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“A fine option in St. Martin” 3 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 #6 of 8 Hotels in Orient Bay
Westport, Connecticut
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“A fine option in St. Martin”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2009

We just returned from a 5 night stay at Esmerelda in Orient Bay. We booked through American Express and because of our ability to use points for a good portion of the trip, it's not really fair for me to comment on value. The location of the hotel is great, though, and seeing other options in Grand Case and Marigot, I would absolutely choose Orient Bay again. We felt safe there and really enjoyed being on Orient Beach. It wasn't overly crowded the week we were there (March 1-6) and the little "Village" with restaurants and convenience stores was nice to have nearby.

My overall feelings on St. Martin were about a 6 out of 10. The beaches are lovely and the weather was great--hot, but not stifling, but the island itself was nothing all that special. In many cases, we did not feel safe walking at night or even hiking in some locations during the day. If we didn't feel as though someone was about to run us over with a car or motorbike, we felt as though a mugging was possible at any moment. Also, there are no street signs anywhere, and driving directions consisted of "Turn left at the KFC" or "Just stay to the right" all over the island. Rental cars in general were a joke, and we felt lucky that ours didn't just fall apart at some point during the trip.

The hotel was fine--no frills, but comfortable accommodations. The bed was extremely firm and not comfortable in the "Heavenly Bed" sense, but we did get quiet restful sleep every night. The rooms have TV with DISH service, basic patios overlooking a small pool (shared by 4 rooms in our case) and clean, basic bathrooms. Our package included a daily continental breakfast, which was fruit salad, breads, coffee/tea and juice. Again, no frills, but totally adequate. The hotel restaurant, L'Astrolabe, was a total letdown at dinner. For a place claiming to have one of the best chefs on the island, it was quite disappointing. The service was excruciatingly slow and the food was average and totally under-seasoned. With the exception of one or two meals, that was our overall take on dining in St. Martin--slow, overrated and far too expensive.

We did have a GREAT lunch at Tropicana in the Marigot Marina area. The owner was extremely nice and his presence made a clear difference in the level of service we received from start to finish. We also had a great dinner at La Pimient (sp?), a small brick oven pizzeria in the Orient Bay village. It was reasonably priced (by comparison to other spots) and the food was fresh and delicious.

In general, we would not choose to vacation in St. Martin again. There was too little luxury for us, but if what you're looking for is a fine, warm weather getaway, it might do the trick. If you do decide to go, Esmeralda is as good a hotel choice as any other.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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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258 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
columbia sc
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2009

Had a wonderful stay; the staff was courteous; our room was spacious and clean and we were a short walk to a beautiful beach and charming bar and grill . There was a " grocery store" one resort over with good wines and other food and drink items for the room. You need a rental car to get around to other restaurants and other sea resort areas. We also found some local restaurants ( " lolos") where the food was good and inexpensive. Have a super time!

Stayed January 2009, 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.
Philadelphia, PA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2009

This was our second visit to St. Martin. The first time we stayed in the Green Cay Villas - also on Orient Beach.

We love St. Martin and will be returning again. The food, beaches and people are terrific.

The high points of Esmeralda:
-room clean
-felt safe
-nice beach
-great staff at beach (Coco Beach, David)
-Astrolabe good for dinner and breakfast

The low points of Esmeralda:
-bed/pillows not comfortable
-whole resort could use a little face lift
-front desk staff not overly friendly

Note: This website says that Esmeralda is located in Marigot and it is not. It is located at Orient Bay.

  • Liked — The proximity to the beach.
  • Disliked — The uncomfortable bed.
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NJ
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2008

Our second visit to this lovely place in 2 years - very clean, wonderful staff. Only negatives: almost no pressure in the shower on a regular basis (and the toilets as well at times). Had one of the few ocean view rooms and what a view! All rooms have a kitchenette fully stocked with utensils, etc. Again, extremely clean, friendly. Walk in minutes to a lovely beach and ocean front cafe. On-site restaurant very nice but they tend to pay more attention to local regulars than hotel guests. 5 minute drive to Grand Case with multiple great restaurants.

