I found out about Chez Martine on this website, and after reading the great reviews, I decided to book a room for my vacation to St. Martin from March 6th through the 10th, 2005.
In all of my prior trips to the island (4 previous trips), I stayed down the road at Grand Case Beach Club. I love GCBC, but from now on, I will definitely be staying at Chez Martine. The two hotels are similar, but the main differences are size and cost. As for size, I was glad to escape the feel of the big resort; additionally, I thought it was much more chic staying above a five-star restaurant. The biggest difference, though, was cost. Chez Martine cost substantially less than any other fine accomodation on the island.
But Chez Martine deserves more than a comparison to GCBC; it merits its own detailed description. Past the staircase and the hallway leading to the second-floor rooms, there's a very nice balcony which faces the rooms. The provincial French coloring and the nice view - with the mimosa trees, the small mountain and the beach all within sight - capture the what I took away as the essence of Chez Martine: the perfect upscale blend of French culture and Carribean spirit.
We got the suite, which I strongly recommend even though I would have loved any of the other rooms. The most striking aspect of the room when I first walked in was how shiny the light green, tiled floor was. We dropped our bags on the couch, and walked around the suite to see the other amenities. The bathroom was very clean, there was a small refrigerator (more than enough staying in Grand Case), a big closet, plates and every other dinner wear imaginable, an adapter for US electric appliances (there was also two US-style sockets on the wall), and everything else you'd expect to find (lamps, etc.). Chez Martine does not have everything you're probably trying to escape (TV, alarm clock, phone).
The more intangible qualities of the room were what really set Chez Martine apart in our minds. We arrived on a Sunday, and most everything was closed, so we went to the local supermarket and picked up some crackers, some cookies, and some water. We just sat out on our private balcony which offered a phenomenal sunset. Chez Martine has a good beach, so at dusk we decided to walk up and down Grand Case's beach. Coming back, we washed the sand off of our feet and lay down to relax after a full day of traveling. Since the bed is very firm and extremely soporific, and at some point I woke up and realized that we had been sleeping with all of the lights on.
Waking up every morning was wonderful. The waves on the beach seemed to crash louder in the morning, and the shades to the outside seem to block the perfect amount of light. There were competing motivations in getting up, though. As much as we wanted to stay in bed and get a little more sleep, we equally wanted to start the day with breakfast of French bread, croissants, chocolate croissants, strong coffee, a huge selection of teas, meat and cheese and then make it to the beach. We were always inclined to opt for the latter.
Coming back to Chez Martine after the beach was great. There seemed to be not even a grain of sand that we had previously tracked in, fresh towels, and a sharply made bed. It was great to shower and relax on the bed before getting ready to go out. And after a hard day at the beach, it was nice to know that going out entailed no traveling since Grand Case is the place to dine out. We simply leisurely got ready and walked downstairs to have the nicest dining in the Caribbean all within a two-minute walk.
Completely wonderful and very highly recommended.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.