Traveltalkonline.com Forums


SXM Cruise Schedule TTOL Sponsors SXM Travel Calendar
Forum Statistics
Forums39
Topics36,269
Posts288,555
Members26,300
Most Online2,218
Jan 21st, 2020
Top Posters(30 Days)
Colour1 54
MIDiver 36
Zanshin 32
Manpot 29
Member Spotlight
Posts: 4,780
Joined: May 2002
Show All Member Profiles 
Today's Birthdays
No Birthdays
Who's Online Now
45 registered members (CLIFFTOPS, Jaybird, caribbeangirl13, ChiTownHarry, Shifty, ColoBoater, stevel13, mark37, BillDauterive, o2bnsxm, ydrwrb1, PML, bizzottom, SXMBND, Kennys, pandpfromcanada, BHK, polaris, CanuckTravlr, jagmansr, pbd007, WWII, tpcook, jrw, NumberCruncher, socamon, deliveryskipper, dolfer, BeachcomberPT, jbutah, 15 invisible), 144 guests, and 84 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 #294520
01/25/2023 05:55 AM
01/25/2023 05:55 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 102
East Tennessee
lhbsurf Offline OP
Traveler
lhbsurf  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 102
East Tennessee
Woke up early, so decided to write up our first few days...

Travel down – We had to come in on Saturday afternoon due to United cancelling completely our Sunday flight. Tried to make it with just carry-ons, but visiting another island to visit family in addition to 2 weeks on SXM, just couldn’t do it. Needless to say, I was dreading it. It was our lucky day I guess, but we stepped off the plane at 4:40 and met Kenny outside the airport for the car by 5:30. Line was long for immigration, but moved quickly. Luggage was waiting when we got there.

Lesley was waiting for us the second we exited the door and provided us a lovely little white SUV, which we are very much enjoying. For the first part of this trip, we decided to stay in a little studio/villa? in a small “compound” for lack of better word in Terrabasses. We have everything we need, including a lovely private hot tub, with pool and gym/weight room shared with other stand-alone units. We enjoy renting chairs from Dany at Cupecoy, which was one reason for choosing this spot. It has been great!

So far, we have rented chairs at Cupecoy 2 days; Once at “Baby Beach” and yesterday, at the first set of steps, we noticed sand for the first time while we’ve been here at that spot and grabbed a couple of chairs. It was just a gorgeous day.

Monday, since it was a 0 cruise ship day, we decided to go to Orient. This is our 4th trip since January 2020 and during pandemic, we decided to go to the end of the beach and help out the locals. This trip, we decided Le String Beach… what a mistake. It’s a long story, and although I’ve heard of intentionally bad service to non-locals (here it was non French speaking) it was the first time I’ve experienced it to this degree. I’m happy to wait my turn, even for a long time, but when the beach attendant tells you that you’re not a regular and he won’t take your order, it’s too much. It was obvious that was what was happening to us and a few other English speaking groups around us, but I couldn’t decide if it was good or bad that he even confirmed it. We were getting up to leave and he finally said… I’ll take your order and get it to you in 45 minutes, so we stayed because I was starving. Suffice it to say, it will be our last trip there… they were out of all the good stuff anyway… no spring rolls, no lamb chops, no tuna tartare, no salmon etc… ended up with chicken wings and a burger, which were average. Anyway, Orange Beach looked nice, we may try it next time or just head to the corrupt, rich guy’s places where we went during our cruise ship days. Le String neither needed nor wanted our business.

One note: we came home from Orient on Monday via Orleans, behind Phillipsburg, through Cole Bay and across the causeway. We were going the opposite way of the traffic, but noticed it was backed up bumper to bumper almost the entire way. We never saw an accident, but noticed the traffic didn’t get any better going the other way until after we passed the airport! We had a few spots of normal type back-ups, but nothing too bad. There is quite a bit of road paving going on day and night, but that didn’t seem to be much of the issue on Monday.

