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“Beautiful, friendly, relaxing resort on the beach”

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Divi Little Bay Beach Resort
Ranked #2 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 9, 2011

What a beautiful and relaxing resort, right on a lovely white sand bay. We stayed here on the last day of our 10-day trip to St. Martin, and it was a perfect end to a wonderful vacation. Frommer’s describes it as the “flagship of the Divi chain” says it is “consistently ranked as one of the best family vacation resorts in the Caribbean,” and “evokes a European seaside village w/ some Dutch colonial touches.” Hard to improve on that. We booked in on an RCI timeshare points exchange, and after reading some previous reviews requested a deluxe or luxury suite.

The unit: When we arrived, we received a “casita” located on the hill, a bit behind the line of hotel rooms and suites right on the beach/boardwalk, and wow – it was stunning. It was beautifully done w/ nice tilework, dark wood furniture and classy furnishings throughout; leather chairs around the large dining table; beautiful cherry cabinets in the kitchen, w/ full-sized stainless steel fridge, nice stove, dishwasher. We had flatscreen TVs in living room and bedroom and nice private patio; all the units now have free wi fi and are non-smoking. Note that in the casitas, since they’re set back, you won’t have the full-on ocean view that you do if you’re right on the water, but the fact that we had our own private villa/casita made up for that for us.

The location: the Divi is in one of best locations on the island, in our opinion. Located on beautiful Little Bay, where you can swim and snorkel, and just 15 min. walk or 5 min. drive to Phillipsburg, and 15-20 min. drive to Simpson /Maho bays. But unlike those areas, where there are often timeshare hotels crammed next to, in front of and behind other timeshares, this one is stretched out, on its own, along Little Bay – much more relaxing. Note: if cruise ships aren’t in, Phillipsburg is pretty dead, i.e. we walked around for 2 hrs at 5 pm and found only one decent looking restaurant open (Taloula’s) and it wasn’t that great.

They have 3 pools – a small one by the casitas, a nice one in the middle and a vanishing edge pool up near the top of the resort w/ gorgeous views looking down on the cliffs and the whole bay – small, but stunning, and there was only one other couple up there the morning we were there. There are also hot tubs by each one, which were popular when the sun went down.

There are 3 restaurants and 2 outside bars – the Seabreeze Restaurant and bar by the main pool, which is only open for breakfast and lunch for food, and has happy hr (1/2 price drinks) 4-6 pm, then there’s Gizmo’s Bar across from the beach (named after the parrot, Gizmo, who is usually hanging around close by), happy hr 5-7 pm. Great atmosphere; good drinks; service was a bit slow – might need more than 1 bartender during happy hr. They also serve “bar food” such as pizzas, burgers, fries, etc. We tried the jerk chicken pizza, but it nothing about it (crust, sauce, cheese, toppings) was very good – if you’re looking for good pizza, try Sunset Bar in Maho. Next to Gizmos, the Toucan serves lunch and dinners (often buffets). Sat. night, it was a prime rib buffet for $28/person (didn't look worth that to me).

Other amenities – there is also a gym, spa, cappuccino counter, grocery store, computer/internet stations, watersports center where they rent kayaks, boogie boards, hobie cats, snorkeling gear, etc., tennis courts, dive shop, Thrifty car rental (David there is so friendly - smallest car is just $30, but w/ taxes and fees, comes to $46/day). They are also now offering room service from the restaurant and in-room delivery of grocery items from the Bayview market for 15% service charge.

