There are several reasons why I keep returning to the Beach Plaza.
It is located on the French side of the island which is far more pleasant and laid back unless you demand the far more exciting night life on the Dutch side.
It is located within walking distance of Marigot, the charming French capital, and is only five minutes from Marina Royale and a choice of several outstanding waterfront restaurants. There is therefore no real need to have a car unless you want to do a lot of island sightseeing; alternatively if you only want one for a couple of days, an excellent local rental agency has a representative on site in the mornings. Given that parking is an absolute nightmare in the Dutch capital, Phillipsburg, my preferred way of getting there for an afternoon is to partake of the island's cheap, admittedly eccentric but always entertaining bus service.
The Beach Plaza is certainly not a luxury resort hotel, but it is friendly and comfortable. The beach is small but pleasant, and there's also a short causeway which leads through the water to a sunning platform. The ground-floor public areas, which are not enclosed and are instead open to the elements, are attractive.
The poolside bar is a most pleasant place for a noontime drink or sandwich. The complimentary buffet breakfast in the restaurant is oustanding, with a fantastic selection of hot and cold items, including lots of fresh fruit. However, the one evening meal I had there on my last stay was problematic, but as I have already noted, many outstanding alternatives food places are available five minutes away.
The rooms are large, comfortable and acceptably maintained. Guests who demand the equivalent of a mainland North America hotel may be demanding too much. It's easy, for example, to complain about signs of rusting in a facility like this, but it should be remembered that salt-water climates cause continuing problems to any physical plant. And no doubt, guests who expect a choice of a zillion English-language channels on a giant screen will be dismayed by the modest size of their old-fashioned TV set and horrified that most of the few channels available are in foreign languages. Still, CNN is available in English — and anyway, we should remember that we ARE in a foreign country.
The bottom line is that the Beach Plaza is a thoroughly nice place to stay, provided you leave your prejudices and unreasonable expectations at home.
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- Also Known As:
- Beach Plaza Hotel
- Beach Plaza Marigot
- Hotel Beach Plaza St. Maarten-St. Martin/Marigot