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Hotel Le Domain, Princess Heights or Westin

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We were going to stay at Oyster bay but discovered the pool would be out of commission during our stay. We have narrowed in down Hotel Le Domain, Princess Heights or the Westin. All 3 appear to be somewhat secluded (which we like). We are leaning towards Le Domain as it was a personal referall from an employee of mine and the European vibe does sound appealing. We are planning on spending 10 days in St. Martin for our 1 year anniversary. Any suggestions are welcome our budget is around $240-$270/night. Thank you in advance for any input.

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    Le Domaine is your best choice by far - absolutely no contest !

    OK, so the access to Anse Marcel can present a bit of a daunting drive home after dinner in one of the excellent restaurants in nearby Grand Case, or an extended 'happy hour' in one of the beach bar restaurants on Orient Bay about 4 miles away, but the hotel ambiance and beautiful gardens more than make up for that.

    The only thing is that Le Domaine,I think, closes for a while during the low season, so you need to check whether it will be open when you plan to visit the island - you didn't mention WHEN.

    Princess Heights and the extremely ugly (externally) Westin are both located about as far as you can be away from any other civilization on the island. There is very little to do in the surrounding area, and little choice of alternative places to eat or drink. Plus the interior of the Westin could be that of any conference hotel in the US - the only nice parts are the beach and pool area.

    If you can't get into Le Domaine, try the Radisson (which is right next door) but with not such a nice 'South of France in the Caribbean' ambiance - in my view, also the same may apply to closures.

    A viable alternative could be La Samanna, it is close to the frontier not far from the airport. It is, suppsedly, one of the top hotels on the island.

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    David- Thanks you so much for your response. It was extremely helpful. We've never been to St. Martin so your input is much appreciated!

    We will be arriving at the end of Sept. and staying 10 days. We did look into Le Samanna but they are closed in Sept. I've been in close contact with Le Domain and they are indeed open during the dates we will be in St. Martin. It appears that is where we will be staying.

    We are definitely renting a car. Should we book one through Le Domain or would there be a cheaper option elsewhere? I have visions of renting a jeep wrangler and driving around the island with the top down!

    Based on my browsing you seem to be the Go To Authority on St. Martin. Any places you'd recommend for dinner and things to do?

    I know we plan to go to Happy Beach (Bay?), Prickly Pear and Pinnel Island. We also have a day trip scheduled through an associate of mine who will be giving us a tour of St. Barths. Any other suggestions are welcome.

    We are very much looking fwd. to our trip to St. Martin, as neither of us have ever been but have only heard positive things about it from friends and family. I am especially excited to try to grilled Lobster at one of the famous LoLo's.

    Many thanks again for all your input.

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    Well, if you are going to be on the island in September, I strongly suggest that you take trip cancellation insurance, as September is THE month for hurricanes - if we are going to get one. I have lived on the island for 6 years, and - touching wood - we haven't had a bad hit since I arrived - but you never know.

    I HATE to suggest a car rental company,as there are some which are OK and others which are not - and anyway I personally don't rent. The one to definitely avoid is the Dollar/Thrifty franchise - there are far too many horror stories about that outfit!

    Maybe someone else reading this thread will be prepared to stick out his or her neck and give you a name.

    If you decide to rent through Le Domaine you have a degree of safety, as I don't think that they would want their guests to have problems, but do make sure that the rental company will pick you up at the airport, and that you can also return the car there.

    If you plan on going to St Barts, firstly don't forget to take your passports, and secondly take a credit card and a fat wallet ! The island is very nice, full of 'beautiful people' - or people trying to be beautiful - but the cost for everything there reflects the sort of vacationers that they are trying to attract. Hopefully your associate will pick up the tab for lunch !

    By the way, it is as well to warn your credit card companies BEFORE you leave home that you are going to be in the Caribbean and that the card(s) may be used there. Otherwise - as I have seen on occasion - the charge might be questioned or refused as the card is being used in an unusual location and therefore could have been stolen. It's just as well to try to avoid the embarassment.

    You really should make a point of eating a dinner or two in Grand Case, it is - rightly - known as the 'cullinery capital of the Caribbean'. There is a huge choice of restaurants - hough some may be closed at the end of September, and of course there are the LoLos, but the best food is to be found in the restaurants - but none of them are cheap.

    Right now, I am off island until mid - August, so I don't know what will be open or closed, so re-contact me nearer your departure date, and I will be better informed.

    I hope this helps.

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