First time in St. Maarten

Oct 10th, 2002, 01:21 PM
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First time in St. Maarten

Hi! My hubby and I am going to St. Maarteen to Pelican Resort Club for the Christmas week. It is our first time to St. Marteen and first vacation together (we are in our mid twenties). My experience in the Caribbean has only been visiting St. John (which I loved) so I expect a similar experience. We are planning on getting a diving licence through the resort. Is there anywhere out there with tips on things to do, places to visit, beaches to go to? My understanding is there is a nude beach in the French side. Would it be worth to visit? Never been to one but have an open-mind. Thanks.
Oct 10th, 2002, 03:50 PM
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My wife and I honeymooned on St. Maarten in November 1999 (Hurricane Lenny). After the storm we found that the BEST beach by far (and we had been to most on the French side was ORIENT BEACH. It is white sand, turquoise blue and red faced if you're not used to the nudity! HaHa! Wished it had been beautiful when we were there.

Oct 10th, 2002, 06:07 PM
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The French side is great. Orient beach is the best on the island, and there are literally dozens of great restaraunts in Grand Case, which is olny a couple of miles away.

The Dutch side is not as interesting, but make a point of going to watch the Air France 747 land (locals can tell you when/where) - its right over your head on the beach - awesome!
Oct 10th, 2002, 06:13 PM
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Oh my goodness...I remember touring that place cause the timeshares just opened. It was then owned by the husband of Kristian Alphonse(?) the actress on 'Days of our Lives.' You are staying on the Dutch side.

Please know that St. Martin is NO WAY like St. John; there is poverty and is unlike the 75% national park of St. John. You are staying on the Dutch side; I highly recommend going to the French side. When we went to Cupecoy, we were on the border of the Dutch/French, and loved the French side much better. The town of Marigot(sp?) is quaint with small shops, unlike by where you will be, which have some duty free designer shops (Gucci, etc., but know your pricing and what you would want in advance). Great restaurants in Marigot. Stay away Sparticos Restaurant in Dutch St.M, it's a rip off big time.

You don't have to do all nude, but most folks do go au naturel, and just takes some getting used to. One lady was a little too flamboyant when we were on the beach in the way she was sitting, all nude, 'Indian style;' otherwise, it's just pretty much folks resting, in the nude.

Consider a quick boat trip from St. M to Anguilla; it is GORGEOUS over there and is even better than St. John, if you can believe that.

Please be careful doing nite entertainment; St. M crime has had an upswing in crime, at night, on the Dutch side. If you meet another couple, that might help in pairing up for going out.

Hope this helps.
Oct 10th, 2002, 06:36 PM
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An addendum to the post by 'Beach' -- if you sit at the end of the airport runway watching the planes come in, be prepared to get 'sand blasted!' I hated it; my hubby LOVED it....
Oct 10th, 2002, 10:30 PM
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GM, you're WRONG on two counts:
1. St. John DOES have poverty; and
2. Anguilla definitely is NOT gorgeous!
Oct 11th, 2002, 04:13 AM
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Its angry Tim again!! The one who has a serious vendetta against Anguilla and now I see, St John. Tim, you were told on a previous post earlier this week when you tried (yet again!) to bash Anguilla, to go back to playing your video games and quite popping up on this board with your sad opinions about Anguilla - no one is listening!!
Oct 11th, 2002, 05:45 AM
Tim Go Away
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Not only is it Tim, but they also post as Rob, Erich, Mike, and countless others. Just look at some he/she did last night. He/she haunts this board between 2 and 3 in the morning. Every day you can look and see who has posted at that time and you will see the same MO, bashing! He/She must be some sort of frustrated traveler that would prefer to bash places than be helpful. It's really annoying. Wish they really would find a video game to play instead!
Oct 11th, 2002, 05:53 AM
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Thanks for all the input. I don't think we'll be going out at night. I now understand the Frech side is really the place with an authentic atmosphere. However, we already did make plans with this resort. Would it be wise to rent a car then? If so, any idea how much it costs? We are really going there to relax and enjoy the beach. Does anyone know if Pelican Resort has a nice beach? Please don't say no!
Oct 11th, 2002, 12:51 PM
R. Bailey
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You definitely should rent a car. Off season costs are about $25/day; on season will be higher. I believe the Pelican beach is man-made, but have been told that it is quite nice, although I have no direct experience with it. If you have a car, you can easily go to any of many beaches, most of which have facilities. Orient is most famous, busiest, and nude, but there are lots of others. Other things to do are visit Marigot for the market, French shopping, and Fort Louis, also visit the butterfly farm. You will not be bored. If you are just going for a week you probably will not be looking for a day trip, but with regard to Anguilla, it is definitely not as scenic as St. Martin (which is not as scenic as St. John), but has beatiful beaches and is a nice place to spend a day.
Oct 14th, 2002, 06:12 AM
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Personally, I appreciate Tim's opinion on Anguilla. All I ever heard was how gorgeous it was, how beautiful it was. Well, the beaches are quite nice but the landscape is nothing spectacular, not compared to some other islands, that is for sure.
Oct 14th, 2002, 07:01 AM
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To xyz

