Stayed at the Alamanda Resort in mid-April based on generally favorable reviews and a moderate price tag. Overall I enjoyed the stay as best I could. The Alamanda is not a resort. It’s an attractive two story concrete walled and wood roof beach hotel, a little frayed inside, but with two bedrooms, a tired but working refrigerator, microwave, and hotplate it was all we needed. There are no ocean view rooms, but the two chairs on the balcony, sound of the surf, and refreshing breeze are quite relaxing. The continental breakfast was included, with fresh fruit, juice, hot coffee, and bread and croissants served by a very pleasant waiter. Beach chairs and umbrella are set up by staff in advance and are a three minute walk to the shore. Very relaxing there, too. Beach bar/restaurant was very pricey but convenient. Beach towels provided by the desk. The water is ridiculously blue, the waves are non-threatening, and the beach is fine sand and gently sloping into the water – great for kids as one need not worry about them getting knocked around while we read or dozed in the chairs. Jet ski, parasail, paddle boards and wind surfing is available every couple of hundred yards along the Orient Bay beach for a fee. Just outside the hotel is a pedestrian street with six or eight very nice but not cheap restaurants – French, Italian, Thai, and what not. I had a theory they all use one kitchen in the back. They are moderately but not inappropriately noisy in the early evening and are just outside some room windows, although they close at 1030pm and were never a problem for us. A half block away is a small supermarket (called “Casino”) that has all the odds and ends one needs very reasonably priced. The resort is impossible to find with a GPS and there are no signs from the main road. Once in the Orient Bay compound there are signs for the Alamanda – at every other intersection. The best way to find the place is to put the Astrolabe Restaurant in your GPS and once there, keep going to the end of the road by the beach and there will be the Alamanda.
But the rats. The first night or two at dusk we heard light scratching that sounded like it was coming from an internal wall, between our bedroom and the enclave that was our kitchenette. Thought maybe it was birds on the roof inching along gutters and didn’t worry about it. The third night there was clearly something scurrying along the internal joists and studs. Wrapped on the wall once or twice and they went away, but we were a little creeped out. From day one we had made sure all of our food was either in the fridge or sealed in bags and/or plastic containers. The fourth night we were awakened several times by scratching and scurrying and I swore I heard something shuffle through the rattan headboard. Found myself leaping out of bed every two hours with a flashlight trying to identify the culprits. The fifth night was the worst. Heard lots of noise in the kitchen cabinet under the sink and went to investigate. Opened the door as a blurry fuzzy creature vanished into the wall through the oversized hole made for the sink drainpipe to penetrate the wallboard. The trash can in the cabinet had been plundered, with a Pringles can extracted and other debris on the shelf leaving no doubt rodents breached our room. The most disgusting was that on top of the counter top, an unopened packet of oatmeal had been pilfered and probably headed for the hole when the creature hit the large metal room key and startled him and us – very sure that’s what woke me up. Informed the hotel desk the next morning, and they seemed grateful we brought it to their attention. They sent a maintenance man to spackle the hole closed after inserting some poison in the wall through the hole. I re-inspected and found a second hole under the cabinet, and they sealed that one also. The sixth night was our last so we elected not to change rooms. My wife and I have lived in the third world and were not overly freaked out. Regretted that. The entire night what sounded like several angry off rats scratched and clawed at the closed holes from inside the wall in frustration and kept us up. I checked several times and the patchwork held. We had put the trash can outside the room just in case.
The hotel staff recognized rats in the room was a problem, but more of an inconvenience to be addressed tactically than a serious customer problem. I guess in short I brought it to their attention and they fixed the hole and poisoned the intruders (must be slow killing poison?) and the problem was solved. No mention of compensation, rate reduction, come again at a discount – it was not addressed at all. So my conundrum is that had there NOT been rats in my room, I would give this hotel decent marks for being an affordable and adequate place to stay, especially when most of our time was spent on the beach or on the balcony. But there were rats in the room, and I suspect my room was not the only one they had access to, and so I would pass on staying there again. Too bad.
PS – Our departing flight was cancelled and the airline put us up in a very, very nice time share kind of resort. I waited all day for this moment. When my wife turned out our bedroom light I gently started scratching on the wall over our head board. Well, at least I thought it was funny.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Alamanda Resort is situated on Orient Beach, the largest and most animated beach on St. Martin. Small in scale with its 42 deluxe Oceanfront rooms and suites, you'll vacation in style at Alamanda, St Martin's newest and most intimate full service hotel. The charming restaurant opens daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and hotel guests have charging privileges at 6 beachside restaurants serving French, Spanish or American cuisine. Multilingual staff, daily maid service, room service, 3000 sq ft convention center along with fax and internet facilities. If you are looking to relax, where better than poolside in fresh water pool, sunning in the patio or sipping a drink to the poolside bar lush tropical garden? ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Alamanda Hotel Orient Bay