Favorite St. Martin spots – we spent most our time (a week) on a 10-person Tradewinds catamaran which was absolutely the highlight of our trip (thanks Donald & Audrey!), but we’d also recommend: (1) Cupecoy beach – gorgeous little cove beaches at the bottom of the cliffs – check out “Danny’s Beach Bar” – Danny rents beach chairs and sells beer and rum punch from the back of his truck – he claims it’s the “best rum punch on the island” and I’d definitely rate it in the top 3 (note that clothing is optional on Cupecoy, and when we were there, most opted not, especially the men); (2) the Lolos at Grand Case – amazing fresh grilled food, for super reasonable prices – at “Talk of the Town” we had ribs for $4, snapper for $8 and creole shrimp for $6 – and each came w/ a side – the coleslaw and curry rice and beans were wonderful; (3) Buccaneer Beach Bar by Simpson Bay – cool beach bar, lounge chairs on the sand, best rum punch on the island for just $3 all the time (always freshly made – Wanda’s own recipe – never pre-made mixes), and great fresh food – the blackend mahi mahi ceasar salad was amazing (just $14); (4) Sunset Beach Bar – pretty cool to watch the planes take off and land right over head, plus they’re fried shrimp are good, and pizza was wonderful – woodfire oven style, w/ great crust, sauce, cheese, etc. – just $11-15 each; (5) Peg Leg Pub on Friday nights w/ live music and dancing (if you decide to get up and dance – we had a great time; (6) ferry/sail to St. Barts – what a cool, beautiful island, w/ quaint shops, restaurants, bars (check out Le Select, which Jimmy Buffet dedicated “Cheeseburger in Paradise” to) – you can see why the rich and famous love this island.

Since I think it’s helpful when reviewers compare resorts, our first night, we stayed at the Belair Beach Hotel, right next to the Divi, and while it shares the same bay and was a comfortable place to stay, the Divi is in a totally different league – from what I’ve seen, I think Divi is the nicest timeshare resort on St. Martin.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank SDTraveler01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 3, 2011

Beautiful location; the resort has its own peninsula, and often you get views of the ocean on both sides. The pools are very nice, especially the infinity pool at the top of the resort. Not overly crowded. Lots of families with timeshares that have been there for years. The beach is nice, with good swimming opportunities. You can walk to Phillipsburg, but the sidewalk is quite narrow, and it's a pretty step uphill then downhill. That said, it's only a 10-15 min walk to the edge of town. Most people rent cars.

The staff are a bit unresponsive at times, and a bit slow with requests. But hey this is the Caribbean, so that's pretty much par for the course.

The pool bar has good lunch. Grilled Mahi sandwich was the best thing I had. Fries are good.

The dinner restaurant ("Toucans") is terrible. Let me just walk you through "Italian night": two families were eating (it seats 20 families), and a "band" was performing that consisted of two scantily clad women singing bad Karaoke, so loud you couldn't talk to each other. For $35/person, I got a salad bar (lettuce, tomatoes and some sort of string bean thing), a choice of pasta (I got "Caribbean meat sauce" which was literally overcooked fetuccini with Manwich on top) and Cheesecake (which I didn't try).

The resort has a store with good coffee and friendly staff. The store has basic sundries (cereal, beer, diapers, milk, eggs, etc.) but not enough for any serious cooking (a single bowl of vegetables sometimes appears in the cooler but it's useless.) On a couple mornings there were some (overripe) apples. Bring in your own groceries from town.

I highly recommend walking up to Fort Amsterdam, which is the end of the peninsula, just a 3-5 minute walk up from the infinity pool area. Beautiful views of both bays and cruise ships coming in. Nice place for a sunset, picnic, etc.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank feldmanjon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2011

My wife and three grown children stayed at the Divi Little Bay from December 22 to December 28. Overall our stay was very nice and we would recommend this hotel. We stayed in the studio rooms which had one king bed and a Queen pullout couch. The room also had a fully equipped kitchen. Buy some food at a local grocery store for a quick breakfast before setting out for the day. The bathrooms were very large with a whirlpool and ceramic shower. The property sits on a pennisula so there are great views of the ocean with all rooms. We read many reviews prior to arriving which talked about cleanliness and lack of regular housekeeping. We experienced neither. In fact, we had daily housekeeping and if you tip a five spot each day, you may even get some extras like flowers on the bed. The breakfast buffet at Toucan's restaurant on property is $15 but well worth the price because food prices are high on the island. Make sure to ask for your complimentary rum punch served daily at the Concierge desk. The beach is nice and they have many things to do (boogie board, sailboat, kayak, snorkel) which are an extra charge. Divi Little Bay is actually one of the best snorkeling sites on the island. So try that before venturing out or paying a charter. So we had a great time and would recommend the Divi. No problems at all. Enjoy your trip.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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3  Thank Simongraff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2010

