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Sapphire Beach Club Resort
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Reviewed 8 January 2014 via mobile

This place is NOT worth it. Service was non-existent: the worst was that there were NO TOWELS available during our 3 day stay. When we asked for towels for use at the pool, the gentleman at the front desk literally laughed and said none were available. This happened EVERY Day. It was weird.

In addition, we had to pay 11 dollars a day extra for internet, which was very unreliable.

Also, we ate breakfast there, and food was "not fit for humans" according to one of my friends.

So anyway, I wouldn't bother with this place. I'm sure you can find a better place...

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
6  Thank Venzyle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2014

This is my first review on TripAdvisor, and I am writing it b/c the truth needs to be told...

Yes, if you read a lot of the reviews about this resort you may become nervous about an upcoming stay (I was). However it is not as bad as some make it seem, although there are issues. I hope my review will ease your worries and help prepare you for your stay.

First, there is new management in-place but the old owner is still lurking around the property (unsure how the new ownership structure is working). The changes were quickly evident although I had never seen the property prior. The lobby has been redone and looks very nice. There is a new liquor store and souvenir store in the lobby with another retail space being prepared. The liquor store was not open when we were there as it appeared there was just a little more work needed to finish, but a decent liquor selection can be found in the market in the basement. If you are buying your own liquor either to drink during your stay or bring back from vaca in St Maarten you will receive the best prices in an outside liquor store/market, or in Phillipsburg where all the liquor stores compete with each others driving down the price.

The market downstairs contain basic necessities, cold drinks, ice cream, snacks, fresh bread, and even some items such as bottled water by the case. We found the market very useful as we traveled in a large group so we cooked large meals in the room every few nights.

Although the lobby has been redone, it is still nothing breathtaking but it is a nice area where people can sit (no TV's). There are cats that walk around and sleep on the premise, primarily in the lobby. I understand these to be the owners cats, both the brown and black cats were very nice and did not bother anyone. We didn't mind the cats at all, but apparently some people take concern with this.

Renting a car through the Thrifty in the lobby was easy. Just make sure you note the dings/dents/scratches on the car as every now and again, just like in the States, a car rental org will try to charge you for damage that you did not do.

On to the rooms and service...

The rooms are not five-star quality. They are simple and dated, but get the job done. In my opinion if you are going to the islands, the rooms are meant to sleep and hang out briefly. We spent no more than 2-3 hours other than sleeping in the rooms. We had 3 rooms in total, and each room was missing items such as some silverware, cups, toaster, and one didn't have a TV. Again, we are the type of people who made due and between the 3 rooms we had more than enough items to cook and eat. If I was in a single room without these items I would not have been happy. Our biggest frustration like everyone else was the lack of towels. They supplied us with enough bath towels but beach towels took a few days to get. The beach towels were brand new with tags on them still, apparently people don't return them. The bathrooms didn't have shower curtains, so the floor got wet and we needed extra bath towels to dry it up and use as a bath mat, it took a few days to receive this. Again this was inconvenient but we made do.

The rooms were not incredibly clean, and there were a few bugs and ants in the room. In my opinion, St Maarten is a 3rd world island and this was somewhat expected. Again this didn't bother us much as non of it was unbearable. The sheets were always clean, the beds were clean, the kitchen counter/sink was clean, and the bathroom was generally clean. Overall the rooms lacked amenities but got the job done, they were spacious and one of our rooms was upgraded with nice new chairs, couches, and tables. The 'beachfront' rooms had OK views and each had a hot tub on the balcony. We did not go in the hot tub due to the uncertainty of hygiene. Two of our 3 rooms were able to sleep 6. In these rooms there was a queen size bed, a pull-out couch, and a small room with either twin beds side by side or as bunk beds. The bunk bed room was small and definitely best suited for younger children.

The pool area is decent. The pool deck can be very slippery when wet, beware. Plenty of chaise's, but not many umbrella's. The bar was just redone with a nice adjoining Italian restaurant. The food at the restaurant was good and the owner was very nice. The bar is run by Dennis who is a great guy. He was knowledgeable on the island and was a great bartender. The food from the bar was good as well, and the pizza was a favorite. We are not the type of people to hang by the pool when there were such great beaches so close. But yes the pool did the job in the late afternoon, although it was nothing to marvel at it was nice.

