Last year we stayed at Green Cay Village, which is an absolutely first rate hotel composed of private villas with full facilities, including a private pool for each villa, VCR, tape player, CD player, full kitchen with microwave, ice maker, dishwasher, huge great room and deck.. Green Cay costs $1800 for a week for two people, although Green Cay can be rented out as either a 2 or 3 bedroom villa, if YOU find someone to share it with, for $2400 or $3000.00.. Having stayed at Green Cay, we were very much afraid that anyplace else would be a major let-down. (For our full report of last year's trip to Green Cay, as well as pictures of Green Cay, check out our home page at http://pages.prodigy.com/hilltrvlet).
Having decided that we would travel back to SXM this summer, we determined that we would try to save a little money this time and, even though I would have preferred to book again at Green Cay, we talked to Jim Ruos (ad infinitum, I know, Jim!!) about where to book and ended up at L'Hoste. We had narrowed our choices down to L'Hoste and Sunrise Hotel. Having visited Sunrise to check it out once we arrived there, we were very happy we had chosen L'Hoste instead, as Sunrise is not in nearly as attractive an area as L'Hoste and the view appeared non-existent.
L'Hoste is one of four similar appearing hotels in the general area of Bikini Beach on Orient Beach and appeared to be the one closest to the water. L'Hoste is basically a hotel room, with the absolutely necessary refrigerator, but it is right on the beach and (for two people) half the cost of Green Cay. In a nutshell, L'Hoste is an clean, attractive small hotel on the beach which provides excellent value for the dollar.
We booked room #304, which Jim Ruos said was the best room at the hotel, and Jim was correct, as usual! (G!!) L'Hoste is a three story hotel, with the rooms on the 1st floor the cheapest and 3rd floor most expensive. We paid $150 per night for six nights, with the seventh night being free. Rooms on the bottom floor are, I believe, $115 per night. We felt the view from the 3rd floor was definitely worth the extra money.
The room itself, separate of the bathroom, was about 24 by 14, and included a king sized bed, wicker loveseat coffee table and chair and two other straight chairs with a table between. There was a TV with remote, with around 6 channels, including CNN, HBO, Cinemax and ESPN. There was A/C and ceiling fan. We surmised that the room had been vacant the week before, as the A/C was not cool at all the first day, but improved greatly after a day or so.
The balcony was large, around 14 feet by 8 feet, with two white PVC chairs and a table, about 3 feet by 1 « feet. The balcony had a waist high lattice work wall. Our balcony provided a beautiful view of the beach, with the water being about 50 yards away from our room. I could have wished for at least one chaise lounge and the balcony would have been perfect.
Storage was much more than adequate for a week at Orient Beach, with 2 full length hanging closets, plus 2 sections of shelves, plus a desk, a 4 drawer dresser and two small end tables next to the bed. There was a (keyed) safe and an apartment sized refrigerator with plenty of room for drinks and a freezer area sufficient for a couple of ice trays, which were provided. We basically used the ice trays to make ice, as one had to go to the Bikini Bar to get ice. This was a couple of hundred feet walk and more work than we normally wanted to go to for ice. The refrigerator worked very well and the ice trays generaly satisfied our needs, although there was an ice bucket in the room. There was also a water pitcher, which we generally kept filled with water in the refrigerator.
The bathroom (which was apparently NOT the standard bathroom for L'Hoste--possibly just for the top floor rooms--was about 9 by 12, with a corner tub with a hand held shower (but no stand-up shower stall). It was mostly marble and very attractive, with indirect lighting and mirrored walls, a hairdryer, and a bidet! (Ah, those crazy French!!). Shampoo, body wash and hand lotion were provided and were replenished as used. Somewhat strangely, we never had any washcloths for the week--although I confess we didn't complain about it. Beach towels were provided, although one had to go to the front desk to request clean ones each day, as they were not delivered to the room. Otherwise, the maid did a wonderful job of keeping the room clean and neat and towels, etc., replenished each day.
L'Hoste does not have any cooking facilities at all, and I did not particularly miss them, other than a coffee maker. Our preferred breakfast is two croissants, coffee and orange juice, or possibly a mimosa, if the urge hits, so we really do not feel like paying $10-!5 to go out to breakfast every day. After an "unfortunate experience" with a coffeemaker that we brought from home, along with a converter that didn't really convert 220 to 110, and our subsequent purchase of a 220 coffeemaker in Marigot, our breakfasts on our balcony were a wonderful experience. Anybody care to rent a 220 coffeemaker for their next trip to SXM?? Let's see, with the price of the converter which didn't work and the coffeepot which got fried and the new coffeepot, I figure we spent about $35 on coffee for the week (in addition to the $4 we spent the first morning on coffee from the hotel restaurant!!) What I do for the love of coffee!!!
