More about Flamingo Beach Resort
The Flamingo met all of our needs...
As compared to others we saw, the Flamingo Beach Resort was quite nice. The staff was friendly, the accommodations roomy (no carpet in units, so lots of sand, unless you pay $7/day for maid service). We did not eat there- always went outside the resort. We loved the view of the Bay. We never had trouble parking. The water pressure was the awesome (I realize this is menial, but it helped to refresh after the sun and sand). The resort felt safe at all times. I heard the massage at this resort was one of the best, though I didn't try it- name is ESPI, I believe. The sister resort- Royal Palm- was much newer. I am sure it was more expensive. If you stay at Flamingo, you'll get a complimentary gym pass to Royal Palm...you might even be able to spend the day there. They are not far from one another. Both are near a strip of restaurants, and only 3 miles from the airport. For local eats/drinks, I recommend Sunset Beach Bar and Grill, Pineapple Pete, Hot Tomatoes.
What a wonderful vacation
We stayed at the Sunterra Flamingo Beach Resort 12/11-12/18 and had a wonderful time. We traded our timeshare for a week at this very relaxing resort. From the time we checked in until the time we checked out the staff was wonderful. Everyone was very friendly and did what they could to accommodate our needs.
We had a studio unit on the first floor right on the beach. We had a king size bed, kitchenette and living room with a large balcony (with a table, four chairs and a lounge chair). We could sunbathe from the balcony and on Sunday we actually pulled the TV to our window so we could watch football while we were in the sun.
The food at the beach bar grill was great and each day they had a happy hour from 5-6pm. Because we had the kitchen (which had all the supplies we needed - including a dishwasher), we were able to shop and eat some meals in.
They do not have a very large beach, but the water is very calm - and such a beautiful shade of blue. (We went over to Orient Beach to enjoy a bigger beach with waves.) There were people there of all ages - very friendly - and we had a great time going to dinner with some of our new friends. Room service did an outstanding job cleaning our room - especially with all of the sand we brought in from the beach. The hotel room is in need of a little updating, but nothing that detracted from our visit. But having the beachfront access made this an excellent choice.
A couple other trip notes - I would definitely recommend renting a car while you are there to take advantage of all of the nice restaurants in the area. You could walk, but it is about a mile to the main road and after a really good meal you may not want to walk the hilly road to get back to the resort. It was also nice for touring the island. Roundtrip to Orient Beach would have cost $60.
We ate most of our dinners out. We would highly recommend the Boathouse (the "Have It All" was awesome) and Bamboo Bernies (the sushi was awesome and the ribs just fell off the bone) for dinner. Stay away from Pineapple Pete's - the food was overpriced and not that good. The lobster was very good at Lee's but the Mahi Mahi was disappointing. Go into Phillipsburg for a great breakfast at Kangaroo Court and then stop by at DK Gem International and ask for Deepti or Raj. With all of the jewelry shops on the island (and after buying jewelry on other islands) we were very impressed with the quality at this store and the family who ran it.
We were very happy on the Dutch side of the island. We thought the people were friendlier and were more willing to serve you - even though everyone is on island time. The one down side is that the traffic is awful on the main road from the airport (over the bridge) and in Phillipsburg.
There was an unusual amount of rain while we were there, so we did end up with some bug bites that turned into welts the next day. Remember to bring some bug spray with deet. Wearing pants in the evening helped as well.
We had an excellent vacation. Feel free to send us a note with any questions - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Booked the Sunterra through our timeshare exchange program in May/2004. Previously stayed at the Atrium (minutes apart) and liked the Simpson Bay/Maho area. This definately has a faster pace than other areas and overall not quite as picturesque (if we wanted Gilligans Island, we'd go there). The resort has a somewhat small beach area. The beach continues to the resort next door to give it an overall larger feel. The water is calm (it's in a small cove - great for swimming). The beach is cleaned every morning. The staff will bring the lounge chairs to your spot on the beach along with an umbrella (the palapa's? are snapped up quickly). The pool is on the other side of the resort with a very, very small beach - great to get away from the main beach and for a change of scenery.
There is a bar/restaurant for the basics (breakfast is great), but dining out is a must (it should be, why stay in St Martin to eat at the resort). A few resorts are minutes walking distance to use their restaurant if you like (we didn't). A few minutes by car to several restaurants that have great food - mostly casual to moderate (some slightly upscale but not like the French side). From pizza/pasta (Hot Tomatoes - great looking reataurant over the lagoon) to fish (Lee's Roadside Grill - extremely casual in plastic chairs/tables under a huge tent) to steaks (Peg Leg Pub).
