Wow wow wow... perhaps our best visit yet to St. Martin!
We arrived without incident and were met at the airport by Carimo Villa Rentals (we had booked through Luxury Retreats). We rented the villa Nid d'Amour in Baie Rouge and were given a terrific orientation of the villa upon arrival. We got settled, went grocery shopping at the Super Marche near Sandy Ground (last time we go there... subsequent trips to Le Grand Marche in Cupecoy were SO much better!) Our first night, we had drinks and tapas at Ernest and Fidel's in Cupecoy (the only other patrons were two women who lived in the neighboring condos!)
During our vacation, we went twice to Pinel Island (chair side service from Fabien... he was the best!) We ate at Karibuni both times and really enjoyed those days.
We went once to Orient Baie... there was far too much seaweed for us to enjoy the water (in contract to Pinel, where we never left the water). We at at Kontiki and had a really great lunch and endless drinks.
We went one day to Anse Marcel... great drinks, great food, incredibly quiet... fed the fish (my 4 year old son loved that!) some of the left over baguette from our lunch. The water is calm and the hillside on either side of the bay is beautiful).
We made stops at Rosie's at Mullet Bay and Raymond's at Baie Rouge... both served terrific ribs and fries, and the Raymond's Special blended frozen drink is NOT for the alcohol intolerant!
We had lunch one day at Lee's Roadside (A disappointment! Usually it's a highlight on our day of departure... but THIS departure day they had run out of lobster!!!)
We had dinner at Aux Quatre Vents, and I enjoyed that an awful lot.
A little time at the Atlantic casino, and I had lost $500... only to be soothed by Manhattans at Bernie's. The drinks and edamame were so good that we went another night for dinner... and thoroughly enjoyed it. We'd never been there before and we will definitely go back.
But the real high point of our vacation was dinner at Le Cigale. I wasn't sure I'd be satisfied not going to Temptation (as we had decided to swap our annual trek to Temptation with a new experience, instead). However, I was MORE than pleased with our new find. Le Cigale was everything we could have hoped for: a romantic setting, incredibly indulgent food (we had the seared fois gras swimming in an emulsion of fois gras and truffle oil; sea bass; rack of lamb). This restaurant is absolutely a foody's paradise... and it's now my new must-do on the island.
Other stops included Sunset Bar and Grill (pretty much done there... nothing novel about the experience anymore). Also went to a place near Lee's (don't remember the name nor the food). On a Trip Advisor recommendation, we went to Divi Little Bay's buffet and Caribbean steel drums... a nice enough evening. And we had a chef from Fabulous Feasts come cook at the villa for us one evening... it was terrific (though had been even better in year's past!)
And now we're back... it seems a distant memory, except that I'm already searching for a long weekend package while we figure out nnext year's annual 10-day vacation!