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“Timeshare exchange”

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Simpson Bay Resort & Marina
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Simpson Bay
Reviewed 12 November 2013

I recently stayed here thru Interval exchange. I contacted the resort a few months prior to my stay to ask a few questions. they were very prompt in returning my email. I did get called about 30 days prior to my stay asking did I want to upgrade. I originally traded for a studio. I paid for an 1 bedroom upgrade in a renovated unit with ocean view. To upgrade to the villas was very expensive (over $1000) and was not sure if that was worth it. When I got to the resort, there was a long line. They had fruit infused water but nothing else (would be nice to offer some free rum punch). I literally stayed in the same point in line for 20 min. there was a guest relations person circulating but basically asking your name to cross off the list.When I asked why the line was not moving, her response was "you will eventually get there or you can sit down until the line die down" Mind you, there is a steady flow of people coming in to check in. It took about an hour to get to check in. this is entirely too long in my opinion. The check in staff was not friendly. When I asked him to show me on the map which building and where to park, he circled the wrong building. I stayed in Croton building. I was then told to go get a welcome package. This young lady was not obvious into her job because stated "Welcome to St. Maarten, the friendly island" is a monotone non-ethusiastic non-friendly way. She barely looked up to me. She did highlight the weeks activities and then wanted me to sign up to go to a sales presentation. At this point, I was tired and upset and said I would think about. So instead of handing me the papers, she just let them sit on the table.

I made my way to building. Part of the parking lot to Croton is blocked by 4 semi-trailers just parked there. this can make parking when in high season a big challenge. The room was a nice surprise. It was updated modern island vibe. The bed is a memory foam mattress and was very comfortable. The kitchen is spacious with a nice island and bar chairs. I was not aware that there was additional towels in the bedroom closet. There is housekeeping once a week. The wifi was not bad. There was a sign at front desk to pay for wifi. I assume this is for faster service but the free wifi was pretty good.

The downside of the C and B buildings is that they are at a top of a steep hill. Coming back up from the beach and everything else can be a challenge for those less physically fit or those with disabilities. If you have any of those issues, you should not stay up there. There was plenty of security guards around.

The beach is small but was not crowed. Granted this was not high season. they do provide beach chairs and towels for free. there is a bar on the beach. There are several pools on the property. To me the nicest pool is at the villas. The gym is also at the villas. If you can afford it, I would recommend the villas given the convenience to everything. The rooms I think are smaller than the croton building but you will have a great view of the water.

there are several resturants on the property. I tried Stone which was ok, and Alexandra's. There is a the Peli-deli located in the strip mall on the property. They sell alcohol, food, sandwiches etc. The prices are comparable to grocery store down the street from the resort. They do offer small baggies of splenda, single packs of oatmeal etc. Which is great if you only need a small amount and don't have to pay for a larger container. I got a salad from there for dinner for only $5.

There is a casino there as well which is suppose to be bought out by Hard Rock cafe.

The resort is convenient to the airport. From the beach, you can watch the planes land and take off (although Maho beach is soo much better). There are several restuarants within walking distance.

Overall, this was not a bad place. they are in the process of renovating the entire property. After talking to several people have owned there for decades, they are happy with the changes and do feel hopefully that the property is on the upswing.

Room Tip: Try getting an villa. If you have trouble walking/climbing a hill, avoid the C and B buildings
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank inthewind2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerardo G, Online Reputation Manager at Simpson Bay Resort & Marina, responded to this reviewResponded 26 November 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us and the community. We do appreciate hearing from our guests as their comments are vital for us to continue improving our accommodations.

We are glad to hear that you had a great time with us and it's wonderful that you had the opportunity to heard the comments from our beloved members. We hope it can help you to give you an idea of what we are trying to achieve with the renovation in the Simpson Bay Resort & Marina.

While the lack of service you experienced is unusual and not the standard of our resort, there is no excuse for a lackadaisical attitude on the part of any of our employees. We are sorry for the inconvenience and annoyance this incident caused.

