Reviews & Guest Comments
Frommers - 2004|
This elegant collection of suites lies on a steeply sloping hillside above the road leading into the village of Grand-Case from Marigot. Covered with cascades of bougainvillea, and accented with a vaguely Hispanic overlay of white walls, hand-painted tiles, and light blue-colored roofs, the resort's various elements are connected by a network of concrete steps that add to the layout's drama. There's a pool, a series of gorgeous terraced gardens, and access to a beach via a 6-minute walk on a winding, stair-dotted pathway. There's no restaurant (only a bar that's open in midwinter), but the village of Grand-Case is known for its restaurants.
All views from the guest rooms and their terraces are angled out toward the sea and the sunset. Each unit contains a kitchen with a large fridge, up-to-date cookware, exposed mahogany and wicker furniture, and very comfortable queen-size or king-size beds. Bathrooms are beautifully equipped right down to elegant toiletries baskets, bidets, and showers. The loft suites on the upper floors are worth the extra charge, as they include a sofa bed that can sleep extra guests, an upstairs master bedroom with a king-size bed, and a partial bathroom downstairs.
Mary, Minneapolis - Guest Comment|
Paradise - This is a spectacular property on all accounts. The oceanfront view, private balcony, spacious room, kitchen with everything you could possibly need, secluded pool, attention to detail and incredibly helpful staff and owner all make this a wonderful property. You can even see the ocean while showering. Location is perfect, walking distance to many, many wonderful French restuarants with impeccable service and great seafood. Kristin is a wealth of information. Read thru the L'Esplanade folder which gives you many helpful hints to make your stay perfect. Summer time is the best value with 2 free nights with a 7 night stay. The grounds are beautiful. Be sure to walk down to the "pottery" shop at the bottom of the hill, nice gifts to take home. Next time, we'll reserve the loft studios which are fabulous and very romantic. The best tropical hotel I've experienced in my 20 years in travel.
Larry and Chris, Atlanta - Guest Comment|
We have stayed at fancier hotels, more luxurious hotels, and more expensive hotels, but we have never stayed at a better hotel. Rooms are comfortably furnished, and are huge (we had an oversized loft). The grounds are immaculate and beautiful, and the view of Grand Case is wonderful. Staff is warm and extremely helpful. It is an easy 5 minute walk down the hill to the tremendous restaurants of Grand Case, and after the meals, we actually welcomed the bit of "exercise" strolling back to our room. Only negative is that we couldn't stay longer--but we will be back.
Gail, Maryland - Guest Comment|
This was the best vacation my husband and I ever had. The hotel is like your own private villa in the most beautiful surroundings. The pool is peaceful. We had a one-bedroom suite and we could have stayed forever. We definitely are going back. Everyone was nice and friendly. The walk down the hill to the restaurants was a great treat. Never have we found so many great restaurnats in one place. The only problem was trying to drive through the streets. It is better to walk - and after eating so much you need the walk.
Emily, Boston - Guest Comment|
Looking for romance? This is the place! - We absolutely loved this hidden jem! Very quiet and relaxing. Our room was amazing! Great views. We loved having a kitchen especially for our morning coffee. The best was a 2 minute walk to all of the best restaurants on the island! Everyone was so accommodating and friendly. We can't wait to go back. WARNING - if you are looking for lots of action, this is NOT the place. If you are looking for a quiet, peaceful, restful retreat, this is it!
Caribbean Travel and Life (September-October, 1994):
French Hideaways with Flair
by Michele Evans
The little seaside village of Grand Case, otherwise known as "restaurant row", is a prime stop for visitors to St. Martin. They come here not only for the fine French and Creole cuisines, but for a taste of the old Caribbean, which thrives along this lovely crescent of beach on the island's northernside. Gentle Grand Case, where tiny, well-kept homes mingle with local businesses -restaurants, a few boutiques, and markets- is one of the last vestiges of the past on this rapidly overdeveloping half-French, half-Dutch island.
Although the town has long offered some nice inns and hotels for the choosing, none approached luxury class -that is, not until late 1992, when the enchanting French-owned and -operated Hotel l'Esplanade Caraibe opened.
