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“The Best Exotic Grand Case Beach Club!”

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Grand Case Beach Club
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Grand Case
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 26, 2013

The village of Grand Case is an unpaved half mile strip that faces the ocean. The buildings on both sides are colorful carribean colonials in need of paint jobs, and the experience of walking down the street is a little like navigating a red light district. The main strip is a collection of restaurants, t-shirt shops, and island craft boutiques set in Creole cottages that evoke a run-down version of NOLA's Bywater district, while the perpendicular streets jutting out from the main road are like little shanti towns where, driving in past the scowls and destitute poverty, you hope that it doesn't turn into that scene in Gandhi where the natives realize they outnumber their colonial oppressors a thousand fold.

Along the strip is a small pedestrian bridge and the rivulet beneath it is used as the village's semi-regular garbage dump. Charming. Most nights of the week the streets are filled with a hodgepodge of American and European tourists walking past barking, menu-waving maitre'd's. As you browse the restaurant menus you'll see every single place serves their own variation on the exact same meaty quartet - duck confit, chicken breast, flank steak, and roast lamb because, you'll find out, they all use the same single distributor of imported French food. Vegetarians should be prepared for a week of steamed vegetables with butter or brie in philo, though the desserts and booze selection are outstanding. There is a great beach bar in Grand Case and four massive outstanding open-air barbeque joints doing grilled chicken and ribs with decent dry rub.

At the end of this little block you'll find a collection of buildings that calls itself The Grand Case Beach Club. It makes a decent first impression with a massive security gate and a well-maintained, lit tennis court. Once past the gate there's a large parking lot with a collection of three story buildings in front of it. The reception is a tiny room, and the girl at the desk seems annoyed to have to get up to speak to you. You're handed a key and she grunts in the general direction of your room, and it's then you realize there's not that much staff around and you'll be carrying your own massive luggage up those flights of stairs. The room, in our case a Studio with Loft, is clean and charming in a wicker chair, spinning fan, coil stove top sort of way. There is a full kitchen and everything is very clean and very basic, though the linens and towels have seen better days. You can see Anguilla across the bay and the ocean view, cherry-red sunset, and sparkling village at night are all amazing.

Breakfast is at their outdoor cafeteria on a deck -- it's beautifully set on the water but the furniture is cheap and the thick plastic transparent shutters that need to be pulled down when the wind is whipping, coupled with the HoJo's quality bland croissants, coffee, and jam (imported) make you start to regret not listening to the "Average" reviews. The beach is so small it literally comes and goes, and there may be weeks where the tide is so high there is no beach at all, and the pool is unheated. The property is generally pretty tidy and it's clear they spend money on landscaping, but it becomes apparent after a day or two that this place really is on the lower end of three star, and not in an underselling and over-delivering sort of way, but more like an airport Ramada with a nice view.

Where it crosses the line, however, is with the annoying penny-pinching. It's $3 for laundry, $5 to use the beach club. Want to snorkel? That's free but guess who's going to pay for that mouthpiece? Of course beach towels are free, but, ahem, there's a small deposit, and you have to return them daily or we'll charge you. Want to use the gym? Great. That'll cost extra., and sign this waiver. It's as if Master of the House was their template for how to run a hotel ("Charge 'em for the lice, extra for the mice, two percent for looking in the mirror twice.")

Though, I admit, I like the fact that the manager takes the time to write back and scold his reviewers ("What! We do not scold, we simply inform!") while sometimes taking the high road ("We will incorporate your suggestions at once!) but generally standing firm on all of the stupid little annoyances ("If you had carefully read the fine print on page 38 of your welcome manual…") that place this "Beach Club" squarely between my Uncle Morty's retirement home in Boca and a 1950's motel in the Valley. They have a motto. Mottos are cool, whatever it is though, it should be changed to "we'll nickel and dime you today because you're probably leaving tomorrow."

Who it's for: 60 year old euro-smokers with really good tans, Ramada loyalty club members, people named Barb and Doug.
Who it's not for: picky eaters, the cost-conscious, honeymooners.

