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Newlyweds - Looking for advice

Fairview Heights...
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Newlyweds - Looking for advice

My fiancé and I are planning a trip in July 2014 and would like somewhere where we can explore (we have done the all-inclusive trips and feel like after a few days we are "stuck" on the resort).

As I read more and more about the island, it seems like what we would be looking for. Beaches, slightly hilly terrain, French flavor in parts, a casino, beautiful views, friendly locals, nightlife, snorkeling, beautiful sailboats - to name a bit of what we are looking for.

We are considering renting a car - any thoughts?

Also, we intend to stay for 6 or 7 nights. Would anyone recommend staying at multiple locations? Maybe near the nightlife/casino/touristy area for a night or two and then maybe a qaunt B&B or small resort?

We'd like to mix it up a bit and my fiancé love French style and cuisine.

All comments and suggestions a re very appreciated!!!

Best Regards,

Sam

Staten Island, New...
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1. Re: Newlyweds - Looking for advice

http://www.lepetithotel.com/

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You can do it all but you must have a rental vehicle to fully enjoy this island.

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http://www.sxm-info.com/

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Congratulations & Best Wishes !!

Berkshire, United...
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2. Re: Newlyweds - Looking for advice

Bobcat - don't you ever sleep??? Le Petit is lovely

Staten Island, New...
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3. Re: Newlyweds - Looking for advice

Hi Tilly - we had the A/C off last evening, to save a few $$$, it got really humid, I was up before the rooster....lol....

=====================

How's life in Merry Olde England?

Berkshire, United...
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4. Re: Newlyweds - Looking for advice

FAB as always:)...

Richmond, VA
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5. Re: Newlyweds - Looking for advice

Hey Sam congratulations on your wedding!

My wife and I (26 and 27) have been down to SXM twice in 2013 because we're in love with it that much. I would DEFINITELY suggest renting a car. The roads are okay and if you make sure that the copilot has a map in hand you should be fine getting around the island. The only issues you'll run into that are confusing are the roundabouts if you're not used to them and construction detours if there happens to be any (i doubt that there would be in July - that's the busy season for SXM and wouldn't think that they would do any scheduled road maintenance when it's busy)

We like staying on the French side because, although I love to go out for a drink, I prefer to be far away from the drunk american tourist crowds that seem to be concentrated in some of the dutch areas. We have stayed up around the Orient Beach area via condo rentals from private owners and we have faired very well with that, great "bang for your buck" when you go that route.

The wife and I have considered staying in the Dawn beach area next time because there are amazing properties there, it's on the Dutch side, kinda close to the fun stuff in Phillipsburg and Simpson Bay etc... but also close to Oyster Pond and the French line so I feel that Dawn Beach may be an area for you to look into if you wanted a middle of the road pic.

I am absolutely in love with the Orient area, you might feel a bit silly if you don't speak French because from my experience the majority of folks vacationing there are French expats for French people on vacation so they'll all generally start conversations in French, then realize you're american and switch to English. We only ran into two people in the 17 days we've spent there this year that we could not communicate with.

Enjoy and feel free to ask questions in this thread or a PM! I'd love to help

chad

Cupecoy Bay, St...
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6. Re: Newlyweds - Looking for advice

Actually Chad, July is in the middle of our low season and when many construction projects take place, especially the roads as the schools are out and buses don't have to pass,

Philipsburg, St...
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7. Re: Newlyweds - Looking for advice

Le Petit Hotel and L'Esplanade (both in Grande Case, same owner) are both fabulous guest houses (no restaurant on premises although room service breakfast is an option. Le Petit is very small, but right on the beach, L'esplanade is up on the hill with swimming pool overlooking the bay. At Le Petit parking can be a problem, L'Esplanade has plenty. I rented multiple rooms at L'Esplanade for my sisters wedding (we had the wedding at a restaurant down on the beach) and it could not have been more romantic, down to fresh, fragrant Frangipani petals on the huge wooden four poster bed. My sister stayed on for a few days of honeymoon and enjoyed every minute. Beautiful "trash the dress" photos taken under, and jumping off the end of, the dilapidated concrete pier in the middle of the beach where you have a bunch of little local BBQ joints with an amazing selection of food and the cheapest, coldest, excellent French Rose of any restaurant on the island. Grande Case is full of excellent French restaurants - you could pick a different one every night and still not sample them all. There are a number of restaurants on the beach with beach chairs to relax the day away - Calmos Cafe and Rainbow are 2 of our favorite. There is a little water sports center at Grande Case Beach Club (also nice beach to relax on) with various craft to rent and Octopus Divers on the same road and within walking distance of L'Esplanade - both can take you on snorkel trips to Creole Rock (and diving of course with Octopus). There is a good grocery store just 5 minutes drive away from Grande Case. And the ferry to Pinel Island which has great snorkeling and 2 very good restaurants (Karibuni our favorite, but the other is also very good) is just around the corner. Infact everything you need for the quieter part of your week is just 5 minutes away by car. Some sailboat trips leave from Marigot and Anse Marcel and sometimes from Grande Case itself - otherwise most of the trips leave from Simpson Bay or Philipsburg (try the 12Meters if you are into racing). While you will find some nightlife in the resorts around Grande Case, most after hours fun happens in the Simpson Bay / Maho area which is about a 30 minute drive at night from Grande Case. You could certainly split between the 2, or compromise with a guest house in Simpson Bay like Mary's Boon Beach Hotel which is lovely, but not quite as special as Le Petit or L'Esplanade, but it is only a 5 minute drive from the night life. Where ever you stay I do suggest a car to take full advantage of what our island has to offer - like a trip to Loterie Farm to challenge yourselves on the Zip Line and afterwards eat a yummy lunch at their Hidden Forest Cafe or relax in their breezy Tree Lounge. So much to do - so much fun to have:) Enjoy!

Cupecoy Bay, St...
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8. Re: Newlyweds - Looking for advice

Le Petit is STILL on my bucket list.

Berkshire, United...
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9. Re: Newlyweds - Looking for advice

And parking is not a problem!

Rhode Island
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10. Re: Newlyweds - Looking for advice

Rent a car it is very easy driving the roads and you'll never feel trapped. My wife and did the all-inclusive thing for a couple years and ended up feeling like we were stuck on the resort as well. We started travelling to SXM in 2010 and haven't missed the all-inclusive environment at all.

In regards to staying in different places my wife and I have done this twice and will be doing it again in September and I hate to do it. Most of the places we have relocated to have been pretty close, but you feel like you lose a day packing that could be used at the beach. We've never stayed on the French side of the island and looked into doing so this September , but as strange as it sounds we decided not to because of the hours of operation of the gym we would have to use. if you exercise while away let me know and I can make some recommendations.

The driving is pretty easy and by the end of the trip you'll feel very comfortable behind the wheel. The best part about having a car is getting to different beaches and exploring everything the island has to offer. You can also have more flexibility for going to dinner and other activities.

Good luck with the decision.

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