This magnificent complex of six Mediterranean-style, white-stucco build- ings, accented with red peaked roofs and deep blue trim, sprawls across a hillside overlooking the ocean and the village. Clearly, Argentinean architect Mauro Lanari spared no cost here.
Contained within are eight deluxe studios (which measure a generous 475 square feet) and four deluxe one-bedroom apartments, each one unique. Twelve additional one-bedroom apartments are actually loft duplexes, with a spacious second-floor bedroom and bath. Every one-bedroom unit is furnished with a sleep-sofa in the living room, so as to accommodate up to four guests. And all apartments and studios have a balustraded balcony with splendid ocean views.
Decor is simple, with white-tiled floors and rich accents of mahogany and other Brazilian hardwoods. Rattan wickerwork furnishes a tropical touch. Each unit has a direct-dial telephone, air conditioning, ceiling fans, a private safe, and a spacious, well-equipped bathroom, complete with hair dryer, lighted makeup mirror, and plenty of counter space.
Serious cooks will appreciate the kitchens, which come with a full-sized refrigerator, a coffeemaker, a toaster, china and cutlery, pots and pans, plus the requisite housekeeping supplies. As for groceries, you'll find several markets right in Grand Case; for a treat, though, try the fabulous Match supermarket a bit farther afield in Marigot.
LEsplanade presently has no restaurant on the property, but that may change in the future. Meanwhile, during the winter season, Continental breakfast is offered; with advance notice, you can arrange for the daily delivery of a basket of "start up" breakfast provisions and beverages.
A steep and winding drive leads up to the resort's handsome reception area. Here, in the plant-filled breezeway, guests are greeted by the hotel's spirited, efficient directors, Sally and Marco Tramoni (she's American, he's French). They will gladly fulfill any request, from arranging a car rental, to organizing a fishing or diving excursion on LEsplanade's 44-foot Davis deep-sea boat, to suggesting restaurants.
The grounds harbor two inviting freshwater pools; the larger one boasts a swim-up bar and pavilion, while the other is a small, round wader. Chaises line the garden terrace. Future plans include the addition of a tennis court.
A potpourri of colorful Portuguese and French ceramic tiles lines staircases, steps, walls, walkways, and planters, and a mosaic shimmers from the bottom of the main pool. Brazilian artisans were brought in to install the tiles and to create the exquisite, and painstaking, mosaic murals throughout the hotel.
A small fortune has obviously been lavished on the landscaping. Palms, plumbago, hibiscus, ginger, and aloe are only a few of the species that Venezuelan landscape architect Alfonso Utrilla and his full-time staff of two cultivate in the nursery, ever pruning and transplanting...
Travelage (August 1994):
Grand Case, St. Martin
L'Esplanade Caraibe is perhaps the best small hotel on the island, with rooms superior to La Samanna's at half the price. The only drawback to this 1992 multi-story villa resort is the daunting downhill walk to [the Grand Case] beach and its lack of a restaurant - two objections that evaporate once guests discover the beach or dine in one of the fabled I,'rench and Creole restaurants pf Grand Case. A steep road leads past immaculate beds of tropical flowers to a small open-air reception area surveying bobbing yachts at anchor. Stairs descend through tropical flowers to a stone walkway with built-in benclies and romantic pools of light. The path winds down to the narrow beach that stretches to the village's restaurants and bars. Off to one side is a pool with a swim-up bar. Most guests spend their evenings enjoying their studios and suites, all of which face the ocean. Details so often missing in Caribbean hotels are plentiful here, from the seamless joinery of the Venezuelan hardwood banisters and the hand-painted tiles on the balconies to the mosquito milk in the toiletries basket. Furnishing-, are oversize, with plump cushions on wicker chairs on tile floors. Kitchens are fully equipped, and the roomy tiled baths have plenty of counter space and vast open showers. Crisp air conditioning, ceiling fans, and clear 'I'V reception encourage guests to cocoon, but flowery furnished balconies lure them outside as well. One-bedroom and loft suites have king beds supplemented by sofa beds, while studios provide queens. For travelers in quest of a high-quality, low-profile resort, this is the place. 24 units.
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