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“A Perfect Place To Relax”

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Grand Case Beach Club
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Grand Case
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 July 2010

My wife and I made reservations to spend a week (July 8-July 15) at GCBC. In retrospect, we can’t envision a nicer way to have celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. Here are some observations/comments which may prove informative.

A few days prior to our arrival, we received an email from GCBC confirming the dates of our stay, and asking if there was anything we particularly wished upon arrival. A nice touch.

We arrived on a Thursday afternoon (2:30) and rented a taxi to take us to the resort (45 minute trip @$30.00). I would recommend the taxi route as opposed to renting a car, especially if you’ve never been to GCBC before, and ESPECIALLY if you arrive after dark. If you’re not familiar with the area, the beach club is NOT the easiest place to find on your own. (See the section on renting a car below).

Upon arrival, check-in was efficient and painless, with all our questions answered – and a complimentary bottle of wine thrown into the process. While I have no idea as to the accommodations you might have reserved, we stayed in a 1 bedroom ocean view unit which was magnificent. It had 2 bathrooms (granite countertops, tiled showers, LCD t.v., plenty of storage, etc.) and 2 sliding glass doors which made the entire unit very light and airy. More to the point, the view right outside our apartment was absolutely spectacular.

The resort has 2 separate beaches, each with its own distinct flavor. The smaller of the two is an ideal place to take small children and never have to worry for their safety. The larger (by the Sunset restaurant) has more “activities” available. While both have nice sandy bottoms, the smaller is nicer to swim in because there is not as steep a drop off as is found on the larger, and has less coral underfoot. Both however share the same spectacular warm Caribbean water of every shade of green imaginable, and both are connected by a rocky formation which lends itself worthwhile snorkeling. (The equipment is free). More adventuresome snorkelers can take a 2 hour trip to Creole rock - ab’t ½ mile offshore.

The grounds themselves are immaculately maintained throughout, with flowers and flowering shrubs everywhere. Do make it a point to follow the boardwalk system around the resort since it gives dramatic views of the ocean and the resort facilities themselves. You’ll find chaise lounges and umbrellas liberally scattered throughout the property – including the beach areas – which make for a nice retreat.

And yes, Grand Chase does live up to its reputation for having restaurants to cater to every taste and budget. The lolos restaurants are cheap and fun; some of the French restaurants (e.g. Auberge Gourmande, [HIGHLY recommended] Bistrot Caraibes, L’Escapade, etc. can be pricey – but what the hey! you’re on vacation. One place in particular we enjoyed was Piazza Pascale – especially upstairs dining with cool ocean breezes). If you can, pay the tab in cash, where $1 = 1 Euro (a 20% savings).

The residents of Grand Chase have learned 2 things from the French: (a) They’ve learned how to cook from the French (exquisite) and (b) they’ve learned how to drive from the French (appalling). Having so said, and if you plan on staying 3-4+ days, DO rent a car to see more of the island. GCBC has a Prestige car rental agency on the property ($25/day + $8/day liability insurance). Get a small car (automatic transmission with air conditioning) and visits to Marigot, Phillipsburg, Dawn Beach are highly recommended and worthwhile. Great scenery/great shopping. Parking? Find a pay lot ($5/day) and avoid the hassle of driving around for hours looking for a ‘free’ parking space. Above all else, watch your rear view mirrors – motorcyclists WILL roar around you on blind curves, and on hills with no regard to oncoming traffic. (I suspect their life expectancies are measured in hours if not in minutes, but it’s obviously part of the local scene which isn’t about to change).

In summation, if you’re looking for a quiet retreat with the opportunity to venture out and explore on your own, we can’t recommend GCBC highly enough. Are there ‘fancier’ places to stay on St Martin? A few. Do they offer the value, the relaxation, the friendly staff, and the proximity to numerous wonderful restaurants as does a stay at GCBC? I seriously doubt it.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank alwyr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,272 - 1,278 of 1,817 reviews

Reviewed 16 July 2010

The hotel was ok but had no charm and was too americanized to my taste: gated community with guards constantly patrolling, you need a card to go in or out of the property, fenced gated pool locked with use restricted to only certain times.
The continental breakfast at Sunset Cafe was cheap, not generous and average: a small basket tiny pastries, not enough butter, not enough jam, no yogurts, no fresh fruits ...I only mention it because that is what we received at L'hoste hotel in Orient bay which in comparison is a much better hotel.

