Continental breakfast buffet has limited options and is repetitive
Perched on a hillside overlooking the Caribbean Ocean, the mid-range Hotel La Plantation has a privileged location. It's within easy walking distance of Orient Bay Beach and Orient Village, but away from the lively beachfront bars and clubs, so it stays quiet. All 53 rooms are spacious and bright, and include kitchenettes, air-conditioning, and free Wi-Fi (though it can be spotty). French doors open to wraparound terraces in each room and are a major bonus. Other features include a pool with a snack bar, a casual open-air restaurant, free continental breakfast, and the ability to charge some local restaurant bills back to your room. For something closer to the beach, it's worth considering La Playa Orient Bay instead, which has similar amenities at sometimes comparable rates.
Simple and casual hotel for travelers seeking a quiet place to recharge
Situated over several sprawling acres of hills, and separated from its neighbors by a gated entrance, the rooms at Hotel La Plantation are set far back from the main road. This gives them an air of exclusivity while also ensuring tranquility and quiet, two things that previous guests love. Don't get us wrong, this is a casual and simple hotel all the way, but the ambience is hard to beat for those seeking a peaceful place to unwind. The style here is predictably Caribbean, with lots of white, a few dashes of colonial inspiration, and pops of bright colors all around. Everything is well-kept and clean, and much of the limited action here centers on the hotel's main building, which is home to the the pool and snack bar. We spotted plenty of guests around both during our visit. At night, the restaurant changes into a romantic candlelit spot with lots of open-air seating. Expect to see couples hanging out at the poolside bar enjoying glasses of wine and cocktails throughout the day. There are a few theme nights with the restaurant, so sometimes it can get a little busy with locals and other travelers.
In a quiet part of Orient Bay, a five-minute walk to the beach
Situated on a quiet hillside in Orient Bay, the hotel is away from the hustle and bustle of the beach bars while being within easy walking distance of everything in town. It's a five-minute walk to the white sands of Orient Bay Beach, and a 15-minute walk to the famous (or infamous) clothing-optional section. The restaurants and shops of Orient Village are a 10-minute walk from the hotel. Like many hotels in St. Martin, Hotel La Plantation does not provide airport transportation, but L’Esperance Airport is only a seven-minute drive away. Travelers should allow at least 40 minutes by car to reach the larger Princess Juliana International Airport. The restaurants, shops, and popular boardwalk of Philipsburg are a 25-minute drive away, and the French capital, Marigot, is a 20-minute drive from the hotel. Keep in mind that St. Martin traffic can be finicky, so allow extra time when crossing the island.
Spacious and bright rooms with kitchenettes, air-conditioning, and large terraces
Spread out across the hilly property, the 53 humble units at the hotel are broken down among 17 buildings. Each room is spacious and simple, and all have a touch of rustic charm, from the French doors with real keys to the chunky hardwood pieces of furniture in some other units. Both Studios and One-Bedroom Suites are available, and can be combined into larger units. All rooms feature king- or queen-size beds covered in bright pink mosquito nets, simple terra-cotta tile floors, and white futon couches. A few pieces of abstract artwork and brightly colored throw pillows add extra pops of color. We also like the tropical flowers placed in each room on arrival.
All rooms include modern kitchenettes with microwaves, fridges or mini-fridges, electric ranges, and coffeemakers, as well as ample counter space and dishware. Other standard features include flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, and free Wi-Fi, though it can be spotty. The furnished wraparound terraces or spacious porches are a highlight, offering ocean or garden views.
Bathrooms are moderately sized to spacious and feature roomy showers and rainfall showerheads. Guests can expect towels and toiletries, plus hairdryers and a decent amount of counter space. Fixtures are all modern, though the grout work could use a scrub in some showers.
Open-air restaurant and bar, pool and poolside bar, tennis courts, and sufficient free parking
Hotel La Plantation has a nice list of features, though don't expect a ton of resort-like amenities at this simple property. Cafe Plantation is the main restaurant and bar, and is a popular spot for locals, tourists, and hotel guests. It serves a free continental breakfast and well-liked dinner, though the options at breakfast are limited and repetitive. Seafood theme nights in a romantic candlelight setting by the pool are especially popular and can get busy. The bar is a great pre-dinner spot for a glass of wine or beer. Lunch is served at the poolside snack bar, and includes casual grill fare like sandwiches and salads. Keep in mind that a "privilege" card given at check-in lets you charge food at several beach bars back to your room -- a convenient option for those who don't want to carry cash.
The pool terrace is moderately sized and features a few lounge chairs and beige umbrellas. There are also plenty of black wicker tables and chairs on offer for guests in the adjacent restaurant's patio. Beach towels are free for those heading to the shore. A small library is situated adjacent to the lobby, and features two computers and a selection of books to borrow. For the more active, the hotel has tennis courts. Rackets and balls are provided free of charge. There isn't a fitness center. Free parking is located in multiple places across the grounds, including near the rooms. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel, but can be frustratingly spotty.
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