Author Topic: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.  (Read 14670 times)

Offline sky121

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2014, 02:59:03 PM »
I never get housekeeping on shabbos.

+1
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Offline arig

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2014, 04:58:19 PM »
May I ask what you did for food then..if no fridge..then you didnt bring, Chabad didnt help you....we're going next week and would like figure this out.

Thanks!
we actually brought a loaf of bread and deli for the first night. we re-arranged the mini-bar. the second night we were there, we had salami sandwiches, and for the third night, we had instant soups. i don't know why they gave us such a hard time with a fridge- maybe it was because i had mentioned we wanted to bring our own food... ??? it seems sy-guy never had an issue so maybe just ask and dont mention food...?

Offline MFJ

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2014, 08:14:14 PM »
Where are you staying?

We're staying at the Westin...

We have stayed at the Westin St Martin 3 times and never had a problem getting a refrigerator in our room. We did have problem with our skillet, the housekeepers shut if off on Shabbat. So hide it.

Did you request it in advance? We're on the fence with our food plans since we would prefer to bring Pomegranate but might just go with what the hotel offers....

Fyi for those wondering about the Cohens food from the Westin, OU double wrapped.... here is the link: http://www.cuisineinnovations.com/rfg/Products.aspx?id=131

Offline arig

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2014, 12:13:36 PM »
i dont think that is the Cohen's they were referring to... here is the kosher menu they sent me me that they say the items are from Cohen's...

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2014, 04:52:03 PM »
I just spoke to the manager at cuisineinnovations and he confirmed all those items on the menu are from them and are OU...I spoke to the mashgiach too, and he said something about them being Nirbater hechsher from meal mart...so it could be these are just meal mart meals re-packaged in Cohens label...but either way the food from the menu that they are offering seem reliable.

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2014, 02:06:44 AM »
Has anyone tried the shark dive with Ocean Explorers? Or any other company in St Martin?

I am tempted the only thing holding me back is that they make you do a regular dive with them first which I am not really happy about as I am staying on the French side about half hour away from their dive location at Simpson bay. Is that a reason to skip it or is the traffic not as bad as it's made out to be?

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #26 on: March 05, 2014, 03:22:29 AM »
What cellphone service works there

Offline MFJ

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2014, 11:05:11 AM »
Has anyone tried the shark dive with Ocean Explorers? Or any other company in St Martin?

I am tempted the only thing holding me back is that they make you do a regular dive with them first which I am not really happy about as I am staying on the French side about half hour away from their dive location at Simpson bay. Is that a reason to skip it or is the traffic not as bad as it's made out to be?

Traffic was not too bad..Was just there last week. And driving almost anywhere, especially on the French side is beautiful!

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #28 on: March 05, 2014, 12:56:21 PM »
Traffic was not too bad..Was just there last week. And driving almost anywhere, especially on the French side is beautiful!
Thanks. I was wondering if you had come back yet. Any tips suggestions or ideas before I go? Any chance we can get a TR?

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #29 on: March 05, 2014, 03:18:33 PM »
Thanks. I was wondering if you had come back yet. Any tips suggestions or ideas before I go? Any chance we can get a TR?
I'm not that patient to write it up...but I'll try BL'N later...when are you going?

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #30 on: March 05, 2014, 08:14:53 PM »
I'm not that patient to write it up...but I'll try BL'N later...when are you going?
Thank you. We are going in the beginning of April.

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #31 on: March 05, 2014, 09:38:42 PM »
Thank you. We are going in the beginning of April.

