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“Great Location, Hotel Room in need of repairs though”

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Divi Little Bay Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
Dulles VA
13
Reviewed April 16, 2006

Great location sandwiched between the Great Bay and Little Bay one mile outside of Phillipsburg. Conveniently located to the Simpson Bay restaurants and to Marigot (French side). One room with kitchen on the second floor with spectacular views at the foot of the two bays. However, interior rooms not much to praise. My unit has not been renovated for over 20 years-floors match the shower stall tiles, rotted door, mismatched furniture. It just a shame for such a great location. Although I paid a great rate of $165 a night plus 20% tax and a fuel surcharge at the tail end of the peak seaon in mid April. Location and views is rated 4 out of a high 5; room is rated a 2 star though - overall 3 star.

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
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3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 12, 2006

We, too, were skeptical about the Divi after reading many of the reviews. What do people want???? We loved it! The Divi is constantly being upgraded. There were workman working daily....the transformations are beautiful! We checked in on Friday afternoon and were placed in a 1 bedroom condo in the timeshare area towards the "back" of the resort near the trail to Ft. Amsterdam. Our unit was beautiful with 3 sets of French doors leading to a spacious balcony overlooking Great Bay and Phillipsburg. We had a nice kitchen and living area and 2 large bathrooms. The only problem that we had was that we had to walk up several "large" hills and then up to the 3rd floor to our unit. On Saturday, we went to the front desk and I explained that although our accomodations were beautiful, I was concerned about the long walk because of my husband's asthma condition. They were very accomodating and moved us to a comparable unit without the great walking distance. We were actually close to everything which was more than we could have hoped for.

We only noticed the cruise ship passengers using any facilities one day and it never affected us. There were never near the timeshare areas. I NEVER had to look for a chair by the pools or beach, and this is huge for me while I'm on vacation! I usually get up at 6:00 AM and tiptoe around the pool area in Florida to get a chair reserved! The only problem that we had was trying to get a cab to take us to Simpson Bay on Wednesday evening (the day that the cruise ships were there). We had booked an excursion on the Celine Pub Crawl (way too fun!) This wasn't the Divi's fault, and in fact, they did everything they could to get us a cab. Thank goodness Leonardo agreed to come and get us!!!!! The cabbies didn't want to fight the rush hour traffic and had to cater to cruise ship passengers!

Philipsburg is a short walk from the Divi. We walked on the narrow sidewalk past the Great Bay Beach Hotel and then got onto the beach. That takes you right to the Boardwalk which is very nice. There are many bars and restaurants along the way along with great shopping! We ate at the Greenhouse at Bobby's Marina which was great. We also ate at Taloula Mangos and had great food also! We did stop at the Barefoot Terrace on a cruise ship day and were treated very rudely because we just wanted an appetizer and a drink. The waitress actually rolled her eyes at us which was not comparable to the way we had been treated in St. Maarten. It was also very expensive for 2 "highly breaded" coconut shrimp. I have to wonder if this was because it was a "cruise ship" day.

Everyday was paradise. We relaxed on our private patio (1st floor overlooking Great Bay), drank our morning coffee, had a bagel, read....whatever we wanted to do. We really enjoyed the pool areas....as I said earlier, it was easy to get chairs and relax. There is entertainment at the Divi, but overall, I would say that it is very quiet. You have to take a cab or rent a car and go to the Simpson Bay area to really hit the nightlife. We never made it to Maho, but I understand it is also alot of fun. We spent our last night at the Red Piano Bar at the Pelican singing karaoke until 1:30 AM!!!! We were tired, but it was so worth the fun!

The Divi has its own private beach which is awesome! We never had any problems with bugs as we had read in reviews. We snorkeled and enjoyed the beautiful Caribbean Sea. We also went on the Random Wind which was an awesome day! Larry, our captain, and Helen, our hostess, were the best! We went from Simpson Bay up the west coast by the French side and stopped at Creole Rock where we snorkeled. Amazing!!!! There were fish swimming all around us! What a great day! It was all-inclusive and Helen fixed us an authentic Caribbean lunch! There were only 16 passengers on board which made the trip very personal. I would highly recommend this to anyone!

