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St. Maarten resorts, thinking of buying

Jameson18

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Any recommendations on wehre to buy. I am thinking of purchasing a couple of weeks and would like some advice. I checked out the Pelican Resort but it rated fairly low (6.95) compared to others. Not looking for very expensive location, we currently own in Cancun at the Royal Resorts and would like to get something similar. Any ideas, thanx.:rolleyes:
 

brother coony

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The Oyster Bay Beach Resort, marine side is great, its on Dawn beach, nice white sand beach, two resturants, nice friendlt staff,
top rated by 11
 

stmartinfan

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Divi Little Bay, St. Maarten
Do you have any preferences for where on the island you'd like to be? While it's a small place, driving across the island for beaches and dinners can be a pain. We like Divi, because of the accommodations, pools, on-site beach and more private layout, while I know others prefer to be located more in the center of activities like the Maho area.
 

Blondie

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Pelican is having financial/managerial issues and maint fees there are very high. Royal Palm is nice and most all units are two bedroom and all are ocean front. We have owned at both but sold as maint went up. Oyster bay is nice bue very far out and you must have a car. SXM is not a hard trade so we have traded in. Of all I like La Vista best.
 

dchilds

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I would check out the different resorts and see what you like. We own three weeks at Pelican Resort, and our only issue has been the increase in maintenance fees. Some resorts have higher and some have lower fees. The maintenance fees are still lower than hotel rooms and anything but distressed last minute rentals.

Pelican is the largest resort on the island with 342 units, so you will find the best selection there. There are many weeks that don't even sell for $1, but most of those are studio 2's up on the hill, or during hurricane season. We originally purchased there, and after buying a second unit, visiting the island for several years, checking out other resorts, and watching sales, we purchase 3 additional units at Pelican for specific location and weeks, and got rid of our first two units.

I don't know if all St Maarten resorts or weeks of the year get a bonus week when banked, but all of our Pelican weeks do. We plan to keep our 3 weeks and visit every year.
 

Jameson18

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Do you have any preferences for where on the island you'd like to be?

This is based on friends who have visited the island and recommended the dutch side. Unfortunately we have never been there which is likely not a good thing to buy before we even visit, so chances are we'll do a visit the frst year and tour the place before we make a decision. Oue preference would be a not very busy location but not too far from restaurants or entertainment, don't mind walking or driving short distances but would not want to be in the middle of a busy location with lots of partying and noisy people. One friend suggested this but I'm not sure how readily available this would be. He rents an apartment for 6 weeks in some small town and just walks to the beaches or restaurants and finds he can spend more time doing this as the costs are much lower, unfortunately he is no longer here so can't get more info.
 

Kal

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St. Maarten is very nice and right now you can get a great deal on timeshare purchases. However, selection will be a difficult issue given all the land mines involved. I would strongly recommend you rent a unit first and get the lay of the land. Oyster Pond is very remote and a long drive to everywhere. Othere properties are engaged in extremely difficult owner relations. Maintenance fees are all escalating! Then too hurricanes are a huge potential disaster since St. Maarten is in Hurricane Alley.

Here is the list:

St. Maarten Timeshare Resorts

Mary’s Boon Beach Plantation (II)
Oyster Bay Beach Resort (II)

Divi Little Bay Beach & Racquet Club (II & RCI)
Pelican Resort Club (II & RCI)
Royal Islander Club La Plage (II & RCI)
Sint Maarten Sea Palace (II & RCI)
Flamingo Beach (II & RCI)
Royal Palm Beach (II & RCI)

Belair Beach Hotel (RCI)
Geo Group at Guana Bay (RCI)
Great Bay Hotel & Casino (RCI)
La Vista (RCI)
La Vista Beach Resort (RCI)
Nettle Bay Beach Club (RCI)
Port de Plaisance Resort & Casino (RCI)
Royal Islander Club La Terrasse (RCI)
Royal Islander Great Bay (RCI)
Sapphire Beach Club (RCI)
Summit Resort Hotel (RCI)
The Atruim Resort on Simpson Bay Beach (RCI)
The Caravanserai Beach Resort (RCI)
The Ocean Club Villas (RCI)
The Towers @ Mullet Bay (RCI)

At this time I would stay away from these for age, quality and financial reasons:

Belair
Geo Group
Mary's Boon
Sea Palace
Nettle Bay
Sapphire
The Atrium
Caravanserai
Port de Plaisance

I would stay away from these for possible hurricane impact:

Belair
Geo Group
Mary's Boon
Sea Palace
Nettle Bay
Caravanserai
Divi Little Bay
Oyster Bay

If I were buying today I would look hard at La Vista.
 

tombo

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La Vista is supposed to be a great resort, but it is across the road from the beach. I personally like to be directly on the beach rather than having to dodge cars on the way to swim and snorkle. Also the beach at La Vista is rocky with little sand and not great for swimming. There are many great locations on this island to choose from, but few are directly on the beach, and even fewer resorts have all of their rooms with oceanfront views.

