Accomodation on St. Maarten/St. Martin

Old Oct 3rd, 2009, 10:27 PM
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Accomodation on St. Maarten/St. Martin

My wife and me going to St. Martin in the middle of November. I've read a lots of comment and slightly lost. We want to stay at French side of the island and looking for reasonable accomodation close to nice beach with calm water. Preferable activity-snorkling, dining,sight seeing.( we are not into night life).
I am under impression, that Oriental Beach faced Atlantic Ocean and water kind of rough.
Is it a big difference in Carribean and Atlantic beaches? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
fvin2000 is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2009, 08:02 AM
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I went with my boyfriend to St Martin last year in January. We stayed at Almanda Hotel on Orient Beach. We also rented a car and drove around the island. Orient Beach I found to be the most beautiful beach on the island. The water when we went was calm. The hotel we stayed at was decent nothing fancy. Our room was clean and they upgraded us to a suite when I asked them for king bed as my boyfriend is 6'4".

We also went to Grande Case for dinner. Another couple recommended us to eat at California Restaurant. I have to say one of the best meals I have ever had. The restuarant was right on the water. Service was excellent. At first when we pulled up to the town of Grande Case we didnt want to get out of the car as it looked shady. I am so glad we did. It is definetely somewhere I would recommend to visit while in St Martin.

The Dutch side was definetely cheaper and the people were much friendlier. We had gone to the Dutch side and enjoyed it as well.
SHHHHHHHH is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2009, 11:18 AM
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Orient Bay, just below where I live is, in most people's view, the best beach on the island, but the water is virtually never COMPLETELY calm.

It is on the Atlantic coast, and as the prevailing wind is almost always onnshore, therefore there are invariably a few waves and inshore swells. Only on extremely rare accasions is the water completely calm.

I would suggest that you take a look at The Grand Case Beach Club. It has it's own private, well manicured, beach, and the water there is almost invariably flat calm. Snorkeling is avialable.

All the beaches on the island - Atlantic and Caribbean - are pale brown sand, and probably the calmest water in the area (apart from at the Grand Case Beach Club) is to be found at Pinel Island, a short $7 boat trip from Cul de Sac (a village between Grand Case and Orient Bay). There is no accomodation on the island, only three good beach bars and a boutique with some interesting, and different, items on sale.

The Beach Club is located at the end of Grand Case Boulevard which is noted as being home to the best restaurants in the entire Caribbean, and there is a vast number from which to choose.

Having said that, don't miss visiting Orient Beach. There is a wide selection of beach bars, some serving pretty passable food, and all serving very passable drinks ! Full water sports are available there too, and it is only 5 minutes from Grand Case.

If you want nightlife and casinos (a choice of 12 ) visit the concrete jungle on the Dutch side of the island ! You won't find many night clubs on the French side, nor will you find any highrises, casinos, KFC or Burger King ! In my view the best thing about the Dutch side of the island is the shopping, which is cheaper, and everything is priced in US$.

Unless you are content to not stray farther than walking distance from you hotel, you will need a rental car (they are fairly inexpensive) as the only other viable alternative is taxis, which are not cheap, and usually have to be called for.

If you have time, take a good look round the island, particularly the French side, including the French capital, Marigot, where there is a the pretty Marina Royale, surrounded by restaurants and boutiques, all stayng open till late during 'the season'.

I hope this helps.

Have fun.
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Old Oct 4th, 2009, 11:19 AM
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For a nice and relaxing, calm beach/area on the French side I would suggest Grand Case. You could look into staying at Grand Case Beach Club. There is also fabulous dining in the area, and you could rent a car to see the rest of the island.
Statia is offline  
Old Oct 4th, 2009, 11:21 AM
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David and I must have been posting at the same time. ;-)
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Old Oct 4th, 2009, 06:08 PM
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Hi Statia

As they say "great minds think alike" !
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Old Oct 5th, 2009, 08:01 AM
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can I join the great minds think alike club too?
here's another vote for Grand case Beach Club.

Orient Bay by the way is surrounded by reefs so it is not quite the open Atlantic. and I have seen orient very calm but more often than not there is a small wave action coming in. and sometimes, especially if we have the Christmas winds, it can get quite rough.
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Old Oct 6th, 2009, 06:58 AM
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You were already in the club, Barbara. ;-)
Statia is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 09:55 AM
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Having just been to the island I am shocked by all the positive comments about Orient Bay. It is the only beach on the island that I found to have major problems with seaweed. Plus the wall to wall sea of beach chairs and bars drove me insane. If you want a quiet sandy beach this is not the place for you. Actually with all the themed bars and beaches I left feeling that if Vegas has a beach it would look like Orient Bay. And don't forget that Orient Bay is a topless beach with a nude beach on one end. But based on my experience people just picked whatever spot they wanted to go nude. It was definitely not confined to any one section.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 12:01 PM
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HMMMM . . . I am sorry you suffered such a disability at Orient Beach. Hopefully, you are on the mend. I wouldn't recommend returning to Orient with the expectation of a different result. That would truly be insane.

We have never encountered such a violent beach reaction as described by "amccarth." This includes our 25 years of visiting St. Martin and Orient Beach as well as the 50 plus other Caribbean, Pacific, US and European destinations we have visited. If you consider the entire length of the beach, the chairs, seaweed and nudity as described is overstated. Moreover, "quiet sandy beach" is easily accessed and more than available north of Esmerelda and Co Co Beach, i.e. the half mile of sand north of the big boulders.

If you like beautiful water, white sand, great food, watersports, long walks, options, lounge chairs on which to relax, friendly people and the Caribbean sunshine, Orient is a great spot to experience.
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