I cannot fairly write this review without recommending Jeff Berger's website to all! It is ---. This is a wonderful source of information. It is free to all, but we joined the member website to help support the great things that they do! This is the place to go to find out all you need for your unforgettable trip to the "friendly island"!

I cannot close this review without mentioning the lovely people of St. Maarten. They are wonderful. Things are very relaxed there....everything runs on island time. What a concept...we Americans just don't get it! Rudy, our wonderful cab driver who took us to the airport, gave us a wealth of information also. I only wish we would have met him sooner. Michael (Fluff) was kind enough to pick us up at the airport and also give us a wealth of knowledge. When you are on the island, you really need to rent a phone from Sharon Harris (---). She provides you with a phone at a cheap rate of 32 cents a minute.

Last but not least, Randy and Linda from Tampa (our "birthday crasher" friends) and Ryan and Johanna from Iowa (our Pub Crawl friends).......how wonderful it was to meet you!!!! We had great times. My husband and I were in St. Maarten celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. We were blessed to meet these special people to help us celebrate!

Vacation is all about what you make it. You can nit pick and criticize everything around you, or you can go to the Caribbean, sit back and relax, and live on "island time"! Yeah Mon!!!!!!

  • Stayed: April 2006
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18  Thank travel whiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2006

I always read trip advisor before staying at a hotel. I did not check in on Divi because it was only an overnight stay on a return trip from Dominica. It was a stark contrast from our terrific trip in Dominica. The beach is beautiful at the Divi but did anyone mention the cruise ships are parked behind the resort and they come to the Divi beach? The beaches are public but it was a shock to seem the cruisers march in like ants to a crumb. This seems a bit unfair to the Divi guests. We arrived at 11:00 and we were told to check back at 12:30. This was a reasonable request. However, we had to wait in line 20 minutes to be told to come back because no rooms were available. Next, we came back at 1:00 and we were told perhaps by 2:00 we'd have a room. I'm not an overly picky person and do not expect more for my money but we paid $346 for 1 night for 4 people. This was for the room only - a room which was in need of upkeep. We ate only breakfast at the hotel - just two of the four of us. We were again treated rather rudely and had difficulty getting drinks. However, there are some shops along the front of the hotel where you could get food, coffee and sandwiches at bargain prices. The convenient store was especially friendly and reasonably priced. A cab into town cost $25 each way (same price to airport). They also charge by person. The hotel food is not cheap but adding in cab fare makes eating at the resort seem worthwhile. We were able to take a bus on the way back for only $1. This required quite a walk though also so not highly recommended. A very nice lady on the bus helped us find our way and even tracked down her cousin to offer us a ride part way. It was refreshing to find someone so nice on the "friendly island". We also asked for a checkout time of 12:00 since we were going to the airport and had only arrived on the island the day prior. The answer? "No." Not very friendly. So, I inquired more..."We can't have 30-45 extra minutes?" "No, checked out is 11:00. We are already OVERBOOKED 7 rooms for today." By the way, the resort is huge and their is no possibly way they had every room full. They had the budget old rooms full but the suites looked mostly empty. I wonder what they did for the overbooked guests. From the way they acted, nothing. Multiple times we were ignored and overlooked while waiting in line. You really never got the sense your business was appreciated. Again, I'm not a complainer and will usually just chalk it up to experience but this needed to be said. I would have been greatly disappointed to stay at the hotel for more than 1-2 nights. Even then, I think their are nicer resorts at the same cost.

  • Stayed: March 2006
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9  Thank Antigua0321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2006

Arrival and Check-in: With much trepidation based on all the previous reviews of this resort, we arrived at the airport on time (thanks to UA) on 11 March. It only took about 5 minutes to clear immigration, but had to wait 20 minutes for all our luggage. Taxi fare was $15 from the airport at Simpsons Bay to the Divi Resort in Phillipsburg. The resort complex is the first thing that you see as you come around the mountain from Cole Bay. The resort is gated and down the driveway is the open air reception area. We were told our unit would not be ready until 4pm, so we walked around the resort to get our bearingsand visited Gizmo's Beach Bar for our first island colada. We were given our room key (Building D, Unit 318) at 4:15, but when we got to the room is hadn't even been cleaned yet. Called reception, a housekeeper showed up, and we sat and watched while she hurriedly cleaned the room. We were finally able to unpack around 5:30pm.

