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“Quiet, relaxing stay” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Orient Bay Hotel

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Orient Bay Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Mont Vernon I | French Cul de Sac, Orient Bay 97150, St Maarten-St Martin   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 8 Hotels in Orient Bay
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Quiet, relaxing stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2008

March 22, 2008

This was our fourth trip to St. Martin. The Orient Bay Hotel is lovely - quiet, away from traffic and noisy tourists. You must rent a car though - the hotel isn't on a beach, and is not walking distance from anything (unless you enjoy walking far distances in blistering heat!). We used Best Deal, located at the airport - and they really do give you the best deal compared to the other car rental places.

Orient Bay is not all inclusive, so you are on your own for meals. Which suited us just fine - we had done all-inclusives before and were disappointed. Hairdryers and shampoo are also not included.

The rooms (or villas, to be more accurate) come with a kitchenette stocked with dishes, pots and pans, coffee maker and toaster, utensils, etc. There is a French bakery at the end of the street - fresh croissants for breakfast! There are plenty of grocery stores in the nearby towns to stock up on staples. I recommend eating out for dinner though - tons of fabulous restaurants all over the island. Sure bets are Au Grain De Sel in Cul-de-Sac (5 minute drive from the hotel) and anything in Grand Case.

The hotel doesn't have a restaurant. You can have a Continental breakfast by the pool though for 10 Euros - must be booked the day before, and is only available from 7 - 9:30 am.

Rooms are clean, but there is no housecleaning service. Towels are changed on Wednesdays and that's it. Housecleaning services are 12 - 24 Euros per hour, depending on the size of room you have.

Beds are firm and comfy. And the place is quiet - perfect if you want to get away from noise and pollution and parties. I always get the best sleep when I'm in St. Martin!

There are two pools at the hotel, but were rarely used while we were there - why would they be, when there are over 30 different beaches to explore! Our favourite is Bay Rouge - clean, soft sand, not crowded or touristy. Orient Bay is the most popular - which means crowds, noise, music, and unfortunately, lots of garbage on the beach (cigarette butts, plastic cups and straws, and beer bottles everywhere. Yuck.)

Speaking of beaches, I am annoyed that I had to pay 30 Euros to rent our beach towels (which you could exchange daily for clean ones) - I've never had to pay for towel rentals before, so this was an expensive addition. So bring your own beach towels if you don't want the added expense (buying beach towels in St. Martin is not any cheaper - we checked!)

You can also rent beach towels and chairs/umbrellas on a daily basis from most beaches. But 15 - 25 Euros a day gets expensive. This time around, we rented chairs, an umbrella and a cooler from Pack Light Vacation Rentals (not allowed to put a link here, so Google the name) for $25 US for the week. Much cheaper and way more convenient. Craig meets you at your desired location with the equipment to make the whole process easy.

To sum up, we enjoyed our stay at the Orient Bay. It was affordable (slightly cheaper than all-inclusives at an average 3 star resort). I've posted photos so you can see what the place is like. I'm a little ticked off about the towel rental and no housecleaning, but other than that, it's great. Definitely not a party hotel - go to Cuba if that's what you're looking for.

  • Liked — It was away from crowded, noisy tourist locations
  • Disliked — No housecleaning, having to pay for towel rentals
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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13 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Toronto
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2008

We stayed at the Orient Bay Hotel for March Break 2008. This was our first time back in 13 years. We had our honeymoon on the island, and now with our 6 year old, we returned. We chose the Orient Bay Hotel because we know that Orient Bay is the best known beach on the island. It still is a great place to hang out, but we discovered that there are many more beaches that are excellent for kids - not so much surf rolling in, and had good snorkelling too. I recommend Galleon Bay, Pinel Island, and Friar's Bay for beautiful calm water, families will enjoy. We rented a car to get around. Traffic in some areas was terrible, and parking in either Marigot or Phillipsburg is difficult. Definately go to Grand Case for dinner, I recommend on Tuesday nights. There is a little outdoor carnival going on at that time.
As for the hotel, don't expect much. Towels are changed only on Wednesdays. No hair dryers, no shampoo. Beds are firm but comfortable enough. The place is clean, but you would have to sweep the floor, wash your dishes and make your own beds for the week. You could pay extra to have housekeeping come in! (That was a first for me to see that) We prepared some of our own meals which worked out well for our 6 year old.
Finally, one foolish mistake by us, our sliding door to our unit must be manually locked each night for security. On the Thursday night of our stay (6th night ), we forgot to lock the door. We discovered the next morning our camera stolen (6 beautiful days of pics gone) and $200 US stolen. We slept upstairs and the thief came in to the lower portion of the unit. We reported the theft but there was not much you could do. The hotel does have security - a night watchman but obviously they were not aware of anything. I leave the island feeling sad that this has happened, and I have learned a tough lesson. Thank God all that was taken was just those things and not our ID. We also are lucky we did not get hurt when the theft occured.
We were able to purchase a replacement camera on the Friday of our trip, and took some quick pictures. Please see the enclosed pics for your review.

