Friday, July 13, 2012

Tres Bon in St. Martin: A stay in the Grand Case Beach Club

Word of mouth is the tried and true marketing tool at the Grand Case Beach Club in French St. Martin.  Guests who return year after year recommend the beachfront property to their friends, they appreciate that the bartenders remember their favorite drink, they’re amazed that Fabian Bellossat at Creole Rock Water Sports kiosk not only remembers their first name but where they live and what they like to do on the water and they applaud the front desk staff when they book a dinner reservation at their favorite bistro on the adjacent Grand Case restaurant row. 

credit: M. Reffes

credit: M. Reffes
A little French and a little English, the hotel boasts a 45 percent repeat visitor rate with an international  clientele coming from all over the world including the USA, Canada, France, Sweden, Holland and the neighboring islands of Anguilla, St. Kitts, Guadeloupe and Martinique. US arrivals from the New York tri-state region represent the largest group; however, savvy travelers from California have also contributed to the record number of room nights booked at the property since the winter.

Finishing that novel on Petite Plage , the sweetest beach in St Martin
(credit: M. Reffes ) 

 “Due to increased flights from certain cities , “says Jean Francois Billot, financial manager, “we are now seeing increasing numbers of guests arriving from the Midwest states as far away as Montana due to easy connections through Charlotte and Chicago. ”  Proud as a peacock, the self-proclaimed hotel
 “bean counter “is thrilled and delighted with occupancy levels even in shoulder and low season. 

Balcony Dining ( credit: M. Reffes ) 

With occupancy rates at an impressive 92 percent so far this year, the adorable hotel by the sea is on a roll heading into high season. “We are also focussing on our social media presence with an improved Facebook page, “he added, “we recognize this is the wave of the future and we need to get on board. “ 

Jean Francois Billot taking five at GCBC (credit: M. Reffes ) 

Offering a variety of amenities, the Club has seventy-five units in five buildings with sixty-four rented when the owners are not on the island. Surrounded by fragrant and colorful flamboyant trees, room renovations will start in August in thirty of the units with an additional thirty to be refreshed next year. “We are also building a dock so that boats can take our guests  to the Dutch side, “ says Jean Francois Billot, financial manager, “this is a much more scenic and easier way to get back to the airport rather than taking a taxi. “  The dock is slated for completion next year. 

Working at the property for seventeen years, Jean Francois or “Bill “ as he is known around town recognizes the role travel agents play in the booking process . “Despite the ease of on-line booking, many of our guests who are of baby boomer age prefer the personal service of a travel agent, “ he observes, “  we invite agents to experience the property at fifty percent off rates year round including the first night gratis and to make the process easier for agents selling the resort , there is a special section on our website  for booking  room nights and calculating commissions .  “

                                          Magical Views from Room 209 in the Oleander Building 
                                                            ( credit: M. Reffes )

The Little Extras

Guests are treated to a bottle of red or white wine on arrival.       
Sunset Café offers a tropical menu of fish fresh from the sea, succulent salads and plenty of frosty Bright Beer from Belgium. Continental breakfast is included in the room rate with a menu available for those who prefer eggs benedict or French toast.

A gratis shot of homemade coconut rum after dinner

For a light dessert that also looks pretty, the pineapple Carpaccio marinated in ginger is a winner.

Room service is available with choices from the menu at the Sunset Café.

.Every unit has a Balcony or patio with kitchens or kitchenettes and barbecue grills can be rented.

Fabian at the Creole Rock Water Sports kiosk will organize a multitude of excursions including snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing and sails to the nearby isles of Tintemarre for a dip in the magic mud or a day in Anguilla or Saba. He’ll also fluff up the cushion on your sun lounger as you are taking a dip in the sea.

Fabian at the Creole Rock Water Sports (credit: M. Reffes ) 

Sunset Cafe ( credit: M. Reffes ) 

Flamboyants in bloom ( credit: GCBC) 

Take a Bow

·         TripAdvisor awarded GCBC the Certificate of Excellence following favorable comments by returning guests.

·         The property received Apple Vacations "Golden Apple” in recognition of "highly favorable" ratings by travelers.     

For the fourth consecutive year,  GCBC earned a spot on Expedia's "Insiders' Select List"

·         Orbitz recognized the resort with its "Best In Stay" award. 
 Watching the Weather

 In the unlikely event of a hurricane, a plan is in place for guests whose vacation is either canceled or cut short due to the wrath of Mother Nature. If an official evacuation is ordered, guests will not have to pay for any unused nights and will receive a complimentary future stay for the same number of nights.

This means if a guest is booked for seven nights and must evacuate after four, there will be no penalty for the three unused nights and a voucher will be given for a seven night future stay.   If an official hurricane warning is issued for the island of St. Martin, the resort will waive the cancellation penalty and, at the guest's option, either refund the full deposit or change the reservation to a future date. 

                Sights & Sounds of the GCBC (credits: M. Reffes /GCBC)

5 year old Yann Billot (Bill's son  ) enjoying dinner at nearby Calmos Cafe  

8 year old Maxime Billot also enjoys a night out ! 
Another Night in Paradise 

Get in Touch

(800) 340-3016.


  1. fantastic post and Thanks for sharing this info. It's very helpful.
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  2. Thank you for reading !! Travel safe and come back to the blog soon !