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Trip Report (observatons) #212575
12/31/2019 12:06 AM
12/31/2019 12:06 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 208
Edam, Saskatchewan - Canada
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PrairieGirl Offline OP
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PrairieGirl  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2012
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Edam, Saskatchewan - Canada
Having just recently returned from two weeks at OBBR, as a long time owner I am pleased to report that the resort is looking very good after the post-Irma rebuild. Even the landscaping is looking lush! We were also very fortunate that there was only a small amount of sea weed to contend with and the water seemed much easier to enter (the waves were breaking farther offshore). With the destruction and subsequent removal of the Great House plus their affiliation with the Coral Beach Club, OBBR now has more chairs on a much larger section of Dawn Beach.

We ate twice at the recently re-opened Big Fish and it is even better than ever! Le Oasis has new ownership and the food was very good there and for the first time we dined at BHZ (I guess I never realized before that they served supper!) which had a very nice atmosphere tucked away behind what you can see from the street with very good food as well. And of coure Quay Ouest didn't dissapoint, but it is so sad to see the remains of Captain Olivers. We really miss Canoa and to a lesser extent, Daniels.

The restaurant on-site (Infinity) is much improved from past years. On previous visits we rarely chose to stay and dine on-site. For lunch yes, but rarely supper. Over the (many) years I never found the selections on offer worth the price point asked. On our recent trip, we enjoyed both the breakfast buffet and a three course price fixe dinner at Infinity. Not only did the price seem extremely reasonable at $24.95, the food was well presented and very good.

There will be a brunch at Infinity on New Year's Day if those of you on island who didn't over celebrate the night before. menu

As most know, Mr. Busby's was completely destroyed (and has been cleaned up) but the section of it where Island Pizza was is still intact and has turned into a sales office for the Dawn Beach Club "body snatchers". It seems so odd that they are actively selling DBC when absolutely no work is being done on the Westin Hotel itself. The pool was re-done since it is used by DBC and you can see chairs and umbrellas on the beach for their use, but the hotel itself just sits there unoccupied with no sign of any work being done. Kind of reminds me of the old drive through Mullet Bay to get to the Towers for years after Luis.

In contrast, the work going on at Royal Palm and the Flamingo is now quite obvious. While we were there the first two weeks of December there was a full two page ad in the Daily Herald looking for a large number of skilled trades (as in 50+ tile layers, 50+ductwork installers, etc.).

The Dutch side in general looked better than I was anticipating only two years after Irma and surprisingly, the French side also. They have a long way to go, but at least there were many re-building projects underway, large and small. From all that I had read, I really wasn't expecting to see that level of reconstruction. Perhaps the majority of these projects have only started recently.

We were fortunate that the protest only turned unruly the last two days of our trip and we had already been everywhere on the French side that we wanted to drive. I walk over to the observation tower at Bai Lucas every morning and stop for coffee at Bread and Butter on my way back, and experienced no troubles at all.

And on another positive note, the interim government signed all of the necessary paperwork to get the funds released to finally start on the reconstruction of the rest of the airport. Right now maybe only about a third of the building is operational.

We spent several days on the beach at Karacter and it was extremely relaxing. Their playlist is back to being something similar to when Jorritt was there. The chairs now have pads and are much more comfortable and the menu, while changed is still very satisfying. Great salad options! Walking the beach down to El Zafiro, I was shocked to see the number of chairs all crowded together. Must be a cruise ship beach destination now. Completely spoiled the atmosphere for me, but then while I loved the location, I was never a fan of the food.

There was a fair bit of wind for our time on island, and some heavy rain overnight and the last few mornings, but it didn't bother us at all. We had friends along with us this trip who were experiencing Sint Maarten for the first time. When I asked them at the end of the trip what they thought of the island, their response was "We'd come back anytime, everyone here is so nice!. Funny how things go. Our first trip to Sint Maarten was in 1996 on the heels of Luis when the island was in full recovery mode and we felt exactly the same way. And still do!


LeAnn


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Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: PrairieGirl] #212576
12/31/2019 01:00 AM
12/31/2019 01:00 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,890
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
Biturbo Offline
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Biturbo  Offline
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Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
Nice report. We really wanted to get back to l'Oasis for pizza but the roadblocks in French Quarter prevented it. It's very good - hopefully next trip. Thanks.


"In a yellow El Camino, listening to Howlin' Wolf" - Lucinda
Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: PrairieGirl] #212577
12/31/2019 04:18 AM
12/31/2019 04:18 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,864
Portland, OR
jazzgal Online content
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jazzgal  Online Content
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Portland, OR
Thanks for the report. Glad you had a good experience at Big Fish as I've read some negative reviews lately.


