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General Questions - first time traveling here #269588
11/21/2021 07:09 PM
11/21/2021 07:09 PM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 1
MARIETTA
L
LifesaBeachBum Offline OP
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LifesaBeachBum  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 1
MARIETTA
Hi. I'm new to the forum. Thanks for the add. We're planning a trip for mid December. Considering staying in Phillipsburg as it might have most options for walk to (or short drive) dining. Not sure what the island is like this time of year or since recently opened (?) during Covid. Any and all help is very much appreciated.

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Re: General Questions - first time traveling here [Re: LifesaBeachBum] #269589
11/21/2021 07:21 PM
11/21/2021 07:21 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,530
Kennys Offline
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Kennys  Offline
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Posts: 4,530
Thanks for your post and you will get lots of constructive comments on your post .

Re: General Questions - first time traveling here [Re: LifesaBeachBum] #269593
11/21/2021 07:40 PM
11/21/2021 07:40 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 80
Calgary, Canada
O
oceanbreeze Offline
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oceanbreeze  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 80
Calgary, Canada
That wouldn’t be my choice unless your focus is shopping. If you are interested in a great beach, Bach bars and many excellent restaurants all within a short walk of your rental unit I’d research options in Orient Bay on the French side. If you’re interested in bars, restaurants, casinos, etc and so so beaches I’d investigate options in the Simpson Bay area.

Re: General Questions - first time traveling here [Re: LifesaBeachBum] #269594
11/21/2021 07:49 PM
11/21/2021 07:49 PM
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 32
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erb923 Offline
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erb923  Offline
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Joined: May 2021
Posts: 32
Phillipsburg is a big 👎 IMO (really only open during cruises in port). For dining I prefer French side, Grand Case has quite a few nice high end dining places along with local cheaper options and Orient Beach has a larger beach with with many dining places. A car is really needed to see the island as it has many options and places to see.

Re: General Questions - first time traveling here [Re: LifesaBeachBum] #269597
11/21/2021 07:58 PM
11/21/2021 07:58 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 217
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dvesc Offline
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dvesc  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 217
We’re staying in Orient in mid-December. We chose that location because of the walkable dining options. It’s nice to be able to spend the day at the beach and then walk to dinner each evening. There are plenty of restaurants. This will be our fourth stay in Orient.

Last edited by dvesc; 11/21/2021 07:59 PM.
Re: General Questions - first time traveling here [Re: LifesaBeachBum] #269598
11/21/2021 08:06 PM
11/21/2021 08:06 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 76,709
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 76,709
Central Florida!
No, would definitely NOT recommend staying in P'burg. Basically nothing open at night. Scary. SXM is really a 'driving' kind of place, so do not focus in on just being able to walk everywhere. My personal best suggestion for you is to stay in Simpson Bay. Lots of great restaurants, close together, and walking distance, if you want, from many places like Simpson Bay Resort, Royal Palm, Atrium, Flamingo, lots of other great places. Or my personal favorite suggestion is Beachside Villas. One of the best beaches on the island, Caribbean comfortable units, each with it's own private deck, 4 steps down to the beach. Regardless, no, not P'burg.


Carol Hill
Re: General Questions - first time traveling here [Re: LifesaBeachBum] #269601
11/21/2021 08:17 PM
11/21/2021 08:17 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,068
Middle Tennessee
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TravelHat Offline
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Middle Tennessee
Big vote for Orient Village and we have done a 7 night with no rental car there. Just get there and get back to airport. Don’t get me wrong there are lots of things and places to see and do on island but at the end of the day you will just say “ why didn’t we just stay in the village”

Re: General Questions - first time traveling here [Re: LifesaBeachBum] #269604
11/21/2021 09:00 PM
11/21/2021 09:00 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,947
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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SXMScubaman  Offline
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Posts: 14,947
Auburn, WA
Simpson Bay for the same reasons Carol gave.

Re: General Questions - first time traveling here [Re: LifesaBeachBum] #269606
11/22/2021 12:03 AM
11/22/2021 12:03 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 74
Allentown, Pa
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bobbarb Offline
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bobbarb  Offline
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Allentown, Pa
I agree with Carol and Scubaman regarding Simpson Bay. Phillpsburg is a place for shopping but not a place to stay for me.
You will find many people who prefer the French side and those that prefer the Dutch side, I prefer the Dutch side. The island is small you can travel to each side in a realitiv short time.

Re: General Questions - first time traveling here [Re: LifesaBeachBum] #269613
11/22/2021 06:53 AM
11/22/2021 06:53 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,515
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
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boucharda  Offline
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Posts: 4,515
Massachusetts
Agree....it's another no vote to staying in Phillipsburg. Either the Orient area or Simpson Bay would be good choices...for a first timer I would lean towards Simpson Bay and add a car for exploring around the Island. Not easy to get lost.

