Author: Kyle McCarthy
Tags : Baby, Beach, Caribbean, Christmas Holiday, Couples, Family-Friendly Hotels, Food & Wine, Golf, Kids, Kids Club, Multigen, Resort, Spa & Wellness, Spring Break, Teens, Tennis, Watersports, Winter Getaway
At Oyster Bay Beach Resort, the pleasures of having a timeshare in the Caribbean without the responsibility can add up to a lot of vacation value for a family looking for sun, sand, a gorgeous pool and the laid back lifestyle of a quiet island like Sint Maarten.
Sint Maarten is the Dutch side of the bi-national island shared between the Netherlands Antilles and the French West Indies for the past 350 years. The French side is known as Saint-Martin and in English, which is widely spoken, the island is simply called St. Martin.
Letting the Beauty of Nature Take its Course
Oyster Bay Beach caps a peninsula which overlooks the Oyster Pond marina on one side and just south, the beautiful cove of Dawn Beach, where the jagged coral coast cushioned by soft gold sand meets the Atlantic.
On a recent weekend as guests of the resort, we explored a little of this unusual island but mainly hung out like everyone else, moving lazily from our spacious condo overlooking the Oyster Pond marina to the beautiful seafront pool.
Day one, we combined Vincent’s fun aquarobics class with a breakfast of French-style nutella crepes within view of the glimmering sea… and it became one of those vacation moments you never forget.
Family Size Accommodations at Oyster Bay Beach Resort
As a “premier resort” registered with Interval International, Oyster Bay Beach Resort has condo units that can extend from one bedroom (sofabeds in the living room) to two or more, with full kitchens, balconies, and connecting doors to studios. With fewer than 200 units, this resort built 35 years ago claims to have more than 13,000 owners. Under new ownership since 2003, it has been renovated with flair and is carefully maintained, making those of us laying around acutely aware of staff dusting the pool steps, tending the lovely plantings, whitewashing the railings and taking care of the property like their own homes.
The large comfortable units are clustered in two story buildings that wrap the coast, with parking in between for the many rental cars. Prices vary according to size and beach or marina view but all are very pleasant, as you can see from the video.
Oyster Bay Beach Guest Fun & Facilities
For us, the top amenity was the long, freeform infinity pool with a zero-entry shallow end for toddlers, novice swimmers and those in wheelchairs. Comfortable chaise lounges rim all sides, with ample umbrellas for shade. Given its length, there are probably 50 meters of fresh water fed by two waterfall walls for lap swimming. The pool’s blue tiled “infinity” edge spills over to the southern horizon toward St. Barth’s, causing the glittering Atlantic, mountain peaks and stark cloud formations to reflect back on its surface.
For easy beach access, it’s a few minutes walk past the guest laundry, terrific Shipwreck Shop souvenir store, and small fitness room to wooden steps that descend to the sand. Within the resort’s small footprint, there’s sun and sand for kids to enjoy, perhaps some live pop music coming from the bar, and little else between them and old-fashioned summer fun.
During the winter, Easter and summer holidays the resort’s friendly staff organizes some activities to keep young ones busy so that parents can keep their heads buried in their Kindles. Expect to see tie-dye T-shirt making, crab races, Bingo, dance lessons and even a movie night by the pool. In-room childcare is available for a fee with advanced planning.