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“Nice rooms, nice views; service...blah!”

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The Villas at Simpson Bay Resort & Marina
Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Simpson Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Anguilla
Level Contributor
82 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Nice rooms, nice views; service...blah!”
Reviewed June 12, 2012

The Villas at Simpson Bay is part of the wider Simpson Bay Resort (formerly Pelican Resort), and is the newest section. The older section is rather dated, and does not command the views that the "villas" command. In reality, the rooms are hotel/timeshare condo suites, not stand alone villas. They overlook Simpson Bay and beach, so from your room (whether 1 bedroom or 2) you will have amazing views of the sea, the beach, the boats/yachts coming in an out of the lagoon, and of airplanes upon takeoff. I have stayed at this hotel a few times and have not heard any external noise (whether music or airplanes) once the doors are closed. I did however notice on the last occasion that when the bedroom doors are opened you can hear distinct sounds from the adjoining suite.

That said, the rooms are nicely appointed, the bathrooms are clean and functional. There is a separate vanity area with seating, and a separate kitchenette area also (standard facilities for timeshare type resorts). The rooms are sufficiently spacious. I find that there is no consistency however with the beds. You may get a comfortable or a relatively uncomfortable bed depending on which room you get - its the luck of the draw! My last hotel stay i happened upon rather uncomfortable beds - both beds in the room suffering the same flaw of being overused!

I did not bother to call the frontdesk, as service is far from stellar at this hotel. From check-in to check-out, the staff consistently gives the impression that they have no reason to be cheerful or even cordial. In my experience, they greet you perfunctorily and do their jobs, and that's that. Nothing extra. Nothing more. But you step into the room, enjoy the space and the views and the service (or lack) becomes a distant memory.

The hotel is within walking distance to the many restaurants in Simpson Bay (whether fastfood or slow), to cinemas, casinos and supermarkets. Its also very convenient for one night stopovers particularly if you have early connections at the airport which is a 7 minutes drive away.

Room Tip: All rooms overlook Simpson Bay. Some rooms allow you pool views of the resort. If you wish quiet t...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
5 Thank Kenn_P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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367 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (138)
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English first
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, USA
Level Contributor
32 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2012

As I write this we are completing another great stay at the resort. We love the villa units that give us plenty of space for family and friends to enjoy our vacation with us. The resort offers an easy walk to a variety of restaurants in all price ranges as well as entertainment. It should also be noted that all the older units are receiving a substantial makeover - from new central air conditioning to new flooring, kitchens and wonderful furniture.

Room Tip: All units in the Marina Villas are terrific. The newly renovated D Units are great as well.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank M1NOTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wingdale, New York
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2012

In 2010 after the Residences were complete we were offered to use someones timeshare to spend our honeymoon at the (Pelican Resort) Now The Villas At Simpson Bay Resort & Marina! ( we paid $450 upgrade to get into the residences) I must say this resort gave me the best vacation I've ever had.

I believe we were on the 4th floor with the most breath taking views of Simpson Bay, we were able to hear the waves crashing all night and sleep with our double set of slider doors open, we had no trouble with mosquitos :) there is nothing like waking up to the beautiful sea.

The room was so spacious and beyond clean. The counter tops and appliances were granite and brand new, and everything was so comfortable! ( lots of closet space)

The grounds are very clean and the staff is so wonderful!
While staying at the resort you are only 8/10 minutes from the airport (without traffic) and everything you will want to do is very close. (Booze cruises/snorkel trips/ dinner cruises)
The Buccaneer bar and Toppers are the places to be, drink specials are amazing and food is phenomenal.
If you want pure relaxation with the beach at your fingertips this is the place for you!
We will be back in September!

