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“Not worthy of Gold Crown”

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Divi Little Bay Beach Resort
Ranked #2 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Herndon, Virginia
1 review
“Not worthy of Gold Crown”
Reviewed 19 December 2010

The resort was nice, but the service was poor. It must be bad management. Here are a few examples. 1) Beach towels. You get little passes for your beach towels, and are told there's a hut where you can exchange them for clean towels at 9am. Most mornings we went, they had no towels and we were told to come back in an hour and a half. When we did, they'd already be out. They did not start the day off w/ towels, and they could not keep up w/ the demand. 2) At the pool bar, I ordered the conch fritters. The menu said they came w/ mozarella sticks. I was actually craving the moz sticks (I'm pregnant, so you know how a craving can be). So when it came, there were no moz sticks. I asked the bar tender if it came with them and he said "no." I told him it said it did on the menu and his "Gold Crown Resort" answer was, "there's something wrong with the menu." Really? Are you serious? That's your response?! 3) We needed to have maintenance because the jets and drain were broken on our whirlpool the first time we tried to use it. Good luck trying to get Guest Services on the phone. Half the time they never answer, and the other half it takes many rings. Then, when the maintenance man came, we answered the door and asked if he could come back in 1 hr because our son was in the middle of a nap. He rolled his eyes and said he was busy. It was really rude. 4) On check in, right after we signed all the paperwork, I remembered that we needed to ask for a crib, so I did. I pulled out my credit card again and Jo Anne whispered to us that we should really pay in cash because the resort charges you extra if you pay by credit card. So I paid in case, and wouldn't you know, the crib was on our bill when we checked out with no record of us having paid Jo Anne. 5) We stayed in a studio room and the kitchen was so tiny and did not even have a frying pan. We cooked bacon, eggs, and toast in a spaghetti pot which was really difficult to clean because it was bigger than the kitchen sink.

The water was a pretty blue, but not very clear. The beach was pretty decent for the Caribean. They say they don't recommend walking to Phillipsburg, but there is a sidewalk, and it's really not far if you can get yourself up and down the hill. We walked there 4 times w/ our young son in the stroller, and me being pregnant. We only walked back once though, took a taxi the rest of the times, but usually only because it was dark or we were too stuffed from a wonderful dinner at Antoine's.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
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Thank AFamilyVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Minneapolis
Level Contributor
141 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2010

We just returned from a week at the Divi Little Bay Beach Resort using an RCI exchange. We loved the location - one of only two resorts on Little Bay so quite secluded, yet close enough to walk to Great Bay and the restaurants and shopping in nearby Philipsburg. (About a 20 minute walk. There's not a sidewalk for a short way on the road exiting the resort, but once on the main road, there's a sidewalk all the way into Philipsburg. It is a hilly walk, though, so be prepared to climb a fairly steep hill.)

Thanks to Sandra, the Front Desk manager, we had what had to be one of the best rooms in the resort. It was a studio on the second floor of Building F, at the far end of the building. We had a 270 degree view from our balcony, and could see all of Little Bay plus the sunsets over a wide expanse of ocean - marvelous! Though we were under the impression that there was decent snorkeling along the rocks just past the resort, it really wasn't very good due in part to the poor visibility with high winds and recent hurricane. (Though we did see many snorkeling day trips make short stops in the area.) The beach at the Divi is beautiful, with safe swimming in the waters off-shore. No ocean currents to worry about, and there was very little motorcraft activity in the bay while we were there.

We didn't rent a car mainly because we'd seen much of the island previously, and with our fantastic view, we were content to stay at the Divi much of the time. We did go to Marigot (capital of the French side) one day, and we made use of the local buses to get us there. We just walked down "Back Street" of Philipsburg until we saw a bus with a sign in the window indicating it was headed to Marigot, and hopped on. The ride cost only $4 pp one way, and we enjoy riding along with the locals. There are no bus schedules on the island, since the vehicles are all privately owned and the drivers can do their own thing. But their license plates all say "Bus" with a number so you know you're getting into a registered vehicle.

