Hurricane Irma plowed through the Caribbean in September 2017. The Category 5 hurricane caused catastrophic damage, widespread blackouts, and nearly 150 deaths. A year and a half later, the islands are still in recovery mode.
The hurricane was the worst natural disaster to ever hit St. Martin/St. Maarten, an island shared by France and the Netherlands. Princess Juliana International Airport, one of the largest airports in the region, was closed for more than a month after a jet bridge snapped in half. Marinas were left in ruin. Homes were swept away. The island was covered with debris. The cleanup and rebuilding process has been slow. Hotels, restaurants, and tour companies are just starting to reopen.
Grand Case Beach Club is one of the hotels that’s been revived. The beloved hotel sits on the French side of the island. It’s in Grand Case, a west coast beach town known for its gourmet restaurants and ferries to Anguilla. It lies in between two small beaches, Petite Blage and Grand Case Bay, that have clear water, gentle waves, and perfect sunset views. While it’s famous for its repeat guests, who love the apartment-style accommodations.
Like much of the island, Grand Case Beach Club is reopening in stages. Two-thirds of its rooms became available in November. Their wooden floors and fully equipped kitchens remained. But, since they were in need of upgrades anyway, it was a good time to add modern amenities and a gallery vibe with local artwork. The result is brighter, beachier rooms.
The pool, perched high above the ocean, and the white-sand beaches are also back in service. On a clear day, you can see Anguilla, across the Anguilla Channel, from both. Though the Sunset Café & Bar, which is perched on a rugged promontory surrounded by turquoise water, initially reopened, it’ll soon close for a refresh. The romantic spot can’t look dated if the rest of the resort is being upgraded. In the meantime, Grand Case Boulevard’s lolos (open-air grills) and classic French restaurants are just a short walk away. They’re the reason that Grand Case is known as the Gourmet Capital of the Caribbean anyway.
Grand Case Beach Club and St. Martin have worked long and hard to clean up and rebuild. You can show your support by returning to the Friendly Island for your next beach escape. Then it’s a win-win for everyone.