Who hasn’t dreamed of spending their vacation holed up in a villa on a tropical island? On Martinique, a French territory halfway between Puerto Rico and Venezuela, you can make that dream come true without boasting a fat trust fund. Lorded over by a still active (but friendly) volcano, the island counts sublime beaches, untamed nature, a sizzling capital and gallons of Gallic joie de vivre among its assets. Discover them all from these charming Martinique villas.
Relaxation comes easy at this tranquil red-brick estate in Trois-Îlets, embraced by tropical gardens brimming with coconut palms and banana trees. Anse Mitan, your classic Caribbean ‘turquoise-sea-meets-white-sand’ beach, is just a short drive away, but there’s also a lovely natural-stone pool, a sauna and a whirlpool for unplugging onsite as well as an equestrian center for local explorations on horseback. The nicest of the generously sized apartments with functional kitchenettes is two-stories, and features a canopied four-poster bed and magical sea views.
No two of the five suites at this guesthouse on the peaceful outskirts of buzzing Fort-de-France are alike, but all ooze local character expressed in bold colors, comfy furniture and neat accents like jungle wallpaper and headboards with a hummingbird motif. Fresh fruit from the garden steals the show at breakfast, served by your own private pool. The stunning rainforest-like Jardin de Balata botanical garden – a top attraction on Martinique – is just five miles (8km) away.
If cookie-cutter hotels don’t do it for you, you should feel right at home in this serene slice of heaven dreamed up by a charming couple. Sitting about halfway between Fort-de-France and the unmissable Jardin de Balata botanical gardens, the guesthouse is honeycombed by only half a dozen characterful suites. Gear up for the day with a homemade breakfast delivered to your doorstep and keep an eye on exotic birds while soaking in your in-room jacuzzi or enjoying a poolside massage.
Staying with affable Florian and his two sons is like being welcomed to the home of a good friend – but with the benefit of plenty of privacy. Each of the four cheerfully furnished bungalows orbiting a sparkling pool is fronted by a wooden terrace, perfect for enjoying alfresco meals or reading a book borrowed from the onsite library. Ask Florian about island adventures like diving at Le Diamant, rainforest hikes, kitesurfing and, of course, unwinding on one of Martinique’s show-stopping beaches.
Set amid lush gardens, Domaine Mapou is the brainchild of three former urbanites who have poured their hearts, creativity and cash into creating this intimate hideaway. Located near Les Anses d’Arlets, a string of picture-perfect coastal villages in hilly southeastern Martinique, the four wooden lodges with private jacuzzi or pool drip with Creole charm. All come with fully-furnished kitchens, but there are plenty of excellent restaurants down by the beaches as well as the option of having customized chef’s meals delivered to your lodge.
Dotted around a tranquil garden anchored by a pool, Orcéa’s six eco-minded bungalows make it easy to hit the reset button. Forget TV, wi-fi and your watch. Instead, let nature entertain you, communicate with locals and feed your mind with a book. Close to Saint-Anne, Martinique’s southernmost town, this digital-detox oasis is only a short walk from the lovely Pointe Marine beach. Even more impressive is Grande Anse des Salines, a palm-backed crescent of silvery sand some four miles (6.4km) south, on the island’s untamed southern tip.
Run with classic Martinique charm and panache, this outfit in Le Francois consists of seven thoughtfully furnished contemporary studios, some with balconies facing expansive greenery. Follow up your morning laps in the pool by lazing in a sun lounger or conversing with fellow guests. The location puts you close to hiking and swimming spots, most famously ‘Josephine’s Bath’. Art lovers should check out Fondation Clément, a rum distillery turned cultural center showcasing Caribbean art.
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