So far, the restaurants we’ve tried: Sublime (1st trip… shared Lamb Sliders, Caesar salad, and short (?long!!) rib and a couple of drinks. It was very good…. I was surprised that they seemed so surprised that we didn’t wish to add additional tip on top of the 15%.) Chesterfield’s (our usual 1st night spot, but ate 2nd night since we got in later than usual)…it was good; got Duck and Seafood platter, fried. Chicken lunch at Dany’s – was good as always. Last night, Ocean 82 in Grand Case (btw road work at Grand Case didn’t impact traffic at all; at least when we arrived about 7:30… there was a very slight delay for paving on the way back to Terrabasses (we went through Sandy Ground as it seems very quiet at the moment), but not bad). I have read such great things about Ocean 82 and we were not disappointed. Had the cocktail special – kiwi-apple vodka martini, shared a half bottle of Bandol red wine which was so good, baked oysters w/smoked duck breast, lobster bisque (omg… perfectly the way I like it!! Maybe my favorite ever), smoked duck breast, beef tenderloin w/morel mushroom sauce, and molten chocolate lava cake (they were out of the souffle!). They were quite busy – we were sandwiched between 2 large parties, so we ended up being attended to by the assistants… who kept apologizing for the wait, missing utensils and such, but they were all delightful and we had an ocean front table - it was a fabulous evening.

The weather has been clear so far… a little windy, but not too bad. We have very much enjoyed a much-needed relaxing trip to SXM…. More later. Pictures: Dinner at Ocean 82, Dinner at Sublime, Sunrise from our window in Terrabasses, Cupecoy beach pics.

Attached Files 98D4B669-D3E4-43F5-AB24-B60022D39C3E.JPGC576D181-44B0-41DE-984C-4AFD55DCA400.JPGIMG_8019.jpegIMG_8040.jpegIMG_8077.jpeg

Laura
SXM Sponsors
Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: lhbsurf] #294521
01/25/2023 06:06 AM
01/25/2023 06:06 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,521
Portland, OR
jazzgal Offline
Traveler
jazzgal  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,521
Portland, OR
That sunrise picture is beautiful! Thanks for the nice report; sounds like a good beginning, except for Le String. What a disappointment!


[Linked Image]
Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: lhbsurf] #294523
01/25/2023 06:52 AM
01/25/2023 06:52 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 81
Atlanta, GA
BenP Offline
Traveler
BenP  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 81
Atlanta, GA
Those lamb sliders look delicious! We’re going to have to try Sublime on our next trip.

Definitely try Orange Fever on your next visit to Orient. You’ll enjoy comfortable chairs, great food and an enjoyable atmosphere!

Thanks for sharing the pics! We’ve looked at staying in Terres Basses but couldn’t ever commit since we’ve gotten use to staying in the same places for so long in Orient Bay and Grand Case. Last year was the first time we branched out and stayed in a VRBO in Simpson Bay and Beachside Villas which turned out to be a great decision.

Enjoy the rest of your trip and keep the reports coming!

Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: lhbsurf] #294527
01/25/2023 07:26 AM
01/25/2023 07:26 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 139
Long Island, New York
CaribJoe Offline
Traveler
CaribJoe  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 139
Long Island, New York
Sorry to hear about your experience at Le String. Is Jean (beach attendant) still working there? He has always been very friendly and accommodating.

Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: lhbsurf] #294528
01/25/2023 07:26 AM
01/25/2023 07:26 AM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,780
Kennys Online content
Traveler
Kennys  Online Content
Traveler
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,780
Welcome and wonderful report . Enjoy our vacation.

Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: lhbsurf] #294535
01/25/2023 08:53 AM
01/25/2023 08:53 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,707
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,707
Central Florida!
thanks for the report and the pictures. Sorry about Le String. We have only eaten there at the restaurant, not been on the beach, but always had a good experience. The ocean-side tables at Ocean 82 are a lovely experience. Enjoy!


Carol Hill
Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: lhbsurf] #294539
01/25/2023 10:45 AM
01/25/2023 10:45 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,837
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
Traveler
SXMScubaman  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,837
Auburn, WA
Looks like you're enjoying your stay except for Le String. No excuse for rudeness. We prefer Orange Fever.

Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: lhbsurf] #294545
01/25/2023 01:02 PM
01/25/2023 01:02 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,170
Boynton Beach, FL
EdB Offline
Traveler
EdB  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,170
Boynton Beach, FL
i guess i am in the minority on this post. Have been spending most of our time at Le String for years now. Jean has always been more than accommodating, in fact we have found him the best attendant ever! The owners, Severine and Lionel, have always been great and personable, and have grown their business well. The chef at le string, has recently been named the best of the best during the competition a few months ago. By the way, i speak ZERO French, and have never felt slighted in the least. I am sure, anyone could have a ''bad day'', but it surely doesn't sound like the Le String that we go to and love. Can't wait to go back Mid March.

Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: CaribJoe] #294580
01/26/2023 06:06 AM
01/26/2023 06:06 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 102
East Tennessee
lhbsurf Offline OP
Traveler
lhbsurf  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 102
East Tennessee
I would have called him John ... I'm sure your spelling is correct lol. He was there and was, in fact, the one who explained the system to me. Although, I'm a big people watcher and had eventually figured out what was happening from my seat in the middle back row. He was not rude to us and nor were we. I let my husband do the talking as he is much more patient than me, but I don't have a good poker face and he knew I was frustrated. If you go often enough to be considered a regular, you will have good service, no doubt. I'm sure this system works well for them, but if they're busy and you're not a regular, my money is on you having a similar experience to ours. I am used to the American way of first come first served, and being systematically placed into the last category, intentionally, just doesn't sit well with me.

No doubt, it was a busy day. And there is an argument for his honesty I suppose...but if they had just taken our order and stacked it up in the kitchen, it probably wouldn't have rubbed me so much the wrong way. But refusing to take orders for us and the group on one side of us, while explaining that the group on the other side were regulars and thus, got their order taken first just really was a hard pill to swallow, especially when you're already hangry. In any event, my husband left a tip that was far more generous that I thought the situation warranted, and we left shortly after our very late lunch.

I really didn't intend this post to be bashing Le String... I was truly really looking forward to our experience there...it just did not turn out as I'd expected based on my research, which happens of course.


Laura
Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: lhbsurf] #294581
01/26/2023 06:34 AM
01/26/2023 06:34 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,381
M
MotownTim Offline
Traveler
MotownTim  Offline
Traveler
M
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,381
And I bet you tipped more than the French customers. Just saying’.

Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: MotownTim] #294585
01/26/2023 07:13 AM
01/26/2023 07:13 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 139
Long Island, New York
CaribJoe Offline
Traveler
CaribJoe  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 139
Long Island, New York
Originally Posted by MotownTim
And I bet you tipped more than the French customers. Just saying’.

Other than the occasional "por boire" left by French customers, I doubt that they tip at all. This is why it is hard to understand the treatment mentioned. The restaurant is shooting itself in the foot, especially the way news travels via the internet.

Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: lhbsurf] #294586
01/26/2023 07:19 AM
01/26/2023 07:19 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,647
Westchester /NYC
Colour1 Offline
Traveler
Colour1  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,647
Westchester /NYC
We walked out on Le String when they were in Nettle bay!!! BUT one of our favorite restaurants on Orient, that has NEVER disappointed us is Chez LeAndra!!! The service and the food is amazing with daily specials. I loved there rum punch! Louise had a lobster roll that was to perfection the last time. I had some island pulled roll. Really good!! It was good long time ago, going back to the days of Baywatch!!! It's on our Itinerary every trip to orient! https://chez-leandra.business.site/?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=referral

Attached Files David Chez 1022.jpg
Last edited by Colour1; 01/26/2023 07:21 AM.

Sand Gravity, got to love it!
Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: lhbsurf] #294587
01/26/2023 07:24 AM
01/26/2023 07:24 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,903
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
Traveler
ruralcarrier  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,903
Ohio
We encountered similar (both on the beach and in the dining area) at Bikini Beach a few years ago. That did it for me.


