Mini Trip Report Jan 28-Feb 9

Posted By: megamania

Mini Trip Report Jan 28-Feb 9 - 02/10/2020 05:01 PM

Hello all.
Well,,with 8 travelling in a group, we were pretty busy, lol
We arrived Jan 28th and IRE Vacations picked us up and dropped us at Sol Y Mar Villa above the Greenhouse in Simpson Bay. We returned to this place again this year, as it is just about the best you can get. What a superb location and IRE is very very good to deal with. We came and brought the sun with us from Canada, as many told us, due to the rain they had been having. The place is well equipped, private pool, clean, and well stocked with everything anyone would need. Beautiful.
We ate a many of the local places, but our favourite meal this time was at The Palms. The owners and staff there are so very welcoming and friendly, we went back the second time. Of course some had the drunken ribs, which were the best ribs I found on the island yet! I also had the chicken breast smothered in a rich creamy mushroom sauce, which was also delicious.
None of us were really impressed with our meals at Skip Jacks this time. My lobster was really tough and the filet mignon was also tough...have had much better meals there before on other trips.

First day or two, we just enjoyed the convenience of our own pool and accomodations,,,venturing out for dinner, on foot. That is the pleasure of staying in this locatioin. Lesley, from Kenny's brought us our van and the second day,,,delivered to our door, first time using Lesley and I must say EXCELLENT service!! Van was in excellent condition as well and fit all of us for our trip to Orient, Phillipsburg, Sunset to let the newbies see the planes, etc. Also a lovely day spent at Karackter Beach Bar, again, beautiful, and great owners. However, warning to all....we had a group of 3 ladies come to give massages. Were told 45 bucks for full massage. OK,,,we are laying on the beach,,aloe would feel good,,go ahead. When they were done,,,they insisted we pay 85.00 each. We argued,,someone went and got the owner, and she came and scurried them off. What a SCAM,,,live and learn. LOL,,,,
One huge surprise,,,we ended up at Topper's one night....I felt like a filet mignon,,but thought I would usually not eat one at Toppers,,,,Well,,,What a surprise!!! Best filet mignon ever. In fact, everyone liked their meals there.
Never made it to Lee's except for drinks.

The newbies enjoyed their day downtown diamond shopping,,,always go to see Jay at Ultimate Jewellers,,,,never dissappointed. Some happy customers. Met our Canadian friends down there, had lunch.
Did the market shopping, etc. Finding that the traffic has increased so much, that parking is almost impossible. And we went on a day with one cruise ship in!

Carol,,,I know you like pics of meals, etc. but I take pics on my phone, but do these reports on my home computer, lol...and I have not figured out how to transfer,,,I may just do a seperate post from phone with pics only to follow all this typing.

Had a lovely meal at Isola one surprises,,,excellent food and great service. Never made the casino this time.

Sadly, took 6 of our friends to airport on Feb 4 to head home. Lesley met us there to switch van for smaller car, as hubby and I were moving to La Terasse for an extra 5 days in a one bedroom condo.

Unit was tired, but had everything we needed, and we were on pool level and the pool entrance was right outside our door, which was very handy. Rented thru an owner on air bnb,,,no wifi, which was poor,,or buying was very expensive, but other than that, for the price we paid, it was fine. The pool area at La Terasse is absolutelly beautiful! All new umbrellas, exceptionally clean, and what a view. That was the best part about staying there. We havent stayed in Maho area for several years. I was surprised to see enough places opening back up and ESPECIALLY The Hole in the Wall. I loved it there. Way better than the Red Piano in Simpson Bay. We used to go to the church on monday nights,,but not anymore, We went to HOle in the Wall almost every night. Is it Ronny or Robby Santanna? He can sure play the guitar and had another male singer that was very good one night and a supberb guitarist with him another night. Lots of fun to say the least.

