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“The Best Place I Have Every Stayed In St. Martin”

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Flamingo Beach Resort
Reviewed July 23, 2008

We stayed in this hotel because it was the best offer we got for a last minute trip we decided to do to this wonderful island.

This is like our 10th trip in the last 20 yrs.

we have stayed in the French side and on the Dutch side. We have stayes in big and in small hotels. So far this is the best.

It is a time share property and seems they put away through the internet certain rooms to fill in for those that don't show up to use their time shares.

We got an excellent dela. The premises are well kept. The only issue wwas one elevator that was not working and the one working was too far to our room; so we ended going up and down through the stairs but it was not that bad because the views you get to see are so gorgeous you won't notice the pain of the steps.

The roo, actually it was a suite, was excellent. A huge room with a kitchen, two TV sets, a big bathroom, a spacious balcony.

One thing that we missed was an ocean view. Seems it was the catch for the rate we got. Good rate but no ocean view. Anyways, we were out of the room must of thetime but for somebody with a long stay and with no car to move around it might make a difference.

The location is perfect. Close to the airport, to the Simpson bay area where most of the affordable restaurants are, and close to Maho Bay where you might find some sort of night life.

One reccomendation of a bargain to go for dinner is the Pricess Hotel and Casino where they have a dinner buffet for $10.00. When we went there after a few days paying an average of $75.00 per dinner for two each evening we felt like in an oasis. We were sceptical about the offer we saw in the local newspaper. We were expecting it was a way to draw people to a time share presentation but it was not. They just want to draw you to the Casino but there is no obligation to stay to play.

And remember renting a car is so cheap that is a no brainer, just rent a car. It is safe to drive but be prepared to deal with lots of traffic.

Don't miss Philipsburg Boardwalk.

The French side of the island is just good to go to the beach. It is too rundown and too expensive. An average dish at a restaurant is at 30 euros, and with the exchange rate its is about $50.00 and the portions are really small. That is why I loved the dinner buffet. The only thing I regret is having found it on the last evening on the island.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank golflover26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 5, 2008

My husband and I recently stayed at the Flamingo Beach Resort in St. Maarten thru a timeshare exchange. I was a bit nervous after reading some of the reviews but was I surprised! The resort was wonderful. We had a studio with a full kitchen. It slept 4 (king bed and sleeper sofa) with one bath with shower. The bed area and living room (DVD here) each had a TV and the areas could be separated by three sliding panels. The room was very clean with maid service once during the week. The beach was immaculate and there always seemed to be enough chairs, umbrellas and palapalas available no matter what time you went. The beach bar was nice and served snacks during the day. Happy hour was great! Must try a guavaberry colada!! The restaurant was closed for renovations but they offered a shuttle to the sister resort - Royal Palm for meals and a fitness center. There was a shuttle that went down to the restaurant area on the main road. Topper's, Lee's, Pineapple Pete's, and Pegleg pub were very good. Ribs are the best at Lee's. We also tried Mr. Busby's Beach bar - very expensive but very good food AND right on the beach. There were some resort activities but did not partake except the water taxi (excellent service) to Phillipsburg for $12/pp and comp sodas each way. Check out Jim Berger's everything St. Maarten for the cruise ship schedule to avoid the crowds in P-burg. Also stores closed Sundays from May to Oct.
My favorite store is Shopper's Haven - doesn't look like much - but ask for Sam or Victor, mention my name and they will treat you RIGHT! All in all, this has been our third visit to St Maarten and third resort. 1. Oyster Bay, 2. Atrium. Oyster Bay okay but very out of the way. Atrium needs to be updated. Flamingo was the best so far. Check in a breeze even got in our room early (2pm) and staff was very helpful with everything. They offer a hospitality room for showering on check out day which we took advantage of. Also used Ace Rent a car thru Mohamed. Used my AmEx card to have int'l ins coverage and accepted the rental car liability coverage - We have counted only one traffic light and one very well hidden stop sign so driving is generally a free for all! Remember gas is in liters and guilders - must pay in cash! Traffic very heavy going to P-burg around 5 pm. No problem with crime - there were security guards EVERYWHERE!! Was not worried about safety at all. Did not travel to French side, last time we were treated horribly. I don't need French food that badly. I've attached some pictures. I really like this island and am ready to go back. Also, check out Spirit Airlines, they have a limited flight route but occasionally have great fares! Any questions, contact me!