[Linked Image]
Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: PrairieGirl] #212582
12/31/2019 05:42 AM
12/31/2019 05:42 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 15,803
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Posts: 15,803
Ohio
Thanks for the report. Sounds like you had an enjoyable trip.

I find it odd at best that Flamingo/Royal Palm are advertising for that many workers 2+ years post-Irma. Sounds like a lot of work still to be done there and if duct work is not in it would likely indicate interior ceilings & walls are not in yet.


J.D.
Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: jazzgal] #212613
12/31/2019 09:53 AM
12/31/2019 09:53 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 208
Edam, Saskatchewan - Canada
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PrairieGirl Offline OP
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PrairieGirl  Offline OP
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Posts: 208
Edam, Saskatchewan - Canada
Actually, we enjoyed 2 meals at Big Fish, about a week apart. My husband said that his Chilean Sea Bass with Lemongrass sauce was the best fish meal he had ever had (and he eats LOTS of fish) and our two guests proclaimed it their favourite restaurant of the trip.Both my meals were excellent as well. The only negative was that I felt the chef's dessert special, while creative and delicious was overpriced for what you received. YMMV


LeAnn


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Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: PrairieGirl] #212615
12/31/2019 10:00 AM
12/31/2019 10:00 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 73,224
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 73,224
Central Florida!
Thanks so much for the report. Sounds like you have created more SXM fans, in your newbie guests! Glad you had a nice time.


Carol Hill
Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: PrairieGirl] #212621
12/31/2019 10:21 AM
12/31/2019 10:21 AM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 358
Maryland
Jim_Laraine Offline
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Jim_Laraine  Offline
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Posts: 358
Maryland
Thanks for the great report and status on the island. It was very timely for us since we will be staying in the Oyster Bay area in a few weeks. Looking forward the trying the restaurants that you mentioned.

Best Regards,
Jim

Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: PrairieGirl] #212622
12/31/2019 10:24 AM
12/31/2019 10:24 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,078
St Louis, MO
SXMNorm Offline
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SXMNorm  Offline
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Posts: 7,078
St Louis, MO
Thanks for your report and especially for trying and reporting on the restaurants in the Oyster Pond area. Owners of l'Oasis and Bread n Butter are the same, I think.


Next SXM visit - January/February 2021
Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: SXMNorm] #212628
12/31/2019 10:51 AM
12/31/2019 10:51 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 208
Edam, Saskatchewan - Canada
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PrairieGirl Offline OP
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PrairieGirl  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 208
Edam, Saskatchewan - Canada
Yes, Norm, they are. A lovely young couple.


LeAnn


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Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: PrairieGirl] #212633
12/31/2019 11:04 AM
12/31/2019 11:04 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 12,954
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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SXMScubaman  Offline
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Posts: 12,954
Auburn, WA
Nice report. I can understand the contractor now needing more skilled labor for tile and duct work. Means those rooms are now ready for interior work. Just got our MF statements in mail and it appears from what they sent opening will be late summer 2020.

Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: PrairieGirl] #212638
12/31/2019 11:17 AM
12/31/2019 11:17 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 313
Carib_Ian Offline
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Carib_Ian  Offline
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Posts: 313
Great report and update. Thank you for the positivity!

Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: PrairieGirl] #212645
12/31/2019 11:44 AM
12/31/2019 11:44 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,010
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Posts: 13,010
Brookfield, CT.
Very nice, LeAnn. So happy your trip went well.

We are fairly recently back from another post-hurricane trip and with each one we marvel at how far they’ve come from the Irma damage.

Except for the Towers, that is. Too many of us long time owners are now ready to write it off as a thing of the past. Hope to see you again on one of our trips in the future. The Passaat is a thing of the past but Miriam and Pieter have another boat and I’m sure their trips are still lovely.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: PrairieGirl] #212654
12/31/2019 12:47 PM
12/31/2019 12:47 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,590
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
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RonDon  Offline
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Posts: 3,590
Rhode Island
Yes, L'Oasis is now owned by Sol e Luna. We love BZH (BHZ?) and had only been at lunch for crepes. Good to hear they now serve dinner. Hoping to try Big Fish on our next visit. Thanks for the report.

Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: PrairieGirl] #212675
12/31/2019 03:19 PM
12/31/2019 03:19 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,842
Vancouver, WA
Todd Offline
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Todd  Offline
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Posts: 3,842
Vancouver, WA
Glad you had a nice trip, we actually for the first time since Karakter opened did not set foot there or anywhere on Simpson Bay Beach. Glad to hear that Karakter is doing well as I felt it was sliding in previous trips so did not make that a stop this trip. My mistake it seems!
Cheers!


