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“Very Nice Hotel”
4 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
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
66 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Very Nice Hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 December 2008

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!

  • Liked — Nice room, views, surroundings, location
  • Disliked — Uncomfortable room chairs, mosquitoes, difficult to find groceries
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BellaAnnArbor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
Traveller 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
Washington Township, New Jersey
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 December 2008

I surprised my girlfriend at the time with a vacation to St. Martin and this hotel. One of the night's there, I proposed and she is now my fiancee. We absoutely loved this place! Major drawback for me was that it wasn't 'on' a beach but within walking distance (5-10 minutes) of a few beaches. Also, we came to realize that there are sooo many beautiful beaches that even if we were 'on' the beach, we would have still wanted to travel around the Island to the other beaches.

We went to Pinel Island which was probably our favorite. Just note that for that one, there's a short boat ride. Nice place to eat on Pinel Island as well. Other beaches we really liked were Happy Bay, which you have to talk a 10 minute walk through a trail to a very secluded beach for only a few people. We were the only ones on the beach. Also went to Friar's bay (beach you go to in order to get to Happy Bay), Petit Plage, and Orient Bay. Orient Bay is your typical beach that you would see pretty much anywhere. The other ones mentioned are the ones we really enjoyed.

Other than that, the Loterie Farm is a must!! We went there the night after I proposed and had so much fun. Get a rental car too!

The hotel pool and pool bar was really nice. Good way to unwind after a relaxing day on the beach or just going around St. Martin. All the staff at the hotel were very nice and accomdating. Have nothing but positive and nice things to say about the hotel. The room was very clean and beautiful with a great balcony and look over Grand Case.

  • Liked — Location - close to beaches and many great places to eat! Great views too! Very Comfortable as well!
  • Disliked — Not directly on beach
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Jhissa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 December 2008

We arrived and immediately felt the incredible service that the Hotel L'Esplanade provides by Muriel.

Our room was beautifully appointed with comfortable furnishings and all the tech toys like DVD, Stereo and Flat Panel TV.

We awoke the next AM to an incredible view from our balcony and a delicious French breakfast. We love to go to the beach but felt compelled to laze around on the balcony all AM, enjoy the view, and read.

The gounds are beautifully landscaped and the website actually doesn't do the property justice. We were more pleased in person a NICE SURPRISE!!! The pool with all its tile accents and garden was a civilized relaxing space to enjoy St. Martens sunny climes.

We will definitely go back....

Todd and Howard from NYC

  • Liked — The beautiful property and veiw
  • Disliked — They only had availablity for part of our stay
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank tmick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
123 reviews
90 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 December 2008

This was our third time at L'Esplanade. It is always great! We love the location on the French side. No true restaurant on site but a very nice bar and beautiful pool area. All you have to do is walk down an easy hill to get to NUMEROUS restaurants in Grand Case.

The rooms all have full kitchens so we shopped at Le Grand Marche in Phillipsburg before heading over to the French side. Lots cheaper than the French side since they have it in dollars and a good choice of items at the store.

The hotel is spotless and service is always excellent. I also love that you can have a load of laundry done for $20.00 so we never bring tons of clothes and just have them washed at the resort.

Went to many of the restaurants in Grand Case. First night at Le California which was actually very good, fair prices and they gave us $1 dollar for the euro. Other restaurants we ate at from our perspective:
Sky's The Limit Lolo...also gave $1.00/euro and food was excellent with good service.
Talk of the Town Lolo...gave $1.00/euro but food and service were not as good as the other lolo.
LePressoir had great food, service was ok, they seemed confused as to our orders and didn't like us using a credit card. Tips cannot be put on credit cards so you have to leave that in cash.
Calmos Cafe is always good and pretty fun being right on the beach. Nice bar scene and friendly staff with good prices.
Zen Bar was also a pretty fun place with music one night and a lively crowd with fairly good prices.
Blue Martini, not worth the $$$. Gave us $1.20 per euro which was more than most of the other restaurants on Grand Case. I ordered a cheeseburger since I needed a change from rich French food and it came basically as cheeseburger tartar. Service was not that great either. They did have a Reggae band with a pretty much party crowd that night.

We took the sailing cruise one full day over to Anguilla on the Scoobi Free which we booked at the Grand Case Beach Club. What a great experience! The crew was excellent, a very large boat with only 20 persons allowed on the trip. Full open bar and lunch was served. If weather permits they sail all the way around Anguilla and stop at beaches along the way. Really good!

Overall, I would always recommend L'Esplanade to anyone. Great location, great facility and great service. We'll be back again!

