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“Could Be Better...”

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Flamingo Beach Resort
Montrose, CA
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Could Be Better...”
Reviewed January 8, 2013

I'd like to point out the positives first, as there were some very good things about Flamingo Beach Resort.

1. The location is great for exploring the island but also being close to many shops, restaurants and some good beaches (although the island is not that big, so getting to beaches on the French side was not that far of a drive).

2. The condo was clean and quiet. We stayed in a one bedroom on the third floor in Building Four, facing the street. The bonus was having the BBQ and rooftop hot tub. Downside - hot tub was actually not that hot....

3. Toppers is a great little bar with friendly service and good food. A nice place to spend happy hour with snacks, or drinks after dinner.

4. The property is fairly well maintained and attractive, with a nice pool area and chairs. Parking is ample and the majority of the staff were very pleasant and accommodating.

Downside:

1. I did not realize, nor was it explained to me when I exchanged through Diamond Resorts, that the one bedroomed suites advertised on their website (and what I thought I was booking), are reserved for owners at Flamingo. These are the "B" units. We were assigned an "A" unit, the backside of the building, which, although still a one bedroom, is considerably smaller and a different layout. Had I known this, I may have gone somewhere else. There were four of us in this unit (two adults; my college age son and teenage daughter, who slept on the pull out bed and a rollaway bed). It was a little tight and we had circus maneuvers in the morning negotiating getting breakfast ready and moving furniture around. Also, there was not a window in the bedroom and that made for claustrophobic sleeping conditions (especially as the AC was severely lacking). To access the bathroom, you had to go through the bedroom - a little annoying when you are trying to sleep (in the "B" units, there is dual access to the bathroom). Although clean, the maintenance on this particular unit could have been better. The ceiling was brown from water stains from the roof (maybe from the AC unit?), several drawers in the dresser needed fixing and the bathroom had mismatched drawers and dripping taps. No major deal, but still needs attention.

2. Although my confirmation from Diamond Resorts stated that checkout during week days was noon, checkout was 10:00 a.m. I managed to extend that to 11:00 a.m., and again, it was not such a big deal, but why the misinformation? Diamond Resorts - you really need to get your information in order.

All in all, a nice place and we had a good time. Next time I exchange through Diamond Resorts, I will have to double check the unit information.

As for the island itself, St. Maarten/St. Martin is a lovely island, with many beautiful beaches and great restaurants. We visited: Bon Appetit, Greenhouse, IZI, Ocean Lounge, Piazza Pascal, the LoLo's, and Karacter. The one let down was Ocean Lounge (I will review in the restaurant section). The rest were superb and I would recommend them all. Bon Appetit and Greenhouse are within walking distance, IZI and Karacter are close by in Simpson Bay, the LoLo's and Piazza Pascal are in Grand Case.

Our favorite beaches were Plum Bay and Dawn Beach. Plum Bay has no amenities, but is spectacular and well worth a trip. Take chairs and an umbrella and spend the day. Dawn Beach is great, has chairs for rent and two restaurants on the beach for lunch. Orient Beach was good - a little crowded on one of the days we went and seemed a little dangerous with all the para-sailers and jet ski's flying around. Unlike the US, there is no lifeguard at any of the beaches and you swim at your own risk. Some beaches have signs that say as much. On our first day at Orient Beach, a woman was badly injured in the water and was taken away by ambulance. It was pretty traumatic (especially as my husband and son were the one's who pulled her out of the water). Be vigilant, watch your children carefully, and be alert. The second time we went, it was much quieter and we had a nice day at CoCo Beach Club. Some of the beach clubs do one to one (Euro to Dollar), others will charge the exchange rate (1.3 Euro - $), so it can be a little expensive.

If you are renting a car, be prepared for the following: driver's can stop abruptly to talk to friends in the street, so don't follow too closely; bikes will often overtake on blind corners and "slot" drive; some of the roads are not lit that well, so be careful and be prepared for cars/bikes to pull out of unlit alley and driveways without notice. Pedestrians will often step into the street or cross the street right in front of your car - it's a little disconcerting; be prepared to slow down or stop. Never leave anything in your car, especially valuables. If you go to the more remote beaches, take everything with you. We heard too many stories of lost passports, snorkeling gear, suitcases, money, and so on. Leave your passports in the safe. If you don't have a safe in your room, leave them with the hotel safe.

