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“Beachside Villas: Airport can be a Big Deal”
Review of Beachside Villas

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Beachside Villas
A TripAdvisor Member
“Beachside Villas: Airport can be a Big Deal”
Reviewed 28 March 2005

My family and I just returned from a week at the Beachside Villas and felt it was important to provide prospective vacationers with our personal opinion on the experience. I’ve read the other reviews here and have to say that in terms of the property, the units, the beach, the landscaping and the wonderful attitude of the staff, all of it is true. It would be hard to find a better place for our family to spend a wonderful week on the beach with the exception of the airport.

We chatted with several other renters, some of whom are repeat guests, and asked them what they thought of the airport and the noise that’s created by living 100 yards from the main runway. The repeat guests seem to take it in stride. Having dozens of commercial and corporate jets landing and taking off daily seems to be an attraction to some while others ignore it. But we felt it was beyond acceptable for our taste. It may just be us, but when we arrived on a recent Saturday afternoon we were greeted with the outrageous roar of 757 and 747 jets at a rate of several an hour landing and taking off until 11 PM that night. It was so bad we spent much of Sunday driving around the island looking for alternate accommodations. Our efforts were to no avail since all the real estate agents are closed on Sunday and we were there in the midst of high season, a bad time to try to find something for seven people.

We were told that Saturday is the noisiest; with a dozen large jets bring in time share owners. That makes for a dozen landings and a dozen take offs on top of the dozen or so regularly scheduled large jets from American, Delta, US Airways, Air France, KLM, etc. that land and take off. Each aircraft constitutes a landing and a take off. That’s two opportunities to stop conversation among guests. I can’t tell you how many times I couldn’t hear someone two feet away from me because the noise overwhelmed the conversation.

Please keep in mind that when the big ones throw their jet thrusters into reverse stopping can be just as noisy as taking off. And you might want to disregard any comments you see in other reviews about this being some kind of quaint small island airport. This airport is handing huge commercial aircraft. They are big, they burn a lot of fuel and they make a heck of a lot of noise. In addition to the large commercial and charter flights coming and going, there are numerous corporate jets taking off and landing throughout the day. It should be noted that corporate jet engine noise is not regulated by the FAA while the commercial aircraft are, and for their size they are plenty noisy! Throw in a bunch of small island hoppers and you’ve got a teaming airport runway less than a football field away from your unit. When we asked the owner how close we were to the airport she told us we were a fifteen minute drive away. This is true. It takes the cab approximately fifteen minutes to drive from the terminal to the end of the runway and to circle back to the point where the Beachside Villas is located. As the bird flies, it would take one minute to slowly cross the airport property to your unit and only 5 – 10 seconds from the runway. We heard from another guest that he was told the exact same 15 minute explanation. True? Yes. Misleading, certainly. The villas are located just about where the jets lift off, providing the maximum amount of noise for us. The number of flights does drop off after Sunday, but there are still a substantial amount of takeoffs and landings every day from 7 AM to 11 PM. And my wife says she heard a couple of corporate jets taking off around 2 AM. The beachside bedrooms are noisy, but the backside – toward the airport – bedrooms are thunderous. No, wait. All the rooms are thunderous; it’s just a matter of scale. A couple of guests said they kept the windows closed and the air conditioning running. But we like to feel tropical breezes wafting over us as we sleep and we really appreciate the sound of the waves on the beach all night long.

When you take into consideration the joy and pleasure of keeping your doors and windows open during your stay, we were very luck while we were there in that the trade winds were blowing in from the south, which pretty much kept the smell of jet fuel out of our noses. But there may be times when the winds are blowing toward the complex and delivering the smell of airport solvents. I don’t know what the impact would be, but if it’s happening and it impacts your week of vacation, it would be a big deal.

What’s this all mean? My kids didn’t care. They loved the proximity to the beach, the nearby shopping district and the villa itself. But my wife and I found the pervasive noise to be an incredible irritant and distraction. Would I recommend the property? Again, we met several guests who go their every year and really like it, so for some this must be ideal. But I’d only recommend this to those who are not looking for a quiet, peaceful beachside experience. For us? As nice as all the “good stuff” was, we’ll be looking elsewhere next year.

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English first
Michigan
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2005

Beachside Villas in St. Maarten – AHHHHH … who could really ask for more ?? We recently returned from thoroughly enjoying our 2nd stay at this very lovely Villa complex. This time, we stayed for 12 days and actually, that didn’t seem quite enough when one lives in these Northern cold climates.

