I wrote a full trip report earlier this month that's on the St. Maarten/St. Martin forum on Trip Advisor, but wanted to write a short review on Hotel Esplanade.
It was a very nice hotel. We had a studio room, which was just about the size of a one-bedroom studio apartment. I preferred the stone tile floor to the typical carpet, particularly in the high-humidity climate. The small kitchen was well-equipped (although we didn't cook, because we couldn't find any well-stocked grocery stores close by. There is a grocery store in Marigot). The king bed was very comfortable, and the view from the balcony was gorgeous.
We did have a constant problem of mosquitoes in the room, but I left a note for the housekeeper to please keep the door closed while cleaning, and by the time we left the problem had mostly dissipated.
One other problem was the lack of comfortable chairs in the room. There are four wooden chairs at a small round table, and a useless wooden lounge chair in the corner with a pillow that slides off if you try to sit on it. The wrought iron chairs around the table on the balcony where also uncomfortable. So if you wanted to sit comfortably in the room the only choice was the bed.
However, this wasn't a deal breaker for us, because we don't spend much time in the room on a beach vacation!
The grounds of the hotel are lovely, and the desk staff was helpful. The pool was very pretty, but again, there was a mosquito problem while we were there, so we had to apply bug spray the one afternoon we were at the pool. We enjoyed that day and the great lunch and drinks the bartender Alan supplied us with, but spent the rest of our time at the beach and a catamaran excursion. The chilly pool would have been refreshing on a hot day, but the day we were there we had a few showers and it was only about 75F; I took a quick dip in the pool but my husband didn't use it.
It was our 10th anniversary, and the staff left a very nice bottle of French red wine in our room. Nice touch! We enjoyed it one night with baguette, and some Rondele cheese and French sausage we picked up at a little store down in Grand Case.
We thought the "Grand Case Beach" was pointless and not worth our time. We had a lot of fun at Orient Bay, boogie boarding and hanging out at the Bikini Beach outside bar for lunch and drinks. I could see Orient Bay being crazy during high season, but during "shoulder season" we really enjoyed it. We're social creatures so we liked the fact that there were other people, but not too many other people! It's a great shoreline for boogie boarding and playing in the water with a perfectly sandy bottom.
We also did the ScoobiDoo catamaran excursion, which I highly recommend ([--]). I would recommend booking ahead through the hotel as space and days are limited. We did the Sunday excursion to Tintimarre island and then Anguilla, and had a great day. We got along really well with the other 20 people on the boat, which came from all walks of life and different regions of the country, plus Puerto Rico and France. It was a fun, rollicking ride out in the morning (not recommended for people who easily get seasick or take your dramamine if you do; two out of about 20 on our boat got sick), and Anguilla is absolutely gorgeous, the perfect Caribbean island with calm turquoise waters and a white sand beach. The buffet lunch they served us on the island was quite good, too.
The walk down to Grand Case was short. There is a two-block stretch of road that was dark and quiet and made me nervous to walk down at night, but that's probably because I read so much about crime in St. Martin on this Web site. One night, while walking that stretch, there was a guy, looked like a local, standing completely still facing away from the road. It appeared he was "taking a leak," but still, anyone standing still on a dark road puts up red flags. But perhaps sensing our unease, he finished up, started walking back toward Grand Case, and began belting out a Christmas carol in French, in the most beautiful voice!
Again, that little dark stretch made me nervous, but there are probably more people out later in the season walking up and down the street. My husband didn't seem overly concerned. We did not have any problems with crime the five days we were in St. Martin. In fact, most of the locals were very friendly and treated us tourists like appreciated guests to their island.
We were happy with our accommodations, and if returning to St. Martin, there's a very good chance we would stay at the Hotel Esplanade. Our thanks to the friendly and helpful staff!
- 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