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Just Got Back - My Comments on the Usual Questions

Boston...
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31 posts
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Just Got Back - My Comments on the Usual Questions

My husband and I just returned from GC and I thought I would offer my thoughts on some of the questions that keep popping up on this forum.

Security: There are private security people who are out and about now to supplement the police force. One night, we were actually followed back from Spiga to our hotel (Grand Case Beach Club) by one of these security officers. It felt safe to me - plenty of other tourists on the streets, no one seemed threatening. There is a bit of a dark stretch between Spiga and GCBC but, as I mentioned, there always seemed to be plenty of other people on the road.

Mosquitos: The first four days we saw only one in our room (which we killed) and this was after driving all over the island. I was feeling pretty confident so we didn't bother with the bug spray. On day five however, while eating at Le Tastevin, my husband got a couple of bites. He used the spray at the restaurant (everyone has bug spray - just ask) but he already had the bites by then. After that night, we sprayed every evening before we went out. (Never saw any on the beach - I think it was too windy.) So far, no signs of the virus.

Restaurants: You cannot go wrong here - every place is fantastic! We ate at the following places: La Villa, Spiga (ate here twice), Sky's the Limit, Le Cottage, Le Tastevin and Ocean 82. Went for drinks at Calmos Cafe and had dessert only at Il Nettuno. Plan to pay more cash than credit - many places offer the euro=dollar deal which is about a 30% savings, but only if you pay cash.

Les Mardis de Grand Case: Every Tuesday from the end of January to April, there is a street fair with vendors, live music and a small parade. We really enjoyed this - got some unusual souvenirs. It was pretty neat because it seemed to draw both locals and tourists. Atmosphere was very festive.

In conclusion, I would say don't worry about crime, try as many restaurants as your budget allows and definitely spray for mosquitos (even if you don't see them)!

Yardley...
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11. Re: Just Got Back - My Comments on the Usual Questions

i have to caution on the 3 days, 3 days, 3 days. yes all the islands are great but that's a lot of packing and unpacking and moving around in a short period of time. wasted time travelling and getting resettled. i would only do 2 islands in that time frame. jmo

Westchester, NY
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12. Re: Just Got Back - My Comments on the Usual Questions

Was in Grand Case/Orient for 2 weeks, the mosquito issue is comical to locals, who don't seem concerned at all. We sprayed when out around dinner time, otherwise, no worries, no bites. I did see trucks spraying as well, and although I haven't confirmed this, we were told the problem is more particular to the low lands areas not the more touristy areas.

Btran - we did St. Bart's for part of our trip, Eden Rock is awesome, though I wish I was familiar with the other alternatives which are literally less than half the price of ER. Convert that dollar to euros and you're racking up some serious charges, but it's worth it. Jean George's Sand Bar... wow!

Westchester, NY
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13. Re: Just Got Back - My Comments on the Usual Questions

Agree with MaryJo34 on 2 islands rather than 3...

new york
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14. Re: Just Got Back - My Comments on the Usual Questions

I would love to hear about your feedback about crime, safety, streets are clean… and mosquitos. Mosquitos loves me and I get bad reaction. The hotel I am thinking about booking does not have screens on the windows. My husband is reluctant to stay in Grand case.

Boston...
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15. Re: Just Got Back - My Comments on the Usual Questions

I did not find the numbers of mosquitos to be significant, however, I would not feel comfortable staying some place without screens. We had screens at the Grand Case Beach Club so you might want to look into this hotel. I have been more concerned about safety in some American cities than I was in Grand Case. My understanding is that security has been greatly improved with the addition of the private security officers. There were always plenty of tourists out whenever we went to dinner (although we were never out later than 10:30 p.m.) As for clean, well, this is the caribbean. You won't find the sort of clean streets we see in the US (in some cities, anyway) anywhere in the caribbean. I have been to several islands and I found Grand Case to be pretty similar to everywhere else I had been - neither better nor worse. This is what I love about Grand Case - the fantastic french restaurants, the small town ambiance and the quite peacefulness of the beach (no vendors trying to get you to buy stuff or wall to wall beach chairs). Hopefully this helps answer your questions.

Athens, Georgia
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16. Re: Just Got Back - My Comments on the Usual Questions

I was very nervous to go to Grand Case after reading some of the things people have said. We just got back and I have to say our trip was the best we have ever had. I have traveled all over the Caribbean and French St. Martin is now one of my favorites (the Dutch side is too built up and busy with American tourists). There were police officers walking the streets every night and did a great job of blending in with the crowd. Grand Case is not a typical American style Caribbean destination. Its a true rustic, French Caribbean village with modern flairs set in between local Caribbean houses and businesses. Everyone was nice, including all the locals, restaurant owners and taxi drivers. As always, use your head. No place in the world is 100% safe and you need to be aware of your surroundings. Go to Grand Case with an open mind, knowing your not going to an American destination but an entirely different country. I think we often assume that since the Caribbean is just a few hours away on a plane that it is just like the USA.

17. Re: Just Got Back - My Comments on the Usual Questions

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