You’re sitting in your own private plunge pool, gazing out a green-hill-lined lagoon, sipping on a ti’ punch. It’s the ultimate French Caribbean afternoon.
That’s just another day at one of our favorite places to stay in the French Caribbean: the 16-room Hotel Plein Soleil in Martinique.
Martinique doesn’t have any large resorts; it’s a tapestry of mostly smaller hotels and retreats, many tucked away in far corners of the island. But this one is right near the top, with its classic French West Indies architecture, spacious cottages and exquisite food.
Where is it? The Plein Soleil is set on a hillside on the Atlantic coast of the island, about a 35-minute drive from the island’s Aime Cesaire International Airport. It’s within easy access to several beautiful beaches, and the spectacular Habitation Clement, the home and visitor center of the island’s most famous rum brand, Rhum Clement and the famous Baignoire de Joséphine, the stunning, offshore shallows that form one of the island’s most sought-after destinations.
What to know? This is a serene hideaway — a place for tranquility and reflection and good old-fashioned relaxation. Its hillside setting, perched above a stunning lagoon, makes the whole place seem a bit ethereal. There is an excellent restaurant (with a cocktail bar) on site led by talented Chef Rudy Reclair, with an avant-garde style that would be at home in a Michelin-starred restaurant. Most of the beautifully designed rooms have their own private pools, there is also a lovely common pool.
Which room to choose? There are four room categories: chambre guest, master pool, garden suite and duplex suite; every category except the chambre guest comes with a private pool; if you’re a couple, the master pool is terrific. If you’re bringing kids, go for the Duplex Suite.
What do we like best? If you haven’t caught on already, it’s the design of the rooms. Each suite is effectively its own cottage, with abundant privacy and an airy, breezy, inspired design that makes you feel like you’ve happened upon your own French country home in the heart of the Caribbean. The rooms are so wonderful that you’ll often find it hard to leave. This is a very cool, unique place to stay, and the essence of what makes Martinique such a fascinating place to visit.
For more, visit the Plein Soleil.