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“Finally, this is it for us!!!”
Review of Esmeralda Resort

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Esmeralda Resort
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Orient Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 25, 2005

My wife and I stayed on the week of June 16, 2005 for 4 nights at the Esmeralda Resort. We have been St. Martin travelers for quite a few times and I have to say Esmeralda is great.
First, the location can´t be beaten. Its right on Orient Beach, and that is like the SoBe for those Miami readers. The beach is beautiful, lots of place to lay down, no one bothering, great beach bars to drink/eat, and best of all the freedom to walk around naked among the rest and no one gawking or harrasing!! Dont worry about physical fitness...all shapes and sizes blend in perfectly.
Esmeralda rooms are large, comfortable and well equipped. Air conditioniong is excellent -and believe me I come from the tropics- Kitchenette helps save some Euro$. The atmosphere is quiet, so if you are looking for a lot of walking distance nite life go elsewhere.
The way the resort is arranged makes it very nice and you can have your car parked right in front of the villa, so there are no worries. Guards walk around and after dark a guard keeps the entrance to the resort fairly safe.
Ok, the food...well I agree with the fellow traveler, avoid L' Astrolabe. Its really expensive, uncomfortably hot dining room and the food is not up to the prices they charge. If you want to save some bucks, there are a lot of cheap restaurants in the Dutch side. Stop by the grocery (Supermarche) on the way to hotel and stock up water and snacks. For fine food, the place is Grand Case. Expensive and they dont have any air conditioning but the food is good and a fine dining experience. I personally recommend Spiga. It is located on the starting point of the Grand Case restaurant row, not waterfront, but very nice Italian food. The chef/owner comes from Savoy at London, so you get the idea. Nevertheless, expect a $120.00 check for a two person dinner including only one glass of house wine per person. The service is very attentive though, and that is quite a lot to say for the french side.
The island is an all around vacation spot so we recommend it strongly if you are planning a trip to any Caribbean island.
Do rent a car, its cheap and there are a lot of concessionaires right on the doors of the airport, so no reservations are really needed. Dont expect taxis around and if at all, are very expensive. For the cost of a day rent of a car you can only pay for one trip in a taxi. Roads are well posted and easy to drive.
Enjoy the trip!

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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7  Thank GerardoGlori
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 15, 2005

We went to the Esmeralda in March 2005 with a 14 month old son for 11 days. We were very nervous that it would not really work out, but it was perfect. The room (a deluxe room which was definately worth the upcharge from superrior just for the space increase), was HUGE. With a separate seating area, a great walk in shower, big bathroom with COUNTER space to put everything down, separate stall for toilet. And a very well equipped kitchenette which was great with Child as we could make lunch and breakfast and save$$$ which is important as the resort food is not cheap.
The room has a great porch and a private pool that we shared with just 2 other rooms. It was our own private paradise. It sounds corny, but it really was. We did not stop smiling.

Esmeralda is on the BEST beach on the island, (we went to a few others) and esmeralda had the best chairs, the nicest help and the GREATEST beach food(the pissa was out off this world). However, L'Astrolabe the "nice" restaurant at the resort was hideous. The food was terrible. I mean terrible and we (stupidly, but deperately, as sometimes it just got too late to go out . . .) tried it three times! Don't bother. The Onion soup was passable, that's about it. Even a green salad was a disappointment. It is esp. suprising how bad it was given the quality of the beach grill food.

By contrast I will give you the most important piece of advice, culinarily, EAT AT LE COTTAGE. It is in Grand Case where all the good restaurants are. For this you should follow others' advice as well and RENT A CAR. I don't see enjoying or getting to know St. Martin without one
One final note, St Martin, is one of the most special and delicious, really complete carribean experiences I have had, from Pinel Island to l' Esmeralda to Grand Case and "Bounty" ( a wonderful little gourmet shop with the best roast chickens bread prepared foods, and pastries, which deserves its own page of accolades.) It is an altogether spectacular place. I dod not feel the desire to go anywhere else, I dont want to risk having t be less than the perrfection that we have experienced in St. Martin.

9  Thank elizamellensmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2005

My girlfriend and I had never been to the Caribbean before so I did a LOT of research. That's how I found Trip Advisor! We were simply looking for a spot on or near a good clean beach where we could soak up the sun (and each other). Good food and good attitude were also important. Esmeralda provided the perfect first experience for us and we will return. It is located at the northern part of Orient Bay Beach on the French side. We stayed in Bldg. 54 (I think) which was right behind the Astrolabe Restaurant. Lovely, clean, huge room. We liked being able to step outside our room anytime of the day or night and take a skinnydip in the pool! The staff were very pleasant and accomodating, especially the two lovely young women at the front desk. Although I bothered one of them many times for phone and car help and restaurant advice, she was always pleasant. Our room was cleaned daily, everything worked fine. We enjoyed strolling down the beach into the village to get things to make breakfast in our room. It was just a short five minute stroll from our room to the beach. (I found the grounds well kept despite an earlier review). You pass through the Coco Beach restaurant. The beach was everything we wanted...very clean, soft sand, warm water, no stinky vegetation or debris. (I got up early and watched the cleaning crews all over). We loved being able to be nude on the beach at Coco Beach. One side is clothing optional, the other side is topless. We could order food and drink from Coco Beach. We also dined inside Coco Beach and the food was very refined for a beach atmosphere. French food every day for a week! Oh, the pain! One of the waiters, Phillipe, was fun to talk to in German. We ate at Astrolabe only the first night and it was supurb cuisine. You could make a 3-course menu for 39 euro. We rented a car to drive into Marigot and Grand Case and found nothing but good restaurants everywhere (Le Cottage, Chanteclair, La Marine for example). The French side is certainly more relaxed. We went to Maho Beach by the airport on the Dutch side only one night to meet a friend. That area has the casinos and strip clubs and fast food (KFC, Burger King). Yuck. We were at Esmeralda the start of the shoulder season so prices had dropped and there were no crowds. People on Orient Beach were of all nationalities and various stages of undress. Total nudity all the time was at the south end by Club Orient, a naturist resort. Young and old, good looking and not, couples and singles, just having a good time.