I prefer the Isle seat
Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: PrairieGirl] #213129
01/06/2020 08:45 AM
01/06/2020 08:45 AM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 857
Boston, MA
marge Offline
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marge  Offline
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Posts: 857
Boston, MA
I just wish Karakter wouldn’t put its beach chairs SOOOO close together. There is barely space to move between them.


marge
Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: pat] #213137
01/06/2020 10:10 AM
01/06/2020 10:10 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 760
Harriston
megamania Offline
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megamania  Offline
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Posts: 760
Harriston
Do you know the name of the boat that has replaced the Passat? We really enjoyed our time when we went out with Miriam and Pieter on the Passat. Was sorry to see that it got hit during Irma.


Randy and Meg Young
Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: megamania] #213138
01/06/2020 10:14 AM
01/06/2020 10:14 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 15,803
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Posts: 15,803
Ohio
Originally Posted by megamania
Do you know the name of the boat that has replaced the Passat? We really enjoyed our time when we went out with Miriam and Pieter on the Passat. Was sorry to see that it got hit during Irma.


No1SXM


J.D.
Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: SXMNorm] #213153
01/06/2020 01:55 PM
01/06/2020 01:55 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,590
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
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RonDon  Offline
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Posts: 3,590
Rhode Island
Originally Posted by SXMNorm
Thanks for your report and especially for trying and reporting on the restaurants in the Oyster Pond area. Owners of l'Oasis and Bread n Butter are the same, I think.



L"Oasis and Temps Cerice (grand case) were bought by the people who own Sol e Luna. Perhaps they own Bread N Butter as well?

Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: ruralcarrier] #213171
01/06/2020 05:44 PM
01/06/2020 05:44 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 760
Harriston
megamania Offline
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megamania  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 760
Harriston
Thank you very much!!


Randy and Meg Young
Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: pat] #213193
01/06/2020 10:42 PM
01/06/2020 10:42 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 148
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panman Offline
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Posts: 148
Pat....wondering what became of the Passat? Loved their sunset cruise. Thanks.

Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: panman] #213194
01/07/2020 05:15 AM
01/07/2020 05:15 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 15,803
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Posts: 15,803
Ohio
Originally Posted by panman
Pat....wondering what became of the Passat? Loved their sunset cruise. Thanks.

Not Pat but It sank during Irma.


J.D.
Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: ruralcarrier] #213205
01/07/2020 08:46 AM
01/07/2020 08:46 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,010
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Posts: 13,010
Brookfield, CT.
Originally Posted by ruralcarrier
Originally Posted by panman
Pat....wondering what became of the Passat? Loved their sunset cruise. Thanks.

Not Pat but It sank during Irma.


The Passat was an incredibly beautiful boat and a lovely and one of a kind sailing experience for SXM. Her loss due to that b itch, Irma, was truly a heartbreaker. We haven’t done No1SXM yet but I’m betting it will be a great experience, much as was any sail on the Passat.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: pat] #213210
01/07/2020 09:03 AM
01/07/2020 09:03 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 15,803
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Posts: 15,803
Ohio
We did a sunset cruise on No1SXM last March and enjoyed it.


J.D.
Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: panman] #213261
01/07/2020 04:55 PM
01/07/2020 04:55 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,864
Portland, OR
jazzgal Online content
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jazzgal  Online Content
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,864
Portland, OR
Originally Posted by panman
Pat....wondering what became of the Passat? Loved their sunset cruise. Thanks.


It sunk in the lagoon. I believe a mooring broke during Irma.


[Linked Image]
Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: jazzgal] #213262
01/07/2020 04:59 PM
01/07/2020 04:59 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 12,954
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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SXMScubaman  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 12,954
Auburn, WA
That is what I heard too.

Re: Trip Report (observatons) [Re: PrairieGirl] #213379
01/08/2020 08:20 PM
01/08/2020 08:20 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 437
MILford,CT.
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bonsie Offline
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bonsie  Offline
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Posts: 437
MILford,CT.
LeAnn,,,
Thank you for all the good information. I also, own at OBBR and will there in the coming months. Our last visit I was amazed at the progress that they did getting the resort back to the beautiful resort that we have. If only the owner of the Busby's land would come down on his selling price, OBBR would have a very large stretch land going down Dawn beach. Also, If the governments of France and Holland would sit down with level heads and started the clean up of Oyster pond it would be wonderful.
we could only hope,

Bob


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