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“Many positives, a few tolerable problems” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Oyster Bay Beach Resort

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Oyster Bay Beach Resort
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   Emerald Merit Rd 10, Oyster Pond 97150, St Maarten-St Martin   |  
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Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Oyster Pond
Silver Spring, MD
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Many positives, a few tolerable problems”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

OBBR has a nice location on the island if you prefer to be a bit farther away from the congestion of the Phillipsburg/Simpson Bay area. If offers both a dramatic ocean view and a picturesque harbor view with mountains in the background. As others have noted, you need a rental car here unless you are satisfied with staying put, with the occasional taxi trip somewhere.

Our reservation was via a timeshare exchange for a 1 bedroom unit. For the week we had available, the only option we could get was a studio size unit. On the positive side, it had a partial ocean view with a balcony and the breeze was nice. But the studio units are quite small and the kitchen area was a bit frustrating to work with, other than for the simplest food preparation. The A/C unit was of the wall-mount type but was effective and not too noisy. We had a few minor maintenance/condition problems but nothing truly serious. Not all were addressed while we were there, but I assume the management will act on the written descriptions I left with them.

We give high marks to the housecleaning staff and the activities desk personnel; all very courteous and helpful.

The beach is nice, not the nicest on the island but not disappointing. It has a great view of Saint Barthélemy (St. Barts), which cuts a dramatic profile on the nearby horizon. This area is not very good for snorkeling, unless maybe you're up for a very long swim out to the true reef. During our stay, this entire side of the island (eastern side) was more prone to wind and waves than some other areas, but the outer reef catches most of that energy so the waves at the beach were quite small. We visited a lot of other beaches on the island - some just to look, not to swim. Among the most beautiful, I thought, were Baie Rouge and Baie aux Prunes. There are many others but some are hard to find and a somewhat long side-trip off the main roads.

One maintenance complaint we have about the resort grounds is a leaking sewer odor that is sometimes noticed in some locations when we were walking around. It was slightly noticeable on the nearest portion of the beach, depending on wind direction. They need to find and eliminate that.

Although quite small, the pool is interestingly designed and puts you almost at the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean, especially the "endless pool" section and if you're in the jacuzzi.

General comment about the season: Although having fewer tourists to compete with has its advantages at beaches, on the road and at restaurants, we concluded that this was not a good time to be there if you want to dine out and are particular about it. Among the island's restaurants with high ratings on TripAdvisor, nearly all were closed for the entire month of September, and some even longer, and they don't even announce that on their websites or even by signage at the main entrance.

About driving on the island: We ended up making about 3 "circumnavigations" by driving, and I eventually became comfortable with it. But at first, it is a bit unnerving because of the narrow, winding, often rough roads and because of the lack of clear signage. I strongly recommend not driving to some new destination at night, unless you've already scouted it out by driving during daylight.

About food shopping: The standard recommendation seems to be the "Le Grand Marché," near a major roundabout point near the northwest corner of "The Great Salt Pond." But for OBBR, we found it much easier to drive in the other direction (into the French part), up to an area called Hope Estate, where you will find the "Simply Mart." The drive down to Grand Marché is very congested and slow, whereas the other way is much less so. But they both are worth using, as they have quite different assortments of food. Oddly, the French-named Grand Marché (in the Dutch part) has more of a Dutch orientation, whereas the English-named Simply Mart (in the French part) is much more French in its food selections.

About other shopping: Just speaking from a perspective that is more my wife's than mine, this is not a great island for any type of upscale shopping. Sure, it has some of the upscale names in a few places, but in comparison to another of the Netherlands Antilles- Aruba-it is rather disappointing. Marigot on the French side has a nice, but small mall called West Indies Mall. Change is underway: a new and quite fancy mall, the "Blue Mall," is open in the Cupecoy Bay area but doesn't have many stores yet. Perhaps by the next high season, it will.

Overall, about OBBR: If your previous experiences have been with larger resorts or all-inclusives, you may find it a bit boring here because there are few options for dining or evening entertainment. But with transportation to explore elsewhere, it's a nice place to come back to.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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558 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (260)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013 via mobile

Great location on the island. Nice views. Good service. Nice breeze all year round. Easy access to good restaurants. Activities galore. Timeshares are very tricky no matter where on earth you go. But renting from an owner is the best way to go.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waltham, Massachusetts
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

We just finished our fourth vacation at Oyster Bay in St Maarten, and were a little apprehensive at first about going during the summer hurricane season, which turned out to be a completely unfounded concern. Instead, we found sunny beaches and friends -- as before -- who went out of their way to help us enjoy our stay, from Livingstone's introductory tour around the island* to our hectic and regretful departure for the airport. The accommodations, restaurants and facilities are all five-star, and the staff treat you as genuine friends.
* I learned more about life on the island during the tour than I did as a tourist during our previous three visits combined, and you get to hold a sea urchin SAFELY at Lucas Bay.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Mission, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

This was our first visit to St. Maarten and we enjoyed it very much. Not sure if we will ever return, but that is due to the fact that we live near Vancouver, BC, so the travelling to get there is long and expensive (Hawaii is much easier for us and more budget friendly). If we lived in Eastern Canada instead, I'm sure St. Maarten would become a favourite vacation spot.

We had a 4th floor ocean view studio in the Mainsail building. Perfect! Bed was a little too firm for my sore hip, so we did have to ask for a mattress pad, which was taken care that day by the maid staff. Marie, our maid, was very efficient and friendly. Room was always in tip-top shape when we returned in the afternoon. Fresh apple turnover pastries from the little market store on the property were very tasty (baked every morning around 7am....get there early if you want one!), although we discovered we could buy guava turnovers at the Grande Marche store for half the price, so we ended up getting them there, instead.

