In July, 2015, Andrea and I took our third trip to the Caribbean, enjoying a wonderful time at the Oyster Bay Beach Resort, a beautiful resort overlooking Oyster Pond on the east side of St. Maarten.
This review from our stay in Saint Martin/Sint Maartin was originally posted on TripAdvisor.com on October 1, 2015.
Upon arriving at OBBR, we couldn’t have received a warmer welcome. The three girls at the front desk (Priya, Ninoska and Kamilah) were full of happiness and good humor. We had already paid for an upgraded room, but when I mentioned that it was my wife’s birthday, they upgraded us again from a Studio Ocean Front to a One Bedroom Suite at no charge. They even gave us keys to one of each style and let us pick which room we wanted! After checking in, we went to the Monday night welcome party at Beau Beau’s, which was a blast. Live music, dancing, Rohan’s emceeing and an open bar made sure that the guests (of all ages) had a fantastic time. When we got back to our room later, we also found a bottle of Merlot and a happy birthday wish, courtesy of the three girls at the front desk.
The difference between the Studio Ocean Front room and One Bedroom Suite was huge. As expected, the studio had an amazing view of the pool and ocean, which made choosing the suite a little tough. The other differences, however, all swung way in favor of the suite. The studio looked like a typical motel room that could use a makeover. While it was clean, it did seem “worn”, as in paint wear, stains in the grout in the floor, etc. It’s not that it was bad, I would have gladly stayed there and completely enjoyed it, but the suite just blew it away. The suite was like a recently remodeled studio apartment that was impeccably cared for. The paint, the marble tile, the decorum, it was all astounding. Rating the condition of the rooms (not counting the view) on a scale of one to ten, I would give the studio a 6.5 and the suite a strong 10. While the view from our suite was nowhere near as beautiful as the studio, we could see the ocean to the side, and we had a nice, private balcony for relaxing.
Just like the customer service provided by the girls at the front desk, the service at the hotel was everything we could have wanted. Yolanda at the concierge desk went above and beyond to make sure we had everything we needed, including researching stand up paddle boarding options for us when she didn’t have a partnership with someone already. We rented a car for a day, which was extremely convenient (the rentals are done in the hotel lobby) and a lot of fun (highly recommend!). The poolside food and drink service was pretty good. There were a few times I couldn’t find someone and had to get my own drink or place my food order, but that was rare and only because the waiter was off doing something for another guest. Yes, you’re on vacation, but there is nothing wrong with getting up and getting your own drink once in a while! The staff at the pool brought over umbrellas and tables, and were always pleasant. The poolside food from the Infinity Bar was excellent as well.
All you have to do is look at the pictures to see how amazing this place really is. There are no words to explain how breathtaking the view from the pool is. The hot tub was great, lots of places to sit and eat on the deck, and everything was clean and well maintained. Unfortunately, they were remodeling the Infinity Bar while we were there, so we couldn’t go in there for dinner, but the workers were doing a beautiful job. I’m sure it’s coming along wonderfully. We even used the onsite washing machines, which were very convenient. The hotel is within walking distance of multiple restaurants and a store, so you can get your own food for your room or go out for a great meal. See my other reviews for some of the restaurants in the area.
There were a lot of standard resort activities, such as bingo, scheduled times where vendors were selling things by the pool, karaoke at night, the welcome and send off gatherings, etc. They have a lot for you to do, or not do if you choose. What we couldn’t do onsite, the concierge was very happy to coordinate for us, get us directions, etc. We took part in the onsite couples massage (a first for us, hopefully not a last!), and the karaoke night with Bernard was a lot of fun! We also took a walk around Oyster Pond to the French side, which is a great (hilly) hike!
The timeshare presentation was mentioned to us in passing, but no one pushed it at all. We were hotel guests, not timeshare stayers. Just so you know, if you go to the timeshare presentation, you then become eligible for drawings at the farewell party. They give away everything from jewelry to a free week at the resort. We didn’t know about this until the end, and if you do go to the presentation, then every time you order food or drinks or take part in any other amenity at the hotel (massage, etc.), you get “entries” into the drawings. Some people build up hundreds of entries over their given week at the hotel. I wish we had gone to the presentation if not just to get entries in the drawings. Frankly, I completely understand why someone would get a timeshare at Oyster Bay Beach Resort. I love visiting different Caribbean islands when I head south, but I would definitely go back to Saint Martin and Oyster Bay Beach Resort again!
There were a few families with kids at OBBR while we were there, but not a whole lot. Kids were swimming in the pool, playing bingo, etc., but there weren’t too many of them. I would assume if you are bringing kids to a resort like this, you already have other plans to do additional activities locally.
Internet Service and A/C
We paid $52 for Internet access in our room for the week. There was a system-wide outage for two days and when I emailed the company that manages the Internet service, they promptly refunded us two days worth of service. We did not have to pay for air conditioning as hotel guests, that is only a requirement for timeshare guests. I’m not sure why.
As with any other hotel in the islands, be sure to bring Off for the bugs! A lot of people have complained about the seaweed at
OBBR and other hotels in the Caribbean. Please note that this is a problem throughout the Caribbean and is not limited to one island or resort. We didn’t go to the beach at OBBR (although we did visit others around the island), but don’t hold a natural phenomenon such as an overgrowth of seaweed against this hotel.
We had a fantastic time at Oyster Bay and I hope to return soon!