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“Great Location, Enjoyed Our Stay” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Belair Beach Hotel

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Belair Beach Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Little Bay Beach | P.O. Box 940, Philipsburg, St Maarten-St Martin   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 13 hotels in Philipsburg
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Great Location, Enjoyed Our Stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

We would definitely come again. The best thing about this resort is the beach. It is beautiful, clear turquoise water, and soft sand. The water is gentle enough for swimming, but you can also body surf or boogie board (rent for $5/day or $25/week at the towel hut). When you arrive, go out to the towel hut and reserve your beach chairs for the week. You can sleep in and still get the same chairs everyday! We drove around the entire island, stopped in Great Bay and Phillipsburg, Oyster Bay, Orient Bay, Marigot, Simpson Bay, and Maho Bay. We liked Little Bay the best. It is quiet, beautiful and not at all crowded. If you are looking for a party scene, this isn't the place. We prefer enjoying a beach without stepping over people to get to it, and Little Bay was absolutely perfect for us. The pool at the resort is very small. We never even used it as the beach was so incredible.

The building itself isn't amazing. Everything was very clean. We had daily maid service and they cleaned everything very well, even washed our dishes. It is dated however. If you are looking for a plush resort experience (like the newer timeshares that we have stayed in while in Mexico), this is not it. I would say the decor looks like it is from the 90's. You should just know this, as we did, before you book. If not, it might be a shock. I am very bothered when things aren't clean, and I felt very comfortable there. I do think they could greatly improve the first impression people get by simply painting the lobby area and getting some new pictures to hang behind the desk.

The kitchen is small, but worked perfectly for us. It has a full size fridge, 2 burners, and a toaster oven. It was sufficiently stocked for us. We cooked two meals a day and ate out one. The living area and kitchen have huge windows (basically a wall of windows) that overlook the ocean-Amazing view!!! The living area has two couches and a decent sized flatscreen with maybe 20 channels, all in English. There are two bedrooms, but one is very small. I think maybe the smaller one has just a full size bed in it, and it pushed against the wall to have enough room to walk around it. The larger of the two rooms has a king size bed. Both rooms have bathrooms (bath tub with shower in the larger room and shower in the smaller one). We never had a problem with hot water. Only the larger room has a TV in it, although it is maybe 10 or 12 inches. We never used ours, so if watching TV in your room to relax is important to you, you might get stressed just squinting to see it. The AC worked great. The balcony is the best part of the suite. It is large with a lounge chair, a small table and chairs. Each and every room overlooks Little Bay. The view is worth the stay.

We found the customer service at the resort to be great. I think that some of the complaints from other reviewers may come from differences in culture. We noticed that the people on St Maarten aren't as time oriented as Americans are. For example, when going out to eat, we almost always had to ask for our bill (and we weren't in a hurry). Time just moves slower there. We had requested a fourth floor suite for the higher view and less foot traffic, we got a fourth floor room. There was a question about our bill and they quickly resolved it when we asked about it. It was no problem to get a later check out. Housekeeping was very friendly and accommodating. There was one major deluge that showed there was a leak in the ceiling in our living area. The front desk immediately sent maintenance up to address the issue.

We didn't go to the Gingerbread Cafe. We heard mixed reviews from other guests. We just wanted to explore more of the island. We did go to Divi's (the other resort on Little Bay) outdoor grill and enjoyed it. One thing that we learned while trying different restaurants... don't buy mixed drinks while out and about in St Maarten's! I am an incredible lightweight. One beer makes me tipsy. I couldn't even taste the alcohol in the cocktails. Basically spent $8 on juice. Other guests commented on the exact same thing.

Food and dining out is very expensive in St Maarten. We got 2 crepes and 2 sodas and it was $20 plus tip. Dinner for a couple burgers runs about $40. We went to the Grand Marche and bought groceries. It is about a 7 minute drive from Belair. It has a good selection of foods that we were familiar with, and even had some of the specialty foods (like Boursin cheeses or Earth Balance butter) that we recognized from home. All of the food there is expensive as everything needs to be shipped in to St Maarten's, but it is much cheaper than eating out. We also brought some food with us from the States and customs gave us no trouble with that. We brought some tuna, granola bars, tortillas, PB, honey, etc. We also brought True Lemon water flavoring packets for the water. We did drink tap water and were totally fine. It was just okay tasting, so we often added the True Lemon to it.

We rented a car from Starlite Rental for 3 days and it was a great experience. They are located on site at Belair. Kevin picked us up from the airport. Since we were only renting the car for three days, Kevin offered to take us back the following Saturday with him as he went to go pick up more customers. It was seamless service. Nivi (?), the lady at the Starlite desk, was also very helpful and accommodating. She gave several recommendations on where to eat around St Maarten, all of them that we tried were excellent. Starlite is a bit more expensive than some of the other car rental companies (I compared for the dates and car make on Kayak before reserving with Starlite), but the convenience of having the rental company on site was a big deal for me.

