St. Maarten/St. Martin Journals

The Island with a Split Personality

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A July 2005 trip to St. Maarten/St. Martin by mplunkert

A Typical View Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean More Photos
Quote: Half-French and half-Dutch, St. Maarten/St. Martin is the perfect holiday destination, with its beautiful beaches, superb restaurants, and duty-free shopping.

The Island with a Split Personality

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Overview

Beautiful Beaches Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
This summer was our third visit to Sint Maarten/St. Martin. Each year for the last ten years, my husband and I have chartered a boat and sailed the islands of the eastern Caribbean. We’ve often begun our charter in St. Martin, since two of the major charter companies are based here. This year we chose to spend more time sailing from Anchorage to Anchorage, around the island. The northern part of the island is French, while the southern part is Dutch. Folklore has it that because the peoples of both cultures were so civilized, they chose not to go to war over the island. Instead, a Frenchman, with a bottle of wine for sustenance, walked in one direction while a Dutchman, carrying a flask of gin, ...Read More

Captain Oliver's Resort

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Hotel

Captain Oliver's Resort Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
We stayed at Captain Oliver’s Resort at the Marina at Oyster Pond at the end of our charter. The room cost $150 (low-season rate) and included a full buffet breakfast with eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes, croissants, baguettes, cereals, and fruits. It also included a welcome rum punch at the hotel bar. We appreciated the friendly, helpful staff at the reception desk, especially since our boat charter company had neglected to make the reservation for us, as had been arranged. The room was very spacious, with a balcony that overlooked the marina, and I was impressed with the fresh flowers that adorned both the room and the bath. On the other hand, there was a burned-out light in the bathroom, and I could...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 4, 2006

Captain Oliver's Resort
Oyster Pond
St. Maarten, St. Maarten/St. Martin 97150
+590 (590) 87 40 26

Sky's The Limit

Restaurant

Quote:
Grand Case, on the French side, is a gourmet's delight, and a stroll down Boulevard de Grande Case, the main road in the town, will tempt any palate. Restaurants, offering everything from elegant French cuisine to local barbecue, line the thoroughfare. We had just anchored our chartered boat in the beautiful Baie Grand Case, and were two hungry sailors when we got to shore. A double row of open-air barbecue restaurants (somewhat resembling an outdoor food court) were located just south of the dinghy docks, their menus displayed on large placards set outside each business. We passed these by, initially, wanting to see what else the town had to offer, but returned to Sky’s the Limit when I couldn’t q...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 28, 2006

Sky's The Limit
Boulevard de Grand Case.
St. Maarten, St. Maarten/St. Martin
690-356-784

Le Fregate

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Restaurant

Quote:
One of the employees of our charter boat company recommended Le Fregate to us when we inquired about a good place to eat. The restaurant was only a short walk from Captain Oliver’s Resort in Oyster Pond and well worth the effort.We dined at a table on the patio and enjoyed the slight evening breeze and the intimate ambience. There wasn’t much of a view, but the service and the prices were good. The main entrées ranged from 10 to 15€, and the food was exceptional. I ordered the veal escalope with cream and mushrooms (US$15), which was melt-in-your-mouth tender. My husband had the Reine pizza, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Had we been staying on the island longer, I would have had to return to try the...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 5, 2006

Le Fregate
Avenue du Lagoon and Rue de l'Escale
St. Maarten, St. Maarten/St. Martin
+(590) 290568

Pawal A Ti Moun

Restaurant

View from our table at Pawal A Ti Moun  Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
Pawal A Ti Moun is located off Boulevard de Grand Case in the same lolo "food court" as Sky’s the Limit, which we loved. (See the review.) Although we noted the prices on the menu were a bit more expensive, we attributed this to the fact that this open-air restaurant was bayside, rather than roadside, as was Sky’s the Limit. We decided the view was worth the extra coin. We were wrong. While the view overlooking Baie Grand Case was superb, everything else was less than satisfying. The menu was not as extensive as that of Sky’s the Limit, and even though wine was on the menu, they informed us they didn’t have any when I ordered a glass. The food was okay, but not as good as Sky’s the Limit. (I ha...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on March 7, 2006

Pedro's

Restaurant

Quote:
If you are looking for good food, a beautiful view, and a foot-stomping, hand-clappin’ good time, Pedro’s is the place to go. This open-air bar/restaurant sits right on the beach off Orient Bay. We were initially drawn to it by the music, which sounded good from afar. It was even better up close and personal. The live band had Pedro’s patrons gyrating to its music in their chairs and on the beach. I didn’t see one person without a big smile on his face. We decided to stay and have dinner there. I had the best swordfish sandwich I have ever eaten. It was served with a big mound of fries and cost $10 ($1 = 1€ at Pedro’s.) Not cheap, but well worth it in my opinion. On the downside, Pedro’s cl...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 9, 2006

Pedro's
Orient Bay Beach
St. Maarten/St. Martin

Creole Rock

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Attraction | "Rocher Creole"

Creole Rock Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
Rocher Creole is a small rock island that sits on the eastern tip of Baie Grand Case. You can swim in a circle around it and the snorkelling is excellent. There is a distinct difference between the underwater topography on the northern side of the island, which opens to the sea, and the southern side, which faces the bay. A mass of large coral-covered boulders, plainly visible in the crystal-clear waters, lies several fathoms below the island on its north side. Rainbow parrot fish and other colorful reef fish are plentiful. We spotted an eel, as well as several larger fish, a couple of which I think were jacks. The view above the water is just as entertaining, as pelicans watch over the area from thei...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 4, 2006

Creole Rock
Creole Rock
St. Maarten/St. Martin