Sorry, my brain 2was still filled with Mango Coladas and I forgot to post this last week when I finished it.
Trip Report â€“ Jan 29 â€“ Feb16, 2010
Another great visit to SXM.
Flights â€“ AA from St Louis to Miami to SXM. Originally I bought tickets on USAir last April for $565.pp/rt. A day before Christmas, received notice that they had changed schedule for my return flight and I now would have to spend a night in Charolette. Spending vacation money anywhere other than where I want to be is repugnant to me. By chance, caught a sale at AA for $525.pp/rt with only one stop in Miami, down and back. Planes were somewhat on time in all directions. Some early arrivals were lost with â€œpenalty timeâ€ on tarmac waiting for a gate.
Car Rental â€“ Amazed by cost savings of our SXM friend, Belinda, I decided to get a few bids
for the 18 days we would spend in Paradise. Our usual renter, Tropical/Tropicana, even with the Jeff Berger discount, came back at $530.00/wo 8% tax, Panoramic offered a price of $500. w/8%tax, but Lucky's/Hibiscus ( www.hlcars.com ) bid $399.60w/tax. I even double checked because they were quoting me off season prices for high season rental. I also checked for feedback. They are sponsors on TTOL and ELT, SXM web sites.
As we exited the airport, there was Lucky's rep, Guava, with our name on a sign. He helped us with our luggage to the parking lot where a delightful Maria filled out the paper work and we were off to Rambaud area to spend our first night with friends Paul and Carol at their affectionately known, JAPEC Hotel.
Phone â€“ Once again we rented a phone for these 18 days from Sharon Harris ( email@example.com
). $30. plus $10. worth of time. Convient to pickup and dropoff at Royal Palm. Worked perfect.
Rooms - First two weeks at Oyster Bay Beach Resort ( www.oysterbaybeachresort.com ) in a room overlooking Dawn Beach. Rooms are scheduled for renewal starting in Spring sometime, as well as the pool, which will have to close for 10 days for refurbishing. First week we had a 1 bedroom unit, the second week, friends arrived, so we had the adjoining lock-out room for them. To avoid flying home on Saturdays and to prolong our trip, we stayed the last three nights at Turquoise Shell Inn ( www.tshellinn.com ). We love this little place. Within walking distance of many restuarants, 50 feet from Simpson Bay beach, which if you're walking easily feels as long as Orient, and the place is convient to the airport.
Breakfast â€“ First morning with Japec Hotel Management, featuring Gooey Butter Cake flown in from St Louis.
Many breakfasts were in room. A couple mornings featuring bagels froms Grand Marche. A couple mornings Almond Croissants and Chocolate Twists from Orleans Bakery.
Andy and Cheryl's (2)- Both times, 2 Eggs, hash browns and toast, coffee - $7.50, service charge 1.25, tip 1.25. Still favorite view in morning.
Bonita's Cantina(2) â€“ (formerly Ric's) Stopped for lunch early in week and looked at breakfast menu. Caribbean Style French Toast caught our eye. French bread bagettes sliced, topped with banana slices sauteed with cinnamon and butter($7.00) [i216.photobucket.com
] . Other items tried at the table were Mexican Burrito [i216.photobucket.com
] , regular French Toast, Fresh Bagel and Lox [i216.photobucket.com
] , and the Fruit Cup which was raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, a scoop of yogart with walnuts on top. There was some honey mixed in there too. It's $7.00. All were wonderful! Bryan, the owner is very interesting to talk to. [i216.photobucket.com
Buccaneer Beach Bar â€“ Becoming a first lunch tradition. BBC's even without real bananas are great as are the Cheeseburgers. 2BBC's and a Cheeseburger is $21.00. No service charge.
BZH Creperie (2) â€“ Oyster Pond area [i216.photobucket.com
] . Enjoyed our favorite new salad, Campagnarde. A large bowl of romaine, with tomato slices, bacon, potatoes, and a fried egg on top [i216.photobucket.com
] . Vinegar/ oil dressing or creamy caesar. We also tried the buckwheat crepe, which is common in Brittany, France, with cheese, ham, and egg on top. [i216.photobucket.com
For dessert, we had the a vanilla and coffee ice cream with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. 2 teas. Converted to $37. no service charge. As mentioned before, English is a second language here, although the menu is in both French and English. Elaine
is the owner and tries very hard to please, even with her broken English. There are no charge cards and travelers checks only up to the cost of meal.
