My partner and I stayed in this hotel in July 2009 for our honeymoon - I actually feel a bit guilty not to have written a review on this - for us - perfect experience for such a long time, but we do not want too many people to come...
We had an Ocean View Cottage (D 16 I think) with direct access to the beach. We would very much recommend this as the beach is just so exceptional (see below); to stay in a garden villa would in our view take away much of the charm. To be honest, we could only afford this since the resort was quite deserted in summer and we got a special deal by phoning them (try it). It was still expensive, but come on - this is St. Barthélemy.
As there were so few people, we had no problems with privacy whatsoever, and no other guests passed next to our door (as some other visitors have complained here). The only disadvantage of being "on our own" was the fact that the beach "bar" which looked nice was closed during our stay. We very much liked the understated elegance of our room, all in white, very clean and with nice details. Perhaps it might be a bit too simple for those guests more used to "high-tech" facilities (as far as I can recall, there were e.g. no CD or DVD-players in the rooms etc.); in general I would assume that the hotel tends to suit "European" tastes better than "American".
We found the service polite and very professional, i.e. not too visible in order not to intrude but always there when we needed them. On the other hand, if you highly appreciate when the staff calls you by your first name on your first evening etc., this might not be what you are looking for.
During our stay, there was no possiblity to dine or have lunch at the hotel - perhaps it is possible to some extent in high season. The kitchen - perhaps the only negative point - was not very sophisticated. However, there are some good restaurants not too far away, and a wonderful little shop serving truly delicious, home-made patés, cakes etc. just down the road (but with Parisian prices, yep).
Of course, the spectacular thing about this place, as mentioned above, is the incredible - and I mean incredible - beach. My boyfriend has this knack for "turquoise" water, and even he had not seen anything similar, apart from the Maledives. The great merit of this hotel is that its refined simplicity refrains from all unncessessary elements - like a pool - that could distract your attention from the magnificent setting. I hardly ever felt so little urge to do anything at all. However, every morning we got up around 6 o'clock (jet lag was helping), just to see the sun rise over the sea.
Of course, it is highly recommendable to rent a car and visit the other, also wonderful beaches on St. Barth, but we still believe that St. Jean, perhaps together with the Great Salines Beach, is the best of them all.
And a final word on the location: St. Barthélemy is a beautiful, very safe, high-class but admittedly slightly snobbish and sterile island - a perfect place to relax and pamper yourself. Try to ignore the bills - it simply makes no sense to look for a "good deal" here. If you want to complement this experience with a place that is more down-to-earth, colourful, and complex, and beautiful in a very different way, combine one week in St. Barth with a week in Guadeloupe (it helps if you know some French).
- Also Known As:
- Emeraude Plage Hotel
- Emeraude Plage St Jean