This was our 5th trip to the Divi in a timeshare unit. We stayed in one of the beachfront newly renovated rooms that were redone after the hurricane a couple of years ago. This is the first time we found the front desk staff to be really friendly and helpful. This is a major change at the Divi. The location is great and the beach is beautiful and easily accessible from any room on the property. Food and service at Toucan's is fair at best, although the Christmas dinner was pretty good. Our room was great- a one bedroom with washer and dryer. The bed was also really comfortable. If the Divi owners read these reviews here are a few suggestions for improvement: daily trash removal from the rooms, leave a dustpan and broom in the room so we can tidy up, improve the food and offer some healthy choices at your restaurants, get some beach games going for the teens, take drink orders on the beach, do something about the ridiculous ongoing beach towel shortage, put batteries in the remote in the Member's Lounge, set up a proper business center so guests can send and receive faxes). The most aggravating thing we encountered during our stay was the on again off again message obscuring the television screen saying the satellite charges were overdue.
Any problems with our room were remedied quickly (light bulb replaced, shower door repaired, towels delivered,). The Divi is a good hotel in a great location and with some attention to detail it could be a great hotel. Saint Martin has great food all over the island. We enjoyed an amazing meal at Mario's Bistro (always excellent), Pizza Pasta was good as usual in the Maho area, Jimbo's in Simpson's Bay. Food on the French side is superior to the Dutch and worth the trip from the Divi.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank Take my word for it...
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2010

This is our 12th year to St Martin end of the year. We take 2 - 3 weeks and just enjoy. St Martin has so much to do, you cannot even imagine, you need to come back over and over again, you never get tired of St Martin. We have stayed many places on St Martin and in the Caribean. At Divi we are surrounded by water on both sides (Little Bay and Great Bay). Property is HUGE. 3 pools, many hot tubs, 3 bars, always something going on, small grocery store, sandwich shop, lunch spot, BBQ and dinner. Many evening parties. There are spots right on the sand, quiet locations on the hill, be social or feel secluded. We are always happy at Divi Have stayed at other locations and have not been happy at all. We go all over the island, I do recommend a car. Those that complain; the Caribean is on caribean time. The standards are not to USA standards. You just have to relax and enjoy. Our room overlooks the rocks, the ocean, we hear the waves pounding at night, the beach is right there, we meet our friends at the bar to chat, our kid enjoys the pools and other kids. Very family friendly resort but great for couples. Just get a car and relax. Front desk slow? Have a rum punch or sit under a palm tree. Our room is over 1500 Sq Ft with 2.5 baths, overlooking and almost on top of the water, what more can you ask for? Food this year has really improved as has housekeeping. New GM is doing a good job. We will keep on returning, have already booked our next year vacation

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled on business
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1  Thank myworldexperiences
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2010

For my Mother's 70th birthday, I surprised her with a trip to St. Maarten and we stayed at Divi. I love Divi Little Bay. They treated us as if we were all family. My Mother's birthday was acknowledged by staff members of Divi and she was given a birthday gift by a Divi Staff Member. All of the employees were very helpful (Vincent, Juan, Walter, Marisole, Rudy, Leroy, to name a few). The room was clean and I loved the hospitality of the Divi staff. I would definitely stay there again and again, and again. Cin-dee from Maryland

  • Stayed: December 2010
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Thank Cin-dee301
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2010

We originally booked at another resort through RCI because the Divi was not available. The other resort (next to airport) was a huge disappointment. We called Divi and they gladly transferred our RCI reservation. They were very accomodating and gave us 3 room options. The resort was recovering from the prior hurricane week and did an incredible job cleaning the beach and getting things back to shape. The staff was very helpful in helping us find available dives (since many boats were in port from the storm), and even zip lining (which has also closed, but reopened). Everyone from the front desk to entertainment to the bars were very helpful. We'll definnately return. We ate at the onsite restuarant, which was very nice. Nice beach, the pools and hot tubs were great as well. We also enjoyed The Greenhouse (coconut chicken is great) and Mike's (nice fish and ribs). Outside the resort, we enjoyed a great zip line advanced course and dives with Blue Bubbles on the island.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank LakebumsInTexas
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:
#2 Family Hotel in Philipsburg
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Philipsburg
#3 Romantic Hotel in Philipsburg
Price Range: $162 - $351 (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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