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Old 01-22-2016, 09:18 AM   #21
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We stayed there for a week about 5 years ago. We absolutely loved it! If you like beaches and food you won't be disappointed. If you want the swanky/high end feel you won't get that here though. We stated on the Dutch side for 1/2 our trip and the French the other 1/2. I'd highly recommend doing the same if you can as it really is two different islands.

A couple things to do:
Turtle farm - go 2 hours before sunset
Calmos (Grand Case) - restaurant with a little intimate beach. Fun to walk the town at night too
Beaches - You must hit as many as you can around the island. They are all so very different
Car rental - a must for us here

Stay away from Philipsburg, its about the only place on the island where you'll get the normal tourist trap shopping stuff. It is always where the cruise ships come in so best to be avoided.
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Old 01-22-2016, 09:22 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
If I had my druthers, I'd fly into St. Martin and take a boat over to St. Bart--playground of the rich and famous.
We honeymooned for two weeks
in St Barths. Very nice and more upscale than St Martin but twice as expensive as well. Hard to understand as both French islands are within sight of each other.

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Old 01-22-2016, 04:43 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by YeahNo View Post
We stayed there for a week about 5 years ago. We absolutely loved it! If you like beaches and food you won't be disappointed. If you want the swanky/high end feel you won't get that here though. We stated on the Dutch side for 1/2 our trip and the French the other 1/2. I'd highly recommend doing the same if you can as it really is two different islands.

A couple things to do:
Turtle farm - go 2 hours before sunset
Calmos (Grand Case) - restaurant with a little intimate beach. Fun to walk the town at night too
Beaches - You must hit as many as you can around the island. They are all so very different
Car rental - a must for us here

Stay away from Philipsburg, its about the only place on the island where you'll get the normal tourist trap shopping stuff. It is always where the cruise ships come in so best to be avoided.

Thanks for the tips on things to do. As it turns out we are staying near Philipsburg so it'll be tough to avoid. As they say on the French side, "C'est la vie"!
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Old 01-22-2016, 08:25 PM   #24
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Thanks for the tips on things to do. As it turns out we are staying near Philipsburg so it'll be tough to avoid. As they say on the French side, "C'est la vie"!
Haha, ok. Don't worry, you guys will still love it! The island is relatively small so get out and explore the other villages while you are there.
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Old 01-25-2016, 02:05 PM   #25
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We stayed AI on the French side. Every meal French cuisine with wine. Burp, hic. Loved it. The two sides are so different. Vive la difference!
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:30 AM   #26
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Just got back from our trip to Divi Little Bay on the Dutch side. Here are our impressions:
Customs at Princess Juliana Airport was a breeze. Off the plane and out the door, always a good start! A $20 cab ride got us to the Divi. Our room there was a typical studio with a balcony, but right on the beach. Photo below is from our balcony. We soon found out that most of the Divi is a timeshare resort. Most of the people we met there were timeshare owners who had been coming for 10, 15, 20 years! All nice folks.
Dollars are widely accepted everywhere, on both the Dutch and French sides, and costs were reasonable. We decided beforehand we were going to take taxis instead of renting a car, and after seeing the crazy drivers on the narrow, often congested roads, we're glad we did. Taxis are plentiful, and the drivers were all friendly. Rates are zone-based and regulated.
http://taxistmaarten.com/wp-content/...riff-20141.pdf
Weather hovered around 80 the entire time, with only one afternoon of rain. That allowed us to walk into Philipsburg often, which was about a 20 minute hilly walk from Divi. We did learn from locals that Philipsburg is not where you want to be hanging out after dark, when the cruise ships have departed. It gets shuttered and desolate. (That may be the genesis behind someone's earlier "dump" comment.)
Our only experience with the French side was a day trip to the town of Marigot, which was pleasant enough, but we never made it to the more remote French beaches to sample the "scenery"😳.
All in all, we had a great time. Everyone we encountered was pleasant, maybe with the exception of the aggressive timeshare pushers. We'd go back, but there are still many places we haven't been to yet!
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:51 AM   #27
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The Caribbean island, that is. Going there soon, and would appreciate suggestions from those who may have visited recently. We're staying on the beach on the Dutch side, hoping to rely on taxis for the few times we may want to wander. Ideas on restaurants, places to see (and avoid), anything at all are welcome. Thanks!
We just arrived in Anguilla staying for a week. Just finished St Maarten/St Martin. Here are my observations:

1) Stay away from airport area
2) If you're into buying booze or trinkets/tee shirts go to Philipsburg. Preferably on a Monday since no ships or maybe one on that day.
3) Rent a car for at least half your trip. You need to go to the French side for many of the good beaches. Plus you'll want to go to Gran Case for a lunch or dinner. They also have Mardi Gras night there on Tuesdays.
4) The people on the Dutch side are very friendly. I think 75% were from Boston or NY/NJ. Kind of a family as many go down the same time each year. The cabbies are really polite.
5) Cab rides will be $30 for two for sure each way. Only if you're going a few miles will they charge $15. So, if you plan on getting out each day it will be cheaper to rent.
6) There are a ton of cars on the island. If you're anywhere near a town it will be slow going. No one moves very fast.
7) Hit a store and grab some water, snacks and booze. One thing is don't freak out about the prices because many are in Caribbean $ and you need to divide by 2.7 to get to U.S.

Enjoy!
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:24 AM   #28
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We just arrived in Anguilla staying for a week. Just finished St Maarten/St Martin. Here are my observations:



.

7) Hit a store and grab some water, snacks and booze. One thing is don't freak out about the prices because many are in Caribbean $ and you need to divide by 2.7 to get to U.S.



Enjoy!

That may be true on Anguilla, but I'm pretty sure on St Martin when prices are quoted in dollars, it means U.S. dollars.
http://www.frommers.com/destinations...-martin/729439

You guys are doing it big! St Martin, then Anguilla. Nice!
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:48 AM   #29
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Just got back from our trip to Divi Little Bay on the Dutch side. Here are our impressions:
Customs at Princess Juliana Airport was a breeze. Off the plane and out the door, always a good start! A $20 cab ride got us to the Divi. Our room there was a typical studio with a balcony, but right on the beach. Photo below is from our balcony. We soon found out that most of the Divi is a timeshare resort. Most of the people we met there were timeshare owners who had been coming for 10, 15, 20 years! All nice folks.
Dollars are widely accepted everywhere, on both the Dutch and French sides, and costs were reasonable. We decided beforehand we were going to take taxis instead of renting a car, and after seeing the crazy drivers on the narrow, often congested roads, we're glad we did. Taxis are plentiful, and the drivers were all friendly.
Great! Glad you had a good time. One of the things I learned early on about the internet is the need to filter negative and positive comments about food/travel/housing.

Again, I'm always reminded of being in a very upscale resort hotel and people at the next table were complaining loudly about "stuff floating in our orange juice" (pulp); they had just never had fresh squeezed orange juice with real pulp and thought there was something wrong with it. If there had been a Yelp! in those days, I'm sure the hotel would've had a bad review from these two clowns!
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