Traveltalkonline.com Forums


SXM Cruise Schedule TTOL Sponsors SXM Travel Calendar
Forum Statistics
Forums39
Topics27,596
Posts196,664
Members25,093
Most Online1,403
Dec 25th, 2017
Top Posters(30 Days)
RonDon 59
SammyM 50
Tammy 46
Kennys 38
bran 34
Member Spotlight
bethy2120
bethy2120
Charlotte, NC
Posts: 183
Joined: March 2008
Show All Member Profiles 
Today's Birthdays
fredr, MisterBilge, nellebelle, tillie
Who's Online Now
42 registered members (SXMbeacher, PnPinNC, jenniboston, Todd_Melinda_K, Maranjo, sleepychef, nouth, bbeach, pedalpusher, louismcc, road3682, Mikel, eightzerobits, enzosxm, dlparch, MrEZgoin, chuckval, BillDauterive, LSmayda, phillygirl7, anet_scot, EllenS, LINNY, MamaJ, Sunnykm, Kennys, BHK, Tammy, deputydog1157, SXMScubaman, Kiles41, ChiTownHarry, dfmsml, 9 invisible), 143 guests, and 400 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
First Timer Questions #189082
03/29/2019 04:57 PM
03/29/2019 04:57 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 56
Philadelphia, PA
A
Alexander9228 Offline OP
Traveler
Alexander9228  Offline OP
Traveler
A
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 56
Philadelphia, PA
Hey guys! My love for the Caribbean has brought me to booking a trip to Saint Martin in July. It looks lovely and my Boyfriend and I are very much looking froward to visiting. I know about the Irma stuff and feel compelled even more so by it to visit, since the island relies heavily on tourism money. Couple questions, I am gay so I was curious as to how the attitude on the island is towards LGBT tourists. We aren't walking around making out or doing anything unsightly. Second question, does anyone have a list of the best places to take a dip in the sea, sans clothes? I know all about the South end of Orient Beach. Are there any other must hit spots? We love to hike so if there are any secluded beaches that take a hike to get to, even better! Thank you for any advice and I look forward to lurking, reading and posting here over the next few months. Cheers!



[Linked Image]

SXM Sponsors
Re: First Timer Questions [Re: Alexander9228] #189083
03/29/2019 05:24 PM
03/29/2019 05:24 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,286
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,286
Brookfield, CT.
Alexander,

If your PDAs are reasonable you shouldn’t have any lifestyle issues on SXM. And that would apply pretty much to anyone regardless of their particular orientation.

With regard to a skinny dipping location, the unofficial officially accepted Dutch side location of the Cupecoy beaches would be one choice. Happy Bay on the French side of the island is another widely accepted spot but the caution is always given that it is NOT always accepted when there are families with kids there. And that said, a remote French side beach where you are the only ones in sight.......... who’s going to say anything as long as you’re reasonable. As long as you avoid the peopled beaches, particularly on the Dutch side of the island, you would probably be okay.

If you’re into hiking, the trek to Petite Caye - I think that’s the name - might be just what you’re looking for. That’s one French beach we haven’t done and I hear it’s a pretty good hike but worth the effort. Bring whatever you need as there are no services and I understand the hike can be tough in a few spots but no firsthand experience.

Enjoy! It’s a wonderful island with incredibly beautiful beaches and the dining is out of this world!


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: First Timer Questions [Re: pat] #189084
03/29/2019 05:32 PM
03/29/2019 05:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 56
Philadelphia, PA
A
Alexander9228 Offline OP
Traveler
Alexander9228  Offline OP
Traveler
A
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 56
Philadelphia, PA
Thank you so much for the info, exactly what I was looking for!



[Linked Image]

Re: First Timer Questions [Re: Alexander9228] #189085
03/29/2019 05:54 PM
03/29/2019 05:54 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,286
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,286
Brookfield, CT.
YW. Enjoy your trip.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: First Timer Questions [Re: Alexander9228] #189086
03/29/2019 06:25 PM
03/29/2019 06:25 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,749
Vancouver, WA
Todd Offline
Traveler
Todd  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,749
Vancouver, WA
Alexander,
I would echo what Pat stated. Cupecoy is certainly a beach you should find early in your trip and note that the sand comes and goes. I have heard it called a gay mans beach but there are all types of people there and I honestly don't think anybody cares if you are gay or anything else. Dany does a great job of providing services there, one of our favorite beaches to relax on when there is sand. Have a fantastic trip, guessing you will become addicted to the island.

Pat, had to google PDA, cracked me up that I had to do that. Could guess what it likely meant but could not figure the actual words associated, I looked it up on my PDA.

Cheers!


"I like big seats and I can not lie"
Re: First Timer Questions [Re: Alexander9228] #189088
03/29/2019 07:09 PM
03/29/2019 07:09 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 56
Philadelphia, PA
A
Alexander9228 Offline OP
Traveler
Alexander9228  Offline OP
Traveler
A
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 56
Philadelphia, PA
Thanks Todd!

