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el Zafiro #244554
01/10/2021 10:32 AM
01/10/2021 10:32 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 327
blackmercedes Offline OP
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blackmercedes  Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 327
https://www.caribjournal.com/2021/0...m_term=0_ea4e1e4090-b47562d91e-189735345

el Zafiro is 3rd on the list!!! WAY TO GO el Zafiro!

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Re: el Zafiro [Re: blackmercedes] #244555
01/10/2021 10:36 AM
01/10/2021 10:36 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,744
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,744
Central Florida!
Surprised they had the money to pay to get on that list, as those things are most often 'pay to play' situations. Interesting it doesn't cite terribly good reasons in support of their conclusion.. The rooms are colorful and they are on the beach. Big deal. There are several other small hotels even on SXM, that are much better than El Zafiro, in my opinion. How about Beachside? How about Horny Toad? How about LE PETIT?? Le Petit is routinely agreed to be one of the best hotels on SXM.


Carol Hill
Re: el Zafiro [Re: blackmercedes] #244557
01/10/2021 10:47 AM
01/10/2021 10:47 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,124
St Louis, MO
SXMNorm Offline
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SXMNorm  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,124
St Louis, MO
Will be there in two weeks. LOVE staying there.


Next SXM visit - January/February 2022
Re: el Zafiro [Re: SXMNorm] #244560
01/10/2021 11:35 AM
01/10/2021 11:35 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,777
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
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RonDon  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,777
Rhode Island
Originally Posted by SXMNorm
Will be there in two weeks. LOVE staying there.


But as said rooms are smaller than places that charge less. So what is it that draws you there. Convince me to go there. Last meal we had there wasn't very good. And someone let us see there rental and we showed them ours and they said ours was far better for less money and they would consider that if they returned to SXM.

I don't recall them having a pool. Do they now?

Last edited by RonDon; 01/10/2021 11:39 AM.
Re: el Zafiro [Re: RonDon] #244562
01/10/2021 11:51 AM
01/10/2021 11:51 AM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,399
Kennys Offline
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Kennys  Offline
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Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,399
No pool.

Re: el Zafiro [Re: blackmercedes] #244563
01/10/2021 11:57 AM
01/10/2021 11:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,942
Vancouver, WA
Todd Offline
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Todd  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,942
Vancouver, WA
We liked staying at El Zafiro, have stayed there twice. One of the smaller hotels to have a bar and restaurant on site and that is a difference maker, and I have had some good food and cocktails there. I don't go to SXM to swim in a pool so that is not a draw to me when you have the ocean and all the great beaches. Good for them to make the list, I hope they keep making improvements, they certainly have put in the effort to get the place going and keep it going.

Cheers,
T


I prefer the Isle seat
Re: el Zafiro [Re: blackmercedes] #244565
01/10/2021 12:23 PM
01/10/2021 12:23 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,777
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
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RonDon  Offline
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Posts: 3,777
Rhode Island
Thanks Todd for your take on this hotel. I too don't usually look for a pool but I was price comparing along with amenities. We are people who utilize the unit so small doesn't cut it for us. But your right intuit a plus is Bar and restaurant in sight.

Re: el Zafiro [Re: blackmercedes] #244567
01/10/2021 12:26 PM
01/10/2021 12:26 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 922
S
SammyM Offline
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SammyM  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 922
I'm drawing a blank. Where is El Zafiro located? I've heard of it, but never made my way to this place. Sounds like it might we worth a future visit.

Re: el Zafiro [Re: SammyM] #244570
01/10/2021 12:40 PM
01/10/2021 12:40 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,399
Kennys Offline
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Kennys  Offline
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Joined: May 2002
Posts: 4,399
Just before Beach Side Villas Beacon Hill, White Sands Road.

Re: el Zafiro [Re: blackmercedes] #244572
01/10/2021 12:49 PM
01/10/2021 12:49 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 922
S
SammyM Offline
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SammyM  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 922
Thanks! Just looked it up on Google Maps! What I truly love about St. Martin is no matter how many times you visit there are still so many places to discover and experience. I once did a list of all the SXM beaches I visited (12, I believe), but trying to do a restaurant list who really be a challenge!