One day we took the ferry over to explore Saba, and we'd highly recommend doing that. It's a very unique island and the scenery is beautiful.

We usually prepared a couple of meals a day at our unit, and shopped for groceries at Le Grande Marche, the main grocery store on the Dutch side. They had a good selection of food and beverages, with the prices displayed in both USD and Dutch Guilders. You'll need to take a taxi there because it's quite a hike and no sidewalks to get there. We did have a couple of meals at the Sea Breeze pool-side restaurant at the Divi which were good. And on several nights we ordered take away food from the grill at Gizmo's beach-side bar.

When we checked in, we were "strongly encouraged" to meet with one of the resort timeshare salesmen. We did so mostly to get the $100 in Divi Dollars to spend at the resort. Our salesman was not particularly high-pressure, and we said up front that we only had an hour of our vacation time to spend with him. We didn't buy into the resort, and enjoyed spending our Divi Dollars in the bars and restaurants.

One negative for us was the presence of a number of cats roaming freely on the premises. This surprised us because they have a "no pets" policy. We didn't appreciate coming across a "deposit" that a cat made in one of the resort hallways, though Maintenance did clean it up fairly promptly.

Overall we very much enjoyed our stay at the Divi Little Bay and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to others.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank B-and-FMpls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
33 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 277 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2010

We stayed here as an RCI timeshare exchange. over all we were pleased.

We had just come from a cruise and have visited much of Caribbean on many occasions.

Firstly I would like to say this resort does not run like many places on island time it runs efficiently with an American response to problems. Front desk staff are charming and very helpful

While there the water went off for the day without asking we were credited $60 for the day and staff did everything they could to make us comfortable, delivering bottled water
and buckets of water for the toilet.

Our first night was booked as a hotel night. The unit nicely decorated and right on the beach. Very clean I think $119 total with taxes $142 reasonable for the islands.

The next 6 nights were spent in unit 1019 right on the beach. I ask management when it was done and they told me two years ago. It was the the smaller of the lock off units a
bedroom with a very adequately stocked little kitchen unit. Full size fridge 2 ring glass cook top, deep sink. House keeping was excellent the light fixture which was very attractive and deep did not have a single bug in it. The bathroom spotless I look around for stuff all the time and was pleased with the standard. The resort has a lovely complete bay beach ranging from wonderful sand to rock for snorkeling around.

Toucans restaurant staff were charming, a little pricey , the water sports shop can take you scuba diving right off the beach to a wreck and also arranged excellent dives with a very well run company Blue Bubbles Diving we will use them again if on a cruise to St Martin.

The only stupid island thing is the entrance. If coming from the airport after you have gone past the resort sign the entrance is a very difficult right turn down a little street that is not marked and looks like it must be the wrong place. So we drove to Phillipsburg.
to turn around and approach it from the right angle. When mentioned they said Oh every one has trouble finding us. Well fix it stupid.

The time share presentation was very low key not pressure to go no phone calls nagging and basically do you like us or not. We took our hundred dollars and put it toward a snorkel trip to prickly pear on the Lambada.

Over all a good exchange for a week of beach and diving. Cars and meals are much cheaper than on a lot of the islands. Roads are bumpy and nothing really to see. Ferries can be taken to check out Saba S Eustace and Anguilla. A great resort for a week with small children.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank gillianp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2010

This place was the WORST! It took us 45 minutes to check in even though we were the only guests at the desk. Our room was very outdated with old furniture and appliances, an ancient TV, and plastic deck chairs. It was also very dirty: lipstick on the glasses, hair in the bathtub, grime covering every inch of the cupboards, stains on chair cushions, and an inch of dust on all the ceiling fans. There were dozens of mosquitos swarming over the beds and tables, anywhere there was light, even though we kept the doors shut. A request to change rooms was met with, "We just remodeled that room in 2008. You should be happy with it." There is NO WAY that room had been remodeled OR CLEANED since at least 1985!