Stayed December 2008
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New York, NY
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2008

Were a couple in our 20s from NY and Pittsburgh and stayed at the Esmeralda Resort from November 14-17. Reading some of the reviews I was a little worried about the resort, but rest assured we had an amazing time. From the very friendly bellhop showing us to our rooms and getting us a cab on a different day), to the truly remarkable staff at Coco Beach (David was on top of everything and Franc was always ready with some fresh coffee in the morning) to of course the beautiful beach. The grounds of the resort were well kept and while we only used it once, the pool right outside the patio was also very clean. During the day the wonderful housekeeping staff (who we never saw since we were always on the beach) kept our room nice and clean. As far as the room goes, we thought it was great, nice high ceilings, convenient kitchenette, plenty of closet space and the AC kept the temperature perfect. The beach itself was also very clean, no seaweed in the water. Walking along Orient Beach and seeing the other hotel’s setups I truly think Coco Beach was a step above everyone. At Coco Beach it was nice and peaceful and it was not as bunched up as some of the others. The village was a quick 5 minute walk from Esmeralda and there was a nice grocery store along with a few restaurants. We had dinner the first night at Safari and then our last night at another restaurant in the plaza. Both were great. Also across the street from Esmeralda is another hotel called the Plantation. They have a nice outdoor bar that at night is a nice and relaxing place to grab a drink or two before going to bed. We had a few drinks at the restaurant at the Esmeralda, L’Astrolabe?, but did not eat there so I cannot review their food. The drinks were ok, but the clientele was a little on the older side. I would definitely recommend the Esmeralda Resort to anyone and would jump at the chance to stay there again.



Now for a couple of tips and pointers. First off, speaking of tips, there are no ATMs whatsoever nearby. None at the resort, none at the village, the closest we hear was in Marigot. We did not know this and on our last night there did not have cash to tip our waitress. The restaurant did not allow you to add a tip to the check either. We felt absolutely terrible about this, so always make sure to have some spare cash on you. Next pointer, Orient Beach does not have much of a nightlife, the bars close around midnight. So if you require a bustling nightlife, we would suggest to stay at a different part of St. Martin. We wanted calm and relaxed and certainly got that. Third pointer, if you want to do any excursions to the surrounding islands, be sure to plan them ahead of your visit. Lastly, for what is worth, we did not like Phillipsburg. Now we did go there on a day when there was no cruise ship, but regardless it seemed to “toursitee” for us with bad souvenir shops and not much beauty in the actual city layout. If you only can choose one, definitely go with Marigot as the city to explore. Maybe if you want to sit in a cheesy casino Phillipsburg is more up your sleeve, but definitely check out Marigot.

  • Liked — So many things: location, how well kept it was, friendly staff members
  • Disliked — L'Astrolabe could use a bit of an upgrade, but many others nearby to choose from
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Boston
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2008

My wife and I booked the trip through JetBlue - very reasonable. We had an ocean front villa which was basically a very nice room with an adequate kitchenette and a nice porch. No view really but very short distance to the beach. We did have a very nice large pool all to ourselves. They said it was clothing optional and it was but not on the beach - if so inclined within the resort, at the pool, on your deck, etc. People were discrete.The food service was outstanding and the staff was very responsive to out requests in every way. We'd go back in a heartbeat. Great beach and close to everything.
.

  • Liked — Privacy
  • Disliked — liked everything
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2008

We stayed at the hotel for 5 nights at the end of October 2008. The room was clean and a nice size. The hotel is in a great locaiton that is seconds from the beach. Orient beach is beautiful and the hotel gives you free beach chairs.

The staff was not that helpful and our room had a leak and a hot water problem which was not fixed that promptly. Also, the phone cards sold in the hotel lobby are a complete rip off. Do NOT buy one.

We rented a car which I highly recommend and drove to Grand Case for dinner several nights. We live in NYC and have eaten at several top restaurants around the world. We ate at La Pressior which was fabulous, great food and service. We also ate at L' Auberge Gourmande and were not impressed at all with the presentation or quality of the food. I would not waste money going to this restaurant. We ate lunch at lolos BBQ which was great. The food was wonderful and very cheap.

Overall, we had a very enjoyable experience, except for the mosquitos. The island clearly has a mosquito problem which we found to be extremely unpleasant and ended up with several large itchy red bug bites. I would highly recommend using bug spray at any outside dinners.

  • Stayed October 2008
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 #6 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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