Room Tip: Go to L'Esplanade or Le Petit Hotel
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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18  Thank Skijeet B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gcbcmgr, General Manager at Grand Case Beach Club, responded to this reviewResponded March 1, 2013

Thank you for your most interesting and illuminating review! Your vast and varied knowledge, ranges from slums to red light districts,Ghandi, HoJos, Ramadas, and even theatre and provisioning! As you said, you carry massive baggage! Most of our guests come with simpler intentions, to comfortably enjoy pleasant company, good food, safe and comfortable accommodation and welcoming staff in a beautiful location. We, and they, are unpretentious, open and inviting, whether from Boca or Park Avenue. Your sharp cynicism, though interestingly presented, seems to have excluded you from a great deal that makes this Club as successful and as special as it is. You see, we are not fake, what you see is what you get, and thankfully, we are certainly not for everyone. We are a project in motion, constantly improving, but keeping to the theme of comfortably relaxed, safe and welcoming hospitality. We are not, nor never will be a cookie cutter kind of place, and most of our clients seem to embrace that. Our guests are a varied lot, with a seasonal mix of retirees, families, couples and honeymooners…perhaps even your Uncle Morty (who by the way, is a 1st class chap)! I do hope that on your next trip to St Martin, or wherever you may choose, you find a place that better fits your acerbic wit.
Signed fondly by the Master of the House.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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946 - 952 of 1,819 reviews

Reviewed February 25, 2013

This was our fourth trip to Grand Case and the Beach Club. We love the calm atmosphere and beauty of this place. Perfect for lounging in the sun or shade to read a book, nap, or just gaze at the amazing view. The Beach Club continues to work on upgrading the rooms and the cleaning staff is wonderful- friendly & efficient. This time we had an ocean front studio with a king bed, which was very nice and comfortable. We usually make some meals in our room to save on costs by shopping at the local markets. It's about a mile to the (French) Simply Market, which is very well stocked. We walk because we don't rent a car...but we like walking, so you decide for yourself. We will definitely be back next year!!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Kathy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2013

I and my friend met at this resort that my travel agent booked us from different parts of the U.S, By the way, most of the people on both sides of St. Marten spoke English as well as Dutch and French depending on the side you were on. Breakfast was continental for free mostly consisting of fresh baked bread and croissants, some containing chocolate. You could order from a menu at the cafe and pay for it at reasonable rates eggs benedict different ways including with spinach and other breakfast items which were decent. You could also get cappuccino as well there. The restaurant also served lunch and dinner and had a bar which was reasonably priced and not bad tasting. I think I had braised ribs in a red wine sauce which was delicious on a night we didn't feel like going out. The large beach is beautiful with lounge chairs in the sand and you can get snorkeling equipment to go snorkeling; I think it was like $5. The petite plague (small beach) has no sand but lounges line the edge. We did not need a car as the restaurants, some of the best on the island according to friends we met, were within walking distance; they included Italian and French cuisine. A little travel shop a walk from the Beach Club supplied us a catamaran trip for the day at a cost including a lovely lunch and two snorkeling excursions in Aguilla (passport required by captain). A taxi ride to the south of the island provides great shopping on the Dutch side, casinos, and night clubs. The south side for the youth is the place to go. There are also nice restaurants there as well. People staying on this side did complain of airplane noise since this is where the large airport is. Others staying elsewhere seemed to have cars to travel around but parking seemed limited in some areas of the island. Our only complaint about the hotel were a lot of items including international hair dryer, iron, etc. were missing and the phone was broken but the friendly staff quickly came to our room and rectified the situation replacing the items we needed. The whether was cooler with a nice breeze then the Northeast of the U.S. in summer. The taxi drivers are terrific! I left my camera in the taxi when traveling to the south side of the island. It was brought back to the Beach Club after I called and notified the Beach Club so it was there when I returned. As another taxi driver said if they are not honest they will not be able to serve the hotel again. I would definitely return to this hotel and many people from the U.S. we ran into have returned many times.

