it either from the living room or the outdoor plunge pool. Book this property for affluent couples looking for the perfect mix of classic and modern luxury. Agents should contact Sales Manager Valerie Deguitre (53-75-22-37, [email protected]) for further information.
Bakoua Martinique-MGallery Collection: This charming West Indies-style hotel in the resort area of Pointe du Bout, Hotel Bakoua Martinique has an impressive view of the gorgeous Fort-de-France Bay. The hotel consists of 137 rooms and suites, two restaurants, a cocktail bar, two tennis courts, a swimming pool, beach, and water sports facilities. Agents should pitch this resort to younger, more adventurous couples. Contact Sylvie Mirete (33-14-538-1707, [email protected]), area director of sales, Caribbean, for queries.
Pleasant Holidays’ Hotel Offerings
Pleasant Holidays’ program will include five properties—Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa, Hotel Bakoua Martinique-MGallery Collection, Plein Soleil, La Suite Villa and Pierre & Vacances Sainte-Luce Resort. These packages are expected to go on sale this month.
Pleasant Holidays pays commissions from 10-15 percent on vacation packages and related products, plus TRIP—its exclusive Travel Reward Incentive Program whereby agents earn points for personal travel based upon gross bookings. There is no tracking required and no maximum. The more agents book, the more TRIP points earned.
Here’s a look at the resorts (in addition to Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa and Hotel Bakoua Martinique-MGallery Collection profiled above).
|Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa is the only five-star property in Martinique.|
Plein Soleil: If you like the outdoors and don’t mind a friendly visit from a frog or a cricket or two, you’ll love Plein Soleil. It is ideal for couples seeking to escape the outside world. Like all Martinique properties, there are no clocks in the rooms and hardly any TV channels in English. But the sounds of crickets at night and occasionally being waited on by the owner himself provide a quiet, personal getaway for couples. This chic hideaway consists of 16 Creole-style rooms housed in five colorful villas. Contact General Manager Jean-Christophe Yoyo (59-65-963-80-777, [email protected]) for details.
La Suite Villa: La Suite Villa in Trois-Ilets is a trendy boutique hotel composed of nine private villas with two or three bedrooms each and six suites in the main house. A table d’hôte features French and Creole cuisine mastered by a French chef. Each villa has a private bathroom for each bedroom, a kitchenette overlooking the terrace and a living area. This is a perfect pitch for families with older children since younger kids may not truly appreciate the cuisine and that’s the resort’s main draw. Yanick Ricci (33-68-910-7356, [email protected]), sales marketing manager, is available for further information.
Pierre & Vacances Sainte-Luce Resort: In the heart of tropical gardens lies Pierre & Vacances Sainte-Luce Resort, right on the edge of a beautiful fine-sand beach. The premises have a full water sports center, Ti’club for children, bars and restaurants. This property consists of 337 large apartments; each can accommodate up to six people. Agents should contact Odile Delor (596-596-62-12-62, [email protected]), director of sales and marketing, with queries.
Cruises Also Looking Strong for the New Year
Although hotels will be hoping to get a hefty boost from Pleasant Holidays and Classic Vacations, cruises to Martinique shouldn’t be ignored either.
In fact, the Martinique Tourism Authority is forecasting a strong 2011-2012 cruise season, as some of the top lines in the industry will make port in Fort-de-France this winter.
More than 100 port calls were scheduled between November and April 28, bringing a maximum total capacity in excess of 125,000 passengers. Notable cruise lines featuring Martinique in their winter 2011-2012 itineraries include Club Med, Costa Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Seabourn, Star Clippers and Windstar Cruises.
Recently completed redevelopments are already yielding benefits to cruise passengers as the new Malecon waterfront area and La Savane park provide a wealth of leisure and recreational activities within walking distance of the port in Fort-de-France.
Already among the finest cruise ports in the Caribbean, the Tourelles Cruise Terminal will be expanded in the coming years to accommodate today’s largest megaships, while also meeting all requirements for homeporting. A second cruise terminal is also planned for the historical city of Saint-Pierre.