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August 2014 Vacation - St.Maarten/St. Martin or Grand Cayman

Oshawa, Canada
7 posts
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August 2014 Vacation - St.Maarten/St. Martin or Grand Cayman

Hi: I am travelling with my wife and 2 sons (ages 20 and 18) around the 3rd week in August (7days/6 nights) and we are trying to decide whether St. Maarten/St. Martin or Grand Cayman would provide the best vacation. It would be preferable to stay very near to a nice beach as we spend lot of time in the ocean. We were thinking of going "vacation rental" instead of hotel as it seems that there are much newer properties available in this category (but we cannot seem to find much reviews on these) and we very much prefer to eat at local restaurants rather than in hotels. The other thing that is very important to us is free internet/wifi service as my sons spend a lot of time remaining connected. The attraction that we have for St.Martin is the Dutch/French experience while for Grand Cayman it is the famous 7 mile beach. The problem that we have is that we really do not know much about either place and would really appreciate some advice.

Many thanks,

KC

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
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55,486 posts
60 reviews
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1. Re: August 2014 Vacation - St.Maarten/St. Martin or Grand Cayman

Hi KGC ~

Here is the link to the St Martin's Forum where you need to post your question.

tripadvisor.ca/ShowForum-g147346-i222-St_Maa…

If you want to post on the Cayman Forum as well, just type "Cayman Island Forums" in the search field above the green menu bar.

This is the Support Forum, for technical questions.

2. Re: August 2014 Vacation - St.Maarten/St. Martin or Grand Cayman

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Oshawa, Canada
7 posts
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3. Re: August 2014 Vacation - St.Maarten/St. Martin or Grand Cayman

Thank you. I will look at options there.

Montreal, Canada
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151 posts
9 reviews
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4. Re: August 2014 Vacation - St.Maarten/St. Martin or Grand Cayman

I don't know much about Grand Cayman but I can definitely say that everything you want is exactly what you will get in St. Maarten. That is what makes the island so special, there are so many local restaurants, beaches and activities to do, that St. Maarten is more of an island to explore while on vacation. That is probably why there are so few all inclusive hotels here, that system just won't work here. There might not be a 7 mile beach, but there are like 20 to 30 beauitful beaches in St. Maarten each with their own charm.

Elmira, New York
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29 posts
225 reviews
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5. Re: August 2014 Vacation - St.Maarten/St. Martin or Grand Cayman

I have gone to St. Maarten for 6 years and would definitely suggest staying there! We've also always done the vacation rental route and have used Carimo.com. We have phenomenal relationships with them and they never steer us wrong. We work with a lady named Barbara and she gets to know you and what you're looking for and what your price range is and suggests villas accordingly. There are SEVERAL villas that are just minutes from the beaches. We are actually staying at a new villa this coming year, as the one we always stay in is already booked. Although I'm saddened as I loved the villa we've always stayed in, the new one looks absolutely beautiful and we are right over the border from the Dutch side. If you like to gamble at all or want to go in to town at night, I'd suggest that! We like the Italian cuisine on the island over the french, so it works perfectly for us. There are SO many beaches on the island, and several with their own different kinds of sand. I've gone since I was 23 and I've loved each year we've gotten to go! Hope that helps!

Jupiter fl
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2 posts
3 reviews
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6. Re: August 2014 Vacation - St.Maarten/St. Martin or Grand Cayman

St. Martin is wonderful in August and many local restuarants with your choice of French, American, and Italian cuisine. and most anything else. Do your self a favor, enjoy your family time and island time, leave your electronics at home.

Minnetrista...
Level Contributor
272 posts
15 reviews
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7. Re: August 2014 Vacation - St.Maarten/St. Martin or Grand Cayman

Hi, sorry I'm getting in on this discussion rather late. You may have already decidedl. My vote is for Grand Cayman. I've been to both places multiple times. I think GC offers the best beach experience since you are going to be spending a lot of time in the ocean. There are many condos there, right on the beach, all with wifi and just beautiful. There are also many fun restaurants within walking distance if you stay along 7 mile beach. No hotel food needed if you want to avoid it. GC for me offers a bit more of a secure feeling for me as well. IMO only, I feel pretty comfortable walking anywhere on GC, where as I cant say the same for St. Martin. I know you have to be careful anywhere you go, whether on an island or in the states, but I just have a bit more piece of mind on GC. Again, just MO, and no disrespect to St. Martin, as it is lovely.

Oshawa, Canada
7 posts
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8. Re: August 2014 Vacation - St.Maarten/St. Martin or Grand Cayman

Many thanks for all the replies and recommendations. We have finally decided that this year's vacation will be GO. We have booked a vacation rental on the beach. We will try St. Maarten next time as it seems that both areas are great vacation spots. Again, many thanks for the various posts.

Mechanicsburg...
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1 post
41 reviews
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9. Re: August 2014 Vacation - St.Maarten/St. Martin or Grand Cayman

Great choice. We always have gone to GC. We have 3 boys(8, 10, 15) always need something to keep them interested. Cayman has it. We choose St. Martin this year, just to see somewhere else. Well, "it ain't no Cayman" . Even my boys said they miss Cayman. I sit here now, actually in St. Martin with a few more days to go. I don't feel as safe as I did in Cayman. I can't walk anywhere like I did in cayman. We will not be returning to St. Martin for vacation. Seven mile beach is calm, beautiful, big, beautiful & amazing sand. I ran every AM. Left my stuff on the beach & never worried! Enjoy Cayman!!!!!

Chicago, Illinois
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38 posts
1 review
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10. Re: August 2014 Vacation - St.Maarten/St. Martin or Grand Cayman

Is St. Martin on the Dutch side safe? We are planning on staying in a villa that is on the beach. What is the crime rate? Thank you