The resort does not have a beach. There is cupecoy beach to the west, although this beach was small. There is no surf at cupecoy. Maybe on days with good swell and the right winds (not once during our stay) would cupecoy be rideable, but the break would be over rock and very sketchy. Cupecoy has fantastic sunsets.

Mullet bay beach was to the east and is at most a 5 minute walk, including cutting across one of the golf courses fairways. This beach is amazing. It overs a quieter area on the west side, and a busier area on the east side where lounge chairs can be rented and there are two food stands that serve basic bbq and alcohol. The beach is perfect for everyone.

Conclusion:
Sapphire is a decent place to stay in St Maarten. It is in a great location, Cupecoy is not overally crowded and is in close proximity to maho and phillipsburg. As we understand it the resort was a gem 10-15 years ago, and this is evident as it has not been updated not very much since. New ownership is beginning the healing process, they have revamped some rooms and are working on cleaning up the place. Ideas seem to be working including the retail space in the lobby, and the renovation of the bar/restaurant. The best idea so far was hiring Dennis as he seems to believe in the resort and has done an excellent job with his bar. Read more than my review to understand what some people found most troublesome, although in my opinion some people expect way too much. BRING beach towels and bath towels if you can fit them, may even be worth the extra $$ to bring an extra bag with these items so you don't have to deal with the headache. ENJOY THE SUNSHINE, WHICH MEANS YOU DONT SIT IN THE ROOM AND FIND ITEMS TO BE UPSET ABOUT. Cheers.

Room Tip: Bring towels Know what you are getting when you book Spend time outside!
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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18  Thank MustBeParadise22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2014

What a turn around from the old place. The new boutique and wine store in the foyer have been freshly renovated and the whole pool bar area has been painted white and blue over all that dark wood. It really lightens the whole place up.

Denis is doing a sterling job with the pool bar and the all-you-can-eat chicken and rib BBQ are very good - we had a plate of it on Saturday night and it was good.

They put on an excellent spread for New Year's Eve, with live music to get us out of the seats and dancing. We saw Mr. Skin playing at Peg Leg Pub on a previous occasion and he really is very good. The food included shrimp, prime rib, chicken dishes, salmon, a delightful scallop potato and an excellent lasagne. The deserts were a true delight.

I believe that they are opening two more restaurants on the property and building a casino in the basement.

As Sapphire is an older property, it has a lot more character than the newer, sterile-looking and -feeling places and has a lovely Caribbean feel to it. We, for one, are glad that there are new owners who are taking such care of the lovely old girl and bringing her back up to her former glory.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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9  Thank curioustravellerz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2013

Hi all, just got back last night from 8 days in St,Maarten. We own a timeshare Villa here and come every year or 2. The new owners started 2 months ago, and have already renovated the middle building, and doing some changes to the lobby by adding a liquor store, clothing boutique and some other room not decided yet. They are short on towels because people think they can take them home. They ordered 300 towels due in this week. The bar just opened on 12/20 as did the resturant. Dennis did a great job this week and I hope he can get some other great staff to support him there. Pizza, burgers, salads, chicken, ribs, great...but the most surprising thing was the real resturant that Chef Paolo opens in the evenings for Italian food....great pasta lemon shrimp...sounds simple but was AMAZING...we went back a second night and veal marsala was great!! Wish them luck.....

We all heard the same complaints, but it takes time and we will see. I will give them another year or two to turn this place around, but I believe it can happen. Most people dont know that
they can open a casino in the space under the pool....if that happens and they add the Sushi place and the French place for food, they might just be great!!

We didnt have much need for front desk, got towels on sunday and washed them in the villa each night to ensure we could get towels. Cleaning lady was nice and did a good job. Bugs still around, some mold on AC units...

Service rating is based on bar and pool area. The pool is basic and has plenty of louges, but few umbrellas. We usually spend one day here and some afternoons after a beach day.

Room Tip: rooms in center building are newly renovated...Villas are great with ocean views and pool on patio. Our 2 bedroom slept 5 most nights and one night we squeezed in 7. Be nice to the bar tender and you will have a blast.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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8  Thank Glen A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2013

No Beach towels at a Beach Resort for 5 days? Staff could care less. Lost power in the elevator. Staff could care less. No power in your room. Staff could care less. Never got a toaster that was supposed to be in the room. Wood deck on patio around hot tux was split and I almost fell off balcony. Maid could care less

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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5  Thank NQR4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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