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“L'Esplanade big rip off for couple with small baby, St. Martin has great food & beaches”
Review of Hotel L'Esplanade

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Hotel L'Esplanade
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Grand Case
Certificate of Excellence
NYC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“L'Esplanade big rip off for couple with small baby, St. Martin has great food & beaches”
Reviewed 9 March 2009

My husband and I have stayed there in the past and really enjoyed it, although it is a walk to a beach that is not so great, and the walk to Grand Case at night to eat is dark and thus dangerous. We liked it anyway though, as we thought the rooms and service were very nice.

Extremely disappointing in this latest visit to see what appeared to be a $395/night room inflated to $592.25. While this includes the 15% tax which would be the case anyway, it also included a $140 night surcharge for my husband and 1 year old baby, who were considered "additional people" in the room and thus charged $70 each. How can a couple and a small baby sharing the same bed create $140/night in extra work for them? A 3 night stay thus rose to almost $1800, which is ridiculous for a studio. (You can get rent a villa for less than that for the same time period, which is what we did for $1280 which had a private pool and easier parking.) Unbelievable.

On a lighter note St. Martin is one of our favorite getaways from NY as it is a relatively short direct flight, and we love the ability to get around the island easily (so we definitely always rent a car). Have stayed on both dutch and french side and infinitely prefer french side, as we are only interested in beaches and food. For beach love Pinel Island the most, for both lovely sand, calm water and wonderful restaurant Karibuni (my favorite on the island period and only available for lunch- love the codfish fritters, fabulous salad followed by either lobster or fish and had with a chilled bottle of rose or white wine). More casual but fun is Orient Beach, for which we like to drive down towards the end and hang out by Kon Tiki (sp?) etc where we sunbathe and have lunch on other days.

For dinner if you go casual really like Calmos Cafe in Grand Case, where you can have your feet in the sand while eating ribs or fish (great tiger shark there the other night) and where they often have live music on weekends. For high end with water view really loved
Le Ti Provencal, also in Grand Case. For high end in more relaxed cottage porch setting recommend Ti Bouchon, which is on right hand side of road right after a mexican restaurant between Grand Case and Pinel Island (almost there so out of way but very tasty). Lots of other places too but that is my short list! (Given most of my favorites are in that area would recommend staying near Grand Case, Orient Beach or Mont Vernon.)

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
12 Thank enuktnyc
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 (150)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2009

My wife and I stayed at L'Esplanade for our honeymoon, and it was absolutely the best decision we could have made.

When we arrived, the hotel had a nice bottle of champagne on ice for us, and we were able to take advantage of the dinner at the pool bar on night one after our long trip. They actually told us that they would be able to cook a special dinner for us during our stay if we wanted it, but we decided not to.

Throughout our trip, we made several trips to local markets so we could have some toast each morning as opposed to buying the expensive breakfasts. That was one drawback, but a positive was that there was a toaster, a full kitchen, and when we left our dishes in the sink each morning, they were done by the housekeeping staff upon our return.

The front desk was able to help us set up a few things that we wanted to throughout the trip including a sunset restaurant and booze cruise, and some very nice dinners in the GREAT local restaurants.

The location of the hotel was outstanding as well, as we were able to walk to great beaches, restaurants, and the quaint town area of Grand Case. With the tough driving conditions of the little town, and horrible lack of parking, we were very glad to be able to walk everywhere.

I guess the last thing I think would be good to mention was that we were treated like a king and queen. The people were great, especially the folks at the pool bar and at the front desk. They were FANTASTIC, and we are definitely going to go back so we can experience their hospitality once again.

We LOVED it, and know you will too!

  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank bigbruce97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2009

L'Esplanade is not on the beach, but unless you're willing to die for that, this is the hotel of your dreams. The location is terrific--a five minute walk to the beaches of Grand Case and into the village with its restaurants and shops. the rooms are spotless, the owners --Kristin and Mark--ever present, and the service just outstanding. At the pool bar, Alain gives great advice, plays great music and serves wonderful drinks (he also rents cars!). this was our fifth year at Esplanade; we love it more each time we go. In the village, try La Cottage for dinner. The food is wonderful and always follow their advice for wine--great quality and good prices. This is a GREAT vacation!!!

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank pciny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leverett, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
166 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 388 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2009

L'Esplanade is an absolute DELIGHT!

It is so often a struggle to find sophisticated lodging in an environment normally packed with cruise ship tourists… the French side of St. Martin’s is quieter, classier, more natural, and hosts small luxury hotels like L’Esplanade. The town of Grande Case is intimate and chock full of world-class restaurants in addition to the beachside rib places (the “lolos”). L'Esplanade in its white stucco and blue tiled glory sets just a 3 minute walk up a very slight (and lovely, well-lighted) hill from the end of Grand Case’s main thoroughfare (a perfect evening stroll down to eat and back). This setting allows for the sensation of complete privacy while at the same time feeling close (enough) to all the activity. Even at the hotel pool (with a full hotel) we felt there was barely another soul at the place.

Kristin (GM and co-owner), Myriam and all the staff were exceptionally helpful and kind with any and every request. The rooms were classy, large, tastefully decorated and comfortable (the bathrooms stocked with top of the line eco-friendly toiletries), the kitchenettes complete with pots, pans, and all the accoutrements needed (IF you needed) - AND all had amazing views of the bay (with terraces surrounded by fuchsia bougainvillea and humming birds). We travel the world and like to find the charming, elegant OFF-the-main-tourist-strip kind of places - the ones that are in "a class above".

L’Esplanade is truly a gem. We would never stay anywhere else on St. Martin.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank RQP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buffalo
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
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
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level 4 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 2 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
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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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