L'Esplanade or the Westin

Oct 7th, 2007, 11:32 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 44
L'Esplanade or the Westin

Well, after the advice recevied from my previous post, my partner and I have decided on a November trip to St. Maarten/Martin.

We currently have a partial ocean view room booked at the Westin in Dawn Beach for $179/night -- which seems like a terrific deal. Then I discovered L'Esplanade in Grand Case and they have a deluxe studio available for $240/night.

We are the kind of people who will like to hang out by the pool, have some beach time and then do some excursions.

We are also a bit of "foodies" and "wine aficianados" and so the idea of staying in Grand Case seems quite nice.

The Westin will offer all the comforts of a resort -- and is right on a large beach with snorkeling (which we do enjoy). But L'Esplanade seems to offer so much more charm and more European setting that we are seriously thinking about that.

We'll be renting a car either way -- and also curious to hear about safety issues on the island (if we have dinner in Grand Case, can we walk back to the hotel at night?)

So Fodorites -- you haven't steered me wrong before -- what are your thoughts?
dhm49 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 04:12 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 437
We have stayed at L'Esplanade's sister property (Le Petit Hotel) and are going back for a repeat visit in a few short weeks. We will also be incorporating a stay at L'Esplanade this time around.

We enjoy staying in Grand Case due to the proximity to all the fine dining options. Every night we walked from Le Petit to the restaurants and back again. You have to watch out for traffic, but otherwise we felt it was okay. I don't think I would walk it alone as a single woman. I do not know how the walk differs at L'Esplanade.....but I will be able to tell you in a couple weeks. The website pictures are an accurate depiction of the rooms.

The Westin is new and looks beautiful.
Lizzie518 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2007, 03:41 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 471
The walk from L'Esplanade to the restaurants in Grand Case is down a hill (all landscaped, hotel grounds with a guard on duty at night IIRC), and then a few more blocks on a more residential street which opens up into 'Restaurant Row'. We have seen gendarme on this part of the street, and it is the road that goes to Grand Case Beach Club, so it does get traffic. We have never felt unsecure walking through there. The only problem might be the walk back up the hill - especially if you ate or drank too well! Parking is a little scarce so it is worth it to walk.

The hotel itself is really as beautiful as the website shows it. All of the rooms, I believe, have a full view of the bay and over to Anguilla. With the kitchen, you can create your own breakfasts, but we always walked down the hill to get croissants and coffee.
GoAway is offline  
Oct 10th, 2007, 05:33 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,163
If you are foodies, then you might enjoy L'Esplanade more. The restaurants in Grand Case are really great, though pretty expensive with the current exchange rate.

By the way, don't miss Friar's Bay. It's an excellent beach about midway between Grand Case and Marigot. You have to go through a residential area to get there, but there's parking and a good beach bar with excellent food. You can rent umbrellas and chairs. This is one of my very favorite beaches on St. Martin. If you walk over the hill, you'll reach Happy Bay, which is accessible only by foot or by boat. If you get lucky, there may be no other people there.

I'd also recommend Loterie Farm, which is on the road to Pic du Paradis.
doug_stallings is offline  
Oct 10th, 2007, 07:33 PM
  #5  
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Posts: 44
Thanks! We booked the room at L'Esplanade and are very excited. And since we're coming from NYC, even with a bad exchange rate, we're probably used to the types of prices there.

As always -- all your help is greatly appreciated!
dhm49 is offline  
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