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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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