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“Good Resort Overall, Customer Service Needs Improvement”

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Simpson Bay Resort & Marina
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Simpson Bay
Fair Lawn, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Good Resort Overall, Customer Service Needs Improvement”
Reviewed February 26, 2014

Just got back yesterday. Stayed a week at a one bedroom in the newly renovated building at the very top of the heel. Gorgeous and clean room with the great balcony/patio overlooking the pool. The room was cleaned every day, although we did not expect it to be. Abundance of fresh towels in the room. Nice kitchen, where we made breakfast every day. There is a Grocery Store on site (Peli Deli), that was very convenient, reasonably priced and well stocked. The resort is very spread out, has many pools and no crowds. The pools were mostly empty. The beach is OK. Small, but we were always able to get a good spot under the umbrella. The beach staff was very efficient. The concierge was very friendly and always available to answer questions of guide you. The do try to sell the timeshare, but they do not push too much. We attended a 60 minute sales pitch and although the manager at the end tried really hard to convince us to buy it, after about 5 tries, he gave up and was courteous about it. We did get $100 resort dollars that we used at Bon Appetit. There are few restaurants on site, Most are $$$$, but some are reasonable. We ate at Alexander's one night (at the top of the stairs of Bon Appetit). Local food prepared fresh. It was excellent and very inexpensive ($120 for 8 people). The resort is within walking distance of many restaurants, shops and grocery stores. We rented a car for three days and it was great. There is so much to see on the island and without the car, it is almost impossible. Most people rent cars. Taxi can be expensive and you do not have the flexibility that you have with the rented car. Compact is $40 per day. Not bad.
The negative:
Front desk is not very friendly. Check in process was way too long and customer service was subpar. We were blindsided 3 days later with the note in our room stating that we had to change rooms the next day. It was never mentioned to us at the check in. This is a time-share resort, so the owners of our unit were coming 3 days after we got there and we had to free up their unit. I am sure the front desk staff knew that when we checked in, however, nothing was said. Extremely inconvenient. We had plans that morning that we had to cancel, because we had to stay in the room until 10:30 am and wait to move. Never mind that need to pack and unpack. I did complain about it at the front desk and was told that need to move was mentioned in my Orbitz booking receipt. Well, it was not. I showed it to the front desk and they admitted that I was right, but had to move anyway. Nothing was offered as a goodwill gesture. I was not asking for anything, but something along the lines of resort dollars or a credit towards an activity would be nice. The beach towel system is the most rediculous I have ever seen at any resort (and I have been to over 20 resorts in the Caribbean and in Europe). They give you a paper card where they write your name (mine was misspelled) and the number of towels you get. You get to exchange it for the towels and are allowed to get clean towels only once a day. Not sure how they enforce it (we never tried to exchange it more then once). Al resorts that I have ever been to give you a plastic card per person and you exchange it for towels all you want. Simple and no hassle. Their system is not customer friendly.
Finally, at the check out, we were informed that we had to pay $57. When I asked why, I was told $50 was "government tax". When I kindly pointed out that on my Orbitz receipt it was clearly stated that all taxes and hotel fees were included and paid for, the front desk clerk said: "let me check" and then after looking into her computer for 2 seconds, said that she made a mistake and we did not have to pay the tax. She proceeded to say that we have to pay $7. Again, I asked why and was told that it was a "no-mandatory" donation at $1 per day to protect the environment. So, we did not have to pay that either. The way they do it is very sneaky and leaves the bad taste in your mouth. If it is a donation, you should ask if we would like to contribute and not just give you a bill for it without even asking if you want to donate. That was in poor taste. As we were sitting in the lobby, I heard the front desk do the same thing to another couple checking out and they just paid the "tax" and the "voluntary donation". I think most people may not pay attention to their booking receipts and the front desk knows it. Make sure you speak up, if you think something is already paid for. Also, hold on to you booking receipts. The front desk asked us to give it to them for their records. When I said, they are free to make a copy, but I will need the paperwork for my records, they just gave it back.
So, overall, it was a nice resort, but we will probably not stay there again, but we will for sure come back to St. Martin. The island is the best!

Room Tip: Not all buildings are renovated. So, ask for the room in the renovated building. Also, if you do not...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Time2Shine2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gerardo G, Online Reputation Manager at Simpson Bay Resort & Marina, responded to this review, March 4, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for sharing your comments with us and the community. We feel very pleased to hear that you had a wonderful time during your stay at the resort. On the other hand we are taking action with the situations that you mentioned regarding the Front Desk Department. While the lack of service that you received and miscommunication we had with you is not the usual standard of our resort we would like to take this opportunity to offer you our deepest apology for all the inconvenience and annoyance you experienced regarding our Front Desk Process.

