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“Disappointed in the L'Esplanade”
Review of Hotel L'Esplanade

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Hotel L'Esplanade
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Grand Case
Certificate of Excellence
Buffalo
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Disappointed in the L'Esplanade”
Reviewed 10 February 2009

My husband and I were extremely disappointed with St. Martin and the Hotel L'Esplanade. We thought that since it was a short walk to the beach and dining that it would be a great way to spend a vacation. The beach at the base of the hotel is just OK and you are at risk walking the path to Grand Case at night. Difficult to get a taxi as well. We felt uncomfortable spending as much money as we did staying there and seeing a guard protecting the parking lot from theft. St Martin charm is gone and the hotel amemities not worth the price. Puerto Rico, Barbados, & St. John's are much nicer islands.

Stayed April 2008, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank shamrockgreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (147)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2009

Hotel L'Esplanade is the perfect choice for St. Martin. I've traveled quite a bit and I was perplexed by the hotel choices in St. Martin. There seemed to be no hotels with consistently positive reviews, except La Samanna (which is the best without question, but quite expensive) and Hotel L'Esplanade. We were very happy with the choice. The hotel rooms are beautiful with balinese furniture. I believe all rooms face the ocean. The rooms are very comfortable and luxurious. The hotel is on a hill above Grand Case. It is beautiful. There is no restaurant on the property, but it is a short walk to Grand Case where there are many choices. There is a pool, which is enclosed by pretty landscaping. Its a good place to spend time and it is possible to get sandwiches for lunch at the pool bar. If you go down the hill and go right, there is a small beach. Grand Case beach is pretty narrow and is in front of many restaurants along the beach.

This is definitely a hidden gem. The one thing to know about St. Martin is that the food is incredibly expensive. The food is better than most other caribbean islands, but you will pay for it. Its hard to each lunch for less than $20 each. The French side of St. Martin is quieter and in my opinion, much prettier because of the lack of development. If you have a rental car, remember not to leave anything of value in the car at any time.

Hotel L'Esplanade is peaceful and well worth it.

  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank PaigeCK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Annapolis,Maryland
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2009

My husband and I stayed at Hotel L'Esplanade last Jan for a 4 day get away and it was wonderful. We booked a rental car through the hotel they use Justice rental cars but they pick you at the airport and take you back so you don't have to worry about finding the rental car etc it is at the hotel. The people are just beyond wonderful here, everyone was so friendly. We checked in and they upgraded us from the studio to the studio with the loft which was very nice. All the rooms face the water so good view from any room. The staff had great recommendations for food, you can walk down the the row of restraurants in Grand Case and the beach is a short 10 min drive away. They had a welcoming happy hour that Friday which was not expected but lovely. The bartenders are so friendly and they even went into to town and picked up a special dinner and prepared it for another couple staying there. I never felt so relaxed as I did here, can't wait to return

  • Liked — The setting and the friendly staff
  • Disliked — parking, tight spots
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank DawnMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 December 2008

great luxury hotel at a bargain price. For the seasoned Island tourist, St Martin dissappoints-very depressed. Not a decent beach close to the resort. Great restauarants & bars in season within walking distance. so many better island options. Won't be back (hotel is plenty nice don't get me wrong) If you're on a budget, way nicer vactions to be had stateside. Ask yourself. beautiful hotel-or beautiful island. Here it's one or the other.

  • Liked — great big rooms
  • Disliked — no BEACH, yucky island
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank EastcoastRR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2008

Everything I want to say has already been said in the other reviews. I just want to reiterate how fantastic our trip was and how great the staff was. It was a real pleasure to be at this hotel.

Grand Case is great for food! For a fancier dinner, Le Cottage is absolutely fantastic. They have a 5 course lobster tasting menu for $55 that finishes off with your choice of soufflé and its really incredible (even if you don't want the lobster everything we had was 4 star). For a more laid back night, Calmos Cafe is a beach bar restaurant that is right in the sand off the water. Great drinks/cheap food, and a really fun venue.

Will def be back to L'esplanade at some point in the future, it (and Grand Case) did not disappoint.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank ajmak2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2008

We are very particular about the hotels we stay at and Hotel L'Esplanade did not disappoint. The positive reviews you read about the hotel are accurate. We loved the location. The room was clean and comfortable. The view was beautiful.

We recommend renting a car to see all the sites of the island. For food, the 5 minute walk down to the "strip" in Grand Case is all you will need. You can find inexpensive food at the low lows to fine french cuisine.

Try Octopus Diving for a great dive experience. Chris and Sally are the owners. They have the experience and personalities to guarantee a good time.

The only thing missing for us at the hotel was a workout facility. Hopefully the management will work this out before our next visit. In the meantime, we recommend J.C's Gym in Grand Case.

  • Liked — Room and View
  • Disliked — No workout facility
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Tim&Lisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
66 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
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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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 star — Hotel L'Esplanade 4*
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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