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank PABabyNurse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2008

Timing –
The high season for the island is November-April. That is when all the cruise ships stop by. I’m told there are lots of people here then. Being that we were on the island in June, it was excellent in that it wasn’t overcrowded. We were often the only people during activities, so it was very personal attention.

Resort –
The general location of the resort is great. It is located on the Dutch side of the island, where everyone easily takes dollars, so there’s no need to exchange money (unlike the French side that uses Euros). Also, it is located in Pelican Cove which is a short drive from Simpson Bay area. There are lots of restaurants, shops, etc. nearby (including a McDonalds; didn’t see any Starbucks!). It is a short drive to Phillipsburg where the quaint souvenir shops are located (this is where all the cruise ships park so I’m sure it gets crowded there during high season). We did drive around the entire island and we saw places where there’d be one or two resorts with one or two restaurants nearby. That would probably be good for people that like the isolation, but I prefer having a bit more around me.

The resort has two separate beaches with beautiful sand and excellent swimming. There are plenty of lounge chairs, if one isn’t available on the beach there are several stacks on the side and you only have to go and get one. One large pool, again with plenty of lounge chairs. There are palapas and umbrellas sprinkled throughout.

There are three buildings of villas, two are labeled “Hillside” and one is labeled “Oceanside”. The Oceanside one is very near the pool and beach, so to stay there wouldn’t be bad. The Hillside ones are further back and, indeed, are up the hill a bit. So, each visit to the beach or the pool or the restaurant would involve a walk up and down the street. There is a sidewalk most of the way.

We were in an ocean view studio. The studios and bedrooms are located in a u-shape along the beach, with the restaurant being inside the u. Spectacular view of the beach/ocean from the balcony.

One incident we had involved the balcony. We went out to admire the view, closing the door behind us, and then when we tried to get back in, the door had locked. We were stuck on the balcony! We called over to some people across from us and they had to call down to the lobby to have security come into the room and bring the maintenance guy to repair. The sliding doors are very heavy, as they are built to withstand hurricanes. So, if you DO go on the balcony, be sure to leave the door a bit open so as not to get locked out!

The studio is a perfect size for a couple. There is a sitting area, with a couch/chair/table and TV. There’s also a breakfast table with four chairs. The kitchen is fully equipped with full refrig, microwave, and all the cooking equip you could need.

The bathroom is plenty large, with a walk in shower that easily fits two. No bathtub. There are two cabinet areas above the sink so there was plenty of room to put away the various bathroom paraphernalia that people always have with them, and not have to leave it spread along the vanity top.

Another incident involved the toilet. They have a vacuum system throughout, and I don’t exactly know what that means other than when you flush, there’s a rather loud noise and everything is sucked quickly out. One morning, after using the toilet, I hit the flush button and there was no loud sound and nothing was sucked out! I called down to the main desk and was told their vacuum system was not working, which meant everyone was in the same situation. But, they got it up and running after a bit and everything was back to good sucking order!

There are tile floors throughout the unit, making it very easy to keep the sand swept up. There is midweek cleaning, but other than that you have to keep your own bed made up each morning and keep the bathroom neat, if you are so inclined. That also means you don’t get fresh towels and sheets every morning. But, when ever I’ve read that this bothers people, I’ve wondered if that means they themselves use fresh towels and put new sheets on their own beds each and every morning when they are home? Well, if that does bother you, there’s a solution too! In the closet they have extra towels and sheets, so if you need fresh each day you can help yourself!

There is a safe in the closet so you can store your passport, money, and other important items. We accidentally left some money out on the table one day and it was still there at the end of the day. I have no reason to believe that there are any security issues there.

They have a happy hour where they do 2 for 1 drinks. We ordered two pina coladas (which meant we got 4) and it was $12! And....they were in very small cups (maybe 6 oz?). So a trip to the market to purchase rum and tequila (which is very inexpensive on the island!) and with the blender in the kitchen of the timeshare we made our own margaritas and pina coladas in the evenings.

