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Best Hotel on the Dutch Side

chicago, IL
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Best Hotel on the Dutch Side

We are a couple in our mid-30s thinking about going to St Martin and looking for a nice hotel. I just read a bunch of bad reviews of the Sonesta Maho and St Martin in general and now I'm questioning this as our next vacation. We loved Aruba, Key West and Cabo San Lucas and are looking for a very nice hotel in an area with some action/nightlife along with shopping and restaurants. Any suggestions? If not St Martin, what would be a good Caribbean destination equivalent to something like Aruba, Key West or Cabo? Any help would be greatly appreciated! :)

Staten Island, New...
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1. Re: Best Hotel on the Dutch Side

I have always liked Orient because their is a lot of daytime beach activity and things quiet down at night but you still have bars/restaurants open for dinner.

There are quite a few restaurants and bars in Orient Village. Safari Grill (French), Ti Chi (Asian), Le Piment (pizza, casual dining), Cote Plage (French),Little Itale (pasta) Across the street is Paris Texas, a Tex/Mex place w/bar, and Tap 5 for pizza and other light meals. Le Cadre serves mostly tapas. Additionally right outside Orient complex on the main road is Rancho Del Sol for dinner and drinks.

In the Orient complex is also Cafe Plantation, and L'Astroble at the Esmeralda resort. They are both very good and more upscale.

Several beach bars have parties at night during high season - Waikiki, Budha Bar at Bikini, Kontiki and Boo Boo Jams, Aloha for lunch. Pedros for BBQ and more..

.There is an ATM located at the gas station in Grand Case on the main road down the hill from the police station as you are coming into town from Marigot and there is also one on the main road to Anse Marcel. Restaurants like tips to be paid in cash even when a credit card is used. It is a good idea to have some USD or Euro handy.

Some nice hotels steps off the beach are:

L'Hoste

Alamanda

Caraibes Beach Hotel

Caribbean Princess

Edited: 3:31 pm, January 10, 2011
Auburn Washington
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for St Martin / St Maarten
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2. Re: Best Hotel on the Dutch Side

Bobcat, they were asking about the Dutch side.

Dutch side I would suggest::

Royal Palm

Atrium

Pelican

Flamingo

LaVista

These are all nice places with beaches except LaVista has no beach. They are timeshare resorts but do rent out rooms directly and all are in Simpson Bay close to restaurants.

Staten Island, New...
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3. Re: Best Hotel on the Dutch Side

He did say "any suggestions". I gather he would feel more comfortable inside upscale Orient Park so I tossed that into the mix.

If he only wants the Dutch side you have given him some good options.

St Martin / St...
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4. Re: Best Hotel on the Dutch Side

You can also look into condo's for rent as there are a few new developments that offer the hotel look and are very close to the nightlife without being right in the nightlife (a 5 minute drive). Check VRBO for either The Cliff, Rainbow, or now newly opened Porto Cupecoy. They may not be hotels but they offer the luxury that a hotel may not be able to give you.

And PS.... St. Maarten is the equivalent of Aruba but with scenic mountains and better food. It's a more exciting island where you can stay within 2 different cultures while on your one vacation. Maybe the French side during the day and the Dutch side during the night (thus staying on the Dutch side).

Edited: 9:55 pm, January 10, 2011
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5. Re: Best Hotel on the Dutch Side

Sunfriend, I also have traveled all the places as you have.Heading to Aruba in Febuary.I was looking at Angulla for a 10 day stay but now I'm thinking about doing 5 days on each.Orient beach is beautiful.I was there several years ago.Can anyone tell me if we stay close to Orient beach then how far away is the best shopping areas?

Staten Island, New...
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6. Re: Best Hotel on the Dutch Side

Can anyone tell me if we stay close to Orient beach then how far away is the best shopping areas?

-----------------------------------------------------------

Marigot - 30 minutes +/-

Philipsburg - 30 minutes +/-

chicago, IL
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7. Re: Best Hotel on the Dutch Side

Any thoughts on the Westin if we rent a car?

St Martin / St...
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8. Re: Best Hotel on the Dutch Side

The Westin is in an isolated part of the island. Now don't get me wrong...the island is not really large at all BUT at night, the roads, especially on the French side (The Westin is very close to the French side) are dark and winding. In the rain they are horrendous to navigate. We did this once and we will never go to the French side again at night.

If you must choose The Westin, then it is a nice place but not very Caribbean in decor. More on the cold side as per many reviews. They do have their own beach and their pool is pretty impressive but everything there is at a cost.

If you really want to enjoy the night life (casinos, clubs, piano bars, crowds, etc) you should stay closer to Simpson Bay/Maho/Cupecoy to feel more at ease. Otherwise, The Westin is OK. It's clean and spacious.

chicago, IL
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9. Re: Best Hotel on the Dutch Side

Thank you very much for this information. We likely won't stay there. We are just having a really tough time narrowing down a place on the Dutch side. We aren't beach people so a nice pool on a gorgeous property with lots of food and entertainment nearby would be our preference, but we don't want to be in the heart of all the action if our hotel isn't nice. We typically don't have trouble picking a hotel on vacation. We may just have to lower the expectations a bit. I have no clue where we're going to stay.

Thanks very much for the response; you've been very very helpful!! :)

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: Best Hotel on the Dutch Side

I would also encourage you to consider renting a condo. You give up having a conciege and room service, but you gain so much more space and privacy. As suggested, VRBO is a good option, but if you want personal advice, Sandy Mollloy at Molloy Travel was very helpful in helping us find just the right property.

www.stmartin-stmaartentravelspecialists.com/