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“Charming resort steps away from the beach”
Review of Esmeralda Resort

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Esmeralda Resort
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Orient Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 4, 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Esmeralda Resort on Orient Beach from 4/29 to 5/7. It was our first time to stay at this resort, but it won’t be the last. The “villas” are one-story buildings with four rooms each, and each building has its own pool. You rarely see your neighbors, and not many people use the pools, but it’s nice to sit on your deck overlooking the pool and enjoy the scenery, read, drink coffee or cocktails… We had a “basic” room, but it really fulfilled all our needs. It was large with a king-size bed, two night stands, chest of drawers, flat screen TV with satellite, closet with shelves as well as space for hanging garments. There was also a small dining table with two chairs. The bathroom looked like it had been renovated recently with bright aqua tiles, a tub with rain shower head, large mirror and hair dryer. The water closet was separate. The combination safe is also located in the bathroom. There was one day, after a huge storm the previous night, when we had no water for some time during the day, but we were at the beach and wouldn’t even have noticed if another guest hadn’t told us. By late afternoon, we had water…and always plenty of hot water and good pressure. There were always plenty of bath towels, and they provide beach towels as well. We had a kitchenette that was all relatively new. It had a nice stainless steel sink, coffee maker (with filters, but no coffee…bring some), microwave, plenty of counter space, and new dishes/silverware. They also provide dish soap, sponge and tea towel. We had maid service every day, and they did a really good job. Also, the AC was great!

Continental breakfast (tea or coffee, French bread, croissants, juice) which was included in the price of the room was by the pool at the restaurant, L’Astrolabe. They also had a menu with breakfast items for an additional cost. I had scrambled eggs, hash browns and bacon one morning (8€), and it was excellent. The hotel lobby is open and airy. The clerks at the desk were always friendly and helpful. They have a car rental agent as well as a concierge to help you book activities. In the lobby area, you can connect to their Wifi at no charge with your own device or for a fee if you use the computer provided.

Included with the price of your stay is use of two beach chairs and an umbrella at Coco Beach Club. The chairs have nice thick pads on them, and each set of chairs with umbrella is spaced far enough away from the next to give you a feeling of privacy…not true on the south end of the beach. The people at Coco are friendly and helpful, especially the “Beach Boy,” Ty. While we were there, he was the only beach waiter at Coco and did an exceptional job of making sure everyone was taken care of properly. He’s friendly, courteous, personable, smiling, efficient…he’s gotcha covered…need I say more?? The food and service at Coco’s restaurant was excellent as well. Coco is on the north end of Orient Beach, so it doesn’t get quite as much tourist and cruise boat traffic as the south end… which we saw as a plus! There’s always lots of activity both on the water (parasail, jet skis, wind surfing, etc.) and on the beach. Something for everyone.

We had a wonderful time at Esmeralda and are planning to stay there on our next visit to St. Martin. Perfect!

Room Tip: Coffee maker & filters in room, but no coffee...bring your own.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Pat D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 25, 2012

We just returned from a 7 day/night stay at the Esmeralda Resort and have a few complaints as well. First off replacing doors does not constitute a complete renovation. Yes the toilet and shower head were new but that was about all the renovation unit 484 had. We also had stained and dirty linens, towels that were not replaced daily and the same old tile on the floors as was there the past 7 years when we first visited. Even the drapes on the unit were the same dirty ones as they were 7 years ago. The free breakfast at L' Astrolobe in the morning was skimpy but the pastries (french bread toasted and the croissants) were excellent. Anything beyond that and the mixed cereal in the glass jar were extra. As far as the beach boy Ty goes, as long as I tipped him $10.00 a day, he was pleasant and made sure we were taken care of with beverages and food on the beach. We spent a lot of time on Cocoa Beach and spent a fortune in food and beverages too. I would think this would have made anyone happy even without a tip. Esmeralda staff and management should not mislead their customers on a complete renovation advertisement when little more than the bare minimum was done at the resort. One good thing is that they finally replaced the air conditioners in each unit so at least those worked well and cooled our unit. There needs to be screens on the french doors so that the cats and dogs do not come in. The cats and dogs that live there are fun to feed but do pose a problem when people who have fed them leave. Fortunately, they are part of the charm that is left on the Esmeralda Resort.