The rooms were clean - a little old in need of upgrading (Miami Vice pastel 20 years old). The staff was helpful and cheerful. Some people complained but they sounded to tight to begin with (those are the people who complain at everything - hey it's an island not the Hilton, relax and enjoy).
Overall it was an above average resort - 3.5 - 4 out of 5
Honeymoon, could have been better
We arrived 11:00 pm Sunday night and just wanted to check in and get to be after a long week. First, the first 2 rooms we tried to get into were occupied. Then, we got there and looking out the back door we saw a chain link fence, 15 foot wall and 2 air conditioners. Next the room smelled like smoke. Know that the NIGHT counter guy couldn't do a whole lot we waited until morning to try to make our honeymoon something more like we thought it might be.
Talking to SIMONE and the front check in desk, I told her my situation. After some looking and telling her we were leaving Saturday afternoon she found us another room. This wasn't just another room, it was the PENTHOUSE SUITE, the only problem was it wasn't clean. People before us had a Super Bowl party in it and was very dirty. Finally late Monday night we got into it and it was cleaner. Tuesday was the start to a well deserved vacation/Honeymoon. After that it was fairly night other than a loud rattle of a Air Conditioning fan on top of the master bedroom that was never fixed after 5 phone calls to the front desk.
We found many things to do on the island and we had a blast. Snorkeling, boating, lot's to eat and great shopping. I think after it all was over we would have done it again, even at Sunterra.
Simone saved our HONEYMOON.
No room at the inn
We traveled to St. Martin for what we thought would be a holiday of our dreams. Arriving at the Flamingo Beach Hotel after a long and tiring journey from England we just wanted to check in and relax. The holiday had been booked twelve months in advance through Sunterra. We were asked to wait for about an hour when we arrived to then be told there were no rooms available for the two weeks we were staying and we'd just have to make do that night and be relocated in the morning. We agreed to this plan although not at all happy. After gazing at an amazing arrangement of dusty artificial flowers for the best part of the wait we were apprehensive of what may be coming next! True enough the room allocated was adequate somewhat tired and shabby with almost a sea view. The following day we were allocated an even worse room with a splendid view over the car park and the fantastic noise of screaching car brakes and car alarms. Rather far from the dream of a beautiful sea view and listening to the waves lapping on the rocks. Although we voiced our complaints and they did come and repair a number of items in the room to make it functional, it was still poor quality. The beaches were packed and full of litter. There were a few people we met that were helpful but we felt very uncomfortable with the general ethos of the palce and indeed changed our flight to return earlier. We rate this as one of the worst holiday we have had, a real dissapointment.
Visiting the Caribbean during hurricane season is a bit crazy, but we were forced to use a travel gift certificate by December,so...
THE RESORT: comfortable, but not fancy. It was very clean, and as previously reported, there were NO BUGS! The people that work there were very accommodating and very nice. The beach was very quiet, and there was an older crowd (retirees), but it was very relaxing. The beach bar had good food, and we are beer drinkers, so drink prices did not negatively affect us. For that matter, beer is very cheap on St. Martin (Dutch or French side). We found that in most places soda was $2, as was the beer! I recommend that you drink lots of water, as it was very hot there!
THE ISLAND: Overall there are no really fancy resorts on the island that we could see. It is a poor island, and they make it almost impossible to find the beaches, which are very beautiful! Be aware that the French side of the island is where you will encounter topless sunbathers, although people on the Dutch side were not too shy either. We skipped Orient Beach (French), as I am not into that, but it is supposed to be the most beautiful of all the beaches.
The water is gorgeous! We traveled to different beaches to snorkel, but I hear that the best place to do that is Saba. You need to take a boat trip there, and that is scheduled for certain days, which we were unable to take advantage of. Check out all activity schedules when you get there!
RENT A CAR! We rented after 2 days of paying taxi fares, and it was well worth it! My husband and I had more fun driving around the island, discovering the shops and the beaches! Phillipsburg (Dutch) shopping area was under construction, but we could still walk through all of the shops (a number of shops were closed for vacation during the time we were there). We managed some really good deals on jewelry because the hurricanes prevented the cruise ships from entering port. We only shopped briefly in Marigot (French). It did not impress me, though we did find a few unique items in an open air market they had set up at the time.
FOOD: We did not eat any place fancy. We went for a casual vacation. There was an Indiana Jones style restaurant at the bottom of the hill from the resort.(You can walk to it without having to go onto the main road) The food was very good, and the portions were very good, but the service was slow. We also ate breakfast at the Barefoot Cafe on the beach in Phillipsburg. The food was excellent, including the coffee, and the service was great. The owner was on the premises greeting people and making sure everything was okay. We actually went back another day for breakfast, and they do serve lunch and dinner.
