Just returned from St. Martin

Jun 16th, 2003, 07:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 307
Just returned from St. Martin

My husband and I just returned from our first time on St. Martin. We went with his company for the first 5 days and then stayed 2 days on our own. Overall, we had a fantastic time! Here are some of my observations - hopefully to help out others who are planning a trip there.

Stayed at LeMeridian - very nice resort with a wonderful sandy beach on a secluded cove. Swimming is great because waves are not huge and there are no rocks. Grounds very pretty - nice landscaping and tons of floral shrubs. Rooms large, clean, modern, nice. Breakfast buffet good but gets old after 3 or 4 days. Lunch at LaVeranda very good - recommend the tuna burger. Service overall was very good. Not at all snooty.

Access to hotel was exciting driving up and down steep road! Not dangerous at all. Got a great view halfway up of the bay and the grounds. Road well lit at night. Rented a car at the hotel for last 2 days - had no problem driving around.

Dining - We ate 3 nights in Grand Case. Very good to excellent dinners. Rainbow food was very good but not "to die for". The best part was the setting - directly on the water - very romantic setting. Would go back.

L'Auberge Gourmand was also very good to excellent. Very flavorful sauces and food. Good service. Not on the water but very nice inside - very old world and romantic. Would go back again.

Le Pressoir - Excellent food and service. Best dinner we had on the island. The lamb was wonderful - very tender and tasty. Jim's ceasar salad was on of the best he has ever had. My fruit crumble dessert with grand marnier ice cream was better with each bite. This was our last night on the island. If we had eaten here earlier, we would have gone back again for sure. We had a fantastic pinot noir called LeDoix.

Overall, we thought the beaches and the food on St. Martin were really great. There are many towns and villages on the island that are not very attractive - poor. It kind of takes away from the ambiance if you drive around. If you pick a nice hotel with a nice beach and stay there, you probably will not care.

Again, like others say, all the casinos and discos and nightlife are on the Dutch side, and the more secluded places are on the French side.

This is enough for now. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

gopack is offline  
Jun 16th, 2003, 07:38 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 346
We got 'stuck' on our way from St. Maarten to Anguilla last week, due to a crazy cab driver. He was supposed to be driving us from the airport (SXM) to the ferry launch to Anguilla (Marigot).
What in the world he was doing we do not know but half way to Marigot he passed another taxi with a woman in back whom he claimed 'owed him money'.
He immediately flagged down the other cab, pulled over, and left us sitting there about 5 minutes while he went back and talked to the other cabbie.
He then proceeded to tell us he was dropping us off at La Samanna, that we owed him nothing, and that he was going after this woman to get his money.
He dumped us off and left.
We then got a cab from La Samanna to Marigot.
As such, we got a bit of a tour of the island. Poor, rather run down, like many of the islands.
We walked around La Samanna before heading off to Marigot.
Not at all the upscale place I'd read about 10 years ago. Certainly not bad, but would rate about a 3.5 star out of 5 in my book, judging by restaurant, pool, beach, location and public areas.
I don't think I'd ever return to St. Martin or Maarten if I were in search of a luxury week away.
I've read, as gopack points out, that there are some very good restaurants, though, in St. Martin.
rwilliams is offline  
Jun 20th, 2003, 01:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20
rwilliams - how can you judge an entire island from a cab ride?? There are great restaurants all over the island, not just on the Dutch side, if you like pampered hotel/spa type places, then no St. Maarten/St. Martin is not for you, but if you like to explore and try different beaches, then give it another shot! Bythe way, if youwere going from the airport to Anguilla, then what youwent through was not a poor area, it was a resort totally wiped out in 1995 by a hurricane and has been held up in court, then you went past some of the most expensive villas on the island, then through Sandy Ground, your typical village.
sxmguru is offline  
Jun 20th, 2003, 05:43 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 45

I know you are trying to help people make a decision - but please remember that people live in St. Martin - it's not DisneyWorld.

While you are enjoying your 5 star accommodation and meals on your husband's corporate credit card - the residents are trying to get by and make a living.

It just struck me with your comment that the people and the reality of the island "took away from the ambience" when you are driving around.

You sound just a "little" spoiled.

JohnPH is offline  
Jun 21st, 2003, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 20
I appreciate gopack's honesty....I can't stand it when people sugarcoat their experiences.

People reading these posts save their money for vacations and deserve to know truthful insights into places. That is what this board is for.
Canoodle is offline  
Jun 21st, 2003, 05:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 389
Ditto the previous poster's comments.
I can read sugarcoated comments in any travel mag or book. I'd prefer to know people's frank opinions. I don't like negative surprises when I go on vacation.
gplimpton is offline  

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