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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.

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 of 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 the smell of the ocean air 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

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

Jacuzzi

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

Overgrown resort grounds

Overgrown roots

Overgrown roots on the grounds

Burnt down ballroom

Burnt down part of la Belle Creole

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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. Maarten’s affluent past.

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