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first time visitors

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first time visitors

We are first time visitors to the island. We are staying at Le Esplanade in Grand Case - family of four with 2 pre teen girls. Any recommendations on restaurants, activities, beaches, adventures would be much appreciated.

New York
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1. Re: first time visitors

RENT A CAR!!!!

Find Friar Beach which isn't too far from you - It's smaller more secluded beach that also has a bar / restaurant.

We liked L'escapado in Grand case for a real nice dinnere and didn't enjoy California Restaurant quite as much.....

There's a real good market in Grand Case south of the main road next to the Pharmacy - they have some great Bread, Cheese, Wine - Whatever you may need....

I'd take the Kids to Lotterie Farm - We didn't get a chance to do it but, it sounds like a good time. It's a Rain forrest, hiking tour with a restaurant that people say is good.

New York
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2. Re: first time visitors

Oh -and have plenty of CASH on the French side. The restaurants offer $1 = 1 Euro on cash which saves you some money... And the ATMs are on the Dutch side as far as I know.

Cupecoy Bay, St...
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3. Re: first time visitors

Really depends on that you want to do.

For restaurants - Grand Case is very expensive. There are a few moderate options - such as the lolo's. Other than dining, there's not much going on there.

Orient beach offers a beautiful beach and all the watersports you could ask for. Be aware, you will see nudity there. (As you will almost anywhere on the French side)

What would you like to do on your vacation - we could point you in the right direction.

BTE - Congratulations on your choice of accomodations. Excellent place.

New York
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4. Re: first time visitors

I just got back and before I left I read all these posts about Grand case being "Very Expensive" for dinner....

What's very expensive - Even on the beaches you can run a tab - If you get two entrees for 20-30 dollars, you're talking $60.00 or so....

Most of the nights for us it was 2 Entrees and a bottle of wine and the meal was under $100.00....

Most expensive meal I had all week was at Lee's Roadside BBQ....LOL that was $100.00 WITHOUT WINE....

And there's also a great outside BBQ in Grand Case...

When I read all these "Very Expensive" posts I thought it would be out of this world expensive like $150 - $200 - $300 ?????

To me it was like any restaurants or even cheaper than anywhere else in the World for what you were getting - It Was GREAT French food with some of the best wines I have ever had.... I'd call it VERY reasonable. Especially if you pay in CASH.

New York
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5. Re: first time visitors

Also - There's a new place called Blue "something" with a great outdoor space that had bands every night - One night was Reggae and another was Salsa, then another they had the Street Carnival...

We found ourselve going back to Grand Case and having A lot to do at night.

People say the same thing about Orient at night but, Give me a Reggae Band or a Guitar player like we had in Orient 2 nights and I'm set.....

Now, If you want a Casino and a Night Club, that's a different story.

Cupecoy Bay, St...
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6. Re: first time visitors

I guess expensive means something different to everyone. $100 for dinner for two is more than I'm willing to spend. Ansd that really is a decent price for most places in grand Case.

I know many folks dine in Grand Case and don't bat an eye. But for us, the food at the lolo's or local restaurant's is just as good and much easier on the pocketbook.

But this is a family of four. That's a pretty expensive dinner in my book.

Minnesota
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7. Re: first time visitors

This is combination of advise from a relative and my wife and I who are currently here!

1)Pizza- Pizza Gallery -Dutch side just on the East side of the draw bridge on left. Owner JP says his Mexican, JP Meat pizza is the best, my wife and I tried the one with Shrimp and goat cheese (it was great!)2 people w desert $30.

2) Italian: Don Camillo - French side on main road in Marigot (kind of on marina. Awesome Gnokki! meal for 2 $65 no desert.

3) Our relatives said Le Chanteclair (on the marina in Marigot is really good. Every review I read says A+++. My wife loved the chefs special desert balls, chocolate deep fried with ice cream. Chef was on food show in US even for desert. Desert was $13 US we didn't go there.

4) Mario's Bistro is suppossed to be awesome. We are heading there tonight for the Lobster Raviolli. Reports say the Duck is great too. I called on Tuesday for reservations, couldn't get in until either 9:30 Friday night or 7:00 on Monday. I guess it must be true this is a local favorite. This is located in Marigot just after you cross the bridge (if heading north toward Marigot) on the main road take your first left. Third place on the left. You can see it from the bridge

5) We tried La Tropicana on the marina as I read a few good reviews. It was OK. $75 for 2 with desert.

We fly back into MSP on Monday night. I will reply again with any more advice if we come across anything.

See this website on resturants as it seems to be accurate with prices and quality.

www.st-maarten-vacation.com then go to resturants.

Spicer, MN

Minnesota
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8. Re: first time visitors

Mario's Bistro was real good over all. We dropped $100 for 2 sharing 1 desert.

I forgot, the first night we were at Le Bec Fin. The food was fantastic! $75 for 2 shared desert (soufflet++). It is located on the Dutch side by Simpson Bay. It is tucked back off the main drag, turn to the south just past casino east of the draw bridge. There is a small sign for it. Well worth it. Not too busy early.

I heard in your area the Le Cottage is suppossed to a good resturaunt. I think it is Grand Case.

We are finished spending money so I hope these tips help.

Minnesota
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9. Re: first time visitors

One last thing, I will second Steph and Steve from NY. RENT A CAR! Be sure ask someone who knows what time and for how long the draw bridge at Simpson bay is up. You will be frustrated sitting there if you don't know what is going on. I don't know if the bridge at Marigot goes up at certain times or not.

To park at the shopping at Phillipsburg, the main road is detoured for construction. Follow it around and park along the "pond/lagoon" if possible. That is right along the main drag. Easy access, short walk.

New York
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10. Re: first time visitors

Getting back to "Expensive Meals"

I wasn't saying $60.00 for 2 or < $100.00 with a bottle of wine wasn't an expensive meal...

What I was saying was.. If you tell me you are going to some fancy French restaurant (I have NEVER even been to a fancy French restaurant) I would EXPECT it to be a certain price. Just like if I go to the fancy restaurant down the block from my house...

But, now If I read 15 times that WO!!! Those restaurants are EXPENSIVE!!!!

I'm thining Uh Oh... I know it's fancy, I know it's "French"... Just how much is this going to be $500? $300???? I don't know...

To me... It WAS expensive. But, I was on vacation... and it was the same price as the italian restaurant down the road from me...

Just to clarify..... I think ; )

I believe you can also get a decent priced meal in Grand Case and even the Fancy French places had Kids deals for $9.00 that sounded great.

I live near NYC the the sticker shock wasn't great - I just thought with all the talk that the prices would be something to knock you over - Something I've never seen before - Jaw dropping prices...

It's all the same -Just what you should expect...

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