Going to St Maarten - need help!

Old Oct 30th, 2001, 07:50 AM
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Going to St Maarten - need help!

Can anyone recommend a good place to stay? I'd also appreciate any other comments about the island or other island suggestions (We've done Aruba and St. Lucia). THANKS!
Old Oct 30th, 2001, 08:13 AM
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Here's what Frommer's 2002 Guide says about St. Maarten: <BR> <BR>"Crime is on the rise in St. Maarten and, in fact, has become quite serious. If possible, avoid night driving - it's particularly unwise to drive on remote, unlit, back roads at night. Also, let that deserted, isolated beach remain so. You're safer in a crowd, although under no circumstances should you ever leave anything unguarded on the beach." <BR> <BR>As for the french side of the island: <BR> <BR>"The crime wave hitting Dutch-held St. Maarten also plagues French St. Martin. Travel with extreme caution here, especially at night. Avoid driving at night along the Lowlands road. Armed patrols have helped the situation somewhat, but hotel safes should be used to guard your valuables. You can reach the police by dialing 17."
Old Oct 30th, 2001, 08:50 AM
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LOL Janine, was that all Frommer's had to say??? It's interesting with these boards trying to figure out some people's private agendas. <BR> <BR>Steph, as for recommending a place to stay, the first decision must be if you are interested in the Dutch side or the French side. If you are looking for active nightlife, something in the Maho area would be preferable. If you want quieter times, the French side in the Grand Case to Orient Beach area would be the more logical choice. <BR> <BR>You must also decide big or small. One difference you would find from Aruba is that St Martin does not have the big chain hotels like the Marriott. <BR> <BR>A more dedicated board for you to check would be the WWW.TRAVELTALKONLINE.COM board for St Martin.
Old Oct 30th, 2001, 09:03 AM
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I agree Chris. <BR> <BR>A completely crime free destination? Good luck! I think these people must never go on vacation anywhere.... <BR> <BR Liz
Old Oct 30th, 2001, 12:41 PM
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I dont think he asked if there was crime, moron!! <BR>Thats why hundreds of cruises stop there a year.
Old Oct 30th, 2001, 01:53 PM
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Just returned today from a four day sail around Anguilla and St. Martin. I don't know how much help I'll be, because we spent lost of our time on our catamaran or on the beach. <BR> <BR>The beaches on Anguilla are nicer by far than those on St. Martin. The sand was whiter and of a finer grain. <BR> <BR>One of our group spent every night on shore - two nights at Cap Jaluca on Anguilla and two at La Semanna on St. Martin. <BR> <BR>Actually we all stayed at La Semanna at least one night. Both resorts were running specials good for the first couple of weeks of the season. Basically a 1 bedroom or Jr. Suite for $350/night. A HUGE reduction on rooms that normally go for $900+. Of course the trade off was that there was not a full complement of staff on board. At La Semanna, with only 20 or so rooms rented, service was tediously slow in the restaurant and though light meals are supposed to be available in the bar, they weren't. Also the beach has seen considerable erosion. <BR> <BR>However mangaement was eager to rectify any problems. I booked a massage through the front desk for 2:00 pm, I got a message delivered on the beach apologizing and setting it for 3:30. When I got there, I was told they couldn't take me til 6:00. I got profuse apologies for the mix up (from hotel staff not spa), a comped bottle of champagne and a comped 1 hour massage. <BR> <BR>Some overhauling and painting was being done on rooms while we were there. I would reccomend La Semanna, but be prepared for sticker shock.
Old Oct 31st, 2001, 11:38 AM
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One the French side, Mario's Bistro in Sandy Ground (just before Marigot) is a great place for dinner. Extremely friendly staff, and great food. Didier the host and co-owner is a really great guy and very friendly to talk to. <BR> <BR>I imagine the taste of the Duck in a Ginger sauce. <BR> <BR>Please make a reservation as it has only about 12 tables.
Old Nov 3rd, 2001, 10:58 AM
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We have been to St. Martin several times, although not one of my favorite islands. Not very scenic, lots of poverty and beaches are so-so. We stayed both times at Le Meridian, nice resort, need car, and highly recommend going into the small village of Grand Case, restaurant after restaurant. Could stay a week and never eat at the same place twice, and wonderful food!! Several of our friends like to staY at the Grand Case Beach Hotel so they can walk here. I think La Samanna is the nicest resort here, beach has big hill though and not the best for walking. Hope this helps! Have been to St. Lucia and St. Martin is not much in comparison...a disappointing island in our view!
Old Nov 3rd, 2001, 06:19 PM
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How is there such thing as a dissapointing caribbean island. Just eat realx and go to beaches. Man these people are dumb. <BR>DOnt menetion the culture, excursions, variety of beaches, mountains, casinos shopping.
Old Nov 4th, 2001, 11:38 AM
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"Not very scenic, lots of poverty and beaches are so-so." <BR>some people are so critical! I wonder where they live? do they have 80 degree temps year round? do they have nice beaches ( not so so beaches)? can they see to the bottom of the water they swim in? <BR>they don't have poverty where they live? gee, I thought poverty was everywhere unless you live in an ivory castle... I guess they stay out of "their bad" neighborhoods <BR>St. Maarten has it's problems, for sure, but I would rather live there than most other places <BR>

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