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“L'Esplanade is Spectacular”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel L'Esplanade

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Hotel L'Esplanade
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Grand Case
Certificate of Excellence
N.Y., N.Y.
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“L'Esplanade is Spectacular”
Reviewed February 2, 2007

This is the most amazing hotel on St. Martin. You must come and try it out. Me and 12 of my friends just came back from our stay at L'Esplanade for my big birthday celebration and we were very impressed with the rooms, pool, hotel management and Grand Case restaurants. We booked the trip based solely on the advice of fellow travelers on trip advisor and took a risk that really paid off. THANK YOU TRIPADVISOR!! Now we have a wonderful hotel that we will certainly visit again and that we will highly recommend to anyone trying to decide where to stay in St. Martin.

Hotel Management - Kristin Petrelluzzi, the General Manager, is amazing. She runs a beautiful impressive hotel. Kristin, if you are reading this, thank you for the wonderful cocktail hour (free to guests!!) by the pool. That really connected us with our fellow guests, many of whom were return visitors, and clearly that kind of special touch is appreciated. If I win the NY Lottery, you can be sure that I will be back to buy you and my fellow guests a few rounds of drinks but I will need to put the rest of my money towards an extended stay at your hotel!

Hotel:Rooms & Pool & Staff - Excellent!! Let the pictures and the captions speak for themselves. Inside room pictures are from my oversized loft. My friends rented all different size rooms and everyone was happy. Alain the pool bartender was truly a stand out. You must go and see him for a few drinks and for a bite to eat. Try his pina colada. I promise you it will be the best you ever tasted. Also, Alain cooked a special dinner for me and my friends one night at a table near the pool. It was wonderful to have his tasty home cooked food. I highly recommend it if you want a special outdoor dinner for a few people or for a romantic dinner.

Grand Case Restaurants - Top Notch. The restaurants in Grand Case are world famous and well known for their quality. There is also the open air BBQ spot where you can get ribs, chicken and the local favorites to take away. One stand out restaurant that YOU MUST TRY is L'ESTAMINET. It's owned by Carole (hostess) and Ina (the chef). It's right in town across the street from the restaurant, California, and Carole and Ina make you feel like family. They took such great care of us and let a large party of 12 crash their restaurant close to the closing hour. They made all the dishes we requested and then brought us special treats on the house. We were so pleased with the quality of the food that we all promised that it would be the first restaurant we try again upon our return. Try it and you will not be disappointed.

Things to Keep In Mind:

Bring U.S. dollars!! Cash machines are a drive away and sometimes they are out of money. Many of the restaurants will give you a 1:1 exchange from Euros to USD if you pay in cash so right now that is a 30% savings. For a group of 12 going to dinner that is a good deal!!

American Express Card not welcome everywhere. Luckily for me, the L'Esplanade accepts the AMEX card but not many restaurants or stores on the island do so keep that in mind if it's your credit card of choice.

Book your rental car through the hotel. If you book the car for 3 days they will pick you up at the airport when you arrive and drop you back when you are leaving. The rental car is waiting for you at the hotel when you are dropped off and that's also where you return it. It couldn't be easier. You need a car only if you want to explore the island and try different beaches.

The main arrival airport, SXM on Dutch Side, is very strict. They are serious about closing check in for departing flights at least an hour before the flight leaves. So, if you show up 55 minutes before your flight leaves and you have to check luggage you will likely be out of luck. Also, check your flight times before you leave the island because 2 of my friends had flights that either moved up departure time or canceled the flight the morning of their departures.

Have a great trip. You will truly love the L'Esplanade.

  • Liked — It is a gem because of location and it provides the best quality for the best value on the island
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
15 Thank UrsyNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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720 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (145)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
109 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2007

We wrote an in-depth review Dec. 16, 2005 which is still posted. Perhaps surprisingly, nothing has changed, so there's no point in restating those detailed findings. However, a second stay at L'Esplanade has helped put things into broader perspective, so here are a few addenda.

During the Balkans conflict, an American soldier serving in a poor wartorn region remarked that he'd found two types of women: those with mustaches and teeth, and those with no mustaches and no teeth. Thus it is with better Caribbean resorts: those with mediocre or no beaches but otherwise great, and those with great beaches but otherwise lacking or overpriced.