Our second trip we again had the Campagnarde Salad this time with crepe covered with hot fudge. A tea and a Ting. Converted to$27.00.
Beau Beau's (4) â€“ Probably one of best lunch values on SXM is 1/4# burger with thin fries, slaw, and a carib for $6.00. Enjoyed that twice while enjoying the view fo Dawn Beach.
Also tried their BLT, their Grilled Chicken wrap, and their new Grill Chicken wrap with a Mango sauce, although the sauce was a little too juicy and dissolved the wrap making holding it impossible. Our favorite server is Melicia [i216.photobucket.com
] is from Jamaica. 2 for 1 Carib. Works out to $1.25 a bottle.
Andy and Cheryl's â€“ Fresh Fish and Chips w/ 2 Vodka Lemonades - $30. +$5. ser.charge, $2.tip. Delicious. They were considering opening for Friday night dinner, but cost of extra security postponed that for the present.
Bonita's Cantina â€“ Norm tried the Cubana Sandwich which was Cheddar Cheese and Smoked Ham with Smoked Pulled Pork [i216.photobucket.com
] Comes with fries for $9.95. Betty had the Â½ slab of Smoked Ribs also comes with fries [i216.photobucket.com
] . Also for $9.95. We used our Caribbean Card for Ric's which they are still honoring. So only paid for one meal. $4. for two sodas, no service charge= $13.95 bill. $4.00 tip.
Caribbean Blend â€“ After a visit to our favorite Jeweler(DKGems) we took a stroll down some of the Boardwalk. At the end of the strawmarket between Front St and the Boardwalk is a growing restaurant called Caribbean Blend [i216.photobucket.com
] We stopped there a few trips/years ago while staying at the Sea Palace. Suzette [i216.photobucket.com
] still tends bar and makes undoubtly the best Mango Coladas @$6./ea.. Think she puts REAL fruit in them, because they are so good. They have a â€œfriendsâ€ sign up next to the bar. Betty and I signed it years ago. Name still there. We split a grilled chicken sandwich [i216.photobucket.com
] @$9.00. No service charge.
Sugar Cane Cafe(2) [i216.photobucket.com
] Friends â€“ Tom, Judy, Norm, and Betty â€“ This is our eating place before an afternoon of â€œgamingâ€ at the Atlantis Casino. Like the open air, the large menu, and the quality and taste of the food. Haven't had a bad meal there yet. First trip we tried the Dijon/Bacon/Swiss Chicken sandwich. Comes with thin fries. With a Ting and Tea - $18.00.
Second trip we sampled the â€œFreshâ€ made burger which is close to 1/2# and certainly not a premade patty. With Ting, tea and fries - $18.00.
No service charge at this restaurant.
Orange Fever â€“ On Orient Beach a couple places from Andy & Cheryl's. Took friends to lunch there. We had the fishburger. Quite good. Comes with fries. With tea and soda - $16.00 No service charge. $1.-1E.
Hilma's Winsor Castle â€“ Walked from Turquoise Shell pool to â€œthe Castleâ€ and got the last three Johnny Cakes. Had two of them with Salt Fish, one with Chicken. I enjoyed the Salt Fish, although two is probably my limit on any one trip. Betty said the chicken was just ok. $6.00 Total.
Here's Wayne and Louise at â€œthe Castleâ€ [i216.photobucket.com
Goat Fish Restaurant â€“ Great name. [i216.photobucket.com
] , [i216.photobucket.com
] . Owned by Karin [i216.photobucket.com
] of Talk of the Town The Goat Fish Restaurant is next to Simpson Lagoon in Fish Market next to drawbridge. Great place to eat and enjoy the breeze off Simpson Bay Lagoon. Had the Chicken dinner with slaw and rice - $8.00 [i216.photobucket.com
Johnny B's other restaurant is in this group and also Old Wife, Dr Fish.