Overall, we had a great trip. My husband and I have been married nearly 14 years, and this was our first real trip alone since our children were born (over 12 yrs!). We went to spend time together, not for a spa/luxury vacation. I would probably not go back there, but we had a good time. We both agreed that we were spoiled by spending our honeymoon at Caneel Bay in St. John. If you can afford it, or if you can wait and save some more money, that is the trip to take. St. John is a lush, well-manicured tropical paradise. You can take a day trip to St. Thomas to shop duty-free,or even take a boat trip to The Baths (goregeous beach with caves/rock formations) on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. We have decided to save for that! Anyway-the trip is what YOU make of it!
A bit disappointed
We have owned our timeshare for years and trade it every year to try out new vacation spots and have usually had great luck. I was really looking forward to staying on St. Martin and at the Flamingo based on pictures and the positive reviews. This is the first time that I really felt bias for not being owners at a resort. This resort has some great beachfront rooms (and you can tell exactly who are the long-term owners here in the reviews), but if you are not one, you will likely be stuck way in the back up on a hill up several flights of stairs like we were (long hike to the beach). We stayed with two young children (4 and 1), and to say it was inconvenient to be stuck in the room we were in would be an understatement (think of all the equipment plus carrying the kids). The resort does not promise a beachfront room, and you will most likely not get one unless you are an owner in the resort or the resort happens to be very empty. Management led us on about switching us to a different room by telling us "check back" which we did the whole week to no avail. We were trying to switch to something at least closer to the beach or at least on a lower level, but they could not accomodate us. The room was disappointing. The kitchen and family room were nice (we saved lots of $$ and hassle cooking in often), but the bedroom had no windows and was pitch black except for flourescent lighting which gave it a really yucky feel. In fact, the whole room had flourescent lighting. The building had no elevator, as previously mentioned, and had four levels and was located up on a hill. I could barely see the ocean if I really leaned over the balcony. On a postive note, the pool was nice, and the beach was also very pretty, if not a bit rough for those with young kids like us (but there are other great beaches for kids around). The write-up also says you do not need a car, but we felt we definitely did need a car and were very happy we rented one. The people on the island and at the Flamingo are extremely friendly. There are some absolutely gorgeous beaches on the island. The butterfly farm was a huge hit with my four-year old daughter - we ended up going back almost every day (you pay once and come back as often as you like for the week). We took the ferry to the Pinel Island which was our absolute favorite - it was gorgeous and perfect for kids. Overall we had a good trip, but, again, I was disappointed with the Flamingo.
Well, I have to say Flamingo is not the resort it used to be. I used to own a timeshare there and now, I'm glad I don't anymore. I went there in May to use up a week.
The Pros: It is a decent hotel depending upon your expectations. Generally it will suit most needs if assumpiton is to be out of the room most of the time. It is close to the action spots on this island (i.e. movie theatre - new,
good restaurants, easy to get to from airport, close to either Marigot or Phillipsburg. Room overlooked the pool - which is somewhat nice and relatively "new" - i.e. updated recently.
The Cons: Well, the first whif of amonia through the door will let you know they do clean. The daily maid service is now free - they used to charge for it. The rooms could use an overhaul - becoming dated and beaten up. The air condition broke (would not operate consecutively) even after 3 attempts - service man was only good for throwing circuit breaker. The internet access is dial-up - pathetic. There is a place down the road about 2 minutes that offers cable modems for those who need to check on items back home. Service was slow at the front desk.
Well, if I had to choose another hotel - I would. There are many newer hotels (or timeshares) which are more current and not so beaten up.
We went to Aruba in Dec and decided to go to St. Maarten in January There was no comparison. Needless to say we'll be going to St. Maarten again and again! It was absolutely wonderful.....so many things to do and the day trips are fun!, wonderful places to eat (casual! and good prices) The shopping was fun! The beaches were relaxing and so many to choose from. rates were great from the price of alcohol to food to shopping.......... the booze cruise ($10.00) was a blast! I can't say enough about the island and I can't wait to return in 2006. The Flamingo Resort was great also! veru friendly, relaxing and happy hour was great in the teeke hut! Beautiful beach and ocean view.......It was the best vacation we had ever taken.
Le Charolais Restaurant, at Maho
Great experience, Great people and Great Food.
We definitely recommend Le Charolais to anyone visiting Sint-Maarten for
it is an experience to be shared.
street in Sint Maarten
Philipsburg, St. Maarten