  • Liked — Proximity to Orient Bay and Grand Case
  • Disliked — Minimal services available such as housekeeping and inadequate security of property at night.
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2006

The hotel is just north of Orient Beach, a brisk 6-minute downhill walk (I timed it), or can drive & park.

We stayed in a 2-bedroom villa which sleeps 4 only. Combined kitchen & living area, front patio with table & 4 chairs, back patio with no furniture. Phone & satellite TV. Note: No hair dryer, & U.S. models don't work here.

One bedroom up several steps & the other on the 2nd floor, each with a double (queen?) bed & bathroom with sink & shower. One shared toilet in a closet-sized room between the bedrooms. Rooms plain but clean.

This property is on a steep hillside, so lots of steps. Grounds are attractively landscaped, free parking close to unit, two small pools, one with tables for optional breakfast. Manager is very friendly and he & many guests are French. French bakery a few minutes walk away.

Orient Beach is the island's best -- sand (not too hot), shallow, 1.5 miles long, lots of beach bars & cafes. Can rent loungers and water sports equipment. Southern one-third is nude (nudist resort there), rest is topfree but with occasional nude walkers. Round trip walk takes one hour.

Best restaurants are at Grand Case, a few minutes drive away on western side. Le Cottage Restaurant highly recommended.

Very good value and location for Orient Beach. Quiet and pleasant atmosphere with French ambiance.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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ny,ny
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2006

We stayed at the oreint bay hotel during the first week of december 2005. This was our second stay there in three years.

Although we paid for Le Jardin de Chevris, the affiliated group of studios, we were actually given a duplex apartment in the orient bay hotel for the same price.

francois at reception was extremely helpful with all our needs. i did not get that anti-american, french arrogance that i have experienced at other french establishments.

the place is very basic. its good if you are looking to stay on the french side of st martin for less $$$ and looking to escape americans. it is not good if you are looking for amenities. it as extremely quiet and private.

there is a great patisserie down the road with wonderful coffee and breads, which we had for breakfast every morning. we had a great dinner on the road to the hotel at sol e luna.

feel free to write me at akazin74@yahoo.com with any questions about the hotel or st martin (been there many times)

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Ottawa, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2006

Just got back from one week at Orient Bay Hotel. We stayed in a two bedroom Villa which was great as we were travelling with an eight year old. It was a lot of space for the money, air conditioned and very clean and comfortable. We also found that there was always lots of parking and the gardens are very beautiful. The kitchen was well equipped and there was even a charcol bar-b-que. We ate breakfast on the terrace most mornings after a quick run down to the local bakery for fresh baguette and croissants. There are two small pools on-site and both were very well maintained. You can walk to Orient Beach in about 10 minutes and it is not a difficult walk. You can also drive to Boo-Boo Jam's and park there. We liked this end of Orient Beach as it is much less busy then the other end of the beach. Also don't forget to check out Pinel Island... it is very nice.

This property is a sister property to The Jardin de Chevrise. We spent our first night there and the rest of our stay at the Orient Bay Hotel. The Jardin's seemed fine but we really appreciated the extra space in the 2 bedroom villa.

We cannot say enough about the staff. They were very friendly and helped us arrange a great sailboat tour. When we arrived there was a delicous bottle of local rum punch and juice to go with it... just what you need when you get off the plane!

  • Stayed January 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2004

We arrived in late October 2003. I can say the place is charming, clean, and good service. It was as described. I must say that its about a 10-minute walk to the beach, Orient Beach, and not "on the beach" as some would believe. That didn't matter, because we rented a car (which they arranged for us, $200 for the week) and drove to all the beaches.

The room was nice, a villa. Not luxury, but that's what we wanted. It was clean and the housekeeping excellent. The staff was friendly and had lots to tell us about places to go.

It really felt like being in Europe there. I recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed October 2003
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2004

We just got back from a week in St. Martin. We were booked at the Orient Bay Hotel. When we arrived we were told that they did not have the rooms we booked--the Mezzanine Villa-- and offered us the Studio instead. We looked at the room and it was dirty, in poor condition (broken stairs) and was located 1 block from the main hotel with a view of a broken-up parking lot. They would not even give a refund for the difference in cost! This was not a short-term substitution. It was to be for the entire 8 days of our stay. When we declined, and asked if they had arrangements with any other hotels on the island for overbooking problems the manager became angry and said that we should be satisfied with their offer. We were left to walk-in the rain-to find another hotel on our own. The pictures shown on their web site don't look anything like what we saw! I would advise anyone thinking about staying there to think twice! Also, it is not located "just steps from the beach" as advertised---it is at least a 15 to 20 minute walk down a very steep dirt path.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Orient Bay Hotel

Address: Mont Vernon I | French Cul de Sac, Orient Bay 97150, St Maarten-St Martin
Location: Caribbean > St Maarten-St Martin > Saint-Martin > Orient Bay
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 8 Hotels in Orient Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Orient Bay Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 30
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