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Grand Case Beach Club
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Grand Case
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 24, 2007

Just okay. Used to be nicer. Run down. Small beach. Would not return.

Stayed: January 2007
7  Thank Bobrich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 20, 2007

***** warning: long, baby-centric review *****

My wife, our 9 month old baby, and I just came back from the GCBC and had an excellent visit. This was our first major trip with our baby (we have traveled with him before - this was his 4th round trip flight (and the longest)). Before our son arrived we've travel moderately (Europe, Vietnam/Cambodia, Australia, Patagonia) usually seeking active vacations (hiking, cycling, swimming). Of the many places we've been, the GCBC is one of the very few that we would go back to (and we're planning to go back soon).

With a baby we had to change the way we vacation - specifically, we wanted to stay in one place that had enough space for baby to toddle around and nap in a separate room. He loves the water but hates driving, so we wanted to be on the beach. Also very important was the need to have food options close at hand; as new parents, we find keeping ourselves feed challenging even at home - so a decent restaurant on the property (with room service) was critical for us. We also wanted to have some exercise options close at hand.

The GCBC met and exceeded all our expectations. We had a 1 BR, which allowed baby to nap in the BR during the day. Our unit was older, but recently renovated – with new appliances, cabinets, and granite counters in the kitchenette and new tile, vanities, and toilets in the bathroom. There were modern split-unit ACs with remotes in both the LR and the BR which kept things very comfortable when we closed up during the day for baby’s naps.

There were two beaches. One pictured in the web photos was very calm and easy for baby to toddle and sit in. The other had more waves, but we still had our baby in on that side as well.

The restaurant (Sunset Cafe) was great. It overlooks the second beach, was no more than 100 paces from most rooms, and had very decent food and service. We ate dinner at the Sunset Cafe most nights and were pleased with the wine and food options, which weren’t extensive, but considering the remote location on a small island… NYC Zagat rating of 18/18/20. Yes, the included breakfast is only a couple croissants, half a baguette, and a glass of orange juice, but the other a la carte breakfast options weren’t too expensive. After the first day, to supplement B and L, we bought groceries at the main supermarket. We walked – only 10 minutes walking (with baby in a carrier/sling). We had initially considered renting a car to get groceries before arriving in St. Martin; you definitely do NOT need a car to go grocery shopping. The other good D option with baby are the “lolos” (local BBQ); they’re outside, you order, the food arrives a couple of minutes later. Best night for lolos probably would be Tuesday, when the streets are closed for the weekly street fair.

Exercise wise, the ocean right outside your room is beautiful. You can swim down the beach toward town (Grand Case) and back. The snorkeling right outside your room rivals places we’ve been in Hawaii (where you almost always have to drive somewhere). My wife is a diver and I finished my dive certification with a dive shop just 150 yards down the road (Octopus Diving). It’s a small, two person operation – with a 8 diver boat. The owner/operators were very friendly and accommodating. They also take people snorkeling who want something more exciting than what’s close to the beach.

A couple of other baby related comments…

With a baby, electric transformers (its 220 volts) were critical since we needed to use our baby monitor and also a noise maker (in case other neighboring guests were noisy during baby’s nap time). As the GCBC website says, you need a transformer with a plug that can reach into a recessed outlet. We bought the “Franzus 85 Watt Step Down Transformer” ($15), which was able to reach into the recessed outlets and worked well for these low voltage appliances. Also remember to get a power strip or equivalent, because the transformer has only one socket (plug several 110volt appliances into the power strip and the power strip into the transformer). If you want to power both ends of your baby monitors you might want to consider a second transformer. Note, the Franzus 85 Watt, will NOT power a hairdryer (1200-1500 Watts), but you don’t need to bring a hairdryer since the GCBC provides one in each bathroom.

Also no need to bring a baby beach sun cabana. We lugged ours there without ever using it. There would be almost no place to put it (on the calm beach side, there is no space; the other beach is mostly filled with lounge chairs). When baby needs a break, it’s so easy to go back to your room since they’re so close by; and just come back out in half an hour if baby wants to go into the water again.

Having said how good the GCBC was for us, there were relatively few families. During the week we were there, there was one other couple with a 6 month old and a few families with younger kids. For the most part the other guests were more established, which was great... they liked seeing the babies, which was a way that we got to know quite a few of the other guests.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled with family
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18  Thank wcchung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2007

We should have written this review a long time ago. Do not hesitate to stay in this hotel or visit this island. You will not regret it. It is an absolutely fabulous hotel. The rooms are spacious and clean, and we loved the patio steps away from the beach. Our room had a fabulous view of the sunset.

