Just spent three nights at Le Petite Hotel (12/05). It is beautifully furnished and clean. The bed linens and towels were of good quality and they had very nice European toiletries. Actually, the bed was super-comfortable. The room had both a/c and fan, cable tv, dvd and cd players. The resident manager Stephanie is terrific, and contributes greatly to the experience of staying at this hotel. Fannie covers on Stephanie's day off and she is also very nice and helpful. The hotel is within walking distance to the best restaurants on the Island. The hotel is also right on the beach.
The beach at Grand Case is definitely nice, but not amazing. The water is clear and there aren't a lot of tourists, so its pretty private (think the opposite of Orient beach, which is a zoo). Unfortunately, there is a little bit of trash (mainly empty bottles) and some dog poop around. Also, due to the proximity to the mountains, there tends to be more clounds and showers here. Perfect hotel to stay at, but rent a car so that you can get to better beaches. Again, the beach the hotel is on is definitely nice for a day, but there are better beaches.
The breakfast is also good (the orange juice is fresh squeezed), but not spectacular as some of the other reviewers have noted. For example, the croissant are tasty, but not crisp... probably due to the humidity. Anyway, there are two small "grocery" stores within walking distance with great French treats. We bought baggette, pate, cheese and wine and had a couple French lunches on our balcony. One note, its beautiful out on the balcony, but there isn't much privacy as you can hear and see (if you stand at the end) the people on the adjacent balconies.
No matter how many people tell you it is, the sister hotel (with the pool) is NOT within walking distance. The restaurants, though, ARE within walking distance--but brave the narrow streets and walk on the street, as there is no where to rinse your feet of sand if you walk from the beach. Toward the end of "restaurant row" you can get inexpensive vendor food--we didn't eat there, but it was always packed. Le Cottage and Bistro Caraibe were excellent for dinner and La California was good for lunch. L'escapade was very stylish, but the food was only average, which maked it NOT worth the price.
Many restaurants take one dollar for one euro, which saved us 20% on our bill, but ONLY with cash or travelers checks. There are NO ATMs in Grand Case.
I would definitely recommend this hotel, as it was very comfortable and chic, and Stephanie was so nice and helpful... but just advise you to rent a car, so that you can get to some of the nice beaches. Taxis are a rip-off.
The French side is definitely more low-key than the Dutch side, with the exception of the touristy and crowded Orient Beach. Last year we stayed on the Dutch side, and much preferred staying on the French side this year.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set upon the sand of Grand Case Bay, this is St. Martin's true boutique hotel. Le Petit Hotel has an air of casual luxury, yet assures an impeccable attention to detail. Stylish and thoughtfully appointed rooms feature Balinese furniture, Frette linens, Damana amenities, fully equipped kitchens and marble bathrooms. Sunlight plays upon the surface of the sea while you enjoy soft tropical breezes from your own private terrace. Time to unwind, time to relax, time to wine, time to dine... a mood to remember. Le Petit Hotel... for the lucky few. ... more less