We traveled in August 2013 with a group of 11 and had a great time at Le Domaine. Our group was part of an all-inclusive package so I started the trip with a bit of hesitation as the majority of our group had never traveled to serene locations and had expectations of the all-inclusive mindset of prior travels to Mexico and the likes. I personally was not let down and enjoyed the quiet, calm and natural beauty of St. Martin and Le Domaine and would travel back without second thought. The reviews were a bit mixed on TripAdvisor so I was not sure what to expect, however, pre-arrival communication was always promptly and thoroughly tended to so I figured it would work out well. Traveling in the low season, we knew occupancy would be low and that in some regards also affects staffing, provisioning, etc. but we were never without.
Location: Le Domaine is set in a beautiful cove on the French side of the island. After arriving, we immediately gathered our belongings and car (from Leisure Rental Car) and headed to the resort. The property is about a good 45 minute drive from the airport so be sure to plan time accordingly for your departure. Anse Marcel is over a very steep hill and when we arrived, it was during torrential down pour, however, it made for an exciting adventure! The property is secluded but offers all one needs for a tropical escape. Le Domaine is adjacent to the Radisson Blu, which in itself seems like a nice property as well but we preferred the more authentic look and feel of Le Domaine yet the Radisson's pool was gorgeous. In the area there is the marina with a couple of restaurants and 2 general/gift shops selling the basics. Restaurants included Da Tony (Italian), Victoria's (bar/restaurant) and Calypso (bar/restaurant), which had amazing pizza and live music on Wednesday nights.
Property: The hotel is spread out over lush grounds and with low rise buildings (not exceeding 4 stories) and has well manicured gardens with tropical landscape. The main central walkway leads straight from the lobby but one must venture off this path to reach the other areas of the property as the main walkway leads you to an offsite beach bar (not part of the property). The main dining area (La Table du Marche) was where we took our breakfast and dinners. Leroy's K'fe was the 2nd dining option and only open for lunch but only served alfresco as the building the housed this venue seemed closed. There is a main beach bar with ample seating and also Ti Snack which was at the edge of the property and not clear whether it was part of the hotel or not. The pool was very warm and clean but we did not use it due to the beautiful beach and calm, warm ocean waters. There was also an onsite fitness center that was never in use so it was great for private morning workouts. The fitness center had wonderful a/c and music, but towels were not readily available nor was water. The open air lobby was only visited during registration, check out and as offsite meeting point as there were no amenities other than a computer for those that needed it. During the night it should be noted that walkways can be a bit dark and many of the lights burnt out so just exercise caution and common sense.
Staff: All the staff was warm and welcoming and spoke well enough English for us to be able to communicate with all of them. Common sense and cultural understanding goes a long way when traveling and it is no different. Some of our party carried the "American attitude" and they experienced resistance to some requests. I never personally experienced this when making simple requests such as additional towels, directions, etc. Due to it being low season, the hotel seemed minimally staffed which is understandable yet I didn't feel that this detracted in any way in terms of service though service could be sporadic at times - inconsistent housekeeping times, limited bar staff, etc. The wait and bar staff were very gracious and dealt with all of us with composure and appreciation.
Rooms: We stayed in a garden room in building 6 and felt it was ample in terms of space and accommodation. Wifi is offered throughout the resort and connection points were plenty though it did sometimes go in an out, but the room connection was fine for what we needed - even able to Skype back to the US for work. The rooms had plenty of closet and storage space so everything was tucked and put away nicely. The toilet is in a separate room off the entrance, which I prefer anyway so some can get ready while others tend to business. The vanity/shower area was open to the room but this wasn't a problem for us and I actually liked it. The only downfall is the tub/shower as it has tendencies to leak into the room if not careful with the shower head attachment. There was a standard 110V outlet in the vanity area that easily charged iPhones and other outlets available for use with an adapter. The A/C worked relentlessly and was a great respite after days in the sun - it was a true work horse! We had 3 in the room so a rollaway bed was brought in and easily accommodated with minimal impact or rearrangement of furniture. The room also featured a flat panel TV, refrigerator and furnished patio area. Ice was available on the 2nd floor in building 5, so just a 1 minute walk away. Buildings featured elevators for those that needed it. Some of the stairs were in disrepair but they were working on them actively while we were there. Parking was adjacent to our room in a semi-secure lot and safety was never any issue. Beds as some pointed out were a bit hard, but we asked for extra padding and pillows (via a note in French to housekeeping - thank you Google translator!) and it made it more doable. After hours in the water and sun we slept soundly anyway.