Thank you again for your comments. We hope that you will give us another chance to serve you.

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874 - 880 of 1,241 reviews

Reviewed 12 November 2013

We stayed for a week from 3rd November under an Intervals Exchange. We were initially sent to a third-floor unit in the Beaumontia building, but as the lift was broken, we never even saw it. Taken back to the check-in desk, we were then allocated a one bedroom unit on the ground floor in the Marina building, M216. The unit was comfortable and well equipped, but the Marina has yet to be refurbished, so overall it was tired, with badly marked tiled floor, some grimy paintwork, and a very old bathroom. On the flip side, everything worked, the ac inside was quiet and efficient, the apartment was cleaned well, and due to the thickness of the walls, despite noisy ac units right outside our bedroom, we slept well and weren’t disturbed by noises outside.
The view from our balcony was wonderful, across the full width of Simpsons Bay. We faced roughly South, so had no sun on us, however, the sun shone on everything in our view, all day. We were very convenient for the Peli Deli, which has almost everything you need, and is roughly similar to supermarket prices, no rip-off just for being on-site.
It’s a fairly easy walk to the main road, and there are many bars and restaurants, shops, pharmacies, bars, along that main road. Taxis can take you further afield, bear in mind almost every fare is ten dollars, whether near or far. If you have space in your hold luggage, the supermarket next to Burger King at the junction with the main road has the best drink prices I found anywhere. Don’t wait for Duty Free at the airport, it’s more expensive.
The resort beach fills up fairly early, but there always seemed to be space to lounge, and the Caribbean sea is lovely. The beach bar is a hidden gem, with happy hour around sunset, and their food is cooked fresh right there on the beach, very tasty too. Drink and food prices were very reasonable, but I can’t comment on any other places in the resort as we didn’t eat there.
The swim-up bar in the Marina Pool sadly seemed in our experience to be monopolised by small groups who became increasingly drunk through the day, displacing those who just wanted a gentle swim and to sunbathe with young children. The bar staff appeared to be “in” with these groups, so nothing was done to tone them down.
We took four Aqua Mania trips, the coach tour of the whole island, an evening sunset booze cruise, the boat trip to Marigot, and the coastal boat trip to Phillipsburg. All were well organised, with helpful and informative crews, and the booze cruise lived up to its name. We didn’t have to go to the bar for drinks, the crew kept bringing them to us!
If you are interested, the refurbished buildings are Caladium, Bougainvillea, Allamandia, Croton, and Dieffenbachia. The Villas are new, and everything else has yet to be refurbished, Beaumontia we’re told being next on the list. As a quick guide, if you see photos, those buildings painted yellow are refurbished, white ones aren’t.
As others have reported, the site is very hilly, so if you have limited mobility, buildings higher up the site will be a challenge.
Overall, for us, the location on the island, being so close to so many facilities, value being so similar to offsite venues, and quality of drinks, food, and tours, mean we would visit again, but try very hard for a refurbished apartment next time.

Room Tip: Refurbished apartments are much better quality, but ask for rooms close to the water if you have mob...
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank theoldwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2013

We had the oppotunity to spend a one week stay with some friends as part of their timeshare exchange here.

Here's the 411:

Know that most of he people that work at the resort were very friendly and very kind. The check-in clerks were a little cranky.

We were given a two-bedroom unit in the Flamboyant building, after being told that we would be in the Dieffenbachia (remodeled) building. Let me say this about our room - dirty, outdated, sad, smelly (interior of kitchen cupboards was enough to make you hurl) and I really wish we had pushed for the cleaner, newer room we had been promised. The linens are clearly as old as the building, including the bed pillows. The shower water was HOT and then FREEZING and then hot again ~ it was really hard to regulate. I'm sure that is due to the age of the building. And everyone places their trash bags on the ground at the entrance to each of the sections of the builidng for pickup sometime during the day. Seems pretty unsanitary. Wood slats where there should be glass in the windows. No secuirty chain on the entry door. Maintenance workers entering with just a knock. All that being said they should really close that building until it is completely gutted. Window coverings didn't work, patio doors hard to open and close, A/C was spotty, floors are cracked with pieces missing, hair leftover from previous guests on the floor and in the shower -- we were literally walking around in our flip flops to avoid touching the floors. The bathroom floor was especially gross.

