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September 1998

Pelican Resort Club
P O Box 431
Pelican Keys
Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles
599-5-42503
Pelican Resort's Home Page

Welcome to www.weloveourlife.com. This is our page dedicated to our experiences while staying at The Pelican Resort Club on St. Maarten.

Our Pictures


Accommodations Amenities Food Bar/Lounge Service Attractions Dining Nightlife Weather Tips



Accommodations

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.

Resort Amenities

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.

Resort Food

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.

Resort Bar/Lounge

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.

Resort People/Service

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.

Area/Attractions

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.

Dining

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 Phillipsburg).

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.

Pepe's
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.

Layla's
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).

Indiana Beach
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.

Nightlife

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.

Weather

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 time, but we made it home safely.

Tips/Suggestions

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.