I have changed my review of this hotel but only slightly. I thought it was a bit unfair to put the entire hotel's review based on, unfortunately, several bad experiences. I wanted to give a more in-depth view of what I experienced so others can make an educated decision.
Firstly, the Gingerbread Cafe is something to avoid. My first day, I had an indifferent bartender who was more bothered to serve than anything. The next morning, I tried breakfast. The lady working was very unhappy and did not want to be there. My food was alright, but she certainly did not want to interact with my group. Lastly, I tried dinner there the following night. That was the last straw. Another indifferent gentleman was working there and was tending to his friends who were not ordering anything. I finally got my food more than an hour later (which was still pretty good), but I had enough with the lack of proper management. I finally complained about it, but I was told that the restaurant was not the hotel's concern. This is absurd. Something attached to your property IS a concern if it is turning off guests. I finally received an apology 2 days later from the hotel. You can walk along the sand to Divi for a great restaurant experience - either inside or outside at the bar. You can also tell which place to be by the crowd being there while Gingerbread is deserted. Do yourself a favor and do not go more than once if the staff are still lacking service skills.
For the reception desk, I also still believe that is a weak point of the hotel. The hotel staff mostly have frowns all the time and also seem like they would rather not be there. If you have an issue, it's generally met with it not being their problem. I found a couple of exceptions - basically when checking out. I had a more friendly experience then, but I think the poor attitude by others is indicative of management not understanding what is going on. So much of St Marrten is friendly and accommodating, but this is not representative of the rest.
I had no hot water 4 out of 5 nights there. Telling the desk about it resulted in "everyone doesn't have hot water right now" as the response. OK - fix it, please. It took until the last day there that I could even take a shower without being cold. I found this as the most significant reason to not come here. You don't have to go to the restaurant. You don't have to use the reception desk but a few times. You need hot water. I cannot recommend coming to this hotel as a result.
I think the place could use updating. The 80's design is a bit tired. Some of the faucets would not turn off properly and my balcony door would not shut completely. The TV in the bedroom did not have a remote that worked nor did the channel up button work. The main room TV was fine. Space is actually quite good if not a bit odd with doors that would not completely open or hit a light fixture. None of these would be a deal-breaker, but you do have another hotel in Little Bay that is more modern with more amenities and a better all-around attitude.
For the location, it is great if you want a secluded part of the island. Even being high season, I could tell the beach was not full and you wouldn't have cruise ship traffic coming in. The staff running the beach/towel/chair area were great and should be an example of what the rest of the hotel should strive to have. You are still close enough to Front Street to take a taxi or drive just a few minutes if you have a car. You're fairly far away from the airport where the more "happening" places are, but that could be a bonus. I liked the location a lot but might want to try another part of the island next time to be closer to some more variety of restaurants and bars.
All in all, I still cannot recommend this hotel unless things like no hot water and indifferent staff are corrected. The decor can be outdated, but it's the necessities that really count. Those were lacking here.
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- Also Known As:
- Belair Beach Philipsburg
- Hotel Belair Beach
- Belair Beach Hotel St Martin / St Maarten/Philipsburg