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“If you are looking for waterfront condo in St. Maarten's - this is it.”

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Simpson Bay Resort & Marina
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Simpson Bay
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
41 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“If you are looking for waterfront condo in St. Maarten's - this is it.”
Reviewed September 22, 2012

We stayed here one night in between villas we rented on the Dutch side and then the French side. It was a very pleasant night and I would stay again. We were in a condo that had a nice sized open kitchen with full appliances, large living room and large master with double vanities. Everything was granite top. Water pressure and AC worked great making a very comfortable stay.

The balcony overlooking the bay was wonderful and so fun to watch the boat activity. My husband captured a sensational morning shot of a rainbow after a morning rain.

We did not use the pool or dine at the restaurant but did go across the street to Bon Appetit twice and it was quite good and had live acoustic guitar player that was enjoyable.

We were with two other couple and requested staying next door to them so walking back and forth and having breakfast and happy hour together in one of the condos around the large round table worked great for togetherness while still giving us privacy in our individual spaces.

This location is great if you want to be in the middle of a lot of restaurants and nightlife. The casino and piano bar are across the street too.

Our check-in was a little tedious and I am not sure if that's because we are Americans or because our stay was last minute. You might plan ahead for that to save time. They wanted all our driver's licenses, verified payment by American credit several times, had a hard time with American Express etc. We were three couples checking in so that was part of it I am sure.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank HeatherDavisOKC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,177 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (411)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
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English first
Groton, CT
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2012

My wife and I own 1 week at the villas and have been coming to Simpson Bay (formerly ) the Pelican for several years. We don't want or need a lot of pampering. We get groceries for breakfast and lunch at the market out on the main road (Welfare Road). We love the resort, the beach, the people and all of the restaurants, some within walking distance of the resort. Some restaurants we love are Pineapple Pete's, Chesterfields (not within walking distance), and Jimbos. The Red Piano bar is right on the property and usually has a unique entertainer. I look forward to waking up before sunrise, making coffee and watching the sunrise over the mountain and light up Simpson Bay. We always take one of the sunset dinner cruises and some other excursion. There is a trip to Marigot via a small boat across the bay is only 15.00 round trip and on Wednesdays there is a big open market. We have always found the staff to be friendly and helpful. The only time the TV is on is to check the weather the day before we go home. The beach water is so calm. I would recommend Simpson Bay for anyone who wants a relaxing vacation....Books, bathing suits and cold drinks!!!!! We love St. Maarten and are already looking forward to next year.

Room Tip: If you want High tech and all the perks of American business travel, opt for the Marina Residences.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Bubblehead_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 14, 2012

I stayed at this resort in Sept. after Labor Day 2012 and this is my second time at this resort. They placed me in the "b" section of the villas. Check-in was quick and the receptionist was kind of pleasant and friendly, otherwise, the stay was great. My studio room was clean and for the 4 days I stayed I had a cleaning lady. Simpson Bay resort is near restaurants and bars. Not impressed with the Buccaneer Restaurant & Bar down the hill from the resort. If you want to eat local food (carib) check out the restaurants near the fish market over the bridge in town. It is walking distance and the prices is reasonable and good. The beaches
is unbelieveable beautiful. The Greenhouse is also down the road near the Buccaneer, food and drinks are good. Try their happy hour from 4:30 to 7 PM. St. Maarten is the way to go.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank elain051
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Worth, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2012

just simply and awesome island, we stayed at the villas and the accomodations are fantastic, the cleaning people just give them a tip and you will have the most wonderful stay. The beach beautiful, eating breakfast at our balcony with simpson bay as background was just simply breath taking. We travel around the island and found some soul food in Phillipsburg at a very reasonable price how about $8 per person all you can eat, everywhere in the island you will find 2 X 1 happy hours, we visited maho beach and the reggae club just awesome, we also visited orient beach facing the Atlantic Ocean on the French side just gorgeous, we did not have one dull time. We snorkle twice, we jet ski, we banana boat. We dance all nite at a club by the beach really the background to your dancing was the actual beach so if you get drunk you can go take a swim and get well, we travel from 08/04/2012 until 08/11/2012 and it really hurt having to leave this island. We miss you all in Sint Marteen, but you found love from Fort Worth, Texas. Ray, Gaby and Nicky

Room Tip: Just upgrade to the villas and remember that people at hoteks work for tips so if you tip well you w...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank ray r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merrick, New York
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2012