If you are on a budget you can purchase groceries and cook for yourself in your room. Grand Case has lots of dining options. For a cheap lunch visit the Lolo's in town - 10 minute walk.

Rent a car and tour the island - make sure you visit Ilet Pinel.

  • Stayed: April 2006, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank tripdesigner1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2007

GCBC is our favorite place to stay on St. Maarten. We have visited by Cruise, rented villas and tried a few hotels and GCBC is the best overall vacation. We love fine dinning, especiialy when our 6 and 9 year old daughters are welcome. And this is to be founf all through out Grand Case. It is just a short stroll from the hotel into the heart of Grand Case which is flanked by wonderfull restaurants (our favorites are L'Alabama and the Calamos Cafe).

The hotel itself comes with a friendly staff, good contrinental breakfast and nice rooms that would probably rank and 3 star in the states. But everything is clean and the maid service is nice.

About th only negatives are getting back to the resort in time to exchange your beach towels and the slight arome of the waste treatment in the back of the resort. But the smell is away from your rooms in an area you just breifly walk past and if you stay at the hotel beach (which is also very nice with free chairs and umbrellsa) you are in no rush for the towels.

I highly reccomend a cruise on the Scooby Too while you are there, it will pick you up right at the hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2006, traveled with family
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5  Thank treeguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2007

We won a five-night stay on SkyAuction in April and booked for December. Paid extra for an oceanfront loft room where the king bed is in the loft ... worth every penny! Our room was on the second floor and our balcony overlooked the snorkle area of Grand Case Beach. The second floor rooms have more privacy than the first floor rooms, since your fellow residents will be walking directly in front of your patio on the narrow sidewalk.

Also went to Petite Plage on the other side of the restaurant ... more beach and more wave action.

We rented a car and should point out that the hotel is a bit difficult to find in the dark. We spent an afternoon on Orient Beach, which is a beautiful, very popular beach.

Walked down to the town of Grand Case for dinner. Ate in Spiga, which deserves its reputation as excellent Italian food. Service and food were wonderful. We had the cioppino which was excellent.

We also stumbled upon a new restaurant called L'Estaminet ... a real gem that opened in November ... owned by Carole (hostess) and Ina (the chef). Located across the street from California with a parking lot next door.

Our meal was so good that we asked Carol to prepare lobster the following night. (Lobster must be ordered 24 hours in advance.) Well, the next evening we were served lobster four ways (two split tails each with its own dipping sauce). Coconut tempura, "thai" cooked in lemongrass, garlic and butter, and gratin. Unbeliebable!

We did a lot of our own cooking and bought groceries and wine at a supermarket just off the main street in Grand Case. The parking lot is tiny, so you should park on the main street and walk back. They take credit cards.

The Grand Case Beach Resort is clean and the staff is friendly and helpful. They give you a bottle of wine when you check in. We will go there again!

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank AcadiaHiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2007

GCBC is a wonderful 3 star hotel. By American standards, I'd say that it's a Holiday Inn type of hotel, only smaller. We had a good sized room with a king-sized bed and a small kitchen, which was a pleasant surprise! The front desk gives you a complimentary bottle of red wine when you get there, so that was a nice touch, even though we are not drinkers! The maid service is excellent! The rooms were always cleaned up nicely each day. The flowers on the premises are absolutely beautiful and the grounds are kept up well. The restaurant at the hotel is the Sunset Cafe. A continental breakfast is included(a basket of croissants, danishes, bread, and orange juice). If you want a la carte items you can get them at a nominal price.

Warning: The walls are thin, so you hear the rattling around of the people above and beside you. It's not enough of a problem to keep me from staying there again though!

If you want a quiet place to rest and relax or just need a place to stay because you plan on not being there most of the time, due to exploring, then this is the hotel for you. If you want to party, then stay at a hotel on the Dutch side. Grand Case is quiet and there is not as much night life. It's perfect if you have kids because of the calm beach waters and the small pool.

