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“Mac Computer/iPhone/iPad Stolen” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Esmeralda Resort

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Esmeralda Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Baie Orientale | BP 5141, Orient Bay 97071, St Maarten-St Martin   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 8 Hotels in Orient Bay
Columbiana, AL
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Mac Computer/iPhone/iPad Stolen”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

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.

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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264 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Somerset, MA
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

We just returned from French St. Martin (we prefer the French side...Dutch side too commercial). We stayed at a hotel that was new for us, Esmeralda on Orient Beach. We had been staying at another property down the road for almost 20 years. We left that other property because the property was deteriorating year by year.

However, we would always run by and through Esmeralda, and it always looked great. I contacted the property directly, and mentioned that we wished to make a change and why.

We stayed ar Esmeralda from Sunday, Feb. 24 through Sunday, March 3.

I requested a competitive rate, the possibility of a free upgrade, and a room as close to the sea as possible. The rate was ever so slightly higher than the other property, but I felt it was close enough to give Esmeralda a try.

When we checked in, we were greeted at reception by Leo...what an asset to the property. We were also extremely pleased that we were given a free upgrade to a suite, and within short walking distance to the water.

This suite had a full kitchen (we never cooked, though) with large refrigerator, stove, microwave, double sink, etc. We also had a full living area open to the bedroom, large bathroom with a separate room for the toilet. Each set of units has a pool, and parking close to your room.

The only downside was that we only received 2 packets of coffee, one decaf, upon arrival. I can't complain because of the free upgrade, but it would have been nice to have coffee available in the room. I am a runner, and both my wife and I like coffee before we work out. I was willing to go to the breakfast area, but the coffee would not be ready until just before I was beginning my run...too late for the caffeine to take effect.

Free WiFi is available at the reception area, or you can pay to have it in your room...$40 for the week. We chose the latter. $5-$6 a day is not a bad rate to be able to stay in your room and connect any time, day or night. Hopefully free WiFi will be made available at all hotels in the near future.

Overall, the quality was outstanding. We plan on returning, either this summer, or definitely next year at this time. Hopefully we will once again be upgraded, with a room close to the sea.

BV

Room Tip: Request a room closer to the water. It can be a long walk through the property, especially if you ne...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USAsalesoffice, Director of Sales at Esmeralda Resort, responded to this review, June 30, 2013
We appreciate your thorough review of the Esmeralda Resort and are pleased that you found almost everything living up to your expectations.

We certainly would like to provide free WI-FI in the rooms but because we are a property with villas spread out over acres of land, the cost of providing this service is prohibitive to cover in our rate structure. You are correct that $40 a week is not so much to ask particularly since we do not charge a 15% service charge as they do on the Dutch side of the island... just a 4% tax.

We are looking forward to being your host again on your next visit to St. Martin. Thank you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boston, ma
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

We stayed here for 3 nights in a deluxe suite with a deluxe room connector. We had never stayed here before but were told the property had gone through renovations and was refreshed. The reason we considered it was because we have always enjoyed Orient beach and there is a special part of Orient we enjoy and that is the beach bar/restaurant attached to this property which is Coco beach. Coco is uncrowded and the food and service in our opinion are the best on Orient.

The rooms were in our opinion adequate. The air condition, which is new, worked great and the bathrooms which were somewhat redone were very nice. Between the 2 rooms we had 3 tv's and only one of them was working. We called the front desk twice and were told someone would come to fix it. No one ever did.

We paid $1100 per night for the 2 rooms and for that price point you would think the suite/room would have the basics: bathrobe, slippers, bottled water, and working tv's etc. In the suite there are no dresser drawers or closets. Everything is located outside the bedroom in the hallway which we found to be a bit odd. Internet was free in the lobby but if you wanted it in your room than it was extra. The continental breakfast was fine. The plunge pools attached to each villa worked well after a long day at the beach.

The only reason we would come back here is because it is so close to Orient and especailly Coco beach. The beach and restaurant made our stay memorable. The beach boy Tai is fun and hard working and went the extra mile to make sure we had a great few days. The restaurant staff were all superb and the lunches, especially the fresh red snapper, were great.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013 via mobile

The Esmeralda is one of the nicest spots we've stayed in St Martin. It's right on Orient Bay, and located, fortunately, at the quieter end of the beach - away from the jet skis and the bus loads of cruise ship day trekkers. The rooms are comfortable and very quiet as there are either three or four rooms per building - each building has its own pool as well and a great private deck per room.

As pet lovers who miss our pets while we're on vacation, we were very pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a couple of adorable tabbies on the deck. The cats are in very good shape and are very grateful if you feed them. I know the idea of cats may not appeal to all, but the cats do what cats do and keep the property free of any bugs or other things that tend to pop up in warm weather.

The only thing I'd change is to have the wifi available for free in the rooms (it's free in the lobby and you can also pay for access in your room per device).