Simpson Bay is perfectly located ... 5 minutes from the airport and a 10 minute walk to some of the best restaurants on the island. Keep in mind, however, that the walk is up and down some killer hills! There is construction going on (they apparently do work on Sunday morning at 8 AM in St. Maarten), but we stayed in a room that had not yet been updated and it was still great. The hotel offers tons of activities so if you're around, definitely check out water aerobics and bingo. It's a fun way to spend some time at the resort itself. Our only complaints: we wish there was a guide or map in the room with the locations of restaurants and shops off the property. Also, the bed was incredibly uncomfortable. We're in our 20s, yet woke up each morning barely able to get out of bed with back pain. Overall, a great vacation location!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Danielle H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2012

My husband and I own 2 weeks at the villas and have been coming to Simpson Bay (formerly ) the Pelican for 9 years. We love the resort, the beach, the people and all of the restaurants within walking distance of the resort. Some restaurants we love are Lee's, Izzi's, The Greenhouse, the Boathouse, skipjacks and Jimbos. The Stone restaurant, right on thr property has a very unique dining experience..all food is served on a hot stone..awesome.. There is also a 15% discount on Tuesdays for guests of the resort. There is a free bus ride to Phillipsburg every Wednesday and Friday and a trip to marigot via a small boat across the bay is only 15.00 round trip. We have always found the staff to be friendly and helpful. The beach water is so calm and I just take my raft and float the day away. A secret gem is Alexanders', which is right above the Bon Apetite restaurant. All of the food is awesome and the prices are very reasonable...4 of us ate for $45.00.. The casino is small but alot of fun. The dealers are friendly and funny. We actually won!! I would reccomend Simpson Bay for anyone who wants a relaxing vacation....I love St. Marten and even though we just got back, we are alreday counting down to next year..

Room Tip: The villas are beautiful...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Mottamopsie_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, New Jersey
Level Contributor
38 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2012

Located in beautiful Simpson bay 5 min approx. from airport. Taxis readily available.
The resort is older, but they are in the process of renovating. August 2012 there was construction (mainly renovations to the older buildings) going on but it was isolated enough whereby it did not take away from or impede our vacation.
The resort is on a steep hill so if you have mobility issues it's a major consideration.
The resort has a narrow public road running through the middle of it. The traffic is light but enough where you do need to look before crossing the street.
There is a 50.00 timeshare tax, which you should budget for and will be charged at the end of your stay.
The beach and the pools are beautiful and well maintained with bars at all those locations. The beaches are technically public but the chairs, palapas, and umbrellas are property of the resort. Get their early if you want a good spot. The resort's beach staff is readily available to help with chairs and are worth tipping. There is a floating “ play structure” owned by Aquamania in the water which has slides, and swings but it is a paid activity. However, I guess because it was low season they didn't have staff at the structure so most guests just swam out and played on it anyway. Kayaks are available for use for you to take out into the water and it's worth the try in these calm waters. The first hour is free. Personally, we think the kayaks and play structure should be offered as a free amenity all the time.
If you trade into this place from your existing timeshare, using RCI or Interval, you will most likely NOT be put in the lower units near/on the beach but rather high on the hill. A current owner told us this and was supported by the fact that we requested the F building way in advance, with D as a second choice and we still ended up at the top. You can upgrade to their premium building, “the Villas” but that will cost you several hundred dollars EXTRA depending on the unit. A 2 bedroom upgrade was $595. We stayed in a 2 bedroom unit for our timeshare week and a 4 person studio for one night. Both in B building. 2.5 star room in our opinion.
The 2 bedroom is spacious. 2 baths, 2 bedrooms, a shared kitchen and dining/living area.
"Studio 4" as they call it sleeps four comfortably with a king bed and pull out couch. We were impressed with the layout because it has sliding paneled doors to separate the bed from the living area adding privacy when sleeping 4. Both units have a balcony or patio area, outdated wicker furniture, and is well-worn, dated but functional. A major plus was that there was plenty of storage space, something we found lacking in other timeshare trades.
The biggest negative was the cleanliness. I would say its towel clean. A deep cleaning is very much needed and we suspect a mold issue. We came back with a cold/sore throat, we think it was due to the air quality in the unit. The lower part of our 2 bedroom unit had a strong musty smell which took days to get rid of. We did encounter a roach or two, but they were dead.
WIFI is excellent with a strong signal in outdoor areas and weaker in rooms due to cement walls. Water from tap is safe to drink but has a different taste to it so we bought bottled water from the grocery stores and used that. There are some planned activities on site, such as movie night on the beach on Wednesday, bingo by the pool, and water aerobics. The kids really enjoyed watching the movie and being able to jump in the pool if they wanted.

