I just returned from a week at Hotel L'Esplanade. I have traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean and I've got to say, this visit to Grand Case was one of the best in terms of lodging, food, and service.
I originally booked 5 nights at L'Esplanade but extended my stay to 8 nights after a few days at the hotel. My original booking was for a deluxe loft where I spent my first 5 nights. The loft had a great view of the ocean and Grand Case. The hotel was fully booked during my stay so I was thrilled when I decided to stay 3 nights longer and they were able to get me into a 1 bedroom suite that had just completed renovation the day I was to leave. The staff went out of their way to ready the suite for me and it was well worth it. The 3 nights in the 1 bedroom suite was the most amazing hotel experience I've ever had. Everytime I returned to the room, I was struck by how beautifully it was decorated. Everyone who visited me at the hotel gasped as they turned the corner into the living room and saw the beautifully framed view of Grand Case and the ocean.
Everyone at L'Esplanade, from the cleaning crew to the gardeners, to the staff in the office, were extremely friendly and helpful. The pool bar opened for the season during my stay and I met some absolutely wonderful people there from both Europe and the US. The bartender, Allen, is a great guy and was always entertaining.
The walk to Grand Case and restaurant row is very easy (10 minutes) down a well-maintained path. During the day I spent most of my time on the beach at Calmos Cafe. I felt like a regular at Calmos after just a day or 2 due to the owner Alex and his staff. The beach at Calmos is the best within walking distance and you can use the Cafe's lounge chairs and umbrellas if you're drinking or eating there. They also have live music on Thursday and Sunday night. Most nights I ate at one of the restaurants on restaurant row. My favorites: Spicy, Le Pressoir, Le Cottage, and Le Escapade. A few restaurants have $1=1 euro if you pay in cash which is a tremendous deal considering $1=1.4 euro at the moment. Get lots of cash when you land on the Dutch side as there are no ATMs in Grand Case and it's a drive to the nearest one on the Dutch side.
I ventured to the Dutch side of the island a few times. The only memorable visit was to Bliss nightclub in Maho Bay. The club was really nice and reminded me of something out of Mykonos. It was an outdoor club with a great mix of hip hop and dance music. The night I was there, they were featuring a dj from nyc. Even when it started raining around 3am, everyone just kept dancing. The cab ride to Bliss was not too bad at $50 for a group of 5 people.
I rented a car from David Charles who keeps a stable of cars at Hotel L'Esplanade. The hotel can put you in touch with David. David's a great guy and will drive you to the airport for free if you rent a car from him. That's a great deal if you're flying in/out of the Dutch side which is a 30 minute drive/$25 or so.
Overall, this was one of the best trips I've had to the Caribbean. Hotel L'Esplanade is worth every penny and Grand Case is the best place to stay in St. Martin if you're looking for great food, great people, and some downtime from the hustle and bustle.
- 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