Re: el Zafiro [Re: blackmercedes] #244574
01/10/2021 01:08 PM
01/10/2021 01:08 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,423
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,423
Brookfield, CT.
Wow! We’ve enjoyed ElZafiro since it opened and before and I have to say we have truly ENJOYED it. We’ve beached there since BEFORE it opened as a hotel and before its bar and restaurant were up and running. But IMHO, to say it’s among the very TOP small hotels throughout the Caribbean is a bit of a stretch.

And that said, let me go a bit further and say we’ve always enjoyed their hospitality be it as a beach guest, a restaurant guest or a stay-over guest and I’m thinking it’s the HOSPITALITY aspect that would absolutely earn them that status.

We’ve done many a meal there and I can honestly say ours have always been very good. Five star gourmet? Definitely NOT but then, I wouldn’t know the difference nor would I care as long as they were good but my DH still maintains the best scallop app he’s ever had was served to him there. During our Dec. past trip we had breakfast there one morning and in general chit-chat with the restaurant staff, my DH asked why it’s so hard to find French toast made with baguette on the island anymore, and while our server didn’t have an answer she did tell him if he came back another day they would make it that way. A few days later we returned and he again ordered the French toast AND THEY DID with no provocation from him.

When we over-nighted there a few trips back we found the room we were in, the Sapphire Suite I believe, to be dated but comfortable and certainly large enough for the two of us to move around. Our first morning, the manager walked through the restaurant while we were eating and asked if all was okay and I mentioned the height of our mattress being a bit of a problem to this shorter than average guest. That afternoon when we returned to our room there was a brand new stepping stool placed by the side of the bed. You just don’t find that kind of guest relations in most places.

Re the lack of a pool, that never used to be of any importance to me, but lately I’ve come to enjoy the benefit of a sand-free vacation as long as the pool is adjacent to the beach and I can still hear the sounds of the surf, but that’s me.

It’s all a matter of what’s most important to each individual but I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again. We found their take on hospitality to be beyond anything we’ve experienced elsewhere in bigger and smaller properties and in far more expensive places as well.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: el Zafiro [Re: Carol_Hill] #244580
01/10/2021 03:33 PM
01/10/2021 03:33 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,942
Vancouver, WA
Todd Offline
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Todd  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,942
Vancouver, WA
Carol, you are correct about Le Petit as it would be my #1 pick of any hotel or resort to stay at on SXM, it would be nice if there was a bar a bit closer. I am OK with out having a place to eat on site as they shuttle you to where ever you want to go. It is so well run and such a nice place on a very nice part of Grand Case Beach that it is be pretty tough to beat. I wish I could justify the money it cost for longer stays.

El Z is more in my budget. It is always fun to try new places, I encourage it.


I prefer the Isle seat
Re: el Zafiro [Re: Todd] #244581
01/10/2021 03:41 PM
01/10/2021 03:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,744
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,744
Central Florida!
Todd--Yes, see, this is my problem--to say someplace is in the top ten small hotels in the CARIBBEAN?? Le Petit I would say qualifies. El Zafiro?? No way.


Carol Hill
Re: el Zafiro [Re: RonDon] #244586
01/10/2021 05:11 PM
01/10/2021 05:11 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,124
St Louis, MO
SXMNorm Offline
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SXMNorm  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,124
St Louis, MO
We have stayed at el Zafiro three times with a fourth visit coming up. We've stayed upstairs in the emerald suite. It was very roomy we thought. This year we are staying on the first floor and looking forward to just walking out our slider onto the beach. They've had a "comp" breakfast included with stays there in past, but have discontinued that policy January 2020. They also have provided a cel phone for rooms use. Lunches have been very good for the most part. We usually don't stay around for dinner..Drinks and beach service have been good, even when the place was having "cruise" people filling most chairs.Nicole and her husband are owners. Roan is the manager and has been very attentive to our needs. They were in the process of renovating two buildings that face the runway for addition guests. Don't know if they have been able to finish them yet.