Happy Island â€“ As mentioned in September Trip Report we started going to Happy Island to pick up chinese on way to friends house(JAPEC Hotel). Happy Island is run by Sali(left) and Mei [i216.photobucket.com
] . Both speak broken English, but are fun to talk to while waiting. We did it again this trip. This time we got only one serving of Sweet/ Sour Sesame Chicken for lunch. It comes with enough rice to make two nice meals. Shrimp LoMein was the only other different item ordered and is a favorite of our friend, Carol. A very enjoyable afternoon with take-out chinese and a swim in the JAPEC pool [i216.photobucket.com
Mark's Place â€“ Stopped for lunch before going shopping at grand Marche. Gouda Burger was good..Tom had the fall-off the bone ribs. Can't remember what Judy had. Did get to use our Caribbean Card for some discount.
Karakter's â€“ Attended Dan's Get Together at this Beach Bar. Tried a couple Tapas plates. One had Dates and Goat Cheese each wrapped with bacon. The other was pastry pillows, a couple with tuna mixture inside, the others with ground beef inside. Think each plate was $8.00.
Bistro Nu â€“ A typical French bistro. Small, local art covers the walls. We enjoyed this evening with our friends Paul and Carol and the owners of Tejon Perfume Store John and Cindy. [i216.photobucket.com
] . Bistro Nu is located in Marigot, across from the Stadium, where there's plenty of parking, and down a short walkway. The owner and waiter is Jean Claude. His chef is Christian. [i216.photobucket.com
] It's a fairly small place, but with a steady flow of customers.
Betty had a chicken dish. [i216.photobucket.com
] Sorry we both forgot what it was called. I had the flank steak with shallots [i216.photobucket.com
] . Paul, Carol, and John had the Coco Vin. [i216.photobucket.com
] Correctly made only with Rooster, not chicken, I was told,......several times.
Cindy had the Dover Sole. [i216.photobucket.com
Norm and Betty had the CrÃ¨me Brulee for dessert. John and Cindy almost fought for the last bite of their Porfiterolles.
Dinghy Dock(2) â€“ From French Bistro one night to Dock food the next,.....but all good. Located in the Captain Oliver complex, this wonderful little bar/restaurant get's your attention with their â€œPour Your Ownâ€ Happy Hour. But it keeps you there with good, inexpensive food. Their ribs, in our opinion, are some of the best on the Island. Ribs come with a small salad for $10. Add fries(enough for four) for $4.00.
La Bamba Beach Bar(3) â€“ Located between the Atrium and Royal Palm, every Sunday has live music. Mostly Rock and Roll, but some Country, Blues, and whatever strikes the performers fancy that night. There is a core group(5or 6) including Bob from Cover to Cover and Eddie from Latin Sugar. [i216.photobucket.com
] Various artist join in for a number or two.
Good drinks, reasonable prices. We went all three Sundays we were on SXM. They have a CrispyChicken Wrap which is quite good and a nice change from the usual grilled Chicken wrap. Chicken Tenders are also good. Burgers, Ribs, and other items are on the food menu.
Peg Leg Pub(2) â€“ The owner may have changed, but the Steaks are still great. This is the large filet. The vegetable for the night was green beans sauteed with butter and onions. [i216.photobucket.com
] . Went twice. Both times on wednesday night to hear Cover to Cover. [i216.photobucket.com
] They are wonderful, especially for us old folks. Highly recommend a reservation(early) if you're going on Wednesday. Caribbean cards are homored, but not on entertainment nights. Other meals at our table were Surf and Turf [i216.photobucket.com
and the Red Snapper. [i216.photobucket.com
Also tried a dessert [i216.photobucket.com
Service seems a little less smooth with new owner, although Shawn keeps an eye on everything. Food is still great.