Room Tip: Ask for a room or unit that is completely renovated- not one they are just starting on. I would hop...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Wendy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2012

First, look at the photos I attached, they back up they following: There is no excuse for stained sheets, stained blanket, old, old, old, did I say old sunken-in mattress, black hair on the walls and floor, and 1960's pink and orange decor, with broken mis-matched furniture. We have traveled the caribbean and lived in the USVI for almost two years so we have a good feel for the caribbean standard. But what gets me is how do you go to what is called a 4 star resort, who lists the room price at $400 USD per night and then get a room like we did? Help Hotel Impossible! Ok so the room was old, but that is no excuse for not being clean and why would any pay even $50 for this treatment. How much can it cost to put in modern drapes, bedspread, and a blanked and sheets that are not stained? That is all it would take until the proverbial "hotel remodel." Had the sheets been stain free, updated simple decor, this would be a much better review. This property should be ashamed to allow anyone to stay in rooms such as these. And yes, management really did not care. So at the end of the day management can respond and say they are in the process of remoldeling (their advertizing said they already remodeled), but the fact that they consider this room presentable simply says this resort is way below standards. Further, we booked the room through American Express Travel who will now think twice about booking at this resort after being told it was remodeled.

Positive points: This is on Orient Beach and is considered a nice beach and a lot of nudity, so it is popular area. We left our safe open one day and nothing was taken :) No charge for parking. We felt safe in the area even after dark. The grounds are ok.

Other points to consider: No ocean views as it appeared all units are a couple minute walk to the beach. On the Atlantic coast so stronger winds and larger waves. As other reviews stated before us, the French are not friendly so don't expect warm communications. The continental breakfast is very skimpy as they really try to get you to buy a real breakfast.

In sum, book elsewhere because there is no excuse for not spending a few hundred dollars to give guests expecting four star resort this seriously sub-standard room!

Room Tip: A taxi will cost easily $25 USD to go anywhere. We rented a car for 3 days for under $100. See the...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank jcanberra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2012

We have been to the Esmeralda for seven consecutive years, and have just returned from our 7th visit on 17 April 2012. We stayed for 9 nights, and this year we have been very pleased with their upgrades and renovations. The villas have all been freshly painted inside and out, and the kitchens have been upgraded. The stove top ranges are gone, but they have been replaced with nice microwave ovens. The deck furniture as well as the pool furniture is all new, and the showers have been renovated with new large shower heads. The exterior lighting has been enhanced and the grounds are well lit after dark. The best upgrade was the air conditioning. It was excellent for keeping the temperature, and was a quiet as as any I've seen/heard.
We would recommend the Esmeralda for those that want to stay on Orient Bay. It is a great beach for walking or just lounging, and there are ample restaurants in Orient Village to visit without having to rent a car. We walked the beach every night, and felt very comfortable doing so.
The rooms are clean, and the staff is extremely friendly and helpful. We really don't need much, but they were/are attentive when you ask for anything. They have a car rental agent on the property as well as a concerige on site during the day to help with local information. The Esmeralda has a nice little book exchange - leave one, take one. I usually take one or two books, and have ample to chose from when I finish the ones I take along.
Bottom line; it was and is a great place to stay. We had no problems, and will definitely return...

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Claude419
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2012

My husband and I stayed at The Esmeralda Resort a few weeks ago and really liked the property. We began our trip by staying on the very busy Dutch side for a few days and then went off on a cruise. By the time we arrived at Esmeralda we were craving a quiet, relaxing resort - which is exactly what we found.

Our room was nice and big with an efficiency kitchen (that no one seems to use - we didn't either) and new furnishings. This is not a new property, but it has been nicely updated. There are a few tell-tale signs of the older property (a cracked tile here or there) but our room was bright, clean and comfortable. We especially liked having a private pool right outside our door. The resort is comprised of one story villas (that house 3 guest rooms) and share a private pool. It's great not having to take an elevator to your room and activities, and no thumping of other guests over your head - just slide open the patio door and step out to the terrace and pool. Just a short walk down the hillside path is Orient Beach with all the beach-party atmosphere you could hope for.

One of the advantages of staying at Esmeralda is it's affiliation with the Coco Beach Club on Orient Beach. You get the use of 2 lounge chairs, an umbrella and beach towels, free of charge. (Yes, a tip for the beach boy is expected.) We enjoyed eating at the Coco Beach Cafe, perched right on the beach, toes in the sand, and great people watching. Pizza and beer was a great inexpensive choice. You can also use your room card to charge food and beverages at several beach clubs along the bay. We took along a backpack, bought a bucket of beer (san the bucket) 6 bottles for $10 at a cafe down the beach and took them back to the room (equipped with refrigerator) and enjoyed them by our own quiet pool. Breakfast was ok - loved the croissants. We had a nice dinner at L'Astrolabe -again quiet and relaxed. There was nice easy-jazz entertainment Saturday evening.

