Post # 1
My fiance and I are thinking about booking our honeymoon to St. Maarten in the Virgin Islands and want to know what your experiences have been!!! We have heard the food is AMAZING and that there are some of the best, most relaxing beaches there! I also have heard that it is very low-key and not much going on for bars/nightlife—anyone care to help us out with restaurant suggestions or any info. if you have gone there!?!?!?
Post # 3
I’ve been to St. Martin/St. Maarten twice, and it is a beautiful island! The first time I stayed at Divi Little Bay but explored both the Dutch and French sides of the island by car while we were there. Little Bay is very calm, relaxing and restful. Orient Beach on the French side, where we spent an afternoon, was one of the best beaches I’ve ever visited in terms of beautiful water and wonderful waves. However, the one downside is that the French side does allow some nude beaches. (We did not partake of that opportunity; however, we did have to choose to avert our eyes from some who did, lol.) On my second visit, I stayed at a Villa on the French side. Unfortunately, the beach below our villa was quite rocky and did not allow us to enjoy the water. I did make a quick visit to Baie Rouge on that trip, and it was quite lovely.
Marigot on the French side and Phillipsburg on the Dutch side both offered wonderful shopping opportunities! Also, we ate many meals in Phillipsburg and they were all absolutely delicious!
I have friends who stayed at the high-end property La Semana on the French side, and they just raved and raved about it.
The only caveats I have for you are these: If you go during the summer, the mosquitoes will absolutely eat you alive starting in the late afternoon/early evening, especially in the open-air restaurants at dinner. (I am not a fan of bug spray, so I suffered through it, but I was devoured. If you’re not opposed to insect repellent, I would strongly advise using it.) The other is that the island seemed to be nicer, cleaner and safer during my first trip, although it was not “bad” on the second, about five years after the first. I would talk with your travel agent and also check out Trip Advisor, Fodor’s and Frommer’s online to see which properties they recommend currently.
I hope you have a wonderful trip, whatever you decide!
Post # 4
@limebling44: My now fiancé and I went to St. Maarten for a week a couple of years ago. I have to be honest, I would not want to honeymoon there. You are right in that it is very low key. There wasnt much to do other than eat and go to the pool or beach. Being from south Florida, the beach isnt anything out of the ordinary for us, so depending on where your from your opinion may differ. We never experienced any amazing food. Everywhere we went had ordinary food that you could find anywhere in the U.S. In fact, we found that they really catered to the tourists, meaning their food was purposely americanized. I ate a lot of pizza. Very expensive pizza. To avoid eating out for every meal, we did go grocery shopping. A box of cereal was about 10 dollars if I remember correctly. And god forbid you should have trouble with your luggage. When we landed my bag was waiting in the airport safe and sound, but my fiances was nowhere to be found. They promised they would deliver it to our resort when it arrived, but they never did fulfill that promise. We called the airport multiple times and no one would help us, so four days into our trip we finally drove to the airport to see what was going on. The luggage had been there for days, they just didn’t bother to contact us or deliver it as promised. Of course this is all just my opinion. I am sure many people would have wonderful things to say about their time in St. Maarten but we were just really unimpressed. I think I would have been happier visiting for a day on a cruise, rather than staying there a whole week. I will say that the resort we stayed at was nice, but it was undergoing construction while we were there which was very noisy. They had a beautiful pool area though. Do you know where you would stay?
Post # 5
Thanks for the fast responses, Ladies! I think we are thinking about staying at the LePetit hotel right on the water…a friend of our’s recommended this hotel and said there were some really great beaches nearby! I would love to hear more, though, good or bad just in case we change our minds!!:)
Post # 7
If Kali’s Bar on Friar’s Bay is still there than you have died and gone to HEAVEN just saying.
I love St Maarten’s – my favorite spot in the Caribbean
Post # 8
I liked St. Marrten when I went. Things on the island are expensive, but once you get over that I’d say it is what you make it.
I went with a few friends, we went ziplining, snokeling, and did another boat trip. It wasn’t the best place for snorkeling, so I’d pass on that.
Although not the quite/georgeous beach you may be expecting, there is a beach at the end of the airport runway. If you can get the timing of when big planes come in it’s pretty cool to go hang out on the beach and watch.
Another thing we really liked was the craft market, it was pretty focused on tourists, but a kind of cool thing to see. I can’t remember the what the place was called, but it’s an area that has a bunch of good open air BBQ restaurants. We had BBQ for dinner and then just walked down the street and looked at things. I think the market was on Tuesday nights, but may have changed.
My dad actually went a couple weeks after I did and stayed at Le Petite Hotel. He loved it.
I’d also suggest you rent a car and watch out for speedbumps! The driving there is probably like most islands, small roads and drivers who seem to have no fear, but it seemed that renting a car was the best way to get around. We had considered renting bycicles instead – so glad we didn’t- the island is fairly small but full of hills/mountains!
Post # 9
We honeymooned there! As far as things to do there is more there than at most of the other Caribbean islands, which still isn’t a ton. We stayed on the French side, at the Alamanda hotel in a very lovely (and large) suite with an outdoor porch that was right on Orient beach. There were really good restaurants in the area, the beach was very nice, we went horseback riding, we took a sunset catamaran cruise, hopped on the ferry for a day trip to Anguilla (gorgeous beach), went to the bar at the airport where the planes land and take off right next to the beach, and did some other fun-but-touristy stuff. The food is good on the French side. Bring a lot of cash, a lot. Many places either don’t take credit cards or will charge you a crazy exchange rate if you pay with credit card vs. cash and there aren’t many ATMs around.
Post # 10
Thank you for the excellent advice and suggestions! Any other Bees want to share their experiences or tips about St. Maarten?
Post # 11
I stayed there in the Sonesta Maho Beach 2 years ago. My fiancÃ© and I plan on going for our honeymoon because we enjoyed it so much. We were there for 3 days 2 nights but it was the most relaxing vacation ever. We did the all inclusive option and the food and beverages were amazing. Way past my expection for being inclusive. We are also both pilots and dorks so we loved watching the planes coming in. There is/was a bar across the beach from the resort that had the arrival times and a broadcast of the airport tower frequency. I’ve heard it closed but reopened, so no idea if it is still there. It is my favorite of all the islands.