Arrived in St. Maarten on 12/18. Customs was a long wait as one custonms agent had no clue what she was doing. he free rum tasting made the wait warth it. Had booked a car rental in advance over teh internet from Economy Rent a Car St. Maarten. The Economy people at teh airpot were of o help, all they told us was we had to go to the office and their van would take us. We waited 1/2 hr for the ride which may not have been their fault as there is only one road from the airport to the area where teh car rental was. When we arrived at the rental office I was greeted by a rude man who said thathe could not accept my reservation. He insisted that the people at the airport told us this. Of course that never happened. The owner a small Indian man came out adn also said the same thing, that they would not honor our reservation adn that his emploees at the airport told us that. We argued that we would not have came to them had we known this> the owner said that he does not have to rent to us at this price and if we do not like it we can leave. By this time I was pretty mad and demanded a ride back to the airport. Our driver who worked for Economy was very nice and made a few calls along the way. He ended up taking us to Budget where Tara Laurence a St. Maarten native treated us with respect and gave us a better deal on a car. I will NEVER use Economy again and urge anyone traveling to St. MAarten to go see Tara at BUdget rent a car.
The Atrium resort is on Simpson Bay. We arrive at the Hotel about 6:00pm and were greeted by a very nice man at the front desk. Our room was spacious and clean. The kitchen had many plates, pots adn silverware. It is a short walk to the beach and the water is nice a calm, great for kids. The pool is small but then we are not there for the pool. Not any beach ativities unless you want to pay. We traveled to different beaches everyday as nothing is that far adn there are so many to choose from. Orient beach on teh French side may be my favorite as the view is just unforgetable. Mullot beach was also nice. YOu can rent chairs adn umbrellas on each ( make sure you negotiate). If planning on going to Sunset beach remember it is only to stop for a spel to watch teh airplanes land right over you. There is not much of a beach. We traveled to a few remote beaches that were very nice but buggy.
Restaurants and Bars:
Pineapple Petes was probably our favorite. Good food, great service in a relaxed atmosphere. The Warf was also very good made special by the manager who did homemade rum shots with us. We had a lot of fun at Cherries also. Bad intertainment made fun by the performers. Night life was good how ever I think there are too many Casinos for the island. I did like that I had my 16 year old son sitting next to me at the Black Jack table at one casino ( which I will not name). He had the time of his life and walked out a winner. As for clubs my 21 yr old was out all night. People were friendly and we never felt that we had to worry about the older kids.
Would definatly go back again. Weatehr was great as well as the locals..
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