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“Very nice place”

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Divi Little Bay Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 31, 2010

Just got back from Divi Little Bay, and we were very satisifed. The units are spacious, and have been updated with the latest in style. We were steps from the beach, and could get a lounge chair anytime of day- no running down in the early morning to hold one! It's location was perfect, between Simpson Bay and Philipsburg- 5-10 minutes to all you need. Since it faces the Carribean side, the waves are gentle. Your best bet for food on premises is Gizmos and Sea Breeze- reasonable and good food. The little grocery store although limited, had what we needed. Toucans all you can eat BBQ was worth it, great meats and salads. We drove to Grand Case twice, however you really do not need to, the restaurants are great in the local area. The place gets a quiet crowd, which is what we wanted.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank JPSkiNy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 11, 2010

The Divi Little Bay resort is located directly on Little Bay, west of Philips burg. The beach is wonderful. At the east end of the beach off its hilly peninsula, many daily snorkel trips anchor. The property grounds were very well kept. There are some on-site stores, a Divi owners suite and a fully equipped gym. There is a Thrifty car rental outlet on the property if you decide to not rent at the airport outlets (all of which are off site).
As time-sharers, we were thrilled to stay in room 36, which is a renovation of one of many of what used to be honeymoon suites at the hotel and are now being sold as timeshares. Each of multiple small buildings has 3 of these rooms in it. Our room was a one bedroom suite that had privacy for 4. The bedroom and living area each have flat screen TVs (one with a DVD) and are separated by a common bathroom with dual doors. The bathroom was very modern with superior shower fixtures and a hair dryer. Each of the rooms had its own AC and ceiling fan/light. The rooms are naturally lit through glass privacy blocks in the rear wall and louvered windows in the front wall. Since the living area queen bed is a convertible, if you were planning to use it, it would be wise to bring an air mattress to overcome its normal insufficient mattress thickness. The only closet space is in the bedroom (only shortcoming of the unit). The kitchen was fully equipped with under-counter fridge, large micro and range (no oven). It also had a toaster, blender and coffeemaker (bring large filters and coffee). Our room had a covered, open porch with a table and some view of the water that made morning breakfast/coffee very pleasant. Our section had its own large, deep pool and Jacuzzi with adjacent flowering bushes that the hummingbirds loved. There are two other pools on the property including an infinity pool at its easterly end. The hotel has been gradually recovering and renovating/converting since the hurricane a few years back. There are very distinct sections of accommodations: Beach Villas at the west end (used to be hotel rooms). Casitas behind them. Three floors of new, blended room types at the east end.
The beach was wonderful and we found that we only visited other beaches as sightseeing destinations rather than needing to use them. There were always enough chairs and umbrellas.
The hotel restaurants were reasonable and we ate two lunches at the pool-side cafe and two dinners at Toucans. Since there are two beach side bars, one had a happy hour from 5-6 and the second had a happy hour from 6-7. We also had a very nice breakfast at the beach side restaurant at the Belmar (next door, you can walk to it along the beach sidewalks).
The normal requests by the timeshare sales agents were relatively easy to avoid although we did have a nice chat with one of them, since we were already owners at another Divi property. They have plenty of newly refurbished inventory.
The Divi provides you with a discount card for a few shops.
We traveled every day and would strongly recommend a car rental. Remember that your normal liability coverage is NOT applicable to St Martin. Our rental from Thrifty including $49 of liability coverage (only) was $283 including all taxes and fees for a full week.
For sightseeing, we enjoyed the 12 Metre Racing sailing activity. It was interesting to see/use the racing gear/winches. Philips burg is the hub of sales activity along Front street and is highly dependent upon the huge cruise ships that arrive (as many as 4 at a time). The shops at the west end of Philips burg have suffered and Mari got has been greatly impacted as activity has shifted to the open market and the marina there. We visited Friars Beach (horrible access road), Dawn Beach, Orient Beach, but the Divi beach was much more comfortable and pleasant. Make a point of visiting the Mari got open market on Wednesday and remember that you can begin your negotiations with an incredible discount of paying only a dollar for each euro. We bought spices for much lower cost than stateside.
We ate all over the island and there are hundreds of restaurants. Le Cottage (Grand Cas) was superior. Great lobster bisque, escargots and chocolate souffle. Talk of the Town (Grand C as) is one of 3 casual stands in the same spot that casually serve very good chicken, ribs, lobsters. Mr. Busby’s (Dawn Beach) had good cheese steak and decent pizza. Z ee Best (Simpson Bay) had very good crepes. La Gondola at the Atlantis casino served very good Italian entrees with nice ambiance but too expensive wine. Turtle Pier (Simpson Bay by the airport) had excellent lobsters and a happy hour that seemed very popular with the marina visitors. We enjoyed Le Sucrier bakeries at Marigot and Simpsons Bay (which has a seating area right on the dock). At the Greenhouse (Philipsburg), we were truly amazed at how good the conch fritters and French dip with fries were. At Antoine s (Philips burg) we sat at a table by the beach and enjoyed our strip steak and red snapper. At Taloula Mangos (aka Blue B**ch, Philips burg) we had a decent hamburger and ribs while watching the beach walk and beach band, but the service was poor. Note that many retail facilities offer free WiFi if you purchase something their.
Shortcomings: The directions to the hotel are incorrect and there is no hotel signage at the street. Make sure you have a very good map and it would be wise to familiarize yourself with the route from the airport to the hotel in advance of your trip. When you drive, please be VERY alert for the extensive use of speed bumps throughout the island. Many of them are poorly marked. The traffic in Simpsons Bay has become very bad and is negatively affecting that area. The Divi has painted many of the stairwells and they are now VERY slick/dangerous when wet. Some of the damaged facilities (e.g. the grass roof above the Jacuzzi in full view of the room 37 that they are showing) would be easy to repair. The Divi front desk staff is very slow, as one might expect. Eventually, Divi will propagate WiFi throughout the resort, but not yet.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank rograham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2010