L'Esplanade is arguably the MVP among the former. Its facilities, can-do attitude, meticulous housekeeping and maintenance, gorgeous view, idyllic pool and available nearby gourmet restaurants are sine qua non. Yet, while from your balcony you can see one of the world's finest beaches across the waters in Anguilla, the sandy offerings down the hill are no prize. Some get around this by splitting their stay between L'Esplanade and Le Petit Hotel, the similarly excellent sister facility on a different beach at the other end of Grand Case.

A couple of additional observations: First, there are plenty of repeat guests, including one couple that has been coming a number of times each year for over a decade. One result has been the formation of a Band of Buddies that congregates afternoons at the poolside bar, presided over by Alain the fun-loving bartender; they also play cards and go out evenings to keep the good times rolling. This is all lost on my wife and me, as we're there to unwind from hectic work and personal schedules, but the group obviously welcomes newcomers regardless of age. So, if you'd like to rub elbows with folks who enjoy life and each other, look no further.

On the other hand, L'Esplanade accepts guests of all ages, including children that vary from the serene to the energetic. A free-spirited example of the latter stayed below us and twice woke us at farmer's hours with vocal enthusiasm.

Second, the restaurant situation has changed slightly over the past 12 months. Le Rainbow, an overrated fish restaurant in Grand Case, has folded. However, in its place the formerly so-so L'Escapade restaurant has acquired a new chef and now offers the village's best intersection of quality food, good service and a romantic waterside setting -- one-for-one dollar-to-euro pricing, too. Still, for serious French cuisine and an exceptional choice of wines with a sommelier and service to match, Le Cottage remains tops, hands down, even if it lacks $-euro parity and a waterfront view.

Bistro Caraibes, with an enticing pool of live lobster out front, was very good if not quite great. But when paying in dollars we got socked with one of the highest restaurant bills of our lives, even with only one bottle of everyday wine. This place is way overpriced for what it offers; Le Cottage, itself no financial slouch, is better for less.

L'Esplanade has a full kitchen in each suite, so you can cook, reheat or some combination of the two. Worthy French takeout is available daily at the Bounty traiteur in Grand Case, plus there's a mini supermarket in the village and a much larger "Match" French supermarche 20 minutes away, just before Marigot; it's well stocked to satisfy the fussiest of foodies and wine buffs. As always, the nearby native lolos offer grilled food, including lobster, that's affordable and ideal for takeout. Either way, you can partake of the ultimate in first-rate romantic dinners on your terrace without having to fuss greatly in the kitchen or spend a fortune a gourmet restaurant.

  • Liked — Service, friendliness, rooms, view, superior nearby restaurants and markets, kitchen, pool
  • Disliked — Beach, kids.
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank Cochon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montclair NJ
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2007

We recently returned from a week in Grand Case, St Martin and stayed at the charming Hotel L'Esplanade. Set on a hillside overlooking Grand Case bay, it is just a short 5 minute stroll down a winding path and along a quaint street to the center of Grand Case with its little shops and fantanastic bistros. The hotel grounds are beautifully landscaped and the hotel is meticulously maintained. Rooms are mini living quarters with European style kitchenettes, large bathroom(s), a dining area and all with terraces facing a breathtaking sunset over Grand Case. The staff was extremely pleasant and helpful and made us feel that "our vacation" was their No. 1 priority. The Friday evening poolside complementary cocktail party was a especially nice as we met the hotel owners and mingled with other very friendly guests. A small calypso band entertained and a good time was had by all. Alan the bartender kept us entertained all week with his poolside specialities, a friendly smile and always a good laugh.
If your into large resort hotels with casinos and other types of nightlife, Grand Case may not be for you. As for us, we have already reserved for two weeks next winter.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank louvrr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2007

We stayed at the L'Esplanade hotel in early December during shoulder season, and it was so charming. We booked the split-level deluxe loft with a dark wood winding staircase. The king-size bed felt heavenly, and the room was accented with fresh flowers everywhere. We had a view of the ocean in the distance; I would have preferred to be closer to the beach and in middle of town like their siser hotel, Le Petit. The pool was quaint, and the bartendar Allan was a hoot! We had a blast talking to him, and it was a great place to meet other hotel guests.