Room Tip: Any room in the residences is beautiful!
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Gratefulkate78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clearwater
Level Contributor
109 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2012

We were blown away by our Villa, the view and the overall property itself. It is walking distance to many great places to eat and would def. return there again. Evidently they are under new mngmt. and was formerly The Pelican. They are trying but it is evident not all the staff is happy about the change. We used the swim up bar and they even brought us lunch right to the bar. The beach is great and wonderful for snorkeling. There is an Aquatic shop that wants deposits for snorkeling gear, and a ridiculous amount. You can check with the beach guy who gets you your chairs for under the tiki hut, he will let you rent them for much less and no deposit. Don't forget to tip him, he works hard for his money in the hot sun all day making everyone else comfortable. Great happy hours at all the bars, wonderful piano bar on property. Super place!!! Staff not the warmest but with such a fabulous location along with amenities, who cares???

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank marelise22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vineland, New Jersey
Level Contributor
71 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2012

Our overall stay at the Villas at Simpson Bay was very good. The Villas is part of the the Simpson Bay Resort and Marina and it is the newest of the the seven buildings on the property. It sits right on the bay. From our room you could see some boats, another resort, the airport and the tops of sail boats in the Simpson Bay Yacht Club. We had a beautiful full bay view from our first floor junior suite-a fairly large room with two double beds(that was the downside-they should have been queen beds, double sinks that were just outside of the bathroom and a large closet-of course there was a dresser and a small desk and a few other pieces of furniture. We had a microwave, toaster oven, sink and a small frig that was okay for the two of us in the tiny kitchen. It had plates and silverware, etc. however, what we had did not match the list of what we were supposed to have. The patio was nice-outdoor chairs with separate foot rest. Even though we were on right by the pool the noise was not bad. Lots of chairs at the pool and the beach(which was at the next building down-a 2 minute walk). They were always cleaning or pruning something-very clean and well maintained. The staff was friendly. We had once a week cleaning of the room. The Villas are much nicer than the rest of the resort, however, they are in the process of updating the rest of the resort. The villas are on the side of a hill/mountain. The parking is on the third floor level and the lobby is on the 5th floor. All the rooms face Simpson Bay and the pool. There are several pools on the property and a nice beach. They have various activities for the kids and adults. They have a nice gym, but you have to pay to use it. Internet is free, but it can get very slow at times. There are a few restaurants on the property(none in the Villas) and several right off of it. A short walk back to the main road(5 minutes) and there is a grocery store and many other restaurants that you can easily walk to, but be sure to wear comfortable shoes because the roads are not as nice as in the US and sidewalks don't really exist in this area. We do travel a few times a year and would return to the Villas again. It is clean, comfortable, convenient, quiet and has a nice view.

Now for the "but". While the staff was friendly, the housekeeping staff was not very effective when you had a problem. I totally understand that things break and people do not report it. I don't expect housekeeping to check appliances, but I do expect that when there is a problem it would be addressed. Our clock had a broken button and we could not change the time. We called twice-nothing. Finally, the next day we took it to the front desk and complained. Later that day they brought a new clock. I plugged in the iron, the light went on and it did not heat up. I took it to the front desk and they told me to take it back to the room that they would send someone down for it. We went out for the day and came back to the same iron. We called this time and about 30 minutes later we had a new one. However, they were coming in the room to clean at checkout time(10:00) right at 10:00. Additionally, we asked the concierge about dinner reservations and gave her a time frame. She made the reservations but never confirmed them with us even though she said she would call our room to confirm. We went to dinner not knowing if she made reservations or for what time.

When we checked in, we were told we could use our room key to charge any on the property to our room. However, that was not the case. As of the day we checked on Saturday, the bars, restaurants, etc who were all outside vendors stopped allowing guest to charge to the rooms. It had to be cash at the pool and beach bar, but I think the actual restaurants took credit cards. Why? From my understanding, when Royal took over from Pelican, they did not keep an agreement with the workers union. It went to court and they ruled in favor of the workers. The resort has been having financial issues due to not being able to sell units and the current economy. They feel if they are required to follow the court order, they might have shut down. (I found some of this by Googling the resort and bankruptcy-legitmate sources) A bartender told a group of us that the day before we arrived, the marshals came in and took over the accounts or money due to the court order. The vendors (bars, restaurants) are afraid they won't get paid, so no charging to the room. I also saw on line that the resort has filed and appeal(this was done during the week we were there) about the court order. There are also rumors(legitimate on-line sources) that say Hard Rock is in negotiations to buy the whole resort and or the casino. I am only mentioning this because it was a surprise and I am sure it'll work it self out. I just wanted to put the facts out there. It would not stop me from returning the resort-just with more cash.

