We stayed at the Belair for an extended family vacation (8 adults and 5 kids) July 1-9. The hotel was relatively clean and the 2 bedroom units are ideal for a family of 4. The Belair is located right on a beach with crystal clear water and small waves. It was a great place for the kids to play. Getting chairs or towels was never an issue. The pool, however, is very, very small. The restaurant at the hotel was fine... but most all of the food in St. Maarten was a bit expensive. As long as you rent a car, the location of the hotel is no problem. St. Maarten is lots of fun to explore by car, and they can be rented for less than $30/day right at the hotel.
Lorna, the hotel's activity coordinator/concierge, can provide you with a wealth of knowledge. She recommended several restaurants, beaches and tours. Extremely helpful. Her best recommendation was for the all day snorkeling tour on the Swaliga II. That was the most wonderful day of our vacation... you, too, may be lucky enough to see a sting ray, sea turtle and barracuda in addition to all the other colorful reef fish (worth every penny!).
If you are traveling with children, you must have lunch at Jimbo's (another Lorna recommendation) and make sure the kids bring their swimsuits. Layla's on the Beach is a lovely french restaurant which turned out great for the kids but you could tell as the evening progressed became a very nice bar scene for the adults. Chesterfield's restaurant is on a marina and a decent family place. There were several restaurants along the beach in Phillipsburg that looked very interesting, but we didn't discover them until it was time to go home.
The only complaint I would have about St. Maarten is the service... almost everywhere. At the Belair you will be amazed at how many of the housekeeping staff have time to just sit or lounge around. In restaurants, do not expect to be offered drink refills, or to be checked on at all while waiting up to 1 1/2 hours for your food. They call it "island time" but it really boils down to poor service. You will thoroughly enjoy St. Maarten and the Belair as long as you do not expect to be pampered in a luxurious setting.
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- Also Known As:
- Belair Beach Philipsburg
- Hotel Belair Beach
- Belair Beach Hotel St Martin / St Maarten/Philipsburg