Re: General Questions - first time traveling here [Re: bobbarb] #269614
11/22/2021 07:05 AM
11/22/2021 07:05 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 397
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bizzottom Offline
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bizzottom  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 397
ditto to carol and scuba

Re: General Questions - first time traveling here [Re: LifesaBeachBum] #269629
11/22/2021 09:31 AM
11/22/2021 09:31 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 243
Albany, NY
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JimandBeth Offline
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JimandBeth  Offline
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Posts: 243
Albany, NY
We have been staying at Simpson Bay for 30 years and still love it. If you are a real foodie, then either stay on the French side or rent a car so you can in Grand Case. Be advised that driving from the Dutch to French side and back can be an adventure after dark. Years ago we decided that there are many restaurants within walking distance of Simpson Bay Resort that are very good(not French gourmet) that we were content without a car. The resort shuttle will take you to restaurants that are close by if you are not comfortable walking. Leave the high heels home unless you rent a car! We agree with others that we would not advise staying in Phillipsburg. Local busses are cheap and an experience so you can get to P’burg for shopping. Simpson’s Bay Resort runs a free bus into town once a week(I think). Go for the shopping but we stay away from there at night. You can always rent a car for just a day or two to get around the island and go to different beaches. Just a thought. Enjoy.

Re: General Questions - first time traveling here [Re: LifesaBeachBum] #269677
11/23/2021 05:54 AM
11/23/2021 05:54 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,286
Westchester /NYC
Colour1 Offline
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Colour1  Offline
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Posts: 1,286
Westchester /NYC
Our very first trip to "Our" island we stayed at a very remote resort near "Phburg". Although it was nice, we needed a car to get around. The other thing that bothered me a lot was the over crowded beach and over crowded onsite bars. "IF" you stay in Philipsburg, you're going to find lounging side by side with other vacationers!! Are we going to St. Martin for shopping or the most beautiful beaches in the world??? We have been staying out of 20 plus years every year for the last 11 years (except 2017-Irma) at Beachside villa's where you will want for nothing on Simpson Bay beach. You open your balcony doors and you are on your own slice of heaven!!! Did I mention the beautiful pool with lounge chairs and gazebo??? You can rent a car, but there is dinning and shopping on foot to Maho where the famous "PJIA" airport runway ! Where you can watch the planes (major carriers land 11:00 to 1400hours) take off and land! It's a real happening!! We all have our "guy" to rent a car from, for us SAX rental has great service with new fleet of all sizes to fit your family needs!
Have a great time!!! Bring lots of high number sunscreens!!!
https://www.saxcarrental.com/
http://www.beachsidevillas.com/

Attached Files BSV unit#13 2021-4.jpgAir Caraibes -1 04292021.jpgBSV Delta 11-21.jpgDavid and louise 1021SAX.jpg

Sand Gravity, got to love it!
Re: General Questions - first time traveling here [Re: LifesaBeachBum] #269700
11/23/2021 11:59 AM
11/23/2021 11:59 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,671
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Posts: 13,671
Brookfield, CT.
We have actually stayed in P’berg pre Irma but that was after 35+ years of. Annual visits. Personally speaking I would NOT recommend this for a first visit. We’re just back from two weeks there having stayed in Simpson Bay but on the Maho end.

I am NOT a huge fan of the French side due to all the frequent utility issues, not that the Dutch side doesn’t have their own issues with regularity, and of late due to the French side road closures and civil unrest situations seem to be getting way too frequent for my taste.. Can’t say I blame the residents for their actions but I don’t need them to detract from my vacation. The food is very good but IMHO it doesn’t merit the long drive from where we stay in Simpson Bay but if we choose a French beach or restaurant we can easily drive there on occasion but primarily enjoy all the many options and venues on the Dutch side.

My best recommendations for a first time visitor would be to rent a car and stay in either the Simpson Bay or the Maho or Cupecoy areas.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: General Questions - first time traveling here [Re: LifesaBeachBum] #269703
11/23/2021 12:48 PM
11/23/2021 12:48 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,947
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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SXMScubaman  Offline
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Posts: 14,947
Auburn, WA
Before we bought at Flamingo in Simpson Bay we stayed at Belair which is essentially Philipsburg. Nothing really walkable but beach was nice.

Re: General Questions - first time traveling here [Re: LifesaBeachBum] #269792
11/24/2021 01:33 PM
11/24/2021 01:33 PM
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 103
LI, NY
R
RM5 LI Offline
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RM5 LI  Offline
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Joined: May 2021
Posts: 103
LI, NY
Welcome to the forum LifesaBeachBum! There are a lot of wonderful folks on this forum and you'll receive a ton of information. I also agree that I wouldn't stay in Philipsburg but it has a nice boardwalk and a lot of shops. Good for a few hours. We stayed at the Divi back in June and rented a car. We've been to the island a few times and like to visit many of the beautiful beaches and restaurants. Looking forward to hearing what you choose.

Re: General Questions - first time traveling here [Re: LifesaBeachBum] #269798
11/24/2021 04:33 PM
11/24/2021 04:33 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,055
PA
biglar Offline
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biglar  Offline
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Posts: 1,055
PA
Welcome to this forum. I see you are from MARIETTA. We live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and one of the small towns nearby is Marietta. Could that be the same place? We have been traveling to SXM for over 20 years and after the second visit settled on Orient Village. So many nice places to stay for a reasonable price and there are so many places to eat within walking distance. Add another 5-10 minutes by car and you will find twice as many places to eat including Grand Case. Orient beach is remarkable! We can usually drive to Philipsburg in about 15-20 minutes if you want to shop there, but as a few have said, we wouldn't want to stay there. After your first visit you will b able to make your own choices since everyone on this forum has their own favorite beaches and places to eat. It will take you a few trips to the island before you will find your all-time favorite beaches and places to eat. If you need a car rental, try Leslie with Kennys rental. He is a member on this site. Great guy and he also can be a big help with directions. Enjoy your trip. And...if you are near Lancaster, PA, respond here and we can get together to talk more about our favorite vacation location.


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