My girlfriend and I had a wonderful romantic getaway in St. Barts in the second week of April. I deliberated long and hard between HBDA and another room priced similarly on St Jean Beach. It was really a question of location vs. quality of the room, and as the deluxe beach front room at HBDA was the same price as a lesser room at St Jean beach, I chose Hotel Baie Des Anges. At least our room did not disappoint! It was spotlessly clean, had nice thick walls, a pretty canopy bed, great water pressure, a decent kitchen area, and an awesome deck with MAGNIFICENT sunsets. I would say that the room was actually a bit larger than it appears in most of the web photos I viewed. The only drawbacks with the room were that one of the lights was not working, the a.c. seemed to have some programming issues, and the tv was not repaired until the last day we were there, although I certainly wouldn't have been watching tv anyway.
The hotel itself is on a beautiful, long stretch of soft sand beach. It was very peaceful and is also only a short pleasant hike to Colombier Beach which is also gorgeous and great for snorkeling. I would say that out of six of the eight days we were there, the water was great for swimming with nice waves, but on perhaps two of the days it was a bit too rough. After having seen both Flamands Beach and St Jean Beach, I would have opted for St Jean as It really felt like the epicenter of the island and had a livelier vibe. My girlfriend felt strongly that Flamands was the better choice as it was longer, had a better quality of sand , and is more private.
The primary problem we had with Hotel Baie Des Anges was the comically poor quality of service provided by most of the staff at the hotel. I paid for a deluxe room which included a continental breakfast each morning. Although this was supposed to come with the room, we were REQUIRED to fill out a card each day with our breakfast order for the follwing morning. The simple breakfast of coffee, juice, bread, and croissants was supposedly "made to order", so they apparently needed advance notice for this complicated meal. We got off pretty easy the first day we forgot about the card. There was a mild scolding by the waitress, but then she charitably brought us the basket and our drinks. The next day my girlfriend dared to sit down w/o us having filled out the card; "I TOLD you yesterday to fill out the card", we were admonished by our moody server who then brought us our sub Holiday Inn Express meal in a cloud of pique and indignation with a side of scorn for the croissants. Well, we made sure we filled it out the card for the next day and even added some bacon and fruit in attempt at appeasement. During our breakfast the following day, I foolishly lost sight of the coffee pot on the table and asked for more coffee. This was not a smart move. A shocked and bewildered stare, followed by "Your coffee is right there on the table, uhh, maybe you drink too much last night?" while getsuring with her hand like someone guzzling a bottle. Haha, what a riot. So we alternated between filling out the card, forgetting all about it while we were enjoying the island, and just avoiding breakfast all together. The final morning of our stay we had filled out the card the day before and sat down for our meal, then Miss Sunshine comes over to the table with an order pad and asks us what we would like for breakfast! So my girlfriend told her we would like some croissants for a change, and I ventured to say some coffee please, and umm, (sheepishly) "I did put some bacon on the card yesterday..." "oh! that's why I asked you what you wanted!" as she storms off in a huff. We try never to be rude, but all we could do was laugh, and then laugh some more!!
The other surprising thing was that on the third day of our stay I asked the owner directly if there was any laundy service. She seemed surprised by the question, but said she would have to call the girl and would let me know. I passed her in the driveway the next day, and she said "oh, I will let you know about the laundry" , but then we never heard another word about it. If they didn't offer that service it wouldn't have been a big deal, but we gathered up our clothes that we might have otherwise gotten more wear out of and threw them in a bag as they seemed to be indicating that there was in fact some kind of service.I realize that HBDA is somewhat residential in nature, and I was not expecting Four Seasons style service, but I feel a simple request like this at least merited a response.
Something else to be aware of is that the deluxe room package comes with a rental car, which sounds great, but the car we received was an underpowered micro Hyundai which barely made it up the steep and treacherous mountains of the island. The tranny was cooked in the one they initially provided us with, so after a couple of days I returned it saying that I did not feel that it was safe. After a long argument with the rental agent, he relented and gave me the same model car, which while still weak and cheezy, at least seemed to be in better repair and was better on the hills. Oh, you do ABSOLUTELY need a car if you are staying in Anse De Flamands, and be aware that the roads and the St Barts motorists are c-r-a-zy!
So I would have to say that this lovely little hotel was marred by only by poor service, but we certainly didn't let it spoil our fun. To be fair there was one young girl at the front desk who went out of her way to be freiendly and helpful with directions, but even while checking out the morose girls at the reception desk (including our charming breakfast waitress) couldn't even muster a "thank you, and I hoped you enjoyed your stay" Again, I realize this is not a five star hotel and is a bargain for this island, but it still cost thousands of dollars for a week's stay. Surprising and somewhat dissppointing based on all the rave reviews.
- Also Known As:
- Baie Des Anges Hotel
- Baie Des Anges Gustavia
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on Flamands Bay, one of Saint Barth’s most breathtaking beaches, the charming Hotel Baie des Anges welcomes couples, families, and reflects the ambiance and serenity of the island. Facing the Ocean, the 10 studio-apartments are decorated in blue, green and white, in perfect harmony with the sea. They all offer comfort and modern conveniences : fully equiped kitchenette on the balcony (including fridge and mini-oven). ... more less