I submitted some pictures, but I didn't submit any from the room even though the view was beautiful because there where people I did not know in them.

Room Tip: If you want to be by the pool, select a room on the first floor. If you want a better view, go highe...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank robinmichele
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
State College, PA
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2012

My husband and I just returned from a belated honeymoon in the Simpson Bay Resort and Villas in St. Maarten. We paid a bit extra to be upgraded to the "penthouse" room which is really a one bedroom suite with a full kitchen, balcony, and terrace access (which we had planned to use but didn't). The room itself was beautiful- very nicely appointed, the view over the bay was gorgeous, and it was really nice to have our balcony overlooking the water.

As for the rest of the resort, I have very mixed feelings. First, there do seem to be some staff issues- no one was rude to us by any means but the service definitely seemed to be lacking. For example, we communicated with the resort a week prior to our arrival and told them our flight arrival time (they asked for this information so that the room could be ready when we arrive). However, when we got in the room had not yet been cleaned-the man checking us in told us it would definitely be ready by four. We left our bags in the room and went down to the beach for some drinks and a bite to eat. By the time 4:00 rolled around, we headed back up to the room to unpack and rest before dinner. However, the room was still not cleaned from the previous tenants! My husband called housekeeping to ask them to send someone up since we wanted to shower and settle in after traveling for nearly 12 hours. 5:00 came and still, no one. Finally, I called the front desk and said that we needed someone to come right away and clean since we'd been waiting for a while. Finally, someone did come at 5:30 to clean the room and seemed *very* surprised that we were a brand new check in and the room hadn't been cleaned from the previous guests' stay. This was a pattern we observed all week- there seemed to be communication issues among staff members and between staff and the front desk. In other words, it seemed a bit "sloppy" in terms of management. Normally, I wouldn't make a big deal of this but the trip in was long and tiring and to not have a clean room at 5:30pm after coming off of a flight is simply unacceptable. A Holiday Inn Express can provide better service!

The resort's beach was nice but very, very crowded- it seemed almost too small for the number of people wanting to use it. Thus, we spent most of our time off of the resort at nearby Kim Sha beach or the beach bars in town. These seemed to not only be less crowded, but also provided virtually the same amenities. I cannot comment on anything else in the resort (restaurants, casinos, etc) because we dined in town or on other parts of the island for basically every meal. This isn't because the food at the resort was bad (we grabbed lunch at the beach bar and dinner at the Italian restaurant there and both were fine) but because we wanted to explore St. Maarten/St. Martin rather than stay on the resort.

I think St. Maarten is really fun as a trip but not a romantic honeymoon for us. The Dutch side is really dominated by timeshares and more developed than I'd realized. I was anticipating more of a Key West type of downtown with bars and restaurants rather than an Ocean City, MD feel of non-residential timeshares and condos (which is what I felt while there). So, if you want a fun place to explore and hang out with lots of other people there to have a good time, then St. Maarten is the place. If you want a romantic and relaxing trip, I wouldn't recommend the Dutch side to you (can't speak to the French side as much as we only visited Gran Case and Marigot briefly).

