This was our first trip to St. Bart's, and it was a fantastic experience. I would highly recommend the island to anyone who's never been. We stayed at the Emeraude Plage because we had wanted to be right on the beach, and we wanted a place that was relatively reasonably priced (for St. Bart's). We heard about the Emeraude Plage and took a chance, and honestly, we could not have been more impressed with the hotel.
Its location on the island is unbeatable. The hotel is right on St. Jean Beach, and the garden bungalow that we stayed in (which was located the farthest from the beach) was still only 100 feet from the beach at most. St. Jean Beach was also the best beach on the island, in our opinion -- calm water, a wide expanse of sand, and bars/restaurants located right there. We drove to all of the other beaches, and while they were all pretty, they all seemed to lack the amenities that St. Jean Beach had. The Emeraude Plage is within walking distance to all of the shops and restaurants in town as well as to the Eden Rock, and also to La Plage (highly recommended for both their food and the hysterical, impromptu fashion shows).
The bungalow itself was clean and comfortable. The decor is all white. The A/C worked great. The bed was comfortable. The bathroom had a double sink and a rain shower. There was also a small kitchenette and refrigerator, so with the grocery store right down the road, it was easy to stock up on snacks and drinks. We also felt extremely safe the entire time.
St. Bart's was actually the safest island in the Caribbean that we had visited. We never felt uncomfortable anywhere. A rental car is a must for St. Bart's, and the Emeraude Plage has free gated parking. A few recommendations for food -- Maya's (pricey but definitely worth it), Le Vietnam (cheap and fantastic), Le Piment (casual hangout in St. Jean with great food), and Andy's Hideaway for pizza. My wife found the shopping to be better in St. Jean than in Gustavia, as Gustavia mainly had the same luxury, name brand stores you'd find in the States. She thought the boutiques in St. Jean were more unique. The other experience that we'd recommend to everyone is the jet ski tour around the island which leaves from Grand Cul-De-Sac. It's great way to see just how beautiful this island is.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.