Mary's Boon

Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 06:55 AM
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Mary's Boon

For those of you that have stayed at or visited Mary's Boon Hotel, please tell me your experience. I have one night in St. Maarten before having to make a 10 a.m. international flight and I'm thinking this may be a good place. How's the food? Also, are there restaurants/shopping/etc. within walking distance? Thanks!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 07:19 AM
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I haven't stayed there myself, but have heard good things about the accomodations, service and food. The only undesireable thing I could think of is that it backs up to the airport runway so you may have jet noise during the day, but flights don't come in after 10 p.m. so night noise wouldn't be a problem.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 01:16 PM
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Cold....

Oh! My! God! Mary's Boon. My wife and I stayed there for a week in 1977, not too long after Mary Pomeroy opened it (after leaving Nevis in a snit with the government).
It was wonderful! It was eccentric! When I watch 'The Birdcage' I am immediately trasported back to Mary's Boon. Mary was a diva, an absolute diva. She had an entourage of, well, like I said, 'The Birdcage' takes me back 25 years. Nothing was quite like it seemed. The floor rose and fell between wings of the building, like different crews of builders had been racing with each other to put the place together and hadn't stopped to see if the pieces would match. But that was the charm.
There was an honor bar with lots of interesting rums, gins, vodkas and cordials. The mixers were never rerigerated, and I don't think there was ever any ice. Mary wasn't British, if I remember correctly, but the drinks were.
And the food was, well, different. Not bad, not great, but not like anything I ate anywhere eles in the islands.

I know this hasn't been helpful in the present day, but thank's for reminding me again of a wonderful old-time Caribbean place, the kind that are so hard to find today.
I can't wait to get home tonight to remind my wife about Mary's Boon. We'll have a gin and tinic with no ice and drink a toast to Mary (if she's still alive, she has to be past 90).

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Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 03:00 PM
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golf guy, OMG! You actually knew Mary? THE Mary Pomeroy?!

I have very close friends who knew her well and have great stories about her. She is no longer with us, but boy the stories I have heard. She was so ticked with the government of Nevis that she once loaded up her plane with rocks and drop bombed them all over the island. I understand she was QUITE a character and I only wish that I could have met her myself.

Now I'm going to have to rent "The Birdcage." You have piqued my curiosity.

BTW Cold in Cleveland, the Boon was bought by a couple from Houston several years ago (don't know if they are the current owners) and they totally refurbished the place from what I understand. I have walked past it on Simpson Bay beach and it seems very charming and nice. Be sure to post back if you stay there.
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 05:55 AM
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Hi Statia!

Yes, we met Mary when we were there. She would sail in and out of the rooms always wearing some type of flowing caftan, with lots of jewelry -- big rings, dangly earrings and such.
She had almost a regal air about her. She had 3 or 4 guys in attendance most times, and the whole ensemble is what reminds me of 'The Birdcage' -- not, as Jerry Seinfeld says, that there's anything wrong with that.
In my mind's eye now I can picture her hair back in a bun with wisps hanging down, and she is gesturing with large sweeps of her hand, with her caftan arcing down away from her hand.
I must confess, she scared me a bit when we first met.
By the end of the week we were thick as thieves and I realized she was a person who knew what she wanted, and knew she was always right, and never wanted to be confused with facts. She knew what she knew, and that was it.
What a hoot!

The following year we were in St. Kitts at Rawlins Plantation, and Philip and Frances Walwyn, who owned and ran Rawlins then, took us to cocktails at the Golden Lemon where they introduced us to Arthur Leamon. He also dressed in a long flowing caftan -- not unlike Mary, but with much less makeup.
They were so much alike, I'll bet if they ever met, they would probably not like each other.
I wonder if Arthur is still on the scene at Golden Lemon?

Cheers!
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 07:01 AM
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Guys--Arthur is still there. I emailed him a couple of months ago because I was also considering visiting the Lemon. He emailed me back--seems like a nice guy. When I talk to the owner of Mary's Boon, I'll ask her the status on THE Mary.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 01:21 AM
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golf guy, I flew from Statia to St. Maarten this morning (well, now that would be yesterday morning) with Mary's old friends who are also dear friends of mine. I printed your post for them because I knew they would get a kick out of someone reminiscing about her... and they did.

One of these friends lived very near Mary and the Boon on St. Maarten for many years. I don't know if you ever ran into another famous Caribbean pilot known as "Le Pipe" during your stay at the Boon, but that's who I'm referring to.

Naturally, I had to ask Le Pipe how Mary died and they informd me that she took off from St. Maarten to St. Croix one day about 15 years ago. Once she filed her flight plan and left St. Maarten she was never seen again. I'm sorry to report that her plane went down somewhere in between and nothing was ever recovered. Since you knew her in person I only wish you could meet my friends and hear the grand stories about Mary that I have always heard.