Another question, I was thinking of renting a little Airbnb near Orient Beach at Mount Vernon, but I am hearing mixed reviews of Vernon after Irma. Would anyone advise on staying or not staying there? We are looking for budget Airbnbs that we can walk to the beach to, plus having a clothing optional section would be great. I suppose I should look at Airbnbs around Happy Bay and Cupecoy. Thanks for any advice!



[Linked Image]

Re: First Timer Questions [Re: Alexander9228] #189089
03/29/2019 07:43 PM
03/29/2019 07:43 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 489
S
SammyM Offline
Traveler
SammyM  Offline
Traveler
S
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 489
You are wise to ask about St. Maarten in advance, because I believe 10 of the 23 Caribbean islands could or would be a problem for you and your partner. You will have no issues on SXM, and that's actually one of the things that I like about this island. The culture here is very open and accepting. Pat's advice above is spot on, but for Happy Bay Beach I would suggest going there on a weekday and not a weekend. The chances of having a local family there will be reduced. I would suggest a visit to the north end of Friar's Bay Beach where you can park, then hike up the hill on the path and through the brush until you reach Happy Bay. It's worth the effort. I would suggest sticking to the left side (west) of the beach where there is some seclusion provided by the residual rocks and boulders. As mentioned, Cupecoy on the Dutch side is another option but that can be hit or miss with the beach there.

Another option would be a visit to Cul de Sac on the French side and taking the ferry boat to Pinel Island. You can hike across this small island to northern side where there is a remote beach that people sometimes use without their suits on. But, once again I would suggest a weekday for such a visit. Not Yellow Beach, but the more secluded beach that faces north.

St. Martin/Maarten beautifully combines both Dutch and French cultures and as I noted earlier both are very accepting. For the future you should probably cross off the following places in the Caribbean: Antigua, Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Just an FYI. Hope this helps!

Re: First Timer Questions [Re: SammyM] #189090
03/29/2019 07:47 PM
03/29/2019 07:47 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 56
Philadelphia, PA
A
Alexander9228 Offline OP
Traveler
Alexander9228  Offline OP
Traveler
A
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 56
Philadelphia, PA
Thank you SammyM! Any thoughts on an Airbnb? Found some cool, cheap ones near Friars Bay. Thinking it could be a good place to make base camp and have our car to get around to all the sites. And we could walk to Friars Beach and to Happy Bay. Is Mount Vernon as decrepit as some people say?



[Linked Image]

Re: First Timer Questions [Re: Alexander9228] #189092
03/29/2019 08:09 PM
03/29/2019 08:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,825
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
Traveler
islandgem  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,825
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
A few people have stayed in the Mount Vernon condos since the hurricane, but I don't think it would be a choice location especially for your first trip to the island.. Mon Reve in Friars Bay is reasonably priced and in good shape.It is easy to travel to Orient, Grand Case and Friars and Happy Bay from there. Enjoy your trip.😊



[Linked Image]


Re: First Timer Questions [Re: Alexander9228] #189093
03/29/2019 08:10 PM
03/29/2019 08:10 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 489
S
SammyM Offline
Traveler
SammyM  Offline
Traveler
S
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 489
Mont Vernon is coming back slowly, but I did not visit up there with our latest visit. Others on this forum may be able to provide better updates regarding that complex. Friar's Bay area does have some nice places to stay, as does Grand Case so I would focus my search to that area if you plan to frequent the french side of the island. A very nice Canadian woman (Jeepers, I believe) mentioned a place called the 'Mon Reve Guest House' near Friar's Bay so you may want to research that place. Had very attractive pricing, and is within walking distance on the beach. My wife and I plan to check that place out with our next visit.

Re: First Timer Questions [Re: Alexander9228] #189094
03/29/2019 08:11 PM
03/29/2019 08:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 311
Detroit
bluejacket Offline
Traveler
bluejacket  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 311
Detroit
Originally Posted by Alexander9228
Is Mount Vernon as decrepit as some people say?


We've been going to SXM for 15 years now and have stayed at Mt. Vernon before. Most recently, we had a wonderful Christmas in SXM at Mt. Vernon. The extent of devastation is incredible, but we were told that work on Mt.Vernon will begin in January. We had a wonderful trip though. At Mt. Vernon, you have to be in billy goat mode--tons of climbing up/down hills.
Here are a few notes.

Definitely need a car. You mentioned this is your first trip to SXM? Let me just bullet point a few things and then maybe you’ll have some more specific questions.

Orient Beach in general:
1. Awesome beach that is still on the rebound from Irma.
2. Bikini beach is one of only 3 beach bars open when we were there for Christmas/New Year.
3. By beach bar, I mean a bar on the beach that also offers chairs for rent.
4. Orient village is buzzing with places to eat and hangout, literally steps from the beach. Yellow Sub is great and so is le piment.

Bikini Beach
1. We didn’t visit but walked by and saw that they did a wonderful job reconstructing.
2. They rent chairs and have a great menu.
3. There is also a water sports rental place very near. jet skis and etc.

Kontiki
1. Another bar near Bikini.
2. Opened while we were there, so everything is nice and new.

Club O Beach
1. Only officially authorized clothing optional beach. You can do au natural at a handful of other beaches on the island, but not legally sanctioned. The Gendarme is known to ticket. North of Club O, past the rocks (you’ll see the rocks for sure), clothing is not optional—legally anyway.

