Hotel Bambou would appeal to someone who is not looking for a big crowded resort. It's more of a boutique type hotel. They do have a concession next door that offers kayak and wave runner rentals and there are excursions to dive and snorkeling areas as well as other places. Particularly in the evening, the restaurant reminded me of a tropical Elks Lodge (but more attractive) filled with nice laid-back "over age 55 types." This is not to say that there were not any young families around - there were.....but I would estimate that half of the dining room was filled with older guests who were having a great time. There was live music every night and it was toe-tapping wonderful!
The gated complex of accommodations at Hotel Bambou is attractive and charming - one and two-story cottages and stone paths lined with lush landscaping and gorgeous flowers.
Check-in: We were greeted by a smiling young lady who immediately recognized that our knowledge of French was limited. She spoke to us in English and offered us a complimentary cocktail or juice made from Martinique's indigenous fruits. We were given one key card and later realized that we needed two since the electronic key card not only serves to open gates and the room but also goes in a slot inside the room to activate lights and AC. In other words, if one person left the room for a walk, the one left behind was without lights. A second key card was no problem. The nice young lady (wish I remembered her name) handed us two beach towels and explained that a deposit was necessary on our credit card in case we didn't return the towels. And before we were given the directions for where to park our rental car and how to get to our room, we were given an appropriate colored bracelet to wear to indicate that we were entitled to breakfast, dinner and beach chairs.
Accommodations: We booked, "Junior Suite, beach view," which is in the newer section with its own name - Creole Village. We were on the second floor, one room away from the pool that is only available to guests in this section. The beach is on the other side of the pool with its own private access (using the key card, of course) The room was just as it was pictured with cathedral beamed ceiling and modern rustic decor. It was sparkling clean and well equipped - Iphone charging station, TV and remote, in-room refrigerator, in-room safe, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, double sink vanity in the bathroom and large walk-in shower. We did need the adapters that we ordered for use in the room (same as in France). The bedding was a little too firm for me but I adjusted to it. Suggested improvement for the staff-- since it rained quite a bit during our stay, the water collected on the tile porch and took a long time to dissipate. Wish there had been a broom to sweep the water off as walking in flip flops on a very wet porch can be slippery.
Restaurant: Food was good to excellent. Breakfast was served from 7 Am to 9:30 and was pretty much the same offering every day. The dinner buffet is served from 7 PM to 10 PM and the menu changes daily. Favorite breakfast items: Yogurt cups in local fruit flavors, ham and scrambled eggs combo, plain and chocolate croissants,
fresh sliced fruit, fresh juice and.....really good coffee! There were also cereals available. Favorite dinner buffet items: red beans and rice and merguez sausages, tuna filets in cream sauce, mussels in curry sauce, grilled chicken, grilled pork ribs, chicken in creole sauce (don't remember the proper name), octopus stew, cod fritters, and mini onion and cheese tarts (they were so delicious) There was always a cold salad bar as well. Out of five dinners, there were only two menu items that were not winners - the roasted lamb (tough) and spaghetti carbonara (too much smoke flavor from the pork belly bits). Service was great. We appreciated the fact that the waitresses and waiters didn't hover over us asking if we wanted another cocktail. They were available whenever you needed something. We always asked for a complimentary pitcher of ice water as it seemed that most people had this at their table. (yes, it's ok to drink the water here) The rum punch and the wine by the glass was very reasonable. Loved the views from our dinner table of the lights of nearby Fort de France across the bay. One day we ate lunch at the Hotel's Snack Bar by the beach --we both had codfish salad on a baquette - it was very good. We also ate in the Hotel's restaurant for lunch one day - I had chicken Colombo (chicken curry) and my husband had the grilled red snapper - both dishes were excellent.
The Hotel Beach: Really nice beach - clean and a beautiful turquoise. Perfect for swimming. The complimentary beach towels and chairs were a plus and the towels could be replaced for fresh ones when needed. Cautionary tip: One day, I noticed that some senior people had a balancing problem getting out of the water at the water's edge and needed a hand- due to shifting sand with the tide. The solution if you are alone - walk in the water over to the nearby pier and hold onto the pier rail as you are exiting the water.
Bugs - I am always concerned about mosquito bites so I wore citronella bracelets that I found online - one on the wrist and one on the ankle. When we left the island I didn't have a single bite, so I can't say for sure if it was the plastic stretch bracelets or if I was just lucky.
Staying at Hotel Bambou was a really great experience which we hope to repeat next year!! Great value too! Next time we will take the ferry from the hotel to the city of Fort de France to do some sightseeing without the rental car. We ran out of time.