We stayed at the Orient Bay Hotel for March Break 2008. This was our first time back in 13 years. We had our honeymoon on the island, and now with our 6 year old, we returned. We chose the Orient Bay Hotel because we know that Orient Bay is the best known beach on the island. It still is a great place to hang out, but we discovered that there are many more beaches that are excellent for kids - not so much surf rolling in, and had good snorkelling too. I recommend Galleon Bay, Pinel Island, and Friar's Bay for beautiful calm water, families will enjoy. We rented a car to get around. Traffic in some areas was terrible, and parking in either Marigot or Phillipsburg is difficult. Definately go to Grand Case for dinner, I recommend on Tuesday nights. There is a little outdoor carnival going on at that time.
As for the hotel, don't expect much. Towels are changed only on Wednesdays. No hair dryers, no shampoo. Beds are firm but comfortable enough. The place is clean, but you would have to sweep the floor, wash your dishes and make your own beds for the week. You could pay extra to have housekeeping come in! (That was a first for me to see that) We prepared some of our own meals which worked out well for our 6 year old.
Finally, one foolish mistake by us, our sliding door to our unit must be manually locked each night for security. On the Thursday night of our stay (6th night ), we forgot to lock the door. We discovered the next morning our camera stolen (6 beautiful days of pics gone) and $200 US stolen. We slept upstairs and the thief came in to the lower portion of the unit. We reported the theft but there was not much you could do. The hotel does have security - a night watchman but obviously they were not aware of anything. I leave the island feeling sad that this has happened, and I have learned a tough lesson. Thank God all that was taken was just those things and not our ID. We also are lucky we did not get hurt when the theft occured.
We were able to purchase a replacement camera on the Friday of our trip, and took some quick pictures. Please see the enclosed pics for your review.
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