The Simpson Bay resort is a conveniently located facility a short drive from the airport. It’s a rather large property set on a steep hill, so it can be rather confusing upon arrival. We had to hunt down a map and general property info, as we were just kind of ‘sent’ to our room without a lot of info, like you might find as a US resort. There are several restaurants (all over the place in price and quality) but which are very easy to get to, as well as a deli for snacks and supplies and a fun bar (The Red Piano) where you can watch sunburned guests carry-on and join in sing-alongs. They offer several pools, most of which were rather quiet while we were there, including swim-up (walk up in the water, actually) bars, which are kinda fun. If you hit them around 4:00, they have decent happy hour deals.
Keep in mind this is a timeshare property, and what that means is contestant, somewhat aggressive insistence you attend their ‘hour long presentation’ for which in turn you (supposedly) get $100 that as they describe it, can be used for practically anything. She had me almost convinced I could call Delta and credit my flight with it. Though she wore us down with her sales pitch luck would have it that our times crossed and we missed the whole thing. I cannot therefore say how long it really takes or what you can actually do with the money they claim they give you. However every time she spotted us afterwards, she smiled her smile, turned on her voodoo-magic and tried to hypnotize back into a presentation.
While they don’t deny they are renovating, the website would have you believe that many of the room looks really cool and updated, while some still look like the Golden Girls set. Rest assured other than the timeshare promo info, all we could see walking by rooms were said Florida Retirement Home decor. Go on their website and when you see the rattan headboard and wicker chairs - bet money as of this writing thats the room you will be in. Our room, while not outright disgusting by any means, was probably decorated in the 80’s and hasn’t moved a floral slip-cover muscle since. Not dirty, but not especially clean either - I was borderline grossed out. The tile LOOKED dirty, but was in fact just ancient grout living way past its expiration date. So I kinda just had to go with it and suck out up. Even though the AC worked well and kept the room cool, there was this really strong ‘damp’ order we could not get out of the room, regardless of how much we kept the windows or door open. It was rather overwhelming upon walking in each time. So we spent as much time OUT of the room as we could - which in all fairness is probably what you’d be doing here anyway!
A few other points: they are very paranoid about their beach towels. You get a card and are assigned one per person, which you can trade in for clean at any time, but if you don’t go back before check out they will charge you for it, so remember to do that. A lot of the water activities (like sunset cruises) were sold out or only operate certain days so if thats important, do it in advance. We did NOT rent a car and depended solely on taxis, which are rather plentiful. It was a smart decision as the roads are REALLY narrow with few obvious parking places like you're accustomed to. The taxi guys while fair, ARE also aggressive about handing out their card so they become ‘your taxi guy’ , which actually is rather handy. Be warned that a ride can run between, $12 and $25 (plus a tip) depending on where you're going. So taxis cost a lot more than rental but , especially on the french side, we were thankful we did not have to maneuver the tiny roads!
Oh yes - and watch out for Miss Cleo and her Timeshare-Mind-Control tricks :)
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Simpson Bay Resort And Marina
- Simpson Bay Resort & Marina Hotel Simpson Bay
- Simpson Bay Resort & Marina St. Maarten-St. Martin