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A TripAdvisor Member
Hewlett, New York
25
Reviewed 27 December 2017 via mobile

I am writing this review on the 5th Day of our week-Long stay: and if the next two days match up to our experience so far, we will depart Martinique full of great memories and fully satisfied. We planned this family vacation months in advance and since it was our first time to Martinique, we arrived naturally with nervous anticipation.

Flight from JFK New York
Our family consisted of six adults and a one-year old. Direct flights were preferable and we were fortunate to fly Norwegian Air - only 4 hours from JFK. The airport is extremely easy to navigate- by the time you get off the plane and go through a quick immigration check point, any bags you checked are waiting for you.

Cap Est Resort
When booking this hotel, we reviewed the website and actually called the hotel directly to better understand the options. We required three rooms and accommodations for the baby. The response was - No Problem - and they delivered!

The complex (which you can see on the website) consists of 52 individual suites arranged in a semi-circle of a walking path - ALL OF THEM HAVE GREAT LOCATIONS AND VIEWS - you have to do your homework and decide your priorities. There are certain rooms which have a private pool area, some are closer to the beach side, some are closer to the pool area and others overlook the beautiful lagoon/bay.

Amenities: The beach is perfect - large enough to accommodate everyone at the resort (there is no fighting for chairs, etc.) yet small enough to be near the rooms which helps when “carrying” a baby to enjoy the sand and water. While there is seaweed which builds up at the beachside, the staff cleared it away each morning to allow access to beautiful and shallow water. For the more adventurous guests, “kite surfing” and the like are available right off the same beach. It was fun to watch.

Another amenity is the “Ponton” - a beautiful dock (check out any of the pictures on the website) which provides a quiet place to sit, a simple entry into the shallow and clear water and a wonderful location to charter a boat ride for a minimum of 3 hours or as long as a full day. We did a 3 1/2 tour to “Madame Isle” with everything arranged by the concierge (more about that later).

A beautiful infinity pool area, large grass area and tennis court complement the two restaurants, spa and fitness room.


Our Experience
Since we took the Norwegian flight arrives at 6pm local time, there is always nervousness that when we would arrive at Cap Est, there would be a problem with our rooms and we would be greeted by “the night staff”. Nothing could be further from the truth. We were greeted not only by wonderful and energetic staff who greeted us formally by our last name, but also David (one of the senior managers) who quickly handled the check in and paperwork to expedite not only allowing us to freshen up but assure us that the restaurant would be waiting for us to serve dinner.

The great part about Cap Est is they delivered the specific rooms we books many months before. There was no bait and switch or apologies because we were evening arrivals. We asked for room 118 which has a private pool and easily accommodated the baby crib they provided and they kept our other children’s rooms nearby. Our room also had easy access to the beach area and steps away from the “Ponton”. Well done!

Kid-Friendly
We were pleasantly surprised to see so many families with young children - and from so many countries. All of us were universally catered to with high chairs in the restaurants, the crib in the room, and wonderful staff. Try to imagine our shock to have “Santa” arrive at our room Christmas Eve with a present for the baby! Breakfast is included and by the second morning, the restaurant staff anticipated the baby’s exact needs which avoided us asking - you can’t put a price on that kind of service.

The Staff
Here is our experience with the staff regardless of the “rank” and/or responsibility - they were professional, hard-working, concerned about our happiness, attentive to every detail and delivered service with a smile (and an ability to communicate in English). Upon our arrival, imagine our shock when three young ladies from reception refused to let us carry our bags to our rooms and delivered them with an ease and efficiency we have rarely seen. The maid staff was tremendous in helping us keep organized, (there was “turn-down” service in the evening and NEVER a problem getting clean towels for the room or the beach.). The concierge area was always staffed and we are providing a particular “shout out”to Bruno and Sean who skillfully arranged a full week’s worth of restaurants, excursions and sights to visit as well as a driver for the week who was consistently on-time, courteous and was very helpful transporting the baby with a car seat. We did not have any problems and cannot say enough about this dedicated staff (many of whom worked through Christmas.)

Final Thoughts
We are a large group and each year try to find an experience which can accommodate our ever-growing family. This year was a first with the baby - and any pre-conceived concerns during the many months of planning and budgeting were averted because Cap Est delivers as advertised and the Cap Est “family” work really hard to meet its guests needs.
Thank you for a great holiday!

