Esmeralda Resort - St. Martin, Caribbean -
The friendly, residential feel of this intimate resort on French St. Martin's Orient Bay appeals to couples and honeymooners looking for a secluded vacation spot.
Eighteen villas, each with its own pool, house the hotel's 65 individual rooms. Surrounded by lush gardens, the single-story villas are painted in summery yellow, with white shutters and rooftops. Guestrooms are furnished with dark wood colonial-style furniture with tropical print accents. Each has one king-sized or two double beds, a kitchenette, air conditioning, satellite television and a furnished private terrace. Room categories depend on proximity to the beach, with Ocean Front rooms being the closest and Superior rooms further away.
Chef Stephane Decluseau runs the resort's L'Astrolabe restaurant, offering world cuisine flavored with bold spices. Befitting the island's heritage, the restaurant's wine menu specializes in wines from France. For more casual fare, the beachfront Coco Beach offers grilled specialties.
Water sports-some available for a fee-include both motorized and non-motorized activities: catamaran sailing, wind surfing, kite surfing, Jet Skiing, scuba diving, snorkeling and parasailing. The individual villa pools offer privacy. When it's time to be sociable, the resort concierge can arrange for golf at a nearby course or a massage at a nearby spa.