There are so many places to stay in St Maarten/ St Martin, but there really isnt anywhere on the island like Grand Case Beach Club. It really has the best location for relaxation and dining.
If you want to stay on the French Side,have beachfront, peace and tranquility, and want to be away from the traffic, crowds ,high rises and timeshares on the Dutch Side, but you do not need a luxury hotel or the fanciest room available,and want to be within walking distance of some of the best restaurants you have even been to, then you must go to the Grand Case Beach Club.
GCBC is small, quiet, well manicured, has decent rooms, very good service,a very good restaurant ,a small but quiet and relaxing beach... all the basics that you would want for a beach getaway. The rooms are not as "high end" as some of the other hotels close by like the Esplanade, but the Esplanade is not beachfront. It is up the hill and is quite a hike up and down to go to the beach or to walk downtown. Le Petite Hotel 's rooms are more upscale and are beachfront,but there is no on site restaurant, and no pool..( not that the pool is anything special at GCBC, it isnt...) and the rooms there do not have full kitchens like GCBC.
If you want a nice pool, then GCBC is not for you. The pool there is merely an afterthought.
The Beachfront hotels at Orient Bay are not truly beachfront, and there is a much more crowded feel over at the Alamanda, Esmerelda, Palm Court or Carribean Princess...( all very nice, "very French" places...)
You can drive to Orient beach in 10 min from Grand Case if you want to be in the middle of the action,, do some people watching, walk around the Village, do a little shopping , have lunch, or Jet ski. I prefer the quiet of Petite Plage over the hoards of cruise ship passengers dropped off by the bus load fighting for chairs that are stacked in rows so close together that you cant breath.. That is not a relaxing day at the beach .I suggest that you go to Orient in the afternoon, have lunch, have a few drinks at one of the many beach bars ( Palm Beach is nice) , but then retreat to the tranquility of GCBC. Orient is a place that I can only take for a couple of hours at a time, not for an entire vacation.
The Radisson Blu in Anse Marcel is very nice, and although it really is not that far from either Orient or Grand Case it's location is pretty isolated, and it is not a fun drive at night on those narrow, twisting, turning roads to go out to dinner in Orient or Grand case, especially after a few drinks or a bottle of wine.
The rooms at GCBC have full kitchens, so you can make breakfast and coffee, as well as a few lunches to save a few bucks so you can splurge at night at one of the many great restaurants down the road. There is a decent grocery store right outside Grand Case at Hope Estate, right on the main road toward Orient Bay.Buy sodas, water, breakfast stuff,snacks, booze and you will be set for the week.Lunch at the Sunset Cafe, or get take out from the lolos and bring it back to the hotel...
It is an easy walk down to the center of town from the hotel where you will have the choice of several great restaurants for dinner. Spiga, Le Pressoir, Auberge Gourmande, Bistrot Caraibes, Le Tastevin, La Villa, Piazza Pascal, Le Cottage as well as the Lolos are all right there.... and some fun bars like Calmos Cafe and Blue Martini . Walking down the Blvd can be a little treacherous at night because there are no sidewalks and it gets pretty dark in spots, but it felt very safe to us.If you don't feel like walking you can drive and park in one of the two lots near the middle of town and most restaurants will reimburse you for the cost.
The Sunset Cafe at GCBC is also very good for all meals if you stay on the property.
The guys at watersports desk are OK to deal with. One of them was an idiot, but the other 2 guys that I dealt with were fine.They can arrange all sorts of trips for you right there, such as a snorkeling trip out to Creole Rock, a day sail to St Barths or Anguilla plus you can take out a kayak or get floating mats at no cost.
The southernmost "beach" area right in front of most of the rooms is not really a beach at all, because the water essentially comes right up to the wall... but this is a very good calm area to swim... It is like a huge salt water pool... very little wave action. In this area, most people will sit on the chairs in the grass area at the top of the wall in front of their rooms. Plenty of areas of sun and shade.
The beach at Petite Plage is next to the Sunset Cafe and is a short walk from any room at the hotel. It is facing Creole Rock, and the water has a bit more wave action, but is still relatively calm water. It is never crowded even when the hotel is full. You do not have to run down to claim a chair with your towel at 7 am. There always were plenty of chairs, and umbrellas, and they do provide beach service for food and drinks.
Beautiful sunsets..Of course , you have to stop by at the Sunset cafe for a drink and catch the sunset after you have showered and are ready to go out to dinner.
The rooms have been re done, and are comfortable, and functional... not fancy. The AC worked, the kitchen was equipped , the TV worked well, The Wi Fi worked fine for us ,the bed was firm and comfortable.... The cleaning staff provided us with extra towels that we requested. The place is safe, and guarded. To gain entry to the grounds you must be a guest, or ask for the gate to be unlocked by buzzing the front desk.
I have stayed at more upscale beachfront resorts and hotels, but GCBC is my favorite. It is not very expensive, and the hotel and location has everything that I am looking for on a beach getaway.
Go for the oceanfront room...There are privacy issues if you are on the first floor since people are...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC