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Help Please!!

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
25 posts
98 reviews
Help Please!!

Hi All!

Looking for some guidance on which side to stay on, things to do, restaurants to try, and hotel ideas. My husband and I are in our late 20's and are planning to stay in SXM for a few days in November before heading over to Anguilla. We usually start our day with breakfast near the hotel, have a few drinks by the pool and go exploring during the afternoon and then out to dinner. We do not plan on renting a car, so a hotel that is in close proximity to things is very important.

Hotel: We want to stay at a hotel that has a restaurant on property and is also close to local restaurants. We're not big fans of huge resorts (ex: 200+ rooms, etc) and we're not into the casino scene - but a pool and beach are must-haves. We enjoy spending some time on a balcony so a view is also a perk. Staying in an area where we can safely walk is important, I've seen some comments about crime and it makes me a bit nervous. Budget is around a max of $250 per night if that helps narrow it down.

Exploring: As we will be beach bums in Anguilla, we want to do some exploring and activities on SXM. We love getting in touch with the local culture and history and usually try to find a local to hire to take us around and show us all the must-see spots. Any recommendations for things to do/see would be awesome!

Restaurants: We love food and are not picky in the least. We really like trying new things and dining out at restaurants ranging from inexpensive dives to top-rated fine dining. We usually try to spend less on hotels in order to spend more on food :-) (hence why we like walking everywhere - balances out all the calorie intake!)

Dutch/French: We're fun-loving, outgoing Americans who love the Caribbean hospitality. We're not looking to party into the wee hours, but we are hoping to stay where there are ample restaurants and things to do. Also, is there any issue with speaking English on either side?

Thank you so much in advance for your help!!

Level Contributor
344 posts
13 reviews
1. Re: Help Please!!

Just about everyone speaks English, so there are no problems with the language. As far as travel goes, you're better off renting a car, but if you choose not to, I'd go with Grand Case Beach Club. They have a restaurant on site (Sunset Cafe), you're close enough to walk to other restaurants and shopping, but it is just far enough away that you can enjoy the beach in peace from the water or your room.

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
201 posts
6 reviews
2. Re: Help Please!!

There is no problem with speaking English on either side of the island. Grand Case and Simpson Bay Beach are my favorite places to stay. Both areas have bakeries that you can walk to for breakfast. Calmos Cafe and Rainbow Cafe in Grand Case will have music on certain nights, but Grand Case is really about the dining (both expensive and inexpensive). You may want a little more action than Grand Case offers since you are also going to Anguilla. I have only stayed in condos in Simpson Bay, so I can't recommend a hotel with a restaurant. If you are interested in renting a condo, you might look up La Siesta on Simpson Bay beach. It has a small pool. From a condo on Simpson Bay Beach, you can walk to restaurants on the beach (Mary's Boon and Karakters) and you can walk into Simpson Bay to additional restaurants and to listen to live music. Places I think you should visit include Orient Beach, Marigot for lunch and to visit the market, Bernadine's rum shop at Paradise View above Orient Beach, Loterie Farm if you want to go zip lining, and Mullet Bay.

NY
Level Contributor
796 posts
11 reviews
3. Re: Help Please!!

Stay at Grande Case beach club in Grande Case. Club Orient (clothing optional) in Orient Beach would also work.

Edited: 2:32 pm, June 02, 2015
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
443 posts
4. Re: Help Please!!

I would love to hear other responses to this post as I am just starting to research our potential first visit to the island. Specifically, crime and safest area to stay, hotel vs condo. Would like to be on nice beach with a view and close to restaurants/bars. We are also considering Cayman so not sure yet where our next trip will take us.

Parkville, Missouri
Level Contributor
40 posts
16 reviews
5. Re: Help Please!!

We loved our condo at Orient Bay. It was literally less than 50 yards from the beach, and a short stroll to the restaurants at Orient Village. It is very safe. We did make some driving trips, but could have easily spent the entire time where we were. There was not a view per se, but we could hear the waves from the back patio.

Mid, minnesota
Level Contributor
52 posts
3 reviews
6. Re: Help Please!!

After staying in simpson bay and seeing the rest of the island while there, I'd go with simpson bay or the maho area. They are relatively close and offer eating, shopping, etc. We rented a condo in pelican key and felt safe everywhere we went. We would walk into town each night to eat, etc and walked home in the dark. There were a lot of people walking around the area at night, no problem. I thought grand case would have more to offer than it did. I would go there for a afternoon to eat at the lolo's but other than that I found it a bit boring. The main street is about 1/3 mile long and thats the town in a nutshell. The beach in grand case isn't really used because all of the buildings along the beach are so close to the water. I wouldn't stay near the Pinal island area because that was the most run down part of the island I saw. Other than pinal island, there was nothing there for a tourist. A lot of folks love the Orient beach area but I'd have a hard time staying there for an entire vacation. Its off the beaten path a bit but some people like to plant themselves in one spot for there vacation but not myself. I would recommend spending a beach day there for sure, especially at your age. I found Maho beach more to my liking, its not as crowded. Its a smaller beach but its on the calm side of the island and the water is crystal clear.

Mid, minnesota
Level Contributor
52 posts
3 reviews
7. Re: Help Please!!

"I found Maho beach more to my liking, its not as crowded. Its a smaller beach but its on the calm side of the island and the water is crystal clear". I meant to say mullet beach.

Tallahassee, Florida
Level Contributor
138 posts
8. Re: Help Please!!

I'm sure you'll love discovering both islands.

You will find many suggestions for things to see and do, restaurants, hotels, etc. on these sites:

http://www.stmartinisland.org/

St. Martin: http://caribya.com/st.martin/

http://www.st-maarten.com/

Anguilla: http://caribya.com/anguilla/

Have a great time and be sure to write a trip report!

9. Re: Help Please!!

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10. Re: Help Please!!

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