St. Maarten/St. Martin Journals

March Break on Sint Maarten

A March 2001 trip to St. Maarten/St. Martin by ms_dj

The Car Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean More Photos
Quote: A week on beautiful Sint Maarten/Saint Martin was just what I needed to relax and recharge my batteries!

March Break on Sint Maarten

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Overview

Sint Maarten/Saint Martin  Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
Shopping in the open-air market in Marigot... Driving to the top of Pic Paradis to get a higher view of the island... Fabulous music and dancing at Cheri's Cafe in Maho... And, speaking of Maho, watching the planes coming in over Maho Beach, and watching the sunset from the Sunset Beach Bar in Maho.Quick Tips: Restaurants can be very expensive, so I recommend finding an all-inclusive package. The island is duty-free...so shopping is good, and don't be afraid to barter...you can often get a pretty good deal if you put in a little effort.Best Way To Get Around: The public bus is inexpensive, about .50, but isn't on a particularly rigid schedu...Read More

Great Bay Beach Hotel and Casino

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Hotel

We Made It!!  Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
Our room had a balcony which gave us an ocean view (a pleasant surprise, considering we'd paid for a mountain view, which would've given us a view of the parking lot more than anything). The room was comfortable, with in-room air-conditioning controls and a large patio door leading to a private balcony overlooking the beach and Great Bay. The room was clean, and kept that way by regular visits by housekeeping (2-3 times a day, to bring new towels, and turn down the covers on the bed, in addition to cleaning.) Activities available at the hotel included jet-ski rental, shuffleboard, and two swimming pools for those who didn't want to swim in Great Bay. There was also a bu...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 23, 2001

Bella Vista Restaurant Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
The Bella Vista Restaurant was located on the pool deck at our hotel. We had most of our meals here, as part of the all-inclusive package we'd paid for.

The meals were most often buffets, with drink service from the wait staff. We usually were lucky enough to get a table with a great view of Great Bay, and the beach. It was wonderful sitting in the sun enjoying our morning coffee!

The food was always good, and there was lots of it!

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 24, 2001

The Supper Club

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Restaurant

The Mighty Dow  Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
Three of the dinners in our all-inclusive package were scheduled for "The Supper Club", the more upscale restaurant at our hotel. Instead of the buffets we'd gotten used to at the Bella Vista Restaurant, these were multi-course served meals. One night was "Seafood Night", with seafood crepes and scallop chowder for appetizers. That night, Ivon ate red snapper, and I had a shrimp pasta. The second time we ate there was French night, with consomme and Grand Marnier-marinated melon for appetizers, and steaks. Our final night we were served a choice of prime rib or chicken "pocoloco", the chef's secret recipe. There is a dance floor, but the only dancing occured on the ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 25, 2001

Fort Amsterdam

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Attraction

Fort Amsterdam  Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
Fort Amsterdam sits on a peninsula between Great Bay and Little Bay, in view of Phillipsburg, Dutch Sint Maarten's capitol. To get to it, we had to walk through a neighbouring resort, Divi Little Bay. There is one intact building, a small house that appears to have been used recently for storage, and the remains of the fort's outer walls, and foundations of a couple of other buildings. In addition, there are some old cannons still in place at the walls. The view of Phillipsburg, and the cruise ships that come in to port, from Fort Amsterdam is great, and we took several pictures of Great Bay, in addition to the photos of the fort itself. Admission is fr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 24, 2001

The Butterfly Farm

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Attraction

A Butterfly... Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
The staff at the Butterfly Farm is very knowledgeable, and give tips on attracting local butterflies to your garden at home. The tour begins with a talk about butterflies' life cycles (very interesting to a biology teacher on vacation), and then you are taken through the screened-in area filled with hundreds of butterflies. When we were there, there were a couple of bus-loads of tourists from the visiting cruise ships, but to anyone who is staying on the island, they offer unlimited re-admission to the farm, after paying the initial $10.00. At different times of day, different things are going on inside the Butterfly Farm, including the emergence of new adults from chry...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 24, 2001

The Market at Marigot

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Attraction

Just Browsing... Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
The market at Marigot was full of booths filled with kitschy souvenirs, and local crafts.

Everywhere hung brilliantly-coloured fabrics (beach wraps were popular...huge, brightly-coloured and patterned rectangles of material which would serve as a sarong-style skirt or dress to cover up at the beach or poolside), and most tables were covered in T-shirts ($10.00 for 3).

Some tables were unique, with locally-made jelly-candles, accented by local shells or stones, or water-colour prints from local artists. A couple of booths were selling spices...the smells were heavenly!

We visited this market a few times, browsing, mostly, but buying as well.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 24, 2001

Pic Paradis

Attraction

Quote:
The view from Pic Paradis is breathtaking. From various points at the top, you can see Marigot, the French capitol, and Phillipsburg, the Dutch capitol, and the islands of St. Barthelmy, Tintamarre, and Anguilla. Some of our favourite photos were taken from the top of Pic Paradis, which is the highest point on the island.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 6, 2001

Traffic Jam Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
Before travelling to Sint Maarten, I'd heard from several people who'd been there before that the taxis were very expensive, and the bus service, while being a more thrifty option, was not on a strict schedule. We decided to rent a car. After landing, and waiting in the Customs line, and getting our bags, we were inundated with choices for car-rentals, ranging from recognized North American companies, to "Island Car Rental" and the like. We decided to stick with a known company, and boarded the shuttle bus (mini-van) for Budget Rent a Car. We hadn't reserved a car, so those people with reservations were taken ahead of us, but eventually we were able to rent a car. Our car was a green ...Read More