The good points of this resort are few but worth mentioning. The location is great and a very nice beach. It is relatively quiet and close to town. There is virtually nothing to do however, and the service is incredibly bad. NO-ONE seems to care one way or another if your having a good time, they just want you to go to a time share presentation. I was asked at LEAST three times a day if I would attend and they were surprised (I would even say shocked) that I didnt want to. In fact when I was waiting for my shuttle to the airport when leaving I was approached to see if I wanted to go to a presentation while I waited. There were two females with clip boards who roamed the grounds incessantly searching for time share victims. That was the only contact with the hotel to be had. My room was supposed to be a two bedroom with a kitchen --I got a basic hotel room--went to complain and they pretended like I had no idea what I was talking about. The food is so-so but WAYY over priced. If you must stay here at least rent a car (which you should anyway) and explore the island---aside from water/beach activites you are pretty much on your own to entertain yourself. In summary, if you love time share presentations, are not big on service or entertainment, and just want to hang out at the beach, this is a great place. All others should stay far away.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank baker747
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2010

We have stayed with Divi in the past years, and have been to Saint Martin for the last 10 years. The resort is right on the water, and you can hear the waves pounding with lovely breeze. This vacation lasted about 3 1/2 weeks over the Christmas / New Year holiday. The resort looks like a gem and has been totally renovated. Our room was lovely and right on the beach. The atmosphere was upbeat, people were having a great time. Beach volleyball, soccer, swimming, snorkling, playing in the pool, sitting at Gizmo's Sports bar (the list goes on and on). There were many manager parties that were fun. One mistake people make is not getting a car in Saint Martin. This is a MUST. Divi is not a "destination resort" or "all inclusive" although they will accomodate upon request. There is so much to do on this island, and getting around is easy. Rental cars cost approx. $150 per week. We spend much time on the French side, at the different beaches. Grand Case, Marigot Harbor, Orient Bay, Rouge Beach are a few of our favorites. The food on the island is endless gourmet and simply fun, different and fantastic. The food at Divi is not good when you compare what you can get for the same price outside of the resort at the many fantastic resturants. Our favorites are the BBQ on the beach.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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4  Thank myworldexperiences
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2010

