Just got back from our 3rd trip to SXM, first time staying in Grand Case. This report will mostly be about food, though one tip about Dawn Beach - Mr. Busby's, and one on timing your return trip.
We have been to Grand Case before for dinner, but this was the first time we stayed there . We stayed at a VBRO / homeaway condo towards the South end of Grand Case, right next to the Rainbow Cafe. The beach is quite wide there, and great for swimming. Of course, the best part is that you can walk to dinner and have tons of choices within easy walking distance. We went to the Lolo's for two nights, first we went to Sky's the Limit - the ribs were pretty tough for my taste, though my wife's snapper was fine. We went to Talk of the Town later that week, and I thought the food was a little better. We also had dinner at La Villa, the owner was very friendly, and the complimentary broccoli and zucchini soup was fantastic, and the rest of the dinner was very good. We also went to Villa Royale, the food was good, and the portions for the pasta dish were huge. We also ate at several places south of the church. Napoletana Pizzeria, which is at 2 Rue Franklin Laurence, where it intersects with Blvd. de Grand Case has a wood fired oven, a chef from Italy, and makes a great thin crust pizza. Unfortunately, most of the menu seemed to be pizza and salads, so not much to offer if your companion wanted other Italian cuisine. We also had dinner from Caribbean Creole, which is at the south end of Blvd de Grand Case - it is basically a hole in the wall, with a few picnic tables out back under an awning, and a few chairs and tables inside. The ribs were better, in my opinion, than the Lolos, the rice was fantastic, and the prices were very reasonable. Definitely off the beaten path, though right across the street from Pizzeria Napoletana.
While we stayed a Grand Case beach most days, we did take a day to go to Orient Beach, rented chairs, and had lunch at Orange Fever, which is always enjoyable, they make a great pina colada. Also went to Dawn Beach, and got a bit confused. A few times in the past when I went there , when I would pull into the parking lot at Mr. Busby's, they would tell me to park in one of the spaces near the marina, I think they wanted to have them filled up before they used up their lot. This time, before I pulled into the parking lot, there were two guys sitting towards the street, and when I pulled up I asked where to park, I said I would be going to Mr. Busby's for lunch, and wanted to rent chairs and an umbrella, they told me to park near the marina and come back to them. When I did, one led me down a public access right next to Mr. Busby's, and rented be some green chairs and an umbrella. Once we paid, I realized that they were not affiliated with Mr. Busby's, his umbrellas were blue, and the chairs were a different design. We still had a nice time, and went to Mr. Busby's for lunch - while the food may not be the best, it is one of my favorite locations, great view, nice shade, and one the day we were there, we saw a lot of boats from the race go by.
For our return, we left Grand Case at 10:15 for a 1:15 flight thinking we would have lots of time. We were stuck in very heavy traffic in Marigot, so it took 45 min to arrive at the airport. There was no one in line at the American Airlines counter, just a few people at the counter itself, even so, by the time we checked in, got through the automated passport control, and security, we got upstairs only 30 minutes before boarding. If the AA counter had a line like many of the other airlines, I don't know if we would have made it.
Final notes, the French side did not seem as busy as some of our prior trips. However, not only were all the locals very friendly, the other travelers were very friendly as well, which may be why I like St. Martin so much. We were at the Lolo's and a couple asked if we were leaving ( It was the parade night, so business was brisk) and we said no, but asked them to join us, and they did and we had a great time together. The next night, we stopped by the crepe place just across the street, and the couple next to us struck up a conversation as well that lasted the whole time we were there. All in all, a relaxing trip.