Stayed: December 2017, travelled with family
5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OR-Martinique, Directeur général at Le Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2018

Dear Mr. & Mrs,
Thank you so much for your so kind message.
It has been such a pleasure to welcome your entire family during Christmas time.
We tried to answer all of your demands and all of our team has been extremely happy to see how enjoyable your stay was.
We wish you a wonderful 2018 full of great moments, including a stay at Cap Est...
Kind regards,
OR Martinique, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2017

We were overall really disappointed with our experience at this hotel that positions itself as a resort. It is is need of updating. We received a single key that was the old school gigantic variety. Our room was in disrepair: two of the faucets leaked and we had no light in the shower. The experience with reception when we arrived was not especially warm or informative. Over the course of our stay we had to go through the lobby often (as you must request and return all beach towels here!). Every time we dealt with reception it seemed the management was there, and the priority of the staff was to assist them. Our feeling was that guests were not the priority here, more of a nuisance to the staff! We were really irritated by the access to the resort which required using an intercom to request re entry; more than half the time we could not even hear what they were saying. The beach was also disappointing. While visually beautiful, it is extremely shallow and filled with sea weed. I would not recommend this hotel , as I felt that it was expensive for the value.

Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
5  Thank Henri_B_SC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OR-Martinique, Directeur général at Le Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2017

Dear Mr. Henri,
Thank you or your message.
I am so sorry that you could leave our property unsatisfied.
The guest satisfaction is always our priority ; I had the opportunity to meet you each evening at the Restaurant as I usually do and you never complained about anything saying that the staff was very kind and the food delicious.
I will be extremely glad to welcome you there again very soon,

Kind regards,

OR, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2017 via mobile

My Wife and I are extremely busy in our day to day lives so our visit to cap est and Martinique in the low season was perfect. We almost had the resort to our selves. The almost deserted beach was awesome. The restaurant food was absolutely great as was the service. The front desk staff very pleasant and helpful as was the manager with suggestions for some exploring. They all spoke English which really helped as my high school French was a long time ago. The facility is located in an absolutely beautiful location you need a car to go exploring make sure you have gps. The roads are great but very windy . Now for the but. The facility and rooms are in need of some maintenance and repairs . We realize it's low season but a few more staff members to do cleaning and maintenance would help greatly. It would also be nice if there was beach and pool drink and food service other than 12-2. With the prices charged it would more than pay for the cost and would make people happy. Martinique is on the expensive side of the scale for food and drink but we found the quality excellent here and at other spots . Taxi's are very expensive 70 euro for a 35-45 minute trip each way. Car rentals were very reasonable 35 euro a day for a very nice compact which is definitely the way to go as the roads are very narrow . We hope cap est owner ship puts some money into the repairs and maintenance it would be a shame to see this beautiful spot fall into further disrepair.

We loved our time here and wish we could have given a higher rating .

Stayed: October 2017
3  Thank Sid K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OR-Martinique, Directeur général at Le Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 25 October 2017

Dear Sir,
Thank you so much for your kind message.
It is indeed extremely nice to hear how you enjoyed your stay and the quality of service.
It has been a real pleasure to welcome you and to give you some advice to discover different places on the island.
It is the goal of each member of the team to give a wonderful experience to our guest and to make them happy in discovering wonderful Martinique.
I hope being able to welcome you again soon at Cap Est

Kind regards,

OR, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2017

We booked here following a review of resorts online. In many years of travel for business & pleasure, the management of this hotel is quite the worst that I have ever experienced.
I strongly recommend staying elsewhere.
It was not the issues we had that result in my comment, (as they are relatively minor) but the attitude of the management. This is a lovely location with great potential but never have I stayed anywhere in more dire need of new management.
The breakfast was inedible and akin to the worst kind of motorway services from the 1970's! - sweating cheese slices & salami with jugs of juice covered in fruit flies. We waited 5 minutes to be seated before I asked the kitchen staff if we should seat ourselves. No offer of coffee or tea - again the staff in the kitchen (I had to go & search them out) needed to be asked & slammed it on the table. Wifi not working. Room not cleaned properly throughout the duration of our stay & dead cockroaches & hairballs in corners from previous occupants.
A really delightful beach covered in rotting seaweed. - The sea will do its thing! - so easily cleaned up by the gardeners which would also remove the flies & smell. The beach was unusable because of it.
No staff at the pool & almost all of the loungers broken.
On raising these matters with the manager I was met with a shrug & 'what do you expect out of season'. - What I expect at supposedly a top hotel is an acceptable level of service! (Good basic standards are completely acceptable.) We booked online, so I was also surprised when he looked up what we had paid & said 'for what you are paying this is very good'. - We had paid what was asked online!! The staff on reception were excellent: friendly, helpful & most embarrassed about the total lack of customer care & consideration. On our last day there was an extremely loud private reggae party at the pool starting in the morning. We had not been told about it or that facilities would be restricted.
On driving away from our room with our luggage, the hotel van blocked our exit as he was coming the other way. Rather than taking the option to let us through by reversing 10 feet into a side road, we were made to reverse 20 feet or so up onto the grass by a member of staff who refused to move back. There really is NO concept of customer service here at all. Frankly we were shocked.
I was told by the manager that this was the standard to expect on the islands. Having stayed the week before in St Lucia, & elsewhere previously I know this not to be the case. Again a shrug from the manager & the comment that he has to pay his staff far more than on the other islands & so guests have to make do with wheat they get.
Massively disapointed by the arrogance, rudeness and total lack of customer service.

