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“nice place to stay” 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 #4 of 6 Hotels in Orient Bay
new york
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“nice place to stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

The resort is quiet and relaxing, it consists of villas/bungalows spread over a large area with a semi-private pool (you share only with the neighbors). There is direct access to the beach so a car is not really necessary if you don't plan on exploring other areas.
Service is great and the staff are friendly and helpful; they helped us book a snorkel trip that we had to reschedule a couple of times.
L'Astrolabe, the hotel restaurant is really good for dinner, breakfast is a bit lacking in options though.
Overall we enjoyed our stay!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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253 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    83
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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 (43)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bedford Hills, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

My husband and I have stayed at the Esmeralda Resort the five times we've been to St. Martin. Obviously, we like it or we wouldn't have returned to the same place five times! The food and service at the L'Astrolabe restaurant is the best. People at the resort have been most accommodating to us, and Orient Beach, which is a very short walk from the resort, is your classic gorgeous Caribbean beach. Grand Case with all the great restaurants is a short ride away (we always rent a car), and Marigot, capital of the French side, is quite close by as well. Each villa at the Esmeralda has three units, and each villa has a pool. My husband and I hardly ever see anyone in the pool because (we think) people prefer the beach. After our morning walk, we jump in, pool to ourselves! The rooms themselves are spacious and comfortable. We've experienced staying in suites and in the deluxe accommodations. All are fine. The Esmeralda has recently upgraded their rooms, so things are fresh and new. This makes the experience even better. I'm certain that there are accommodations in St. Martin that are more elaborate and snazier than the Esmeralda (the rooms don't have a lot of frill), but for my husband and myself, this resort fits our "Caribbean needs" perfectly. We are planning to go back to the Esmeralda again this year and are looking forward to it.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

We have stayed here many times and again are finding it quiet and relaxing. The staff keep the grounds well groomed, the rooms clean and are quite accommodating. We return year after year so must love it!

Room Tip: 51 and 52 are our favorites.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Saint Louis Park, Minnesota
2 reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013 via mobile

My partner and I first stayed at Esmeralda Resort in January 2012 and our return visit was this past February. Both visits were for 7 days.

What my partner and I enjoyed on both of our visits to the resort was the appearance and style of the villas, the well kept grounds, the friendly and courteous office staff, the tucked away location of the resort and most of all, the incredible stretch of white sand beach.

Our reservations were made directly with the resort via email with a marketing representative named Robbin Casey. All of our questions about room options, pricing and rental cars were answered very quickly and were accurate. We were advised that if we wished to have a rental car during our stay, to reserve it through the resort as guests at Esmeralda received 20% off the rate vs. non resort guests. Sunday is a day that the rental desk, which is located inside the reception building, is normally closed, but as an indication of the willingness of the staff, the desk attendant called a representative of the rental company and arranged for us to have a car for our use by noon on Sunday. We chose a 4 passenger Hyundai I-10. It's a basic 4 cylinder, 5 door subcompact model. The car suited our needs just fine, with the only stipulation that if you are going to use the A/C, you will experience a lack of horsepower available for passing or climbing some of the steeper mountain grades. We flew in from Minnesota to get away from our harsh winter, so having the windows rolled down and enjoying the warm breeze was the only way to go for us. Driving on the island is not as fear inducing as I had read about from other sites and in travel books. If you simply pay attention to what you are doing and watch out for other traffic, everything goes smoothly. Occasionally, you will have scooters and dirt bikes that will zip past and weave in and out of traffic and that is real the biggest problem lies. In some places, road widths are narrow and shoulders are almost non-existent, so you may find yourself having to move over and let a larger vehicle have right of way.