The best way to navigate around the island is to get a map that shows the roundabouts. That's the way we figured out where we were and how to get to where we wanted to be. There's really only one road that goes around the island, with offshoots to Oyster Bay, French Cul de Sac, and beaches on the west side. Some of the parking for the beaches belongs to the restaurants, so be careful where you park, especially in Oyster Bay. Although all the beaches are public, some of the restaurants will have you towed if you park on their property. When in doubt, park on the roadside and not in the lot. Orient Beach has loads of parking and then you can chose whether to sit on your towels on the beach or rent chairs from one of the cafes. Mullet Beach has parking off of the golf course; Baie Rouge has a very small parking lot, so get there early for a spot.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank smacthayer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Kansas City
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013

I returned again to the flamingo, it's an annual thing now. My dad has a time share and we stay in the units right behind Toppers on the beach. This resort is consistently good and they are maintaining it well. The check in process seems a little faster this year and they have painted the front facades on the balconies and porches a dark color to match the glittering and other trim. Looks great. If you are going to spend a week without a rental car, this is the place. Many restaurants in walking distance, close to the airport, right on a pretty beach, and next to a marina that offers boat trips everywhere. Car rental on site next to the casino if you want one for a day to explore the island.

Room Tip: Don't worry if you are near the bar. It closes by 10 and the rooms are well built, not much soun...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank DaeDae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
diamondresorts, Manager at Flamingo Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 10, 2013
Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your most recent stay here at Flamingo Beach Resort, and an even bigger thank you for being a repeat guest with us. We are really delighted to read that our accommodations, customer service, and location have exceeded your expectations, and contributed to your repeated stays. The tips you have provided for our resort and the nearby area will really help our future guests when they plan their stay. We look forward to seeing you and the rest of your family again next year!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NJ
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013

Stayed a week over the holidays and had a great time. This is a good place for a simple and relaxing vacation. There's a place right by the beach although it's enclosed for massages which were good. There are usually a couple of activities by the pool, bingo, bean bag toss, water aerobics, etc per day. The beach is fabulous although there are rocks so you have to be careful. There is great snorkeling close by. The sunsets are incredible and lots of yacht watching to do. The rooms have mini kitchens and comfortable beds and pullout couches. The staff were super friendly. All rooms have terraces which is nice. The ones with ocean views were great. This is a timeshare spot with a loyal following of repeat clients. There is a small deli/market in walking distance to stock up for the room. If you want daily room cleaning you have to ask and pay separately. There is a game room/activity center for kids. The airport is close by so it's a quick ride to and from, 10 mins or so. We had a terrific time.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank NJ_Family_Team
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2013

Spent a week in St. Maarten over the holidays so the resort was at capacity but the staff did a great job taking care of everyone. The unit itself was great, except for our unit being on the hill and not on the beach. One of the terraces had an ocean view, but the other did not. Would have preferred to be in a building on the beach but the resort staff said they did not have anything near the beach available. It seemed that parking for the units on the hill was easier than parking in other areas.
The service was good. Very friendly/helpful staff. A few problems arose though: 1) the concierge made a reservation for us at L'Auberge Gourmande (in Grand Case), but when we got to the restaurant, the host/owner had no record of our reservation. We wonder if the concierge made one someplace else and gave us the wrong name or if the restaurant messed up. Either way, we ended up next door at La Villa (excellent) and booked L'AG (very good) for another night. 2) We wanted to book a day trip to Anguilla. Spoke with the activities desk person who booked us for two days later -- for nearly $180, which seemed high. When we went to the appointed location, we learned that the booking was for a snorkeling trip that stops off on Anguilla. Neither of us snorkel so we definitely did not want to book a snorkel trip, but that is what the activity sales person booked for us. When we explained the error, we got a full refund, but it was still disappointing. Also, the towel desk ran out of clean towels a few times.
Definitely minor issues, but they do keep the rating from being excellent.
We found Toppers on the beach to be very good for a quick beach break lunch and the Buccaneer down the beach had good pizza.
Agree with other reviewers that the shower heads leave something to be desired.
Kitchen is fully stocked and the market nearby has most everything.
All in all, a very good place to spend a week. If we go back to St. Maarten, we will consider staying here again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank DCJulia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2012

