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“Be ready to tip for what you'd think was already payed” 4 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 #3 of 6 hotels in Orient Bay
New York City, New York
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Be ready to tip for what you'd think was already payed”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

I need to say that mostly good reviews I've read before staying in "Esmeralda Resort" seem fair,
but they did not prepare me to feel as a second rate customer on the beach (Coco beach).
It appears that you are supposed to tip beach boys or buy a lot of drinks on the beach or have a lunch in Coco bar or all of the above to get the spot
near the water even if it is available all day long - this spoiled my pleasure a bit.

I don't mind to tip, but not on demand. We don't have drinks in the morning.
Besides after I was told that I have to drink or eat there I've lost my appetite.
We would have our lunch on the beach couple times most likely if not for the reprimands
I had to listen.

If you read my note - you are prepared now, I wish I would.
One more thing - on our arrival day at reception desk we were told that it's preferable to use bottled water for making tea, but as per advertising materials the tap water on the island is drinkable. So we used only bottled water just in case and We don't know if it was too much or not.
Otherewise I did enjoy my vacations - the pool near the villa, the room was cleaned timely, AC was working,
the food in the restaurants of the Orient Village was delicious. Also check the reataurant in the "Plantation" hotel - we dined there twice. It had very good live music as well.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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
Thank you for your 4 out of 5 review of the Esmeralda. We assume therefore that you enjoyed the resort very much with the exception of the beach bar service.

As you may be aware, the Coco Beach bar is a concession and not under our control. Our top management does talk to the owner when these problems occur and for a few months, the tipping problem disappears but returns when new employees are hired. We apologize for your experience and are working on a permanent solution.

We thank you for bringing this to our attention as we share trip advisor comments with the bar's management.
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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 (41)
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English first
Alameda, California
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

Esmeralda resort is located on Orient Beach, with a beautiful mountain viewl. When you check in, you are given a card with your room #, and your check out date. You can use this card to charge food/drinks at any of the restaurants listed on the back of the card. I think there are about 5 you can use your "hotel card" at.

My husband and I stayed in the Oceanfront Deluxe Suite Villa for our honeymoon, and absolutely loved it! It is the group of villa's closest to the beach. And even though you do not have a great view of the ocean, you can certainly hear the sound of the waves crashing all night...which I loved!!!
The room was huge with a King size bed, and a very large bathroom as well. The refrigerator, sink and microwave were also useful to have. We sat out on our private patio each night and had drinks, and listened to the ocean. Each group of villas has their own pool to share, however, we never saw anyone using the pool, and it felt completely private. We read many reviews that people had written about thin walls, and hearing their neighbors, but we did not have this issue at all. We never heard anyone at all...it was very quiet and peaceful.

Continental Breakfast is included at the L'Astorlabe Restaurant which is across from Reception. It is good, and definitely worth going to in the morning. Especially since they serve breakfast until 10:30 am...we found that AWESOME! We actually never ate dinner here though because there are so many other good restaurants in the area. Orient Village is very close (just down the street) and has many good restaurants to choose from. They open around 6 for dinner...and are open fairly late. We were still there around 11 one night. There is also a market in Orient Village where you can buy water, beer, food, etc...

Esmeralda is on Coco Beach, which is the beach/bar & grill in front of the resort. There are many beach bars on Orient Beach, and Coco Beach is really the first one. The "beach boys" that work there are a little pushy, and try to tell you where to lay on the beach, and try to push you into ordering things, just because you can charge it to your room. However, if you walk down the beach a ways, you will find that beers are $2, rather than 6 euros, which is what they charge at Coco beach (AND Kakao, Kontiki, Waikiki, and mostly ALL of the beaches that you can use your "hotel card." Not worth it!) A lot of the restaurants further down the beach from Coco Beach will give you 1 euro for $1 if you pay cash. We found this much better, and did this rather than paying in euros, and paying more in the end. I would suggest taking a walk...there are plenty of excellent places to eat. ALL of these beach restaurants close extremely early though. They start to pick up there beach chairs starting around 3:30 or 4.

I would recommend Esemeralda though, and we would stay again. We really like the privacy of the rooms, and the beautiful spaciousness of it as well.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 5
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
Thank you for choosing Esmeralda Resort for your honeymoon. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay and the Orient Bay area in general.

Next time, please do try L'Astrolabe as it is continually receiving awards as one of the best restaurants on the island.

We are working with the COCO Beach bar management and hope to find a resolution to the tipping issue in the near future.

Your comments are greatly appreciated, thank you.
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Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

We just finished one week stay here. Let me summarize this hotel as easily as possible.

Everything in our room was spotless. the property was well maintained and clean. The porch was great to sit out on by the pool and was freshly painted etc. Much more updated than the Alamanda where we last stayed in 2010. The TV is tiny but we never turned it on once.

Wif was great and 40 bucks US for the week. If you have more than one device ask for more than one code all for the 40 as they will give you more than one code.

It is a tiny walk to the beach and we were in unit 53 which was the furthest away. the Tennis courts are not operational so don't even think of that.

Breakfast was great. Free fruit, bread, cereal and croissants. an omlette was 8euros.

The people were very friendly an a nice class of folks at the hotel.

It is a 8-10 minute walk to the Orient area where all the restaurants are and the grocery store. you will have a fridge and microwave so many nights we took a doggy bag home and had it for Breakfast or lunch.

All in all a great place for the money.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
London
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

We were catching a flight from St Maarten to connect with our transatlantic flight in Antigua and our ferry from St Barths was cancelled so we needed a hotel for the night. Unable to face a highrise under the flight path in Maho beach we chose the Esmerelda Resort. Arriving at night we were greeted by a cheerful fellow who was extremely welcoming and after checking in showed us to our (upgraded) room. It had a small kitchenette and a large shower with separate loo. He demonstrated the TV system, the A/C and asked us to shut our shutter when out (I read into that there was some crime around) I was born in the Caribbean and sadly it is a fact of life. My passport ipad and iphone come in my bag with me. There was a loud bass thump coming from the beach and when asked were told it could go on until 1-2am! Luckily it ended much earlier. Dinner was pretty awful - too pretentious for words but a very friendly waiter and a rather solemn waitress, if we had stayed longer we would have tried somewhere else. Early the next morning I navigated my way to the beach and joined the walkers and runners - some with absolutely nothing on and in all age groups and sizes - it was a bit early in the morning for me but other than the nudity the beach was fine - if a bit full of chairs/sunloungers which I presume filled up during the day. There was an unsightly crane spoiling the view which turned out to be for bungee jumpers - such a shame to ruin the beauty of the bay. It was in a beach club or another hotel - I would complain if I was the owner of our hotel. Breakfast was arranged by a rather efficient unfriendly lady it was very ungenerous - bread and jam, fruit juice drink (not real fruit juice) and a rather unexotic fruit salad - its a Caribbean Island for heavens sake!! where's the tropical fruit? We were not interested in paying a fortune for a few scrambled eggs so we just had what was offered and left. It was nice having our own little pool (there appeared to be only one set of neighbours who were out) and we sat in the sun until we left for our flight. The rooms could look so much better with colonial style furniture (the room was huge) and better soft furnishings and small things like a decent breakfast buffet would make the offering more generous. I wouldnt have been happy to spend a week's holiday there I'm afraid but the waiter at dinner and the friendly guy on reception were marvellous.

Room Tip: Dont be too near the beach if you care about noise but the resort is very spread out the beach could...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbiana, AL
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
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.
Somerset, MA
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
39 helpful votes 39 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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boston, ma
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 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.
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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 #3 of 6 hotels in Orient Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Esmeralda Resort 4*
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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