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Wabid - Trip Report Part 1 #110162
10/20/2016 08:59 AM
10/20/2016 08:59 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 193
Wisconsin
W
wabid Offline OP
Traveler
wabid  Offline OP
Traveler
W
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 193
Wisconsin
Part ONE

So far so good. ...Great to be back

We have been on the island for 5 days and I am typing this from our deck at the Simpson Bay Resort (SBR). Have a nice breeze early this morning and the seas seem to be finally settling.

Arrival

We arrived on Saturday from, for once, a very noneventful trip from Wisconsin. Delta (our preferred airline for work and pleasure) finally has regular flights and connections to the island. We hope the economy sustains itself and we always can make it here in one day with only one connecting flight. Just made me happy that after getting on a flight at 7:00am I was standing on the island at 2pm.

After breezing through immigration and customs, as usual, we were met by Lesley from Kenny's car rental. We had to wait about 15 minutes, not a big deal and Kenny had his car ready to rock right on the airport road way. Quick signature and we are on our way. Simplicity at its best. No shuttle. Just sign and drive.

SBR…

My wife and mother in law have been owners since 2000. At that time, if many do recall, it was known as the Pelican. Long story short: Pelican from what I can tell was a MESS in 2000 on variety of levels. I won't go into details, but she purchased a unit via Royal Resorts (RR was not the owner but the sales agent). I am not a fan of timeshares. Never will be, but she purchased a unit in a woefully undersold building at a very low price during the lowest of the low season. So I did not have a big complaint (weren't married yet ;-0 )

We never came to the island until about 6 years ago. We'd either let my Mother in law use our week or let friends and colleagues use it. I won't regurgitate the soap opera about this property, (let some start another string on that one). However, since Royal Resort has become the owner and management of this property things have improved significantly in the way of infrastructure, staffing, and amenities. I could give you a laundry list of big and little the things I noticed but that will take too long. IN short, I am pleased on each visit to always see forward progress.

Check in is always seemingly slow, and we had to wait for our room to be ready, actually it always was ready, they just told us the wrong room. We are in a two bedroom in the Villas building. Very nice. Full kitchen with a one bedroom with kitchenette in the lock off. The villas are somewhat too much like a "hotel" for my taste but we can' beat the convenience and the view of the bay is great.

To its Royal Resorts has really amped up the customer service. They have an army of "concierges" that are constantly around the lobby area, looking for a confused face and during check in they make a point of meeting "owners" and sitting down to discuss changes, activities, schedules etc. Personally I find it tedious but my wife and mother in law were willing participants.

They will try to get you into a sales meeting but I wont call it hard sell. I notice on message boards people just get infuriated by this, but I have learned if you stay at an ostensibly timeshare property you will always get a pitch. Get over it or just say no. If you want the free prize etc, you need to sit through a sales presentation. That is their job. That said, almost all of the SBR sales staff are professional and courteous and don't suffer a high rate of turnover (we see the same senior staff year after year). That translates to happy employees who believe in what they sell. So I say let them do their job, and you can always say no. We have said NO a lot, however now the RR and the SBR has a points system we have taken advantage of our very cheap early owner ship and parlayed that into a great getaway vacation spot at a reasonable price and completely reasonable maintenance.

All that said SBR is putting final touches on its comprehensive resort overhaul, with new water front areas, "High end" on property, Mexican restaurant opening on November 15. They also plan have the shoreline in front of the villas converted to a private beach..should be interesting…

Activities thus far…

Dining. Bon Apetit first night. Great little restaurant located next (or surrounded by more like it) to SBR. Always a good bet. The next two nights we DIY'd our meals. A quick jaunt to Market Garden on Sunday got us necessities and Garnd Marche (Carrefour) on Tuesday for more substantial items. I also decided to make dinner for my wife and Mother in law while they remained on the beach and shot over to MG for some quick inspiration. Picked up some baby back ribs (I can't believe how cheap they were) and some local Guaveberry grilling sauce) and commenced to cooking. Another great SBR improvement are some Weber gas grills located about the property. They look like they have never been used…. Worked out perfect!! And, I got some jealous looks from the bleary eyed guests at the main pool "p" bar watching the platter of porky goodness go by….

Beach on Monday. Tried snorkeling but the visibility was poor, even if I swam out 100 yards or so...still was poor. The surf has been very high the last few days so snorkeling has been shelved util today/tomorrow.

More beach on Tuesday. Surf was very high. They actually had a red flag warning up. Very rare.

Made trip to Marigot, bought some little jewelry pieces from the larimar lady, couple of prints and I got a t shirt from the secret spot. (Hat tip to the SXM poster who clued me into that).

