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St. Martin 4 days on Orient Beach

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Reading all of the information here has been very helpful. I'm a grad student (ie. on a budget) traveling with a friend for a long weekend at the end of March from Boston to St. Martin. First time on the island for both of us.

We're thinking of staying at La Plantation near Orient Beach. Any thoughts on this particular hotel? The price seems right (<$200/night). We are mostly looking for a relaxing beach vacation... we're not looking for lots of "activities" but rather a beautiful place to enjoy.

Also, is it possible to make do without a car? Are there enough restaurants, etc. walkable around Orient Beach to keep us happy for 3 days? Not to say that we wouldn't consider a taxi here or there...

We're hoping to take a daytrip maybe on 1 of our 3 days there somewhere else on the island (or perhaps to Saba, which we would have chosen for the entire trip if it wasn't for the lack of beaches there). Any recommendations of where to go for natural beauty elsewhere on St. Martin?

Thank you for any pointers!

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    La Plantation if fine, but it isn't front line to the beach. You wil have to walk for about 3 minutes to get there !!

    There is a pretty good range of beach bar restaurants on Orient Bay - most serving fairly decent food - plus there is a choice of restaurants in pretty little Orient Village, just behind the beach itself.

    You CAN do without a car if you are only here for a short time, but car rental is fairly cheap, and your taxis to and from the airport it will cost you $30 each way, plus tip anyway.

    If you want to leave the Orient bay area to go anywhere else - Grand Case for example, or to Marigot (the French capital) you might just as well rent a car, as the overall cost will not be much more, and you have the added convenience.

    If you are on the island for only a long week end, why blow a whole day going to Saba, interesting though it is ? There is plenty to do and see here.

    If you want to spend your limited time soaking up the sun on the island's best beach you are well situated to do so. If you want something a bit quieter, take a trip over to Pinel. The 'ferry', which only takes about 7 or 8 minutes, leaves every 30 minutes from Cul de Sac, and costs just $7 return.

    Once there the atmosphere is very peaceful, there are only 3 beach bar / restaurants, and a boutique selling some rather more interesting and better quality items than most, plus the fact that the water is permanently flat calm.

    If you are interested in duty free shopping, head for Front Street in Philipsburg (the Dutch side capital), but if you want to go there on a Sunday, you should first make sure that the shops are open. If there are cruise ships in port I am pretty certain that they will be, but my fellow poster - Barbara1 - will I am sure be able to wise you up on that if she reads this.

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