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed November 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelNut70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wichita
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 November 2008

Wow was this hotel spectacular! The hotel itself was just gorgeous and staff was amazing. From initial booking to check out we were accommodated like celebrities. Merriam at the front desk and Phillip at the pool bar are awesome! The rooms have a lot of rich mahogony wood, smell terrific, the furnishings are really quite nice (guessing Pier 1!), beautiful bathroom, views, kitchen, big fluffy bed, vine covered private balcony. The pool area is just like the pictures on their website and we enjoyed the area to ourselves most all the time. The 5 minute walk down hill to Grand Case restaurant row area (was landscaped like a fairy tale) is pleasant although the uphill climb back after a long day of walking can be slow! I would definately rent a car next time since taxi rides to the other side of the island got expensive. We figured out their buss system (no schedule, you just wait roadside about anywhere and hop on one of these minivans when driving by!) and they only cost $1 or $2. That was really pretty fun enjoying the locals on the ride and thinking about the $60 cab fare we were saving. There's too much to do outside of Grand Case to stay on the French side (mostly all restaurants). Our favorite beach was Orient Beach. I thought there would be a lot of nudes, but the main beach area is not like that. The waves were awesome, drinks, food, activities everywhere! Sunset Beach bar next to the airport is a fun trip too. Don't let the girls sucker you into a "free gift" to spend a "couple" minutes touring a timeshare. Although we did win a free trip, it was to Branson, MO to tour a timeshare there! Yes we got suckered and even worse definately knew better. Back to the hotel, you look forward to every morning with coffee and the view on the balcony and the comforts of the cool room at the end of the day. This is a 5 star hotel in our book.

  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank crazychicken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bainbridge Island, Washington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2008

Apparently if the Esplanade were running for office, it would win
by acclamation. Let me add my vote. We stayed in an oversized
loft for ten nights in early October, leaving three days before
the arrival of Hurricane Omar. We like quiet vacations when in
our tropical lay at the beach/pool mode, and Esplanade suited
us perfectly. Our room was lovely and comfortable with a
sublime view from the deck, and the pool was understated
beauty, privacy, and quietude personified.

We didn't go much of anywhere, but Grand Case was a great
source for deli type take out meals (La Bounty), lunch (Calmos
Cafe and California) and dinner (Le Testivin and L'Hibiscus),
and that barely scratches the surface. The hotel staff was
helpful arranging for a cab for our thoroughly enjoyable outings
to Orient Beach.

Our one (mild) disappointment was the hotel pool bar was
closed: it is apparently open only in the high season, November
through April (?) The hotel could perhaps do a better job of
publicizing the opening and closing dates of the pool bar.

Overall, we would certainly return to Esplanade, and have only
fond memories of the hotel, the staff--Anna was particularly
friendly and helpful--and St Martin.

  • Liked — Secluded beauty and quiet, walking access to great restaurants
  • Disliked — No food or drink onsite (in off season)
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank PatrickQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Paul-de-Vence
Level Contributor
111 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2008

I have travelled to St. Martin on may occasions over the last few years, usually for long period stays in rented villas. On this occasion, I had to make a brief stay, so although my business was mainly in Philipsburg (on the Dutch side), the glowing reviews in TripAdvisor were so persuasive that I booked l'Esplanade despite the hotel location at the opposite side of the island. Generally, hotels in St. Martin are mediocre, particularly on the Dutch side. L'Esplanade is an exception, and (traffic permitting), most of the island can be reached by car in less than 1 hour.

On arrival, I soon realised that all the TripAdvisor positive reviews were true. The service was impeccable and everybody was so helpful. The room was very clean, the bed very comfortable, the pool area enticing and beautifully landscaped.

The only thing that would have made things perfect would have been a small restaurant on site. Although Grand Case has an impressive array of restaurants, the walk back to the hotel alone in the dark is daunting.

Beware of the CD player in the room. I put on a CD in the early evening, at an ambient volume to the general noise levels at about 7pm. However I was so exhausted from travel fatigue and time zone changes that I fell asleep at around 8pm. The player did not! It kept repeating the same CD for the next 5 hours! I was deeply asleep and oblivious to the fact that as all the other noise levels reduced throughout the evening and as everybody went to bed, my repetitive CD had now become a disturbance. I was woken up at 12.30am by security people to realise what had happened. I apologise sincerely to those who were disturbed by this! I only wish I had been woken up a few hours earlier.

  • Liked — TripAdvisor Reviews are spot on
  • Disliked — No hotel restaurant, walking back from town in the dark
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Brockles
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:
Region: 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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