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How much money is needed?

New York City, New...
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How much money is needed?

Hi All,

I'm going to St. Maarten in about 2 weeks. Just trying to get a handle on how much money I should plan on spending. We are not staying at an all inclusive (not sure there are any here). I definitely want to check out the resort casino. I assume USD are good here so no need to convert currency. Any info re how much re meals, fun, tipping etc. is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

London, United...
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1. Re: How much money is needed?

Hi - I just got back from St Martin last week. USD are perfectly fine - most people prefer them and will give you back change in USD, not Euro's (at least that was the way it was for me). Some places, especially in Grand Case, have an exchange rate of $1USD for 1 euro - it will be posted, but if you use credit the exchange rate is $1.20USD for 1 euro. Make sure you ask if you don't see a sign.

You can spend as much or as little as you want. I stayed on the French side and ate in Grand Case at night. The prices were comparable to NYC places - about $55 per person with alcohol and tip. During the day, I ate at the beach. Some days I brought food from the supermarkets and on others I ate at the restaurants on the beaches. My hotel included a continental breakfast, which saved me money.

If you go to ilet Pinel - my lunch was around $20 - $25 USD depending on how many Carib's (local beer) I had with my meal. I recommend this beach. It is a $6 water taxi ride from the Cul de Sac. The first boat leaves at 10 am and the last comes back to shore around 4:30.

I also recommend Baie Rouge. It is a very beautiful beach, especially during a sunset. They also have a beach bar/restaurant which is similarly priced as ilet Pinel.

I tipped just like I was in the states - so around 15 - 20% depending on service. I believe it is recommened to tip between 10 to 15%, but I tipped just like I was in the states - so around 15 - 20% becasue my service was always pretty good.

I went to Phillipsburg once to do some shopping, but realized that the prices were pretty much the same as in NYC - so I didn't bother buying anything.

One more thing - rent a car. It is the best way to see the island. It was about $25 per day and you only need a US drivers license. It is very easy to get around and let's you be a little mroe flexible. I used Prestige Car Rental and had no problems, but there are plently of other companies at the airport and they all have deals.

Also, my weather was perfect. It rained one day for about 5 minutes - that's it!! Have a great trip! If you have any questions - just ask!

maryland
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2. Re: How much money is needed?

It depends on how many meals you want to have at really nice restaurants. The best restaurants are very pricey - one of our favorites is Tropicana in Marigot but expect to spend at least $50 per person. We stayed in a condo and saved money by cooking a couple of nights. We also got some great things at a French deli in Grand Case - Le Bounty. If you are on the French side, the lolos - local outdoor barbecue restaurants - are great and very reasonable. It is very easy to spend $200 a day in St. martin.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: How much money is needed?

Thanks hr and cartera! I really appreciate it. I don't really plan to do much shopping b/c I live in NYC and there's usually little that I can't buy here in some of the more commerical tourist places. I'm planning to take about 300-400 since we are staying in a condo. I think it's called the Royal Islander or something like that (going with a friend b/c I've never been here).

HR-thanks very much for the break down comparison to nyc and your suggestions. we'll definitely look into it since it's two single girls just looking to get some r and r before fall comes.

London, United...
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4. Re: How much money is needed?

In that case - you will definitely like Ilet Pinel and Baie Rouge - both are extremely relaxing. I sat in the blue section at Ilet Pinel and the staff was really nice - they brought me food/beer whenever I wanted it. also, i liked this part of the beach best since the water was very calm.

Also, there are all kinds of snorkeling trips that can be fun. Your hotel should be able to tell you about them.

I believe the Royal Islander is in/near Maho. i don't know anything about the hotel - but you are by a lot of the nightlife. I didn't go to the Dutch side for nightlife this trip, but have in the past. The casino is nice and Cheri's Cafe was entertaining.

If you go to Grand Case for dinner and like Italian - go to il Nettuno. I thought it was better than most Italian restaurants in NYC. I recommend the spinach ravioli and tiramisu. Also, there is a store called Sexy Fruits across the street. i got some beautiful silver jewelry there. All items are hand made and different that what I find here in NYC.

Have a great trip.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: How much money is needed?

Thanks HRH! I really appreciate it and will take you up on your suggestions/recommendations!

Long Island, NY
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6. Re: How much money is needed?

Plan on spending $250 U.S. per day. bring this amount in cash and put a few nice dinners and shopping on the credit card. While you may spend less than that, there will be days when you spend more. You can drop $400 in the casino in the blink of an eye - trust me. your average dinner will be 50$ per person, lunch 25$ and breakfast 15$. If you drink expect this number to go up.

Here's an example of a day on Orient Beach - 2 beach chairs $20, two pina coladas $20, lunch at Kon Tiki $45, jet ski rental $45, memories to last a lifetime, priceless!

New York City, New...
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7. Re: How much money is needed?

Excellent break down. Thanks a ton Cmauro!