French Coco, Martinique

With room prices starting at £320 per night and the gallery of images on your favourite booking sites, French Coco, Martinique – A Small Luxury Hotels member certainly draw your attention. Dig a little deeper and you struggle to find a better hotel on the island. Perfect chance for me to use some Hotels.com free night vouchers bringing the cost down to £22 ish per night.

Location

Whether you’re driving or have hired a taxi or shuttle the journey from the airport is beautiful. Starting with a bit of city driving then nothing but scenery. From dense jungle to hectares of banana trees, then groves of sugar cane fueling the local rum distilleries amalgamating in a crescendo being the coastal road 10KM out.

It’s a good job it’s a beautiful drive as it isn’t cheap. 30KM from the airport so a €170ish taxi or you can pay the hotel €90 per person each way.

The Room

The room I had booked was the Ti Suite. At check in I was offered the chance to upgrade to the Presqu’ile Suite for an extra €120 per night but after inspection, I decided against it, I honestly couldn’t justify the extra expense and I’m not sure what planet they’re on charging upwards of £600 per night?!

Not to be a negative nelly but I think they have miss labelled the rooms. Mine certainly wasn’t a suite. There’s the main bedroom, the bathroom and a balcony, that’s it. It’s an average-sized bedroom and no sofa or anything to warrant the title of a suite.

The king sized bed was nice, on the firmer end of the scale which I like. I did wake up to find my feet hanging off the end of the bed, not sure how that happened. Another thing to note is that there’s no headboard. A strange design choice but not one I’m a fan of. Whilst we’re on the subject of the bed, why just a king size? Why not a super king? I get that my room was the entry room but even the Presqu’ile only had a king… for these sort of prices, you should be struggling to question anything.

The Bathroom was a large space, that’s before you go all naturist and open the doors into the patio to fully embrace your surroundings. The shower head was wide but not deep enough for 2. Unfortunately, the water pressure was rather low so whilst the potential of an amazing shower was there, it failed to deliver. The abundance of towels was also appreciated as were the soft bath robes.

The self branded toiletries are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have the great brand representation, on the other, you haven’t a clue whos produced them. They were okay, but some strange choices of odours.

Onto the TV and I can say with a straight face I have seen bigger on some of the flights I’ve taken. Granted that’s partial credit to a few airlines but it’s about a 24″ screen. Given that your about 5 meters from it when you’re lying in bed, there’s not a cat in hells chance you’re watching anything without a pair of binoc’s. Even with a pair, you won’t be watching Netflix as it isn’t a smart TV. I guess there are worse parts of the world to be without one.

I always write about them, because I always need them. When they aren’t in a convenient place it’s a ball ache. Plug sockets, they’re logically placed out next to either side of the bed, a few by the desk and a couple of others dotted around.

What I found strange was the mini-fridge, coffee machine etc were all outside on the balcony.

What a balcony it was. The perfect place to watch the sunrise or turn all Prof. Brian Cox and look at the stars as you rock back and forth in the rocking chair above the canopy tops.

WiFi

It certainly isn’t the quickest if you’re the type of person, say a photographer who has to send photos… but if you’re just wanting to binge on NetFlix or rinse Facebook, you’ll be alright. One thing to note though is that the internet went down for at least 12hours at one point.

The Pool

Créole suites and above have their own plunge pools with guest staying in Ti Suites having access to the main pool. Another let down I’m afraid. I guess the plunge pools would be okay if they were heated, but they aren’t.

The main pool its self is more than big enough to enjoy yourself in, again though, absolutely freezing. You know when you’re in a warm environment and you get in a pool and it feels cold until you’ve swum around for a bit? That doesn’t happen, it just stays cold. After speaking to the concierge he assures me that because of the on and off rain over the last few days the pool will be rather cold and that if it’s clear consistently for a few days in a row the pool is lovely.

YLANGA Cocktails & Tapas Lounge

The way the hotel description reads is pretentious, it’s far from that. Somewhere nice to unwind, have a few drinks and a bite to eat.

You can brush up on a little bit of literary reading whilst listening to some relaxing vibes.

Order some exquisite cocktails with a Caribbean twist, like the SotB above made with local fresh pineapple juice.

Tuck into some Spanish influenced squid and chorizo risotto.

Followed by chicken skewers with grilled mixed vegetables and a side course of grilled then battered marlin.

Finally, when all is said and done with no criticisms what so ever because you’re in food heaven (granted at a reasonably priced bill), you can retreat to the snug, where you can watch the stars and world go by in comfort.

Breakfast

For breakfast, each room is given a list of items to choose from. The breakfast its self is free but you can pay an extra €15 and have it delivered to your room. For me, I chose pretty much everything;

  • The cold meat platter with Chorizo, Spam and Salami
  • The cheese platter
  • A croissant & a pain au chocolate
  • Freshly squeezed orange
  • The fruit selection (Pineapple, Apple, Grapefruit, Pear and Melon)
  • Both white and brown bread which is served slightly toasted and warm
  • The cheese and ham omelette with extra bacon
  • Finally, a hot chocolate which is hot milk with chunks of chocolate added to it to melt.

That, my friends, is how to start your morning!

Final Thoughts

For me it’s severely overpriced, starting at £320 a night, it is probably double the price of other nice hotels on the island. With that being said, the location, service and the fact it is the best hotel may swing it for you.

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