• close family • small boat • big world •

La Belle Creole

May 13, 2015

by Nicole
Iles des Saintes, Guadeloupe 

Back in St. Martin, La Belle Creole is a hotel that sits on a point overlooking Marigot Bay on the French side. It was built in 1988 and was open until a hurricane wiped it out in 1995. Since the hurricane caused it to shut down, vandals have trashed it, which is really sad. Cash, and I and some other boat kids were lucky enough to come across this hotel and explore it.

Tower at dusk

La Belle Creole is a pretty big hotel. There is a main courtyard surrounded by buildings, as well as buildings set back from the main square. Off the main square there is a tower, taller than the rest of the buildings, with a two-story suite at the top, which we guessed was the honeymoon suite. At the top of the tower, looking through the windows on one side, you could see Marigot Bay and the land beyond, and on the other side you could see the hotel and the beach and just past that the St. Martin Lagoon.

Courtyard foreground; Marigot Bay background
Through a broken window

Next to the tower is a room that must have been gorgeous in its day. It has big wooden columns, and a wooden ceiling. The sad part about it was that the whole room was completely blackened by fire - everything was
blackened wood. Going down some stairs in that room, we came upon what must have been hundreds of papers, all scattered on the floor. There was everything from menus to advertisements to financial records, some of them burned around the edges.

La Belle Creole also had a pool, but is doesn’t have any water in it now. It also had a room only accessible by climbing a metal ladder, which turned out to have AC units. There was also a series of underground rooms. From what we could tell, part of this area housed the kitchen, with pots and pans and paper cook hats. Another underground area had Christmas decorations and a bunch of clothes still on hangers.

La Belle Creole was an amazing and fascinating place to explore. It was awful that it was shut down, but even sadder that people have to vandalize it.