Help with Hotels in St. Maarten / St. Martin

Aug 28th, 2009, 01:15 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Help with Hotels in St. Maarten / St. Martin

Hello, I am planning on going to St. Martin in November and cannot decide whether to stay on the French or Dutch side. My friend and I would like to stay on the beach. We would like calm waters and a fun bar scene near by if possible. If breakfast is included that would be a plus! We are looking to keep the price under $150/ night.
Thanks!
AliG is offline  
Aug 28th, 2009, 11:25 PM
  #2  
iw
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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I know that my suggestion probably won't fit into the $150/night category, but I love the French side. It has so much to offer and is not built up. I love the Esmeralda Resort on Orient Beach and they do offer a contintental breakfast with fresh breads, fruits, coffee, juices and water. You may want to check into Hotel Mont Vernon which now offers individual units to rent. A website that is very helpful in this area is www.traveltalkonline.com.
They have a total section devoted to SXM.
iw is offline  
Aug 29th, 2009, 03:46 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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iw is absolutely right about the French side of the island (where I live).

The Dutch side is a completely different world ! It is totally overbuilt, highly commercial, with about 12 casinos, KFC, Burger King, time-share and an infrastructure that just cannot cope with what has been allowed to happen - in large part due to the blatant corruption in high places within the administration.

The French side is different, though I am sure that there probably IS some element of corruption in high places, it is not really obvious, and building etc. has been pretty well controlled. At least you will not find any of the above mentioned 'attractions' over here - nor will you find a high rise anywhere !

iw's suggestion of Esmeralda Resort is good, but calm waters on Orient Bay rarely exist - there is almost invariably some form of light to moderate surf, as the beach is pretty exposed, and the prevailing wind is onshore. There is, however, a wide selection of beach bars - some of the better ones serving pretty good food - and good availability of water sports.

If you want totally calm water all the time, a private beach and accomodation right on the waters edge, I suggest that you check the website of The Grand Case Beach Club. The bar there is also a great place from which to view the, frequently spectacular, sunsets.

There are a number of bars and boutiques etc in the main Boulevard of Grand Case - which starts about 200 yards from the exit of the hotel - and, if you are 'foodies' Grand Case is also generally accepted to be the cullinary capital of the Caribbean. Nearly all the numerous restaurants there are excellent, and you are at but a short drive to Orient Bay - considered to have one of the best beaches on the island.

You also have easy accesss to Pinel island which is very quiet and sheltered, with permanently calm water and 3 beach bars serving pretty passable food. The access is via water taxi from Cul de Sac, a short drive away from Grand Case. The cost is $7 return, but don't miss the last ferry back or you will have to sleep under a palm tree, as there are no accomodations on Pinel island !

A further word of advice. Wherever you decide to stay, you will need a rental car. Public transportation is virtually non-existant (at least as far as tourists are concerned. Taxis are not cheap, and are not always sitting right there waiting for your custom.

I hope this helps. Have a good trip.
DavidSXM is offline  
Aug 29th, 2009, 04:25 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,113
My first thought was Grand Case Beach Club, too. I also agree with David on the car. It's kind of hard to get by on SXM without one. I highly recommend Best Deal Car Rental which you can book with online.
Statia is offline  
Aug 29th, 2009, 07:01 AM
  #5  
 
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I am pleased to know that Statia agrees with me !

I went to the Beach Club myself yesterday to visit some friends who were scheduled to be staying there, but the idiot husband had lost his passport, so they had to cancel their trip at the last minute !

It is a very well maintained set up, and if you make sure that you secure a confirmed beach front unit (toes in the water - actually about 6 feet above it from your own mini garden !) I am sure that you will like it.

My US based son and daughter-in-law always stay there when they regularly visit the island - which is a relief for me, as they have a 3 year old son who I love dearly, but, all the same, I am somewhat alergic to small children in large doses - even the younger versions of my own 9 grandchildren !!
DavidSXM is offline  
Aug 29th, 2009, 07:30 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 433
One other thing !

If you DO decide to book at The Grand Case Beach Club, it could be well worth asking for a front line unit opposite the tennis court !

These, I noted yesterday, are currently being re-furbished, but all that should be finished well before you arrive, and you would get the full benefit of any newly made improvements. The only thing is that (though I am not sure) those may all have two bedrooms, which possibly is more than you need.

In any event, all of the units that I have been into are well equipped, and immaculately maintained. They all have mini kitchens, and fridge-freezers etc, so if you want to economize on your eating expenses, it is simple to do so. You also have a 'room service' facility.

I would be interested to know how you make out eventually - even if you don't book at the Beach Club.

If you need further 'informed comment' before you book anywhere, don't be afraid to ask !
DavidSXM is offline  
Aug 31st, 2009, 06:24 AM
  #7  
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Thanks so much for all of your suggestions! I will look into your comments and let you know if I need additional help.
AliG is offline  

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