"Our St. Martin Trip 2005!" Saint Martin by sunrisebeddie

Saint Martin Travel Guide: 91 reviews and 241 photos

From the beginning to the end...

On November 11, 2005, my family and I flew to St. Martin. We decided to rent a villa instead of staying in a hotel. It was our first experience renting a villa. We booked through Villas Caribe, a 3rd party, who booked Villa Mirabelle. The pictures online were absolutely gorgeous and the price was outrageous. But we wanted to live it up for our family trip. The plane over was pretty bumpy and nerve racking. Finally, we arrived at Princess Juliana Airport. We searched for our driver, Peter, who greeted us smugly. We loaded into his van, as he drove us to Villa Mirabelle. Upon arrival we met our housekeeper, the lovely Agnus and the gardener/caretaker, Charles. Our first disappointment came as a bill for a grocery delivery. $14 per mango! We were severely overcharged by Peter. Trying to ignore it, we moved on. Before we moved our bags to our rooms, we were greeted by two medium sized dogs. We were not aware dogs lived at the property. Then I noticed the two dog beds, dog bowls, pee on the pool deck, and a curious dog sniffing my mother's bags. We asked Charles to tie the dogs downstairs as they usually were kept below. (We love our dogs at home, but not two unkempt dogs walking around a luxury villa we paid for!) After six requests, he became belligerent and we returned the favor. We called his boss at the rental company. An enraged caretaker stomped off to his loft below the hill of the property. We received a bitter call from the owner of the villa. She informed us, if things were that bad, we should just leave. The dogs weren't the only problem we encountered though. The owners, from New York, left their personal belongings in the cabinets. Things like their toothbrush, medications, Christmas presents, and other hygiene products were left in the house. A number of things were broken on the property, the shower drain, door locks to each room, and beverage cooler. On the last night, I had to abandon my room due to a sewage smell coming from the closet. (Go figure!) And for some reason, Charles' felt he had the authority to walk across the pool deck, through the main house, and use the front door as he pleased! He even allowed his cousin to wash his car in the car loop after we were there no more than 2 hours! Also, this villa sits on Simpson Bay Lagoon, my family was eaten alive by the mosquitos. Anyhow, we took the owner's advice and left this villa. Packing our rental blindly accepting what was available. After months of planning, our careful plans meant absolutely nothing. We wanted to stay and be thankful for being fortunate enough to stay at Mirabelle. However, the thought of an angry man walking around with garden tools at night or during the day was not good for safety. As we waited for the rental manager, we got a final surprise from Charles. We were sitting in our jeep. I was holding a trash bag filled with perishable grocery. We heard a chain rustling and there standing at the front door were one of the owners' dogs. The other dog wrapped himself around the beautiful columns of the villa tying itself into a knot. It was then we knew we made the right choice. The rental company moved us to Terrase de Mar, a much better villa. No bugs, no loose dogs, no angry gardeners, just peace with a dynamite ocean view. The first two days sucked in St. Martin but the last five were priceless.

  • Last visit to Saint Martin: Nov 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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