I consider myself very picky about hotels and was pleasantly surprised by the Grand Case Beach Club. This is a fairly small hotel located at one end of Grand Case Bay. It is out of the way enough to be very private, but only a 5-minute walk into the lively village of Grand Case which is filled with all kinds of excitement, and allegedly the best restaurants in the Caribbean. (We ate at several and they were truly outstanding first-class establishments). We had been sailing all around St. Martin the week before, and Grand Case is definitely the gem of the island. It's clean, safe, and more upscale. Plus there's lots to do and all of the beachfront cafes are really fun and serve drinks on their beaches, etc.
The hotel itself, has two beaches separated by a small peninsula that juts out into the bay. On that peninsula is the Sunset Cafe which serves breakfast (complimentary), lunch and dinner. The food is very good, as is the service, and the setting is fantastic. On this peninsula are paths with small decks and lounge chairs projected over the water. These are really great. It is like the house you imagine Robinson Crusoe must have built and is very romantic and comfortable and very private. Another great thing about the hotel is that they have a great water sports desk. They will give you rafts, snorkels, paddle boards, sailboat etc. complimentary, and they arrange daily snorkel or scuba trips off-shore or motorized sports or day trips to Anguilla or St Bart's--whatever you wish. It's fairly comprehensive, particularly for a hotel. They set up lounge chairs along the beach with umbrellas and have service for food and drink. There is good snorkeling around the peninsula and the waters are crystal clear.
The hotel has bougenveilla everyplace which adds to the charm. The rooms were very nice (not Ritz Carlton nice, but much better than a typical three or four star hotel). We had a private balcony overlooking the bay. The furniture in the bedroom was nice, and the decor was chic. The king-sized bed was extremely comfortable. Upon arrival a complimentary CD is playing in your room of cool reggae music, so that was a fun touch. Housekeeping had placed bouquets of flowers in the room and bathroom. There was a small, fully equipped kitchenette (which we basically only used to store wine). The bathroom was nice- granite counter, stoned tiled shower, etc. Again, not Ritz Carlton, but clean and upgraded, and up-to-date decor. The staff was very efficient and polite and they were very prompt with bringing our bags up, etc.
The pool was probably what I was least impressed with. It was up on that peninsula, but it was very small and completely enclosed by walls. That's a shame as there is potential for such awesome views. The pool was nice and warm, and there was a charming waterfall in one corner, but it's not the happening scene that you might expect (I can imagine them installing an infininity pool with views of the fabulous bay, for instance). It would be great for kids however as its warm, small, and only about four feet deep. As adults, we pretty much stuck to the beaches or the stunning decks up on the peninsula.
There was a very nice tennis court although we didn't get a chance to play. The front desk provides racquets at no charge.
I liked the fact that the Grand Case hotel was small and very personal. When you walked into the Sunset Cafe, the staff knew your name. Ben, at the Water Sports desk also knew your name and offered things like "hey, come hold this sea urchin". The personalization of the hotel was excellent. We had been at the nearby Radisson Blu earlier in the trip. That hotel is also nice, but wow, it was a convention center. The New Jersey State Bar Association was having a convention and that set the tone of the hotel. Breakfast at that hotel was $70 for two people, sitting amongst the NJ Divorce Attorneys. Definitely not our scene.
I think this hotel in particular would be ideal for families. Kids can run free on the property as it's small, contained and safe and the staff knows everyone. There are tons of complimentary activities. The Sunset Cafe is excellent, but casual at the same time. And there were quite a few families there so kids could meet other kids.
So bottom line...hotel is small and gives personalized service, the rooms are nice, the peninsula and water sports are excellent, and the location is perfect. We would definitely stay there again.