The resort itself was not much better. There were mangy stray animals wandering treely around the grounds, there were mosquitos hanging on the walls everywhere, and the fitness center appeared to never have been cleaned...EVER. The water in the residential-grade hot tub was covered with some sort of oily film, and there were many unsupervised local children screaming and flopping around in the pool and diving into the hot tub.

On the third day of our stay, there was no running water. Since nobody could flush their toilets, everyone used the 3 available public restrooms on the resort. It was thoroughly disgusting. We packed up, checked out, and asked for a full refund (Of course not. Need you even ask?) We high-tailed it through the filth of St. Maarten to the stunningly beautiful Westin Dawn Beach Resort, which I would highly recommend!

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank HomeGirl2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ames, Iowa
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2010

This is by far the worst place i've ever stayed in my life. We own a timeshare in the DIvi Aruba, and expected better of this place. This place has terrible service, it took us an hour to check in. We got to our room which was 'renovated' in 2008, and there were dead bugs everywhere. There was hair in the bathtub, and dirty furniture. When we tried switching rooms to get out of this dump, they said it had been recently renovated and we could not move and should be happy with where we were.

Honestly, we couldn't take it. We rebooked at the Westin in St. Maarten. TERRIBLE way to start a vacation.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Cyclonegirl29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sutton, Massachusetts
1 review
Reviewed 19 November 2010

We had a great time on this trip as it was our first vacation as a couple since having kids to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We aren't overly picky and understand that St. Martin is basically a foreign country so we didn't expect it to be like the States. I like some adventure when traveling.

Our room was great and we had a nice view. The room came with a jacuzzi bath tub for two. Most of the staff were frienldy and helpful. One complaint would be that the dinner staff at Toucan's were not that friendly- grumbled about finding us a seat, didn't take any drink orders, tried to rush us out when though a band was playing, no menu, only the nightly Thursday night BBQ buffet that wasn't that great for the price. We never ate dinner there again, but the breakfast buffet was a good deal and the staff were friendlier in the morning. We ate dinner at various restaurants off the resort. Happy hour at the various hotel bars were a good deal.

The spa at the hotel was excellent and the staff their were super friendly. We had couple's massage that was well worth it. The spa staff also gave us some great recommendations on what to do on the island.

The pools were great. The beach was a bit rocky in areas but they are repairing it.

We did travel around a bit either by taxi or rented car. Orient Beach was worth the ride, and a visited Marigot, the French capital, was a great night. Marigot has some great French restaurants, and we hung out with the locals at a bar call "La Flibuste" and had a great time.

We didn't bother with Philipsburg as we were told it was too touristy, and basically just a spot for the cruiseships.

Not a top notch 5 star hotel, but perfectly fine. (Husband was able to watch the Patriots game even at the bar)

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank lizamy123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 November 2010

The pictures are beautiful but the resort itself was truly lacking. There were many rooms not available because of water damage. Saw standing water in one room when door was left open. Woke up one morning after an overnight raing and had water in the entry way that came under and through door. Lacked weather stripping.

Very poor management.

First TV in room did not work. Took 2 maintenance visits to determine it was a blown bulb. Continuously received error messages on the the TV that the satellite bill had not been paid and were about to lose access to the channel.

No fire extinguisher in the box on our floor.

The island itself was disappointing. Broken down cars in the yards, horrible road conditions, no respect for generally accepted traffic rules, very overgrown (like they have no idea what a weed eater or round up is for). It was simply run down and the casinos didn't open to 7pm.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Chadilak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Divi Little Bay Beach Resort

Property: Divi Little Bay Beach Resort
Address: Little Bay Road, Philipsburg, St. Maarten-St. Martin
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > St. Maarten-St. Martin > Sint Maarten > Philipsburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Philipsburg
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Philipsburg
#3 Romantic Hotel in Philipsburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Divi Little Bay Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 220
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Divi Little Bay Beach Hotel Philipsburg
St Maarten Divi Little Bay
Divi Little Bay Resort
Divi Little Bay Beach Resort St. Maarten-St. Martin/Philipsburg
Hotel Divi Little Bay Beach

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