Althought the Flamboyant building is right on the beach it isn't worth the location.

Resort amenities = kinda sad too. Pool area = sparse (no attendants and no tables by the lounges - I was afraid to put a beer or a cocktail on the ground) -- the beach was dirty with cigarette butts and bits of trash. It was raked each morning but I believe more staff is needed to keep the resort up to standards ~ both for the interiors and the exteriors.

We thoroughly enjoyed the time with our family of friends but if we were to ever return to St Maarten we would choose a different "resort". I'm honestly surprised at all the rave reviews.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank skippersdad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerardo G, Online Reputation Manager at Simpson Bay Resort & Marina, responded to this reviewResponded 26 November 2013

Dear guest:

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience . Your comments are vital for us to continue improving our accommodations. The problems that you mentioned have been brought to the attention of our housekeeping department and we are taking action in order to prevent any situation like this in the near future. Even though we are in a transition of upscaling the resort renovating every room, there is no excuse for all what you went through. We are sorry for the
inconvenience and annoyance these incidents caused.

We do apologize if we weren't able to give a wonderful time in St. Maarten, nonetheless we are learning from this and we would like to encourage you to give us another chance to serve you.

Thank you again for your comments.

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed 31 October 2013

Stayed 10/19-10/26/13, traveled with two other couples - all in our early-mid 40's.

We are regular travelers to beach destinations and this was only our second non-all inclusive resort in 10 years. We won a 3br/3bath top floor condo at a silent auction and took two of our friends and their spouses. For the small amount we paid, it was a very good deal. However, as I did research what the cost would be if we would have booked it regular, I would have been very disappointed.

No comments on check in as it was typical.

Room - very, very dated and could tell it was in need of rennovation. I didn't mind the decor as much as I did the cracked walls and bugs. I understand they are scheduled to renovate all the buildings in the next couple of years. The view was great, overlooked the pool bar, beach and ocean. Full kitchen facility, but the frig never got very cold.

Beach/Pool - the beach was very nice. No trouble finding shade and there is a beach bar that serves good lunches, beer and cocktails. The mahi sandwich was very good. Pool was also nice. There are no waves at all which some people like. We prefer waves so not great for us, but that's just a personal preference.

Amenities - there is a little deli/grocery store on site that is just as good or better than the grocery store at the end of the street. Good liquor, wine and food selection and prices are not that high. We also did a sunset "booze" cruise that was a lot of fun and would highly recommend. It was only about 90 minutes and they serve snacks. You get on the boat right on site at the resort.

Service - was very hit/miss. Sometimes we got very friendly people and other times they acted like they could care less what we wanted. Very strange as this is low season and there wasn't that many people there. I would actually say more bad than good - not really bad, but just didn't care about taking care of their customers.

Not much more to say other than we will probably stick to all inclusives. We just like the activities offered and nightlife at the bigger all inclusive resorts better. This was "off season" so maybe they offer more things to do during the winter "high season". We do like to drink so the cost was quite a bit higher than the all inclusives and I actually like the all inclusive beaches in Dominican Republic and Riveria Maya better. There is a lot of commercialization around and I prefer a few more palm tress and less buildings.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank CaesarKelley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2013