Room Tip: stay elsewhere!
  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
8  Thank Graham H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OR-Martinique, Directeur général at Le Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 25 October 2017

Dear Sir,
I have read carefully your message as I have also read the one posted by your wife for the same three nights stay called "absolutely dreadful hotel".
I am so sorry that you left the hotel disappointed. I may definitely consider any remark but with an elegant way, in order to enhance the guest experience.
The problem is that most of your remarks are definitely wrong and moreover, I am sorry but I definitely cannot accept to be insulted on a post. I should not be surprised as you insulted me directly when I met you at the Hotel Reception.
TripAdvisor is probably the only site on which a Hotel Manager can be insulted without any risk. I find it extremely serious.
Wishing you a good day,
Regards,
OR, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2017 via mobile

We booked Cap Est as it looked to be the best hotel on the island. We as just spent a few days in a gorgeous resort in St Lucia and took the ferry over to Martinique for a change of scene. It is low season in the sweltering August heat and virtually empty but nevertheless is advertising as fully open It is indeed very pretty although the accommodation a bit tired.
Before I start let me say the receptionist was brilliant, booking a taxi for us the evening before from the port as the car hire place had closed and she went out of her way to right the many wrongs. She clearly was used to working in environments with high standards of customer service and her frustrations here were palpable but she remained highly professional. The young German intern again was very sweet and completely understood our point very well, she too was used to a different level of customer service. It is supposed to be a 4/5 star resort - it is 3 at best - things may be much better in high season and effort made but doubt it.

My partner spoke to the manager who was most unpleasant and told us "what can you expect it is low season". He checked how much we paid and said - "well what can you expect when you paid so little!?!?" We booked the 'best' hotel on the island and are staying in the most expensive room!!! We are happy to pay but it was the resort more generally not the room. We are staying now because we are en-route to a conference in the US and anyway the hotel is open in low season and taking our money with a drastically reduced service which wasn't advertised as being so.

He told us that we had better service in St Lucia as they pay their staff $200 and he has to pay them €1500 so can't hire many people (we stayed in the beachfront suite at Cap Maison so clearly are happy to pay for the luxury). Sadly had I been there, I would have retorted that one would have thought that if staff were being so well paid in comparison that they would take pride in their work knowing they were on a good number. Perhaps, I would suggest, that this is poor management that you can't get the best out of your staff to keep your 5 stars (apparently it was downgraded to 4 and I would suggest a further drop to 3)
How disgracefully rude he is. If he worked for me, I'd fire him on the spot!

First, the room - paid for top level room with private pool. One bar of soap and one small bottle of shampoo, no robes, 1 towel, the room was filled with mosquitoes, the door to terrace was broken, no milk for the coffee (nice lavazza nespresso style coffee machine though) - which I asked for and they brought an hour after I asked for it and woke us up (around 11.30pm), wifi in room not working.
Breakfast - atrocious! All hot food was cold, was low quality and been sitting there a while, the juice jugs were swarming with fruit flies, cold cuts and cheese were warm and sweating again covered in flies ...
Beach - filthy, covered in seaweed - I get you can't help what comes in on the tide but in good resorts someone rakes up the beach, provides towels etc. The beach bar is open for 2 hours a day 12-2!!! It is potentially lovely, nice rattan sofas etc. I would be expecting some music, a bartender there all day - they have managed to make a potentially beautiful beach experience completely unpleasant!

Pool - nice big pool - almost every sun lounger was broken - I had to walk around to the other side of the pool to find one and drag it back (very heavy metal ones which are scalding to the touch in the 90degree heat) to the one of 4 parasols. I am recovering from a heart problem - not a soul available to ask for help! No pool service - again in a resort of this alleged calibre, I would expect comfortable loungers, towel service etc - you have to walk all the way to reception who police the towels.

Sadly, besides the stunning location, I have been unable to find any redeemable features -if it was a 2/3 star this is the level of service I would expect but not in the supposedly best hotel on the island! I generally write reviews when I have found somewhere outstanding and don't like to write negative ones. Perhaps this place is amazing in high season as there are lots of positive reviews for this hotel on here and elsewhere and I suppose you compare it to what you are used to. Based on the shocking management I suspect not. I suppose I am very privileged to have stayed in some amazing resorts, sadly this was not one of them!! Apologies for the rant fellow travellers!

Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
14  Thank eskimochild
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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