Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Stylish and bright rooms, fancy toiletries, free breakfast, and a top-notch beachfront -- but no pool, fitness center, spa, or restaurant
Don’t be fooled by the fancy French name -- Bleu Emeraude is easy, breezy, and completely free of pomp. Whether grabbing a croissant from the lobby’s breakfast buffet, reading the newspaper on your private beachfront balcony, or lounging under a turquoise umbrella on a quiet patch of Grand Case Beach, the vibe remains simple and unpretentious.
The lobby is hardly a lobby at all, with just a colorful couch and a simple wooden reception desk filling the whitewashed room. Such minimalism is a recurring theme throughout the tiny 11-room hotel -- but it all makes sense once you see the views. Located along a quiet stretch of pristine Grand Case Beach, Bleu Emeraude earns its name in spades with the ever-present vistas of one of St. Martin’s most spectacularly blue oceanfronts claiming the spotlight from virtually every corner of the hotel. The hallways are filled with low-slung furnishings, colorful artwork, and blossoming orchids garnering them an upscale feel -- and, thanks to the double-height ceilings and oversize windows, the areas are constantly flooded with refreshing daylight.
Unfortunately, white-hot style and outrageous beachfront are the only real draws at this property. There’s no pool, on-site restaurants, business center, spa, or fitness facility. Still, the hotel’s clientele, mostly couples, don’t seem to care, especially due to Bleu’s proximity to Boulevard Grand Case, a veritable treasure trove of exceptional restaurants with an emphasis on French cuisine. And though the rates are just about average for Grand Case, guests looking for fabulous digs and a great beachfront will much prefer the vibe here than at other nearby properties, like Grand Case Beach Club, with more amenities but a less trendy style.
Fronted by a busy street, backed by a stunning beach, and within walking distance of foodie heaven
The French side of St. Maarten/St. Martin is distinctly French. Visitors are greeted with “bonjour,” baguettes and croissants are the breakfast of choice, and business is conducted using the Euro. So it’s no wonder that Grand Case, the northernmost part of the French side, has some of the best Parisian-style cuisine in all of the Caribbean. The main drag, which features numerous acclaimed restaurants, as well as cafes, bars, shops, and lolos (local barbecue joints), is a roughly five-minute walk from the hotel.
Bleu Emeraude does, however, sit on a rather busy street, and rush hour can quickly turn into a bumper-to-bumper nightmare. On the bright side, this central location puts guests within fast driving distance to plenty of attractions, like Fort Louis, Marigot, and Orient Bay, as well as a grocery store for those looking to put their high-tech kitchens to good use. Keep in mind, the island tends to have quite a bit of traffic no matter where you are headed -- so be sure to add extra minutes to your estimated travel time when promptness is important.
High-tech, high-style rooms with vast ocean views, clean white design, and full kitchens
Le Bleu’s 11 spacious units, which range from studios to two-bedroom suites, are among the largest in St. Martin -- and certainly some of the most modern and meticulously designed. Trendy furnishings, white-on-white decor, and expansive terraces come standard, as do full kitchens with high-end European appliances like Teka electric ranges, Fagor front-load washer/dryers, and Nespresso machines. Stylish furnishings include Philippe Starck’s Ghost Chairs, while just a few touches of color brighten white linens, curtains, countertops, tables, and sofas. Still, such a lack of color can feel overtly stark at times. Luckily, even the smallest units -- the 500-square-foot Studios -- feature large terraces with glass railings and ocean views that bring vibrant bursts of color inside.
Other than a fabulous beach, amenities are lacking
Opened in 2009 and still gleaming, the intimate 11-room Bleu Emeraude sits along a peaceful crescent-shaped white sand beach, just a short walk away from the culinary mecca of Grand Case. Modern rooms are sleek with updated electronics, designer furnishings, and white-on-white decor that puts the focus on the stunning ocean views. However, the hotel sits on a particularly busy street and has virtually no amenities beyond the beautiful beach.