Pineapple Pete's (2) â€“ Few will disagree that for an all round great dining experience, PP's is at the top of the list. Service is a model of what it should be. Food is tasty, regardless what you have. Our first trip was for two of our favorites. The Neptune Burger with Gouda cheese. [i216.photobucket.com
] and the CrÃ¨me Brulee. [i216.photobucket.com
We took friends the second time, howeverâ€ sand gravityâ€ had further clouded my brain, so I forgot to take pictures. They tasted their first Lobster Thermodor. Tom had a seafood bowl.
Mama Pizza â€“ A favorite overlooking Oyster Pond. We ordered and took back to our room. Good pizza. Still larger that the box. Ham and Bacon $15.50.
Chesterfields(2) â€“ Another favorite place. Had their grouper both times. First trip was Pan Fried.
] It was fried. It was great. One plate with two teas, service charge, and tip $30.00. Second trip with friends, we had the grilled grouper. [i216.photobucket.com
] Tom had their French Onion soup [i216.photobucket.com
] as well as their grouper. Judy had the Seafood Platter. [i216.photobucket.com
Lee's - Haven't visited here for awhile and it always smells so good driving past. Made this the first stop with our friends. Food is still ok. Service is still ok. It's a nice setting with live music. We had the rib/chicken combo. There is no service charge at this restaurant.
Cheri's â€“ Another oldie that we hadn't visited for a few years. We usually sit at the bar and have Cordell take care of us. But with friends visiting for the first time, decided a table would be better. [i216.photobucket.com
After a starter drinks, I had a burger. [i216.photobucket.com
] Betty had a chicken sandwich. [i216.photobucket.com
] Each sandwich came with a choice or fries or caesar salad. So I choose the fries and Betty took the salad. I had a chocotini for dessert. To Mango Coladas, two sandwiches, and the chocotini came to $48.93. There is no service charge at Cheri's. Tip was $10.
The show is still amusing, but even with two new singers, it's lost a little.
Pizza Galley â€“ With a coupon for a free glass of wine we stopped by The Pizza Galley. Enjoyed a Â½ pepperori/half cheese pizza and small caesar salad. Tried the home-made pecan pie. It was ok.
Pizza, soda, free glass of wine, and slice of pie $21.00. enjoy their pizza. Thin crust. Sharon Harris also stopped while we were there. [i216.photobucket.com
IZI's â€“ First time at this place, last dinner for this trip. Ate with our dear friend Deepti.
Modern deco inside, but too many hard surfaces to baffle the noise. The owner is aware of the problem and working on it.
Food is very creative. Started with bruschetta [i216.photobucket.com
Betty had the Cheese Raviolis [i216.photobucket.com
] . Enjoyed the sauce which was very light. I tried the Lasagna. [i216.photobucket.com
] It was very meaty with a lot of cheese on top, but lacked the ricotta cheese inside that I was expecting or maybe the meaty inside overpowered the ricotta.Good. Deepti had a chicken breast with sauce and cheese baked on top. Looked great. It was huge and she almost finished it. [i216.photobucket.com
For dessert, Betty and I had the Molting Chocolate Cake [i216.photobucket.com
Deepti had the Tiramisu. [i216.photobucket.com
Both dessert were wonderful.
Activities and Thoughts -
The Island is hurting. There are not as many people this year. A lot of closed stores, both sides.
Weather was almost perfect especially after the first week which produced some heavy waves on Dawn Beach.
The Round-abouts seem to be working, especially at the bottom of Cole Bay Hill.
Took friends to St Maarten Yacht Club for Happy Hour and boat viewing. Wasn't Disappointed.
A special thanks for Belinda and Gary for inviting us to see the view from their villa overlooking Phillipsburg and for the snacks.
Enjoyed the Art in the Park again. It's always the second Sunday of February.
Picked up a unique piece of art done by Lisa [i216.photobucket.com
] . She's at the Marigot Market and paints on coconut bark.
Got to enjoy a tour of the Tijon perfume Store/Lab as well as a glass of wine with the owners Cindy and John. [i216.photobucket.com
By the way, John is a member of the SXM Rotary Club. The Rotary is collecting for Haiti relief.
Tijon has a collection box on their counter. For every dollar donated, John is matching the donation.
Stop by and get 2 for 1 on you money.
It was another great trip. Can't wait to go back.