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Opinions Please #200306
07/18/2019 01:55 PM
07/18/2019 01:55 PM

N
nouth OP
Unregistered
nouth OP
Unregistered
N


I asked this question several months ago and received very helpful information. We were not able to follow through at the time because of, well, things happen. We must now make a decision as we have already purchased our plane tickets for October and are locked in.

We normally did an Interval exchange to OBBR. We liked the low key atmosphere and remote location. We can do that again this time but from what we read online, it seems OBBR is about all that has reopened at Oyster Bay. It would be good for us to get out and experience another part of the island. We are locked in to the choices Interval makes available so please share your opinions with us. The beach and pool at the resort are not important to us as we will be spending our days at Orient. Which would you choose?

  • Royal Islander Club La Plage
  • Divi Little Bay Beach Resort
  • La Vista Beach Resort
  • La Vista Resort
  • Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort
  • The Villas at Simpson Bay Resort
  • Simpson Bay Resort
  • Sapphire Beach Club Resort
  • Royal Palm Beach Resort


This is our first trip post Irma so we are excited to return. We live in upstate SC and would drive 2 hours to Charlotte to fly nonstop. AA has priced us out of that option, so we will be driving 10 hours to Ft. Lauderdale and flying Jet Blue for over $1,000 less money. We hate the long drive, but $1,000 is a lot of money---for us anyway.

The folk on this site are the best. Thanks for your help.

Edited: After further research and input, I have crossed out some options that are not available.


Last edited by nouth; 07/18/2019 02:40 PM.
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Re: Opinions Please [Re: ] #200308
07/18/2019 02:24 PM
07/18/2019 02:24 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,988
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Posts: 12,988
Brookfield, CT.
Due to post-Irma damage to our timeshare at the Towers we were forced to seek alternate accommodations last trip and ended up finding two consecutive weeks in the same unit at Royal Islander. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay there, both the unit itself which was lovely, and the actual location and all the evening options in the area.

That said, do you realize that several of your option list are not available? Royal Palm and Sonesta Great Bay for sure. if Your chief objective is time at Orient Beach and a low key atmosphere you might check out Divi or reconsider Oyster Bay..


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Opinions Please [Re: ] #200309
07/18/2019 02:28 PM
07/18/2019 02:28 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,079
Newtown, CT
kim Offline
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kim  Offline
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Newtown, CT
So many good choices. But - Sonesta Great Bay is gone, Royal Palm is closed until almost 2020. If Orient is what you want, I would just stay over there and not use Interval as I would think the drive would get old. But I have stayed at Royal Islander and The Villas at Simpson Bay Resort/Simpson Bay Resort and would not hesitate. I have read good things about Sapphire recently, but not sure if completely open. And very good things about LaVista, but again long drive and possibly traffic issues. Divi would probably be your best bet to get to Orient, have never been, but have by boat and it looks beautiful!

Re: Opinions Please [Re: ] #200310
07/18/2019 02:43 PM
07/18/2019 02:43 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 15,784
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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Ohio
If you are locked into the choices you listed, then I would go with Divi Little Bay to put you closer to Orient. I have stayed there but it has been a long time but all reports seem to be positive. Royal Palm should not even be on your list as they will not be operating, as others have stated. My personal second choice would be one of the La Vista properties. I would avoid Sapphirre. Good luck.


J.D.
Re: Opinions Please [Re: pat] #200311
07/18/2019 02:44 PM
07/18/2019 02:44 PM

N
nouth OP
Unregistered
nouth OP
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N


Thanks Pat, just learned that Divi is not available for exchange. We are reconsidering going back to OBBR as you suggest. I am told they have done a good job rebuilding.

Re: Opinions Please [Re: ] #200313
07/18/2019 02:59 PM
07/18/2019 02:59 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 1,557
Long Island, NY
RICKnGRACE_LI_NY Offline
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As a former Timeshare owner at Pelican, which is now Simpson Bay Resort, I can vouch for SBR and The Villas. We gave up our time there when they were refinishing everything and the MF’s got out of hand.
As Pat mentioned Royal Islander Club La Plage is very nice. We exchanged into there a few years ago and enjoyed it. There is a lot to do and many dinner choices right there in Maho without having to drive.
We extended a stay 2 nights many years ago and stayed at La Vista. The room was very nice. Have never been in La Vista Beach but have heard good things.
I always hate to make recommendations because no 2 couples are alike, but if it was my choice I would take Royal Islander.

