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A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question #96520
05/03/2016 04:33 PM
05/03/2016 04:33 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 113
OllieEh Offline OP
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OllieEh  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 113
This is my first post and I'd like to begin by applauding the members for their willingness to educate others through their experiences and local knowledge. Everyone's love for the island is addictive and inspiring. I began researching the island but I still had many questions until I found this forum. Almost all of my inquiries were answered as I sifted back through the threads the last month as an anonymous user. As all your heads were ready to explode over the service compris/pourboire/tipping issue AGAIN, lol, I was getting an education that I would have never realized or even thought about.

We will be making our first visit this July and staying in the La Savanne/Mont Choisy area. It's our 7th visit to the Caribbean in 4 years but all the others have been in an all inclusive environment. St Martin has been on our bucket list of destinations and it's exciting as our vacation nears.

The majority of our beach time will be at Happy Bay. I have read about some "shenanigans" from some locals in the bushes but since an arrest in November there hasn't been much chatter. Has anybody heard of any activity like that in the last few months at Happy Bay? My wife feels a little uneasy about that possibility.

Also, is there a boulangerie that someone could recommend in Grand Case that opens early?

And finally, I could use a little direction about visiting Club O. I read that at some point in the spring they stop charging for parking??? Is it still okay to park there in July? I assume it's a walk down a visitor's path from the parking lot to the beach. After reaching the beach, which direction would I need to go to the Papagayo Restaurant and what should I be aware of or sensitive to when selecting a lounger?

Once again, thanks to you all for your kind local info to us St Martin newbies. My wife and I have learned so much on this forum about the other places on the island that we hope to visit during our 12 day stay. It's a wonderful community you have here.

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Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: OllieEh] #96521
05/03/2016 04:52 PM
05/03/2016 04:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,806
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
Biturbo Offline
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Biturbo  Offline
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Posts: 1,806
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
Parking at Club O is free in July. Yes, there is a path to the beach. It will take you next to the Perch Bar, turn right for Papagayo. You can "claim" any untagged chair(s). Tagged chairs are reserved for guests.


"It's a magic kind of medicine, that no doctor could prescribe." JB
Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: OllieEh] #96522
05/03/2016 04:56 PM
05/03/2016 04:56 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 891
Middle Tennessee
T
TravelHat Offline
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TravelHat  Offline
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T
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 891
Middle Tennessee
Welcome!
On our first visit to the island we went to Orient on the first day and stayed in front of Orange Fever. We wandered over the rocks to check out the CO areas. It looked fine so I suggested we try Happy Bay the next day as we had read that it was less crowded and we thought that would be better. It was a great beach but we found the hike over, rocky entry to the water and the lack of others around not what we were looking for. The next day we went and parked behind Pedro's, walked down to Club O beach. We found a couple of chairs without tags and we haven't looked back.
There are two structures on the beach. The first one is the Perch and Pappago is at the very end.
Others can give you the food info.
Enjoy your visit.

Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: TravelHat] #96523
05/03/2016 05:22 PM
05/03/2016 05:22 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 113
OllieEh Offline OP
Traveler
OllieEh  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 113
Thank you both for your sound advice...very appreciative! Our villa is a five minute walk from Happy Bay therefore we thought we'd be beaching it there the most so we can enjoy a couple of beverages and not worry about driving.
On an unrelated point, is Petite Cayes worth the hike and from what side is it best to hike from considering parking safety and ease of hiking?

Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: TravelHat] #96524
05/03/2016 05:27 PM
05/03/2016 05:27 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,447
BVI
Zanshin Offline
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Zanshin  Offline
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Posts: 1,447
BVI
I spent many nights this year at Friar's bay and walked over to Happy Bay several times and always felt that it was a safe place.

There's a boulangerie in Grand Case that opens early. If you start at the parking lot across from Calmos Cafe and head down the main drag past the LoLos, then take the first left (Rue des Écoles)and after about 200 feet you'll find the Boulangerie.

Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: OllieEh] #96525
05/03/2016 05:58 PM
05/03/2016 05:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 891
Middle Tennessee
T
TravelHat Offline
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TravelHat  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 891
Middle Tennessee
Quote
OllieEh said:
Thank you both for your sound advice...very appreciative! Our villa is a five minute walk from Happy Bay therefore we thought we'd be beaching it there the most so we can enjoy a couple of beverages and not worry about driving.
On an unrelated point, is Petite Cayes worth the hike and from what side is it best to hike from considering parking safety and ease of hiking?

The Friars Bay Beach Cafe is right there at the trail head. It has chairs and great food and drink. I would make that home beach

Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: OllieEh] #96526
05/03/2016 06:03 PM
05/03/2016 06:03 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 397
Boston, Ma
L
lobstaroll123 Offline
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Boston, Ma
They have already stopped charging for parking. The parking signed is all covered and taped up for the summer. We paid $20 a day for two chairs and an umbrella. If you buy the weekly tickets, you pay $120 for 7 days worth of chairs and umbrellas.

Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: OllieEh] #96527
05/04/2016 06:21 AM
05/04/2016 06:21 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,409
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
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boucharda  Offline
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Posts: 3,409
Massachusetts
If you like lots of company at the beach then Happy Bay would not fit your style. Less people the better for us so we spend MANY days at HB during our two week visit. We stay in the Simpson Bay area and find the drive and hike over the hill well worth it.

Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: OllieEh] #96528
05/04/2016 09:50 AM
05/04/2016 09:50 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 4
Virginia, USA
vlucky Offline
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vlucky  Offline
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Virginia, USA
Quote
OllieEh said:

On an unrelated point, is Petite Cayes worth the hike and from what side is it best to hike from considering parking safety and ease of hiking?


The hike to Petite Cayes is worth it if you are looking for an isolated beach with few, if any, people. The hike in from the dump is easier than the hike from Ansel Marcel. The parking at the dump trail head just seams sketchy. It is not a formal parking lot, it more of a shoulder on dirt road. Where Ansel Marcel is a well maintained parking lot. We have never had problem with vandalism or theft at either trail head. Of course we never leave anything of value in the car and leave it unlocked.

Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: vlucky] #96529
05/04/2016 12:04 PM
05/04/2016 12:04 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 113
OllieEh Offline OP
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OllieEh  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 113
Thank you all for the great advice. I'm very appreciative for your time and knowledge.

We'll be needing a cab a few nights to take us into Grand Case for dinners. It's a short 5 minute drive. Is Wilfred Brooks stationed in Grand Case by chance?

Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: OllieEh] #96530
05/04/2016 12:54 PM
05/04/2016 12:54 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,663
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 69,663
Central Florida!
I think Wilfred does live somewhere in that area, yes, but he does pickups everywhere on island. He has a US phone number, so you can call him from home and check what he would charge and make your decision. I hope that you are renting a car also though?


Carol Hill
Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: Carol_Hill] #96531
05/04/2016 01:55 PM
05/04/2016 01:55 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 113
OllieEh Offline OP
Traveler
OllieEh  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 113
Yes, we are renting a vehicle for our entire stay but we'll be using cabs if I plan on more than a drink.

Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: OllieEh] #96532
05/04/2016 03:05 PM
05/04/2016 03:05 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,663
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 69,663
Central Florida!
OK, just wanted to make sure that you are able to get around the island on your own. Using taxis for your sole transportation everywhere would add up in a hurry!


Carol Hill
Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: Carol_Hill] #96533
05/04/2016 05:54 PM
05/04/2016 05:54 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 113
OllieEh Offline OP
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OllieEh  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 113
Thanks Carol. I've noticed everyone on here recommending a rental vehicle but we had already planned to have a vehicle at our disposal. We're the type that prefers to explore on our own versus group tours. We are thinking about visiting Pic Paridis, Sunset Grill/Maho for a KLM landing, Club O, Petite Cayes, Philipsburg and a day trip to Anguilla. Mrs OllieEh wants a class at Tijon Perfume. Happy Bay, Friars Bay and the villa pool will be home turf for non travel days. I've jotted down countless tips from the members about these places as I read through the threads on this forum. If anyone could help a newbie out one last time, I have another question. We are going to Marigot Market on the morning of our first full day. What is a good grocery store in Marigot to use?

