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Barbados vs St Martin
      #1721165 - 01/30/17 07:26 AM (

I own 5 weeks in SXM and I am considering trying a new island. I would love to hear input from whoever has been to both islands and have spent significant time on each. Any comparison would be great. Thank you

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Re: Barbados vs St Martin [Re: Sunshine1111]
      #1721238 - 01/30/17 01:40 PM (

Hi Sunshine1111. Barbados is big and busy, with traffic woes just like St. Martin. It's more formal and restaurants are among the most expensive in the Caribbean. There are distinct tourist areas: The "Platinum" coast on the west side of the island. The South coast is less expensive but heavily tourists. The East Coast is secluded and quiet. Barbados caters to wealthy Brits and Canadians. It has a good infrastructure. Depending what area you stay will impact your experience. There are really no "day tripping" opportunities close by like St. Martin. But Barbados is a hub for people travelling to the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago. You won't see toplessness and many restaurants have a dress code for dinner. Currency is the Bajan dollar, pegged to the U.S. dollar. There are golf courses, equestrian centres, hiking and excursions so you won't get bored.

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Re: Barbados vs St Martin [Re: Carib_Ian]
      #1723251 - 02/16/17 11:18 AM (

The difference is that Barbados is X-British. SXM is French and Dutch. Now which one would you expect to have the better food :)

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Re: Barbados vs St Martin [Re: Maria_and_Steve]
      #1723254 - 02/16/17 11:29 AM (

French heritage, great for great food, for sure! Dutch, have to say, not so much!! We went to Holland a few years ago, and the only decent food we had there was Chinese food!!

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Re: Barbados vs St Martin [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1723397 - 02/17/17 08:32 PM (

Haven't been to Barbados in 30 years but one thing I did notice was that everyone was more polite. I don't know what it is like now but I would think that it translates as less crime and stress. There seems to be some good reviews on the web for food but I think the French side of St. Martin is untouchable for cuisine.

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Re: Barbados vs St Martin [Re: TravelHat]
      #1723458 - 02/18/17 11:23 AM (

Travel hat,,

When we were last in Barbados, and I admit, that was quite a few years ago now, we had a lengthy conversation with a charming woman we met one afternoon and one of the things we discussed with her was just what you cited - the politeness of most islanders towards visitors.

She explained to us Barbados at one time grew to be very resentful towards tourists from all countries and often times treated them with derision and deep-seated resentment and this attitude started to take a major toll on the island's tourism popularity. They realized one of their economic mainstays was their popularity as a tourist destination and these negative attitudes had to change. And where better to begin than with the youth?!

Supposedly, according to this woman, they created an educational curriculum that focused not only on the 'Three R's" but on the importance of tourism/tourists to their economy and started teaching this seriously from earliest grade school right through to graduation.

This woman was a teacher on the island and she stressed to us how good behavior and manners were an important part of the daily curriculum of schools and she felt it was one of the major reasons for the turn-around in the island's attitude towards visitors.

I don't know how factual this was but it made a lot of sense to me and personally speaking, we found the Bajan people to be delightful at every opportunity we had to interact with them.

And as a personal opinion, I've often felt it too bad the Virgin Islands didn't take this same approach to tourism. Perhaps they have good cause but we really didn't experience many warm fuzzies there like we did in Barbados and as we almost always do in SXM.

The food in Barbados? Well, it was good and some of it very expensive, just like in some of the better dining experiences around St. Martin, but in neither case did we feel it came close to what we routinely experience in SXM. Perhaps we just didn't find the best places?



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat

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