Despite being surrounded by several breathtaking islands in the Caribbean archipelago, Martinique manages to steal the show with its beautifully preserved landscape and mix of African, Amerindian, European, Levantine and Asian cultures. The island has been home to famous poets, musicians, dancers and other influential figures throughout history. No stranger to luxury and adventure, Martinique offers guests an escape where the word “stress” ceases to exist.
From the whitewashed teak terraces to the floodlit tennis court, Le Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa is undeniably heaven on earth. Every suite features top-of-the-line materials that combine elements from the exotic natural surroundings with Martinique’s cultural flair. De Luxe and Executive Suites have private swimming pools and outdoor showers tucked away within aloe hedges. At the spa, guests can unwind with a Japanese bath and hydrotherapy treatments, all personalized to fit specific health regiments or problem areas. Feeling rejuvenated? Check out the hotel’s watersport station where expert wind and kite surfers will help you navigate beautiful nearby waters. For more information and online reservations, visit www.capest.com.
Thanks to Martinique’s abundant sugarcane fields, rum has become a world-renowned product of the island. The label “appellation d’origine controlee” (a French quality-control certification that means roughly “controlled designation of origin” in English), previously used exclusively for French wine and cheeses, has been awarded to Martinique rums for their superior ingredients and flavor. While visitors can enjoy this rum almost anywhere in the world, it would be a shame not to explore a Martinique distillery if given the chance. La Mauny Rum Distillery in Rivière-Pilote offers a glimpse into the history and production of rum within their picturesque cane fields and lush plantation. Tours are available Monday through Saturday, along with tastings and plenty of time for you to browse the boutique’s specialty items. Order a bottle of rum (www.rhumdemartinique.com) before your trip and get excited for the upcoming adventure.
While there’s plenty to do on the island of Martinique, your stay would not be complete without exploring what’s under the stunning blue waters. Let the professionals at Aquabulle help you discover the area’s most pristine beaches, then experience the underwater life on their boat excursions. When you climb aboard, you’ll be greeted with lots of information about local fish, coral and sponges to observe along the way. After setting sail from Marin Yacht Harbour, you’ll be able to admire the breathtaking villages of Sainte Anne and Sainte Luce. Once you reach the coral reef, however, it’s time to experience the sea for yourself; Aquabulle provides snorkeling gear and instruction, so you can relax and dive in at your leisure. Guests are treated to cake, fresh fruit juice and a rum tasting on the way home. Plan the perfect underwater experience with Aquabulle at www.aquabulle.com.
The island’s average temperature is 79 degrees, so you can usually count on a perfect day for swimming and snorkeling without any extremely oppressive weather. Trade winds provide a steady breeze that will complement your outdoor meals and rooftop cocktail hours nicely. Creole (a blend of Old French, English and African languages) is commonly spoken in Martinique, and if you know a little French, you may find it handy. As part of France and the European Union, the island uses the Euro as currency. U.S. dollars, however, are also often accepted. For upcoming island events, cruise info, eco-friendly tours and more, visit www.martinique.org. A trip to Martinique lets you see several different cultures at their best with more colorful adventures – both above and below the water – than you can even imagine.