St. Maarten/St. Martin Journals

St. Maarten/St. Martin Whirlwind

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An October 2004 trip to St. Maarten/St. Martin by dfrb

The Caravanserai Beach Resort Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean More Photos
Quote: St. Maarten/St. Martin offers a variety of vacation choices. One can unwind on its many beaches, shop, sightsee, participate in numerous water activities, and even visit nearby islands for a more comprehensive experience of Caribbean island life.

St. Maarten/St. Martin Whirlwind

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Overview

Maho Beach Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
We had a quick four day visit to the island. We stayed in St. Maarten on Burgeaux Bay near Maho Beach. This was a very good location. Since the island is only about 37 square miles, you can go anywhere in a short amount of time. Just driving around the island is interesting--we saw many goats beside the road and had to stop to let the baby and mama chickens cross the road. For those persons who like to do things other than shop and enjoy the water, the Butterfly Farm is a good option. Also, a trip to Pic Paradis is a must.Quick Tips: 1. Rent a car 2. Shop in Phillipsburg on a day when there are no cruise ships, but don't go on Sunday when most shops are closed. 3. Go to...Read More

The Caravanserai Beach Resort

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Hotel

The Caravanserai Beach Resort Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
Best Things Nearby:The airport. Several good restaurants.Best Things About the Resort:Close to airport. Rooms are large.Resort Experience:The Caravanserai is a small resort complex beside the airport. It is within walking distance of the Maho Beach complex. The units are one and two stories. The resort appears as though it has been there several years. The Dolphin Casino used to be on the property. However, it has closed. We stayed in a one bedroom unit on the upper level. Our unit was quite large. It overlooked the ocean. The unit was clean, but you could tell it was old. I would probably rate it a 3 star. The bedroom had a king s...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 6, 2004

Le Gallion

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Restaurant

Le Gallion Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
This French restaurant offers outside dining overlooking the Marina Port La Royale in St. Martin. If you arrive from Phillipsburg, the Simpson Bay Lagoon will be on your right. The Marina is at the end of the lagoon. From the main road (Rue de Hollande), turn right onto Rue de President Kennedy. Go to the end of the street and turn left. There will be parking spaces down this street on the left (cemetery on the right). Or, you can go past the cemetery and follow the road to the right where you will find LOTS of parking. The menu offers a wide selection of food. There is also a special of the day. I had the Combination platter, which consisted of grilled lobster, grouper, shrimp, and baked ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 6, 2004

Boathouse

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Restaurant | "The Boathouse"

Boathouse Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
The Boathouse is located on Simpson Bay Lagoon just off Airport Road. It is less than ten minutes from the Caravanserai Resort/Maho Beach area. If there is no parking at the restaurant, park on the right side of the road in the open lot. This is a very busy restaurant with a wonderful selection of food on their menu. The Shrimp Scampi was absolutely wonderful. It was $17.95 and included a large salad and potato. Another good choice is the Surf and Turf. You get a nice size beef filet and shrimp, along with the salad and potato for $19.95. The Seafood Fettucine is in a very light cream sauce and contains shrimp, scallops, and fist. It was good, but the other two dishes were much better. The...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 6, 2004

Boathouse
74 Airport Rd.
Simpson Bay

Turtle Pier

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Restaurant

The Turtle Pier Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
The Turtle Pier Restaurant is located on Simpson Bay Lagoon off Airport Road between the airport and Phillipsburg. It is about 5 minutes from the Caravanserai Resort. The restaurant is a seafood restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We had a delicious breakfast here our first morning in St. Maarten. The Paradise Pancakes with banana, bacon, and potatoes were fantastic. The potatoes were in chunks and were cooked in what I think was barbeque sauce. The pancakes were some of the best I have had. The cost - $7. Other breakfast items were BLTs, the Big Combo - eggs, pancakes, french toast, choice of meat, home fries, and toast - all for $9.00. I glanced at their lu...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 6, 2004

Hot Tomatoes Caribbean Cafe

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Restaurant

Hot Tomatoes Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
Before leaving for St. Maarten, I read good reviews of this restaurant. We did not have a great experience here. The restaurant is large, with lots of space. There is a small outside area with three or four tables facing the lagoon. This is where we sat. The menu selection is very varied, offering everything from pizza, to caribbean style dishes, cuban dishes, barbeque, seafood, and steaks. I ordered the Strip Loin, which was absolutely delicious - very tender. It came with a large serving of mashed potatoes and carrots. The price was $21.95. My friend ordered the barbeque baby back ribs. The price was $16.95. She could not eat them. They were cold. Not cold as in been sitting ou...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on October 6, 2004

La Gondola Ristorante

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Restaurant

La Gondola Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
Oh my. This place was recommended to us by some folks we met on the plane. The lady said La Gondola was to die for. Our meal here was the best we had during our vacation. The restaurant is located at the Atlantis World Casino, which is located past Mullet Bay. To get there, go west and keeping going as you pass the airport. Continue driving through the Maho Beach shops. The road will narrow and there will be a golf course. You will think you have made a wrong turn. This is actually the road that can take you all around the island through the Terres Basses to Marigot. After about 5 minutes, past the Maho complex, you will see the casino. Park in the casino parking lot. La Gondola is on t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 6, 2004

Butterfly Farm (La Ferme des Papillons)

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Attraction | "The Butterfly Farm"

Butterfly Farm (La Ferme des Papillons) Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
The Butterfly Farm (or La Ferme aux Papillons) is located near Orient Beach on the French side of the Island. It is a small "farm" located at the back of a house. The fairly small area consists of a "forest" of plants and trees of all varieties under a large net. The environment is conducive to breeding and displaying butterflies. To reach the Butterfly Farm from the Dutch side, follow signs to the Middle Region and Orient Beach. Just before reaching Orient Beach, there is a sign pointing down a small narrow road advertising Bay Side Riding Stables. The sign advertising the Butterfly Farm is actually on the left side of the road. Turn right onto Galion Road. The farm is the first place you ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 6, 2004

Butterfly Farm (La Ferme des Papillons)
Baie Orentiale
St. Maarten, St. Maarten/St. Martin

Orient Beach

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Attraction

Orient Beach Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
This has to be the most beautiful beach on the island. Orient Beach was the first beach we visited. On our second day, we tried another beach (at Mullet Bay) and did not like it. We went to Orient Beach the remainder of our vacation. Orient Beach is very easy to find. Follow the signs to the Middle Region, then to Orleans. Orient Beach is a few minutes past Orleans. There appear to be several entries. Just take one and you will gradually wind your way down to the beach. I think we took the second entry (at the top of the hill). The road winds down around rental properties until you end up at the Bikini Beach Bar section. This is the perfect spot. Find a spot to park and enjoy. Th...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 6, 2004

Orient Beach
Orient Bay
St. Maarten, St. Maarten/St. Martin

Peak Paradise (Pic Paradis)

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Attraction

Peak Paradise Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
Peak Paradise (or Pic Paradis) located on the French side is the island's tallest point. Everyone who visits St. Martin should go to the Peak. Getting there is half the fun! To reach Peak Paradise from the Dutch side of the island, take the road toward Marigot. After passing through Marigot, you will arrive in a slightly congested area in slightly over 5 minutes. You will have passed a sign indicating where to turn to go to Friar's Bay. Shortly after this sign, there will be a "Pic Paradis" sign on the right. It appears you should turn right there, but actually you turn at the next road--just a few yards on. There is a second sign at the road on which you turn. The road is ver...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 7, 2004