Today will be more beach time. Perhaps snorkeling and then either make dinner or try the Indian take out down the street. Its been there seemingly forever and looks like good reviews, so a curry may be in order tonight….


OK nuf' for now more later. (note : I purposely use my laptop on our deck to remind me to where I am and to stop typing. This is especially if I need to check in with work quickly...trust me. Very short. Spend no more than 15 minutes a day…..)


Never walk onto a job site with empty hands. - Source Unknown
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Re: Wabid - Trip Report Part 1 [Re: wabid] #110163
10/20/2016 09:06 AM
10/20/2016 09:06 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,036
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,036
Brookfield, CT.
Very nice, Wabid. Thank you for sharing and I hope the rest of your trip is as easy going as it sounds like it's been so far.... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Wabid - Trip Report Part 1 [Re: wabid] #110164
10/20/2016 01:11 PM
10/20/2016 01:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 349
CT
MamaB Offline
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MamaB  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 349
CT
Thanks so much for taking time out of your vacation to share your thoughts about our favorite island. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" />

Re: Wabid - Trip Report Part 1 [Re: MamaB] #110165
10/20/2016 02:11 PM
10/20/2016 02:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,911
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
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RonDon  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,911
Rhode Island
Keep up the reports of where to eat.

Re: Wabid - Trip Report Part 1 [Re: wabid] #110166
10/21/2016 08:50 AM
10/21/2016 08:50 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,129
St Louis, MO
SXMNorm Offline
Traveler
SXMNorm  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,129
St Louis, MO
Thanks for the report. We'll be at SBR next month for a week. Appreciate the warnings/info.


Next SXM visit - January/February 2022
Re: Wabid - Trip Report Part 1 [Re: wabid] #110167
10/21/2016 09:38 AM
10/21/2016 09:38 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 78,546
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 78,546
Central Florida!
Thanks for the report. Sounds like a great beginning to the trip! I will be interested to hear the reviews on the Mexican restaurant there.

I wonder why timeshares have been so late in many cases about getting grills installed on the property. One of the things we enjoy most about Beachside Villas (NOT a timeshare), is that we are able to grill out on our own grill, burgers, steaks, etc. We grill out a LOT at home, so it's very comfortable for us..


Carol Hill
Re: Wabid - Trip Report Part 1 [Re: Carol_Hill] #110168
10/21/2016 11:33 AM
10/21/2016 11:33 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,036
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,036
Brookfield, CT.
Can't speak for all timeshares but since this was once a point of discussion at the Towers, I can see why it isn't feasible there and possibly many other timeshares as well, much as personally speaking, I'd like it to be a reality.

The same old questions apply: Who (as in who would take care of them and keep them clean?); Where (as in where would they be located?) - balconies too small and the potential for fire damage would be a major consideration, particularly in some of the older wood constructed properties, and the logistics of them being outside and the potential for a mess on the grounds is real not to mention the possibility of food spillage, leakage etc., on the flooring and in the elevators when transporting the foods to be prepared; Why (as in why subject the property and owners to the potential damage that might occur) when so many would far prefer to eat out in the first place and let someone else do the cooking.

We have a BBQ grill on our porch, directly adjacent to the kitchen in our home and I grill ALL the time - I'd rather lose my kitchen range than my Weber - but I have to admit, sometimes things drip on the floor or on the grill side counters and messes do happen but the kitchen is right there and I'm easily able to take care of anything that goes wrong. Sadly, guests aren't always as conscientious about their rented timeshares as they are their own homes.

Personally speaking, I'd love to be able to BBQ at the Towers but I can easily see why it isn't feasible there and possibly in other timeshare locations as well.

BSV is a very different situation since each unit does have its own lovely open air atrium area with, as I recall, a gravel based floor, and the unit inhabitants would certainly clean up after themselves. But in the event they didn't, the management would easily be able to assess a fee for this service if necessary, and for any damage done, if such was the case.

It makes perfect sense to me when you consider all the 'what ifs' that might occur. Doesn't mean I wouldn't like to have the grilling option, but I understand why the Towers doesn't offer it. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Wabid - Trip Report Part 1 [Re: pat] #110169
10/21/2016 11:38 AM
10/21/2016 11:38 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 78,546
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 78,546
Central Florida!
High rise buildings are a whole different issue, I admit. The floor in the atrium at BSV is tile, by the way.


Carol Hill
Re: Wabid - Trip Report Part 1 [Re: Carol_Hill] #110170
10/21/2016 11:43 AM
10/21/2016 11:43 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 756
Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Leagle49 Offline
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Leagle49  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 756
Grosse Pointe, Michigan
There have always been a number of grills around the B Pool at Simpson Bay Resort. They are the kind that takes charcoal. They get quite a bit of use and are cleaned up daily. Last year there was a gas grill installed at the D Pool. We were told that they would be putting them at the B pool as well. Sure hope so!