Best Regards,
Paul

Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: OllieEh] #96534
05/04/2016 06:32 PM
05/04/2016 06:32 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,663
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,663
Central Florida!
Regarding the best grocery store in Marigot, hands down it is Super U! Great selection (so long as you DON'T need US brands!!), and best prices.

As far as Pik Paradis, be careful going there. Do NOT, under any circumstances, leave anything in your car. Do not take anything valuable with you there, other than a camera, perhaps, as there have been many reports over the years of robberies there..


Carol Hill
Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: Carol_Hill] #96535
05/04/2016 06:49 PM
05/04/2016 06:49 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 113
OllieEh Offline OP
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OllieEh  Offline OP
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Posts: 113
WHOA! Great info. Thanks for the heads up

Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: OllieEh] #96536
05/04/2016 08:56 PM
05/04/2016 08:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,860
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday is the best day for the Marigot Market so if that is your first full day, you are in luck.The market is open other days, but not to the same extent. Super U is the best choice for grocery shopping in Marigot.It has a good selection of French products, great meat and a good selection of wine and liquor.



[Linked Image]


Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: islandgem] #96537
05/04/2016 10:08 PM
05/04/2016 10:08 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 424
Central Coast, CA
C
cruzer Offline
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cruzer  Offline
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Joined: May 2008
Posts: 424
Central Coast, CA
Actually, if you're into street food, Saturday is the best, and only day. Miss Ebby's (RIP) place serves patties, boudin--both white and blood, sweet potato pie, soups, and bush tea. Many times there's local youth groups raising funds by selling various food items, like salt fish quiche, accras and other great local dishes. Haven't seen the Candy Lady recently the, but she has tasty candies on Saturday.

Try the prepared food vendors on Saturday and enjoy local flavors.

Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: cruzer] #96538
05/04/2016 10:58 PM
05/04/2016 10:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 113
OllieEh Offline OP
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OllieEh  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 113
I'm soaking this up and all these pointers are definitely going to enhance our holiday. Cheers

Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: OllieEh] #96539
05/05/2016 05:49 AM
05/05/2016 05:49 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,141
JimCandD Offline
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JimCandD  Offline
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Wednesday is the best day to go to Marigot market. Also you may want to prioritize your list. Sand gravity is strong on the island and you might not get to do all that is on there. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" /> We have intended on getting to Pinel Island and after 9 trips we still have not set foot on that island.

Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: OllieEh] #96540
05/05/2016 08:55 AM
05/05/2016 08:55 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 622
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
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JohnandBev Offline
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JohnandBev  Offline
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Joined: May 2012
Posts: 622
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Good luck with your explorations. We too keep a list of places we learn about on TTOL and decide which we will try. Re Marigot mkt, earlier is better than later for parking. You can always stop at one of the 3 pastry shops for coffee and a treat. We park facing the ocean. As you walk to the market you go past the huts where the fish market is, vendors selling foodstuffs and a couple who sell freshly made frozen fruit ices. All worth a stop

Also a Super U Fan, though I found the wine selection just OK and only so so for liquor - though I am a rum drinker. I found poor white rum selection and even worse for aged rum or rhum. For aged rum / rhum selection I found Bacchus to be very good as was the wine / liquor shop just west of Bacchus nearer the roundabout "Grapes"?

Have Fun
J&B

Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: JohnandBev] #96541
05/05/2016 10:51 AM
05/05/2016 10:51 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,093
CT
pony600 Offline
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Posts: 1,093
CT
I can vouch for the perfume class at Tijon. Great fun & wonderful people & a great learning experience!


[Linked Image]



If life hands you a lemon, just squeeze it on a lobster!
Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: pony600] #96542
05/05/2016 04:07 PM
05/05/2016 04:07 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 180
pl3 Offline
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pl3  Offline
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Go early to the Marigot market, and have the best breakfast on de ilon...

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_R..._St_Martin.html

Re: A Happy Bay, Grand Case and Club O question [Re: pl3] #96543
05/05/2016 06:15 PM
05/05/2016 06:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 113
OllieEh Offline OP
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OllieEh  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 113
Once again, thanks to all who took the time fill in some details for us. Exactly two months to go! Can't wait! I'm pumped!


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