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“Lackluster experience with a few highlights”
Review of Belair Beach Hotel

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Belair Beach Hotel
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 23, 2012

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.

Room Tip: Know when the sun is going to set - it is hard to beat watching the sun set from the balcony!
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank JonasonKeeton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 19, 2012 via mobile

I have written many reviews on Tripadvisor, but never one for the Belair Beach Hotel...

No, the Belair is not a 5 star hotel. Most people who go there are timeshare holders. We have been going there for over the past 14 years, and have loved every moment! We have never wanted to bank or trade our week. The few times we were unable to go, we had friends or family go in our stead. (And all our friends and family that have been there also loved every moment of their stay!)

In all our years going there, we have never met-up with one staff member who was rude, unfriendly or avoided his/her responsibilities. In fact, everyone has always been friendly, caring and helpful.

Yes, the units are a bit dated, but they are very clean, immaculate! Also, they are roomy and comfortable. AND, the view, it is paradise!!! The beach is one of the prettiest, swimable beaches on the Island. No, the Gingerbread Cafe can't compare to the fabulous restaurants that the Island is famous for, but for what it is, it is quite good...and once again, the view while having a drink, a meal or morning coffee can't be beat!
We just returned from the Belair several days ago, and we are already looking forward to next year!


  • Stayed: December 2012
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6  Thank LizabethRose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2012

The Beach Hotel is more a timeshare than a hotel. Rooms are suites, with kitchen, dining room, and living room. Casual style, comfortably furnished. A little aged but clean. We had a two-bedroom, two-bath suite -- about 900 sq ft. Master bedroom was large with a king bed, small TV and it's own full bath; guest bedroom much smaller, of course, with a full/double-sized bed. Second bathroom has shower stall and for some reason, no hot water in shower, but considering the weather was in 90s, who needs a hot shower? And as stated in other reviews, each room has an absolutely gorgeous view of beach from large patio.

Other hotel amenities include a small grocery store with some great wines at cheap prices ($9 - $19). On-site restaurant, Gingerbread Cafe, provides good food and two-for-one happy hour. Resort staff is friendly as you want them to be -- in other words, if you want to be left alone, they will serve you and leave you alone, but if you want attention, they will become your island friends. Cafe also provides entertainment on certain nights, from crab races to local crooners.

Walking distance to Philipsburg, or short taxi ride to Simpson Bay ($20 for 3 people, one way). I recommend Skip Jacks ($20/lb Caribbean lobster) and Pineapple Pete's in Simpson Bay for seafood dinner.

Room Tip: All rooms have beautiful view of beach, but I think the higher floors (versus 1st floor) give you mo...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank MaggieM2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregoryevan, Manager at Belair Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 19, 2012

We are glad you liked our "home away from home". We are a laid back resort. Sorry to hear about the hot water in the second bathroom. There should have been. If we know something is not working correctly we do repair it. Since the apartments are in constant use, we sometimes do not know if something is not working correctly. If people let us know, we do repair it.

Hope to be able to welcome you back to the Belar in the near future with Hot Water for the shower!

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Reviewed December 9, 2012

The Belair Beach Hotel is as close to the water as you can get. The hotel is 4 stories high, with every room having an oceanside view. Once on the 1st floor, you are literally 75 feet from the ocean. The one negative is the beach isn't that big, with high tide coming all the way in to the elevated section (you can lay out on the beach or an elevated, adjacent beachside section with sand.) The pool is small, but seemed to be empty most of the time, and the view of the ocean from there was gorgeous. The Gingerbread Cafe, which is a small restaurant / bar, adjoins the pool. The service here was not as slow as mentioned on other posts. We made our own breakfasts / lunches in the room and enjoyed from our balcony. Also includes a convenience store called Jody's Place.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank mheid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregoryevan, Manager at Belair Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 12, 2012

Glad to hear that you liked our resort. The beach, especially during hurricane season, comes and goes with the tide. Some days we can have 3 rows of chairs on the beach, the next only one but you certainly can't get any closer to the beach than Belair Beach Hotel. We hope to see you again soon. Have a wonderful Holiday Season.

