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Thread: We'd like to try Sint Maarten. Any suggestions?

  1. #1
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    We'd like to try Sint Maarten. Any suggestions?

    Happy New Year to everybody,

    We are headed to Aruba in two weeks, as usual, and are really looking forward to it, but we thought for next year (2011) we'd like to try Sint Maarten/St.Martin. We've been there on cruise stops, but never for a stay-put vacation.

    We'd like to stay at Holland House on Front Street in Philipsburg, so we'd love to hear from anyone who has stayed there before, especially regarding restaurants, casinos and shopping within walking distance.

    Unlike Aruba, I don't want to drive in Aruba, so car rental is a non-issue. We'll just bite the bullet and take taxis whenever we want to go to Marigot.

    So, any comments and suggestions, helpful links etc would be greatly appreciated.

    Again, Happy New Year everyone.


    Glenn

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Don't know anything about the Holland House, but there is a gorgeous new Radisson on the French side. As your wife already knows, and your wallet has learned , the shopping in Phillipsburg is fabulous.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Orrin's Avatar
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    When ever you decide to try a new vacation spot, you should read the
    Consular Information Sheet for that location. The sheet for the Netherlands
    Antillies is at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p...s/cis_981.html.

    If you read down a bit you will find the following paragraph:

    "CRIME: Street crime remains a concern, especially in St. Maarten. Valuables, including passports, left unattended on beaches, in cars, and hotel lobbies are easy targets for theft, Visitors should leave valuables and personal papers secured in their hotel. Burglary and break-ins are increasingly common at resorts, beach houses, and hotels. Armed robbery occasionally occurs. The American boating community has reported a handful of incidents in the past, and visitors are urged to exercise reasonable caution in securing boats and belongings. Car theft, especially of rental vehicles, can occur. Incidents of break-ins to rental cars to steal personal items have been reported by American tourists. Vehicle leases or rentals may not be fully covered by local insurance when a vehicle is stolen. Be sure you are sufficiently insured when renting vehicles and other equipment."

  4. #4
    Senior Member Shnyda's Avatar
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    We spent a week at the Holland House in summer 2007. We loved Sint Maarten - the Island felt very safe (although a bit more poverty and drug dealers then Aruba). We rented a scooter for the week.

    Holland House is a good deal - it is the only hotel in the downtown Phillipsburg area and the streets really come alive when a ship comes into town. The hotel is very basic and nothing fancy but it was clean and friendly and in the middle of the beach. The only negative of staying in Phillipsburg is that there isn't a lot going on there after dark. There are a few small casinos and a handful of restaurants. The Maho beach area has a bit more nightlife. Our favorite restaurant was a few blocks down from Holland House and it was a little french place called Escargot. We loved that dinner and havent forgotten it.

    The Island has a great personality and it is fun to cross over to the French side and get a different flavor.

    We did a really fun boat pub tour - I am sure with a little googling you can find it. We rode around the lagoon on a catamaran and stopped at 3 or 4 bars.

    The bar in fron of the airport (I forget the name) is an experience you can't duplicate elsewhere. The planes come in right over your head - it is spectacular! They play air traffic control radio at the bar.

    PM me with any other questions.
    -Eric, Karen and Mia-
    Aruba New Years 2017-18 12/28/17 - 1/3/18 (18th Trip)


  5. #5
    Senior Member Terry Joz's Avatar
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    Hi, been to St. Maarteen stayed in the Maho Bech area. I don't know any details on the Holland House. Loved the area it was great not much happenening after dark downtown Phillipsburg but you can take taxi's up to Maho area for casino's and restaurants and also over to the French Side. I think you will really like it there. We plan to go back sometime in the future.

  6. #6
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    Iv'e been going to sxm for 30 years plus, aua for about half of that. Curious why Holland house? Sxm has much better choices for lodging, the majority of ts is on the dutch side but there are plenty of hotels on both sides and Philipsburg would be at the bottom of where I would stay. I would also suggest renting a car, it will be cheaper than taxis if you go out often during your stay, many local rental companies to choose from at reasonable prices. Philipsburg is geared toward cruisers and can be a zoo when 5 or 6 ships are in together including that new floating city that carries 6000. In my last 10 trips I have been to p burg once, nuff said. Go to ttol.com for all the sxm info you need.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Shnyda's Avatar
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    I agree somewhat is silverfox - If we ever return to SXM I am not staying in Phillipsburg.
    -Eric, Karen and Mia-
    Aruba New Years 2017-18 12/28/17 - 1/3/18 (18th Trip)


  8. #8
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    Loved St. Martin


    We went there in April 2010 and stayed at the Grand Case Beach Club. Absolutely loved it there. The beach isn't big, but it's very nice. Clean, and not rocky at all. The resort is very well kept and maintained to high standards. We had a room overlooking the bay on the second floor. Loved the view, a different mega yacht to see almost every day. The food in Grand Case was great, especially the LoLo's (local owned, local operated). Also really liked Los Calmos (feet in the sand dining). We felt very safe walking into town, the street is well lit and each resort/hotel has security guards at the entrances. The Beach Club has it's own security. Their restaurant was very good for all meals.

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