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“Pleasant beach resort - more local flavor would have been nice” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Divi Little Bay Beach Resort

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Divi Little Bay Beach Resort
Ranked #2 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Palos Heights, Illinois
Level Contributor
263 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 327 helpful votes
“Pleasant beach resort - more local flavor would have been nice”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2013

Our family had a pretty good time at Divi last June. This is a quick breakdown of the pros and cons as we experienced it

PROS
- excellent location on Little Bay and exclusive use of beach for guests
- fun swimming at the beach, good snorkeling right off shore
- lighted tennis court
- 3 pools including small infinity pool
- clean, well-furnished, air-conditioned casita
- friendly staff
- Fort Amsterdam; great views of Little and Great Bay
- proximity to St. Philipsburg

CONS
- pushed to get us to attend time-share presentations
- dining options merely satisfactory at best
- generic feel, lack of sense of place
- poor quality sofabed
- wi-fi available only at an extra charge

My family and I had stayed on the French side of the island prior to visiting Divi Little Bay on the Dutch side. I had selected this resort partly because of the differences from the other hotel (La Plantation).

These differences were significant. In terms of location, Divi resort was a short drive from Philipsburg, the capital city of Sint Maarten and was right on the beach, dominating most of Little Bay. It also had an interesting location in that Divi occupies a small peninsula separating Great Bay (where cruise ships dock) and Little Bay. This was a much larger, sprawling resort. There were several pools, including a small infinity pool. There were several dining options at Divi. There was a tennis court and a gym. Accommodations included individual guestrooms, suites, and 1-bedroom casita. We opted for the latter.

A few practical points, first. We had a rental car and approached Divi from the east side, passing the outskirts of Philipsburg. The main road - Little Bay Road which becomes Octavius L. Richardson Rd. - rises from sea level running along the coastline. Not long after you pass the Sonesta Resort on your left, almost at the top of the rise, you will see a small road angled off on the left dropping back towards the sea. This is the entrance to Divi. We passed the first time and had to turn around and approach from the west. From that direction you will see a Divi Resort sign as you drive uphill and approach the intersection. When you get to the road to Divi there is a "no right turn" sign! Being law-abiding we drove past the entrance again, made another turn and approached from the west and finally managed to enter the small peninsula that separates Little from Great Bay. There is a gate with a guard that you pass before entering the Divi grounds.

The reception desk was essentially outdoors with a large orange canopy sheltering waiting guests from the sun and rain. It did not protect anyone from the wind. The prevailing trade winds, blew across the Atlantic Ocean from east to west, and they were blowing non-stop while we were there. The staff were friendly but were not the most efficient, enjoying conversations with other staff and brief interactions with other guests. We had to ask about wi-fi access, this information not having been part of the welcome address. We had to pay for wi-fi $10.95 a day.

Another pleasant female staff member, acting as a hostess, approached us and recited the many dining options on the St. Maarten side of the island saying that if we mentioned her name and Divi and that she had sent us we would get a free drink each. She then started her spiel to get us to attend a free dinner to hear about the time share options. When we demurred she offered a sailing cruise instead. She was very disappointed when we even declined a shorter tour to see the hotel rooms. We had been through a similar experience in Los Cabos, Mexico. Though she was much less pushy than the Mexicans it was still a less than pleasant experience having to beg off repeatedly. We understood this was her job but we just wanted to get to our room and relax.

We had a casita towards the western end of the resort (the side away from Philipsburg and Great Bay). It was a very nice 1-bedroom unit. There was a small, but well-equipped kitchen, a lot of storage, effective air-conditioning units in the living room and bedroom, and a large bathroom with shower and whirlpool/bathtub. The rooms were clean and well-furnished. The bedroom and living room had small patios up front each with a small table and a few chairs. There is a view of Little Bay over the roofs of the apartment block units lower down the hillside in front. The view could have been better. Our bigger gripe was that the sofabed was lousy. The spring frame did not support the thin mattress well and we ended up just putting the mattress on the floor.