Resort Amenities: The property is huge. It has one restaraunt, three beach bars, three pools, an activities desk, a water sports center, tennis courts, jewelry/liquor store, gift shop, small grocery store, coffee cafe and fitness center. Of course, the resort sits on a beautiful stretch of coarse sandy beach with a snorkeling area within swimming distance.

Scuba Diving: My husband signed up with the water sports center for a 2 tank dive through Dive Safari's, which is located at Bobby's Marina in Phillipsburg. The dive shop offers no pick-up and we didn't have a rental car, so Pete took a taxi to the marina which cost $8. Dive Safari has 3 boats -- 2 dive boats and one platform boat which is used for discover scuba outings. His first dive was to a wreck called Caribe Cargo at about 70 feet. The second dive was at about 62 feet and called the Maze. He saw lots of fish - barracudas, parrot fish, etc. The boat crew loaded and unloaded the gear and in between dives, provided water, sodas and snacks.

Unit Condition: There has been much written about the poor condition of the Divi. We were in a studio unit in building D which had recently been renovated. It had a small kitchen which included: 2 burner stove, microwave, sink, small fridge/freezer, dishes and pans, toaster, drip coffee maker, can opener, and blender. We had a nice balcony that faced Little Bay and one of the resort's pools.

Divi Resort Activities: We attended the orientation on Sunday. While sipping complimentary mimosas, we were given an overview of the resort, island excursions, special events, etc. A raffle was held and several prizes were given out. Monday night was the Divi Manager's cocktail party and Lobster feast. From 6-7pm, the Gizmo bar offered complimentary beer, wine, and rum punch along with BBQ meatballs, cheese, and other snacks. The special lobster buffet included an all-you-can-eat salad bar, fresh bread, corn o the cob, baked potato or rice, and a huge half grilled lobster. For two, the bill came to only $49. The price could fluctuate since its based on market prices. Highly recommend this. We did hear one interesting tidbit, a new general manager would be arriving in several weeks, so maybe some of the lingering issues will be resolved.

Island Activities: From Divi, you can walk into Phillipsburg. It takes about 15 minutes walking slowly, as you go up and down a hill, but there is a sidewalk the entire way so the traffic is no bother. The boardwalk was recently been extended with more extensions planned. There are plenty of restaurants and shops all along from the beginning to the end near where the cruiseships dock. We rented a car one day from Thrify which has an outlet at the resort. We traveled to Marigot (best to go on Wed or Sat) for the open market. We then drove further to Grand Case and had lunch at one of the LoLo's (small open BBQ places along the beach). We ate at Talk of the Town and had ribs and shrimp with home-made banana ice cream for dessert. There are plenty of island excursions -- we chose two. The first was a boat trip to Anguilla on the Blackbeard3 catamaran. Took about 90 minutes to sail to Cove Bay on the island. Time passed quickly with rum punch being offered freely. Since there are no docks, we took turns being ferried from the boat to the beach by a small dingy. We then took a short bus tour across the island to Shoal Bay. Here we stayed for several hours -- snorkeling on the beach and eating a BBQ lunch. On the return trip back to St. Maartan, we stopped at the La Samanna beach for a quick swim. The other trip was to St. Barts on the Swaliga II, a small 65ft catamaran. The trip to Gustavia took about an hour - complimentary drinks were also offered. We had several hours free time once we docked. We walked all along the water, looking at the very exclusive and expensive shops. We had lunch at a outdoor place called Cheeseburger in Paradise. We then walked through town to Shell Beach and spent our remaining time. The entire beach is covered in all kinds of shells, hence the name. On the way back to St. Maartan, we stopped for snorkeling near Fourche Island, which has recently been given a protected marine status. We saw a 6 foot nurse shark, parrot and puffer fish. There were small turtles swimming on the surface.

Food: Next door to the Divi is the Belair Beach Hotel. It is not much to look at from the outside, but the units are all 2 bedrooms and decorated very nicely. We ate several times at their restaurant, the Gingerbread Cafe. They have a special every night -- one night we had the surf and turf (lobster and filet minon) and another night we had their lobster bisque and grilled snapper. We also ate one night at Lee's Roadside Grill right before the bridge into Simpson Bay and several restaurants in Phillipsburg. In general, food is very expensive compared to what we pay on the East Coast.