90% of the guests are american. Personally I don't leave the US to be in an Americanized hotel with only americans...I guess the place is popular because it's high security and guests feel safe with guards patrolling...personally it kills the ambiance...

the pros: u get a bottle of wine &30$ gift certif at the boutique when u check in. the staff is friendly at front desk, at activities desk and at sunset cafe.
the loft or junior suite have a wonderful ocean view and is comfy.
when issues arised, the management was prompt to find solutions and fix it.

the cons: room cleaning is average. it depends if you get a good housekeeper I guess.
When we checked in, the room's floor and shower's floor had hairs from the previous guests. When we unfolded the couch bed it still had the sheets from the previous guests. Not impressive.
When snorkeling at the beach of the hotel there were gums, bottles, trashes left by guests..I'd rather see fishes.
it's walking distance from the center of Grand Case which is the only big plus to me.

I would not go back.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Fratacci
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gcbcmgr, General Manager at Grand Case Beach Club, responded to this reviewResponded 19 July 2010

I am so sorry that you were not charmed by us, as that is what we would like to do for each and all of our guests. Be assured that all that you have said is taken very seriously by us...one of the many reasons that year after year, we are blessed with a very high ratio of returning guests. We do have a large number of American guests, and we are honored to have them. They are discerning and have high standards. Add to that, the proximity and airlift to our island from North America, and there is little doubt that any successful hotel will have a high proportion of Americans. We also take our guests security seriously, as hospitality becomes minor if your guests are not or do not feel safe. We do our best to do that, and I think that we do it relatively unobtrusively and in a very welcoming fashion.
Your comments on our housekeeping will help us to do better, and please accept my apologies on not performing as well as we should have. As to the beach, ours and all others on St. Martin are public, and although we do what we can to be good citizens, there are times when tides may bring in detritus, or that the last beachgoers were not as tidy as the next ones would like.
The Continental Breakfast is our restaurants' interpretation of a light French "petit dejeuner", which can be as simple as a piece of wonderfully fresh French bread and coffee. We add to that a small freshly baked croissant and pain au chocolat, juice and tea. Yes, it is simple, but all guests have the option to add to it from the full breakfast menu, if they so choose.
I am honestly sad that you left un-charmed by us, as that certainly was not our intention, and I wish you great vacations and experiences wherever you may go.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2010

My friend and I just came back from our trip and I would highly recommend the Grand Case Beach Club. This was my first trip to St. Martin as well.

First, the resort is at the end of Grand Case, which is a small fishing village. We didn't have any trouble driving there (the island is small), but if you are driving, just be aware of your surroundings - people on bikes, scooters or pedestrians dart in and out.

Check-in was a breeze and they offered us a complimentary bottle of wine. Our request for two beds was accomodated and the room was clean and bathroom updated and nice as well. There was a small television with American channels in case you wanted to watch tv. There is also a small and clean and stocked kitchnette, so that was nice when we wanted to store some drinks and keep them cool.

The continentnal "breakfast" was just bread and a regular and chocolate croissant, plus juice and coffee .. since it is free, it was fine. The view every morning was amazing. There is really only one beach where you can lounge in a chair (on the right) and we had no problems getting a chaise. If you want anything, just raise the flag and they will come by (sometimes a little slowly).

We also did two activities from the on location activity center and the prices were very competitive with other activities (Sail around St. Martin and Water Skiing).

The grounds were very well kept and beautiful - I loved the tropical flowers. There was a complimentary reception for guests on the hill top terrace and that was a nice touch.

Overall, I would recommend Grand Case Beach club for its proximity to amazing fine dining, a beautiful, private beach and a very nice and relaxing resort.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with friends
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4  Thank jnva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2010

This was our first trip to the Carribean and boy was it beautiful! Loved the Grand Case Beach Club because its not big to the point where you have to reserve beach chairs with your towels! The beach was 25 yards from my room, always had chairs and not crowded the time of year we went. The Sunset Cafe restaurant was very convient and offered continental breakfast as part of the stay, which was great! The staff is very friendly and even kept the bar open a little later so that we could have a night cap! Having the restuarants nearby was a real plus! We had a rental car, but we just would walk to dinner every night as opposed to driving around in the dark on the island...everything was right there, so no need! There were security gaurds patrolling the hotel and on the streets, but unlike other islands, you could leave the hotel and travel around the island. Just have to use common sense to stay safe. We did venture out to the other big resorts (had a great massage at the new Raddison), but liked the cosziness and homey feeling of Grand Case Beach Club. The manager's dog and cat were also part of the scenary, which helped me get off my missing of my pooch! We would love to go again to St. Martin and we'd stay here again in a hearbeat!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank vandegi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2010