2. Club O, all of the cabins and chalets, was completely destroyed and is not cleaned up yet.

3. Still, the beach is amazing and the Perch lite is operational. Great burgers and drinks.

4. 2 chairs and an umbrella are $20. Be advised, Perch bar and chair rental is cash only. Most places do accept credit though.

5. Get there by 9:30 or 10:00 and you will have your pick of locations. It does fill up though.

6. We have been all over the island and have settled on Orient beach—club O as a favorite spot. We usually stay at Mont Vernon on the far north end and drive to club O parking lot in the morning. That’s a typical day for us.

7. Bathroom facilities are rustic—to be kind. They do clean it during the day, but you have to use it right after they clean or else it could be a mess. Drunk people using basically and outhouse is not a recipe for cleanliness. There is a toilet that flushes and toilet paper, but no sink. Bring purell wipes or something like that.

Marigot
1. You should go for sure. Wednesday is market day and you can have a great lunch there.
2. Roses lolo is very good.

Grand Case
1. Gourmet capital of the Caribbean.
2. Must visit Bistrot Caraibes. They own the studios that we stay at in Mt. Vernon.


Mt. Vernon—2 must visit places
1. Sol e Luna—most beautiful restaurant on the island IMHO. Had a wonderful, late almost 3 hour lunch there. It was raining so no beach day. The chefs are amazing. Gourmet experience for sure. Bill for both of us was just over $100. We ordered a few extra drinks though, since we were hanging out for a while.
2. Mt. Vernon pizza. The best pizza. Super thin cracker crust. They offer a 4 cheese with chorizzo that is amazing. All french cheeses.

I’m glad to answer any other questions. I hope you have a great trip.

Re: First Timer Questions [Re: bluejacket] #189095
03/29/2019 08:18 PM
03/29/2019 08:18 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 56
Philadelphia, PA
A
Alexander9228 Offline OP
Traveler
Alexander9228  Offline OP
Traveler
A
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 56
Philadelphia, PA
Thank you all so much, incredibly helpful!! I think i settled on a small Airbnb near Friars Bay, La vie est belle? Anyone ever been? Seems very basic but all we need is a bed, bathroom and kitchen really! Will definitely check out everything you listed, definitely end up at Club O Beach a couple of mornings. Thank you again!

Here is where I was thinking of staying

https://lavieestbelle-sxm.com/en/

Last edited by Alexander9228; 03/29/2019 08:19 PM.


[Linked Image]

Re: First Timer Questions [Re: Alexander9228] #189102
03/29/2019 09:20 PM
03/29/2019 09:20 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,749
Vancouver, WA
Todd Offline
Traveler
Todd  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,749
Vancouver, WA
Friars Bay Beach Cafe is now one of our favorite places to spend a day. It is not CO, but the food and service is very enjoyable. It was possibly our favorite place to go for beach time this last year, that at Cupecoy when they had sand.

Not sure how long you will be there but even if three weeks there is too much to see and do, don't try to do too much and enjoy where you happen to be at that moment. Gain info, learn a bit on where to go, and then if that fits to where you are at the moment then make it work and if not then likely near you there will be a place that you have not heard of that may become your favorite place on earth.
Cheers!


"I like big seats and I can not lie"
Re: First Timer Questions [Re: Alexander9228] #189113
03/30/2019 07:16 AM
03/30/2019 07:16 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 529
Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Leagle49 Offline
Traveler
Leagle49  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 529
Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Alexander, My husband and I have been coming to SXM for many years. We don't walk around holding hands but I think it's pretty obvious to most that we are a couple. We have never felt uncomfortable and, in fact, have, more often than not, been embraced as a couple. Pre Irma, Cupecoy beach was the place to go as gay men, always a fair number of us (as long as there was sand - and that changes on a daily basis).

I agree with what others have said above. Definitely rent a car. Definitely eat at Bistrot Caraibes. It's on the expensive side but definitely with the splurge. Piazza Pascal in Grand Case is also highly recommended. Good Italian food with a flair and reasonable too. We would also suggest Bar Code Very good food at very reasonable prices and a great laid back place.

Since we own a timeshare at Simpson Bay Resort we always stay there and only have great things to say about it. In fact we're going to buy a 4th week. There are a couple of Simpson Bay Resort Facebook pages where owners post their units for rent and you can usually find a very nice unit (1 bedroom 1 bath full kitchen, big balcony overlooking the ocean for $1,100 to 1,500 a week. I recommend the Simpson Bay area as it's full of activities and you can walk to most everything. (especially since drinking and driving is a really bad idea here and everywhere).

If you have and question, be sure and let us know!

George & John

Re: First Timer Questions [Re: Alexander9228] #189115
03/30/2019 07:21 AM
03/30/2019 07:21 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,084
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
Traveler
RonDon  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,084
Rhode Island
Definitely hike to petit caye but wear good shoes. We made it about half way before giving up---and we were wearing sneakers. But if you are young and used to hiking it shouldn't be a problem. If you go please take photos and post them here. Dying to see it.


Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.1