Some people have said that you need to rent a car. I think it really depends on what you want to do. We were glad that we rented it for the three days. We got to drive around the entire island, go out to eat at more distant locations, go experience a plane flying in at Maho, but we were also glad just to lay on the beach and read. If you feel the need to explore daily, then definitely rent a car. It'll be cheaper than taxis.

Phillipsburg is a short walk away. We walked back and forth from the Belair in the heat of the day and it took us 20 minutes at a leisurely pace to get to the closest part of Front Street. There is a little hill that you need to climb. It was fine for us, but we are in our early 30's and in decent shape. I wouldn't recommend walking this at night just for the reason that you are on a narrow sidewalk on a busy road for maybe 5 minutes of the walk. Drive or get a taxi if you want to go into Phillipsburg at night.

We loved it at the Belair and hope to go back. The employees were very helpful. The guests were so friendly and kind. By the end of the week, people knew each other by name. We felt very safe with the 24 hour security. If you are looking for luxury, casinos, hopping night life, this isn't the place for you. If you want a gorgeous and quiet beach, this place is perfect.

Room Tip: The fourth floor has the best views in my opinion, but all of the rooms are beach front and you just...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregoryevan, Manager at Belair Beach Hotel, responded to this review, May 2, 2013
We are always glad to hear that you enjoyed your vacation with us. Our staff tries hard to please nad they really care. As you said "if you want to be on the beach, you can't get closer to it than the Belair". We are not for everyone but no place is.

Sorry you didn't try the Gingerbread Cafe. It really is great place to have any meal overlooking the beach. The staff is helpful and the food very good.

Hope to see you back soon.
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248 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
alto mi
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

We just got back last week from this resort. First impression does make you question this resort. All of the people at the resort were very friendy. Loved the ginger bread restaurant for breakfast. The pool is really small. We were on the 3rd floor. all rooms have a great view of the ocean. This was the first time I stayed at a resort that reserved our beach chairs. What a HUGE relief that was not having to worry about having chairs and shade. All resorts need to take lessons from the Belair for this beautiful perk.You have to rent a car on this island. Driving was no problem. Every meal we had in town was wonderful. The bakerys were great, but the frech workers are snobs. It was great watching the cruise ships come in the morning and leave with all of there lights on. I would recomend this resort to anyone that wants a very relaxing week. Like you read before it is not a luxury resort, but you will leave glad you stayed there. Rented a car from Kenny was great and a nice price also.I would recomend him.You have to go to the airport bar and watch people get thrown into the ocean by airplane prop wash.I would stay again,

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregoryevan, Manager at Belair Beach Hotel, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Glad to hear that you had a wonderful vacation. That's what it is all about. Everyone likes something different but for relaxation and beach, the Belair is the one! We look forward to seeing you again.
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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

The title says most of how I feel about the Belair, but not everything. Just got back from our third visit to St. Maarten and this was the second time that we stayed at the Belair. As most every reviewer stated it's not a luxury hotel, amenities some may desire are limited and it's generally a somewhat older crowd with a smattering of families with children. But for us it's fine; great, mellow beach, w/ reserved chairs; convenient to food shopping and restaurants; easy/honest car rental; hotel staff were friendly and accommodating.....internet gave us a problem, it was easily resolved; room location we asked for....no problem, we were on the top floor as requested; cable remote not working...again, no problem, quickly corrected. Hot water was plentiful, a/c was cool. If I were to make one suggestion it would be a slight improvement in the housekeeping; while basically the room was clean it's the less obvious things; the air vents were really dirty, the fridge handle needed a good scrubbing, light switch in bathroom was dirty....little things that are easily corrected. If we go to St. Maarten again it will be to the Belair and I guess that says everything about a place; would you go back? The bigger question is to go back to St. Maarten....it seems to get more congested every time we return. Thank you Belair for a relaxing vacation.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregoryevan, Manager at Belair Beach Hotel, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
We are glad that you enjoyed your stay in St. Maarten. And thank you for pointing out the problems wtih housekeeping. We do not stay in the apartments and we need feed back from our guests and owners so that we can improve! I have forwarded a copy of this to our housekeeping department and hopefully these "little things" that aren't so little will be corrected the next time you are here.
As for the traffic, hopefully when the new bridge is finished early next year a lot of the problems will be alleviated.
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Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

