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First trip to St. Maarten!!

Hamilton, Ontario...
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First trip to St. Maarten!!

This will be my first trip anywhere! I'm 31 coming to teh Island with my b/f of 9 months. I am sooo freaked out, but the island looks beautiful!! We will be staying at Sonesta Great Bay for a week. Does anyone have any advice? We are coming from Canada.

Staten Island, New...
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13,863 posts
13 reviews
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1. Re: First trip to St. Maarten!!

Visitors from Canada often take the all-inclusive with Sonesta. Whether or not you have, some dining around the island is recommended - visits to Grand Case -Orient Beach - Simpson Bay - Philipsburg - Marigot - various beaches -nearby islands - all recommended - car rental required - US dollars accepted island wide -credit cards -

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edsandra.com/photos2005/LargeOrientPanorama.…

edsandra.com/esgeneral/GrandCaseReference.htm

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

Boston...
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2. Re: First trip to St. Maarten!!

Last year my bf and I went to different areas/ city (?) each day. Maho seemed ideal for nightlife/ watching the planes fly in. Marigold was good for lunch time food and neighborhood exploration. Grand Case was great if you want French food, seeing that it's on the french side. Orient Beach was a favorite of ours for beach relaxation/fun. Our favorite nightly hangout was the Red Piano in Simpson Bay.

Taxi was the easiest way to get around, but beware some drivers are a little reckless. Hopefully, that was just the case for the ones that stationed themselves in front of our hotel-- we had the same drivers when leaving the hotel to go somewhere else.

When we asked several of the drivers on the dutch side if they had any suggestions for places to eat, they recommended Pineapple Pete's and Lee's Roadside bar & grille. I would recommend skipping those places. There was nothing particularly special, especially Pineapple Pete's. That was our only regret. Actually, not having mosquito repellent while sitting around in non-beach areas was my biggest regret.

Otherwise, explore and enjoy! And make sure to take a digital camera!

Hamilton, Ontario...
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3. Re: First trip to St. Maarten!!

Thanks so much for the replies, hope we will enjoy it as much as everyone else! Should we rent a car? we will be withing walking distance to Front Street?

Cupecoy Bay, St...
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10,267 posts
19 reviews
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4. Re: First trip to St. Maarten!!

Yes, rent a car - at least for part of your trip. Although I suspect you would pay less for a weekly rental.

This island is meant to be explored. If you stay in the great Bay area you will have a good time as Philipsburg can be a fun place. Taxi's are expensive. You can use the buses (which go right by your resort) to explore a bit, but only during the day.

Long Island, NY
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463 posts
146 reviews
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5. Re: First trip to St. Maarten!!

Send me an email at JVR13@aol.com and I will send you recommendations my wife and I have put together for family and friends based on 12+ years of trips to SXM. Many have found them helpful.

Austin Texas
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80 posts
79 reviews
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6. Re: First trip to St. Maarten!!

I agree with asll the posts.

Rent a car. You can save money by renting when you arrive but there is a bigger hassle factor and they are not quite as reputable as a Budget or Avis.

I have used Europ car via expedia a few times and they are good. Do not use thrifty.

Head out to Gran Case everynight for dinner. Eat at Le Cottage at least once and lunch on Orient beach. Dinner on the docks in Marigot is great. The only place ont the dutch side worth eating is Le Escargot.

Myrtle Beach, South...
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5 posts
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7. Re: First trip to St. Maarten!!

Philipsburg is good location for home base. Rent a car for a week. Take a drive all the way around the island. You can't get lost. Be sure to visit Busby's and Sunset Beach Bar.

Atascadero...
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33 posts
30 reviews
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8. Re: First trip to St. Maarten!!

why did you mention don't use Thrifty? I verbally made a reservation today on the phone....now I am worried...

New Jersey
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2,055 posts
56 reviews
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9. Re: First trip to St. Maarten!!

We've rented from Thrifty six times and haven't had a problem with them.

Auburn Washington
Destination Expert
for St. Maarten-St. Martin
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4,208 posts
6 reviews
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10. Re: First trip to St. Maarten!!

Good luck finding a place to park a rental for the week in Phillipsburg unless your at a resort with a parking lot.

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