This was our first time to St. Martin so we purposely planned a short trip - you never know what you will find making reservations from the Internet and we had been disappointed in places in the past. Not to worry! GCBC looks just as good - if not better - than the photos on their website. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, there was helpful and friendly. They were even tolerant of my French! It is obvious that the resort is well maintained, from the guest rooms to the landscaping, and that is important to us. We enjoyed walking around the grounds; they are truly lovely. Not only do they give you a bottle of wine at check in, you can purchase wine at reception, too. Ours was $10. The food at the Sunset Cafe was as good as anything else we got on the island. Be careful walking into Grand Case. The town is not pedestrian friendly - the streets are very narrow, no sidewalks, and people drive fast (where are they going? It's an island?). I fell down in the street after failing to notice a big chunk missing from the asphalt, so extra caution when walking in Grand Case. The Lolos are not to be missed - excellent food and very reasonable prices. As others have noted, many restaurants will give you a 1/1 dollar/Euro exchange if you pay cash. Dollars are accepted everywhere, and you will receive your change in dollars, too. All in all a lovely resort and experience. We stayed in a studio with loft and the view was spectacular. Can't wait to come back!!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank scubababies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2010

we went to SMX for first time and stayed at GCBC. The property is lovely with its flowers and trees. Maids did a nice job cleaning everyday. My only complaint would be beaches are small and there was absolutely no entertainment AT ALL. Not even a guy strumming a guitar. Having said that, it was lovely.

Also, I don't recommend the loft. You cannot see ocean view from downstairs sliding doors. Just do a suite.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank tugtug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2010

I just returned last night from a five night stay there. Every bit of the GCBC lived up to my expectations and the positive reviews I had read. As a solo traveler I felt safe and comfortable there, but I did not feel totally safe walking into GC. For some reason, I felt that the first part of the walk felt a bit too isolated and quiet. (If I had not been alone, it would have been fine.) But that's what I loved about the hotel itself--a petite paradise and no real need to leave. The breakfast was deliciously French except for the coffee...very bland and flavorless, but hey, someone else made it for me so no serious complaints. It's easy to get meals to go from the cafe and they even deduct 20% if they don't have to deliver (lunch or dinner). They sell bottles of wine too. The first night I ate at the cafe and got seven (yes, I counted) huge mosquito bites on my legs. No one had warned me and I never saw or heard them. This was not part of the plan and it made the rest of my trip a bit uncomfortable. I should have known, I guess. I stayed in room 703 and it was perfectly lovely (although the volume on the TV was hard to adjust). There was an outdoor patio overlooking the garden. The only noises I heard were the young children in the room above who seemed to do a lot of running around but I couldn't hear their voices or other TV's or that sort of thing. The room was quiet other than that, and very nice for the price.

Highlights for me were reading under an umbrella on the beach and floating on my back in the most tranquil, clear, turquoise water I have ever seen. This was my first trip to the Caribbean and I just didn't know!...it IS what people say, and it IS what you seen on the photographs. I will be back just to float. It was uncrowded, it was quiet...I loved it. One day a black dog showed up and kept stealing peoples' shoes and then running off--begging for a chase...it was amusing and annoying for them, but mostly amusing (for me). Another highlight was the day trip to St. Barth's. We were a smallish group of about 12 and it was worth the price (about $175.). Here we were... sailing on a catamaran.... sipping rum punch and listening to classic 70's and 80's music, with some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen (and I have been to many continents). Wonderful. The trip included a mini-van tour of St. Barth's (my half of the group got the elderly French woman who merely said "there is the store, there is the post office," but it was still fun to see), and hour to shop then, after leaving port, a stop in a nearby bay to snorkel and have lunch (lovely). Those of us who jumped in got to swim with sea turtles!

Ended up with a wonderful taxi driver/tour guide named Sandrine. The front desk called her for me, and she showed up the first time for a trip to Marigot with her two young boys in the back seat as they needed to be dropped at her mother's in GC. I loved the casual, friendly tone of everyone I met during my stay. Sandrine is relatively new to taxi service, but I felt very comfortable with her at the wheel and thoroughly enjoyed meeting her two young boys and she seemed to be a very safe driver. The next day she took me on a 2.5 hour tour of the island ($70.) and I was able to get out at Orient Bay, Phillipsburg, etc. and walk for a bit, stop here and there as I wanted, and take photos. I asked her a great many questions which she answered thoughtfully. She also let me stop at a grocery store. I heard a bit about her family and that her grandfather used to pick salt on the island. Her father called during one trip to ask about soccer scores (sweet), and he also sent along a mango for me from one of his trees. It was delicious and sweeter for being offered from a local islander. I also arranged for her to take me to the airport. I highly recommend you ask the front desk to call Sandrine if you need taxi/driver. Prices are fixed and there are no meters in the cabs--just so you know. (A trip from GCBC to/from the airport is $30.)

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled solo
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8  Thank BijouxfromPasadena
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
Region: Caribbean > St Martin / St Maarten > Saint-Martin > Grand Case
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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: £159 - £368 (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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