I would recommend Divi Little Bay or Belair Beach Hotel for a great uncrowded beachfront location. The beach here is long, sandy, and great for swimming. All units at the Belair and almost all at Divi have ocean front views. Little Bay Beach is a great place to spend a day or a week swimming and relaxing and the beach is not crowded since there are only two resorts on the whole beach. My parents said one of the snorkeling tours brought people by boat to snorkel the little bay every day. If you are staying here simply walk down to the ocean and start snorkeling. Phillipsburg is near by to shop and sightsee.

The damage at Belair and Divi is being repaired and will be back to normal soon. Belair is older but well maintained and they are in the process of finishing an upgrade of all rooms. Divi is newer and is upgrading also.

Visit the Island and pick for yourself, but I would recommend looking at the Little Bay area before you decide.
 
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JudyH

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When we were there last week, LaVista was pushing its 1/2 price "sale". If we had bought, which we did not, they wanted 8500 for a two bedroom unit for week 50.
 

pjrose

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We own at Pelican and use them for exchanging and occasional renting - they exchange well and are inexpensive to buy.
 

tidefan

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We prefer the Royal Palm for both its location and the newly renovated units. Most are 2-Bedroom, 2-Bath. There are numerous restaurants within walking distance of the resort.
 

normab

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I would recommned against buying sight unseen...a trip to the island would give you an idea of where you want to be and what you are looking for...but here's my thoughts:

(Note--We own at LaVista and have traded into Pelican and Oyster Bay. We also stayed in hotels on the french side. Overall we have been there a dozen times.)

Pelican used to be poorly managed and the rooms were really outdated--not sure how the Royal resorts is doing updating them all. Also, some of the units only had AC in the bedrooms, not sure if that has changed. On the plus side it is a large resort and has a nice beach as well as several pools, a casino and mini-mart.

Oyster Bay is off by itself on the eastern side of the island and we liked the resort, enough to trade there more than once. It's great if you like to go to Grand Case for French food, but it is a distance to anything regardless.

We bought at LaVista after 5 trips to the island because it appeared to be the best maintained of all the resorts--they really work hard to maintain the units. It is smaller and is located next to the Pelican--so you can use the beach there if you want--it's a five minute walk--and all their amenities (casino, mini-mart etc). La Vista also has 2 pools and a pool bar/restaurant. We're not thrilled they have cut the price but that would work for you!!!

Good luck with your decision. We love SXM.

Norma
 

KathyA

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Try Pelican Marina Residences

Pelican is having financial/managerial issues and maint fees there are very high. Royal Palm is nice and most all units are two bedroom and all are ocean front. We have owned at both but sold as maint went up. Oyster bay is nice bue very far out and you must have a car. SXM is not a hard trade so we have traded in. Of all I like La Vista best.

I own at both Pelican and Flamingo (sister resort to Royal Palm). People complain about the maintenance fees at Pelican, but those at Flamingo and Royal Palm are so high that owners are taking legal action against Diamond Resorts (the owner of Royal Palm and Pelican).

I would suggest you look at Pelian Marina Residences. They have great incentives to rent as they are trying to sell. The Residences are fantastic, and they are managed by Royal Resorts group, which has the majority of th top 10 timeshare resorts in the world (according to Timeshare User Group (TUG) ratings.

Good luck!
 

lvhmbh

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Sorry to be a little OP but Royal just took over management (in Feb.) of our resort in Aruba and they are WONDERFUL!!! If I were buying I would certainly consider anything they manage. JMHO, Linda
 

KathyA

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Sorry to be a little OP but Royal just took over management (in Feb.) of our resort in Aruba and they are WONDERFUL!!! If I were buying I would certainly consider anything they manage. JMHO, Linda

I totally agree about Royal. I've owned at Pelican and Flamingo for 15 years. When Royal took over Pelican they basicallly saved the resort from a crooked developer. After a few years (and not a small amount of controversy) they (jointly with the timeshare association) began to develop the last piece of land on the resort which is Pelican Marina Residences. In order to see what a Royal-developed resort was like, I went to the Royal Sands in Cancun. It was wonderful. I bit the bullet, sold my two weeks at the original Pelican resort, and bought 8 weeks at the Pelican Marina Residences. I'm leaving at the end of January for 8 weeks and I cannot wait. Royal is the best thing that has happened to Pelican. There are lots of complaining owners who believe that Royal will take over Pelican (which is technically now owned by the timeshare owners). I say, can't be soon enough. Kathy
 

lvhmbh

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CL hired Royal as the management company but we, the owners, still run the resort and have no plans to change. I will be spending a week in Curacao at the Royal Sea Aquarium (from Aruba) in May and they have been sooo accommodating with personal phone calls etc. Very good service!
 

