La Belle Creole was a long time dream of Claudius Charles Philippe, the once general manager of the famous Waldorf-Astoria and a man obsessed with luxury, who had a vision of building a little French hideaway on a French St. Martin peninsula. A dream that unfortunately was tangled in a nasty financial web right from the start, when shortly after construction started it ran into money trouble, which eventually halted the project for several years until it was picked up again by other investors.

IMPORTANT! Make sure you wear good running or hiking shoes when visiting La Belle Creole and always go in a group.

Some say La Belle Creole was built on sacred grounds, others are convinced that the project was cursed from the beginning and never stood a chance. They may have been right considering the fact that the once gorgeous and unique lavish hotel now sits abandoned after being destroyed by hurricane Luis back in 1995.

Walking through the hotel grounds is now like walking through a ghost town. Besides the buildings still standing erect after the massive destruction brought on by Luis, furniture pieces or rather what is left of them can be be seen in some of the rooms, making it easy to imagine the immense beauty this place must have possessed back in the 80’s.

For me it was something like a scene out of the hit movie Titanic. I could almost hear the string quartet playing in the ballroom, the shuffling of feet of guests dancing, the excited chatter of new visitors arriving in the lobby or the breeze and smell of the ocean guests must have felt on their faces while lounging on their patios. They just don’t make hotels like this anymore.

La Belle Creole now stands alone, slowly decaying and waiting to be transformed back into its former glory.

Abandoned Resort Grounds
Urban Decay
Urban Decay
Part of the abandoned Belle Creole
Part of the abandoned Belle Creole
Broken window
Time destroyed window
Hallway to rooms
Open hallway to rooms
Grafitti walls
Grafitti wall
Abandoned Belle Creole Pool
Abandoned Belle Creole Pool
What is left of what must have been one awesome jacuzzi
Abandoned ocean view suite
What is left of what looks to have been an ocean view suite
Beautiful sunset
Beautiful sunset close to the beach
Overgrown resort grounds
Overgrown roots
Overgrown roots on the grounds
Burnt down ballroom
Burnt down part of la Belle Creole
2013-01-01 00.00.00-199
Beautiful shutters now hang in decay
Office cabinet
A lonely filing cabinet with VIP guest registrations
Secretary's desk
A secretary’s desk still standing in what looks to be the office building.
The ruins of La Belle Creole Resort
The still beautiful but decayed Belle Creole Resort. A look at St. Martin’s affluent past.

Live, Laugh, Explore.




    I was staying at La Belle Creole with 4 girlfriends when Hurricane Luis hit and while it was devastating to the island and property; we we made to feel safe, cared for and incredibly fortunate to be at this hotel when this occurred. Our hope has always been to one day return there. It’s so sad to see it’s abandoned and no one redeveloped the land or property. Prior to the Hurricane we enjoyed our stay, the food, the beach, the hotel and the people who worked there.

  2. I stayed at LBC in the early 90’s. I came with a friend that had an “in” through his hotel friends to get good room rates and special accommodations. Before our trip, we communicated with a woman named Tracy Lee who worked at a local newspaper. We were in our twenties at the time and we came during carnivale. We met her family, marched in the procession. We hung out on hillsides and played dominos and cooked fish with our local friends. We met so many wonderful people who through a large going away party for us. When we were not out and about, we enjoyed the luxuries of LBC. I am learning about its demise just now. I never knew it was destroyed. Seeing the pictures saddens me. What great memories I have of the people of St Maarten.

    • Riselle Reply

      The hotel was already gone by the time I came to live here. But I saw photos of when it was still beautiful and popular. Walking through its ruins is incredibly haunting and yet, there is something of beauty there still.

  3. visit 4 years ago…. nice site.., beach was realy nice… perfect for a short visit a cloudy day

    but… the complex nead a lot of…love

    • Riselle Reply

      Hopefully someone will buy the property and redevelop it. Glad you enjoyed the beach there. It’s such a calm and hidden spot.

  4. Bob Cleveland Reply

    incidentally, LA Belle Creole is in St. Martin, not Ste. Maarten.

    • Riselle Reply

      Thank you for that, Bob. As a local St. Maartener I chose to call the series St. Maarten Abandoned. La Belle Creole is only a part of the series. But indeed the abandoned hotel is located on the French part of the island, which is of course Saint Martin

  5. Pingback: HURRICANE STORY. Here's mine. | A BAREFOOT ARTIST

  6. Daniel NICOLAS Reply

    Daniel Nicolas

    In 1987, I spent 9 months working at La Belle Creole’s 7th reconstruction attempt. I worked as a trouble shooter and lived on site. I started writing a novel about the curse. I can be reached at

  7. Riselle, Do you mind if I link to your post? My husband and I stayed here during Luis and I’m telling the story about our stay. I’d love to share your amazing photos with my readers. Email me if you prefer. Thanks. Pam

    • Riselle Reply

      Of course, Pamela. Thank you for reading my blog and I look forward to seeing your post.

  8. My husband and I stayed there in 1984 as a 10th anniversary trip. It was so beautiful and it was an amazing resort. It was so sad when we found out Hurricane Luis destroyed it. 1995 was a very bad year for St. Thomas as well with Hurricane Marilyn damage. Thank you for the pictures. It was like watching the movie “Titanic” by seeing it damaged and able to remember it in its glory!

  9. On my way to go there with a guy from….tinder XD who told me about it. After the abandoned leprosy sanatorium I had pleasure to visit it’s gonna be the next amazing place <3

    • Hey Sophie, You will love it. It’s good that you’re going on a Sunday there are bound to be more explorers around then. The place can be a little isolated. I checked out your blog and fell instantly in love with your photos. Nice work. Enjoy La Belle Creole and beware of Tinder guys 😉 Do you have any photo of the Sanatorium?

    • G. Godfrey Reply

      I worked in La Belle Créole as an assistant Financial Controller from 1991 – 1993. It was a very attractive Resort, very original. I will be going back again soon just to visit and bring back pleasant memories.

      • Wow. I would love to see some photos of what it looked like back in the day.

  10. I toured the grounds in 2004. It was at once immensely beautiful, and immensely sad.

    Wish I had the Dollars to restore it.

    I ran into some residents of St. Martin on a visit there. They said it was famous for its fine cuisine, and when LaTastevin and the Fish House opened in Grand Case, it lost a lot of its appeal.

  11. I toured the grounds in 2004. It was at once immensely beautiful, and immensely sad.

    Wish I had the Dollars to restore it.

    • What is left of it is accessible. The property entrance is blocked but one can easily hop the chain

  12. Is it true that some investors have started renovations to turn it into a new hotel?

    • Not sure. I heard that rumor too but not sure if that’s true. It will be a lot of work. Building is in quite a decayed state

  13. Lisa Weeks Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing…was there a few days before the storm; it was so beautiful. Going to the Hidden Pools this Sunday; would love to have you join us…E-mail me if you are interested…Peace&Love

  14. Wow, you did a great job recreating what must have been an amazing resort. What happens to it now?\

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