The tourism industry in Martinique has never recovered from its peak in the 1970s. I was wondering why, but now I know after my brief stay at the Bakoua. While the hotel itself has a stunning view of the bay between Trois Îlets and Fort de France, little else here is impressive.
I stayed here for business travel during the "high season" and paid EUR 325 per night. For the money, you would expect a certain level of quality and service, but this hotel, and Martinique in general, just does not concern itself with global standards. There is simply no incentive to impress or perform.
As a seasoned traveler I was shocked at this hotel's seemingly flagrant lack of concern. Arriving at the hotel by taxi from the airport, no one greets you; there is no porter or elevator to take your luggage up to your room. Do it yourself. No one explains anything regarding the location of the facilities (restaurants, breakfast, pool, beach). You have to do everything on your own. For US$400+ night, that is simply unacceptable.
Everything is somewhat dilapidated. The rooms themselves are spacious, but the bathrooms are simply unacceptable; they are uncomfortable, with poor lighting, have not been updated since the 1970s or 1980s, and have been the victims of shoddy patch-up jobs that are pathetically obvious.
There were literally multiple spray cans of insecticide inside of the closets in my suite, with rings of rust beneath them. Perhaps this is management's idea of providing customers with a self-serve solution for "handling" the insect issue at the hotel. Oh yes. There were plenty of little critters (ants, spiders) to be found throughout. You won't be lonely at the Hôtel Bakoua!
The air conditioning is functional, thankfully, but offers no temperature adjustment other than three fan speed settings. The televisions in my suite were inoperable.
The breakfast buffet is laughable. The food seems to have been carted over from the local Carrefour Marché (a low-tier supermarket chain). You're welcome to separate the pre-packaged yogurts yourself. Be careful not to offend the wait staff by where you sit down; they might yell at you for accidentally taking a "reserved" seat even though there was no indication that the table was reserved for the Air France stewardesses and pilots, who are likely the sole repeat customers here (by obligation and not by choice). Naturally, no one seats you, and when offered coffee, you have to ask for milk or sugar yourself if you want it; why should it be offered to you without prompting? This is a trend.
Having lunch or drinks at the restaurants and bars of this hotel is a torturous experience. Take your expectations of service in the Caribbean (relaxed, at best), subtract from that the fact that you are in France (moody, unwelcoming), and then divide by half and you might have an accurate picture of just how [un]attentive the staff is.
As a French speaker, I didn't have any issues communicating with the staff (other than getting their attention in the first place), but if you do not speak their language, best of luck to you. There are very few non-French tourists or visitors here, so naturally no need for the staff to speak English.
The beach is nice, although there is absolutely no staff present to help you find or set-up a lounge chair, provide you with a towel, or anything else. The tiny infinity pool appeared to be clean.
Unfortunately, there are few other options for hotels of any quality on this island that I am aware of. The vast majority of the visitors here were elderly tourists from France; it felt a bit like a retirement home, complete with cheesy "live" entertainment in the evenings.
The surrounding areas, while safe and generally clean, offer little stimulus. You can walk around to the "shops" and cafés/restaurants in the area. Most of them served defrosted "food" that severely disappoints and is extremely overpriced. I visited two restaurants: L'Embarcadère, by the Marina, and Le Nomade. Both were exceptionally underwhelming. At Le Nomade, the chef microwaved my hamburger bun. At L'Embarcadère, the Mahi Mahi had clearly spent a few fortnights swimming in a freezer.
Astonishing. I truly dread having to come back here on business. Again, the ultimate insult is the price that you must pay for the "luxury" of staying here. And lastly, the taxis on the island are inexplicably expensive. It costs 65 Euros to get here from the airport; the traffic jams on the island can be terrible.
All in all, avoid this hotel, and Martinique in general, if at all possible. It is a beautiful island, it truly is, with well paved roads, a safe environment, and general order, but it is simply not geared toward tourists or luxury [other than price-wise] travel.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.