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St. Maarten - Side trip to Anguilla
Posted by: Teresa (
Date: April 14, 2010 02:05PM

This year we decided to do something different on our yearly sojourn to St. Maarten. Having gone on day trips to Anguilla for years we decided that this time we’d spend the night. Here’s our report:

We went to bed early (a big feat for us on St. Maarten) and got up just as the sun was poking its nose over the horizon. We had packed our passports, money and a small overnight bag along with our beach gear. We caught the early ferry out of Marigot and made it over to Blowing Point Ferry terminal. Jason from Pete’s Rent a Car was waiting for us. He had our car –a beat up old Corolla with fan belt problems. It wasn’t fancy but it got us around the island – no problem. We both had never driven on the other side of the road before (British Style) and I must admit I was a little nervous. But hubby turned out to be a pro and with me navigating we soon found our way to Shoal Bay East.

I had booked us into the Allamanda Beach Hotel. We had already paid for our accommodation on St. Martin (timeshare) so it didn’t make sense to blow the bank account. We paid $175 U.S. a night for a small studio with a kitchen. It was a pretty little hotel and well run. The best part was the two minute walk to gorgeous Shoal Bay Beach. After a quick swim we got back into the beat up old Corolla and drove to Sandy Ground. About 8 years ago we had taken a day trip on a power boat and we had stopped a small spit of land just off the coast of Anguilla. It’s called Sandy Island and we were so taken with its beauty we tried for the next seven years to get back. Finally we booked the Swaliga in 2009 and one of the stops was at Sandy Island. But has soon as we arrived a huge monsoon swept in so our visit was very “wet”. This year – we were going to conquer this island! We parked near Johnnos – a great beach front restaurant and listened to their Sunday afternoon Jazz while we waited for the shuttle boat. Jo-Jo soon arrived to pick us up and off we went speeding across the water. We got to the shore and he backed the big boat in. I was handing our beach bag and camera to my husband when suddenly a huge wave hit the side of the boat and sent me flying. Thank God Hubby had the camera and it was dry. I however looked like a drowned mess. I hit the water and then crashed onto the sand. It was a pretty hard landing and I scraped my knee pretty bad. Lesson learned. We had a good laugh afterwards and I told Jo-Jo that he owed me a rum punch. He just glared at me. We had lunch on the island. Chicken and Ribs and two drinks set us back $78. It turned out that there was a 10 dollar per person shuttle fee that they didn’t tell us about. Oh well, we were on holidays. We had a fabulous afternoon watching all the boats come and go. The sand was so white and the water was so turquoise it just took your breath away. We caught the last boat back to Anguilla at 4:30 and drove the Allamanda. We trekked to the beach and found an island party in full swing at Gwen’s Reggae Beach Bar. All the locals were out on this Sunday and the tourists were welcomed along for the ride. About 8 musicians were on the porch singing away and the place was just rocking! What a fabulous end to a great day on the beach.

We went back and showered then had dinner at a neighboring hotel called “Ku”. We were right on the beach and the waves put on a good show. I had jerk chicken and Hubby had the blacked Mahi-Mahi. Dinner for two with a bottle of wine was a little pricey but not too bad. Day two of our Anguilla adventure found us planted on Shoal Bay East in front of Elodias – another great local beachfront restaurant. Earlier in the morning we revved up the Corolla and toured the island. It’s only 16 miles long so our drive went quickly. We toured the fabulous Cap Jaluca resort. Wow. The cheapest room is $925 a night and if you want one of their villas on the ocean that will set you back $7400 – a night. Hollywood and the world’s elite stay here. It was drop dead gorgeous. We swung over to Temenos golf course. It’s being run by Cap Jaluca right now after the builder went bankrupt. I heard that there are a number of corporations that want to buy it and the Government is quite worried. It’s a major property on the island and they need some owners with deep pockets to step up soon. They were charging $400 a round but now it’s down to $230. If you golf in the afternoon, it’s even cheaper. We looked at some of the fairways and admired the clubhouse. It is stunning and we’re defiantly coming back to play golf. After driving through Mead’s Bay – another gorgeous beach area, we went back to Shoal Bay East. We aimed the Corolla back to the Ferry parking lot and waited for Jason. He showed up on time, money was exchanged and we climbed on the ferry happy and exhausted.

Here’s the lowdown on costs if you’re thinking of taking a day/overnight trip to Anguilla. We went during the “High” season when everything is a little more expensive

The Ferry was 15 dollars each plus a 5 dollar departure fee

Our Corolla was 40 dollars a day plus insurance
I must have called 8 companies. Many were located at the airport. I could only find two companies that would meet us at Blowing Point Ferry Terminal and one of them was out of cars for the weekend. I called the Anguilla tourist board and the nice lady told me she had never had any complaints. If you’re not looking for fancy – then I’d recommend Pete’s Rent a Car.

If you’re going on a day trip – take a taxi. From what I remember it was very reasonable and they always come back to get you at the right time. Then you can sit back, relax and let them drive on the wrong side of the road!

