Topics include Dining Scene, For Foreign Visitors & more!
If you are considering renting a scooter, motorcycle or bicycle, please refer to this thread.
If you are in Philipsburg and planning to see the other French side of the island, or Airport Beach by scooter or ATV, be careful. When you are enthusiastic to meet friends and having a holiday, it should not let you care less about making a good deal. Do not decide too quickly and do not say yes for the first guy who comes to you with a flyer and offers you to rent a scooter from them for 60 usd. Way too much!
By the time you start to fill out their form, the amount can rise up to 75 usd, that they will say to be because of the insurance. If you leave, the guy will shout after you, he probably will want to give a 'better' deal. It is up to you if you want to deal then, or to go to an other place. Be careful, the next place might be the same company if you do not go far enough. After you sit down you might see the same guy from the 1st place, looking into the office through the door with a satisfyed smile. In case you have the smallest accident or scratch on the scooter, they might charge you pay 100-200 usd in addition to the expensive rental cost, for a small damage. Actually there is no bargain about it, you cannot leave without paying.
It is great to go to the French side. Euro's and U.S. dollars are accepted almost everywhere on the French side, but you may get some Euro's for change. Currently ( early 2015) supermarkets and most other places offer a 1:1 exchange on Euro's to Dollars. The French side has wonderful bakeries, European style coffees, restaurants, shops. French St. Martin offers beautiful beaches and wonderful cultural experiences, but at high season the roads are quite busy. Driving carefully and practicing courtesy on the cramped roads will go a long way toward making your visit a pleasant one!
All in all, when you start your plans, avoid rental places that are close to tourist centers.