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dutch vs french side? Grand Case vs Blue Pelican?

Saint Louis...
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dutch vs french side? Grand Case vs Blue Pelican?

My family, husband/kids 21,18,15, are going to St Maarten for a week at New Years. Last minute vacation and we haven't finalized lodging, obviously it is a busy travel time but we are stuck on dates due to schools. I was able to get 5 nights in a villa at Grand Case Beach Club , and now also could rent a 2 bedroom suite at the Blue Pelican Vacation Rental for the week.

Either? Both? Any feedback? Both places look lovely but are on opposite sides of the island. Is there a reason to stay on both sides of the island ie split and do 4 nights one place, 3 the other? If not, what side would you recommend? We will rent a car so we can explore. We love the beach, love to hike and eat great food. We want some nightlife but not too much, mostly to be together and relax.

Caracas
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1. Re: dutch vs french side? Grand Case vs Blue Pelican?

If you have a car, everything will be easy. I like french side, more scenic and better beaches. Grand case is lovely, the best restaurants in town are there (french, italian, japanese and Lolos). But again, if you have a car, you can go anywhere without any problem and both sides are very good, so you can stay wherever you want. I think the key is search the comments for both hotels and choose the best ranked.

Cedar Point, North...
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2. Re: dutch vs french side? Grand Case vs Blue Pelican?

"We love the beach, love to hike and eat great food. We want some nightlife but not too much, mostly to be together and relax."

This comment pretty much sums up Grand Case for us.

Edited: 01 November 2012, 17:22
Cupecoy Bay, St...
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3. Re: dutch vs french side? Grand Case vs Blue Pelican?

Personally I would not waste the time on moving mid week. As Adgapa said, the island is small and if you have a car you can get anywhere in short time.

When we used to visit, our decision to stay on the Dutch side was based on:

1. We prefer a little bit more nightlife than Grand Case has to offer. Not late night clubs or casino's, but a little live music with dinner. That's our thing.

2. We do NOT like to drive here very far at night, and since we like #1 above...... During the day, we could travel all over the island to visit beaches etc. Stay close to home in the evening.

3. Cost of staying French side was more than our budget

Having said all that, Grand Case Beach Club has a wonderful reputation and you are in the heart of the Gourmet Capital of the Caribbean.

Your link doesn't take me anywhere. I believe I have friends who stayed at Blue Pelican.... but to be honest, I think there's a couple of Blue Pelicans so not sure it is the same. They really liked it.

Saint Louis...
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4. Re: dutch vs french side? Grand Case vs Blue Pelican?

The Blue Pelican is at www.bluepelicansxm.com, and is a newer small complex owned by the family that also runs Hotel L'Esplanade and Le Petit Hotel, which are very highly rated on Tripadvisor. It looks lovely and we could have the whole week, though it isn't on the beach. That is one concern. If we stay at Grand Case Beach Club I can only get the suite for 5 days, and I haven't been able to find another property for the whole week of Dec 30-Jan 6th . So then the question is Grand Case for 5 days or The Blue Pelican for 7? How long is the drive from the Dutch side to Grand Case?

Triangle, NC
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5. Re: dutch vs french side? Grand Case vs Blue Pelican?

Hiking, food and beach? Yeah, Grand Case is your place. You are close to Pic Paradise for hiking, surrounded by restaurants and close to some great beaches. But as been said before, if you rent a car, nothing is far away.

Long Island, NY
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6. Re: dutch vs french side? Grand Case vs Blue Pelican?

Here's another thought that may be worth exploring. Perhaps look at a Villa in Terres Basses which for us is always the best location for exploring both sides of the island. (A car is always a must.) Anything unrented at this point should be negotiable so make an offer based on YOUR budget and you may be surprised at what you can get. Ist place that I would look would be www.VRBO.com which is Villa Rental By Owners. There you can send an email offer directly to an owner and bypass agents protecting their own commissions. Good luck.

Cupecoy Bay, St...
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7. Re: dutch vs french side? Grand Case vs Blue Pelican?

That's a tough week!!!! Pretty busy. The odds of finding a place for just a few nights are pretty slim. Personally, I would not want to move. You will just need to come back and stay on the "other" side! LOL

Saint Louis...
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8. Re: dutch vs french side? Grand Case vs Blue Pelican?

Thank you so much for the advice. A vacation villa is a great idea. I will spend some time tonight looking at villas on VRBO.com, and we are so excited for the wonderful relaxing week, I am sure I will be able to find something that will work for us.

Grand Case, Saint...
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9. Re: dutch vs french side? Grand Case vs Blue Pelican?

If you select Blue Pelican, which is a very nice property, but not real close to good food or beaches, so you would need a car. You are essentially right near Simpson Bay which does have restaurants, etc. but little in the way of GOOD food! From there you are about 15 minutes to Marigot, shopping and good/great food and about 20 minutes to Grand Case, great food as one of the posters already replied. The Dutch side is cheaper since they are based on the Dollar and also the Antilles Guilder. In Grand Case the beach is incredible and the restaurants line the beach. All of the good restaurants are along the main street in Grand Case and there are a few bars with seating on the beach where you can get lunch and swim. While you are there you may want to take the water taxi over to Pinel Island for the day. Several good restaurants and beaches. Our kids love it there. We live in Grand Case and find it fun, although there is a lot going on there with festivals, etc. so getting home after a night out can take some time. Now regarding Philipsburg, it pretty much closes up when the the Cruise Ships leave. Great shopping for just about anything you would want and some real fun places to eat, also a great beach. If you are the last one out, please turn off the lights :)

Cupecoy Bay, St...
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10. Re: dutch vs french side? Grand Case vs Blue Pelican?

There are incredible restaurants ALL over the island. Not just Grand Case. Grand Case has EXPENSIVE good restaurants.

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