All Villas are exceptionally well decorated – no junk furnishings are found on this property. Yolanda, the owner, takes great pride in furnishing these Villas and she has a keen eye on decorating with that Caribbean flavor. Absolutely all the conveniences you may need are here – cable TV ( to watch only to see how much snow your neighbors are getting ); microwave, coffee pot, fridge with ice trays, A/C where you need it ( in the bedrooms ); fully equipped kitchen, CD player, roomy bathrooms, and even a BBQ Propane Grille in the Atrium. We brought down with us frozen slabs of ribs & steaks from Costco. Put them in a cooler, check the cooler at the airport and pick it up with your luggage in St. Maarten – worked out perfectly. I tell ya … you won’t lack for anything while staying here at Beachside Villas.

The Villa Grounds are an explosion of color. Doc, Yolanda’s husband, orchestrates the Villa landscaping and I don’t think he has missed any species of tropical flowering plants when you look about the grounds … color everywhere …. “Kodak Moments” abound. Full time groundskeepers keep the place looking as though Beachside Villas could be the “ World Headquarters” for Better Homes & Gardens !!

As the realtors say in all their ads, it’s LOCATION – LOCATION – LOCATION ! Well, out your back door is Simpson Bay …. like it’s 50 feet away !! Absolutely perfect swimming with a very sandy bottom as well as miles of very walkable beach – right there – out in front of you. When we were there, the annual Heineken Sailing Regatta was taking place and hundreds of colorful sailboats were in clear view right out in the bay – how cool was that ?? Yes, Simpson Bay is in your backyard but the St. Maarten Julianna Airport is in your front yard. Yes, the first plane of the day, a Caribbean Island Hopper, does take off at 7:01 AM. When we first stayed at Beachside Villas, we were not accustomed to that closeness and it did sound as though the plane was coming through our Villa living room. But hey, that adds to the uniqueness of Beachside Villas ! After a few planes take off, you really pay no more attention to it. But, I must say, in the afternoon when that KLM 747 comes in from Amsterdam, it is quite a sight to be so close to a 747 landing & takeoff. You can even watch this happening from the airport “viewing stand” erected on the Beachside Villas grounds. Another “Kodak Moment” when that KLM 747 takes off !! Who wants to sleep in anyway when in paradise? When on your Villa porch facing Simpson Bay, the sounds of the planes are not as noticeable. Besides, the large jet planes don’t begin coming in until early afternoon and they leave before dark anyway – NO after dark airport flying except for a very occasional small island hopper !

I must also mention “The Crew” ! These 4 extremely friendly gals are the Villas Housekeepers. Under the direction of Irene, the property Manager, these gals thoroughly clean your Villa daily – and I mean “THOROUGHLY” ! You will not experience this type of housekeeping even at a Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons – these gals are terrific ! They do everything with a smile – what a great team they have here. Irene is the perfect person for being property manager. She is Island knowledgeable and will go out of her way to assure your stay is without incident.

Beachside Villas location is perfect. Yes, it’s at the end of a bumpy road that is in desperate need of road grader but whats your hurry anyway ? And yes, it’s location does parallel the airport where your daily “wake-up “ call comes from the roar of a prop airplane instead of a bedside phone ! But, it’s also very close to the grocery store, shops, casinos, fine restaurants, and also, the Sunset Beach Bar with their great Angus beef burgers, people & plane watching, and a never ending supply of cold Heinekens. And, if the clear, warm waters of Simpson Bay were any closer to your Villa, the Villa beds would have to be air mattresses !! All in all, you really can’t beat staying here if you are looking for cleanliness, comfort, location, and having a true “being welcome” feeling. We have experienced 2 Vacations now at Beachside Villas, the first time staying in a 3 bedroom villa then most recently in a 2 bedroom. We shopped around this time before committing once again to Beachside Villas. You really cannot get as much “ bang for your buck” as you can here. For us, it boiled down to location – what were we looking for – and we clearly found it all, and then some, here at Yolanda’s Beachside Villas. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have – I will answer all inquiries very honestly. I am at : geow@hotmail.com. We look forward to booking again for Feb/ March 2006 timeframe at Beachside Villas.

George

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15 Thank Geow1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MN
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2005

Just returned after 10 days and 9 nights at Beachside Villas. It was wonderful!! The villas are beatifully decorated, well kept and located on the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. Staff is cooperative and friendly. The airport is close and the planes are loud, but they didn't bother us. There isn't that much traffic out of that little airport. People actually line up about a mile away from the villas to do nothing but watch the planes come in and land. We spent many hours sitting on the deck watching the cruise ships and yachts come into Simpson Bay. The beach is literally 40 feet from your villa. We loved listening to the waves at night. My thanks to the owner and her staff for making this the best vacation ever!!