We stayed at the Westin, although concerned from conflicting reviews, we were very satisfied with everything about the hotel.
Exceptions are: location, and willingness to accommodate us with a fridge or allow us to bring in a microwave before we actually got there. They said when we check in they'll possibly upgrade us since we're SPG gold bit can't guarantee. We would have preferred to bring Pomegranate meals, but since we werent sure if it was going to go to waste didnt risk it and relied on the meals they have to offer in the hotel.....highly not recommended. These meals are meant to have a shelf life of 1 year it seems, and you can tell. As it turned out, we were upgraded to a ocean front room, and the mini bar was sufficiently cooled to keep our back up food throughout our trip. When we were checking in it seems they were really trying to find us a room with a kitchen, had we wanted one...since at that point we didnt one we just went with the ocean front. A week before we went I called the front desk and asked what the availability was like to determine what the chances of us getting upgraded were, he told there was a good chance (although it wasnt so easy to extract that info)...we still didnt want to risk bringing all the pom food and finding we couldnt get the upgrade....
The other disadvantage was the location of the Westin is at one side of the island and the main cities (simpson bay, marigot, cole bay, phillipsburg) were at the opposite end of the island, so it was somewhat of a nuisance, but we knew that before going so wasnt expecting otherwise.
The main attraction for us was relaxing, sat by the beach mostly and tried out a few different ones.....can't really go wrong as far as beautiful beaches and scenery go. Sitting by the hotel beach is beautiful, we were told it is a bit windy and it is, but not that you cant enjoy it. It was very convenient to have the bar right on the beach (nothing quite like drinking ice cold beers on the beach). Day one didnt go far...next day spent some time again at Dawn beach, then went to the French side to check out the sites at other beaches...Pinel Island is a ferry ride (10 min) or rent kayak (25-40 min) absolutely beautiful, bought goggles and a snorkel and swam with the fish, absolutely beautiful. Then went to Anse Marcel, probably one of the nicest views I've ever seen, the waves and wind is far calmer there, really peaceful. Rented a waverunner there, really enjoyed going out into the middle of the ocean and shutting off the engine and just taking in the scenery. From there went to walking in Grand Case, they had some festival so was a lot of fun, all the shops had booths in the street..bought a bunch of gifts there for the kids.
We really wanted to go zip lining in the rain forest, but third day there was raining so we went shopping in Phillipsburg, every store there is either a jewelry store or liquor store, liquor is quite cheap (cigarettes are incredibly cheap, I don't smoke but couldnt resist buying for some friends who do $17/carton), cute town, there is a boardwalk running alongside the main street in phillipsburg, was the busiest beach we saw, didnt care much for it, but of course was still quite beautiful. Wen that night to mullet bay to the casino and shops there, pretty boring (and unsuccessful), but we were quite wiped by that point.

That covers much of what we experienced there. We really enjoyed our entire trip....would highly recommend to someone who enjoys similar type of vacation.

Few points:
Cell service, I tried arranging with queenofsxm.com but didnt do it until too late, so ended up using my verizon cell and racked up a decent bill, not too crazy, but couldnt get 3/4G to work, so only had internet in hotel (free wifi throughout) and random places across island. Her rates seemed quite reasonable.
Le Grand Marche had a nice amount of kosher food, another option which we hadn't considered, assuming you can get a room with a kitchen is take advantage of what they have to offer, their prices were quite reasonable too.
Renting a car was a breeze, rented from sixt, less than a minute from the airport, I returned the car 11/12 full of gas, and she insisted before I rented that I return it full...she was kind enough without even asking not to charge me plus since we thought we were a little late someone hopped in the car and drove us to the airport..overall people on the island were really friendly, fyi.

I never wrote a TR before, and I'm not too proud of how unorganized the thoughts are...let me know if you have any questions.

Offline sam28

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2014, 11:10:18 PM »
I like u report . do u have any pictures ?

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2014, 11:21:52 PM »
We stayed at the Westin, although concerned from conflicting reviews, we were very satisfied with everything about the hotel.
Exceptions are: location, and willingness to accommodate us with a fridge or allow us to bring in a microwave before we actually got there. They said when we check in they'll possibly upgrade us since we're SPG gold bit can't guarantee. We would have preferred to bring Pomegranate meals, but since we werent sure if it was going to go to waste didnt risk it and relied on the meals they have to offer in the hotel.....highly not recommended. These meals are meant to have a shelf life of 1 year it seems, and you can tell. As it turned out, we were upgraded to a ocean front room, and the mini bar was sufficiently cooled to keep our back up food throughout our trip. When we were checking in it seems they were really trying to find us a room with a kitchen, had we wanted one...since at that point we didnt one we just went with the ocean front. A week before we went I called the front desk and asked what the availability was like to determine what the chances of us getting upgraded were, he told there was a good chance (although it wasnt so easy to extract that info)...we still didnt want to risk bringing all the pom food and finding we couldnt get the upgrade....
The other disadvantage was the location of the Westin is at one side of the island and the main cities (simpson bay, marigot, cole bay, phillipsburg) were at the opposite end of the island, so it was somewhat of a nuisance, but we knew that before going so wasnt expecting otherwise.
The main attraction for us was relaxing, sat by the beach mostly and tried out a few different ones.....can't really go wrong as far as beautiful beaches and scenery go. Sitting by the hotel beach is beautiful, we were told it is a bit windy and it is, but not that you cant enjoy it. It was very convenient to have the bar right on the beach (nothing quite like drinking ice cold beers on the beach). Day one didnt go far...next day spent some time again at Dawn beach, then went to the French side to check out the sites at other beaches...Pinel Island is a ferry ride (10 min) or rent kayak (25-40 min) absolutely beautiful, bought goggles and a snorkel and swam with the fish, absolutely beautiful. Then went to Anse Marcel, probably one of the nicest views I've ever seen, the waves and wind is far calmer there, really peaceful. Rented a waverunner there, really enjoyed going out into the middle of the ocean and shutting off the engine and just taking in the scenery. From there went to walking in Grand Case, they had some festival so was a lot of fun, all the shops had booths in the street..bought a bunch of gifts there for the kids.
We really wanted to go zip lining in the rain forest, but third day there was raining so we went shopping in Phillipsburg, every store there is either a jewelry store or liquor store, liquor is quite cheap (cigarettes are incredibly cheap, I don't smoke but couldnt resist buying for some friends who do $17/carton), cute town, there is a boardwalk running alongside the main street in phillipsburg, was the busiest beach we saw, didnt care much for it, but of course was still quite beautiful. Wen that night to mullet bay to the casino and shops there, pretty boring (and unsuccessful), but we were quite wiped by that point.

