Some of the rooms and bathrooms could use and update
The mid-range Esmeralda Resort is a low-key beachfront hotel with a colonial-inspired Caribbean vibe in Orient Bar. All 65 rooms are spacious and bright, with modern amenities like flat-screen TVs, kitchenettes, free Wi-Fi, and iPod speakers. The highlight of the rooms are the private terraces around shared swimming pools. Most rooms feature only one king-size bed, so expect to see mostly couples here. There's an attractive restaurant for continental breakfast and French food. The restaurant sits next to the small communal pool, though most guests ignore it in favor of the stunning beach and beachside service. The nearby Hotel La Plantation offers similar amenities and a free breakfast in a more affordable package.
Quiet and tranquil hotel with a romantic restaurant
The hotel has a quiet and tranquil ambience that appeals mainly to couples. Rooms are scattered and spread out around the main hub of the hotel, the reception building, and the restaurant, L’Astrolabe. With all the rooms spread out, guests can expect both privacy and a few common areas to hang out and socialize. The lobby has vaulted ceilings and a sitting area with heavy wood day beds and bright turquoise cushions. The front porch is simply set with wood deck tables and chairs. L’Astrolabe is situated across from the reception building and has a small social scene with theme nights and live music. Guests looking for a more romantic setting will likely find it via poolside dining with candlelight in the evenings. The restaurant isn’t open for lunch, but most guests spend their days at nearby Orient Bay Beach where there a a few beach clubs and restaurants with convivial atmospheres.
Esmeralda Resort has an enviable location situated slightly away from the main road of the beach collectivity of Orient Bay, but also a five-minute walk to the white sands of Orient Bay Beach. The famous (or infamous) clothing optional Orient Beach is a 10-minute walk from the hotel. The restaurants and shops of Orient Village are a 15-minute walk from the hotel. For nature lovers, the hiking trails of Pic Paradis are a 25-minute drive from the hotel. The small cruise town of Philipsburg is a 25-minute drive from the hotel, while the French Capital of Marigot is a 20-minute drive. Located on the French side of the island, Esmeralda Resort is a 10-minute drive from L’Esperance Airport, but travelers should allow at least 40 minutes as St. Martin traffic can be unpredictable.
Spacious and understated rooms with private terraces
There are 65 rooms at Esmeralda Resort. All of them are spacious and feature heavy colonial-style furniture, white walls, and brown tile floors. The rooms range in size from Studios to One-Bedroom Suites, all offer dining tables and small kitchenettes. Rooms have king-size beds bedecked with mahogany side tables and brightly colored throw pillows. Larger units feature extra sitting rooms with beige wicker couches and chairs. Each room includes a flat-screen TV, air-conditioning, and iPod speakers. The kitchenettes are a nice feature in the rooms and come with a mini-fridge, microwave, and dishware.
The highlight for all the rooms is the private terraces that lead out to a small gated pool shared with one or two other units (some pools are completely private). The pool deck has a handful of white lounge chairs available for guests to use.
Bathrooms vary, though most are spacious and have separate water closets. Bathrooms are white with brown tile floors and turquoise tile showers and sinks. All bathrooms have standing showers and many come with rainfall showerheads. Bathrooms come with towels, hairdryers, and French toiletries. Some of the rooms and bathrooms could use a refresh.
Romantic poolside restaurant, private pools, plenty of free parking, and free Wi-Fi
The Esmeralda Resort has lovely features that keep guests happy between visits to the beach. The hotel is serviced by L’Astrolabe, a popular poolside bar and restaurant for locals and tourists, serving a casual breakfast and elegant French fare for dinner. With indoor and poolside dining, L’Astrolabe offers a romantic setting for couples. There is also a small bar with a handful of wooden bar stools for those who only want to a glass of wine or to enjoy the music. Room service is also available for a fee. The continental breakfast is included with some of the room plans.
Private pools are attached to room units and there's a pool by the restaurant. The pool terraces are small and gated, with a handful of white lounge chairs on offer for guests to use. All the pools are clean and private. Since Orient Bay Beach is within easy walking distance, the pools aren’t usually busy. A few lounge chairs and cabanas are available for guests to use while at Orient Bay Beach, but it can get busy during peak hours.
A handful of common areas are on offer for guests, including the spacious front porch of the reception building. The front desk is open 24/7, which is convenient for late arrivals. A small shop sells alcohol, some beach gear, toiletries, and a few food items. Outdoor tennis courts are available. There is plenty of free parking within easy walking distance of the rooms. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel.