from Port Charlotte, Florida
Submitted on 15-05-2016
After checking out the reviews for hotels in Orient Bay, we selected La Playa (formally L'Hoste) for our vacation get away. First, if you are looking for a 4-star hotel with all of the things that go with that, then don't pick La Playa. But if you are looking for a comfortable place to stay, in a perfect beach location, with friendly and helpful staff, then please consider this hotel. Four of us arrived on a Saturday, and took a cab from the airport. The price for a ride from Princess Juliana A...
After checking out the reviews for hotels in Orient Bay, we selected La Playa (formally L'Hoste) for our vacation get away. First, if you are looking for a 4-star hotel with all of the things that go with that, then don't pick La Playa. But if you are looking for a comfortable place to stay, in a perfect beach location, with friendly and helpful staff, then please consider this hotel. Four of us arrived on a Saturday, and took a cab from the airport. The price for a ride from Princess Juliana Airport to Orient Bay is $45 for 4 people. However, make sure you verify that in advance. Some drivers will try to take advantage. We were greeted at the outdoor reception area (there is no indoor lobby) by Kelly, with a smile and a warm welcome. We were presented with a coupon for 2 free drinks (rum punch or fruit punch), given our pool and beach towels and two keys to our rooms. As previously stated, this is a 3-star property. The rooms were clean and comfortable but could do with a little updating, although everything worked fine. Our refrigerator kept our water, beer, and a couple of food items nice and cold. There are a couple of stove-top burners, but we never had the need to use them. The bathroom was spacious and clean with a large shower. There is a separate little room with a toilet. We were on the 2nd floor, overlooking the garden area. We had a balcony outside of sliding glass doors. The lock on the door didn't work but they had a rod that dropped into the tracks to keep the door secure. As mentioned by other reviewers, the location of this hotel is perfect. It's steps from Orient Beach, and there are numerous beach bars both ways up and down the beach. A small plaza is right behind the property that has several restaurants, plus stores where you can buy grocery items, water, alcohol, cigars, and other sundries. There are 3 different bars on the property. There is one at the reception area. It was only open on Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday, starting at 4:30pm. There is a 2nd bar at the dining area (breakfast and lunch only) that opens at 7am but closes at 4pm. And there is a beach bar that opens at about 10am and closes about 4pm. In fact, many of the beach bars tended to close at 4pm, perhaps because busy season had passed.The continental breakfast offers plenty to eat. And we ate lunch there a couple of times and I can recommend them highly. There is a pool on premises with lounging chairs for sunning, and a few gazebos with sitting areas, if you want to stay out of the sun but still enjoy the pool. On the beach, there are plenty of loungers and umbrellas reserved for guests. And yes, there are others that are reserved for day trippers and cruisers. But maybe because of the time of the year we stayed, we hardly saw any of them. Several reviewers stated that the mattresses on their beds were too "hard". I guess it's an individual choice. I don't like a hard mattress, and I found ours to be quite comfortable. As for money, everyone takes the U.S. dollar. Some places will give you 1 for 1, dollar to Euro. Those that do will have signs posted. Those that don't usually round up when converting, and add a little more to it. If you have a credit card with no transaction fee for converting, I'd suggest using it where you can. Otherwise, take some larger bills, but more smaller (ones, fives, and tens) to use at the beach bars. If you want to rent a car, book a tour, get a taxi, or have your boarding pass printed, the folks at the reception desk (open 8 to 8) are glad to assist. We booked a day trip by ferry to St. Barts, and a taxi to Oyster Pond, Phillipsburg, Marigot, and the airport through them. If you decide to use a cab, have them call John's. Another tip: There is free wi-fi. You will be given the name and password to sign in when you arrive. Actually, there are two different secure wi-fi 's. The first is under the hotel's old name of L'hoste. It works fairly well in the rooms and around the pool. You may have to sign in daily. Secondly, there is a great wi-fi signal at the bar and restaurant area under the name of LaPlaya. The password is available there.
All in all, the four of us had a great time and will definitely stay here again if/when we return.