J.D.
Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: CaribJoe] #294592
01/26/2023 08:50 AM
01/26/2023 08:50 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,707
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,707
Central Florida!
CaribJoe--We have never spent any time on the beach there, but often have gone there for lunch (only). From our experiences there, most of the patrons seem to be French speaking or island residents, in the restaurant at any rate. NOT including us, of course. The menu leans heavily French. Every time we have been there, the dining room is usually pretty full, usually including at least one LARGE table of maybe 10 people, who look to be local, to me. We have never had anything other than wonderful food and service there. But if they have made the choice to favor the regulars, who live on island, and could come to the restaurant any time they want, as compared to tourists, who might be able to come a couple times in a whole year, IF that is their business model, then to me it sort of makes sense. We certainly have never felt slighted there, but we make it pretty clear that we are there for a leisurely lunch with a bottle of wine, and on the whole, are fairly low key diners.


Carol Hill
Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: lhbsurf] #294599
01/26/2023 12:06 PM
01/26/2023 12:06 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 25
sxmdux503 Offline
Traveler
sxmdux503  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 25
Here is my 2 cents regarding Le String: we've been eating at Le String since their rebuild following Irma, honestly because it's next door to Good Time Charlies and LeString has a bathroom to be used by Charlie's patrons. We've known Charles since about 2003 and have supported him for many years. Anyway, we've never felt slighted at Le String because of non- French status. The food has always been okay. Our last visit (1/16) we had both our son and daughter with us, both over 30 years old. My daughter has very short hair. While we were eating, John/Jean (who was not serving our table) approached our us and asked for my daughter's ID. She laughed and believed it to be because she was so young looking- she isn't that young looking. I have never seen anyone carded on the island- ever. Under his breath- I heard Jean say Is this a boy? He wanted to know if she was a girl or a boy! Daughter (and those at our table) were laughing and enjoying meal and did not hear his comment. I didn't confront him. I didn't talk with Severine after the fact. I am saddened by the experience and will take my business more frequently to Chez Leandra and occasionally Aloha. Thanks for listening.

Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: lhbsurf] #294607
01/26/2023 01:45 PM
01/26/2023 01:45 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 744
Western MA
S
SandS Offline
Traveler
SandS  Offline
Traveler
S
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 744
Western MA
You must be saints. We would have been out of there real fast. I agree with MotownTim. Europeans are not known for being generous tippers.

Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: lhbsurf] #294616
01/26/2023 04:01 PM
01/26/2023 04:01 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,067
Clearwater, FL
Biturbo Offline
Traveler
Biturbo  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,067
Clearwater, FL
SandS - my sentiments exactly. We haven't been to Le String for about 2 years and can only remember cordial, friendly service. Too many other places nearby. I'd go to Orange Fever.


I'm going where the weather suits my clothes.
Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: lhbsurf] #294635
01/27/2023 12:49 AM
01/27/2023 12:49 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,579
originally Long Island, NY/now...
irish1223 Offline
Traveler
irish1223  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,579
originally Long Island, NY/now...
We had a very similar experience at Le String pre Irma and never returned. We might as well have been invisible. They definitely catered to their French clientele; and though we did get served, it wasn’t with a smile. Too many other nice places to put up with that nonsense. Aloha is our long-time favorite. Great food and friendly crew.

Enjoy the rest of your trip!


Robin & Ed

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. - Henry Miller

Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: Colour1] #294641
01/27/2023 07:13 AM
01/27/2023 07:13 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 102
East Tennessee
lhbsurf Offline OP
Traveler
lhbsurf  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 102
East Tennessee
We went to Chez Leandra right after they opened after Covid (we decided to defy the travel ban lol) and had wonderful food and service there. Unfortunately, they are closed on Mondays!


Laura
Re: Trip Report 1 - First Few Days.. Jan 21-24 [Re: lhbsurf] #294642
01/27/2023 07:50 AM
01/27/2023 07:50 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,647
Westchester /NYC
Colour1 Offline
Traveler
Colour1  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,647
Westchester /NYC
I'm so sorry, I completely forgot they are closed on Mondays!! I hope you return. The staff are so nice and we love the food!! Louise tells me they are mother and daughter!!! One time we ordered to go, well it never made out of the car!! LOL!!!


Sand Gravity, got to love it!

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.1