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Is SXM truly ready for visitors? #275132
02/09/2022 12:40 PM
02/09/2022 12:40 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 119
Ohio
0
0810 Offline OP
Traveler
0810  Offline OP
Traveler
0
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 119
Ohio
We have traveled to SXM every year for 12 years, until our vacations came to an abrupt stop in 2017. I haven’t been on here (Traveltalk) to often, maybe a couple times a year, but want to try to head back to the island, if it is ready. Here are our concerns:

1. We had booked a villa for Nov., 2017 at Dawn beach for the first time in that area. The villa was completely destroyed, but has since been built back. What % of that area is back to normal? Are there restaurants open etc.? Is the casino back? Is it SAFE? Are the tourists actually back?

2. Covid seems to be on the retreat. Is there any hassles getting to and back from the island? We have had Covid and been vaccinated and plan no other actions.

3. Is the airport working ok?

4. Rental cars back to normal?

We are just being very cautious, before we start booking.
Anything we are missing?

Thanks, Mark & Linda

SXM Sponsors
Re: Is SXM truly ready for visitors? [Re: 0810] #275133
02/09/2022 12:54 PM
02/09/2022 12:54 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,706
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,706
Central Florida!
1) As far as the Dawn Beach area, the Westin Hotel has NOT re-opened, and the casino is not open. Captain Oliver's as has also not re-opened. Otherwise, I think pretty much everything in the area has re-opened. I was never a big fan of Dawn Beach regardless. If it were ME, I'd pick somewhere in Simpson Bay or a villa on another part of the island. As far as safety, my perception is that it is not any less safe than it ever has been. The island overall seems fairly busy right now.

2) Of course, there are hassles travelling ANYWHERE these days. Please read the official rules in this link and then post any questions. Link And you also have to test to return home to the US.

3) Depends on your definition of 'working ok'. The jetways are NOT operational, but overall the airport works.

4)As far as rental cars, my perception is that there is a bit shorter supply than there used to be, but you can certainly find rental cars without any problem.


Carol Hill
Re: Is SXM truly ready for visitors? [Re: 0810] #275141
02/09/2022 04:18 PM
02/09/2022 04:18 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,874
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
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boucharda  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,874
Massachusetts
No issues. My only concern (unfounded) was the potential of getting a positive test the day before the return to the USA creating a clusterf.... but, unless you are TOTALLY clueless with limiting exposures. it will not be an issue. Beaches, outdoor dining were as normal as can be....airport and rental cars were not a concern

Re: Is SXM truly ready for visitors? [Re: 0810] #275142
02/09/2022 04:28 PM
02/09/2022 04:28 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,780
Kennys Offline
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Kennys  Offline
Traveler
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,780
Hello , our beautiful Island is up and running , hence please book your trip.

Re: Is SXM truly ready for visitors? [Re: 0810] #275143
02/09/2022 04:40 PM
02/09/2022 04:40 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 744
Western MA
S
SandS Offline
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SandS  Offline
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S
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 744
Western MA
We are in the middle of our third week here on the island. I can’t really add anything to Carol’s answers. If you are vaccinated & boosted it is very easy to come. The airport is functional but nothing like it was in 2017 before the hurricane. Coming from Massachusetts where we are use to wearing masks, it was a little concerning that we see so few here. As Boucharda has said we will breath a sigh of relief when we test negative to go home. We just have a mindset that if we have to quarantine and stay 10 more days we are lucky we are retired. Enjoy your trip, you have been away too long.

Re: Is SXM truly ready for visitors? [Re: 0810] #275144
02/09/2022 04:44 PM
02/09/2022 04:44 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 166
South Jersey USA
eilandmens Offline
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eilandmens  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 166
South Jersey USA
Dawn beach is not what it used to be! Only Big Fish and OBBR are there. Mr. Busby’s , Canoa are gone. As mentioned so is Capt. Oliver complex and Quai Quest. Beach is not maintained tons of sarragasum everywhere. The Westin is a shell of its former self.