That covers much of what we experienced there. We really enjoyed our entire trip....would highly recommend to someone who enjoys similar type of vacation.

Few points:
Cell service, I tried arranging with queenofsxm.com but didnt do it until too late, so ended up using my verizon cell and racked up a decent bill, not too crazy, but couldnt get 3/4G to work, so only had internet in hotel (free wifi throughout) and random places across island. Her rates seemed quite reasonable.
Le Grand Marche had a nice amount of kosher food, another option which we hadn't considered, assuming you can get a room with a kitchen is take advantage of what they have to offer, their prices were quite reasonable too.
Renting a car was a breeze, rented from sixt, less than a minute from the airport, I returned the car 11/12 full of gas, and she insisted before I rented that I return it full...she was kind enough without even asking not to charge me plus since we thought we were a little late someone hopped in the car and drove us to the airport..overall people on the island were really friendly, fyi.

I never wrote a TR before, and I'm not too proud of how unorganized the thoughts are...let me know if you have any questions.
Great TR I really appreciate it. I am also renting with Sixt so glad to hear that went well. Did you get an upgrade?

What type of food was avail at Le Grand Marche? We are staying somewhere with a small kitchenette so we plan on taking advantage. Our trip is from a Sunday morning until Thursday so it's long enough to be worthwhile. We are staying at Orient bay. (didn't want to spend 16K SPG points a night, I got a hotel for 650 for 4 nights so that worked).

Did you go to Marigot? Or is Philipsburg a better place to hang out? We may go to Anguilla as a day trip, and the boat leaves from Marigot. Also did you feel safe? I have read that there can be petty theft and not to leave stuff in your car etc. What are your thoughts about that? Thanks!

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2014, 11:43:30 PM »
I like u report . do u have any pictures ?
Sure...tried uploading images, they're too large. How do you make them smaller?

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #35 on: March 05, 2014, 11:55:00 PM »
Great TR I really appreciate it. I am also renting with Sixt so glad to hear that went well. Did you get an upgrade?

What type of food was avail at Le Grand Marche? We are staying somewhere with a small kitchenette so we plan on taking advantage. Our trip is from a Sunday morning until Thursday so it's long enough to be worthwhile. We are staying at Orient bay. (didn't want to spend 16K SPG points a night, I got a hotel for 650 for 4 nights so that worked).

Did you go to Marigot? Or is Philipsburg a better place to hang out? We may go to Anguilla as a day trip, and the boat leaves from Marigot. Also did you feel safe? I have read that there can be petty theft and not to leave stuff in your car etc. What are your thoughts about that? Thanks!
Thanks, my pleasure.
No upgrade, very small rental office there were only 3 cars on the lot when we arrived, didnt see anything that would have qualified as an upgrade.
They had a shelf of some nonsense kosher like manischewitz...but they had glatt kosher meat, cereals, oatmeal, peanut butter, oreos, many standard american OU products...
Sounds like a nice deal...and I can't tell you how smart you are just for the kitchenette alone...would have made our trip over the top.
We went through marigot at night, seemed more like a small town in Israel than a town that I wanted to hang around, but I didnt see it when the stores were open, it seemed like the lower class group of people hanging around there...but again cant say for sure, didnt really give it a chance during the day.
Phillipsburg seemed like the tourist haven...but a little too much too, I like when the authentic taste of the place is sensed...but every shop on the strip is pushing the same product (with enough occasional exceptions to make it worthwhile) if you like booze, definitely worth stocking up...(up to 2 litres per person are allowed back in the US).
when I first arrived I was taken aback by the type of people there, they are all waiting for a tip..but once I got a little more familiar I found them to be really nice people and enjoyed drumming up conversations with them..to some extent...I was advised by the concierge when parking the car not to leave anything at all visible in the car as little kids no how to pick the car and will empty the car out if they see a towel..thinking that there is something hiding underneath..we left our doors unlocked in a bid to save ourselves the hassle of dealing with a broken window...but frankly did not come across anybody suspicious.