Good Luck, enjoy and let us know what you decide, and don’t forget a Trip Report!


Rick and Grace
Re: Opinions Please [Re: ] #200314
07/18/2019 03:01 PM
07/18/2019 03:01 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 757
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SammyM Offline
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If you are planning to spend your days at Orient Beach then I would plan to stay up in that area rather than deal with the long drives through traffic from the Simpson and Maho areas. Of course, you could always split your time between the two areas and stay maybe four nights at the Simpson Bay Resort, and then move to some place like Palm Court where you can simply walk to beach. The less time you drive (and are stuck in traffic) the more time you'll have to relax on the beach! Also, too bad CLT is so expensive plying to St. Maarten. Did you try mid-week pricing if that's an option for you? Or, you simply drive over I-85 to Atlanta and fly Delta to SXM. Way closer the Ft. Lauderdale.

Re: Opinions Please [Re: ] #200315
07/18/2019 03:04 PM
07/18/2019 03:04 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 73,171
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
nouth--I would be loathe to go to OBBR because there is not a lot open around the area post Irma, but even more because of the ton of seaweed there. I don't know whether it will be gone by October or not, but I wouldn't count on it.

As far as your other choices, I am with JD regarding Sapphire. There have been a LOT of bad reviews regarding Sapphire over the years. Reports have been better recently, but I personally would avoid it because of the bad historical reports.

My first choice would be LaVista Beach, smaller, family run place, all units full ocean view. Second choice would be the villas at Simpson Bay, so long as it's not a studio. The studios there are EXTREMELY small and have only a dorm sized fridge. The Villas are all full ocean view. Third for me would probably be Lavista, only because some units are partially blocked from the ocean view by the restaurant, etc. Then Simpson Bay Resort, only because view is very important to me and many units at SBR are NOT ocean view. Royal Islander I would put last because I personally I prefer Simpson Bay over Maho, but many people like Maho.


Carol Hill
Re: Opinions Please [Re: ] #200319
07/18/2019 03:33 PM
07/18/2019 03:33 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 18
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MGA Offline
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FWIW I would opt for OOBR. Like you, we spend almost all of the beach days at Orient and the relatively short 15 minute drive gives us the opportunity to take a break from the sun mid-day if needed. The resort is back to better than pre-Irma state. I've tried staying at Simpson Bay and the drive often is very long...if you hit traffic at the wrong time.

True, there are not a lot of dining options available other than in the resort itself but for evening dining the trip to have dinner out in Simpson Bay is a lot easier than fighting the traffic during rush hours.

For me, the seaweed at Dawn Beach presents no problem since I don't go there. I'd rather enjoy the beach at Orient. Be doing that in September.

Re: Opinions Please [Re: ] #200330
07/18/2019 05:35 PM
07/18/2019 05:35 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 164
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There have been noise issues at night, very loud music, in the Simpson Bay Area. This affects The Villas at Simpson Bay Resort. We are there now and it is better most nights, but who knows if that will continue.

Re: Opinions Please [Re: ] #200344
07/18/2019 11:45 PM
07/18/2019 11:45 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,920
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I agree with Carol. La Vista Beach or the Villas of Simpson Bay would be your best choices. Lots to do in the area and a 20 min drive to Orient Beach for day time enjoyment.




Re: Opinions Please [Re: MGA] #200345
07/18/2019 11:54 PM
07/18/2019 11:54 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 208
Edam, Saskatchewan - Canada
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PrairieGirl Offline
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Originally Posted by MGA
FWIW I would opt for OOBR. Like you, we spend almost all of the beach days at Orient and the relatively short 15 minute drive gives us the opportunity to take a break from the sun mid-day if needed. The resort is back to better than pre-Irma state. I've tried staying at Simpson Bay and the drive often is very long...if you hit traffic at the wrong time.

True, there are not a lot of dining options available other than in the resort itself but for evening dining the trip to have dinner out in Simpson Bay is a lot easier than fighting the traffic during rush hours.

For me, the seaweed at Dawn Beach presents no problem since I don't go there. I'd rather enjoy the beach at Orient. Be doing that in September.


