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
- 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
- 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.
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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