We enjoyed a week at Simpson Bay Resort through interval International exchange. The hotel called a week in advance to confirm our reservation and answer any questions (how much is taxi fare from the airport, etc) we might have. The check-in process was efficient and we were taken by van to our room. The complex is large and our building was situated on a hill. The unit was spacious although the bathroom was a bit small. The resort has many restaurant possibilities. We tried them all and they were all good. Also, there is a little grocery store for supplies. There are quite a few pools and since it was still low season it was easy to find a lounge and relax. We were pleased with Aquamania which provided tours of all kinds. I recommend the half day tour of the island which is reasonable, informative, and entertaining. We also took the Edge ferry to St. Bart's right from the resort marina. The staff was generally friendly. We appreciated Priscilla, one of the concierge staff. She answered our every question and made dinner reservations when requested.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Joelyn O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2013

In October 2013, we went for our second trip to St. Maarten having gone there for one week in October of 2012. Last year we stayed in the Villas at Simpson Bay Resort. This year we stayed in the Caladium Building of the main resort. Both of our trips have been during "hurricane season" making some things more reasonable in price. We had no problems with the weather, although the forecast for almost the whole time was 50-60% chance of rain. It did rain a few times, sometimes at night & sometimes during the day. However, it did not rain enough to interfere with any of our activities.
The Villas are newer & more luxurious, but we thought that our condo in the Caladium Building was fine. We requested a water view & were happy with the view from our balcony. The condo had been renovated not so long ago & was in good shape. Only my wife & I stayed there, but it had room for more people, having 2 Murphy beds in the living room.
Everyone at the resort was very friendly and helpful at all times. We would not hesitate to return there in the future and recommend it to others traveling to St. Maarten.
Being in our early 70s, we prefer to eat our main meal at lunchtime. Consequently, we did not eat at all of the restaurants on the resort. Several were only open for dinner. Our favorite restaurants were The Greenhouse just down the street from the resort, and Topper's on the Beach right next door at Diamonds Flamingo Resort.
We rented a car from Paradise Rental for our two weeks, having rented one from them last year and being totally satisfied with them. We drove around the island several times, visiting Phillipsburg, the market at Marigot, Orient Beach, etc.
We took several trips with Aqua Mania, which has an office on the resort, and had a great time on all of them.

Room Tip: The Villas are the newest and most luxurious, but several other buildings have lovely water views fr...
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank billduet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2013

This is a multi building hotel/resort complex with all kinds of rooms and facilities, including several pools, restaurants, spa, casino, and one of the most beautiful small bays I've seen, with excellent beach for swimming and access to sailing, scuba diving and other water sports. Very close to the airport and accessible to a variety of restaurants, shops, and other exciting places within the beautiful island of St. Martin/Saint Maarten. One of the most attractive vacation spots we have been, worth visiting again. All the people in the island are friendly and make you feel great. If you book as a getaway or exchange, maid service is restricted to one service visit during the week, unless you pay extra, the same as for any other time share. But remember, there is no such thing as a cheap or budget vacation. Even in a time share, you need to have enough cash to pay the asked price for food and the things you need or want to have. One morning we went for breakfast to a nice nearby restaurant and we had to leave before ordering, as they don't accept credit cards.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Pinky1948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Simpson Bay Resort & Marina

Address: Billy Folly Road #37, Simpson Bay, St Martin / St Maarten
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > St Martin / St Maarten > Sint Maarten > Simpson Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Simpson Bay
Price Range: £79 - £243 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Simpson Bay Resort & Marina 4*
Number of rooms: 342
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on a hillside overlooking Simpson Bay, one of the most popular spots on St. Maarten, Simpson Bay Resort & Marina is a peaceful Mediterranean-style holiday village offering comfortable suites and all the services guests could possibly need during their Caribbean vacation. With a sheltered private beach, five pools and colorful gardens full of bougainvillea, hibiscus and Allamanda, Simpson Bay Beach Resort & Marina is a captivating island hideaway where you can enjoy the best family vacation ever. A varied activity program, tennis courts, a spa, water sports, dining and evening entertainment make it a favorite with visitors of all ages. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Simpson Bay Resort And Marina
Simpson Bay Resort & Marina Hotel Simpson Bay
Simpson Bay Resort & Marina St Martin / St Maarten

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