The dining options provided convenient sources of food if you weren't in the mood for dining out or just wanted to hang out at the beach and not go anywhere for meals. On the other hand I would suggest looking further afield for quality cuisine. Many guests took advantage of the great views of the bay during sunset. The staff at the Bayview Cafe was very friendly when we grabbed our morning coffees

Divi Little Bay had piles of rock jutting out from the beach that provided a nidus for coral colonization as well as shelter for fish. And fish were taking advantage of it. You could wade out to these rocks and stick your face into the water and watch them feed on the algae on the rocks. Snorkel out to the other/seaward side of the rocks and the fish were even more plentiful.

We enjoyed hanging out at the infinity pool. It was the low season so we did not have to share the small pool with too many other fellow guests. A surprising bonus: hummingbirds flitting around the nearby palm trees feeding on the blossoms.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ImmerWandern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,131 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (701)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Greenville, South Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2013

This June was our 14th year to spend a summer vacation in St. Maarten. Each of these years we have always returned to Divi Little Bay. We have always felt this property offers the best location and beach on the island, also feels very welcoming and safe.
The villa we stayed in was very clean, located in the middle of the property and the unit was soothing and relaxing, the colors and furnishings were island inspired - we cannot complain about anything.
The staff is always courteous and helpful to be sure everything you need for a great vacation is available to you.
We made sure to speak with the GM and the front desk manager to let them know we felt they did and do a wonderful job to accommodate and see that their guests have a great experience.
Already planning for the 2014 return!

Room Tip: If you are booking travel to Divi Little Bay be aware they have a variety of units available: Hotel...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2013

Our family vacation was perfect with the help of all the professional, friendly, and accommodating staff at Divi Little Bay. We were greeted with a friendly smile and helpful staff who were always willing to go out of their way to make our stay wonderful. From the front desk with Natascha,Bindi,and Elvis,and to our housekeeper Grace who kept our rooms spotless. The resort has everything you need from the gym,gift shop, and a deli/cafe. Jamilka always had an awesome cappuccino and a bright smile to brighten any day. No other resort on the Island has the most beautiful view than Divi. This was our 3rd time at Divi and each stay was even better than the previous. Our stay at Divi Little Bay felt like coming home. We can't wait to come home to Divi and to the Island of St. Maarten.

Room Tip: Beachfront Villa excellent for families.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank anser4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California City, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

We were advised to notify the resort if we are not going check in on the scheduled date which we did. When we arrived at DIVI Little bay, we were told by Bindi, who is not very welcoming to us that our room is not ready yet. We had a long flight and tired. We expect the room to be ready because we are supposed to check in Saturday but we arrived Sunday. She’s not even apologetic of the situation. It took her 45 minutes to get us a different room. What a way to start a vacation. After freshening up, we decided to dine in at Seabreeze. Unbelievable customer service! They don’t greet you with a smile, they take a long time to serve your food, they don’t check up on you. What’s unfortunate when the bill came, the 15% gratuity is included in the bill. No wonder their service is poor. They don’t have to work for their tip. Same thing happen on Toucan’s Café for breakfast. They seem not to care about their guest. Does not know how to acknowledge people. Management needs to give them hospitality training. Resort is nice but never coming back to this island nor to any Divi resorts.

Room Tip: Don't expect a good customer service experience
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Joyf21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2013