With regards to Arthur of the Golden Lemon, I have at least had the fortune to meet him. Another wonderful character of the old Caribbean. I'm so glad that he still has the Lemon going because the last I heard he was considering selling.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 07:43 AM
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Statia,

That's sad to hear about Mary. A colorful chapter of Caribbean tourism history ended there.
I doubt that conditions exist now that would support individuals like Mary, and Arthur too, creating unique little idiosyncratic places that are truly representative of the taste and sensibilities of the personalities involved.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 09:43 AM
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thanks!
This is such a fun, interesting thread to read!!Carol
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Old Mar 2nd, 2005, 12:54 PM
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We were in St Martins last May and stopped at Mary Boons. It is a time share associated with ours.
The pool is TINY.
The beach was very WINDY.
The water was very ROUGH.
The hotel is next to the airport and the planes were so close you could see the people in their seats.
The hotel is not close to anything in walking distance.

Think TWICE befor you choose this.
There are many many nicer places to stay.
JUST OUR OPINIONS.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2005, 01:50 PM
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Mary (who was from Malta) and her partner, Mr. Boon (really) started the hotel. She sold it to Rush Little in approximately 1977-78. Rush ran it for at least 20 years (far longer than Mary Pomeroy did). For those of us who had the absolute pleasure of being the guests of Mary's Boon during the reign of Rush, the airport noise was so incidental to the privilege of being part of the best Caribbean scene imaginable. Since he sold the inn and retired, the 12 room hotel has tripled in size--by building up and down. All of the old cisterns have been made into underground rooms--that's what you'll get if you spend one transit night there. The beautiful garden has been filled up with rooms and a little pool. The new owners are generally not present and certainly not island characters in the style of Mary and Rush. Having lamented something lost forever, I should also say that it's not a bad place. The above ground rooms are great, the beach is beautiful (it is not generally rough and windy) and the staff who came with Mary from Nevis are still there and still charming.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2005, 03:44 PM
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I just took to keeping up with this interesting thread and my curiousity got the better of me. So far, the most informative site on M. Pomeroy that I've checked is definitivecaribbean.com. I've no idea if the story listed under the Nisbet Plantation description is accurate but it was lengthy in it's bio of Mary Pomeroy. What an interesting life she lead. Threehearts
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 03:36 AM
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Another question (probably for Statia) on the theme of characters in that part of the world. Does anyone know if Scout of "Scout's Place" in Saba is still alive. He was (is) quite colorful, and if I am correct, left St. Maarten back in the mid-70's or so because he thought then that it was being overdeveloped.
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Old Mar 8th, 2005, 09:20 AM
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I've been traveling, so I'm just seeing your post, Howard. I can't tell you if Scout is still alive, but his place is still up and running and is owned/managed by a couple from Germany now.

http://www.scoutsplace.com/
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Old Mar 8th, 2005, 01:25 PM
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I've just returned from SMX on Saturday and was watching the snow fall in Philly today and dreaming of a cold rum punch whilst watching another beautiful Caribbean sunset(maybe at Sunsets?). Thanks for the great thread!
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 06:36 AM
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We've stayed at Mary's Boon 3 or 4 times. The best word to describe it is "delightful". It is small, with excellent personal service. Beachfront location. The food is very good -- dinner is unique, because there is only one entree per evening, and dinner includes multiple courses. If my memory serves, Friday is Caribbean Lobster, and Saturday is Beef Tenderloin. Walking to shopping and other restaurants would be problematic. Hope you enjoy it!!
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 07:33 AM
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I was in St. Martin in 1980/81, early in Rush's management I suppose ? My friend and I, being newbies, had followed a travel agent's advice and booked into a guesthouse in Phillipsburg (and sadly paid in advance). It was a horror and Mary's Boon became our almost daily escape. Even though we were not resident guests, we were made to feel fully welcome, including use of the honour bar and invitations to the 'family' table for meals. Wondeful memories alhtough not enough to make me ever want to go back to St. Martin.
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 08:05 AM
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Mary sounds like she was such a great charactor. It would have been a priviledge to meet her.

Doesn't seem to be that many places left in the Caribbean that have that same personnel, fun, and yes, quirky feel to them.

Anyone have any recommendations?
KathyH
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 08:28 AM
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Old Fort, Bequia. Paradise Inn, Carriacou. 12 Degrees North, Grenada. Plantation House, Bequia. Any of the villas in Moonhole, Bequia. Peach and Quiet, Barbados.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 09:00 AM
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KathyH, there are still places like Mary's Boon on the smaller islands such as Saba and Statia. Actually, we have a small inn/restaurant here on Statia which still has an honor bar, too.
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