I will definitely stay here again as it's a great spot if you want a hotel on Orient Bay.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delta
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

I often read with interest the reviews/experiences of other travelers. Having recently returned from an amazing one week stay at "Esmeralda", I thought that I would offer a few personal observations about this property. I should first preface my review with a few comments about the writer. My wife and I are seasoned (sounded better than mature or old) travelers. We travel 5 or 6 times a year - and can be critical.
We had been to St Martin (Orient Bay) once previously, but this was our first stay at "Esmeralda". We really enjoyed the layout of our "villa" or pod. While we didn't use the small pool, it seemed that this common amenity to the 4 units (Bldg 55) was a catalyst to our meeting guests in the adjoining units. And we spent exceptional evenings becomming acquainted, and exchanging stories over a glass or two. And I think that the courtyards are exceptionally well kept.
The cleanliness of our room was acceptable. Some minor repairs are needed (screen door), but it is peak season. Sometimes it is small things which make for a more comfortable stay. In our case it was the rain shower systems.
We found the Esmeralda staff (cleaning, groundskeepers, lobby) to be engaging and helpful. Of particular note was the assistance we got from the "concierge". In a word, she is terrific!
Overall, the weather was pleasant, but there were a few showers, so the proximity of the hotel to (Co Co) beach is a real benefit. And our beach walks at sunrise were a highlight.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

Very nice, luxurious, clean villas, each 4 with their own pool; 100 yards from the beach with the greatest beach bar. Restaurant can get overwhelmed and is generally not the best bet since there are so many others around. Service is very friendly and helpful, some things don't work just like they would in the US but overall we had a wonderful experience and are looking to go back again, and stay at Esmeralda!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Joseph, Michigan
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013 via mobile

We have been coming here for over 15 years. The 2.5M renovation 1.5 years ago was badly needed and much appreciated. The location,intimacy,restaurants,rooms and beach can't be matched anywhere. The only suggestions to raise it to a 5 star resort are simple and achievable . Requests for dinner reservations at the front desk will not be made until the afternoon of the day requested,no matter how long in advance they are requested. This requires multiple trips to the desk to check if they were made. I've had this problem for the last 2 years. Communication needs to increase between hotel and guests regarding use of electronics and availability of services in the room. Leo was great in showing me how to use the new cable system-using one controller for volume and on/off, and the other for stations. However, my neighbor never received the same instruction. I had to go over to show him.Wifi is available free at reception,but I didn't find out it was available in the room for a fee, until I was here for a week and asked. The A/C system is great,but not used much in the US. Guests need instruction on how to use the controller. All these instructions could be printed and available in the room upon check in.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USAsalesoffice, Director of Sales at Esmeralda Resort, responded to this review, February 5, 2013
Jeff: As director of the Esmeralda USA sales office here in Florida, we do follow our reviews diligently and take our customer comments seriously as we are always striving to improve services.

First of all, we all appreciate your loyalty to Esmeralda, are pleased that our recent renovations have been noticed and you consider Esmeralda to be one of the top couples resorts.

Your comments about putting instruction literature in the rooms is a great one and i will work with management to see how soon we can get this implemented.

Thank you again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Esmeralda Resort

Address: Baie Orientale | BP 5141, Orient Bay 97071, St Maarten-St Martin
Location: Caribbean > St Maarten-St Martin > Saint-Martin > Orient Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 8 Hotels in Orient Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Esmeralda Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 64
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
ESMERALDA RESORT, situated on the magnificent white sands of Orient Bay in French St. Martin offers just 65 rooms and suites spread among elegant tropical gardens in 17 villas. Esmeralda is the only four star hotel in St Martin on Orient Beach.Esmeralda's Coco Beach Bar offers beachfront lunch & cocktails. L'Astrolabe, the resort's fine dining restaurant offers French Creole and Continental cuisine. Guests receive dining privileges at 12 + restaurants in Orient Bay. Only minutes to more fine dining,shopping and entertainment. Rooms include a kitchenette, king bed, sitting area and patio. What makes this property so special is it's unique plantation style layout with only four rooms or suites per villa. For privacy, each villa has its own swimming pool and each accommodation has its own private entrance and terrace... Guests may reserve anything from a single superior or deluxe room or a generous sized suite or an entire 3 - 5 bedroom villa. Due to the way this resort in St Martin is situated on the property that is perpendicular to the beach there is limited availability in the two ocean front villas that include the Presidential Suites and deluxe oceanfront rooms. All superior and deluxe rooms include kitchenettes. Suites offer full kitchens and large living rooms. Guests enjoy the peaceful surroundings and a cordial, pampering yet unobtrusive on-site multi-lingual staff prepared to assist with any special needs. Esmeralda offers free use of beach chairs & umbrellas. Each accommodation has a fully equipped kitchenette (suites have fully equipped kitchens including dishwasher), large tile bath with hair dryer plus a 110 outlet for shavers only, color satellite TV, room safe, air conditioning with ceiling fan, daily maid service. All bedrooms have Color TV by satellite (8 channels and video system), telephone, private safe, A/C, ceiling fan, private, furnished terrace, kitchenette with micro wave, electric coffee pot, refrigerator and dishes. SUPERIOR, DELUXE AND OCEANFRONT ROOMS: King or two double beds, kitchenette. Maximum occupancy: 2 people. Superior rooms have garden view and are generally located further from the beach. Deluxe rooms are a bit larger located nearer the pool. Oceanfront rooms are located nearest the beach. SUPERIOR SUITES: Spacious living room and bedroom area with king size four poster bed and full size pull-out sofa bed plus a fully equipped kitchen. Maximum occupancy: 2 adults & 2 children. PRESIDENTIAL SUITES: Large dining and living room area with full size sofa bed, separate master bedroom with king size colonial bed, TV in living room and master bedroom, 1 1/2 baths, radio/cassette/CD player and fully equipped kitchen. Suite is oceanfront. Maximum occupancy: 4 people. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Esmeralda Hotel Orient Bay
Esmeralda Hotel Marigot
Esmeralda Resort Marigot
Esmeralda St Martin
Esmeralda Resort St Martin
Renaisance Esmeralda Resort

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