Re: Wabid - Trip Report Part 1 [Re: Carol_Hill] #110171
10/21/2016 11:44 AM
10/21/2016 11:44 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,209
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Online content
Traveler
SXMScubaman  Online Content
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,209
Auburn, WA
Our unit at the flamingo have gas bbqs on our balcony in building 3. Building four have them on the top floor and there is one by the pool and another on the beach side of building seven. We use them and others do to.

Re: Wabid - Trip Report Part 1 [Re: Carol_Hill] #110172
10/21/2016 11:55 AM
10/21/2016 11:55 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,036
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,036
Brookfield, CT.
Re the floor - My memories were torn between tile and gravel and couldn't remember which BSV had but I do recall thinking the night we grilled our steaks it was a good set-up but wouldn't work in a lot of places.

We were a little exasperated the night we grilled our filets because something was wrong with our grill and it wouldn't heat beyond a low flame. I ended up finishing them inside.....but they were still delicious and eating out on the porch with the water and the sound of the waves was truly lovely - perhaps one of our best island dinners that trip.

I was bummed at first at the Towers response regarding their refusal to allow grills since this had been mentioned as a possibility prior to our purchasing, but the more I thought about it, the more I understood their reasoning.

I could imagine being on the upper floors and people below you grilling on the balcony with the smoke wafting up to your unit - Making you A. - Hungry and/or B. - irritated if you couldn't enjoy your balcony or open windows because of this happening? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Wabid - Trip Report Part 1 [Re: pat] #110173
10/21/2016 01:12 PM
10/21/2016 01:12 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,174
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline
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BeachKitten  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,174
Maryland/DC Metro
Quote
pat said:
I could imagine being on the upper floors and people below you grilling on the balcony with the smoke wafting up to your unit - Making you A. - Hungry and/or B. - irritated if you couldn't enjoy your balcony or open windows because of this happening? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


You've got that right! I already have that problem with cigarette smoke coming up to our balcony from below. I have to go inside and get my inhaler...and am unable to enjoy a sunrise on the balcony with a cup of coffee, or a sunset with a glass of wine.

Re: no Towers grills...who cares, hamburgers at the pool are Grrreat, and Rosies ribs are across the street! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Wabid - Trip Report Part 1 [Re: Carol_Hill] #110174
10/21/2016 01:17 PM
10/21/2016 01:17 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,991
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
Traveler
GaKaye  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,991
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
Quote
Carol_Hill said:

I wonder why timeshares have been so late in many cases about getting grills installed on the property. One of the things we enjoy most about Beachside Villas (NOT a timeshare), is that we are able to grill out on our own grill, burgers, steaks, etc. We grill out a LOT at home, so it's very comfortable for us..


Several years ago La Vista sent out a questionnaire asking whether or not the guests wanted grills on the property, and the overwhelming response was "no". Not everyone enjoys the aroma of someone else's food being cooked.

Re: Wabid - Trip Report Part 1 [Re: GaKaye] #110175
10/21/2016 01:55 PM
10/21/2016 01:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 78,546
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 78,546
Central Florida!
Huhm, interesting. OK.


Carol Hill
Re: Wabid - Trip Report Part 1 [Re: Carol_Hill] #110176
10/21/2016 03:19 PM
10/21/2016 03:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 165
NE Florida
LadyH Offline
Traveler
LadyH  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 165
NE Florida
Spent a week at Flammingo and BBQed steaks on the gas grill provided on the beach. Only problem is having to go up and downstairs. Agree about Bon Appetite had an amazing meal.

Re: Wabid - Trip Report Part 1 [Re: LadyH] #110177
10/22/2016 04:56 PM
10/22/2016 04:56 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 193
Wisconsin
W
wabid Offline OP
Traveler
wabid  Offline OP
Traveler
W
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 193
Wisconsin
SBR has several Weber summit gas grills on property. Two are in a locked off area on top of the villas building. I asked one of the concierges for access, but apparently that is reserved for long term owners in the top floors. However, there is one at the pool level. Its a hike, but it is immaculate and has a side burner and sink to wash hands etc... very nice. The charcoal grills are the same as you would find at a state/national park. I would love to have a Weber kettle & chimney starter available for the serious grillers. and I could find a way to pack my smokey mountain I would. Think about it. Pure bliss. Smoker smoking some deliciousness whilst I snorkel....


Never walk onto a job site with empty hands. - Source Unknown

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