Our first visit to St Martin and loved it. Rented a villa in Terres Basse, first time trying a villa - it will be difficult to do anything but that in the future. Great view of the ocean, completely private pool, quality throughout. My wife started the week with a poolside massage right at the villa. We highly recommend Shelley from Touch Therapy.
Went to a different beach everyday, each one was great. Went back to Orient Beach a second time as we enjoyed the people watching and variety of places to eat. Went to Happy Bay mid afternoon but didn't stay, pretty, but a few local youth made the atmoshere a little different from what we expected.
Certainly felt safe everywhere we were. Made sure we didn't leave anything in the car. Have been more concerned about safety on other islands.
Enjoyed Marigot, especially the french bakery across from the market area. Often grabed a take out lunch and headed for a beach.
Rented a little car, no problems with it or getting around the island. Did find the low season much slower than we expected. When we went out for dinner there were often only a few couples in the entire restaurant. Wouldn't want them crowded but thought there would be more people than we saw.
Really enjoyed the french side more than the commercialized Dutch side. Lolos in Grand Case were great.
Arrived on a Sunday afternoon, went to the grocery store near the lift bridge on the way to Marigot. Should have waited until other stores were open Monday - selection was not good. Found much better stores through the week. Great new one in Cupecoy, small but quality is great.
Had an incredible week. Would certainly go back. Hopefully will return next May. Would highly recommend the island and the villa route.