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.
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- Also Known As:
- Guana Bay Beach Villas Hotel Philipsburg
- Guana Bay Beach Villas St. Maarten-St. Martin/Philipsburg