Blondie

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These days you can buy SXM resorts on ebay for practically pennies. The maint fees are, however, very high. We did own at Pelican, Royal Palm and La Vista and sold all. Love the island though and La vista was our fav. I agree that you should see before you buy. Of course, I bought all these sight unseen and the only one I was really disappointed in was RP!
 

tombo

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MF's at most SXM resorts are well under $1000 a year (most I am familiar with are under $750). I don't think those are high MF's for island resorts. Most Hawaii resorts have MF's well over $1000 a year. MF's tend to be higher on Islands than on the mainland, but I think SXM is as cheap as any of the islands. You pay more for MF's on Island resorts because virtually everything used on the Island has to be imported. Also the insurance is higher due to the possibility of hurricanes. Air fare would scae me away from owning on SXM more than the MF's.
 
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scotlass

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La Vista

Our La Vista studio maintenance fee is only around $500. We love the resort and find it's the least expensive MF of all of our timeshares. The fee has not gone up hardly at all in the 5-6 years we have owned. The first year we paid a special assessment of $75 for an increase in the hurricane insurance, but other than that, nothing extra. A pretty good deal I think.
 

RIMike

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St Maarten

Any recommendations on wehre to buy. I am thinking of purchasing a couple of weeks and would like some advice. I checked out the Pelican Resort but it rated fairly low (6.95) compared to others. Not looking for very expensive location, we currently own in Cancun at the Royal Resorts and would like to get something similar. Any ideas, thanx.:rolleyes:



There are a lot of opinions about St Maarten/St Martin for what it is worth here is mine: I have stayed a Pelican...I am an owner of other Royal properties, but I would not stay at that resort again. I think if you want to be in the heart of the action you stay at the Royal Islander or Royal Palm. For me, while those are nice, I really enjoyed being on the back side of the island away from the heavy traffic and close to the Grand Case at Oyster Bay Beach Resort. In fact I recently decided to buy there.
 

KathyA

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There are a lot of opinions about St Maarten/St Martin for what it is worth here is mine: I have stayed a Pelican...I am an owner of other Royal properties, but I would not stay at that resort again. I think if you want to be in the heart of the action you stay at the Royal Islander or Royal Palm. For me, while those are nice, I really enjoyed being on the back side of the island away from the heavy traffic and close to the Grand Case at Oyster Bay Beach Resort. In fact I recently decided to buy there.


Welll, Royal Palm is right next door to Pelican, in fact it used to be owned by Pelican. Pelican Marina Residences is newer and nicer than Royal Palm, although Royal Palm is very nice.
 

tidefan

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Welll, Royal Palm is right next door to Pelican, in fact it used to be owned by Pelican. Pelican Marina Residences is newer and nicer than Royal Palm, although Royal Palm is very nice.

If you can get in on an exchange, and good luck with that...

Also, PMR fronts a rock jetty whereas Royal Palm is directly on the Beach. Royal Palm has undergone a major upgrade in the past couple of years as they redid all of the rooms. Also (to the delight of all RP owners) they are even replacing the old elevators. I do like the pool at PMR though...

Truthfully, either of these properties would be worth visiting. I don't know though that I would exchange for the regular Pelican resort. Just my .02...
 

hmarshall

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I agree with RIMike. We own a couple of weeks at the Royal resorts in Cancun...and we recently traded for a week at Oyster Bay Beach Club in St. Maarten. I had avoided this place in the past because it seemed to be so far off the beaten path and way too secluded. We ended up there accidentally because hurricane Omar damaged the Royal Islander in Maho where we were originally booked.

We were very impressed with Oyster Bay - the view from our unit was just stunning. In St. Maarten we've stayed at the Royal Islander, the Towers at Mullet Bay (very nice before Mullet bay property was destroyed), the Sapphire and Grand Case Beach club. Oyster Bay was the nicest out of all those and we ended up purchasing a resale unit once we returned. I have to confess we've never stayed at the Pelican or Flamingo but we have visited that area. We tend to avoid Simpson Bay because it's so congested, and we like being closer to Grand Case for dining. Just my 2 cents!
 

Armada

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Old Town Alexandria
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Add my vote for Oyster Bay. Useage is very flexible. About 95% of all units face either the bay or the ocean. All owned units are studios, but you can upgrade to a one or two bedroom for about $150-$300 at time of booking.

Another advantage is that you can 'push' or 'pull' your annual usage. If you don't want to use a week in 2009, you can 'push' it and use it in 2010. Additionally, if you want two weeks or two units for 1 week for use in 2009, you can 'pull' your 2010 week for use in 2009 along with your 2009 week.

Maintenance is about $500 per year.

It may seem like it is out of the way, but that is mainly a byproduct of mess (read congestion) from the Simpson Bay/airport area to Phillipsburg. It is only 10 minutes from the east end of Phillipsburg. Because it is located on the border, it is about 10-15 minutes to Orient Beach and 20 minutes to Grand Case.

There are two restaurants at the resort and several others in the neighborhood in a variety of price ranges. That includes the famous Dinghy Dock with great ribs and pour your own drink :banana: during happy hour. The new Westin is just down the beach and when built, the new Marriott Resort will also be close by.
 
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