We thought you may appreciate some trip advice about Sint Maarten and your vacation. Here are some tips and recommendations.
- If you decide to rent a car ahead of time, rent your car for the day after you arrive,
(cabs from the airport are just $15, you can walk down the beach to get a bite to eat the first afternoon or evening.)
- Rent a compact car, you will save on gas and the rate. You will also find parking to be much easier. To blend in like the locals, ask for a European plate, they don’t say “R” for rental like the Dutch plates do.
- We recommend www.paradisecarrentalsxm.com they have great rates and great service!
- I always take insurance when renting a car, it lets me relax a bit more and that is what vacation is all about.
- Cabs are readily available at the airport, it costs $15 to get to the Azure.
- With the free phone in your room you can call for a cab anytime. Just scroll down to Cab on the phone’s phonebook and press send.
- Give them 5 minutes to pick you up, there is no reservation system for ordering cabs.
- A trip to the other side of the island is about $25-35 one way.
Buses are available, but are limited in range, they are $1.50 and are actually vans that will have their final destination posted on the windshield.
Excursions to Neighboring Islands
- Anguilla is best explored by cabs that are easily found at the port when you arrive.
- Take the ferry from Marigot, it is very close with the new bridge and the ferry runs every 30 minutes.
Saba and St. Barth
- We recommend the Edge Ferry from Aquamania which is located across the bay in the Pelican Resort Club.
- They leave at 9am and return around 3:30 pm.
- We can arrange these excursions for you, just ask, we are always happy to help.
- For this small island we recommend a day trip with Aquamania Adventures, they charge about $85 per person and include lunch, snorkel and unlimited drinks.
- They depart from Simpson Bay at their dock which is close by.
- We can arrange these excursions for you, just ask, again we are always happy to help.
- You will not be required to present your passport when crossing over to the French side of St. Martin.
- You will need them to visit other islands.
- We suggest you keep it in your safe unless you do visit another island.
- The two official currencies on St. Martin are the Euro on the French side and the Florin (Netherlands Antillean guilder or florin) on the Dutch side. US dollars are also accepted across the island. Many places do not accept cheques from foreign cheques, but most will accept major credit cards.
- You will get a better rate paying in USD than if you change them for Euros at the bank.
- Restaurants offer better rates to attract customers and some even give a dollar=euro even exchange.
- There are ATMs with in a short walk from the Azure (3 blocks).
- Ask your credit card company if they charge a 3% international fee before you use it here.
- Some places even add 5% to your purchase if using a credit card, so cash is better.
- We sub out our grocery requests with www.shopndropgrocerysxm.com
- They charge 15%.
- If you plan on having a rental car you may want to shop on your own, Grand Marche is very close (with the new bridge at the end of the airport runway) and the selection is fantastic!
- There is a small market for basics, called Value, just at the end of our street.
- Gourmet Marche is 3 blocks away. It is a smaller version of the Grande Marche. To get there just make the first right at the end of the street then the first left and go two blocks, less than a 5 minute walk.
- There are over 400 restaurants in St. Martin making the choice a bit difficult.
- Luckily, we love to eat out, so we have compiled a list of some consistently good ones that we enjoy on a regular basis. Once your reservation is confirmed we will send you a list of them that also highlights our favorite spots and activities.
- Don’t feel like cooking or leaving the beach to eat? The Azure Hotel & Gigi’s Organic Food restaurant are teaming up to offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner to our customers at the Azure. Our goal is to have meals delivered in eco-friendly biodegradable containers. All rooms are equipped with cutlery if you prefer. They are closed Mondays, but there are other options just a 5-minute walk down the beach or on Airport Road.