It really pains me to have to write this review, because the staff and management of the resort were so sympathetic and accommodating, but I feel like I need to share my experience so that it may benefit others.
We have been traveling to St. Martin / St Maarten annually since 2002. We normally stay in the Cupecoy Beach area but booked a room at Esmeralda based on a recommendation. It wasn't inexpensive - given that it was simply a decent size room with small kitchenette area (mini-fridge, microwave, sparsely-appointed cabinets and sink), bathroom with shower only, 3 uncomfortable chairs and a small table. The "bungalow" was an end unit in a private area of the dimly-lit, quiet, well-kept grounds. There was a front door and a back sliding glass door that led to a small porch with a plastic outdoor table and chairs. Upon move in we were briefed on how to operate the TV, air conditioner and the guide pointed out the back door locks - one on the handle and a pin that fit through a hole that should further prevent someone from opening the door. He also "casually" mentioned the aluminum roll up door (like a hurricane shutter) that could be lowered in the evening "when we went to dinner or if we wanted to sleep late and keep the sun out."
I unloaded all my fancy-schmanzy Mac equipment and found a place to store and charge the computer on the bottom shelf of the nightstand on the side of the bed away from the front door. On the second night of our stay we went to dinner and left the recently purchased MacBook Pro (fully upgraded, value $3950), iPhone 5 and iPad all on the nightstand shelf, charging.
LESSON #1: Never take an expensive computer (that your earn your living with) on a leisure vacation.
LESSON #2: Never take anything expensive that won't fit in the in-room safe.
LESSON #3: Never leave things out where the resort/housekeeping staff can see it.
We returned 2 hours later and that whole pile of electronic equipment, valued at about $6,000, was gone and the sliding class door pin was ajar. I am sure it was firmly in place when we left, but WE FAILED TO CLOSE THE ROLL UP DOOR. Clearly the pin could be worked loose (the police tried and succeeded) and the shutter door was absolutely necessary to secure the room. Nothing else was touched - thank goodness they didn't pick up the bag in the chair nearby that contained a nice Cannon camera, iPod, Jawbone speaker AND OUR PASSPORTS. We believe that the thief was aware that the equipment was there and came specifically to get it.
We spent the rest of the evening changing online passwords and securing bank accounts in the event that the thief was someone other than a local kid who wanted a new phone and a computer. All devices have the Find My iPhone app on them and have a GPS tracking device. Should they ever connect to the internet again, we will be notified of the address and the hard drives will be erased. Naturally the next morning we moved - to a high rise in Cupecoy with security guards, security cameras in every corner of every hallway, and a back sliding glass door that was 50ft off the ground. The price per night was HALF of what we were paying at Esmeralda.
LESSON #4: Rethink staying on the ground floor ever again and ask about security.
The night manager was most helpful - called the (French-speaking police) and stayed with us throughout the ordeal and helped with translation. The resort manager refunded our 2 nights' stay with her sincerest apologies for our loss. The rating does not reflect on them personally (otherwise I would have rated it 1 star!) This experience was damaging to our businesses, time consuming and expensive -- so I do hope others might learn from our "stupid" mistakes. USE EVERY SECURITY MEASURE YOU ARE PROVIDED WITH AND TAKE PRECAUTIONS TO GUARD YOUR PROPERTY.
- Also Known As:
- Esmeralda Hotel
- Esmeralda Hotel Orient Bay
- Esmeralda Hotel Marigot
- Esmeralda Resort Marigot
- Esmeralda St Martin
- Esmeralda Resort St Martin
- Renaisance Esmeralda Resort
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., Travelocity, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Cheap Tickets, Venere, Olotels, Priceline, HotelsClick and Tingo so you can book your Esmeralda Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.