We only had 1 meal at the Bar and Grill at the resort, the food was not that good.

Timeshare presentation – okay, no only really enjoys going to these things, do they? But for 1 hour of your time during your vacation they often give you great rewards. We went with the thought of getting $100 off the car rental (see more on car rental, below). But, after listening to their spiel and then going to collect the voucher they instead offered $200 off my next year maintenance! That was certainly worth my 1 hour of time!

Activities –
Horseback riding – we used Lucky Stables. They have several different tours. The one we selected was the evening ride which culminated on a bluff overlooking Indigo Bay at sunset. Mark, the guide, made a fire and we roasted marshmallows and drank champagne. It was quite nice.

Kayaking – the tours seemed to be higher priced than I cared to pay so we simply rented a kayak - a tandem and it was $28 for 4 hours – and did our own thing. Just outside the bridge from Simpson Cove area there was a small private cove that had excellent shelling and pretty good snorkeling.

Snuba – This is a mix of snorkeling with scuba diving, for people that don’t scuba. This was disappointing. It was $70 and we ended up going to one location which lasted less than 1 hour. The guides were not helpful. I was given some equipment and when I asked if I needed to do anything to the mask I was told no. But, once down in the water my mask misted up and for the entire time I was unable to see out of it. Also, they didn’t give me enough weights to reduce the buoyancy so I struggled the whole time to even get 1 foot below the surface! Fortunately I had an underwater camera so I was able later to see all the things I missed at the time!

Orient Beach – this is a 3 mile long beautiful sandy white beach on Orient Bay. One small strip at the end is a nude beach. As this is on the French side of the island, even in the non-nude portion most women go topless. There are chairs/umbrellas available for rent. When you ask how much they’ll tell you $18 (for 2 chairs and 1 umbrella). But, you don’t have to have the umbrella and then it is only $12. The snorkeling here was superb, the best we found anywhere. Each time we came to Orient Beach there was a bit of a wind blowing. We found it better to be there earlier in the day as it did pick up as the day progressed. Also, it was easier to find parking earlier in the day as well. There is a concession stand to purchase food/drinks.

Sunset Cruise – there are several to choose from. We ended up on the Lambada, located on Pelican Cove. It was supposed to be $30 a person including drinks and snacks, but we paid $10 due to a mix-up on the part of our timeshare. At any rate, even at $10 a person I wouldn’t recommend it. The crew was nice but the view was marginal and the sunsets aren’t that good due to the clouds in the distance. This was the case each night we were there. Also, the snacks consisted of chips/salsa and a bit of cheese/crackers.

Car Rental – although the island is only 36 square miles it does take a bit of time to drive anywhere. Most of the roads are just two lanes. I didn’t see any traffic lights (probably cause they’d get blown down in any hurricanes) and most traffic control is with round-a-bouts. To take a taxi each place you want to go could get costly. In the lobby of the resort there is a car rental. We negotiated the weekly price down to $150 from $180. The cars are right there so pick up/drop off was very easy. And, although the price of gas on the island is $10/gallon at the end of the week when we filled up it was only $23 after driving all week! They have the greatest small gas-efficient cars – too bad they don’t sell those here!

Eating –
The restaurant prices seemed high. I was told to try the restaurants in Grand Case (on the French Side) but I looked at their web sites in advance and decided that $45 a plate was too high. Having the timeshare with kitchen resulted in us going to a market and getting food to have some meals in the timeshare so we didn’t have to eat out all the time.

