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First time visit. Where to stay? #69857
10/01/2015 03:16 PM
10/01/2015 03:16 PM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 8
J
JAR Offline OP
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JAR  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 8
My wife and I are thinking of visiting St. Martin for the first time. We are both in our early 70's . We usually go to the Cayman Island Sunshine Suites for a week. We rent a car and go to the beach for the day and then go dining at night. We do not usually look for a lot of "night life" places . I have been searching on the Web for information on where to stay. I am at a loss where to look as I am not sure what is what when I search . We would like a place on the ground floor with beaches fairly close by. On the beach would be nice but we can drive to beaches nearby. We do not like large hotels but prefer something smaller but " low key" If you could give be some information as where to start to look I would appreciate it very much. I like to do my "homework research " before I go to a new destination as we only do this once a year after a hectic Christmas season as we are in the gift basket business.

Thank you for your assistance

SXM Sponsors
Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: JAR] #69858
10/01/2015 03:27 PM
10/01/2015 03:27 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 39
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Babby Offline
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if we were you we would be thinking orient village. a stone's throw to the beach and several nice places to stay and again several decent places to eat. All low key. but nice. come to think of it that's exactly what we did for the first time and several times afterwards. the french side is pretty quiet

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: JAR] #69859
10/01/2015 03:30 PM
10/01/2015 03:30 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,765
Med/ Caribbean
sailbynight Offline
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Med/ Caribbean
I would recommend the Simpson Bay Area:
Close to the airport, restaurants, and some shopping
Mary's Boon Beach Resort. Quirky, small, but nice place, right on the beach. The restaurant is okay but nothing to write home about. The staff are fabulous.
Also in Simpson Bay on the smaller side, Horny Toad Guest House.

Away from the beach in that area:
Bakers Suites
Liberty Inn

Mid January tends to be easier to find rooms.

I can tell you where not to stay: The timeshare sellers' happy hour.

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: JAR] #69860
10/01/2015 03:30 PM
10/01/2015 03:30 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,294
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january Offline
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If you want first floor right on the beach, then I don't think you can beat Beachside Villas right on Simpson Bay.

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: JAR] #69861
10/01/2015 03:31 PM
10/01/2015 03:31 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 351
Detroit
bluejacket Offline
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Detroit
The first time we went we stayed at the Sonesta Maho. It was a great choice there are a lot of things to do within walking including a great beach. Also, the airport is super close so plane watching was fun. It also served as a great home base because we rented a car and visited the various beaches during the day. Orient beach and dinner in grand case is a must. We been back 10 times and have stayed at Maho 3 times. Now we like to vrbo.com a studio at mt Vernon. I wouldn't suggest that for your first trip though because there are practically zero amenities there.

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: JAR] #69862
10/01/2015 03:32 PM
10/01/2015 03:32 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,624
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Central Florida!
Hi JAR--welcome to TTOL!

I really am not sure what you are looking for, but I will suggest MY personal favorite place to stay, Beachside Villas . It is a set of about 12 individual units, 2 and 3 bedrooms (although if you rent a villa there, you don't share it with anyone else, the other bedrooms are locked off), each unit with it's own living room, full kitchen, separate bedroom, 2 full bathrooms, and a lovely covered porch with full ocean access, just steps down the stairs to the sand.

[Linked Image]


Carol Hill
Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: Babby] #69863
10/01/2015 03:33 PM
10/01/2015 03:33 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 486
Framingham,MA
Margie Offline
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Framingham,MA
We love to stay at the Grand Case Beach Club. French Side. You walk right into the water, no need to have to drive to a beach. They have a wonderful restaurant/bar on site. You can walk into town, and have the most wonderful restaurants to choose from. They offer peace & quiet. We love the staff that work there. We have stayed at many places, on both sides, and now we have decided, this is the place we love to stay at. Good Luck with where ever you pick!