We took our four children for a 10 day trip to Little Divi Bay Resort in St. Maarten in June of 2013. What a disaster! When we arrived at the resort we were escorted to our rooms. Because there were 6 of us we booked two adjoining beachfront rooms. The rooms were cramped and not much better than your typical motel 6 room. Two double beds in each with very little walkway. The rooms were mildewed and smelled but the beach was beautiful so we were optimistic. We had ordered a refrigerator for the room and also ordered some basics to be stocked in it. This was a service they had offered on-line. The refrigerator was not in the room and they couldn't find the order for the drinks and food until I made a stink. We had a fun day on the beach the next day but when we got back to our rooms they hadn't been cleaned. Somewhere around 5 they finally showed up. They didn't clean the glasses or restock the coffee. Also didn't leave enough towels. This was the same all week no matter how many times we requested earlier cleaning and restocking. However they would bring us what we asked for after we called. All three restaurants were expensive and terrible. Service was the absolute worst! It was common for us to sit 30 minutes before anyone would walk up to our table even though lots of staff were just sitting around. No urgency to service us at all. We then found out gratuities were automatically added in to every bill. Also, almost a third of every menu was not in stock when we tried to order the item. About the 5th day we had a big rainstorm and our closet was leaking. All of our clothes were soaked. I called the front desk and they said they would see what they could do. No one ever showed up to either fix it or clean up the mess so we ended up doing it. Also, we purchased internet while we were here and about half of the time it was out. No refund, apology or explanation. We will never come back and we wouldn't recommend this resort to anyone. Only good thing was beach was beautiful. For 10 days we paid $4000 dollars.

Room Tip: Book a different resort
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank NicoleBTenace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DiviResorts, General Manager at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, responded to this review, June 27, 2013
Thank you for posting your review. To our surprise, we just found out that you and your family are still in-house for a few more nights. After seeing your comments, I will make sure to get in touch with you in regards to your review. Sorry for any inconvenience your family has experienced thus far! Thanks!

Sincerely,

Celine
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston SC
Level Contributor
88 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2013

They say location is everything and this one is amazing. The property sits on a peninsula with an old fort at the tip and two great bays on either side. We never tired of the views. The property is one of the oldest, original casitas but they are very nicely renovated and modern. The grounds we impeccable. The housekeepers were very friendly. The bartenders and waiter staff were very good - especially Juan the bartender from DR whom we would rate as extraordinary!

Our room was not ready on time and we were greeted by a very pushy timeshare appointment maker. We were not in the market for a timeshare and didn't want to waste a moment of our precious vacation being pressured.

They have water sports, 3 pools, 2 bars, 3 restaurants and a deli, shops, spa, work out room, tennis courts, taxis waiting right there and best of all - Gizmo - the macaw that roams freely around the property.

All in all I would highly recommend this property and would be happy to return one day.

Room Tip: Every room no matter where has a view. Some of Little Bay, some of Great Bay.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank imagineakumal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fall River, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2013

Divi Little Bay is located on the Dutch side of the island, it is set on a peninsula, half of the resort faces great bay the other little bay. Great Bay is where all the cruise ships dock and where the main shopping is located on the Dutch side. If you don't like to rent a car you can walk to Front Street from this resort. The beach is very large and beautiful, water activities are available. Bobby's Marina is located at the end of Front street, you can buy fast ferry tickets there to St Bart's, also directly across the street from the airport is Anguilla ferry, St Maarten is a great hub to stay and try different islands for a day, like St Kitts/Saba. The Divi keeps their property well maintained, they have 3 pools, including a infinity pool, at the top of the hill at the resort is Fort Amsterdam which has beautiful views of the island. The restaurants there are okay, not high end but like I said ok. The staff is always superb!

Room Tip: Stay on the hill but not at the top unless you don't mind the walk, facing either Little Bay or...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Karen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Divi Little Bay Beach Resort

Property: Divi Little Bay Beach Resort
Address: Little Bay Road, Philipsburg, St. Maarten-St. Martin
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Maarten-St. Martin > Sint Maarten > Philipsburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Philipsburg
#2 Family Hotel in Philipsburg
#3 Romantic Hotel in Philipsburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Divi Little Bay Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 220
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Divi Little Bay Beach Hotel Philipsburg
St Maarten Divi Little Bay
Divi Little Bay Resort
Divi Little Bay Beach Resort St. Maarten-St. Martin/Philipsburg
Hotel Divi Little Bay Beach

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