To the OP - you thought that not much was open in Oyster Pond. Check out L'Oasis and Quai Quest as well as Infinity at OBBR. Not sure, heard that Big Fish was supposed to be up and running soon (?)


LeAnn


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Re: Opinions Please [Re: ] #200346
07/19/2019 12:57 AM
07/19/2019 12:57 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,896
Boynton Beach, FL
EdB Offline
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Easy choice if it was me. Royal Islander LaPlage...hands down. Close to a ton of restaurant choices, Casino Royale right across the street....market across the street.....secured parking....and the place has never looked better. Also....sand gravity does kick in.....and nice beach right there at the resort...and it is NOT downhill walking like it is at both Simpson Bay area and La Vista. We have been going to LaPlage for over thirty years...and LOVE it. Also was very impressed on how they fixed up since Irma.

Re: Opinions Please [Re: ] #200347
07/19/2019 12:59 AM
07/19/2019 12:59 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,896
Boynton Beach, FL
EdB Offline
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Oh...i know you said about spending days at Orient....we usually do also, but with the lack of places to go there now....and the HUGE expense for food and chairs...we spent most of our three weeks last trip at Mullett.....and LOVED it. a ten minute walk or a three minute drive from LaPlage.

Re: Opinions Please [Re: EdB] #200363
07/19/2019 07:45 AM
07/19/2019 07:45 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 73,171
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 73,171
Central Florida!
Ed--it depends on whether the poster is going to Club O beach or not. If they are going to Club O beach, Mullet is not a good substitute.


Carol Hill
Re: Opinions Please [Re: ] #200367
07/19/2019 08:16 AM
07/19/2019 08:16 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,524
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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GaKaye  Offline
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Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
I would choose La Vista Beach first, and La Vista second. The location is convenient, the resort is well-maintained, and the staff are all great. We own three weeks at LVB, and love it there.

Re: Opinions Please [Re: ] #200502
07/20/2019 03:05 PM
07/20/2019 03:05 PM

N
nouth OP
Unregistered
nouth OP
Unregistered
N


Thank you to everyone who weighed in. The beautiful and wise Mrs. "Nouth" read through all the responses and made an executive decision to simply return to OBBR where we already know what to expect and is an easy drive to Club O. "I would rather spend my time on the beach sipping happy beverages than being stuck in traffic."

The key to success in life is to marry well.

Re: Opinions Please [Re: ] #200508
07/20/2019 03:36 PM
07/20/2019 03:36 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 73,171
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 73,171
Central Florida!
OK, enjoy your trip!


Carol Hill
Re: Opinions Please [Re: ] #200596
07/21/2019 03:18 PM
07/21/2019 03:18 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 169
Columbia, SC, USA
DandM29212 Offline
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DandM29212  Offline
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Columbia, SC, USA
Originally Posted by nouth


This is our first trip post Irma so we are excited to return. We live in upstate SC and would drive 2 hours to Charlotte to fly nonstop. AA has priced us out of that option, so we will be driving 10 hours to Ft. Lauderdale and flying Jet Blue for over $1,000 less money. We hate the long drive, but $1,000 is a lot of money---for us anyway.



I'm from Columbia SC and, like you, dealing with the bull!@#$ with American's ridiculous fares out of CLT. (Gees, with over 90+% of the gates controlled by American at CLT and 80% Delta at ATL, we don't have many options, do we? I used to think government was against monopolies.)

My trip in April - we flew Delta from Col'a through ATL to SXM for less than 1/2 of American's fare but that seems to have been a somewhat isolated experience. We just returned this morning from SXM doing the Jet Blue out of FLL and drove to and from FLL. Wasn't great getting in at 3 AM this morning after driving 8 hours, but wasn't the end of the world. DEFINITELY worth the savings to me. $220 per JB ticket versus $1000+ American from CLT. We just wish these FLL fares were real and not just a temporary sale price.



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Re: Opinions Please [Re: ] #200608
07/21/2019 05:12 PM
07/21/2019 05:12 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 27
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Bip Offline
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I know it is in the other direction, but have you looked at Richmond instead of driving 10 hours. Maybe half the distance and we found tickets under $300 on AA connecting through CLT.

Last edited by Bip; 07/21/2019 05:13 PM.

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