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: JAR] #69864
10/01/2015 04:47 PM
10/01/2015 04:47 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,300
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Tom Offline
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Hershey, Pennsylvania
Everyone has an opinion. I reread your post and feel that you may want to consider our "home away from home", the Belair Beach Hotel. Dutch side, on the beach, small (only 65 apartments), safe, quiet, close to lots of restaurants and Philipsburg, if they have anything available when you want to vacation, it may meet your requirements. PM us if you like more info.
We are

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: Tom] #69865
10/01/2015 05:07 PM
10/01/2015 05:07 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 606
Albany, New York
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WWII Offline
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Albany, New York
We stayed in Villa Casa Caribe on Simpson bay beach and it was very nice.

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: WWII] #69866
10/01/2015 05:39 PM
10/01/2015 05:39 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,155
CT
pony600 Offline
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CT
I second the vote for Grand Case Beach Club. Quiet & personal. 2 nice beaches and a short drive to other beaches,too. The restaurants in Grand Case are second to none!


[Linked Image]



If life hands you a lemon, just squeeze it on a lobster!
Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: JAR] #69867
10/01/2015 05:49 PM
10/01/2015 05:49 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,931
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
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Posts: 12,931
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I agree with Carol regarding Beachside Villas. It would be the perfect location for you right on the beach,close to shopping and restaurants.It might be a bit more expensive than other accommodations at the time of your visit as that is high season.We have stayed there a few times in November when the prices are more reasonable.Check out VRBO.Com and you will find several nice places to stay on both the French and Dutch side.There are lots of villas and condos available for your time period.




Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: JAR] #69868
10/01/2015 06:15 PM
10/01/2015 06:15 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 919
Cobourg Ontario Canada
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jeepers Offline
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Cobourg Ontario Canada
<img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/circle.gif" alt="" />Orient village, alamanda, l'hoste, blue bay hotel, palm court, residence de la plague #26 (managed by magali), la plantation. Beach close & restaurants there. We have personal knowledge of these places. Our second home now is mon reve (Augustin Lake, owner on friars bay road close to friars bay beach 20 minutes from orient beach, 5 min to Margot &10 minutes from grand case restaurants. He also has rental cars & will pick you up at airport. Tell Gus, Lynn & John sent you. Just don't take our unit, lol!! ) we spend 3 to 6 weeks on island per year. As you can see from replies, everyone has their favourites & you can't go wrong by picking anyone of the recommendations. There is no place in the world like SXM!! Enjoy!! While there visit Peter & Haresh at jewels in paradise at 43A front street in Philipsburg & no, we are not paid commission. We have become friends with our many visits. Also check out le Taitu
Restaurant on mont Vernon Rd. A small intimate dining experience with great food & wpersonal service.

Almost forgot sonesta great bay nice as well on Dutch side.

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: islandgem] #69869
10/01/2015 06:36 PM
10/01/2015 06:36 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,624
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Central Florida!
Elizabeth--I missed exactly when it is that they wanted to go, but definitely agree that BSV is much more affordable during the off season.

With all the responses, I'm sure the original poster is probably more confused than they were to begin with, as everyone has their favorites!!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Smile.gif" alt="" />


Carol Hill
Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: JAR] #69870
10/01/2015 08:23 PM
10/01/2015 08:23 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 482
Central Coast, CA
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cruzer Offline
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Central Coast, CA
Let me also chime in with Grand Case Beach Club, but know that buildings 0 1 and 2 are at least 15 feet from the water. I think the town of Grand Case beats Simpson Bay for that low key feeling, easy walk to the numerous restaurants, and with a funky rather than congested atmosphere. Just watch out for the maniacs on their bikes.

The main downside of GCBC, if you are going in high season, is their pricing, which is around 2x the low season rates. I have no desire to go there in high season because of that.

And while I am not a fan of Simpson Bay, I love the beach there by the airport, and enjoy spending a few days at Mary's Boon. I haven't been to BSV, but I think that would be a fine place to stay as well. I think that Simpson Beach is nicer than Grand Case or Petite Plage, and the water is a bit rougher, but not too rough.

And a big deal for me--no sunsets at MB, but they have them at GCBC.

