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My Impression of St Marteen

Denver
2 posts
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My Impression of St Marteen

My husband and I went to St Marteen (The Dutch Side) for our honeymoon for the first two weeks of June. I would never complain about haveing 10 days off of work, relaxing and resting, especially in the Caribieen but for anyone who is thinking about going here, I may suggest looking elsewhere. The water color is amazing - and some of the beaches are nice, but otherwise, the value for your money really isnt great. With some exceptions, the people are not too terribly interested in servicing you. Nothing is inexpensive or what I considered to be a "deal". The island itself is dirty and rundown, and we went all over the island (the French side included) looking for a diamond in the rough. Bottom Line- save your money and go elsewhere.

Massachusetts
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1,097 posts
36 reviews
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1. Re: My Impression of St Marteen

Well, I guess you are entitled to your opinion, but I would have to say that returning for the 6th time this year that I disagree with you. We have travelled to many of the islands and find this one island to be our favorite.

Burlington NC
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30 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: My Impression of St Marteen

Do you have any other "island" experiences to compare SXM to?

With regards to value of money ... yes, it is expensive, but that is mostly a function of the value of Euro vs. US$ ... the value of the $ has dropped about 50% in the last several years ... Seven years ago you could buy one Euro for <80 cents ... now it takes about 1.27 ...

I agree the island could benefit from some "house keeping" ... but from my experiences, that is typical of islands in general.

Phila, PA
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161 posts
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3. Re: My Impression of St Marteen

Wow! I wasn't sure that you were talking about SXM. We have been going for 20 years and seen many changes. Phillipsburg has a new boardwalk, beach and shops along the water. It's the prettiest setting that you could see in the Caribbean. The work was extensive and is NEW! The french side needs lots of work and the roads ain't great. The food can be from Lolo's (local cooking) to the most expensive French restaurants. We got a full rack of ribs and 2 side dishes from the Lido for $8.00. We have also stayed on 15 different islands and don't think that SXM is the expensive one. Sure you can go to very expensive eateries, but there are many that are a real bargain. Beaches are beautiful and the people of SXM are very friendly. I'm sorry that you had such a bad time, but for those of us who own timeshare down there we love it and cherish every vacation on St. Martin's.

San Miguel de...
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756 posts
61 reviews
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4. Re: My Impression of St Marteen

We have decided that French side of SXM is the perfect place for us to de-stress. November will be our 4th trip in 2 years. Great beaches, small hotels, fantastic food and friendly people. I find the Dutch side too much like Cancun but without the street hustlers. In the three years I have visited TA-SXM forum I can only remember a few unhappy visitors. 99% of the posts are positive.

Detroit
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176 posts
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5. Re: My Impression of St Marteen

Many people, considering the rise in crime on SXM along with many other variables, consider SXM to be yesterdays news. If you want the Caribbean the way it used to be, go to the British Virgin Islands.

Denver
2 posts
1 review
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6. Re: My Impression of St Marteen

tterry- good to know about the Brittish VI's. Been to St Thomas and Jamacia and really enjoyed. It appears my sentiments about SXM are not the majority, however, my impression.

West Chester Pa
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422 posts
19 reviews
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7. Re: My Impression of St Marteen

The last time somebody posted such a negative review, I did my best to "kill " him in my answer. I won't do that this time, because you were on your honeymoon after all, and it should have been the best week of your life. I think that a lot of people really miss the point of St Maarten. There is so much to see and do, so many terrific restaurants, great beaches, great nightlife, French/Dutch culture,etc., it's hard to believe that some people miss it. So the only other thing that it could be, is that they didn't go there for those things in the first place. They are looking for something different.

I probably wouldn't choose St Maarten for my honeymoon, but that's just me. I would probably choose St Barths or Anguilla or even St John before I would choose St Maarten. I think that those islands are more romantic, less crowded, and just have a more "honeymoon" atmosphere. Having said that, if you're looking for a really fun vacation with choices every day and night for something different to do, then St Maarten is definitely your place. If you want great restaurants, then St Maarten is IT! If you want to make friends and have a great time, then St Maarten should definitely be your choice. That's why people go back time after time. It's without a doubt one of the most popular islands in the Caribbean It probably needs less visitors and not more, but that doesn't seem to be happening. The islands are all different and you need to pick the one that matches your idea of a vacation. The BVI are wonderful, but secluded and quiet. It's like comparing tennis and football. They're both fun to watch, but they are definitely not the same.

San Miguel de...
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756 posts
61 reviews
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8. Re: My Impression of St Marteen

Well put on the differences between SXM and other locations. It really depends on what you are looking for.

We don't want the large, AI type resort. We stay on the French side and spend our time between the north side of Marigot and Oyster Pond. Small hotels and other options on housing, reasonable traffic, safe, easy to explore. Maybe not the ideal location for a honeymoon, but perfect for us and from the posters here and on TTOL it seems like most are happy with their SXM experience. It does get crowded in the high season, but what other prime locations are not.

We live in Northern VA and it looks like the Dutch side is having similar problems regulating development . The French side does not have those problems yet, probably helpted by the conveluted French real estate laws

With respect to safety, try wandering off the reservation in Jamaica, DR, VI or pestered by street hustlers in Mexico. There have been a few highly publicized incidents, but we have never been concerned it 3 visits in the last 18 months.

The food is fantastic. You could eat at a different restuarant every night for a year and be pleased with the experience.

There are great beaches and many other things to do (except golf). For us it is convenient (4 hrs.) and a perfect place to relax.

Arctic Bay, Canada
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2,939 posts
39 reviews
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9. Re: My Impression of St Marteen

The wife and i have traveled all over the Carribean and went to St. Martin this March for the first time....We both fell in love with the island the people we felt very safe, the beaches are beautiful..

We stayed @ the Mercure Simpson on the French side and walked to Baie Rouge beach....We both will return!!!

This resort was AI and the food was awsome and both of us did not find the island that expensive as we went ot Marigot and shopped alot....

We both just got back from Cayo Largo Cuba 2 weeks ago and search for prices for St Martin before we booked this trip but was not in our price range this time...But will definitly try for a September trip in St Martin ......

Safe Travels.....Jimmy

Peachtree City, GA
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10. Re: My Impression of St Marteen

My wife and I just returned from 2 weeks in St Maartin, 1 week sailing and the other at Great Bay Hotel. While I will agree with some of the points made, I think you also need to consider the season (this is off-season and many places were closed) and as others have said, how it compares to other islands. This was our first time and we would return again. As for the diamond in the rough, you should have visited the natural "mud baths" and beach at Tintamarrie. You would have a whole new appreciation of things.

I will submit a trip report soon for my wife and I's experiences.

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