The Simon Hotel is one of the few luxury accommodations in the Fort de France downtown area. While the hotel itself was very nice, unfortunately it suffers from being in the downtown area that is less than desirable to stay at.
Where to stay in Martinique
Martinique is a beautiful island filled with beaches, history, mountains and culture. While Fort de France is the largest town and capital, it is not necessarily where you want to stay. One of the difficult things about never having visited a location is trying to figure out what the different areas are like.
Fort de France does have many tourist attractions including the beautiful Fort de France bay, Le Savane or Jardin Balata, but there is not much else in terms of shopping, dining or nightlife. Additionally the downtown area can get dangerous after dark.
A better choice would be to stay at Les Trois-Islets or Pointe de Bout just a 15-minute ferry ride across the bay.
These are smaller villages with various accommodations, but the surrounding area is much more beautiful and much safer. There are also several amazing restaurants with perfect views of the sunset over the water while sipping on happy hour 2 for 1 cocktails. We chose to stop at the popular Le Kano restaurant and had one of the most relaxing evenings in recent memory.
Other popular areas to stay in the south would be Le Diamant, Saint Luce, or at Le Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa in Le Francois, or club Med Les Boucaniers in Sainte Anne. Or in the north at the base of Mount Pelee in St. Pierre, or on the east side Caravelle nature preserve.
We had only one night to stay so we elected to stay as close to the airport as possible.
How We Booked Simon Hotel Fort De France
The Simon Hotel is not part of any hotel chain, so this made for a perfect opportunity to book through hotels.com. Remember to use a cash back portal to “double dip” on cash back. If you use Rakuten, you can turn your cash back into amex points for even more value!
I originally booked the Panoramic Terrace Suite, but one week before the trip I received an email stating the room had a water leak and they had to switch me rooms.
This was a little frustrating not only because we were looking forward to the beautiful views on our first night on vacation, but I had to deal with both hotels.com and the Simon hotel, AND now prices had skyrocketed because the stay was only one week away.
I was told that hotels.com was going to fully refund my money for the originally booking, but then I had to book a room through the Simon hotel at the current rates.
Ridiculous! This is also a common scam international hotels and airbnbs try to pull. Sometimes they intentionally double book a more expensive room and then force you to downgrade when you get there (sometimes you get money back, sometimes you don’t). Also this allows them to charge more now for the same room that would have been less when I booked 3 months ago.
I emailed Simon hotel and explained the situation and that we were celebrating our new engagement and it was our one and only night on the island. They ended up allowing us to book a standard suite (good view but no terrace) for the price of a base room. The cost was still ~$200 which was about what a standard suite would have gone for 3 months ago. Call it a wash, but a headache nonetheless.
Getting to Simon Hotel & Location
The Simon Hotel is located in downtown Fort de France right on the bay. There is no Uber or Lyft, so the best way to get to the hotel from the FDF airport is a taxi which costs ~30-35 Euros.
The check-in process went smoothly and we were notified that we were given one of the best suites with a view of both downtown and the bay.
One Bedroom Suite Simon Hotel
The one bedroom suit was very large with style that may be best described as French chic.
Waiting for us was a very nice welcome note, chilled champagne and some delicious fresh fruit. I always appreciate when hotels go a little out of their way for welcome gifts and notes. I’m not sure if this was because they messed up our room previously, because we were staying in a suite, or because I told them it was our engagement trip.
The living room contained a comfortable L couch and table.
There was a desk, sitting table and TV at the end of the room.
The bedroom itself was beautifully decorated with two swans, rose petals and a heart on the bed. Ok this was probably because I mentioned it was our engagement trip.
The bathroom was modern and spacious. The double sinks with plenty of counterspace was well enjoyed. As was the massive rainfall shower.
Breakfast is provided in some room rates, and ends up being ~$20-30 extra per night. We had to leave before breakfast was being served, so we didn’t end up purchasing it, but from the previous reviews, it sounds like the breakfast was pretty good.
Overall the Simon Hotel in Fort de France, Martinique is a beautiful chic French hotel that Jess and I very much enjoyed staying at. It is located right on the water and has beautiful views of the bay. The only issue is the location. We would not recommend staying in the downtown Fort de France area, but would rather explore one of the nearby beach towns and relax on the beautiful beaches that Martinique has to offer.
If we go back to Martinique, we would probably stay in a different area, but if you are set on staying in Fort de France, you can’t go wrong with the Simon Hotel.