Tim's (or is his name "Ron"??) post on Anguilla is offensive because he states that it is "poverty-striken" which is gross exaggeration and could'nt be further from the truth. He haunts these boards in the wee hours of the morning and has nothing but bogus, sweeping statements to make about Anguilla with no apparent basis for those statements. Not at all helpful!
Oct 14th, 2002, 08:46 AM
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The best restaurants and beaches in my opinion are in the french side. I stayed in the Pelican about 3 years ago, I know you don't want to hear it but the beach is not that great if you compare it with others in the island. And I don't mean it's bad, it's just that there are better ones. To get to the good ones you will need a car. I don't remember the price but it was close to what you pay in US. Orient beach is great but I liked a lot Ile Pinel (close to orient beach). If you decide to go take a lot of sunblock because there's not too much shade.
Nov 19th, 2002, 02:42 PM
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Dear Beach-
I am also looking at Pelican Resort due to time-share limitation. When are you planning on going? I am very interested in hearing more on the atmosphere of St. Martin and if there's good snorkeling, any hiking, golf? I've only been to the Yucatan and am looking for a fun, romantic honeymoon- let me know what you find out!
Nov 19th, 2002, 11:17 PM
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There is so much to see and do on St. Maarten/St. Martin that it would be hard to describe in a message board posting. You should read the trip reports at There is a lot of information there.

Rent a car? Absolutely! If for no other reason than to sample the great restaurants in Grand Case. Brace yourself for heavy traffic, though. Christmas week will be nuts.

Go to the nude beach? Sure, Orient Beach is a really nice beach. The beach bars are great and there are lots of beach activities. If you want to try nude sunbathing, keep in mind not all the beach bars allow nude use of their beach chairs. Nudity is more prevalent toward the busy south end of the beach near Club O. I liked the quieter, less crowded north end of the beach myself.

There are many other really nice beaches to visit. Dawn, Friar's, Red, Plum, Long, Mullet to name a few. Note there will probably be a fair number of topless women on all the beaches on the French side of the island. Very common on the French islands. Just ignore them and they will ignore you.

From what I've read about St. John, it is a very different island than St. Maarten. St. Maarten is more arid, has more poverty, and more crime. That doesn't mean you can't have a great vacation. Just have realistic expectations for scenery and be as alert there as you would be in any big city.

I was there this summer and had a wonderful vacation. I would not hesitate to go back.

Nov 20th, 2002, 04:27 AM
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To Tim - Have you actually been to Anguilla?
Nov 27th, 2002, 09:36 AM
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My wife and I have been to St. Maarten several times, both on cruise ships and land vacations. The French restaurants in Grand Case are not to be missed. Our favorite thing to do on the island is the America's Cup Yacht Racing. We've done it 4 times - an absolute hoot. Many of the quaint little beach bars along Orient are quite enjoyable. Nude beaches are not what they are cracked (pardon the pun) up to be - unless you really like watching bald guys with watermelon-size beer bellies waddle down the beach.
Dec 12th, 2002, 11:02 AM
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My husband and I are heading to Sapphire Beach Club at Christmas with our time-share. We have been to St. Maarten once before, stayed at Pelican. We are interested in doing the America's Cup Sailing Adventure. Does anyone have a website address or advice re this activity? I was planning it as my husbands birthday gift. Thanks
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