The Divi Little Bay Resort was quite beautiful and VERY clean. Even the outside walls of the buildings were scrubbed down every night. Encountered no bugs or other creepy-crawlers. We went with another couple as part of an RCI timeshare exchange(they stayed on the opposite end of the resort in a one BR suite which provided an EXCELLENT view while we were put in a villa with a limited view, but much closer to the main lobby/beach area and VERY spacious). The resort itself was very nice and one could get a taxi to Phillipsburg which is about a 20 minute walk (uphill for 10 minutes, it seems) from the resort. Would have been nice to have a shuttle from the resort instead of having to rely on taxies costing $4 each way per person. We did have a rental car and parking was available to restaurants going towards the airport, but parking in Phillipsburg for shopping (and to Marigot, also) is nearly non-existent. All in all, the trip was perfect and do take advantage of the resort excursions. One blip in all this, however, was our excursion around the island on a bus. The driver was excellent, but there was a mishap (lady hit by a motorcycle - note: she was okay - and our bus had to detour around this. Everyone except 6 people (myself included) left the bus and the guide told us all to meet at a bakery. We left the bus after the driver left us off around the block but the rest of our tourmates as well as the tour guide (from the hotel) was nowhere to be found. Luckily, we decided nearly at the time we had to be back on the bus, that we should be by the marketplace behind the main street of Marigot. The bus was ready to leave. My position on this is that the resort should assure that their "guides" not leave ANYONE behind in ANY circumstance. By the way, dining anywhere other than a KFC or Subway is quite expensive. Also, there are quite a number of Casinos at least on the Dutch side and yes, the locals are very friendly, but be careful walking alone at night.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with friends
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3  Thank toadsoup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2010

Myself, hubby and another couple had the pleasure of staying at Divi for 2 weeks from November 22 to December 6. Our rooms were beachfront, lower floor, and next door to each other. I am a travel consultant that specializes in cruise and all-inclusive resorts. After reading reviews and information on the resort and St. Maarten's, I was very pleased with the property and the resort - the reviews do not do it justice. It is beautiful; the bay calm and warm (swam anytime! and snorkeled along the shore), sand was soft, rooms were very nice (we had a fridge for our drinks), and the cruise ships came by in the morning or evening (the property has views on both sides). I walked through the property and noted areas of renovations (which most resorts have) and spoke with staff about the ongoing upgrades (mostly room renovations and the new grill) that will only add to this wonderful resort. I felt very safe in the property and the location is close to the town and the fort is at the top of the property. I understand what other reviews said about the service - I allow a bit of wiggle room in this as I am on vacation and the tropics do tend to have a laid back attitude which can frustrate people (I found the attitude was more island wide than just at the resort but there were many people who were very friendly and helpful that made our trip special).

I found the food and drinks to be excellent (up at the pool area; good value and excellent food for lunch - one of my favorite places to eat); dinner at the resort was pricey but if you shared as the portions were so big (ps chicken pasta was very yummy) this was doable and acceptable (though we did not really like the special occasion buffet style dinners - pricey, waiting in line too long (rather be served) and then running out of food!?); the breakfast was nice with good coffee (would of loved to have that included in room price :-) and there was many places to eat outside the resort (which we had planned to do as we were not all inclusive). Liked the bar by the beach and you can order your dinner and have it there with your drinks. The little store/bakery also had food, snacks and coffee and pretty much anything else you need so that was very convenient.

We did rent a driver (yeah Rudy!) and van for the whole day to tour the island which was very good value and very safe (ask Sandra at the front desk to help you arrange this) and then we also went on the Golden Eagle catamaran tour around the island (lunch was not impressive - expecting more French style food - though it was nice to "swim" to the beach for our lunch) and we booked this through the excursion office at the resort (very friendly and helpful). We also went to St. Bart's on the fast-ferry (very rough crossing!) - booked through excursion office so we can have transportation from the resort to the pier (and return) and that was beautiful to see.

They do have some resident cats that hang around the pool and there is the parrot (though I do not really like the idea other two parrots in the cage by the store (what is the point?).

All in all; we had a great vacation - from the west coast of Canada it is a long trip and but it is worth it to see the beauty of this unique country (land of the salt) - it is difficult to compare value with all inclusive resorts as they are incredible fantasies but if you are doing your wish list to see all the Caribbean countries, this may become a favorite spot.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with friends
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4  Thank MrTandMe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2010

We arrived 9 AM after getting off a cruise. The check in process was quick and the staff was polite. We had e mailed earlier to ask for early check in. Our room WAS ready. We were in the room and in our bathing suits by 930. The room did have a musty odor but it was clean and spacious. We were on the first floor and you could literally jump onto the sand.
The beach makes this resort worth the stay. It is large, clean and the water is calm. You can walk out into the water a good way. Tip: the chaise lounges get "reserved" quite early. People start putting towels on the chairs before 830 AM.
There is a nice little grocery store on the premises-pricey but it has whatever you need. We received breakfast with our booking. It was a decent buffet: fruit, excellent coissants, some cold cuts, and a guy making eggs, omelets, or french toast. I think if you had to pay it was $15 p.p.
The resort is also quite close to downtown Philipsburg.
All in all, I'd recommend this place for the beach and location.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank andywayne1
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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