After reading some of the last reviews, I have to put my two cents in about the service expectations at French destinations. Whether visiting France or a French island, I never expect a warm and gregarious encounter. I find the French to be private and reserved, but nice enough if you start out with a smiling Bonjour or Bonsoir. We didn't encounter any issues with the staff while staying at Esmeralda, but then again, we didn't ask for much assistance.

For more info, here is a link to my full trip report for the Esmeralda Resort, complete with pictures: http://www.wickedgoodtraveltips.com/2012/04/esmeralda-resort-st-martin-a-tranquil-beachside-retreat/

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank Boston-Travel-Diva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2012

Visited Esmeralda in Orient Bay, Saint Martin for a 4 night romantic getaway with my girlfriend. Here's the good, the bad, and (unfortunately) the ugly:

The good: Orient Bay is stunning, with beautiful fine sand and clear, warm turquoise water set against a backdrop of green mountains and two small islands offshore. The hotel is located on the less crowded end of the strip, which is a plus. The nearby village of Grand Case is 10 minutes away by car/taxi and has phenomenal French restaurants -- I especially recommend Le Pressoir. We went to Grand Case for dinner for 2 out of our 4 nights.

The bad: Nightlife in Orient Bay is practically non-existent, which I found weird since the entire beach is dotted with beachfront bars and restaurants. They all close by 8:30.

The ugly:
1) Hotel room: The room was dilapidated -- tiles were missing from the floor in the bathroom, shutters were missing from the shutter, the shower ran out of hot water very quickly, electricity was hit or miss. Our "King Size" bed consisted of two double beds that were pushed together. There were some stains on the comforter. All in all, it felt more like a youth-hostel than a $300+ p/night resort accommodation. I was just happy that the roof didn't blow off during a heavy rain and windstorm on our first night.
2) Hotel staff: You don't get the feeling that they are there to ensure you have the time of your life. One desk clerk/concierge couldn't be bothered to pick up the phone to make a dinner reservation for us; another gave me a hard time when I asked for extra towels for the room. These are just basic services that you shouldn't have to worry about.
3) Beach staff: As the prior reviewer mentioned, we were also told in those exact same words that if we wanted a good location for our chairs, that we needed to "take care of the beach boy." It was impolite, tacky, and just not what you expect to hear when you're on vacation. Of course we are going to tip well for good service - no need to set an intimidating precedent.
4) Restaurants: Coco Beach was fine, but pricey. We made a reservation for Friday night's L'Astrolabe "Lobster Party" and when we arrived were told that we had only the worst seats in the house available to choose from, even though there were plenty of poolside tables still available. The restaurant owner eventually let us move per my visible agitation, only to blow my mind like it's never been blown before when it started drizzling and he moved the umbrella that was protecting my girlfriend's head and plate away from her and closer to the adjacent table of "regulars." (He realized his mistake and moved our table under it again after she gasped and asked aloud "Is He Serious???!!!") The food was okay, but nothing compared to what we experienced in Grand Case, and the behavior of the staff and the proprietor was simply obnoxious.

My girlfriend and I had a great vacation enjoying each other's company in a beautiful part of the world; it was just a shame that we had to encounter such impolite and unwelcoming behavior from the hotel, restaurant, and beach staff. It's just not what you expect or are looking for when going on a short -- and luxe-priced -- beach getaway in the Caribbean.

I don't recommend staying at Esmeralda, and if I ever go back to the island, will most likely check out the Dutch side. The French-side is just a bit "tude" heavy. You have been warned!

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank bronx236
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2012

First time on St Martin

Room was very dirty. Ants in the bathroom. Curtains stained & dirty Dust balls under the sink floors dirty, white slatted doors looked like they hadn't been cleaned in a year, had to slam the doors to get them to close. Small kitchen area with coffee pot, no coffee, microwave and sink.

When I told the desk manager about the dirty room he said " well we ve been very busy, maybe the maids haven't had time to clean properly! I'll make sure they do a good job tomorrow!"

I asked him how do you explain the ants? I just killed at least 12 of them He said "well thats a little hard to believe. We just had renovations and don't have ant problems!" As if I was making it up!
He couldn't relocate us because the resort was sold out. I found a few ants every day of our stay. And by the way, my legs are covered in bug bites.

The reception area is just basic, nothing special. Staff not very friendly.

We went to the beach and we were told flat out from the beach boy that if we wanted a good location on the beach, we needed to make sure we 'took care' of the beach boy every day.