Look for Lee’s in Simpson Bay – they have a FULL rack of ribs on their appetizer menu for only $5! Add a couple of Caribe beers (similar to Coronas and very refreshing on a hot afternoon) for a couple of dollars and it makes for a pleasant meal.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
6  Thank dnolan29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2008

My wife and I spent two weeks in three different units while at the resort. We were able to bring a couple with us for the middle portion of our stay hence the room changes. One of the best aspects to the resort is the wonderful beach right on site. I saw a sand shark, sting ray and colorful fish in the private bay. The pelican is right next door and sunset sails can be booked at the pelican marina or in the flamingo lobby. Many beautiful beaches can be found in St. Maarten. Orient Beach was a real treat water sports are very reasonably priced. The staff was wonderful and very helpful. However two of the building are further up the hill away from the beach and could be an issue for older travelers. These buildings are listed as Flamingo Beach Villas, however an additional villa building is right on the beach get it if you can. The older building right next to the main beach is listed as Flamingo Beach Resort some units have views of the beach other units have views of the parking lot so again be careful, the units have been upgraded recently granite counter tops overall the units are nice. Of all the resorts on the island this would be our first choice it feels very safe inside the resort as well. The villa buildings have washer and dryers in the units the older part of the resort does not but has access to washer and dryers but you have to pay to use them. Enjoy

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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1  Thank mace2jc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2008

We stayed at the Sunterra Flamingo Beach Resort on April 8, 2008, for one week after extensively researching St. Maarten for a place for it's reputation, good snorkeling and sunsets. We booked the room through www.ResorTime.com. Upon our arrival, we were told they could not find our reservation. Since I had the confirmation papers, they put us in a room, but told us we may need to move in the morning. I was unable to unpack because I didn’t know if they were to move us or not. They made us move to another room four days later. The nightmare came when we asked for a wakeup call at 4:30am. There wasn’t one. We woke up 55 minutes prior to our departure time! This created MUCH stress on us and we barely made our plane. Make sure you have your reservation and don’t rely on this resort to wake you up. The room and resort were very nice, but sea was somewhat milky and the snorkeling wasn’t great due to a storm two or three weeks prior.

We rented a car from Summer Set. The guy met us at the airport. I was disappointed because we were told we would receive a car that was new or a couple of years old. This car was three years old and missing hubcaps on one side. The man PROMISED ME that he would have the hubcaps on the next day; he never showed.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank Dinarose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2008

We have just returned from a 9 night stay in St Maarten. Three nights were at the Flamingo Hotel.

First, when we first checked in we were given a room key to a room on the second floor. We always look at the room before we start the luggage haul. Our room was situated next to the broken elevator. We saw a beautiful ocean view...we were excited. Then we saw our bed turned down....I thought that was an interesting touch. Then we saw that there were clothes and shoes. They had given us a key to someone else's room. This was very alarming since some of the forums had mentioned security issues in St Maarten.We then went back to the front desk. We told the clerk what had happened. I also mentioned that winitial room was next to the broken elevator. I also asked that we be moved closer to the elevator that works, since my husband had open heart surgery 2 months ago. Our new room was a lovely view of the maintenance shed. We were also given a room even farther from the working elevator. Now we had to climb three flights of stairs. I also noticed that the smoke detector was exposed and no battery. The front desk told me that they would bring a battery by. When it didn't arrive, I phoned to ask about the battery. I was told that I could buy one if I felt that I needed a detector. Later that evening, the front desk gave another family a key to our room. They were trying to use their key. They stated that the front desk gave them the key. This is how our first day went.

Since this was a timeshare, usually there are activities and welcome to the site, etc. There was none.

The beach was very nice. The pool was also very nice.

I do plan on calling diamond resorts to let them know what has occured.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2  Thank jennsniffer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2008

We have stayed over the New Year and were dissapointed with rooms and services. We stayed in 2br oceanfront villa and I can hardly call it a villa. The rooms were outdated, doors were broken, cement steps to the second floor fell as we walked and the security guard told us that he informed the management to repair these a year ago, but nothing was done. The cleaning service is only once a week! I asked for a sewing kit, they did not have it! They do not even have a medical kit! The location is very convinient, but considering the lack of service and uncomfortable room I would not stay there again. We will return to the island in the near future and The Cliff is much better property.

Stayed: December 2007
9  Thank MyNextVilla
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

Address: Billy Folly Road 6 | Pelican Cay, Simpson Bay, Philipsburg 29572, St Martin / St Maarten
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St Martin / St Maarten > 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: $110 - $374 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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
Hotel Flamingo Beach
Sunterra Flamingo Beach Resort
Flamingo Beach Resort St Martin / St Maarten/Philipsburg

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