Cruise Ships and Divi: Divi is one of the beaches that cruise passengers visit. They usually arrive at 10am daily and depart around 2pm. They are kept in a central area on the beach and can't use the pools. The beach is so big and spread out, it is really not a bother.

Departure: The airport is a mess! Be sure to allow at least two and half hours to get checked in and go through security. Every available space inside the airport on Saturdays is filled with people. All the flights back to the US and other major capitals all depart at about the same time and the gates are only a few feet apart from one another. We did hear that a new airport (hopefully much bigger) is being built and should open next year.

Overall comments on resort: Divi is beautifully landscaped and it appears management is working hard to improve the overall appearance of the property. There are still several buildings that have not been renovated. If you happen to get assigned one of them, you probably won't be too happy. There appears to be problems with housekeeping - not enough staff or something. One day we didn't get any towels left in our room (although they took the dirty ones out). We had to call the front desk twice over a period of several hours before someone dropped off some clean towels. The weather was perfect - in the eighties every day. We had a few showers but they quickly blew away. SXM is a beatiful island with lots of activities to keep one occupied. We had a great time!

Let me know if you have any specific questions, I couldn't possibly include all the details of everything we did and saw.

  • Stayed: March 2005
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28  Thank cathyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2006

I think the Divi is a great moderate hotel in a good location . There is a nice beach . The hotel has 2 sections - 1 is the hotel itself which has simple clean rooms - comparable to a Holiday Inn type hotel . There is another section of the hotel which is time share where there are condos of studios and 1/2/3 bedroom units . The condo units appears to be in various states of reconstruction and repair .
This is a second time I have stayed here . This hotel is nice and clean but .......
I made a reservation with the 800# . I was told what the price was one thing and when I got to the hotel , they changed the price on me . Months later I am now starting the fight to get charged the correct amount fixed all over again . The staff advised me that they would help and would correct the issue . Now months later out of the blue , the hotel recharged me another amount that they are not due .
I would only pay in cash at this hotel or book as a package as their accounting and management seem alittle unsure or unable to resolve issues in a timeley manner.

  • Stayed: November 2005
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3  Thank barry k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2006

We stayed at Little Divi from 02/18-02/25 and after reading some reviews before we left I was really nervous but found the place and our time there to be fine. There is definitely a water problem. We did not drink or brush our teeth with anything but water we bought and when we wanted to take a shower we would turn it on 10 minutes before we were getting in so it would be hot. The bathroom was never cleaned. Only our towels were removed. The people were nice but not to fast about fixing our running toilet. They never did show up. We ate breakfast there and ate dinner at a couple great places. Pineapple Pete's, Peg Legs and Chesterfields. They were reasonably priced and gave alot of choices. We took a trip to Prickly Pair Island which if we had realized it was a 2 hour boat ride we would not of wasted the money. The meal they gave was lousy and only 2 hours on the island. Overall my husband and I enjoyed the week away and would go to St. Maarten again and maybe even Little Divi.

  • Stayed: February 2006
    • Rooms
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4  Thank ADTK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2006

We were there 2-11-06 through 2-17-06. When we got there check-in was rather lengthy and unorganized. Apparently they had overbooked all of their beachfront rooms were taken. Several people ahead of us were upset. We weren't bothered and got a better deal since we were given a studio and allowed to keep it. Although the room wasn't beachfront we had more amenities such as whirlpool tub and full kitchen. Our view was of Philipsburg and we watched the cruise ships come and go.

The only complaint I have is with regard to the loss of water for 2 unconsecutive days. We couldn't shower or flush toilets, do dishes etc. We filled gallon jugs at the pool to resolve the flushing toilet issue. They did offer us bottled water at the bars.

  • Stayed: February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank rph1995
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

Address: Little Bay Road, Philipsburg, St Martin / St Maarten
Location: Caribbean > St Martin / St Maarten > 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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Philipsburg
#3 Romantic Hotel in Philipsburg
Price Range: $161 - $380 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Divi Little Bay Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 220
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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
Hotel Divi Little Bay Beach
Divi Little Bay Beach Resort St Martin / St Maarten/Philipsburg

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