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Reviewed November 30, 2012

Location makes up for facility being a bit dated. It is right on the beach. The master bedroom had a king size bed but the second bedroom only has a double size bed. It would have been nice if it were a queen size or two doubles. The hot water was a bit sporadic. They did come up and check on it and explained what we needed to do. The Gingerbread Cafe has good food. Monday night BBQ was a big hit with our group. The ribs and grilled chicken was one of our better meals. There was plenty to eat and it was fun to chat with some of the others vacationing here. Tessa Tamica is a certified massage therapist that works doing aloe massages at the Belair Beach Hotel. They feel wonderful. Great for sunburns or just to relax. If you like great seafood check out Skip Jacks in town. The food was to die for and the servers were a lot of fun. Junior was our waiter there. It was a good time. You do need rent a car if you stay here. Either at the airport or here at the hotel. Traffic becomes a little congested sometimes. The scooter drivers are crazy, driving between cars on the road. Rain never seems to last more than a few minutes. We took a dinner cruise over to the French side, ate there the crises back. (Calypso Dinner Cruise with Junior as the captain). The food was good and Junior was a great guy to joke around with. We went snorkeling on the Garfield with Captain Alex. He took us to two spots. The fish were amazing. A stingray swam right by me. A snack of wonderful French Baguettes was served with cheese and drinks. Great vacation.

Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
3  Thank BeckyOp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregoryevan, Manager at Belair Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 3, 2012

We are so glad that you had a wonderful time. That's what it is all about!
Hope to see you next year!!

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Reviewed November 24, 2012

My wife and I have been timeshare owners at this lovely beachside hotel for over 20 years, but unlike many timeshare "investors" who "bank and trade", we actually use our week each year right here because we like it so much. Positioned literally a few yards from the ocean, our spacious 4th floor, 2BR, 1-1/2 bath apartment is conveniently located 5 minutes from Philipsburg's Front St. shopping/dining district. There is a large large living room (with sofa-bed if you need more than the 2 bedrooms) which opens onto the huge ocean-view balcony; fully functional kitchen with full-sized fridge. The second bedroom is pretty small, but each bedroom has its own bathroom. The staff is super-friendly, the rooms are serviced daily (unlike many timeshares) and the premises have the conveniences of an on-site car rental, a restaurant, a small market, a pool, wireless Internet and 24-hour security. Elevators at both ends get you to the higher floors. The hotel faces west so that every evening, we have a truly spectacular sunset view. There is a fitness center 1/3 mile from the hotel entrance. The accommodations are clean and comfortable, but not what I would describe as luxurious, great for families or couples as a base of operations to enjoy all the wonderful things the island of Sint Maarten/St. Martin has to offer: unforgettable gourmet dining, gorgeous beaches, fantastic duty-free shopping and, for those who want it, casino gambling. All these things ave us happily retuning year after year.

Room Tip: Top floor (4th) is just above tree-top level, great for ocean views, sunsets and viewing coming/goin...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Steve P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregoryevan, Manager at Belair Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 25, 2012

We are so happy to see many of the same faces year after year. Because we are small we are like a family and appreciate everyone. Our staff, the majority that have been at the resort over 10 years really appreciate "our family".
Look forward to seeing you next year. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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Reviewed November 21, 2012

this is our third time to st martin, the place is a little out-dated but well kept.beach is nice and the pool is good if the water is to ruff we took my dauther and sun-inlaw with us this time, for the people that have been to st martin you can guess the beach that i took him to :), a car is needed to explore rent it from the hotel, the rates are the best we could find they pick you up and drop you off at the airport. in my pictures is a place that we are standing in front of that is closed, we found the place in the early 90s they had the best OJ and pastrys we would go every morning we miss the place. when i have more time i will review the places that we ate at

Room Tip: upper rooms have best view,
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank george m
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

Address: Little Bay Beach | P.O. Box 940, Philipsburg, St Martin / St Maarten
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St Martin / St Maarten > Sint Maarten > Philipsburg
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Philipsburg
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Philipsburg
Price Range: $269 - $409 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Belair Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 71
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Also Known As:
Belair Beach Philipsburg
Hotel Belair Beach
Belair Beach Hotel St Martin / St Maarten/Philipsburg

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