As I mentioned previously, the resort managers took action immediately and this week we just implemented a new procedure in our check in process. We would be monitoring closely this new idea and we hope to prevent any situation you went through in the future.

Again, thank you very much for you important remarks. We will continue to improve the things you loved and will change the process on the ones you felt discomfort.

Warm regards from sunny St. Maarten
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Livingston, New Jersey
Level Contributor
188 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2014

We decided to give Simpson Bay Resort a try on this our 4th trip to St. Maarten. I have to rate it as average at best. The resort is a sprawling complex climbing up the hill from the beach. Our room was well up the hill making a walk to the beach impossible for a person with a bit of trouble walking. The room was okay but set sort of downstairs from one of the pools and had absolutely no view of anything. The staff was friendly enough but could not be counted on to give a valid answer to a question; on occasion giving an absolutely wrong answer. A coat disappeared from our room after we checked in, triggering several days of wrangling with management. The pool our room was next to was quite nice with a little poolside bar. It's safe to say that we'll not be back.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ed M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gerardo G, Online Reputation Manager at Simpson Bay Resort & Marina, responded to this review, March 4, 2014
Dear Ed

Thank you for sharing your valuable comments to us and the community. Please accept our deepest apology on behalf of Simpson Bay Resort & Marina for the inconveniences you received with the information you needed and the situation regarding your coat.

Please know that steps are being taken in order to fix and improve the service of our resort so that such an events will never happen again.

We encourage you to stay connected through our social media accounts in Facebook and Twitter in order to give you new updates about our service and accommodations. We feel terrible that we missed this time to impressed you in a good way, nevertheless we hope that you could give us another chance to serve you.

Warm regards from sunny St. Maarten
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connecticut
Level Contributor
37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2014

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 :)

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank rnormfoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2014

It has a great beach, just minutes from the airport. The rooms have sea view, are clean and comfortable. There are many restaurants and bars which you can walk to. The price is reasonable. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mrgtpr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2014

Lovely weather and very nice updated room. We were hopeful of getting a nicer view but not available. Our room has a small slice of ocean view. We are right behind the main building which blocks 90% of view. We are in the D building. Front desk Jovany/Mathew was nice and check in was quick and fairly easy. Beach is small but very nice with lots of nice activities. The downside is that very busy/loud road you must cross to get to beach or front desk. Overall not a bad place to be when home has 16 inches of snow! No hot tubs:( but couple of pools to choose from! Great short trip on a catamaran to top off the day!

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Palmtreelady1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States
Level Contributor
191 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2014

The hotel is on Simpson Bay with a great beach. The hotel is in a very central location on the Dutch side with walking distance access to many restaurants, bars, water sports and casinos.

I have stayed at this hotel at least five times for at least 7 nights each trip over the past few years and the resort has gone through some changes. The rooms are nice and their is plenty of parking, which can be a problem at some of the other hotels that I have stayed at. The staff are friendly, but are not very efficient. Check always takes a lot more time that is needed.

I stayed 8 nights this trip. Even though I booked this trip under one reservation, they wanted me to check out two days after arrival and check back in the same day I checked out for the remainder of the trip. This is a big issue as you have to check out by 10:00 AM and can not check back in until after 3:00 PM, plus you pretty much mess up a whole vacation day. I was able to convinced them that this was not practical or customer focus and they changed their minds, but my keys still stop working on Sunday. Saturday and Sundays are check in days, so I had to wait in line for about 30 to 45 minutes to get my keys reactivated.

I really only had true hot water for 4 of the 8 days that I stayed there.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Scott_Smith6064
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, New York
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2014

After reading the review by Linda C I have to say Ditto to everything she said. We had a marvelous view, magnificent sunsets and a renovated condo in the Bougainvillea apartment which was right above the largest pool and up the hill from the beach. We ate at most of the restaurants on the premises and they were excellent. People came from other parts of the island to eat at a few. We also took a sunset dinner cruise on a catamaran which was fun. I found that Simpson Bay's website really did not do justice to the property. They had some fun activities such as aquarobics and a great cocktail party. All in all I was most pleasantly surprised

Room Tip: Higher up buildings have magnificent views. We could not hear our neighbors at all except when we we...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank raepat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gerardo G, Online Reputation Manager at Simpson Bay Resort & Marina, responded to this review, February 18, 2014
Dear guest,

Nothing makes us lift our spirits more than the comments from our beloved guests and members. Thank you very much for taking the time to share such kind words.

We are looking forward to your next visit.

Kind regards from the sunny St. Maarten.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 And Marina
Simpson Bay Resort & Marina Hotel Simpson Bay
Simpson Bay Resort & Marina St. Maarten-St. Martin

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