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Trip Report 11/6 – 11/17 #291448
11/21/2022 03:43 PM
11/21/2022 03:43 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,216
North NJ, 1720 miles from Para...
Kathleen Offline OP
Traveler
Kathleen  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,216
North NJ, 1720 miles from Para...
Flight – United from Newark NJ to SXM was an on-time departure with an early arrival to SXM (due to padding that the airlines always add). It was uneventful. Nice getting in on one of the earlier arrivals to SXM. Immigration was a breeze and I think they were actually friendly this time!

Rented a car from Lesley Bruce again (Kennys). We were met with a smile, hug, and car right at the airport! Lesley is a great guy with such wonderful service. We’ve used his service for years and there is NONE BETTER!

Lodging
Week 1 we stayed at Villa Coccinelle (Ladybug!) above Orient Bay with 3 other couples. It was glorious! Great views of Orient Bay! The villa was well equipped and well furnished. A bonus was having an on-site caretaker. The owner was very responsive to the minor issues we had (minor plumbing) and provided extra towels when requested. Note to self – bring washcloths – they are never provided in almost any lodging. We used Jeannie from ShopNDrop to pre-stock the villa. I’ve been using her services for years and she is an absolute GEM! She called me several times to make sure that our order was correct and delivered on the correct day/time so that we would have cold wine, beer and water when we arrived. She was even helpful at helping us get into the villa when we arrived since she knew the owner.

Last 4 days we moved to Orient Beach Hotel. This is a brand-new hotel. It’s oceanfront and located in approximately the same place as L’Hoste (which was destroyed in the hurricane). It’s gorgeous! We chose a ground floor room. They had a promotion a few months back for those rooms that we took advantage of. It was great not having to negotiate stairs. We closed the security/hurricane doors at night and any time we left the room. We felt very safe. It was very nice to be greeted by Junior from ClubO when we checked in. Continental breakfast is included and is served at KKO beach restaurant – located almost in front of the hotel. This is one of the “5 Stars” hotels, so you have signing privileges for meals and beach chair access at all 5 places (Esmeralda, Bikini, Wai, KKO and one other that my feeble mind can’t place right now). The location is ideal to Orient Village.

Meals
Le Télégraphe – Orient Village. Can’t remember what we ate, but do remember it was very good and we had a covered table which was important since it started to pour in the middle of the meal.

Le Piment – Orient Village. Good but not as good as when Christelle did “the floor show” describing all of the wonderful specials. We were again rewarded by requesting an indoor-ish table when it poured again during the middle of the meal.

Maison Mère – Orient Village. Fantastic! DO NOT miss this place! Super French food in all its glory. Plus! A cheese cart with selections you will not see in the US! We ate here twice.

Pizza Night in the villa. Pizza from El Rancho del Sol was delivered to the villa. Delicious French-style thin crust. Their prices are so reasonable!! We also got a charcuterie tray from On Dirait le Sud (on the road into Orient Village). It was absolutely fabulous! So many different meats & cheeses. This little shop is a gem. Walk into the store and you gain 10 pounds just from the smells. They have so many beautiful things to eat – both freshly prepared and unusual jarred/canned items. The owner is truly passionate about what he does.

Océan82 – Grand Case. A favorite. The view and the food never fail to impress. Can’t miss their Grand Marnier souffle for dessert.

La Plantation – in Parc de la Baie Orientale in front of La Plantation Hotel. This was an unexpected treat. We thought we had group reservations for Lobster night at Astrolabe but it didn’t work out so we walked across the street (we were a group of 8). They have a very nice set up around the pool. Food was very good and we had great service from Ivan. I think this place is often overlooked due to it’s proximity to L’Astrolabe and it’s distance from Orient Village.

Les Galets – Les Jardins d’Orient – road directly across from Parc de La Baie. I heard about this from Jeff of DK Gems – who is the best source of information on dining in SXM. This is a French dining EXPERIENCE. It’s prix fixe and the menu changes weekly. You must have reservations in advance. The setting around their pool is beautiful. It’s a tasting menu with 6 courses including an absolutely unforgettable cheese cart. This is a 3 hour plus experience. And it’s a bargain - 79€ or 69€ depending on the menu for that week. Our group was the only non-French there that evening. The chef explained each course as it was served. One of the courses was a soup with morel mushrooms and a poached egg. The description does not do it justice.

Bistrot Caraïbes – Grand Case. The food never fails to impress. Service this time was a little slow even allowing for fine dining in the Caribbean.

Le Cottage – Grand Case. It’s been a while since we’ve eaten here. One of our best meals. The company was exceptional (thanks DD!) and the food was superb! We shared the Mon Cheri for dessert – excellent!!

L’Atelier – Orient Village. Another favorite we go to again & again. One of the few places where I will forgo my usual fish for meat. Great and varied menu, great service.

Lunches were almost always at the Perch since we were too lazy to go anywhere else. Sha and Yuma are the best! The view can’t be beat!

Coco Beach for a Chi-Chi day. We made reservations for a front-row set of chairs and an umbrella. The beach was wide and clean. The surf was very rough that day so we did not go into the water. Our beach server Davide was very attentive. Ate lunch at the restaurant at Coco. Very fresh tuna ceviche.

