Hello, Spending 3 weeks french side and figure we have time to see both. Interested in any views on mode of travel, who to use, what to see and do. Is an overnight worth it and if so where would be a good 1 night place in May? TIA Liliana
Re: Flying/sailing to Anguilla/St Barth's
#276482 02/25/202211:33 AM02/25/202211:33 AM
Liliana--hopefully someone else will chime in here. But, as I said before, travel to Anguilla is ferry, either from close to the airport or from Marigot, on scheduled ferries, unless you take a day trip excursion on a boat For St. Barts, you can fly either from the Dutch side airport or the French one. If you're staying French side that would be easier than flying out of Juliana. If you have a tendency to be seasick, flying might be the way to go, as it is often VERY rough on the way over, usually much less on the way back. For ferries, you have ferries from Oyster Pond on the Dutch side and from Marigot on the French side. Those are scheduled ferries, with specific departure times.
As far as overnight on either one, have never done either, so have nothing to add there.
We’ve over-nighted (actually 3 or 4 nights a few times……) on Anguilla and thoroughly enjoyed our time there but it’s my understanding the place we stayed is no longer available. I would highly recommend Serenity Cottages but not certain if they do single night rentals. I know there are places that do but I’m not personally familiar with them. Sure you can google some options.
We never over-nighted on St. Barts - way too expensive for my taste, and particularly so since we were already paying for our stay on St. Maarten. To me, it’s a lovely island but very expensive and I truly do think the beaches are not any nicer than those on SXM. It’s a ‘see and be seen’ island but still worth visiting at least once. We’ve sailed on a small cat and it was a rough trip for some and we’ve gone on the larger power sails. If you’re at all prone to mal de mer, I’d fly over and sail back.
All that said, my favorite stay-over is Saba but since it’s not in your list I’ll avoid my thoughts and details.
"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them."
Another great option for Ferry Service between SXM and SBH is the ferry that leaves from Philipsburg. (Great Bay Express). They provide 3 round trips daily from Monday - Saturday and two round trips on Sunday. They leave SXM early morning, midmorning and late day. They use a larger ferry which improves the comfort of the trip over. They run specials also. I have included a link below to their website and a screen capture of their schedule.
My wife and I are usually in St. Maarten, but we're now in Anguilla for a four-night stay. We took the ferry from Marigot to Blowing Point two days ago. It left at 9:30 a.m.; pay for your ticket ($30 per person) in cash after boarding the ferry. You'll need proof of vaccination and a negative Covid test (antigen test OK) that is 2 days old or newer. You'll also have to fill out a health questionnaire online before departure, and the application requires a $50 per person payment (applied to the Covid test administered at the Anguilla ferry terminal on arrival).
We have flown directly into Anguilla and spent three days there on Mead's Bay at the Turtles Nest. Absolutely a beautiful beach with plenty of restaurants within walking distance and a very good supermarket within a half mile.
Had private chef cook us a lobster dinner that was memorable. Chef Joseph Hodges. Very reasonable.
Dropped car off at Blowing Point and took ferry to Marigot.
Rental car company picked us up in Marigot.
With a longer stay we didn't miss spending a few days away from SXM.
The ferries to St Barth have improved since the days when they were sailing catamarans. (I remember some of them fondly.) It's different now, with the larger power ferries, but you're still sailing into the prevailing seas on the way over, and it can still be a bit rough on bad weather days. The return trip to St Maarten, generally with a following sea, is usually much smoother. My preferred choice is to fly out of Grand Case (SFG) which does not have the high departure fees that Juliana (SXM) has. The airline flying on that route is St Barth Commuter, using Cessna Caravans. Click here for St Barth Commuter Link
Maybe 25 yards from the St Barth ferry terminal is the Sunset Hotel, which is basic, and is above the shops (up stairs). It's been awhile since I stayed there, and reviews vary. It has new owners, and was done over in 2021, so hopefully the older bad reviews are no longer a concern. If you choose to stay there, ask for a water view room. You can sometimes find rooms there on the AirBNB website. On their home page, the photo shows the ferry terminal building, and the white balconies across the street are the Sunset Hotel. Click here for Sunset Hotel Link
St Barth can be wildly expensive, or it can be no more expensive than staying on Sint Maarten/St Martin. It's certainly not low budget though. After visiting there for many years, I can stay and dine there relatively inexpensively. Or not. My choice, not a requirement. Usually, the budget buster for me occurs right after I'm presented with a restaurant wine list LOL. I do love French wines.
Last edited by Bahston; 02/26/202201:28 AM.
Re: Flying/sailing to Anguilla/St Barth's
#276629 02/27/202211:56 AM02/27/202211:56 AM