Saint Martin for a long, girls weekend

Saint Martin Travel Blog

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Hanging on the hammock

Rarely spontaneous, one day I decided to get away for the weekend.  I'd never been to the Caribbean and it seemed it was pretty close to Atlanta, so I looked in to the closest spot I could find.  St. Martin turned out to be that spot!

Delta flies direct from Atlanta to Philipsburg in just four hours.  A friend decided to join me at the last minute - which made it twice as good an idea!  I booked a flight and hotel package on travelocity.  I had already chosen the French side and luckily the best priced resort turned out to be in Grand Case - the Grand Case Beach Club. 

Though the flight was only 4 hours, the taxi ride from Philipsburg to Grand Case was over an hour and not a pretty drive.  We took a road straight through the island - no views, just scrubby bush and ramshackle neighborhoods.

Grand Case Beach Club, Sunset Cafe
  We finally arrived in Grand Case and found our Beach Club - a delightfully unpretentious resort in a small bay just steps outside of the Grand Case main street.  http://www.grandcasebeachclub.com/theresort.htm

The resort is small and quiet, with a restaurant and sea activity center on site, as well as a little gift shop.  The rooms are spacious and we were greeted with music playing in the room and a chilled bottle of wine waiting.  It was ideal!  The onsite restaurant provides breakfast, included, and has great lunches & dinners as well.  Our room overlooked a small green area with a hammock, past which was the beach.  The hotel also has private owners who rent out - this was the only negative as they attempted to sell us property too and we were frequently asked to sit in on marketing presentations.

Sunset on the beach
  It wasn't as bad a sales pitch as I've had elsewhere and they did take no for an answer, but still....

Minutes from the Beach Club are the many restaurants and few shops of downtown Grand Case.  We explored several on the beach side of the street, so we could sit outside.  Since we were there during hurricane season, many of the shops were closed and it was relatively untouristed as well - the way I like it.  Despite the season, we had glorious weather and no rain.  Since we were in the French Caribbean, we chose either French restaurants or local ones - the food was always great and cheap and the views amazing.  The architecture of Grand Case is interesting as well - with lots of gingerbread and pastel colors. 

One day we walked the entire length of Petit Plage, the beach/bay where Grand Case is situated.

Loterie hike
  The beach walk from one end to the other and back took a few hours and was pretty much uninterrupted.  A few times we had to walk around rocky areas, but by in large it was just miles of sand with no people.  Another day we took a speedboat to Friar's Bay - another nearby beach which we explored on foot.  The entire day at Friar's Bay we saw only one other group of people.  We heard many tourists take advantage of the remoteness of the spot to nude sunbathe and we agree it would be perfect for that!

Another day we visited Loterie Farm, an eco-tourist establishment with hiking, ziplines for adults & children, dining, and many views from Pic Paradise - the highest peak on St. Martin.  It's a tough hike through the rain forest and to say it's humid is an understatement, but it's pleasant with lots of wildlife to view and when we got back to the bottom of Pic Paradise we enjoyed hanging at the Tree Lounge - an open air tree house lounge with comfortable couches and views of the valley.

Marigot
  http://www.loteriefarm.net/

The morning of the day we left we took a boat to Marigot.  After our experience driving to Grand Case from Philipsburg, we had decided boat was the only way to get around.  It's scenic, quicker, and a lot more fun than breathing gas fumes and sitting in traffic.  Marigot is a cute little town with lots of typical port style shopping - t-shirts, watches, sarongs, designer clothes, etc.  It was definitely worth a stop and has a Fort and other places to explore if you can drag yourself out of the shops.

TravellingAuntie says:
girls weekends are the best! you should join me for the one in St. Thomas!
Posted on: Apr 09, 2010
TravellingAuntie says:
Why don't you join two of us for our upcoming trip to St. Thomas! We don't have tickets yet, but it's scheduled for June 3-7th. And yes, rarely spontaneous - part of my fun in travelling is the research getting there which I ususally start a year in advance. I know most people would find it boring, but I love it and it helped me find TB!
Posted on: Mar 23, 2010
esposabella says:
Rarely spontaneous??! Not something i would think about you!! Love the concept of girl's long weekend, just island hopping, ahhhhh if only!! Good for you :)
Posted on: Mar 23, 2010
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Hanging on the hammock
Hanging on the hammock
Grand Case Beach Club, Sunset Cafe
Grand Case Beach Club, Sunset Cafe
Sunset on the beach
Sunset on the beach
Loterie hike
Loterie hike
Marigot
Marigot
Loterie hike
Loterie hike
Friars Bay
Friar's Bay
Marigot
Marigot
Frangipani
Frangipani
View from our hotel, Grand Case Be…
View from our hotel, Grand Case B…
Petit Plage
Petit Plage
Petit Plage
Petit Plage
Massage Tent
Massage Tent
The streets of Grand Case
The streets of Grand Case
Grand Case
Grand Case
Calymos Restaurant
Calymos Restaurant
Friars Bay
Friar's Bay