Our weather was pretty good. Some rain showers that didn’t last too long. The beach at ClubO was very narrow and busy. Lots of rocks in the water. The fellow that ran a chair/umbrella concession near where Pedros used to be is no longer there so sometimes competition for chairs is tough. The island is nice and green due to the rain they’ve had recently. Reconstruction is coming along. It’s definitely busier than last year. Since we arrived after November 1st, we did not have to do the EHAS shuffle – a relief. We made one trip to Philipsburg at the beginning of the trip on a non-cruise ship day to make a deposit and withdrawal from our favorite jewelry store DK Gems. There seemed to be a lot of ships in after that day and cruiser activity on the beach. The airport is coming along. It wasn’t nearly as hot and crowded as last year. Flight home to Newark left on time and would have been in early if we didn’t have to wait for a gate at Newark.

Last edited by Kathleen; 11/21/2022 03:44 PM.

That's why I wander and follow La Vie Dansante, that's all I want, La Vie Dansante (JB)
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Re: Trip Report 11/6 – 11/17 [Re: Kathleen] #291452
11/21/2022 05:36 PM
11/21/2022 05:36 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,751
Kennys Offline
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Kennys  Offline
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Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,751
Thanks Kathy and from your report , you Folks had a great vacation.
Happy Thanksgiving and happy holidays.

Re: Trip Report 11/6 – 11/17 [Re: Kathleen] #291454
11/21/2022 06:09 PM
11/21/2022 06:09 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 420
mahokid Offline
Traveler
mahokid  Offline
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Joined: May 2011
Posts: 420
Your dinning choices were great.
Got to laugh as Jeff (DK Gems) is definitely a great source for new restaurants to eat at
It seems he eats out every night and only walks to keep off the calories
Also we always make our Phillipsburg donation there, this year we traded in a 7 carat bracelet for an upgraded diamond ring

While Maison Mere and Les Galets have the same chef, Les Galets was outstanding while I did enjoy some of the different choices at Maison Mere which only had about 8 cheese choices the night we dined

Villa looks awesome.
It is so hard to stay in a great villa and then have to go back to normal housing since we don't have roommates this year

Re: Trip Report 11/6 – 11/17 [Re: Kathleen] #291455
11/21/2022 06:14 PM
11/21/2022 06:14 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,342
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,342
Central Florida!
Thanks very much for the report! The dining sounds lovely!!!


Carol Hill
Re: Trip Report 11/6 – 11/17 [Re: Kathleen] #291456
11/21/2022 06:41 PM
11/21/2022 06:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 270
Greer SC
B
bostonbob Offline
Traveler
bostonbob  Offline
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B
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 270
Greer SC
Great report. Looks like you had a wonderful time and ate some delicious food. Good to read about the newer restaurants in the village. They will go on our list. Jeff is definitely a great source for very good food


Lived most of my life in Massachusetts
Re: Trip Report 11/6 – 11/17 [Re: Kathleen] #291465
11/22/2022 07:17 AM
11/22/2022 07:17 AM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,215
RI
jomarc Offline
Traveler
jomarc  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,215
RI
Very nice trip report! Your restaurant choices sound fantastic

We, too, love shopping with Jeff at DK Gems. This year he helped with upgrading a pair of earrings and a gorgeous diamond ring.
His wealth of knowledge about fine and casual dining is amazing!


Jo-

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.
Re: Trip Report 11/6 – 11/17 [Re: Kathleen] #291488
11/22/2022 11:14 AM
11/22/2022 11:14 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,048
Clearwater, FL
Biturbo Offline
Traveler
Biturbo  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,048
Clearwater, FL
Nice report - your food choices sound delicious. We used to live in the Philadelphia area and loved those United flights from EWR. Three months ago, we moved to Clearwater, FL (Gulf coast) and our choices are much more limited. But we definitely don't miss the weather in the NE.


I'm going where the weather suits my clothes.
Re: Trip Report 11/6 – 11/17 [Re: Kathleen] #291491
11/22/2022 12:19 PM
11/22/2022 12:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 277
S
StMartinFan Offline
Traveler
StMartinFan  Offline
Traveler
S
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 277
Thanks for sharing your experiences. Your dining choices sounded amazing. We may have to book some nights at a place n Orient to try some of the restaurants in that area!

Re: Trip Report 11/6 – 11/17 [Re: StMartinFan] #291558
11/23/2022 11:06 AM
11/23/2022 11:06 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,216
North NJ, 1720 miles from Para...
Kathleen Offline OP
Traveler
Kathleen  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,216
North NJ, 1720 miles from Para...
Orient Village has become quite the dining destination! If you plan to spend a few nights in Orient, I can't recommend the Orient Beach Hotel highly enough. You can walk to the Village from there (or drive) and the hotel is beach front!


That's why I wander and follow La Vie Dansante, that's all I want, La Vie Dansante (JB)
Re: Trip Report 11/6 – 11/17 [Re: Kathleen] #291594
11/24/2022 06:21 AM
11/24/2022 06:21 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,543
Westchester /NYC
Colour1 Offline
Traveler
Colour1  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,543
Westchester /NYC
It's nice to hear that Orient and GC are on there way back at full speed!! We had a wonderful dinner at Ocean 82 but could not get back to GC for Bistro Caraïbes, the boys do an amazing job!!


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