Our room was located in villa #48. That villa contained 1 Superior suite with 2 Deluxe rooms, one on each side. Our villa was set back just a bit from the beachfront, which was just fine with us as we enjoyed much more sitting out on our verandah looking at the lush grounds with all of the large palms and flowering bushes. There was one villa in front of us, closer to the beach, and behind us was the Astrolabe restaurant, so we felt we were situated nicely where we were. Our room in the villa contained a king size bed that was quite comfortable. The ceiling mounted air conditioning unit was nice to have on hand, but was not used much at all. We had windows on three sides, so cross ventilation with the ever constant breeze was no problem at all. The kitchenette was small, but functional as we had no plans to eat in our room, we were determined to enjoy as many of the different restaurants in the area as possible. There was a sink, mini refrigerator and a microwave. Our bathroom had a very nice and large shower, but no tub, which was just fine. The shower head was enormous and the water pressure was plenty adequate. Under the wash basin is where you will find the room safe, which came in very handy for storing passports, valuables, cameras, etc... Room houseeeping service was excellent and thorough. At the end of our stay, we tipped the housekeeper a total of $40USD. Each villa has a large size swimming pool that is to be shared by all rooms in the villa, but on both of our stays, no one ever used the pool, except for the two of us and that was primarily in the late afternoons after spending hours at the beach and in the ocean, to relax with a snack, cigar and some rum. Very quiet and a good way to unwind before deciding on dinner options.

Astrolabe serves breakfast and dinner, no lunches and is closed on Wednesdays. We took advantage of the continental breakfast there every morning as it was included in the price of our room. Assorted hard rolls and croissants with various spreads, along with assorted juices were covered. Additional items like creeps, pancakes, meats, cereals yogurts were available for an additional fee. Dinners there have different themes depending on the night of the week. Lobster fest, seafood fest, surf and turf, etc... There is a very mellow 3 piece jazz band that plays from about 7 to 10 PM nightly and was quite pleasant as background. We chose to only eat there 2 nights during our stay as we wanted to check out additional eateries in the area. For lunches, there was the Coco Beach bar and restaurant. Wide variety of choices, alcohol and other drinks and they are also open with a dinner menu until about 8PM. No matter where you ate at the resort, you did not need to carry cash. All items purchased were put on a room credit and all that was required was to show them your room card then sign the tab and after about the second day, we simplified that further by just saying what room we were in and then signed our tab. We had no problems with unaccounted for charges.

NOTE: There are some astoundingly good restaurants located about a 10 minute walk away from the resort in a small commercial area called Orient Bay Village. French, Italian, Asian and American cuisine can be found there and we very highly recommend that you spend a few nights talking a walk via the neighborhood streets or along the beaches to get to here. You will not be disappointed with the food, ambience and the owners and staff of the various restaurants as they truly are involved in all aspects of making your evening meal enjoyable. My top three favorites are Little Italy, Tai Chi and Le Piment.

Coco beach is just incredible. Two chairs and an umbrella are included in the price of accommodations and this particular stretch of Orient Bay is magnificent in both look, sand and waves. Two resorts share Coco beach, Esmeralda and La Plantation and that's it. No cruise ship passengers or non resort guests are allowed into Coco beach and when you stroll along the 5 different beach sections along Orient Bay, you can clearly tell that Coco beach is far less crowded than the others as you pass by and look around. Drink and food service is well done with a number of "beach boys" handling the duties. You can eat at the restaurant or beachside if you prefer. At the end of our stay, we tipped each of the two servers $20USD for their efforts for the week. Both of the guys were quite surprised when we slipped them our gifts and we got hugs and handshakes from them. These guys don't loaf around, they are hustling orders during the hottest part of the daytime hours.

The reception building is located directly across from Astrolabe and is staffed 24 hours. Inside you can make car rental reservations, call for a taxi, plan excursions, etc... There is a small sundries shop as well where you can get the basic items such as bottled water, alcohol, sweets, suntan lotions, snacks, etc... You'll also find the ice machine in there as well and it's FREE. Inside the building and outside on the large verandah area are the only places at the resort where you will be able to receive free WiFi service.

Twice during our most recent stay, we received a printed notice that there would be no water service during a good portion of the daytime hours for each day. This lasted from about 9AM until 4PM. I don't know if this is a regular occurrence, but it was not even a concern as during those hours we were either at the beach, in the water or out and about to some other part of the island.