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: JAR] #69871
10/01/2015 08:44 PM
10/01/2015 08:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,209
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Posts: 13,209
Brookfield, CT.
JAR,

Like so many others, I would also suggest Beachside Villas if you're the type who is independent and doesn't NEED all the resort amenities. The units are well equipped and furnished much as you'd expect a beachside property to be and its so nice to fall off to sleep with the sound of the waves lulling you into la la land over the hum of the air conditioning. It's on the Dutch side of the island and while there's not that much within walking distance in the line of restaurants and such beyond Karakter and Sunset Bar and Grill, it's an easy drive to Maho and Cupecoy for some incredibly good restaurants and tucked in between the two is Mullet Bay Beach, one of the best on the island and my personal favorite.

My next suggestion would be Grand Case Beach Resort just outside restaurant row in Grand Case. It's a full resort but not obtrusively so. It boasts its own very good restaurant, swimming pool, and two different beaches and incredibly wonderful little nooks and crannies with lounges if you want an hour or two off the beach but in the shade. And on top of that, it has full service drink service on the beach and all kinds of water toys available, too. We've only stayed there once in studio with loft and it was delightful.

And then there's Mary's Boon, again, on the beach with a restaurant and bar, and a small pool which is for guests only. You would definitely want a car for dining around and sight-seeing and such, but it sure is nice to walk out your door and be right on the beach. The restaurant is great for breakfast and lunch, or at least, it always was when we went there, but IMHO, just so-so for dinner, although once upon a time it was wonderful.

There are several places on or very near to Orient Beach but I'm not that well informed and personally knowledgable about them. We don't rate Orient Beach as high as most people in our list of favorites so while a day at the beach with lunch is nice, it wouldn't be one of my preferred places to stay but those who do give it high marks.

Sonesta Maho Bay or Sonesta Great Bay are both nice and Maho in particular is very convenient to night time entertainment and dining.

And these are just the tip of the SXM iceberg.....there are some very expensive properties on and off the beach, oodles of timeshare resorts and hotels and incredible numbers of private villas available but too little time to research them if you're hoping for this coming January, I'm thinking. I think cruder nailed it with regard to MB ~ vs ~ GCBC......THE SUNSETS THERE ARE INCREDIBLE.

Good luck in your search and I hope you enjoy St. Maarten/St. Martin as much as most here do. This is one island that draws people back year after year and trip after trip, and no matter how many other spots we explore, it's the only island that literally has called us home for over forty years. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: JAR] #69872
10/02/2015 08:37 AM
10/02/2015 08:37 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,300
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Tom Offline
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Tom  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,300
Hershey, Pennsylvania
You've received lots of good suggestions to consider. Here are a couple general thoughts that may also be helpful. Enjoy SXM.
1. SXM is small and all beaches are public. Some are more difficult to access than others but that assures added privacy for those that want it.
2. If you choose the French side, some basic French language can be helpful and is appreciated.
3. Driving can be a challenge but attitude and patience can usually minimize the annoyance.
4. Crime exists in SXM as it does most everywhere, sensible precaution with your valuables is important.

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: JAR] #69873
10/02/2015 09:23 AM
10/02/2015 09:23 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 14,040
In the beautiful woods @ Hunti...
contessa Offline
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Posts: 14,040
In the beautiful woods @ Hunti...
Welcome to SXM! We're in the same age group and having returned to SXM 70+ times over 31 yrs. I can tell you that we've stayed in quite a few different places. The Dutch side is more active and the French side more laid back. But, that doesn't mean dull. LOL. We prefer a more laid back atmosphere but love being near nice restaurants. We now stay in Oyster Pond area which I wouldn't recommend for 1st timers. It's quite remote and I think you need a handle on the island before being this far from action...although we do love the restaurants here. I won't tell you where to stay but rather what you might encounter. Beachside Villas is lovely but next to the airport. If anyone tells you that the planes aren't bothersome....they're wrong. Perhaps some get used to the noise but that's not what we go on vacation to hear. They're LOUD. I've stayed in the area 2x and never again. However, there are many great places to stay.....and I'd recommend La Vista, highly. Near everything and the management can't be better. Close to the 'action' if you'd like but tucked down the road.
On the French side you might like Le Village area @ Orient Bay. Lots of adorable little restaurants and condo types. Alamanda is a nice little hotel.....a couple of steps from the beach. Restaurants surrounding it so you can walk around at night and feel comfortable. And there are a couple small hotels in that area as well as some apartments.
The only way you'll know what you're getting into is by asking questions. Ask away.