The hotel made my birthday reservation at L'Escapade in Grand Case, and it was very romantic with a red-accented interior and a seaside table with a view of the waves crashing in. The food was presented beautifully, and it was equally as delicious. We had a marvelous time on the more upscale French side of the island, and I would definitely stay at one of these two personal touch hotels again!

Helpful?
5 Thank Hollynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2007

Outstanding physical property with an attentive staff. The room and all public areas were well maintained and up to date. The owners obviously are intent on providing a superior product......and they have succeeded!!
A stay at this facility should include a rental vehicle or an intent to use the readily available and reasonably priced local taxi services. The walk to local restaurants is not convenient. All are a considerable distance from the hotel and walking on "Grand Case Blvd" is a real adventure at dusk or later. This main road is narrow (no walkways) with haphazard parking on each side . Local drivers tend to operate in fifth gear at all times.
Beach access is poor, and, if walking, is limited to a single small area which is some distance from the hotel. The website is misleading in this regard. Fortunately the hotel has an excellent pool.
Overall an excellent experience and we would return.....with a car next time.

  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank araho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bayside, New York
Level Contributor
144 reviews
86 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2006

My wife and I stayed at Hotel L'Esplanade for two nights as part of our honeymoon in Anguilla & St. Maarten.

Upon arriving, the manager at the front desk upgraded us to a suite. Which was a consolation considering we just realized that we had left one of our suitcases at the port (we got it back).

The suite was magnificent. Bigger and better than most upscale one-bedrooms in Manhattan. big bathroom... clean rooms. and a good sized kitchen area to eat.

The staff we encountered were all very friendly, and always greeted us with a smile.

The view of Grand Case was terrific... I think all rooms have a view facing the ocean as the hotel resides on the side of a hill on the outskirts of Grand Case.

The hotel was a 5-10 walk to a nice strip of restaurants. The beaches were about a 10-15 minute walk as well, but there are better beaches on the island.

Not much negative about the hotel other than you cant just walk onto a beach. The climb of the hotel is a good workout too.

Overall, would highly recommend L'Esplanade.

  • Liked — the size and amenities of the suite
  • Disliked — not very close to the beaches
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank petertom25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Alberta
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2006

My wife and I recently stayed at the Hotel L'Esplanade for 8 days based on reviews on this site.

Absolutely fabulous stay. The hotel is even better than the pictures. The "Oversized Loft" we stayed in was absolutely top notch with no complaints whatsoever.

It's a short walk to "restaurant row" where you can sample all sorts of great French cuisine.

Others have mentioned renting a car. I would second that. A car is the best way to see all of the Island. We rented a car through the hotel, which has the added bonus of providing pickup and drop off between the hotel and the airport.

In summary, highly recommended. We'd have no hesitation to stay at the Hotel L'Esplanade again.

  • Liked — Fantasic facility.
  • Disliked — None
  • Tips/Secrets — Rent a car!
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank Navwizard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel L'Esplanade

Property: Hotel L'Esplanade
Address: On the Hill of Grand Case | St. Martin, Grand Case 97150, St. Maarten-St. Martin
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Maarten-St. Martin > Saint-Martin > Grand Case
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Grand Case
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel L'Esplanade 4.5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Amid lush tropical gardens, affording its visitors privacy without sacrificing its panoramic ocean views. Spacious interiors blend harmoniously with the Mediterranean architecture. Magical sunsets come to you on your private terrace to touch your soul. A delightful footpath leads you on a journey of discovery. We invite you to find your own rhythm, knowing that our staff is there to ensure that your every day is a perfect day, knowing that your comfort is our excellence and with us, you are home. For those who appreciate privacy, enjoy an uncrowded atmosphere, gracious hospitality and seek relaxation in exclusive, blissful surroundings...Welcome to Hotel L'Esplanade. Introducing our new Ti Spa for all of your beauty and relaxation needs! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hotel l Esplanade

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