Things that are a must do:
1) Take the ferry from Marigot to Anguilla for a day or two. It is such an amazing contrast to the Dutch side of the island that you will feel refreshed coming back. The beaches are straight out of a Corona commercial
2) Go to Gran Case for dinner- we had dinner at Le Auberge Gormande and it was fantastic!
3) Have dinner at SkipJacks in downtown Simpson Bay- the seafood there really is good and the view over the marina is pretty at night
4) Go to the Sunset Beach Bar in nearby Maho and check out the planes coming and going- truly a neat experience

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank katums1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
Level Contributor
22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2012

Service: This was the biggest disappointment. Most people were just not helpful. A few were surly. Nobody (housekeeping, front desk, operator, concierge, etc) were helpful in any noteworthy way. Housekeeping only came once in the week we were there. We asked for fresh towels one day and it took about an hour to get them.

Facilities: We stayed in the villas, the newest building, in a 1 BR unit. The room was clean and fairly well appointed and maintained. A bunch of stuff was missing out of the kitchen, so be sure to do the check-in inventory. The view was great. Noise wasn't too bad. From upstairs we only heard scraping chairs. We did heard our neighbors through the connecting door, but not when we were in the bedroom. We didn't use the workout room, so I cannot comment on it. The bed was comfortable, but not up to national US chains (Hilton, Marriott, Starwood). The bedspreads were thin blankets, but if you're not over cooling the room, it's all you need. The blanket on the master bed (king) was too small, so we had to use the twin-sized blanket for the spare murphy bed in the living room.

Friends stayed in one of the older buildings. They are definitely showing their age, but could be a huge cost savings.

The kids playground was a bit run down.

Except for the beach, the property isn't especially pedestrian friendly. There are some sidewalks, but they are mostly quite narrow.

Pools: Nothing noteworthy, but there are lots of them spread around among the buildings.

Beach: Lots of fun. We could usually get a spot for 3-4 chairs and an umbrella around 10 AM. The beach bar had tasty, but expensive food. The bartender, "Monty" (not his real name), was the bright spot as far as service went. The kids had a great time on the "Playstation", a barge moored about 20 yards off the beach. You could jump, slide, and swing into the water from it. There was also an inflatable trampoline, but it wasn't very bouncy. I wish we had paid for a full week, but we didn't now how much the kids (9, 14, 16) would enjoy it. In the afternoon a guy would set up a sound system and play music, run a balloon toss, trivia games, and hermit crab races. There are also free, loaner sea kayaks. The snorkeling off the beach is decent. There are only a few locations to get beach and pool towels. They are sticklers for quantity, but getting fresh towels is not a problem.

Restaurants: Note many of the restaurants on the property are not part of the hotel, so they don't allow room charges. Our favorite was Bon Apetit. Our favorite waiter, Yo Yo, was a delight. He was attentive and entertaining. The food was outstanding, but not inexpensive. We also enjoyed the frequent guitarist, Sebastian. It is also an easy walk down the hill into Simpson Bay itself to go to one of the many restaurants there.

We did not rent a car at all. We took the resort's water taxi/ferry to Marigot ($10 with free drinks on the return), the free bus to Phillipsburg sponsored by a jewelrey store in town, and took a taxi to the horse ranch for a trail ride.

What made our vacation great was the guys at Bon Apetit and the fun we had on the beach. The resort didn't detract much even though it wasn't great.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank REEMaryland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Villas at Simpson Bay Resort & Marina

Property: The Villas at Simpson Bay Resort & Marina
Address: Billy Folly Road No. 37A, 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 #4 of 7 Hotels in Simpson Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Villas at Simpson Bay Resort & Marina 4*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Villas at Simpson Bay Resort & Marina, your island hideaway with spacious Caribbean villas for luxury living. The ocean views are incredible and the resort has pools, restaurants and a water sports center. More fine restaurants and stores are just a short walk away in Simpson Bay. This resort is the perfect base for exploring St. Maarten, an island with Caribbean, French and Dutch ambiance. A privileged waterfront setting, with unparalleled location on the shore of Simpson Bay, Enjoy the best views of the Caribbean from your elegant, fully furnished and equipped Caribbean villa. ... more   less 
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The Villas At Simpson Bay Resort & Marina St. Maarten-St. Martin

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