My wife and I rented a two bedroom suite at the Atlantide Hotel in February 2005. My brother and his friend joined us on this trip.
Upon arrival, we were surprised at how poor and ugly the island was from an infrastructure point of view. We were expecting a fairly rich island. Once over this, we arrived at the Hotel situated in Grand Case. Again, it felt like a room in the middle of Havana... very poor and dirty area. The Atlantide Hotel seemed in better shape than the rest of the buildings in Grand Case. The hotel was clean and the view was marvelous and we became very comfortable there. And after 8 days on the island, we came to figure out that it was indeed one of the better spots to stay on the island.
We rented a car (a must) and drove all over the island to visit different beaches and attractions. The Maho beach area was a disapointment, you get buzzed by the airplanes landing at the airport and Orient beach was a little too commercial for us. All of the areas have the Havana look as in poor and delapitated. The whole island does not have a luxury hotel and even the restaurants in the much vaulted Grand Case were uglyand badly maintained. This being said, the food served in these restaurants was out of this world. Some of the best food we have ever had. This is the reason to stay in Grand Case.. the food.
In a nutshell, st Martins has great beaches (Cupecoy, Baie ROuge, Ile Pinel Orient Beach), excellent food (in Grand Case) and not much of anything else. The shopping is great in Marigot and awfull in Phillipsburg (only jewelery stores)
So my advice is to rent a car, do not get an all inclusive hotel (because the food outside of the resort is far superior) and drop your expectations on the overall infrastructure of the island and enjoy the food, the beaches and the relaxed atmosphere. We will return to Atlantide.
Best restaurant on the island: le Pressoir, the worst: Il Netuno (we all got food poisioning)
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Sunsea Atlantide Residence