The staff is great, very friendly, but the concierge doesn’t know anything. You would ask her a question, she would pick up the phone call someone and then hand you the phone so you could direct your questions to them. She had no recommendations on what to do or where to eat. No menus were available for reviewing or activity brochures (other than aquamania) were provided. The gym is nice and in the Villas, their newer building, but it will cost you 55 dollars for the week for a couple.

The Aqua marina is where you book your sea excursions (sailing, snorkeling, etc.) on site which is convenient and privately owned. Meaning you can't charge it to the room. We did the 3 hours snorkeling tour which was really like 2 and a half hours, but it was nice, on a small motor boat and soft drinks and light snack was provided. The snorkeling was great at Creole rock on the French side.
There are several restaurants on property where you can eat, but like Aquamania they are all privately owned, so you cannot charge your meal back to your hotel room. There is also a small deli/grocery on site where you can get incidentals but we recommended just walking a little bit more down the road to the market next to Burger King for more selection and slightly cheaper. (The only amenities you can charge to your room are the beach/pool bars and the gym.)
There are several restaurants with a wide range of food/budget choices within an easy 10 minute walk. Unless you plan on exploring the island, there is no need for a car. Most restaurants take MasterCard but AMEX is rarely accepted on the island. The only places that don’t take plastic are mainly the beach bars where cash is king. We paid in cash for the taxis to and from the airport. Did not have a problem cashing travel checks.
Restaurants we recommend (all within walking distance):
Jimbos: Tex mex, excellent ribs plus something called Mexican Sheppard's pie.
The Boathouse: salads, sandwiches, fish, meat, excellent, best meal all week. Drink prices are cheap too.
The Taste Factory: great for desserts. After 5 pm, you buy 2 desserts get the third free. We went there twice.
The Buccaneer Beach bar: Right outside resort property, great food, great atmosphere, on the beach, only takes cash. Go on Fridays and Sundays when they light the fire on the beach. This is a popular spot for locals.
Lees: Great food, Tuesday is 3 dollar Cuervo Margaritas!!!
Carousel: good for ice cream.
Just Okay:
Bon Appetite: On site, a little pricy for what you got but good food, serves all three meals. Most expensive meal we had all week.
Toppers: food okay, not worth the money for what you got.
Pineapple Pete’s: food okay, would not go back.
La Bamba: on the beach, just okay food. It was a "you get what you pay for" moment. Worth going to for just drinks and hanging on the beach at night.

We rented a car for one day, to explore some other beaches. You can rent one at the resort at a discount. It's enough to get around but a navigator to help the driver is recommended since streets are not marked well. We recommend Maho beach to watch the planes land and Mullet Bay which is beautiful. Both are on the Dutch side and within a 15 min drive from the resort. We went to Grand Case, which is nice but not worth the drive or hype to the French side for us. If you want chairs you have to eat at the restaurant on that part of the beach. I do hear the food is outstanding and cheap but since we are not big on eating midday, this was lost on us. We drove through Marigot but it was in the morning, off season, and most of the shops were closed. On top of that parking was extremely difficult so we did not stop.

Mosquitos!!! This is an island issue in general. We mostly got bit in the evening and they are especially abundant near any plant or tree and under restaurant tables. The oil based repellant they sell locally works very well but put it on outside because the citronella smell is very strong and lingers.

Would we go back to this resort? Yes, we don’t have a problem with mobility and are not 5 star people. But before we go back we would probably want to sample another location on the island.

Room Tip: Go for a least a one bedroom. The studios seem to have the most issues.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank tomkatfine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Simpson Bay Resort & Marina

Property: Simpson Bay Resort & Marina
Address: Billy Folly Road #37, Simpson Bay, St. Maarten-St. Martin
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Maarten-St. Martin > Sint Maarten > Simpson Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Simpson Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Simpson Bay Resort & Marina 4*
Number of rooms: 342
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on a hillside overlooking Simpson Bay, one of the most popular spots on St. Maarten, Simpson Bay Resort & Marina is a peaceful Mediterranean-style holiday village offering comfortable suites and all the services guests could possibly need during their Caribbean vacation. With a sheltered private beach, five pools and colorful gardens full of bougainvillea, hibiscus and Allamanda, Simpson Bay Resort & Marina is a captivating island hideaway where you can enjoy the best family vacation ever. A varied activity program, tennis courts, a spa, water sports, dining and evening entertainment make it a favorite with visitors of all ages. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Simpson Bay Resort & Marina Hotel Simpson Bay
Simpson Bay Resort And Marina
Simpson Bay Resort & Marina St. Maarten-St. Martin

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