by Amanda Geronikos
Carayou Hotel & Spa in Martinique provides 132 guestrooms spread across two buildings. Each unit has free Wi-Fi (it may be spotty) and a patio or balcony. Some rooms have rollaway beds and/or connecting capabilities to sleep large groups. The hotel is situated on a beach, where you can rent private cabanas, and also has a swimming pool, spa and onsite restaurant with kid-friendly fare. Private parking is available.
Our Editor Loves
- Beachfront location
- Swimming pool
- Connecting rooms
- Connecting Rooms
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
We planned our trip to Martinique last week just a few weeks before, and when the hotel that had been recommended to us was unable to accommodate us (it was "Carnaval" week!), we found the Carayou on Trip Advisor, saw the nice reviews and photos of its beautiful complex, and were able to make a week's reservation there. It was a wonderful choice! The hotel is perfectly located at the end of the Pointe du Bout, private, with its own little beach under swaying palm trees, far from the ubiquitous vehicle traffic found on Martinique. Our request for a top floor room with water view was honored, and the reception desk personnel were gracious, personable, friendly and helpful, as were all the hotel employees we encountered during our stay -- those in the dining room, those in charge of cleaning the rooms,those in charge of the daily planned activities, etc. The room was a good size, with a good closet and good air conditioning, immaculate (and kept that way daily), and, like all their rooms, with a balcony. (Slight complaint: our room overlooked the main swimming pool -- even as we had a nice view of the palm trees and the water just beyond -- an area where much of the activity of the hotel takes place and music is played through speakers regularly, disturbing the tranquil 'feeling' of being close to the water and drowning out the beautiful sound of the water's waves and the wind through the palms. Ask for a room in some other area of the large compound.)
We chose the demi-pension plan and the breakfast buffet was excellent, and served in a large, screened-in terrace overlooking the water. Lunch and dinner is also served there and the dinner we had upon arriving late from the Norwegian Airways flight from NY to Martinique was fine. The resort is family-friendly and clearly many French families with children of a wide range of ages were there enjoying their school break and also Carnaval. It was fun! You can easily walk through the compound to the adjacent marina where you can arrange day or half day excursions to go scuba diving or snorkling. For snorkling and scuba diving we highly recommend the wonderful people at "Espace Plongee", with whom we took 2 boat trips, one of which took us to the coastal area where the giant turtles congregate. Several of the diving instructors speak English, including the personable Guillaume. Ask for him.
And beyond the marina area is the "Creole Village", a very nice modern development of shops and restaurants that makes it easy to find an alternative place for dinner or a sandwich for lunch or pharmacy needs or even an ATM. In short: A perfect location for a lovely hotel -- isolated enough not to be bothered by the hustle/bustle of everyday life, but close enough to other facilities to have all your needs met. Highly recommended.
We found great airfare and planned an unexpected trip to Martinique. It wasn't exactly last minute though; I booked Carayou two months ahead of time. One week before our flight, I get an email from them saying that they were overbooked and were moving my reservation to a hotel near the airport in Fort de France. I called them to discuss. I was told that the manager was busy and asked to call back in half an hour. (Of course, because international calling is cheap; I can just call all day until the manager has a spare moment (sarcasm!)) I wrote to someone who was cc'd on the email I'd received, figuring that person might be a superior. I threatened a bad review and two days later the superior replied apologizing for a "temporary" overbooking and that I could stay with them after-all. I would NEVER trust them with my vacation and I would encourage all of you to also NEVER EVER consider these people when planning your stay in Martinique.