Offline popcorn1508

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #36 on: March 06, 2014, 12:52:36 AM »
What cellphone service works there
bump

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #37 on: March 06, 2014, 12:59:25 AM »
Thanks, my pleasure.
No upgrade, very small rental office there were only 3 cars on the lot when we arrived, didnt see anything that would have qualified as an upgrade.
They had a shelf of some nonsense kosher like manischewitz...but they had glatt kosher meat, cereals, oatmeal, peanut butter, oreos, many standard american OU products...
Sounds like a nice deal...and I can't tell you how smart you are just for the kitchenette alone...would have made our trip over the top.
We went through marigot at night, seemed more like a small town in Israel than a town that I wanted to hang around, but I didnt see it when the stores were open, it seemed like the lower class group of people hanging around there...but again cant say for sure, didnt really give it a chance during the day.
Phillipsburg seemed like the tourist haven...but a little too much too, I like when the authentic taste of the place is sensed...but every shop on the strip is pushing the same product (with enough occasional exceptions to make it worthwhile) if you like booze, definitely worth stocking up...(up to 2 litres per person are allowed back in the US).
when I first arrived I was taken aback by the type of people there, they are all waiting for a tip..but once I got a little more familiar I found them to be really nice people and enjoyed drumming up conversations with them..to some extent...I was advised by the concierge when parking the car not to leave anything at all visible in the car as little kids no how to pick the car and will empty the car out if they see a towel..thinking that there is something hiding underneath..we left our doors unlocked in a bid to save ourselves the hassle of dealing with a broken window...but frankly did not come across anybody suspicious.

Can't believe they had kosher meat. Still going to bring my own food just in case but it is great to have a backup option. Going to email sixt in advance to make sure they have a car for me being they are so small. I booked last June so it's worth following through.

Marigot sounds like a skip. Did you bother driving around the entire island? Also can you rent snorkel gear on Pinel itself? My wife likes to snorkel so that's a good activity for us to do (assuming my mother ends up watching our 1 yr. old).

Are basic goods like sunscreen etc a fortune on the island?

We were going to tour the island the day we arrive but if it's not wise to leave valuables in the car I think we will check in first before heading out.

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #38 on: March 06, 2014, 10:04:15 AM »
Can't believe they had kosher meat. Still going to bring my own food just in case but it is great to have a backup option. Going to email sixt in advance to make sure they have a car for me being they are so small. I booked last June so it's worth following through.

Marigot sounds like a skip. Did you bother driving around the entire island? Also can you rent snorkel gear on Pinel itself? My wife likes to snorkel so that's a good activity for us to do (assuming my mother ends up watching our 1 yr. old).

Are basic goods like sunscreen etc a fortune on the island?

We were going to tour the island the day we arrive but if it's not wise to leave valuables in the car I think we will check in first before heading out.
We drove around the entire island...I would say you can circle the whole thing in an hour (maybe less) but cant say for sure since we didnt do it in one shot.
I didn't see a rental place for snorkel on the island, i brought with..yes sunscreen and aloe were a fortune, ran out of both....you will need quite a bit. My wife didn't put on enough and was in quite a bit of pain...so lay it on...

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Re: Saint Martin / Marteen master thread.
« Reply #39 on: March 06, 2014, 02:48:48 PM »
We drove around the entire island...I would say you can circle the whole thing in an hour (maybe less) but cant say for sure since we didnt do it in one shot.
I didn't see a rental place for snorkel on the island, i brought with..yes sunscreen and aloe were a fortune, ran out of both....you will need quite a bit. My wife didn't put on enough and was in quite a bit of pain...so lay it on...
Good to know about the sunscreen. I totally killed my costa rica trip with a terrible sunburn so will keep that in mind. Thanks for all the tips and the TR.