Lonely Planet rates Les Balcons as one of the best buys in the entire eastern Caribbean, and they are right. The rates are reasonable; the rooms are lovely; and the proprietors are fabulous. If you are looking for a glitzy, all-inclusive hotel, Les Balcons is not for you. If you are interested in getting to know St. Martin, Les Balcons is a great choice. We loved the location, outside the crowded streets of Phillipsburg and Marigot, but with good restaurants, a lovely almost private beach, and interesting beaches, hills, and ponds to explore on foot.
Les Balcons is more of a motel than a hotel. There is no lobby; the Reception is an office by the parking area; and rooms all have entrances directly from the outside. We were there for 10 days and stayed in two different rooms. Both were lovely and immaculately clean, with a fully furnished kitchen and a terrace with a lovely view of Oyster Pond and seating for meals or reading. The furnishings were not standard institutional stuff but were tastefully chosen to reflect the island culture and were different in the two rooms. Even the placemats were pretty. We were even provided with an insulated cooler to use to take a picnic lunch to the beach.
By far the greatest asset of Les Balcons are the proprietors, Carinne and David, and their assistant, Anais. All three were unfailingly helpful and cheerful and always seemed to be delighted by our many questions. They gave us directions and advice on grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, laundromats, beaches, and restaurants and recommended a particularly good snorkeling tour. Best of all, was the daily delivery of fresh French pastries - our choice of baguette, croissant, feuillete - and we could even run a tab and pay for them all when we checked out.
We have just one caveat - although there are several good restaurants and one nice beach within walking distance, if you want to see anything of the island, you will need a rental car.
In summary, if/when we return to St. Martin, we won't consider staying anywhere but at Les Balcons.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Individual bungalows in Caribbean gardens with swimming pool. They are situated on beautiful Oyster Pond with a marvelous view of the marina and sail boats. You will be in a peaceful, quiet, familial and casual ambiance.Our bungalows can accommodate 2 to 5 people. Each unit has a private terrace with splendid view and barbecue grill. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Les Balcons d`Oyster Pond Hotel Oyster Pond