  • Stayed: April 2005
    • Value
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12  Thank gilligan53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Boston area
19
Reviewed May 8, 2005

My wife and I stayed in a deluxe room at the Esmeralda during the week beginning, April 23, 2005. Although we have stayed on the island many times over the last twenty years, we did not think we would like to stay in a villa type resort as we were more used to the typical ocean front hotel type properties. Staying here has definitely changed our minds and we will be back next year, God willing.

The accommodations were spacious, clean and very comfortable and the landscape was beautiful with a private pool outside our door. The resort management and staff that we met were very pleasant and very helpful and I think not mentioning their names nor commending them would be a disservice to them.

In particular, we would like to thank Anne, Fita and another gentleman tending the reception area one evening for their warm, assistance and general pleasantness which helped to make our stay so much more comfortable. Anne attended to our needs for the most part and she was a star but all were just great.

We would also like to mention the great service, atmosphere and fine food at the L’astrolabe Restaurant which was near our villa. We ate there on two occasions and enjoyed both very much. The wonderful hospitality and service provided by Amin and Thomas contributed to the overall pleasure of the well prepared and delicious dinners by the chef.

A two minute stroll through the well landscaped grounds took us the beach front and the open air, Coco Beach Restaurant. Here we enjoyed quite a few relaxing, great meals and good conversations with other Esmeralda guests. We also must mention the fine hospitality, conversations and good fun we enjoyed with the owner Sophie and her staff, Myriane, Christelle, Pascal and Romain.

We will be back!

John and Judy (from Boston area)

9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2005

It's like renting your own villa with pool, but you get the hotel features as well. This was our second trip to this hotel, we loved it even more the second time. The hotel is beautiful, the staff is great and the beach is gorgeous. I preferred our beach boys the first time around. They seemed less attentive this time, it was high-season, so I understand.

I'm fine with the nudity, european style, but some of the American nudists seemed particulary fond of strutting back and forth on the beach with angry looks on their faces. Very strange.

This island has so much to offer. (Grand Case, Philipsburg, Marigot, the Zoo, The butterfly Farm, The beaches, the restaurants (try spiga in grand case and The Tropicana on the Marigot lagoon and Hediards in the shopping mall in Marigot.) We thought we knew the island already but we found so many different things around every corner.

On a funny note, we were bumped from our flight and put up at the Sonesta, Maho on the dutch side. We were at first mortified by the whole situation. We were put in a nasty room overlooking the treatment plant. Half the hotel faces this treatment plant, the whole maho village stinks. You can stand on the beach by the runway and actually have planes land 15 feet above your head. People stood on the beach and were blown into the water as 747s took off 100 feet in front of them. It looked pretty stupid to me. But we ended up having fun. It's like we went from the French Riviera to the Dutch Las Vegas. I think kids and teens would have more fun on the dutch side.

Rent a car for 150 a week from hertz. You'll love discovering St. Martin.

  • Stayed: April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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5  Thank ajax2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2005

The resort's main attractions to us are the feeling of space -well-laid-out lowrise villas and the very well-planted garden areas. It is an elegant and relaxing spot. However we agree that it is tired, needs money spent. Plus the kitchenette equipment is basic, and the walls are paper thin so if you are unlucky with neighbours you're going to get disturbed.
The pools are a plus- most of them good sized & planted around and we saw some nude use- don't get excited, they were not young or beautiful!- but that's not hotel policy. Astrolabe restaurant is good and all staff were friendly. Coco beach bar is not part of hotel but is right adjoining, and a very good beach area with chairs free to hotel guests.
Might go again but owners need to put some bucks into refurbishment soon.

10  Thank gerardd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2005

Esmeralda is an older property in a great location. The property is tired and lacks maintenance. The individual pools are a cute idea but really not used by anyone. The pools are called "jetted", implying whirlpool. This is very missleading as they really only have a standard pool recycling system.

If you are looking for a quiet place in a very nice location with little or no amenities Esmeralda may be for you but make sure you don't get a room near the road where you will listen to traffic. The beach restaurant/bar is open to the public, ok but one of the more expensive on the beach.

The rooms are large and nice with kitchen, like having your own condo.

You can do better.

11  Thank caribbtravel
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: $206 - $373 (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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