Other than bringing a coffeemaker--which many people would consider to be too much trouble--we brought along coffee, sugar and creamer, as well as a couple of spoons, a corkscrew, and a paring knife. One deficiency of the room, I thought, was that the only glasses were the very small water glasses provided by the hotel--no wine glasses or even highball glasses. Tough to make a rum and coke in a 6 ounce glass! If the pool bar had been open, one could probably scarf some wine glasses and highball glasses from the bar.
Being a very small hotel, L'Hoste did not have some of the amenities of a large hotel, but it was certainly more than adequate for our needs. There is a restaurant called Madras which is shared by the four hotels. This restaurant was open only for breakfast during our stay, but apparentlly would be open for lunch and possibly dinner as of July 10. There were only about 6 of L'Hoste's 28 rooms being occupied when we were there, so I suppose that explained why the restaurant was not open more. There was a pool shared by the four hotels, which didn't seem to get much use. The restaurant was immediately in front of the pool, which had a swim-up bar. However, the bar was not open during our stay. During the season, having the restaurant open for lunch and having that bar open would, I'm sure, add to the population of the pool. There were free chairs by the hotel pool, but because of the lay of the land, one could not see the ocean from the pool, even though it was relatively close.
Even though L'Hoste is right on the beach, the Bikini Bar is not part of the hotel. Even though one had signing privileges (to charge drinks and food to your hotel room), one had to pay for chair rental on the beach. Two chairs, white PVC with thick pads, plus one umbrella, were $10 for the day. By contrast, 2 plastic strap chairs (no pads) plus an umbrella, were $15 for the day at Orient. On the first two days we were in SXM, we went nude on the beach right at Bikini, along with several other people. On Sunday, especially, the beach was pretty crowded with locals and the crowd was mostly topless and many were nude. Apparently, nudity is much more prevalent now at Bikini Beach since the hurricane, although most nudists still go to Orient. Of the six couples we saw at L'Hoste, we saw 5 on the beach at Orient at one point or another during the week. The beach at Bikini was fairly quiet except for Friday, which is when the Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas is in port. That day, Bikini was PACKED. If one is not interested in going nude at all, Bikini Beach is quite a wonderful beach, with some nice breaking waves. There are no rocks, stones, etc., in the water and there are plenty of toys to play with--jetskis, parasailing, sailboats, etc. We ate breakfast once and lunch a couple of times at Bikini, as well as spent some time at the bar. Great food and good service and good fun, right on the beach.
One deficiency of L'Hoste for those (silly enough!!) not to rent a car, is that there really were not any places within easy walking distance which were open for dinner, at least during slow season. The Bikini Bar was open for breakfast and lunch only. Otherwise, Waikiki (in front of Esmerelda), was the next restaurant toward Mt. Vernon. I don't know whether it was open for dinner or not, although of course, the restaurant for La Plantation and L'Astrobe (SP??) were open. We didn't get down that way at night, but I think that Kontiki was open for dinner, although that is probably a half mile walk down the beach.
Having spent a week in both places, I think that the only thing that we really missed from Green Cay was being able to cook in the evenings. We are not real gourmets, and my favorite meals here at home, frankly, are a grilled steak and a salad, with a nice bottle of wine. At Green Cay, we grilled out 3 nights for our evening meal, and we really enjoyed those evenings. Since we have not been to SXM enough times yet to have a huge list of "old favorite" restaurants to visit, we got kind of tired by the end of the week of hunting for a new place to have dinner each night. I suspect, though, when we head back to SXM next year, we will work on that list of favorite restaurants!
Because Green Cay is the only other place that we have stayed in SXM, (even though we have visited SXM a half dozen times on ships) we often found ourselves comparing the two facilities, and FOR THE PRICE, L'Hoste definitely competed with Green Cay. Although it's a hard choice, unless we would find someone compatible to share Green Cay with, we will probably head back to L'Hoste next year. If you have any questions about the hotel, please give us a shout here on $P$. We should have some pictures of the hotel up here on our home page within a few days. Carol & Eric in VA
|Cruise Photo Gallery||Cruise Reviews and Links|
|Island Reviews and Links||Island Photo Gallery|
|Back to home page|