Built on a peninsula about a 10-minute drive east of the airport, this hotel is consistently ranked as one of the best family-vacation resorts in the Caribbean. It originated as a simple guesthouse in 1955 and soon became famous as the vacation home of the Netherlands' Queen Juliana, Prince Bernhard, and Queen Beatrix. It was severely damaged during the hurricanes of the early 1990s, and was rebuilt in 1997 as the flagship of the Divi chain. The rooms and public spaces have been nicely renovated and freshened up. The architecture evokes a European seaside village, with stucco walls and terra-cotta roofs, with some Dutch colonial touches. In the upper reaches of the property are the ruins of Fort Amsterdam, once Dutch St. Maarten's most prized military stronghold and today a decorative historical site. Gardens are carefully landscaped, and Divi improved the nearby beach after it suffered massive erosion.
Accommodations are airy, accented with ceramic tiles and pastel colors, and each has its own private balcony or patio; suites (and studios) have fully equipped kitchens -- the only units that don't have kitchens are the beachfront doubles. The newly upgraded luxury Casita one-bedroom suites even have iPod docking stations. The resort offers a variety of meal plans, including an all-inclusive option.
Facilities: 3 restaurants; bar; 3 outdoor pools; 2 lit tennis courts; gym; spa; watersports center; dive shop; jet skis; kayaks; sailing; snorkeling; water-skiing; windsurfing; activities coordinator; car rental (Thrifty); salon; laundry service; coin-operated laundry; nonsmoking rooms
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Recommended 2010