Hubby and I finally ventured out to find Anse Marcel. I had heard so much about it. Also, my brother had stayed at the Rui pre Irma, so I wanted to see the area and also the New Secrets resort. Well, took a few wrong turns, but we finally made it. LOL....the Anse Marcel Beach restaurant is very pretty, lovely setting, but........we felt like we were not welcome.?? First of all, did not know you needed was only half full, so we just found a table and sat down. Quite a while later, a lady told us oh no,,you cannot sit there, these are all reserved! Ok,,well can we get a table elsewhere please? We were escorted near the entrance,,,waited, and were about to leave when she finally got us a table. OK,,,nice setting, let's eat. I do enjoy a very nice high end meal,,,but in my opinion only this was a bit over the top. I ended up just ordering a caesar salad with chicken and I have honestly had better, especially for the price! I must say,,those waiters who work the beach have quite a task running up and down through the rocks and sand. Kudos to them. I think the beach customers got better service than us! With so many excellent places to eat on the island, and given the trek to get to this area, now that I have been, will probably never go back. And, for those thinking Secrets will be open anytime soon??? I would really check that out. Saw maybe 2 people working,,,and it sure doesnt look ready to open anytime soon? I realize things can happen quickly, but I would be hesitant to book any sooner that 4 months?? Just a guess.

Cannot think of anything else that we did, other than many good times, laughs, and some great food. Of course, we visited the Simpson Bay Yacht club several times, to watch the activities, chat with people and just enjoy. Always a favourite spot for us.

Arriving at the airport and departing was simple, quick and no hassels. We will return again to our favourite island....and probably bring along some more newbies. Everyone we have taken with us in the last few years, have fallen in love with SXM,,,same as us.

Oh, forgot to mention, the "Maho Bug"?? apparently many were sick with a 24 hour stomach flu over the last month. Second night in Maho,,hubby and I went to Moulin Fou,,,,only had shared escargot, each had french onion soup (Delicious) and garlic bread and a glass of chardonay. At 3am,,we both, at same time, started throwing up and diarhera until about 7am...we lost the entire day as we slept and woke up as the sun was setting. I honestly felt it was food poisioning,,,but no one agrees, they all said it was not the food, but this Maho bug. I find it odd that we both had it hit us at exactly the same time. Others we spoke to around the pool at La Terrasse, said one would get sick one day, the other the next, and some had it come back?? So,,,either food poisioning or Maho bug....whatever, we were just thankful it ended and we only lost one day.

Looking forward to others trip reports,,,,always love to hear of experiences on the island. Home to lots of snow, so the trails are good for snowmobiling,,,we have 3 sleds, so Life is Good
Safe travels everyone.
Randy and Meg
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: Mini Trip Report Jan 28-Feb 9 - 02/10/2020 05:12 PM

Thanks for the report. Sorry you didn't have a good experience at Anse Marcel, but it is one place where you really DO need a reservation. Don't know whether your experience was food poisoning or the Maho bug or not. Have definitely heard a lot about the Maho bug over the years. Always seems to be around Maho this time of year. Glad it 'only' took away one day, but I know it's tough to lose any vacation time to being sick. Have been sick before on vacation and it's no fun!
Posted By: SXMScubaman

Re: Mini Trip Report Jan 28-Feb 9 - 02/10/2020 05:18 PM

We too enjoy anse marcel and agree reservations are needed. We have always liked skipjacks but our last time there in May we were disappointed but will give it another try this May. We love Isola too.
Posted By: pat

Re: Mini Trip Report Jan 28-Feb 9 - 02/10/2020 07:24 PM

Hi, Meg,

Glad your trip went well or at least for the most part it did. Being sick can take the pleasure out of almost anything. And so glad you worked with Lesley Bruce - he really is the BEST in my opinion.

I didn't think reservations were required at Anse Marcel Beach Club but they really are a good idea, particularly if you want a front row well positioned beach set-up, and who doesn't?! All in all, we love it as a one or two day treat but honestly, wouldn't be willing to spend that kind of money as an every day thing. We all love and enjoy different things but I have to say, every meal we've ever had there has been excellent and beyond our expectations.

And we also love LeMoulin Fou but it, too, wouldn't be an every day thing for us - excellent food and service but so many other great and different spots to try.

So would you stay at LaTerrasse again? I've heard pros and cons - we stayed across the street for two weeks at La Plage and would go back there again if we couldn't get into our preferred location.

