- Not located on the beach
- No air conditioning in the suites’ living rooms
- No on-site restaurant, fitness center, or spa
- No elevators
Popular with families and older couples, but located on an unattractive residential road with little within walking distance
Travelers looking to stay near a quiet beach on-the-cheap hit up this small hotel on a residential street in Philipsburg. The location is hardly charming, set on the corner of a run-down residential road, and the amenities are few, with just a small pool and a breezy second-story sitting area. But certain redeeming qualities do exist. For starters, the property -- with its white-adobe walls lined with colorful bougainvillea, and its red Spanish-tile rooftop -- claims a certain charming ambiance. Most of all though, the rates are virtually impossible to beat, especially for units that have kitchenettes and a separate living room and bedroom.
Plus, the proximity to beaches, a grocery store, restaurants, and the hubbub of Philipsburg means there’s no shortage of activity nearby. For adventurous and independent travelers looking for a place to crash without spending much, L’Esperance gets the job done.
In a run-down residential neighborhood, but plenty of beaches and places of interest are close by
Located on a rather desolate Philipsburg back road between the main thoroughfare and the beach, L’Esperance Hotel is surrounded by rundown houses in a residential neighborhood. Roosters cluck and call throughout the day, and cars tend to whisk rather quickly down the small road, resulting in a less-than-tranquil environment.
The hotel is not located on the beach; however, two pretty and uncrowded beaches are within walking distance, as is a small market. Everything else requires a car ride, though Philipsburg’s biggest attractions are only about five minutes away. The hotel’s location just past the mountain that links the western side of the island with Philipsburg is also ideal for quick access to the airport and Simpson Bay. Be aware, however, that traffic can be quite heavy on the island; if a punctual arrival at your destination is required, be sure to budget extra time.
Spacious one- and two-bedroom suites with kitchenettes -- but no air conditioning in the living rooms
The biggest problem with L’Esperance’s 22 one- and two-bedroom suites is the lack of air conditioning in the living rooms. In a tropical setting like St. Maarten, a space is virtually useless if it doesn’t have some means of cooling the air, and travelers who can’t handle the sweltering heat will either be forced to camp out in their TV-less, amenity-less bedrooms, or vacate the premises altogether.
Aside from temperature-control issues, the units are simply furnished -- none of the furniture is too garish or worn. By the same token, little is of note -- white wicker chairs, tan couches, and generic white-tile floors are about as average as they come. Units do have balconies, but they are completely walled-in by a thick concrete-patterned partition, allowing in some light but almost completely obscuring the views.
Of course it's not all bad news -- certain updates to the rooms are apparent: Though small, the bathrooms have nice granite countertops and raised vessel sinks; and 26-inch flat-screen TVs appear rather new. Perhaps the grungy countertops and ugly white cabinets in the kitchenettes are next in line for upgrades.
A small pool, a breezy lounge area, and little else
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