Landed at SXM (Princess Juliana) and they gave us a ride from the U Save rent a car counter to their lot in Cole Bay. We got a great deal (about $12 a day) and the car was a not a looker, but ran like a charm through all of the excessive beach hopping, mountain drives, and tropical rain storm puddles.
We checked in at L’ Hoste hotel in Orient Bay, dropped our bags off and went for a walk on Orient beach (Awesome!) went for a swim in the pool, and went to eat at Cote Plages a few steps away in the Plaza at Orient Bay. It was a Cabaret night at Cote Plages, so we got a great dinner and show to start off our trip. I do recommend going their on a Cabaret night if you have the option.
We went to the Butterfly farm. It’s pretty cool if you’re fascinated by metamorphism, and also it is just beautiful. Then we tracked over to Friar’s Bay. There was a bull (YES A BULL) that walked in front of our car when we were trying to park. Friars bay is another beautiful beach. We ate at Kali’s Beach Bar for lunch. It was Pretty good, but if you ever go to Friar’s Bay – Friar’s Bay Beach club gives you free chairs and an umbrella if you buy lunch there. We learned this after we payed for everything separately at Kali’s.
Kali’s was cool about sheltering us from a passing rain storm and their Pina Colada’s are decent too.
At night we went to Little Itale also in the Plaza at Orient Bay. Huge portions, so we took leftovers back to the room.
We took the Ferry over to Pinel Island (really it is just a large motor boat that carries people back and forth to the Island). The Beach on Pinel is clean, calm, safe, and has the most beautiful 360 degree view of the Mountains, and beaches, and ocean. We had an excellent Banana Mango Colada at Carabuni on the beach. Pinel soon became our favorite beach.
In the evening we ventured into Grand Case and ate at The Rainbow Café. Nice view, excellent service, and wonderful food.
Are usual early morning walk on Orient Beach, and then we went to Pinel Island again and at night we ate at Le’Shore in Grand Case. Great food, but the entertainment they promised didn’t come through.
We Took the Voyager Ferry to St. Bart’s from Oyster pond (Wow, another beautiful area of St. Martin). The boat ride was rocky, but we bought the sea bands that the forum members recommended (thanks) and the wife was holding on to me the whole time but made it with out getting sick. We agreed it was worth it. The bay is a sight everyone should see at least once. We walked to Shell Beach (a beach entirely filled with shells instead of sand) and it rained, but it was warm, so we had this beautiful beach to ourselves. We had lunch on Shell beach at Do Brazil. It was a bit pricey, but man was it good. We then walked around St. Bart and over the Mountain to Bay de St. John (also another beautiful sight).
We took the Ferry to Anguilla from Marigot. The mall in Marigot is worth checking out even if it is just to have a look around. The ferry to Anguilla was also a wavy ride, but just a bit shorter than the ride to St. Bart’s. It rained heavily non stop the whole day. We went to Rendezvous Beach and sat under a closed shack on the beach. I went for a couple swims, and the beach is nice at rendezvous bay. It is a long stretch of calm water great for ocean swimming. The rest of the Island seemed extremely under developed, and some of the older parts were wiped out by a hurricane and never repaired. We came back earlier than we intended, because of the rain. We went to Monday night lobster night at La Plantation in Orient beach. I have to say the food was fantastic, but we asked for a ½ bottle of wine, and they brought us a full bottle (is this a common scam we don’t know about?) and it wasn’t the first restaurant that did this to us. This incident kind of put a damper on the whole experience- but as I said the food was good.
We went back to Pinel, and it was a beautiful morning, but a torrential down pour late in the afternoon. It was a great day but in the end we were all stuck waiting for the boat back and when we got back across the roads were all flooded. We soldiered through back to the hotel and even went out to Le Tastevin in Grand Case in the evening.
We swam at the calm side of Orient Beach in front of Club Orient. We got beach umbrellas and two chairs from La Playa (complimentary for L’Hoste guest). We checked out, and the kept our stuff at the desk while we swam in the pool and then changed, returned the rent a car and caught our flight back to NYC.
This was all intertwined with morning walks on Orient Beach and evening swims in the pool. Over all, we had a magnificent trip. I recommend St. Martin to all. Even with all the rain we got great tans, saw some fantastic scenery, and had a wonderful time. I’m noticing that many of the restaurants and hotels are not even listed on Trip advisor. Even Club Orient (probably the most well know hotel- at least locally) is not listed as a hotel on Trip Advisor. Many of the restaurants I mentioned have been mentioned in previous forum post but there are no places to put my reviews. Are we trying to keep this a secrect?