We were there for two weeks and had a car, so we explored the entire island. We enjoyed the beaches at Happy Bay (10 minute walk into it) and Bay Rouge the best, but be prepared for topless beach goers or the Full Monty (especially at Happy Bay). Maho Beach is a must see, to experience the plane take-offs and landings. Dawn Beach at the resort is fabulous, though. And because the umbrellas and beach chairs are available for the resort guests for free, it was easily my favourite beach to spend the day. My only complaint (which isn't really a complaint) was that there was some seaweed in the water/on the beach at Dawn Beach....which I'm sure is a seasonal thing and is certainly nothing the resort has any control over. One day the seaweed was especially thick, which gives me the heebie jeebies when it rubs against my legs :/

Gelato at the Carousel is a must do! Some of the best gelato I've ever had. And fresh mangos from one of the fruit stalls set up on the side of the roads are ripe and ready to eat....and so delicious!

Driving there is complete chaos, but the locals are so laid back and friendly that it doesn't seem that bad, and by the end of our time there, we were getting used to it. They do use their horns, but mostly as a means of communication (not in a rude Vancouver way :) )....2 little beeps to say "I'm letting you in", followed by 1 little beep by the other driver to say "thank you!" :)

We never did eat at Infinity, but ate at Beau Beau's 3 or 4 times. Food was always tasty and they have the BEST lemonade - freshly squeezed and extra delicious!! And it's cheaper than the bottled water, so go with the lemonade!! :)

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bronx
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

This was a Mother-Daughter vacation and all three of us had a great time. The place is lovely. The staff is outstanding! Everyone is so friendly and helpful. The resort activities were a lot of fun. I loved how the staff participated in the activities...and not just one or two staff. The food was great wherever we went...even at the Beach Bash. The scenery is breathtaking. The rooms are comfortable and clean. I could go on and on... I am definitely going back again! Hyroline, Marlon, Tyrese, Chardelle, Wanda, Rohan, Ross, Johan, Luis, Venus and Sinclair (Chef)...you guys are AWESOME! I'm sure I missed a few. Even Security and the shopkeeper at Shipwreck were wonderful.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
sarasota
2 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

The resort is full of activies aside from being the most beautiful resort in St. Maarten. Island has seveal beaches worth seeing. Suggest Orient Beach, Pinnel, St. Barts is an excellent side trip. IT is only a 40 minute ferry ride from Captain Olivers restaurant. Don't miss going to the Dingy Dock for best happy hour I have every seen.

Room Tip: Look at the hotel map on line and call in advance to request location preference
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Old Bridge, NJ
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

My wife and I just got back from here. We traded timeshare points to go so we were put in one of the older buildings as expected. If you pay for a room then be sure to get one in one of the new buildings. One is called the Main Sail building. They are brand new and absolutely gorgeous!
We had ocean view and our 1 BR unit was ok. The first one had mold on the bathroom door and the staff was very accommodating and switched us. Room was clean, if a little dated. 5 days in our AC unit started leaking in the living room but it still worked and I reported it a few times. The pool area is great with an infinity pool looking out at the ocean. The restaurant, Infinity was very good as well. There are also 3-4 very good restaurants within walking distance. Try them all as we did. Full kitchen in the 1 br unit so we usually ate breakfast in. There is a grocery store within walking distance as well. You can also pre-order groceries via the concierge and they are waiting for you when you get there. This saves you time and is not really any more expensive that going yourself.
DO NOT take the 'free' bus tour of the island unless you want to be held hostage for a timeshare sales pitch for 3-4 hours. The bus did stop for lunch at a place called LoLo's in Grand Case on the french side and this was the highlight. GREAT local cuisine, inexpensive and just a great place to have lunch at an island local place. However, we took 2 planes to get there and then I spent the next afternoon on a bus with the timeshare hard sell! Then, they set you up for a resort 'tour' the next day with the promise of a free activity. We did get the activity, we chose a sunset cruise on the Lord Sheffield. THAT is something I recommend. Ours was half price but, for $59 each you get to sail to the sunset on a 71ft pirate ship with open bar and barbecue. If it is off season as we had, there were only 6 of us on it and we had the boat to ourselves. The average I believe is 14-16 passengers. Anyway, the timeshare sales are fairly pushy. I just felt like we wasted too much time on timeshares. Avoid it.
The island and beaches are great! But, although we never personally experienced anything, we were told by everyone to NEVER leave anything in the car and be VERY careful if in one of the towns at night. Oyster Bay was on the other side of the island from the airport and you will need to drive to Phillipsburg, Simpson Bay, Marigot, etc. or take a cab. I will stay nearer the airport next time. One last thing to do. Be sure to go to Pinal Island and take the ferry across. It is absolutely beautiful there.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Oyster Bay Beach Resort

Address: Emerald Merit Rd 10, Oyster Pond 97150, St Maarten-St Martin
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St Maarten-St Martin > Saint-Martin > Oyster Pond
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Oyster Pond
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Oyster Bay Beach Resort 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just south of the amicable French/Dutch divide, Oyster Bay Beach Resort awaits. Perched on a coral reef overlooking the Caribbean ocean and Oyster Pond Marina is paradise found. With breathtaking ocean views, white sand beach and countless amenities Oyster Bay Beach Resort and its sister properties, Mainsail, Spinnaker and the Lighthouse serve as your escape from the every day. Find adventure, serenity and the fullness of life at our island resort. Make Oyster Bay your next stop. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Oyster Bay Beach Hotel Oyster Pond
Oyster Bay Beach Philipsburg

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