Food: As we were part of an all-inclusive, our 3 meals per day and drinks were all included. Breakfast was a buffet in the open air La Table du Marche and open from 7a-10a. The fare was the same everyday, but varied enough to be inventive. There were eggs (premade and made to order), cold cuts, bacon, potatoes, fruit, breads/pastries, yogurts, juices, coffee, condiments (jams, butter, syrup, honey, nutella), made to order crepes and hard boiled eggs as well. Lunch was only served at Leroy's K'fe and we were able to take an appetizer, main and dessert. The filet mignon was one of the best I've had! Service during lunch could be a bit slow at times to if looking for an express meal, it'd be advisable to just order one item. Dinner was a set 3-course menu and differed daily. All meals were enjoyable and we found out toward the end that we could inquire as to the proposed set menu and make reasonable changes to accommodate preferences on the morning of. This worked well as we had a birthday and the manager offered to have a cake made for our group - outstanding! The only disconcerting meal was an appetizer of scallop carpaccio, which many did not care for. Other than that - all the food was served expertly and delightfully presented and portioned well (not large, but more than sufficient). Drinks could be taken at the beach bar during the day from 10a-5p and we were pleased with the selection - mixed drinks, beers, wines, sodas, bottled waters, etc. All meals were served with bottled water as well (still and sparkling). Toward the end, they did start to run low on some items but we worked through that without issue. Ti Snack seems to be part of the property but the first night it was unclear if the drinks could be had there. Rashid, the proprietor of the bar, clarified and it indeed was part of our package only when the beach bar was closed. Rashid is a great bartender and very social and personable so we always took a pre-dinner drink with him. He also make amazing wraps and other food though it was not part of our package so it needed to be purchased (prices were reasonable at about $9+ per item).
All in all, we had a great time! Le Domaine is set in an idyllic location and we rarely left the resort except for an great hike to Baie des Petites Cayes - an hour hike over the mountain. We also explored and went to Pinel Island (gorgeous!) and went to Maho Beach one day to see the planes land and takeoff - can't miss! The property is beautiful but there are some signs of deferred maintenance if one wants to focus on those. We would go back without hesitation. For us, it was our way of sharing our love for travel and French culture with some of our family members who have never experienced that before and it fused the best of that plus the island relaxation many yearn for. We are fans of Tahiti and while this is definitely not Tahiti, it is also much more cost effective and has slightly more to offer.
Until next time!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the North of the Island of Saint Martin, in the FrenchWest Indies, in the magnificent bay of Anse Marcel, the Domainede Lonvilliers is a blend of Creole charm and refinement.The Hotel consists of 5 buildings in the Creole style in the heart of alush tropical garden, bordered by a beautiful white sandy beach.Our restaurants :La Table du Marché, Leroys Kfé, the Beach club and the Beach Barin addition to our Ti Snack welcome you every day in a heavenlysetting at the edge of the Caribbean sea.Close by, you will find a charming little leisure port/marina withshops and boutiques.The relaxed but exclusive atmosphere of the Domaine de Lonvilliersinvites you to experience a unique environment. The Domaine deLonvillier is the ideal place for your relaxing holidays in an idyllicsetting. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Le Domaine De Lonvilliers Hotel Anse Marcel
- Le Domaine Hotel
- Le Domaine Beach Resort & Spa St Maarten-St Martin/Anse Marcel