  • Stayed February 2005
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank spyglass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yardley, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2004

We spent another wonderful week in St. Martin at Beachside Villas. With the wide choices of all kinds of accommodations available on the island we found ourselves coming back to this little private enclave year after year. What draws us back is that the Villas are located near one of the most popular areas for dining, entertaining and other day and night time activities, but in the same time when you finally had enough of the crowds, very short ride takes you back to your own very private enclave. No crowds, beautiful almost private 2 miles beach right at your doorstep, gorgeous view of Simpson Bay. You can watch cruise ships disappearing into sunset right from your own covered porch.
The Villas are very well equipped and decorated. Back wall opens up with 3 huge sliding glass doors onto covered deck with only few steps taking you right down on the beach and 50 feet from the turquoise water. The full staff of housekeepers and gardeners keeps Villas and grounds immaculate. The manager lives right on the property and available for any kind of assistance. There is also hired security on the grounds from sunset to sunrise.
Beachside Villas are located very close to the airport and you can watch airplanes landing and taking off from the platform at the edge of the property. You do hear noise from the airplanes but it did not bother us, as the most of the big jet arrivals takes place from the early to late afternoon, with only occasional planes coming in from 7 in the morning till about 8-9 at night. With most of the flights coming in on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, air traffic considerably dies down on weekdays.
So for a tradeoff for some airport noise you will get very reasonably priced, very private and comfortable accommodations right on the beach with a short drive to everything. We love it and will be going back again next year. Can not wait!

  • Stayed November 2004
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank Snubes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gibraltar, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2004

We visited Beachside Villas over Christmas/New Years. The Villas are beautiful. The beach is literally private, we rarely saw anyone else. If you are looking for crowds of vacationers this is not the place.

The Villas are clean, open, airy and well appointed. The best part is the Villas are on the beach, 50 paces from the water. The water was calm, clear and shallow.

If you want lots of action, this is not the place. It's at the end of a short road, full of ruts, but who cares, it's a rental car. As you enter the private property and garden areas you'll be very impressed. Also the property is 1/4 mile from one of the larger and busier casinos.

As frequent Caribbean travelers, we look hard for a resort where we would not be one of hundreds competing for a lounge chair on the beach. Beachside Villas cost is 1/2 what we normally pay to rent a yacht and sail the Virgins Islands.

It's tough to find beachside property on a deserted beach at a reasonable price. At Beachside, the airport is right next door. Yes you'll hear the airplanes when you first arrive. If you sleep in a front bedroom you will hear the arrivals at 8:00AM. If you sleep seaside you will barelly hear the planes. By midweek the airplanes were not an issue. Having my own 2 miles of beach, private pool with no crowds well offset the "island hoppers".

  • Stayed January 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
12 Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 1 May 2004

We recently completed our 7th trip to St. Martin and our 6th at Beachside Villas (one trip we stayed on the French side due to the destruction of the villas by the hurricane).

We wouldn't stay anywhere else!!

Yes, there is airplane noise. However, there are only about 8-10 jets during the day -- usually between 10am and 6pm. The airport opens at 7AM and usually the last flight (which is a small prop plane) is about 9PM. If you are in the back bedroom, you will hear the noise. So, if you plan on napping a great deal during the day and have the back bedroom, this may not be a good place for you. There are absolutely no planes during the night (9-10PM - 7AM), except an occasional "stray". So, there is no fear about being woken up, even in the back bedroom. You will hardly notice the plane noise in the remainder of the condo. If you have the master bedroom, the airplane noise is not a factor.

The beach is absolutely wonderful. It can almost be considered a private beach. Many times we were the only ones on it!! Swimming is wonderful, and unless there is a storm brewing somewhere to the south, the waves are never a problem. We couldn't even swim on the French side due to the rocky nature of the beach. Beach chairs lined up side by side and crowds of people, as with other hotels on the island, NOT AT BEACHSIDE VILLAS.

The condo is beautiful, fully equipped, you do not want for a thing.

Bottom line, we love Beachside Villas. Yes, there may be a tradeoff for the airport, but one, we feel, well worth it!!

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5 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 4 February 2004

When I landed in St. Maarten and saw the Beachside Villas sign literally on the other side of the fence to the runway my heart sank. I had booked the trip for myself and another couple and I felt horrible.
That all changed after one day at the villa. WE LOVED IT!!!. The Larger planes do not land or take off before 7AM or after 8PM so most of the time we did not even notice the planes. If you are in the master bedroom of the villas you do not hear anything. The second bedroom guests said that they could barely hear the planes over the air conditioning. The villas are clean and decorated like a beach house should be, comfortable furniture and bright colors. Do not be frightened by the planes. We had such a great time we are returning again this winter.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Beachside Villas

Property: Beachside Villas
Address: 40 White Sands Rd, Simpson Bay, St. Maarten-St. Martin
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > St. Maarten-St. Martin > Sint Maarten > Simpson Bay
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Simpson Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 12
Also Known As:
Beachside Villas Hotel Simpson Bay
Beachside Villas St. Maarten-St. Martin/Simpson Bay

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