<img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> Contessa

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: contessa] #69874
10/02/2015 09:38 AM
10/02/2015 09:38 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,624
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 74,624
Central Florida!
Different strokes for different folks! I LOVE the planes at Beachside, as do most people who stay there. They are noisy only for about 30 seconds at a time and then mostly during the mid afternoon, when the big planes land and take off. If everyone loved the planes, I would not be able to get a reservation there, so I'm good with that!


Carol Hill
Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: pony600] #69875
10/02/2015 09:57 AM
10/02/2015 09:57 AM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 132
B
BobNLiz Offline
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BobNLiz  Offline
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Posts: 132
Question for those who favor the Beachside Villas. We have always stayed in Dawn Beach Estates. the villa we rent has central AC throughout. That is important to me... uhem....menopause...lol...

However Bob would love the ability to step out of the villa onto the Beach etc... So the question... Do the BSV's have air conditioning throughout or is it simply in the bedrooms...

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: BobNLiz] #69876
10/02/2015 10:14 AM
10/02/2015 10:14 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,624
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 74,624
Central Florida!
Bedrooms only. Sorry. That's one of the few things that is not perfect about them, for me. However, if there was a/c in the living room, I'm sure the cost would be a lot more per night. There is generally a very nice breeze through the main part of the house though.


Carol Hill
Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: BobNLiz] #69877
10/02/2015 11:32 AM
10/02/2015 11:32 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,209
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Posts: 13,209
Brookfield, CT.
As Carol has already stated, there is only ac in the bedrooms and while we stayed at BSV once for only four days, we were very fortunate in that there were zero moskies the entire time we were there. Wonderful breezes the whole time but if HVAC is important, this is definitely NOT the place for you. We enjoyed the breezes and the units are very well screened. Between that and the airflow through the atrium area, it was more than comfortable for us, but I'm one who doesn't care for ac in the first place, even though DH usually does.

But there is most definitely a great feeling if you're a fan, when your front door is across from the airport and your backdoor is the beach. Talk about good living!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Joy.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Joy.gif" alt="" />

And on the other hand, if airplane watching is important, OMGoodness, what a great location. From the pool deck you can actually watch the planes on the runway and they have a viewing stand along the driveway........one of the KLM pilots actually waved to us. My DH is an avid plane watcher and he loved staying there. Every time he disappeared it was an easy guess as to where he was - off watching the planes come and go. Directly out our front door was an open fenced area for great viewing if you didn't want to walk a few units down the road to the viewing platform. He got a few great photos.

And while some would find the plane noise bothersome, we had no issues with it. The trade off of seeing the planes come and go up close and personal was more than worth the few seconds of noise. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: pat] #69878
10/02/2015 12:29 PM
10/02/2015 12:29 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,766
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
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RonDon  Offline
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Posts: 3,766
Rhode Island
I just sent you a private message---look for flashing envelope near your name.

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: JAR] #69879
10/02/2015 12:36 PM
10/02/2015 12:36 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 83
Buffalo, NY
M
macsam Offline
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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 83
Buffalo, NY
The Cliff at Cupecoy may be a great alternative. The prices on VRBO provide good value--especially if you are not going during high season.

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: RonDon] #69880
10/02/2015 12:46 PM
10/02/2015 12:46 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,766
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
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RonDon  Offline
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Rhode Island
Everyone is differ thus different likes & dislikes. Let me relay a story about a couple we met in Maho area. She hated it! Said she didn't like SXM it wasn't at all what she expected in the caribbean, said she might as well have gone to Las Vegas.