Re: Is SXM truly ready for visitors? [Re: Kennys] #275145
02/09/2022 04:52 PM
02/09/2022 04:52 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 119
Ohio
0
0810 Offline OP
Traveler
0810  Offline OP
Traveler
0
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 119
Ohio
Carol and all. Thanks for the excellent feedback. We have always stayed at the Simpson area, but found this VRBO villa on the side of the hill, that is very reasonably priced for 2, extremely private in a gated area and the photos are amazing. We can let our hair down and forget about Covid, loss of freedoms etc.

Kenny 👍

Re: Is SXM truly ready for visitors? [Re: 0810] #275153
02/09/2022 06:34 PM
02/09/2022 06:34 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 251
Upstate, NY
Mikel Offline
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Mikel  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 251
Upstate, NY
'Beach is not maintained tons of sarragasum everywhere.'
I disagree. I have been here for 5 weeks and the beach, on the OBBR side of the rocks, is well cleaned every morning by 8:00 . They use a machine that picks up the seaweed and sifts out most of the sand. Unfortunately, Mr. Busby's is gone but the Veranda at OBBR is open to the public.

Re: Is SXM truly ready for visitors? [Re: Mikel] #275154
02/09/2022 06:55 PM
02/09/2022 06:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,706
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,706
Central Florida!
Mikel--It seems that it really varies, based on the time of year. We generally travel to SXM in June, and it seems that the sargassum at Dawn Beach at that time of year is often catastrophic, making the beach unusable and the views (and smells!!) unpleasant. Other times of year, it is not so bad.


Carol Hill
Re: Is SXM truly ready for visitors? [Re: 0810] #275156
02/09/2022 07:07 PM
02/09/2022 07:07 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,263
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,263
Brookfield, CT.
This isn’t a factual explanation, for sure, but what the heck!
We’ve known the island to experience sargassum during both our April and November recent trips but I’m inclined to think it’s more about ocean and tidal conditions at any given time rather than time of year.
But the good thing is, if it’s crazy with sargassum on one side of the island we find heading to beaches on the exact opposite directions will usually see the problem disappear completely.
Where we stay at BSV on Simpson Bay the staff is always out there early raking it up and carting it away so if you’re a real slug-a-bug you might not even know there was any there in the first place. They are the best!!
And on another note, over almost fifty years of visiting the island we’ve never seen it on Mullet Bay Beach and yet I’ve read others relating how Mullet was buried in the stuff. Glad we never saw that……😊😊

Last edited by pat; 02/09/2022 07:13 PM.

Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Is SXM truly ready for visitors? [Re: pat] #275162
02/09/2022 08:11 PM
02/09/2022 08:11 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,780
Kennys Offline
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Kennys  Offline
Traveler
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,780
Well said Pat and I'm back home.

Re: Is SXM truly ready for visitors? [Re: pat] #275173
02/10/2022 09:14 AM
02/10/2022 09:14 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,706
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,706
Central Florida!
Pat--I base my opinion that sargassum, especially on Dawn Beach and Orient, is worse in the summer, on stories from the Daily Herald. ..of course, the DH often gets things wrong.. grin


Carol Hill
Re: Is SXM truly ready for visitors? [Re: 0810] #275191
02/10/2022 12:12 PM
02/10/2022 12:12 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 754
Chicago area & St-Martin
ChiTownHarry Offline
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ChiTownHarry  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 754
Chicago area & St-Martin
Originally Posted by 0810
We have traveled to SXM every year for 12 years...

1. We had booked a villa for Nov., 2017 at Dawn beach for the first time in that area. Are there restaurants open etc.?


There are some choices for restaurants in the Oyster Pond area. Not to be missed are BZH Creperie, l'Oasis, and Mama's Pizza all of which are on the French side. It is my understanding that Big Fish and the restaurants in Oyster Bay Beach Resort are open.

Hope this helps.


--ChiTownHarry
Re: Is SXM truly ready for visitors? [Re: ChiTownHarry] #275236
02/10/2022 07:31 PM
02/10/2022 07:31 PM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 141
Ontario
C
Canuck54 Offline
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Canuck54  Offline
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C
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 141
Ontario
Also check out Bread and Butter, great pastries, wine and groceries.


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