Thank you for taking the time and sharing your trip.
Posted By: jazzgal

Re: Mini Trip Report Jan 28-Feb 9 - 02/10/2020 10:59 PM

I am so sorry about your Anse Marcel experience; it's my favorite place on the island. I went there four times on my last three-week trip and was sorry I couldn't work in more trips. Reservations really do make a difference in how you are treated. Not saying that's right; it just is.

Thanks for taking the time to write a nice trip report.
Posted By: Kennys

Re: Mini Trip Report Jan 28-Feb 9 - 02/10/2020 11:05 PM

Glad to hear you Folks had a good vacation.
Posted By: leslieridler

Re: Mini Trip Report Jan 28-Feb 9 - 02/10/2020 11:24 PM it noisy at Sol y Mar in the evenings?
Posted By: megamania

Re: Mini Trip Report Jan 28-Feb 9 - 02/11/2020 01:34 PM

Hi there. I had read all about the noise from Roxy's, etc and I was concerned that possibly it might be too loud for us. Honestly,,,we never even heard Roxy's from our outside living areas at Sol Y Mar. We were at Sol Y Mar when they had the super bowl outside party below.....there were lots of people that we could see on the beach, watching the big screen...and we were watching them. But, as we are not football fans, and had had a big day, we simply closed our patio doors and went to bed. The master bedroom is closest to being almost right above where D.J. would be at Buccanner (or at that end of Greenhouse) and only one night during week did I faintly hear the music....If we were to leave any bathroom windows open, which are located at back of apartment villa,,,direcctly above Billy Folley Rd, we would hear more noise from traffic than anything else, or people talking, laughing when walking by, but with lovely AC we never had those windows open. Noise was "never" an issue at Sol Y Mar. We just love it there.
I found when hubby and I moved to La Terrasse there was much more noise in that area. Of course the jets landing and taking off, traffic, but Maho at night can be very loud. Again, we went out and about so didn't bother us, but usually back home by midnight.
Posted By: megamania

Re: Mini Trip Report Jan 28-Feb 9 - 02/11/2020 01:48 PM

Hello Pat.
Yes, all in all, we had a great vacation. So glad Hubby and I stayed the extra 5 days. It was nice to be in the Simpson Bay area and also the Maho area, change it up a bit, lol.
Would I stay at La Terrasse again? Probably yes. I may try La Plague as well. La Terrasse has the most beautiful pool area, with lots of chairs, new umbrellas, and they keep it so clean. Very nice.
The unit we stayed in was a one bedroom,,,and as I said had everything we needed, but was on garden/pool level. It was so convenient as we were last unit before entrance to pool, so very very handy access. However, I felt I would like to be on a floor higher up to catch more breezes, just me. Also, our unit was a bit tired....I am sure some owners have fresher more updated units?? I could see in some units when lights were on in the evening and they looked "brighter" somehow. The front desk people were friendly. Not much action at the pool bar, other than just happy hour. We had our own drinks in unit so we didn't buy anything there. Others used it.
I should have asked to see thru some other units, just for interest sake, but,,you know how it goes,,,we just got busy and didn't take the time. We paid 200 canadian per night,,,all can't complain about that. My biggest issue was the bedroom seemed dark,,as the window for bedroom was at back facing hall,,,would love to have been able to open it for air circulation,,or light, but hall was kinda dark and of course had to keep it locked as it provides pretty easy access into unit. There certainly is more noise at La Terrasse than at Sol Y Mar on Kim Sha beach,,,but most of that is due to the airport with planes arriving and departing....

I never worry too much about anything while on SXM....we love it so much. Things have to be pretty bad!! LOL......Looking forward to coming again.
My only worry about SXM is,,,this year the traffic seemed much worse. I have never experienced so many traffic jams,,,etc. I realize it is high season,,but that is when us Canadians like to get out of the cold, lol
I may consider not renting a vehicle for entire stay next time, as it took forever to get anywhere this year.

And Yes, dealing with Lesley at Kenny's was a very good experience that is for sure!!! He was awesome. Vehicles were great. Just good all the way around.
Posted By: megamania

Re: Mini Trip Report Jan 28-Feb 9 - 02/11/2020 01:53 PM

Yes we did, and THANK YOU for your excellent service. We will be back!!!
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