First I must say the beach itself is marvelous. Please read carefully and take into consideration before travelling so that you can be prepared. We travelled in Summer of 2011.
Once our flight landed we were told ours, along with about 10 others luggage had not arrived on our plane. This meant that we were headed into Caribbean weather in our Oregon clothes. We were pretty disappointed but kept the positive attitude, we were in the Caribbean after all.
On arrival to the hotel, in the morning, the front desk attendant rarely looked at us. She talked so low we struggled to understand her. We let her know that our luggage did not make it and the airport would be calling. She seemed very disinterested. I checked back a couple times before we turned in for the night and she asked me not to call her again about it.
By the next afternoon and no call I requested that she connect me to the airport because we could not make direct calls from the room. She refused and stated our luggage wouldn't be coming in on a Sunday and that the airport was closed. We were immediately alarmed because we saw planes coming and going, as well at her refusal connect us.
We decided to drive back to airport. We asked for security and sure enough our luggage was sitting there. Along with all the other people. Sitting in a back room I might add. What we found out is that there is a scam on the island where they keep a certain number of bags from different resorts and then after a couple of days will offer to return for a fee. We did report this to the airlines once home but guess that this type of thing still goes on. So pack light and keep everything in a carry on.
Secondly the hotel restaurant, The Gingerbread cafe was also very flippant with us. When we asked for water the waitress told us we could get water out of the bathroom if we were thirsty. I would not suggest eating there as the food was marginal as well.
We are low maintenance when we travel and can get along with just about anybody so it was quite disheartening.
Rooms were large, dated and mostly clean. Housekeeping is available 2-3x in a 7day week which is not quite enough being on a beach. There is security on site 24/7.

Room Tip: All the rooms face the ocean so they all have a good view.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregoryevan, Manager at Belair Beach Hotel, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
I am quite surprised by your remarks. You say that this happened in 2011? Why didn't you say something at the time? I have lived here for over 30 years and have never heard of any scam as you state. Luggage does get lost every where in the world. Unfortunately it happens here as well. I don't know who at the Front Desk would have told you the things you say. I would really like to know their name if you know it. Our staff is known for being helpful. We try very hard but sometimes there are circumstances that happen. We do hope that you will come back to St. Maarten again. If you didn't like our resort, please try another one. Everyone likes something different. I always say "St. Maarten has something for everyone". You just have to find it.
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Chesapeake, Virginia
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

All rooms face a beautiful beach. Hotel marks lounges and umbrellas for you for the duration of your stay. Staff is very friendly and helpful to all needs. Units are older but were clean, roomy and adequate for two couples or families with kids. Would definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregoryevan, Manager at Belair Beach Hotel, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
We are glad that you had a good time. Our staff certainly tries to accommodate everyone. We look forward to seeing you back in the near future
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

If you want total relaxation and a beautiful tropical island experience look no further than Belair Beach Hotel in Little Bay. The beach faces south so the weather is almost always exceptional and the cruise ships come in the mornings and leave in the evenings before your eyes in the distant horizon. The staff is friendly and helpful .We plan to return again very soon.

Room Tip: Higher floors have the best views.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregoryevan, Manager at Belair Beach Hotel, responded to this review, March 18, 2013
We are glad that you enjoyed your stay. Our staff tries very hard to please everyone. They really care and this makes a difference. We are a laid back, easy going resort with relaxation and beach as the key words.

Hope to see you back soon!
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Alexandria, Ontario, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

Besides being probably one of the best beaches on the island, the hotel is actually quite charming. The fact that housekeeping washed our dishes everyday really helped my folks out.

Also, you are 'assigned' a chair for the duration of your stay is golden. You don't have to get up any earlier than others to get a good ocean view seat and your chair is brushed and ready when you get there

Their monday dinner is to die for!! They have a chicken and rib all you can eat buffet for $20. Chicken is very tasty but the ribs are PHENOMENAL

If you have a car you will easily have access to Philipsburg and the highway to Marigot. Sure the hotel look is a little retro but i even think they can now start playing on that.

I was a little disappointed in their 'wifi' because you always had to login even though there is supposed to be a setting that should remember your device. Also the bandwidth gets a little sketchy at times.

Finally, every room is an ocean view... so regardless of you being on the ground floor or the 4th floor you will always wake up to a close view of the hotel.

Room Tip: If you can afford it... get a room on the ground floor. The experience is exponentially better!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Belair Beach Hotel

Also Known As:
Belair Beach Philipsburg
Hotel Belair Beach
Belair Beach Hotel St Maarten-St Martin/Philipsburg
Address: Little Bay Beach | P.O. Box 940, Philipsburg, St Maarten-St Martin
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St Maarten-St Martin > Sint Maarten > Philipsburg
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Philipsburg
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Philipsburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Belair Beach Hotel 3*
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