Next SXM visit - January/February 2022
Re: el Zafiro [Re: blackmercedes] #244592
01/10/2021 08:16 PM
01/10/2021 08:16 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 221
Michigan
cathym Offline
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cathym  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 221
Michigan
Good for El Z! We’ve stayed there several times since Irma and love the vibe, the friendly staff, the super clean accommodations, and of course having a bar/restaurant right there. You don’t need to put on shoes to go grab a happy hour cocktail. I really wish they had a pool, but other than that it’s a wonderful location right on the beach. Hats off to Nicole for her outstanding efforts to keep the business going, and promoting it the best she can.

Fingers crossed we will be there in February!

Thanks...Cathy

Re: el Zafiro [Re: blackmercedes] #244593
01/10/2021 08:33 PM
01/10/2021 08:33 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 327
blackmercedes Offline OP
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blackmercedes  Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 327
Hi Carol. We enjoyed meeting you two at el Zafiro that one year...seems like an eternity ago. We have stayed at Beachside Viilas also. It was VERY comfortable and nice..but when we discovered el Zafiro, it was perfect for us. We do not need or would ever use a kitchen and we LOVE the bar and restaurant being steps away...Same view as Beachside. At the time, Beachside only had AC in the bedroom and in August when we were there, the heat was brutal in the living room area. There was not a tv in the bedroom then. I am not sure about the paying for being mentioned in the Caribbean Journal article. It was in my email and I looked and there was el Zafiro. We have always had the most impeccable service at el Z. To each his own...but we enjoyed having drinks with you and Eric.

Re: el Zafiro [Re: blackmercedes] #244595
01/10/2021 09:01 PM
01/10/2021 09:01 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,744
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 75,744
Central Florida!
Hi. I do remember getting together for drinks, and it was a lovely time.


As I guess you know, there is now a/c throughout the whole unit at Beachside. I just do NOT see El Zafiro as one of the top hotels in the Caribbean, or even on SXM, under any criteria.


Carol Hill
Re: el Zafiro [Re: blackmercedes] #244614
01/11/2021 11:47 AM
01/11/2021 11:47 AM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 110
Simsbury, Connecticut
shieneehead Offline
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shieneehead  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 110
Simsbury, Connecticut
Hi All,

I just looked at the Caribbean Journal article. To clarify, it isn't a "best of" list but "7 Tiny Caribbean Hotels to Try". Carol is most likely correct that this is a pay to play "article". That said, Beachside is where we are likely to stay next based on the raves from Carol and others. We were last on island days before Irma hit and I can't wait much longer.

Re: el Zafiro [Re: Carol_Hill] #244615
01/11/2021 11:48 AM
01/11/2021 11:48 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 61
Long Island NY
S
SurferMike Offline
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SurferMike  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 61
Long Island NY
I agree Carol. We’ve been staying at the Horny Toad Guesthouse for 17 years and you can say that qualifies for small hotels. We couldn’t think of staying at any other place on the island.

Re: el Zafiro [Re: blackmercedes] #244630
01/11/2021 02:41 PM
01/11/2021 02:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 343
F
foreversxm Offline
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foreversxm  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 343
We have stayed at Zaffiro and most of the properties on Simpson Bay .... it’s Nice but certainly nothing special. No real amenities snd the beach is the same all the way to the bridge so nothing unique about their beach. To me Like Horny Toad and Azure it’s more of a guest house not a hotel Beachside villas again, more like just private condos, not a real hotel with with bars , restaurants or other services. To me ...It was definitely pay to play but let’s be honest many of the so called reviews you see are bias because they get paid to say good things !!! Not just on travel sited too. You’ll never or rarely see a good comment on Jeff Berger’s sxm site unless they are sponsoring, eat or drink free. Nice if they would disclose that they are complementing a payed sponsor. It’s so obviously who pays and who doesn’t. Just look who the sponsors are before you make judgment on anyplace. Read personal reviews and not just one option. I’ve Lost all confidence in these ridiculous articles about the “best” and this zaffiro one takes the cake. Based on what others hotels did they look at? Obviously they didn’t walk down the beach or look around?? Of course It’s all personal opinion and likes. Some like Hamburgers others like steak.

Last edited by foreversxm; 01/11/2021 02:42 PM.

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