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!!