St.Martin Car Rental/Day Trip questions

Old Sep 15, 08, 6:45 am
  #1  
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St.Martin Car Rental/Day Trip questions

I'm headed down to St. Martin next May for my honeymoon and had a few questions I've found some answers too, but it would be nice to get some current information.

1) Any recommendations on who to rent from if we want to rent a jeep? Should I take any of the optional insurance down there? I think my amex might provide me a little insurance, but I'd rather be safe than sorry in a foreign country. I can tell from browsing sites I don't want to pick one of the big guys for renting a vehicle.

2) Any recommendations for day trips during the week given that we'll have a car to drive around in?

3) Are the restaurants/shops on the French side really still doing a 1:1 Euro:USD ratio?

Thanks for any info!
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Old Sep 17, 08, 7:28 am
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I have never rented a jeep there so I can't comment on that. As far as day trips: there are many GREAT beaches in SXM!! My fav's are: orient, bai rouge, mullet. Some people like to go to pinel island. I prefer to go to Tintamarre for the mud baths. FUN!! Great jewelry shopping in Phillipsburg!!! The restaurants on the french side--some do 1:1. Best bet for dining ont he frenchside for the 1:1 is it usually for cash only. (can use travelers checks). Many divine restaurants on the dutch side though. Another thing to do is watch the parade of yachts and sail boats from the Yacht club at the draw bridge at simpson bay. Go about 4:00pm. Really fun. Great bloody mary's.
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Old Sep 25, 08, 4:39 pm
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I was in Sint Maarten/Saint Martin two months ago... I used both terms because in the short time I was there I stayed on both the Dutch and the French sides.


I rented a car from Thirfty who share the facility with Dollar. I got the cheapest vehicle available at that time, which was a Hyundai Getz, but they also had very reasonable deals on Jeeps. The car rental places are offsite and the shuttles go frequently, but as everything else at SXM people take their sweet time and nobody is in the rush.


While doing research for the car rental it was possible to rent from no-name local companies that offered decent deals, but for me their terms didn't sit well, plus a global chain seemed safer and I was able to decline the insurance on my car.



The car itself, the Getz, was fairly beat up on the outside with several dings and scratches which were checked off by the person on my contract because I declined additional insurance. I drove around the island a lot and basically circled the entire thing once or twice. The roads are fine and I wouldn't worry too much about additional insurance especially for the Jeep... however if you start exploring beaches and start taking the vehicle offroad just be careful... however its nothing like offroading on Aruba where you could lose a wheel going to the Natural Pool.


I stayed at the Sonesta Maho Beach and L'Hoste at Orient Beach, both places offered car rentals from their lobbies which would be delivered to your hotel. The airport is probably more convenient though.


Driving around Phillipsburg was fun... none of the maps I got were accurate and due to a lack of street signs you might need to give yourself a little time to find a specific spot you're looking for. This was particularly the case for me finding Dock Maarten when taking a day trip snorkeling in Anguilla.


The restaurants on the French side do still offer 1:1 but they were primarily fast food... decent places were 1.40:1 or 1.50:1


I highly recommend Big Fish restaurant at Oyster Bay which is right on the French/Dutch border which did offer 1:1 and it was absolutely delicious.


Enjoy SXM!

--Russ
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Old Sep 8, 13, 10:37 am
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Avoid Budget at the airport

Just came back from our week long stay. The first car they tried to give us has both bumpers loose, trunk release works half of the time (loose locking connection inside the lid) and low tires threads. I refused to accept this and they gave us "only thing they had", which is no better. We landed in SXM 4 hours late due to mechanical, family was tired and I didn't want to fight or try another agency (all are off site) and took the car. The car was gutless going up the hill (has 58,000+KM) and on 5th day, breaks start to squeak!

I complaint when I return the car letting them know their fleet is not to Budget standard. I was told it is much worse at XXX island when she visited and I should be choosing rental car company carefully. I was stunned with her reply and I hope you don't make the same mistake as I did.
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Old Sep 8, 13, 7:27 pm
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Holy thread bump!

Anyway, my suggestion is renting a car with French plates. Dutch plates identify that it's a rental car, and makes your car a target for a break-in.
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Old Jan 7, 14, 12:46 pm
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pH
 
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Since this thread already received a massive bump, I'll go ahead and pile on

Heading down to SXM for the first time next month and staying on the French side on Orient Bay. Was hoping to get some advice on travel to the island...

1) My partner and I are looking at taking a day trip over to Anguilla but I haven't been able to find the public ferry website (if one exists) Does anyone know if this public ferry is indeed still running from Marigot to Blowing Point?

2) We rented a car with Sixt at Marigot, any experiences with them? Or, experiences renting a car for a day trip once we get to Anguilla?

Thanks so much for any tips, we are certainly looking forward to escaping some winter weather.

Cheers!
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Old Jan 7, 14, 1:37 pm
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Originally Posted by pH View Post
Since this thread already received a massive bump, I'll go ahead and pile on

Heading down to SXM for the first time next month and staying on the French side on Orient Bay. Was hoping to get some advice on travel to the island...

1) My partner and I are looking at taking a day trip over to Anguilla but I haven't been able to find the public ferry website (if one exists) Does anyone know if this public ferry is indeed still running from Marigot to Blowing Point?

2) We rented a car with Sixt at Marigot, any experiences with them? Or, experiences renting a car for a day trip once we get to Anguilla?

Thanks so much for any tips, we are certainly looking forward to escaping some winter weather.

Cheers!
Ferry still runs from Marigot to Blowing Point, which I have taken many times in the past 6-7 years. I found details here: http://lavueanguilla.com/how-get-anguilla

Tip: even if it is sunny, sit inside to avoid getting soaked.
--
13F
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Old Jan 7, 14, 5:11 pm
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Public ferry runs about every 45 minutes. Highly recommend a daytrip (or more) to Anguilla.
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Old Jan 8, 14, 11:55 am
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pH
 
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Thanks so much for the tips. For Anguilla, do folks normally rent a car, taxi or otherwise?

Much appreciated!
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Old Jan 8, 14, 1:05 pm
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mkt
 
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Originally Posted by pH View Post
Thanks so much for the tips. For Anguilla, do folks normally rent a car, taxi or otherwise?

Much appreciated!
I always rent a car.
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Old Jan 8, 14, 9:33 pm
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Originally Posted by pH View Post
Thanks so much for the tips. For Anguilla, do folks normally rent a car, taxi or otherwise?
A car might be cheaper than a taxi, if you are comfortable driving around an unfamiliar island. There is a $20 AXA D/L required. On my last visit there was a car rental outfit right outside the ferry dock in Blowing Point. Very easy to get around Anguilla. You will probably want to make your way to either Shoal Bay East or Meads Bay.

OTOH, taxi drivers are really friendly (the Anguillian people are just the best!), can show you around, and are very accommodating about waiting for you or coming back to pick you up.
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Old Jan 10, 14, 2:39 pm
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Thanks again to all. I really appreciate the info and am looking forward to my SXM/AXA excursion!
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Old Feb 5, 14, 3:08 pm
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Question on this topic -
Does anyone know a safe overnight parking vendor/area/hotel at Marigot ferry terminal to leave a rental car?

Renting from SXM and too far a drive back there so would keep the car but if the possibility of break-in or vandalism is too high I would return it and take a taxi?
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Old Apr 2, 14, 6:11 am
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Is the Island Kids friendly?
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Old Apr 2, 14, 7:02 am
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Originally Posted by chrisy14 View Post
Is the Island Kids friendly?
Anguilla is not kids-friendly to me as a small island with a few beaches. Dining is more adult but I also wasn't look at the kids menu
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