The Allamanda Beach Hotel was $175 a night for a studio with kitchen. There are cheaper places to stay on the island (guest houses) but we wanted to stay in Shoal Bay East and they seemed to have the best prices.

Check out Ku beach resort and restaurant. Pricey but what a view!

Gwen’s Reggae Beach Bar – a must stop. Other people have written about it. Great hammocks to lie in, fabulous palm trees. We didn’t eat there but their BBQ smelled amazing! Drinks are reasonable and very tasty. The Sunday afternoon party is fantastic.

Elodia’s Beach Grill – another great place to stop. We rented two chairs and an umbrella from her for $20 and had lunch. Her cheeseburger was out of this world and hubby was pleased with his BLT. Lunch with two beers came to under $30.

Sandy Island – definitely worth the day trip. If you want to make this your destination from St. Maarten you can do it in one day. Take the Ferry to Blowing Point and take a Taxi to Sandy Ground. Stop in to Johnnos and they’ll call the island for you to get the shuttle to take you over. Google Sandy Island Anguilla and you’ll find the website. It’s outdated but there are some good pictures. As I mentioned in my trip report – it’s a little pricey. But you could save yourself some money by paying for the boat shuttle (10 dollars each) and bringing your own cooler over with lunch, drinks and snacks. I don’t see how they could stop you because the island is a dedicated marine park. There are chairs for rent – 10 dollars each. It’s hot over there with not a lot of shade so bring tons of sunscreen and a cover-up. I must admit we got a little burnt.

Ferry back to St. Maarten was $15 dollars each but our departure tax was $20 per person! Beware. A day trip is a $5 dollar departure fee but if you stay longer then it jumps to $20. Governments get you coming and going don’t they?

I hope you’ve found this helpful. If anyone has any questions – don’t hesitate to ask.

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Re: St. Maarten - Side trip to Anguilla
Posted by: pat (
Date: April 14, 2010 04:42PM


We also booked a few nights on AXA and have actually done this a few times now since, like you we have timeshare on St. Maarten (which will sit there empty while we're over there) but the time on Shoal is very special for us.

I thoroughly enjoyed your trip report and particularly so the part about the party at Gwens - isn't it the best? And you really should have tried lunch or a late afternoon snack there - they have a delicious fresh seafood sandwich and believe it or not, a pasta salad that is out of this world.

I have one question - what was the status of the beach at Allamanda. I spoke to the people at Allamanda based on comments I've read from people who have been there after Christmas and they said it had suffered serious erosion right in front of the Spa and Gwenn's but they also said it was coming back. Were you able to enjoy the beach right there or did you have to go further down the beach?

Thanks in advance, and again, I truly enjoyed your write-up.


smiling smileysmiling smiley

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Re: St. Maarten - Side trip to Anguilla
Posted by: Barbara1 (Moderator)
Date: April 14, 2010 05:36PM

again, another great report.
It makes me want to go to Anguilla and stay over night.
I have not done that in a long time and I do love that island.


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Re: St. Maarten - Side trip to Anguilla
Posted by: Teresa (
Date: April 14, 2010 05:43PM

Hi Pat and Barbara,

Thanks for your wonderful replies.

In regards to the beach at the Allamanda, Gwen's and the Spa, it really wasn't good at all I'm sad to say. You didn't have to walk very far to be able to enjoy some sand, but the area in front of Gwen's is particularily eroded. I hope it comes back soon. I'm praying that my two favorite islands escape the severe hurricane season they are predicting.


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Re: St. Maarten - Side trip to Anguilla
Posted by: pat (
Date: April 14, 2010 06:49PM


Re that last - as are we all. Let's just keep our fingers crossed and say our prayers and lets all hope the weather predictions for hurricanes are like so many of the other forecasts - just plain wrong.

And thank you so much for the info re the beach near Allamanda. I guess we'll be doing a little more walking for our beaching this trip.


smiling smileysmiling smiley

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Re: St. Maarten - Side trip to Anguilla
Posted by: Neil Rooney (Moderator)
Date: April 14, 2010 07:18PM

August Monday will be here soon........

Just Another Ho Hum Day On D Planet

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Re: St. Maarten - Side trip to Anguilla
Posted by: Ita (
Date: April 24, 2010 02:38PM

I'm going in August and staying at Ku for my birthday! Yeah!

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Re: St. Maarten - Side trip to Anguilla
Posted by: Kimbere (
Date: June 15, 2010 09:01AM

Hi Teresa!! I loved your trip reports, and have made a lot of notes. My husband and I are staying at Little Divi Bay from 8/21 to 8/28 and I cannot wait for our first taste of St. Maarten. We are planning a day trip to Anguilla while we are there and definitely plan to hit Shoal Bay beach. Thanks for all the great info!! cool smiley


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Re: St. Maarten - Side trip to Anguilla
Posted by: Ed (nine510) (
Date: June 15, 2010 10:41PM

Excellent trip report. I was just wondering how Anguilla was doing these days, and your report's a good update.

See the "E" of "Ed" in the sig box for Shoal Bay.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/2010 10:45PM by Ed (nine510).

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