Almost like clockwork, two or three times almost each day, you can expect what the locals call "liquid sunshine". These showers tend to come just before dawn, again between 12 - 2PM and finally between 7 - 9PM. The showers are very light and last for 10 - 15 minutes, but if you're heading out for dinner, it's a good idea to carry a small umbrella with you for the walk.
Next to the beach restaurant, there are a few shops where you can purchase island shirts and beachwear items. There's an area where you can get massages, do group yoga and a kids playground with equipment. Outdoor changing rooms, toilets and showers are also there.

The atmosphere of the resort, beach and the shops at Orient Bay Village is heavily European with the obvious accent on French language and customs. It is quite common to hear Dutch, German, British english, Italian, Russian and Spanish spoken around you. We enjoy our annual winter escape and look forward to getting away from all of the usual places where Americans go to vacation. We've been to other islands in the Caribbean and also on cruises where inevitably there will be some loud incident involving a boorish American tourist or group. If you're like us and find behavior like that to be embarrassing, you'll find a temporary home from all of that in and around Orient Bay. Also, the resort and for that matter, the island itself is very welcoming to gay and lesbian tourists. We've met some fellow gay couples during both of our stays at the resort and at some of the attractions on the island. As long as common sense and respect for the foreign country you are visiting is shown, there are no hassles or indications of not being welcome by the locals.

My partner and I will very soon be planning our 3rd stay at Esmeralda Resort for early next year to escape our tough Minnesota winter weather and we look forward very much to another great stay!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

We stayed at the Esmeralda resort back in January. Our villa was clean and comfortable and it's so close to the beach. 2 beach chairs and a beach umbrella are included with your stay. We would sometimes stay at Coco beach or at the place next door. The staff at the beach was friendly and the staff at the hotel was nice as well. They were very good to get taxis for us when needed and give us pointers about getting around the island. The Astrolabe restaurant was great for breakfast and fabulous for dinner. We also discovered the little town of Orient Bay which had great restaurants and was only a 5 or 10 minute stroll on the beach away. We felt safe hanging out on the beach at night all was good. I would definitely stay there again.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 554 which was closer to the beach and near the restaurant.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 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.
Lausanne, Switzerland
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

The hotel is just great! No thrills! But you have just enough what you need! The restaurant on the hotel territory is amazing for dinner, amazing French food. For breakfast and lunch if you are lazy, go to the beach bar near the hotel, the owner serves the food himself, therefore, the service and quality are great! The guy even dissuaded us from ordering a fresh lobster saying that it most probably will have a very chewy tail since the animal was huge!)))))

if you have locals on the reception, you won't have a special service, however, if the French are there, relax! You gonna have a great service! The hotel doesn't have a spa! Go to Westin hotel! Spa there is one of the best! The massage girls do there, is sooo relaxing!!!

A lady responsible for entertainments on the island really knows what she is talking about! All boats and places she reserved for us were just great! We really appreciated here sincere advice!

Room Tip: No rooms with ocean view! All the hotel is one store buildings scattered around the territory, each...
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  • Stayed July 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
    • 5 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.
Fredericksburg, Virginia
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

Esmeralda is amazing! I read so many mixed reviews after booking I was almost worried, but that was a waste of time. Everything was absolutely perfect, we are not overly picky, but found nothing to complain about. Leo at the front desk made us feel at home with good conversation and a big smile :)! Even Chris and Bubba who worked on the resort stopped to chat with us when we saw them outside. The pictures on the internet do not do this place justice. Everything was clean and well maintained, the rooms were beautiful. The beach was beautiful. We never made it to Waikiki beach because we just stayed at Coco beach every day. It was very quiet, not crowded, and the service was great. Others said it was expensive, but nothing in St. Martin is cheap! We knew from others reviews that this was the case so there was no surprise. I don't know how much the water was, but it was cold and refreshing. We had our "spot" on the beach that Joann reserved for us (thanks!) when he knew we'd be back that day. It was an amazing trip, we only regret not staying longer!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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
The management and staff of the Esmeralda Resort thank you for your kind review. You truly express what we are all about. We do read very review and pass comments on to our employees as it most definitely improves moral creating the ambition to do their best.
We hope to see 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 #4 of 6 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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