The Best Villas to Book in Martinique

Surrounded by mountains on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other, Les Anses dArlet is a picture-postcard paradise
Surrounded by mountains on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other, Les Anses d'Arlet is a picture-postcard paradise | © robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Andrea Schulte-Peevers

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.

1. Domaine du Château, for exploring Martinique on horseback


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.

2. Maison Clémentine, for individually-styled suites


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.

3. Redoute Paradise, for in-room Jacuzzi soaks at a home-away-from-home


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.

4. Villa La Ressource, for proximity to ‘Josephine’s bath’


Near the village of François on the wind-caressed Atlantic shore, this stand-alone Martinique villa in a verdant dale sleeps up to 14 people, making it a perfect port of call for laid-back getaways with family or friends. Spend lazy days swapping rum-fueled tales on the shaded terrace work on your tan on the wooden deck or cool off in the big pool. One must-do excursion is swimming like an empress in ‘Josephine’s bath’, a shallow sandbank where Napoleon’s island-born wife reportedly used to frolic.

5. Kasa Vanille, for homey comforts and local tips


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.

6. Domaine Mapou, for an intimate lodge stay and chef-cooked meals


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.

7. Orcéa Résidence & Spa, for digital detoxing near Pointe Marine beach


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.

8. Villa Clémence, for active travelers and art lovers


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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