At the time we were staying at Grand Case Beach Club. We told them to rent a car see all of the island and we were sure they'd change their mind about SXM.

Later we saw them in Grand Case choosing a restaurant for lunch. She said "Now this is what I think is a place to stay." We showed them our unit at GC Beach Club . Next year we saw them there. They had booked a return trip. That year we were at Divi which shares a beach with Belair Beach Hotel. So we invited them over for apps & drinks. The husband said it was better than Maho Sonesta but not as small & quaint as GrCase Beach Club.

So not everything is for everyone.

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: RonDon] #69881
10/02/2015 01:10 PM
10/02/2015 01:10 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,209
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Posts: 13,209
Brookfield, CT.
Very well stated, Rosemary.

We all have different likes and dislikes and what works for me may very well not work for the next person. So the best suggestion I can make is do exactly what the OP has done and ask some questions and then make a decision for the first trip, and while there, check out all the different parts of the island with the idea of returning in the future to that area which best suits your preferences.But keep in mind, if you want to be 'on the beach' or 'up in the hills' choose accordingly. If you want to be on the French side then Maho sure won't cut it and if you want the convenience of being in town - chances are you'd be miserable at Cupecoy.

There are countless different people who post here regularly and love staying in the Simpson Bay area at any of the many different hotel/resort/villa choices in the area. Personally speaking, this is about my least favorite area of the island although I do enjoy BSV and Marys Boon and a few of the restaurants in the area. But I absolutely hate the traffic and the commercialism of the area - it just isn't what I think of with regard to 'my' Caribbean.

And in fairness, sad as I was when what once was Mullet Bay all changed, I still love where we stay at Mullet Bay and many others don't get it at all. Personal preferences are what it's all about and I love the whole Mullet/Cupecoy area for the peace and quiet of the different properties found there although I'm not sure what the future plans for Starz Casino may ultimately do to the location. Again, not for everyone, but sure does work for me.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: pat] #69882
10/02/2015 01:51 PM
10/02/2015 01:51 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 132
B
BobNLiz Offline
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BobNLiz  Offline
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Posts: 132
Quote
pat said:
As Carol has already stated, there is only ac in the bedrooms and while we stayed at BSV once for only four days, we were very fortunate in that there were zero moskies the entire time we were there. Wonderful breezes the whole time but if HVAC is important, this is definitely NOT the place for you. We enjoyed the breezes and the units are very well screened. Between that and the airflow through the atrium area, it was more than comfortable for us, but I'm one who doesn't care for ac in the first place, even though DH usually does.

But there is most definitely a great feeling if you're a fan, when your front door is across from the airport and your backdoor is the beach. Talk about good living!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Joy.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Joy.gif" alt="" />

And on the other hand, if airplane watching is important, OMGoodness, what a great location. From the pool deck you can actually watch the planes on the runway and they have a viewing stand along the driveway........one of the KLM pilots actually waved to us. My DH is an avid plane watcher and he loved staying there. Every time he disappeared it was an easy guess as to where he was - off watching the planes come and go. Directly out our front door was an open fenced area for great viewing if you didn't want to walk a few units down the road to the viewing platform. He got a few great photos.

And while some would find the plane noise bothersome, we had no issues with it. The trade off of seeing the planes come and go up close and personal was more than worth the few seconds of noise. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />



Thanks for the info. He would LOVE it... Hence I won't tell him about it <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/dine.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" />

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: BobNLiz] #69883
10/02/2015 01:54 PM
10/02/2015 01:54 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,209
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,209
Brookfield, CT.
Smart lady, Liz, and I can't say I'd blame you - but I really loved it as much as he did.

Have a great trip whenever, wherever!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Joy.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Joy.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: BobNLiz] #69884
10/02/2015 02:24 PM
10/02/2015 02:24 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,624
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 74,624
Central Florida!
Oh what devious ladies we are!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Laugh.gif" alt="" /> Enjoy your vacation, wherever you end up!


