My fiance and I just spent ten days in st maarten in January 2013 and stayed at Princess Heights in a studio room. The room is very modern and the bathroom has a double sink with granite top and a great jacuzzi tub. The studio has a kitchenette with an electric stove top and microwave. This was our first time staying at this hotel. We usually stay at the Flamingo Resort in Simpson Bay. This hotel is in a very exclusive section of Oyster Bay/ Tamarind Hill. There are several million dollar properties with gated driveways. To drive to this hotel, there is a gate. They give you a keychain when you check in that opens the gate. Most of the time there is also a guard at the gate. There are alot of steep roads, but nothing too scary. You have to drive carefully on the correct side of the road and not speed especially when it's raining. The french side is literally at the end of the hill, so this was a nice balance between the dutch side and the french side. The princess heights is also listed as a condo property so there is no restaurant or bar. There is a very nice pool with deck chairs. To access the beach, you either have to drive down to Dawn Beach which is accessible either through the Westin Hotel or Oyster Bay Resort. I don't recommend that you walk down, the steps are very steep and it's not a stair well that is easily accessed. This is a hotel that is good for couples, but I would not bring kids. If you have kids, stay at a more traditional time share like resort that is on the beach. Getting to the beach is a chore. The Westin does not rent beach chairs so we had to sit on a towel which is embarrassing when all the beach chairs are basically empty. I don't recommend accessing the beach at the Westin because the waves are really high, and I didn't feel comfortable getting in the water. The beach at the Oyster Bay resort is much better. The water is fairly calm, and there are several restaurants on the beach that let you rent two beach chairs and an umbrella for $12. They also have drink specials where you can get a bucket of 10 coronas for $7. Not bad. They also have a nice restaurant on the resort that serves breakfast until 11am and the prices are about $10 per person...also very reasonable. Here are my only negative comments about Princess Heights...we came into our room and found our patio door unlcoked a couple times...even after we called the front desk to let them know. All of the patios at the hotel are connected so you can literally walk to your neighbors patio. This did not make us feel very secure. The workout room is very outdated with only one cardio machine that's about 15 years old. This area has alot of hills which I liked because I like to run and I wanted to run outside. However, when I went out to run on the second day one of the neighbor's dogs chased me, which made me feel very unsafe running outside. Because this is an exclusive area everyone has dogs, some of which are very big. The neighbors sometimes let their dogs roam free which means that if you want to run outside you're taking a risk. This was a major downside because I like to workout. If you want to run, I recommend driving down to Oyster Bay resort and running in that area which is much more tourist friendly. The kitchenette was fine, but the basic dishware items were not there (no wine glasses...eek). They did give us champagne glasses but it's not quite the same. If I came back to this hotel, I would definitely stay in a one bedroom that has a fully stocked kitchen with all of the amenities. Because we are accustomed to staying in timeshares, we have become spoiled in having a full kitchen set up like a toaster, a blender, oven, etc. The studio apartments in this unit does not have that, and we missed it. We also missed not being at a beachfront property. Renting beach chairs every day are an additional expense. Also...BE AWARE...this hotels adds a 15% "service charge" to your bill. We were aware of that upfront, and asked them to negotiate a bit which they did. The front desk said that this was for government tax, but I have never had to pay a 15% tax in St Maarten ever. When I inquired they said that it's to cover cleaning your room everyday, but at the end of our stay they give you an envelope to suggest that you leave money for the housekeepers. When you are in st. martin, pay attention to whether they add 15% to your bill when you eat out. Some places try to be slick and call is a tax when it's really the service fee. We had this happen at Zee Best, and left a tip not knowing that they had already iincluded the tip by calling it a tax. When you book this hotel, ask them to waive the service fee, if they don't...ask them if you can get a complimentary rental car which is about the same price as the service fee.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.