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“Old-school charm in paradise”

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Guana Bay Beach Villas
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Old-school charm in paradise”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2012

This is our second trip to St. Maarten and first time renting at Guana Bay. I was very apprehensive at first after booking our villa and reading reviews. We were traveling with our kids, 2.5 years and 9 months.

PROS - Very quiet, easy access to two beautiful beaches, amazing cross breeze, huge deck, clean pool, loved the second bedroom on the second floor with king bed and own tv - gave us a nice break as my 2.5 year old would play up there by himself, and daily maid service (expect Sundays). Literally right on the beach, so hear the waves crashing. Beautiful sunrises (are kids were up early!). There were plenty of others renting units, so even though its off the beaten path its not isolated. Upon entering Guana Bay road, cute little convience store to get your most basic needs (i.e. water, beer, ice cream). No traffic traveling to the French side of the island.

CONS - The units are very tired. It all depends on what your standards are and what you can tolerate. You are in paradise afterall and the villa just served as a home base. I'm unsure how often our owner goes down and I felt like they rent it out, wait for complaints so they know what to fix. When we arrived neither of the TV's were working - so we left a note for the maid since we didn't meet her the first day. They got fixed immediately. Pro is the kitchen has everything you need which is also a con since there was no place to store the dry goods we brought. Plus we didn't want to leave much on the kitchen counters since there was ant/bug poison along the walls, kitchen counter and at least four raid traps on the floor in the kitchen. This made me nervous since my baby was already crawling and puts EVERYTHING in his mouth. We just had to be more vigiliant. The place was decorated with so many pillows, fake flowers and wicker furniture - all dust collectors. I rearranged the living room, kitchen and bedrooms - putting away all the extras (i.e. dust collectors) that I knew we wouldn't be using or would get dirty with two kids. My husband touched one of the three ceiling fans which was COVERED in dust, even though we had daily maid service. Found a dead cockroach under the bed as we pulled out the baby's pack and play. Stray dogs that roam the beach - my 2.5 year old was TERRIFIED of the dogs, but learned to be less frightened by the end of our trip. There is no oven - which I realized after buying a frozen pizza. My husband cooked it on the grill, which was leaking propane so we asked to get it fixed so we could sit outside with the kids while my husband cooked. The beaches aren't clean - lots of seaweed. Also there use to be a beach bar, which closed down a year ago. Abandoned construction right next door. We heard they were building a Casino, but now its just a half-completed building.

We found a cockroach on the second to last day of our trip crawling in our dishrack all over my baby's bottles, baby toys and baby utensils. We would open the two sliding glass doors and kitchen window (which don't have screens) to get a good cross breeze - we assumed the cockroach was an isolated incident and came through the kitchen window - so we didn't open it again and just ran the AC units more (there are 3 separate untis, one in each bedroom). Needless to say, this pretty much confirmed we won't be staying in Guana Bay Beach Villas again as I threw away all the baby's toys, bottle accesories, baby utensils that were in the drying rack. We do love St. Maarten though and prefer being were the crowds aren't. Our favorite beaches are Grand Case, Friar's Bay, Le Galion and Baie aux Prunes. With 37 beaches there is still a lot more to explore.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
8 Thank aquaswim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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41 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2012

Upon reading preceding reviews I was very apprehensive. However, the villa was a pleasant surprise. Guana Bay beach Villas are located in a very quiet residential area of Sint Maarten and are accessible only by car. Accommodations are spacious and well appointed. Decor is a bit dated but villa was very clean. Full size kitchen and large sun deck were added bonus. Guana Bay is one of the smaller and less developed beaches, which is perfect if one is looking for a bit a seclusion. However, if you are in search of a resort vacation, it is not the place. The beach lacks any amenities, which is not a problem as it is steps form the villa. I have to note that if the person has limited mobility this inconvenience might be a deal-breaker. In general, if you are looking for a place to sleep and have a lazy vacation, this arrangement might work. If you are looking for an active vacation or resort-style accommodations, look elsewhere, Car is a must!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank YannaR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2011

We've travelled to many Caribbean islands over the last 30 years but none we like better than St. Martin. Dominica is adventurous but rustic, Puerto Plata is organized but loud, St Lucia is laid back and picturesque while Costa Rica is both lush and exciting...but we keep coming back to St. Martin. With 37 beautiful palm tree fringed beaches, too many jewellers to count and many exciting dining choices available, there is something for everyone on St. Martin. You can haggle over diamonds on Front Street in Philipsburg or work on your 'no-tan lines' look on Orient Beach, there is always something to do for daytime relaxation. For your evenings, you can view Anguilla from the deck at Il Nettuno Restaurant in Grand Case and enjoy a specialty, Linguine con vongole verace (Linguini with littleneck clams in a delicious white wine sauce) or walk a little futher to the Lolos, commonly called the 'chicken shacks' and try their fish, ribs and chicken BBQ, prepared the local way. We stay at Guana Bay Villas overlooking St. Bart's. A quiet yet convenient location for our home base as we tend to move around during the day to take in all of what this beautiful island has to offer.