Carol Hill
Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: Carol_Hill] #69885
10/02/2015 02:48 PM
10/02/2015 02:48 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,294
J
january Offline
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january  Offline
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Remember, the OP wants a place on the first floor and close to the beach. The only places that I can think of that can fill those needs are BSV, MB, GCBC. All the others would be a gamble to floor and distance.

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: january] #69886
10/02/2015 02:55 PM
10/02/2015 02:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,624
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 74,624
Central Florida!
I'm not sure if you really intended this statement to be addressed to me, but my comment that you replied to was addressed to BobnLiz. I certainly recommended the original poster check out Beachside Villas.


Carol Hill
Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: january] #69887
10/02/2015 02:59 PM
10/02/2015 02:59 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 13,694
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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SXMScubaman  Offline
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Posts: 13,694
Auburn, WA
Royal Palm and Flamingo have first floor units with direct access to the beach. If they are renting directly from the resort they can book one if one is available for their dates. They can also rent a fixed week/unit from an owner that has a ground floor through some of the rental by owner sites.
Otherwise its hit or miss if you just wait to when you get there.

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: Carol_Hill] #69888
10/02/2015 03:05 PM
10/02/2015 03:05 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,294
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january Offline
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january  Offline
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Posts: 1,294
I was addressing it to all the folks that recommended places that would not seem to meet the OP's wishes and a reminder to the OP that the places I listed would probably best meet their needs.

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: january] #69889
10/02/2015 03:55 PM
10/02/2015 03:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,624
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 74,624
Central Florida!
OK


Carol Hill
Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: Carol_Hill] #69890
10/02/2015 08:40 PM
10/02/2015 08:40 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 352
Pittsburgh, PA
gotaluvit Offline
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gotaluvit  Offline
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Posts: 352
Pittsburgh, PA
If you all are new to SXM then maybe we should start with some basics. The island is part French and part Dutch and they could not be more different. Some people here argue that and I always wonder what they are smoking...they can provide their own observations. The airport is on the Dutch side which is totally American and dominated by big hotels and condos. Yes, there are smaller places as some folks have indicated but they are the exception. The French side is much more laid back and international. I don't believe there is anything on the French side that is more than 4 stories and there are no "major" resorts with the possible exception of the hotel Riu. 95% of the best restaurants are on the French side judged by international standards. Their are tons of restaurants on the Dutch side that people love but very little you can't find in Miami. There is little debate that the best beach on the island is Orient on the French side, based on size and restaurants and other activities.

If you really want a first floor unit I would not recommend the French side where everything is quiet and vulnerable (with the exception of the Alamanda resort on Orient or the Grand Case Beach Club). Stay in the bright lights on the Dutch side and take cabs to Orient and Grand Case for very memorable experiences. If you can move up one floor there are many, many rentals on the French side.

Judging by where you have been staying the ambiance on the French side is a better fit but Your food preference might be the deciding factor...if you really love gourmet European food, run from the Dutch side to the French but if you don't care and can find a nice small place on the Dutch side, then that is your ticket.

In any event I will be surprised if you don't enjoy the experience.

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: contessa] #69891
10/02/2015 09:10 PM
10/02/2015 09:10 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 140
C
Computerwise Offline
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Computerwise  Offline
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Posts: 140
As a 30 time plus vacationer to St.Maarten, I agree 100Pct with Contessa that staying at BSV right next to the airport is incredible noisy, starting at 7AM. The whole Caribbean vibe is ruined for me. I also think the vibe is not that enjoyable in Gran Case for lodging, narrow streets, old buildings, very narrow and unimpressive beach.Yes there are great restaurants, and I recommend you visit them, but I would never stay in Gran Case. Staying in Orient Beach, Cupecoy or Oyster Pond areas are the nicest with convenient and easy beach access.