Once you've seen the beach that lies directly in front of building 7, you won't want to spend your time anywhere else. We are usually pool people, but the bay water is so calm and clean, we chose to sit under or near a palapa on the beach every day. Our one bedroom faciity was more than we really needed. It does sleep up to four, so a young family could use it more fully. We had everything one would need to eat in, because the kitchen area is fully stocked with dishes, utensils, etc., but we chose to eat breakfast either at the hotel restaurant called Toppers (wonderful blueberry pancakes) or at Zee Best about a mile away. You must eat breakfast or lunch there. It's special. The hotel has a very friendly staff. The bathroom looks like it was recently redone. There is plenty of storage room, something we usually don't find elsewhere. The mattress is very comfortable and the room is large. Even the studio is large. It has a sitting area for tv watching. There is no bottled water in the room, but the store on the premises sells a bottle for $1. We went to a supermarket and got 6 large bottles for $4. We left the last one for the next guest to use. Over all, we enjoyed our one week stay and plan to come back again. The weather was perfect all week. We rented a car and saw the island. You want to eat on the French side a couple of times. We also enjoyed a sunset cruise which included a 3 course meal at Le Petit Auberge in Marigot. That's one way to go if you don't want to drive. There's a place right on the beach of the hotel that offers every form of water activity, including cruises.The one thing we found annoying at the Flamingo was the toilet flush. It's the very quick but noisy kind. Really noisy. But, even so, go and enjoy.

Room Tip: Floors 2-4 in any building give the best views. Lowest level has lots of foot traffic.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank traveler1NewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laureldale, Pennsylvania
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 24, 2012

Just got back from a week in St.Maarten.. Stayed in building 3 on the hill. Had a wonderful room with access to the wrap around terrace from the sliding doors in the living room and bedroom. Had a great ocean view from the terrace and watched the cruise ships arrive and depart. Had a full kitchen that had every utencil needed. The room was clean and well appointed. I did have a problem one day with my TV but a phone call to the front desk had a repairmen at my door with in five minutes of the call. The staff was very freindly and very receptive to any need I had. I will definitly be returning here next year. The only thing I would suggest to the resort is that they install better shower heads. The grocery store was a five minute walk from my room as was the casino and resteraunts. Toppers on the Beach served excellant food at prices in keeping with the rest of the eateries on the Island.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kenknee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2012

March 2013 is our projected return. I just needed to remind anyone who is looking, that this place is the best. My husband ans I have gone to so many places. This hotel is amazing. Price, people, and location. I grew up simple, this hotel keeps the simpleness + class. Just had to reaffirm to my fellow travelers after watching under cover boss that this is a place to book. 3 months and counting till we return. I love this island, hotel, and the people.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Holykow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Flamingo Beach Resort

Property: Flamingo Beach Resort
Address: Billy Folly Road 6 | Pelican Cay, Simpson Bay, Philipsburg 29572, St. Maarten-St. Martin
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Maarten-St. Martin > Sint Maarten > Philipsburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Philipsburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Flamingo Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 206
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Beautiful white sand, sparkling blue waters, sunny skies - where else can you find all of this but in Saint Martin/Saint Maarten in the Caribbean? When you stay at Flamingo Beach Resort, you will have all of this, and more. Here you can have the most relaxing vacation of your life, or enjoy some of the many outdoor adventures in the area. If you love water sports, you can go windsurfing, swimming and snorkeling. See the scenery on horseback, or go for a hike along the many trails. You will never be bored while you are staying here, unless of course you simply want to sit back and do nothing, which you are more than welcome to do. Just imagine spending a week or longer just lying around on the beautiful beaches. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Flamingo Beach Hotel Philipsburg
Flamingo Beach Resort St. Maarten-St. Martin/Philipsburg
Hotel Flamingo Beach
Sunterra Flamingo Beach Resort

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