Pelican Resort Club
P O Box 431
Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles
Pelican Resort's Home Page
This is our page dedicated to our experiences while staying at The Pelican
Resort Club on St. Maarten.
In the unit we stayed in there is a king-size bed, a table and chairs,
a kitchenette, sofa and chaise (living area), large bathroom with
double shower. The decor is distinctly tropical, tile floors and
wicker furnishings. This is a studio unit; larger
accommodations are available. There is a ceiling fan and we were
able to air-condition our unit to a very comfortable level.
Pelican is a large resort and has many amenities. There is a
large pool just outside our room with a swim-up bar (although the
bar was only staffed with bartenders a couple days a week). There
are 4 other pools located throughout the resort with at least one
other swim-up bar. The pools are not heated; the temperature on
the island takes care of that. Pelican has tennis courts, a casino,
a food market, rental car desk, water-sports facilities, etc.
We ate dinner our first night at Pelican's formal waterfront
restaurant, one of the few we visited on the island that was fully
air-conditioned. Keith's steak was good, but Lori's lobster newburg
was decidedly different. The salads, bread, and dessert were all
tasty. This is one of the more elegant restaurants, and the
atmosphere is quiet and upscale. There is a casual restaurant
located in the main building, with tables around the outside under
a covered porch. We had a couple breakfasts and lunch there. The
food is decent, the prices reasonable. It can get hot in mid-day.
There is also a bar down on the beach that serves food, and we ate
lunch (sandwiches/burgers) there one day; the food was good.
There were 2 swim-up bars that we encountered. The bartender at
the pool just outside our building was friendly and made excellent
frozen drinks. The bartender at the other swim-up bar we visited
was not happy to be there, needed recipes to make drinks, and did
not give us what we ordered. When there was no bartender at our
nearby pool, we walked down to the beach bar for drinks.
Most of the resort employees were friendly and helpful. We could
have done without the high-pressure hard-sell that we experienced
when we went to our owners'/orientation appointment, since we
already own a unit and pay our maintenance fee faithfully, but it's
what we expected.
The island is divided in half; one side is Dutch (Saint Maarten,
the side on which we stayed), and one side is French (Sint Martin).
The island is known for its beaches - some clothing optional. Keith
was a little disappointed in Baie Rouge, a beach on the French side,
which had grown more commercial since his last visit. We rented a
little purple car for the week. If we were going uphill, we had to
turn off the air conditioning. The island was hit particularly hard
by a hurricane in 1995. Pelican had sustained much
damage (as had the rest of the island), but had managed to rebuild.
There is little information currently available about Saint
Maarten on the internet, so we will do our best to describe some
of the restaurants we visited. After Hurricane Luis in the
mid-1990s, it appears many restaurants relocated to an area near
the airport, which was good for us because it was near our resort.
Unless otherwise indicated, all of the restaurants below are on
the Dutch side of the island, in the Simpson Bay area (west of
Lynette's - Phone: 52865
A French restaurant located on the second floor of a building
along Airport Road in Simpson Bay. Lynette's is one of the few
air-conditioned restaurants; be sure to make reservations. The
big night at this restaurant is Tuesday, when King Beau Beau
performs. We weren't there on a Tuesday, but we understand it
gets packed and King Beau Beau gets everyone into the act.
A cozy Mexican restaurant in Simpson Bay with funky boat toilets
(don't ask; they're everywhere on this island). Thursday night
is Taco Night...an all-you-can-eat buffet. It wasn't bad, but
also not the best Mexican we've ever had. The restaurant is not
air-conditioned, but the bar over on one side is.
Goodfellas Cafe - Phone: 43176
An Italian restaurant located in the Simpson Bay Complex. The
majority of this restaurant is actually outdoors, with a
semi-air-conditioned bar and limited seating indoors. Goodfellas
has wonderful brick oven pizza, which tastes great in the evening
outside with an ice cold beer.
Sambuca - Phone: 52633
An Italian restaurant located on Airport Road in Simpson Bay. The
restaurant is tile floors and adobe walls and very Mediterranean in
decor (pleasing to look at). Because of all the hard surfaces, it
is also quite loud, and there is no air conditioning. We opted to
eat outside on the covered porch facing the water (be sure to put
some bug spray on your legs first). The food was tasty and the
service was friendly.
Coconuts - Phone: 53331
A restaurant on Airport Road in Simpson Bay. Keith declares their
steaks absolutely magnificent, and far superior to anything he has
tasted in any other steakhouse (although this restaurant does not
bill itself as a steakhouse). This little-known treasure is rarely
crowded and the service is excellent. We opted to eat out on the
covered porch facing the water, but please be sure to use bug spray
on your legs. Keith recommends ordering the filet mignon, and
having it butterflied. Simply the most tender, tasty steak he has
ever experienced (no sauce required), at a very reasonable price.
Arawak - Phone: 87 99 67
A cafe on the waterfront in Marigot (on the French side of the
island). We had lunch there on a very hot day. If you are a fan
of Belgian beer, you may be most interested to know they serve real
Duvel at a much higher alcohol content than what is available in the US. After
the beer, Keith didn't really remember the food...we think we had
some some cool salads and sandwiches to counter a very hot mid-day.
A beach bar and cafe right on the beach on the French side of the
island (to the west of Marigot). A square roofed hut with stools
all around is the bar, and Layla herself will be happy to serve you
some of her special homemade rum with marinated fruit gratis
(providing you give her feedback on the rum). We did not sample
the food, but the menu offerings looked fresh and creative, and the
staff happily served you food and drink on chaises on the beach.
Believe it or not, there is also a unisex bathroom available just
off the beach (if you've had too much rum).
A restaurant on Pelican Key (to the right, just as you enter
Pelican Key). Indiana Beach is trying to look like a restaurant
version of Indiana Jones (and doing a pretty good job of it). This
is an open-air restaurant with a pleasant bar area. We opted for
a secluded table on a small wooden deck under an umbrella out on
the beach. It was dark except for an oil lantern and had great
atmosphere. The food was so-so. Lori fed the majority of her
dinner to a stray cat who wound about her legs and even sucked up
Lori's fettucine alfredo hungrily (although the cat did not appear
to be needing hand-outs); Lori is a sucker for cats.
There are many discos on the French side of the island. We did
not visit any of them during our trip.
Rancho - Phone: 52495
An Argentine steakhouse on Airport Road in Simpson Bay, easy to
locate because of its very distinctive pitched thatched roof. We
did not eat here, but we understand the steaks are very good. We
did hang out at the upstairs bar (outdoors), and spent some time
chatting with the very friendly bartender from Dominica.
We were in Saint Maarten in mid-September. The weather was
extremely hot and humid. It was also towards the end of hurricane
season, and Hurricane Georges was creeeping up on Saint Maarten as
our week ended. Getting out of
the airport on Saturday with Georges nearing was not exactly a fun
we made it home safely.
Here are a few items that we found helpful and you may too. We
suggest spraying Insect Repellent for the outdoor dining. Always
ask for Spring Water with meals since the weather is hot and humid.
You can take any water left in the bottle with you. Always confirm
your return flight, unless you don't mind staying a couple of days
longer due to overbooking and/or flight cancellations.