Room Tip: There are rooms that have an oceanview if you would like or there are rooms as we chose at .a lower...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Lightnin91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013

GCBC is small; no building over three floors; all condos with a view of either the water or gardens. There are two beaches--one where there are plenty of lounge chairs, umbrellas, service. The other is shallow but very low swells which makes it perfect for swimming. Most people are older and repeats which makes it quiet and friendly. The Sunset Cafe which is separate but serves the breakfast (croissants, pan au chocolate, bread and coffee) is an excellent restaurant with a gregarious, friendly staff. Best of all you only have a five minute walk into Grand Case which has at least a dozen restaurants and some of the best on the island. Also there is a supermarche nearby where you can buy all things French (wine, cheese, fruit, meals to go).

Room Tip: We've had both views--water and gardens and both offer something special.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank kcamicia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

We had a wonderful stay at Grand Case Beach Club. We arrived on February 9th for a week vacation away from our hectic lives and left one week later relaxed and rejuvenated. The staff was friendly, the room was comfortable and clean, and the regular and repeat visitiors to the property were kind and welcoming. The location to the town of Grand Case was perfect. After spending quiet days enjoying the beach - it is small, but honestly big enough- we would walk two blocks and be readly to wander the row of fabulous restaurants that Grand Case is known for. We can't wait to return!

Room Tip: We paid to upgrade our room to an ocean view - well worth the price!!
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Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
3  Thank MomtoGEC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2013

We arrived Jan. 26 for two weeks. Plane was late getting in but once we got to the resort we were greeted by very friendly staff and were told we had been upgraded. Very nice surprise and the bottle of complimentary wine is such a nice touch. The resort is beautiful and the rooms are amazing. We had a one bedroom which faced the harbor. Every evening we drank our wine and watched the sunset from our room. Our maid was very friendly and very accommodating. The groundskeepers were also friendly and they did a great job. The sunset cafe was very good for dinners and the continental breakfast was nice. We picked up some cheese,eggs and European meats and made a nice breakfast.
The resort is very safe with security guards always present. The walk into Grand Case is not as scary as many have mentioned in previous reviews. Out of the 2 weeks we were there only once were the street lights not working, but that is not the resorts fault.
We have an amazing two weeks and I will definately book this resort hotel when we go again next year. Can't wait.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank cherbear44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2013

This place was a pleasant surprise. We stayed a week and I can't think of a thing that was a problem or a disappointment. We had a second floor room overlooking the bay. The room was clean and comfortable. Loved the king size bed and the balcony was roomy enough for a table, two chairs and a lounger. It was a real treat to sleep with the screen door open and fall asleep to the sounds of the water.

Rooms are quite soundproof. We never heard our neighbors. Kitchen was equipped enough to make breakfast and the coffee maker was used daily. Microwave was handy to warm up leftovers for lunch.

The beach next to the Sunset Cafe is small, but the sand is soft white. Never felt crowded. We took out the free kayak for a tour of the bay. Great way to check out the beach cafes and hotels. The pool is small, but with a beach and a warm sea, who needs a pool.

We had a lunch and two dinners at the Sunset and found the food to be ggod, not great, and reasonably priced. Wait staff was friendly and competent.

I guess I can find two faults: The TV was small, but we never watched it and one day they sprayed around our rooms. The price to be payed to be protected from bugs.

One last thing: the front desk staff are friendly and helpful and they will greet you with a smile when you get your FREE daily (not Sunday) newspaper. Yes, a real newspaper!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Gawdpdx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Case Beach Club

Address: 21 Rue de Petite Place, Grand Case 97150, St Martin / St Maarten
Location: Caribbean > St Martin / St Maarten > Saint-Martin > Grand Case
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Grand Case
Price Range: $241 - $533 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Grand Case Beach Club 3*
Number of rooms: 71
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Intimate and relaxing, small but large enough to have just the right amount of service that brings back our guests year after year. We are constantly improving and have updated and upgraded nearly every aspect of our resort, and will continue to do so. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Case Beach Club Hotel Grand Case
Grand Case Beach Hotel

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