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: Computerwise] #69892
10/02/2015 10:25 PM
10/02/2015 10:25 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,624
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,624
Central Florida!
Yes, well, everyone's perception is different. It is NOT!!! incredibly noisy at Beachside, but if you think so, you will not be competing with me for a reservation there, so I'm happy with that.. Personally, I think there are lots of really neat places to stay in Grand Case and I think Cupecoy is a perfectly terrible place to stay if you're talking a high rise, which to ME, says Miami Beach and not St. Maarten... Oyster Pond, I have no personal interest in, as it is far away from anywhere I personally want to be, and Dawn Beach these days has been covered with nasty seaweed pretty continously for about the past year.

...which all just goes to show that everyone's tastes are different. If everyone thought exactly the same, it would be hard to get a reservation where you want!!!


Carol Hill
Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: gotaluvit] #69893
10/03/2015 12:43 AM
10/03/2015 12:43 AM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,765
Med/ Caribbean
sailbynight Offline
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sailbynight  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,765
Med/ Caribbean
Quote
gotaluvit said:
If you all are new to SXM then maybe we should start with some basics. The island is part French and part Dutch and they could not be more different. Some people here argue that and I always wonder what they are smoking...they can provide their own observations. The airport is on the Dutch side which is totally American and dominated by big hotels and condos. Yes, there are smaller places as some folks have indicated but they are the exception. The French side is much more laid back and international. I don't believe there is anything on the French side that is more than 4 stories and there are no "major" resorts with the possible exception of the hotel Riu. 95% of the best restaurants are on the French side judged by international standards. Their are tons of restaurants on the Dutch side that people love but very little you can't find in Miami. There is little debate that the best beach on the island is Orient on the French side, based on size and restaurants and other activities.

If you really want a first floor unit I would not recommend the French side where everything is quiet and vulnerable (with the exception of the Alamanda resort on Orient or the Grand Case Beach Club). Stay in the bright lights on the Dutch side and take cabs to Orient and Grand Case for very memorable experiences. If you can move up one floor there are many, many rentals on the French side.

Judging by where you have been staying the ambiance on the French side is a better fit but Your food preference might be the deciding factor...if you really love gourmet European food, run from the Dutch side to the French but if you don't care and can find a nice small place on the Dutch side, then that is your ticket.

In any event I will be surprised if you don't enjoy the experience.



Best answer ever. Read the question, check. Offer sound advice based on that particular question, check. Offer personal experience with advice relating to the actual question, check.

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: Carol_Hill] #69894
10/03/2015 12:19 PM
10/03/2015 12:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 140
C
Computerwise Offline
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Computerwise  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 140
Would you live next to a runway at home. NO. I mean 50 feet away! Why would you on vacation? Your sleeping at 7am and a plane feels like it's going through your apartment as it takes off. I stayed in a villa on Simpson Bay. Never again like Contessa said. Cupecoy has one of the most beautiful beaches, where we stay is beautiful and does not feel like Miami. There are several non high rise acccomadations, Cupecoy beach club, Tradewinds, and very nice places to eat...The Towers at Mullet Bay and Porto Cupecoy are also very nice!

Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: Computerwise] #69895
10/03/2015 12:47 PM
10/03/2015 12:47 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,209
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Posts: 13,209
Brookfield, CT.
Hmmmm, not living next to an airport at home is a fact and perhaps that's part of the novelty of staying near one on St. Maarten.

Our last trip consisted of two weeks tucked away in my quiet little corner at the Towers, but if you asked my DH what was the BEST part of our trip, it would definitely be the last four nights of our trip when we stayed at Beachside Villas right next to the runway and well within the fifty foot line.

To each his own right? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: First time visit. Where to stay? [Re: Computerwise] #69896
10/03/2015 12:55 PM
10/03/2015 12:55 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,129
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,129
Ohio
This is why people have and can make choices, Personally, staying near the airport has never been a problem to me. Like others have stated, it is not an issue with everyone.

I think the thrill of the airport must have a little bit to do with the crowds at Maho and Sunset Bar and Grill along with the Boat Bar.


J.D.
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