The hotel is located in a great spot, just in a few minutes walking distance from the area referred to as "restaurant row." There you will find a sea of fine dining restaurants, although casual dress is allowed. They are quite pricey, but the food is good. It really is like dining in France. The meals take a long time to finally get to your table, but it's usually worth the wait. We had a good meal and a nice romantic ambiance at Le Tastevin. We also had a good meal at Le Ti Coin Creole which serves good tasting island food. There are only about 6 or 7 tables there and it is owned by a Chef from St. Martin and has 1 waiter. The cheapest place to eat on restaurant row is what is referred to as the Lolos. It's simply an outdoor barbeque with picnic tables and you have about 4 or 5 to choose from all in the same area. We ended up eating dinner there the first night and later on had lunch there.

We were there for New Year's Eve, so we enjoyed the festivities on the boardwalk in Philipsburg( a free soca concert by a Trinidadian artist, Destra), the capital on the Dutch side. There we started off by having a 4 course meal at the 12 Metre Yacht Club. The meal was again, expensive, but quite tasty and enjoyable.

St. Martin is a beautiful island with overall friendly people. The service in the restaurant by the locals are of a typical island nature, meaning slow-paced, sometimes with a bit of an attitude, so keep your expectations low. On top of that, it's like being in France, so they don't work for a tip, it's not expected, so they don't work extra hard to please you. In the fine dining restaurants, they work hard to please you, tip or no tip.

We did a lot of island hopping, since St. Martin is so close to other islands. We took a 20 minute ferry ride to Anguilla and an hour and 15 minute ferry ride to St. Barth's. The ferry rides are very bumpy, so if you have a weak stomach, I suggest taking motion sickness pills before you go. The ride to Anguilla was tolerable, but the ride to St. Barth's was awful. A few people, including myself, got sick on the ride there. If you hate roller coaster rides, don't do the St. Barth's ferry ride...take the plane instead, it cost about the same amount of money and you get there in 10 minutes!

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank JAmerican2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2006

This was our fourth consecutive Holiday Break coming to Saint Martin. In the past we had stayed at another hotel, that is currently not open, thus, this was our first stay at GCBC.
We were used to staying in a hotel, that had a big lobby, big pool, big "feel", so it was a different feeling to pull up here.
The front desk gave us our room, which was all the way on the left side of the hotel. (closest to town) We had a 2 bedroom room, that had a full kitchen which was great. The entire office staff was very nice, especially Patsy!
Our room, as well as all the others on the "Petite Plague" side had a nice view of the water. However, there was no "beach" on our side, the ocean water came right up to the wall. No big deal though, the beach on the other side was only a 2 minute walk down.
They served an included "continental breakfeast" at the sunset cafe each morning. It included a bassket with french bread and coisants, jucie and coffee. If you wanted any eggs, bagels, etc., you had to pay. We ended up taking the coffee, juice and basket back to our room, and eating there each morning. There were a lot of flies at the sunset cafe, nothing against them, I think the island just has a lot of flies, as it was the same at the other hotels as well. Personally I felt that the ladies at the Sunset Cafe could have been a bit friendlier, sometimes they seemed "annoyed" when you asked for something. FYI - they has happy hour from 5:30-6:30 each day at the Sunset Cafe,where all drinks were 1/2 off.
We sat at the beach next to the Sunset Cafe each day. The beach guys were very nice and helpful, and they had kyacks and paddleboats, cadamerans, and floats you can use, for free, whenever you pleased. Nothing was better then floating on the raft and drifting into the calm ocean.
We would go to the little supermarket in Grand Case in the morning and get things for lunch, and eat in the room. It was nice to get out of the sun for a little, and drink some wine on our pattio, andlisten to the caribbean music CD that they left in the room.
As for dinner's; we went into Grand Case a few nights; La California was pretty good, Il Nettunio was pretty good if you want Italian, we also went to Fish Pot, which we all personally Hated!
Chanticlair in the Marina was Excellent, high price, but worth every penny, also, try this place Bistro Nu, it is in Marigot down this little alley. It is charming, reasonable, and the food is delicious!!!
All in all it was a Wondderful week! we had a great time, and would definatly return to the GCBC. We met the manager at the cocktail party thrown on Monday night, and he was very friendly and nice as well.
Just know that this is a little hotel, it is charming, and very relaxing, howveer, it does not have a Big "Westin/Hyatt" type feel.
Just go and relax, get a good tan, and forget about life for a while!
Cheers!

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13  Thank ParkerNYCnyc
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: $251 - $424 (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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