When we came back at 5 30 to shower. We had no water Called the desk and they said 1 hr. 6:30 still no water At 7pm I called and they said a few more minutes A few more minutes, still no water. So we went to dinner,no shower no brushing our teeth The desk said by the time we re done withdinner the water wil be back We came back 10 30- no water! My husband went to the desk to complain and they tell him we can buy water for $3 a bottle because the water here is not good to drink with anyway ! This is a very common occurance in that area. Are you kidding?? Shouldn't someone have told us that when we got there??

I called the desk and say this is unacceptable at this point 4 hours with no water should be compensated in some way. Maybe they could give the guests who complain 1 bottle of water . NO we cannot do that! I ask why won't you take care of your guests and customers? I was told
"It's not their fault and there is nothing we can do for you."

When I said that we paid good money to come here and this customer service is really unacceptable, I was told, " I know what you paid for your room and you got a good deal ! " Unbelievable! Then he said "Listen to me sweetie ! I said excuse me but please don't call me sweetie...EVER! I'm an angry paying customer & you re calling me sweetie? We will never be back here again to which he replied " listen ma'am,miss whatever you want to be called, there is nothing I can do At that point I ended the phone call with this rude arrogant person. The water came back around 3 AM

I have never dealt with such arrogant,rude, unaccomadating employees anywhere ever! Seriously just wanted to fly home the first night. Would never stay there again.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank Mstjs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Esmeralda Resort

Address: Baie Orientale | Bp 5141, Orient Bay 97071, St Martin / St Maarten
Location: Caribbean > St Martin / St Maarten > Saint-Martin > Orient Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Orient Bay
Price Range: $207 - $456 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Esmeralda Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 64
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
ESMERALDA RESORT, situated on the magnificent white sands of Orient Bay in French St. Martin offers just 65 rooms and suites spread among elegant tropical gardens in 17 villas. Esmeralda is the only four star hotel in St Martin on Orient Beach.Esmeralda's Coco Beach Bar offers beachfront lunch & cocktails. L'Astrolabe, the resort's fine dining restaurant offers French Creole and Continental cuisine. Guests receive dining privileges at 12 + restaurants in Orient Bay. Only minutes to more fine dining,shopping and entertainment. Rooms include a kitchenette, king bed, sitting area and patio. What makes this property so special is it's unique plantation style layout with only four rooms or suites per villa. For privacy, each villa has its own swimming pool and each accommodation has its own private entrance and terrace... Guests may reserve anything from a single superior or deluxe room or a generous sized suite or an entire 3 - 5 bedroom villa. Due to the way this resort in St Martin is situated on the property that is perpendicular to the beach there is limited availability in the two ocean front villas that include the Presidential Suites and deluxe oceanfront rooms. All superior and deluxe rooms include kitchenettes. Suites offer full kitchens and large living rooms. Guests enjoy the peaceful surroundings and a cordial, pampering yet unobtrusive on-site multi-lingual staff prepared to assist with any special needs. Esmeralda offers free use of beach chairs & umbrellas. Each accommodation has a fully equipped kitchenette (suites have fully equipped kitchens including dishwasher), large tile bath with hair dryer plus a 110 outlet for shavers only, color satellite TV, room safe, air conditioning with ceiling fan, daily maid service. All bedrooms have Color TV by satellite (8 channels and video system), telephone, private safe, A/C, ceiling fan, private, furnished terrace, kitchenette with micro wave, electric coffee pot, refrigerator and dishes. SUPERIOR, DELUXE AND OCEANFRONT ROOMS: King or two double beds, kitchenette. Maximum occupancy: 2 people. Superior rooms have garden view and are generally located further from the beach. Deluxe rooms are a bit larger located nearer the pool. Oceanfront rooms are located nearest the beach. SUPERIOR SUITES: Spacious living room and bedroom area with king size four poster bed and full size pull-out sofa bed plus a fully equipped kitchen. Maximum occupancy: 2 adults & 2 children. PRESIDENTIAL SUITES: Large dining and living room area with full size sofa bed, separate master bedroom with king size colonial bed, TV in living room and master bedroom, 1 1/2 baths, radio/cassette/CD player and fully equipped kitchen. Suite is oceanfront. Maximum occupancy: 4 people. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Esmeralda Hotel Orient Bay
Esmeralda Hotel Marigot
Esmeralda Resort Marigot
Esmeralda St Martin
Esmeralda Resort St Martin
Renaisance Esmeralda Resort

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