Caribbean - Does anyone have any St, Maartin suggestions for a first timer?
Dec 26, 11, 6:35 pm
My son graduates from high school this May and we have a tradition in our family that the graduate gets to choose his/her destination and gets to take mom with them. I enjoy sending my wife and kids off for 4-5 days while I stay home and watch the house, clean, and be a dad and it scores points with her as she grew up in a poor family and has never travelled until we were married.
Our son has had St Maartin on his mind since he was a little boy and has announced that he wants to go there for his trip. As I have been searching for airfares and hotels there seems to be a lot of options and I don't want to book the wrong hotel or lodgings. His idea of a vacation is to park himself on the beach and watch airplanes all day while my wife will want to shop and partake in adult beverages from time to time.
They will be going the last week in March for 5 days and 4 nights. We live in Denver, CO and it looks like most flights will be transcon red-eyes to MIA or CLT before flying down the following morning.
Dec 26, 11, 9:19 pm
Please follow this thread in the FT Caribbean Forum
Dec 26, 11, 9:38 pm
I'd suggest staying on the Dutch side vs the French. Getting around is easy as the Island is small and roads are decent if you're comfortable with traffic. Will your son be over the age of 18 and would your wife have a problem with some gambling?
The island is very Americanized now. I grew up there until 6 and returned for the first time when I was 18 and have been back twice since then.
The Coral Beach club is quite nice. But the nice hotels in Saint Maarten are pricey. La Sammana is very very expensive. What kind of hotel are you looking for?
What kind of activities is your wife and son looking for on the island? snorkeling/diving/zipline?
Dec 27, 11, 8:17 pm
Thanks for the info. He'll be 18 so I assume he can drink alcohol and hit the blackjack tables, am I right?
They will probably want to snorkle, watch airplanes take off and land, jet ski, and knowing my son, spend as much time as he can riding the jet wash.
I'm more interested in good hotels, and how close things are to the hotels so they won't have to get a car. Taxi's? Scooters?
Any ideas and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Jan 2, 12, 3:42 pm
I would certainly book the Sonesta Maho Beach hotel if doing a hotel for a first timer. (although certainly not the nicest place). If you can rent a condo at the Grand Suites at Caravanserai, the Royal Islander Club La Plage or even La Terresse you will be satisfied. You can walk to many different restaurants, watch the planes land and take off, have some entertainment all right there. Be sure to visit a couple of beaches although 5 days is not very long. I would pick Mullet Bay beach, go to orient for 1 day, hang out watching the planes right there on the beach,....I could go on and on! My favorite island to visit. I go every year.
Jan 6, 12, 11:52 am
There are older threads in this forum with lots of SXM suggestions on activities, including the correct website for the Sunset Beach Bar.
Mar 14, 12, 2:29 pm
I would suggest that you actually stay over on Anguilla. It's just a short marine ferry ride away from the French side of St. Martin.
We've visited both islands several times and have always greatly preferred Anguilla.
However, if you do want and need to stay on St. Martin, I would suggest the French side. But please be aware of the fact that this is a very congested little island, traffic-wise, and that getting around by car is not real fun at times!
Mar 16, 12, 2:46 pm
We stayed at the Radisson Blu Resort on the French side and it was a very nice resort, though the beach was small and the resort took almost an hour to drive too (the roads are very congested like another poster noted). I did meet a honeymooning couple who stayed part of the time in St. Maarten and part of the time in Anguilla, and they much preferred Anguilla because it was less touristy and more romantic. The French side is quieter than the Dutch side though.