Room Tip: All 2 bedroom suites come with a balconey that overlooks the pool and St. Bart's so I would reco...
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  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank write_stuff_2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2011

I just want to say that my fiance and my parents travelled here last month and I too was hesitant to go with all the negative comments online that are posted. However, I must say that I was very impressed with the place. I was expecting a dump. It was very clean and spacious and I loved it. It has two floors so my fiance had our own little getaway spot up there. The pool was absolutely gorgeous overlooking the ocean. The view was incredible, though it's not safe to swim in guana bay, the beaches were great to walk. And there are SO many other great beaches to explore by car. We were all very impressed. Though it may not be a 5 start resort, it was still very clean and accomodating. I would rate it definately an upscale 3 1/2 to 4 for sure! Also, the owners were absolutely great. Very kind and welcoming and helpful. Definately need a car to get around and enjoy the island. We had a great time!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank larissa072
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Markham, Canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2011

If you are interested in a quiet vacation, fantastic sun rises, the sound of the waves hiding the coral rock, not fighting the crowds for a lounge chair at the pool, then Sint Maartin’s Guana Bay Beach Villas should be added to your list of want to visit destination. You will need a car so that you can visit one or more of the 37 beaches each day, or go on one of the many boat excursions(snorkelling, sunset cruises) or out for a quiet dinner, or just a drive around the island or just relax by the pool. The rooms are big and overlook the ocean.

On your arrival, you are met by Max (the Manager) or one of his 3 Boys, who will check you in. Monday is Barbeque night (Cooked by Max) and an opportunity to meet the other guests. (Ribs, Chicken. Baked Potato and Salad for $12.00 per adult). Your daily routine can start with a morning walk on the beach to see the morning sunrise or watching it come up from your 14’ x 14’ deck(if you are an early riser), then breakfast in your unit, then off to a beach, then back to your unit for a swim in the pool, then out to dinner at Mark’s (all you can eat ribs), Greenhouse(happy hour 4-7) or Chesterfields. All located within 10 minutes of the Villas.
Guana Bay Beach Villas has 20 units ( 18-2 Bedrooms, 1–1 Bedroom and 1 Studio) – of which 12 units are privately own and the other 8 are GEO Timeshare units. The villas are located right on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean about 10 minutes from Phillipsburg where you can get fantastic deals on jewellery for your better half. All 2 Bedroom units have a view of one of Sint Maartin’s 37 Beaches (150 yard walk from your unit, the ocean and the sunrise.
For the best deal on Jewellery, we would suggest that you visit Manu at Caribbean Gems or his brother Deepu at Zhaveri Jewellers,both are located on Front Street in Philipsburg.
With all the reviews that I had been reading about St. Maarten re: safety, muggings, petty theft etc. I must disagree with a lot of what has been said, we have been visiting St. Maarten and the Guana Bay Resort for many, many years. The main roads are in great shape, the government continues to repair and fix potholes as the do many North American cities. Many of the secondary roads are the responsibility of the individual homeowners groups. The repaying of the main Guana Bay roads leading into the villas has recently completed. The Dutch Government has been installing roundabouts to improve traffic flow on the Dutch side and creating more parking space on the Salt Pond. We have not experienced any problems at all, no fear of walking around, the people were very friendly. Of course we take care in not being too flashy and do not leave things in our car and we lock our doors at night, just remember to act like you would at home while on vacation: Lock your doors, don’t leave things in your car especially at the many beaches.

Come, enjoy yourself at Guana Bay Villas in Sint Maartin.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
21 Thank workerbee2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
toronto
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2011

With all the reviews that I had been reading about St. Maarten re: safety, muggings, petty theft etc. I was dredding our trip to St. Maarten and also Guana Bay Resort. To my surprise and pleasantly so, we had a great trip, inspite of sleeping lightly the first night as we were sure there would be problems. We rented a car from Mickey at Tropicana Car Rental, no problems there, would recommend him to anyone travelling to St. Maarten. The roads were fine, none of those potholes that we read about, the places we visited we had no problems at all, no fear of walking around, the people were very friendly. Of course we took care in not being too flashy and keeping all our shopping in our car, just basic sensible steps.
The GEO resort we stayed at in Guana Bay, not one complaint. The rooms were clean, Max was very accommodating and on the ball with any requests we had. The only thing was the phone which didnt work for us. There is a public phone on the property which doesnt work too. The beach was great, but not for weak swimmers like me, so I just splashed about and walked on the beach which was never crowded like some of the other ones.
Food was great, fresh fish and variety of indian, caribbean, creole, french - just great. It turned out to be a most pleasant experience and we will not hesitate to go back to that resort.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank jdsilva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grafenwohr, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2011

First of all the pictures on the website are very decieveing, taken from certain angles that do not relect the true picture of this place. While the veiw from our balcony was very nice everything else was dreadful. Roaming dogs, unkept landscaping, villas falling apart etc. We stayed in unit #7, while the inside was nice and charming, the toilet seat was broken so when my wife sat down she almost hit her head on the sink. The TV in the living room was broken and had no reception (no biggie, i did not go to watch tv), we had ants in the kitchen the second day. Never met the onsite manager, his son gave me the key and that was it, i raised issues but never got an answer. While were sleeping on our 4th or 5th night the condo was broken into and our laptop along with all our cash was stolen, when i reported it to the managers wife (again i could not find the manager) she said and i quote "well i had nothing to do with it" so we packed our bags and went to a hotel in simpson bay!! when i turned the keys into the managers wife again she said "you are leaving and i said yes we were robbed in our sleep and i have a 4 y/o daughter, then she said ok whatever bye!!" Stay as far away from here as you can!!!!

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
19 Thank gpatte6424
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Guana Bay Beach Villas

Property: Guana Bay Beach Villas
Address: Guy Estates, Philipsburg, St. Maarten-St. Martin
Region: Caribbean > St. Maarten-St. Martin > Sint Maarten > Philipsburg
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 6 Speciality Lodging in Philipsburg
Hotel Class:3 star — Guana Bay Beach Villas 3*
Number of rooms: 16
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Also Known As:
Guana Bay Beach Villas Hotel Philipsburg
Guana Bay Beach Villas St. Maarten-St. Martin/Philipsburg

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