St Maarten/St Martin
5 April 2009 Newsletter

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Cupecoy sunset

Weather: Sunday turned out to be lovely, albeit a bit breezy. As the swell on the western side of the island has moderated, we had a good time on our side of the island. It was so popular that Sherakhan dropped anchor off our balcony. She's a 230 foot beauty capable of carrying 22 guests for a mere $400,000 per week. That is Saba in the distance. Monday turned out to be cloudy and hazy as the square-rigger came by (below left). By dinnertime it was raining but ended before we got home. Tuesday was a bit less cloudy, but Saba was still not visible through the haze. We went out to Orient for the day and the wind was considerable, kicking up some waves, but it was a lovely, sunny day. The panoramic photo below was taken from Hope Hill and shows Coconut Grove and L'Embouchure with St Barts seventeen miles away. The day was so clear we could see houses on St Barts, in Lorient, I believe. Wednesday was better and Thursday was positively hot with clear skies and not as much wind. A great beach day. Friday was similar and Saturday was just as warm with puffy white clouds. The shot of Saba (below right) was taken on Saturday afternoon.   Sherakhan off our balcony on Sunday

Square-rigger   It's already 79F at 8AM on Sunday morning. Another glorious day is arriving: just a few puffy white clouds, a little breeze, no whitecaps on the lagoon or Caribbean. Saba is clear as a bell and Statia and St Kitts are visible. Yesterday in the afternoon Nevis was visible after the marine haze burned off. Click for Juliana Airport, St. Martin Forecast Here's the current local conditions and here's the forecast from Weather Underground and here's one from the Weather Channel. the days are getting longer. Sunset today is at 6:23 and the moon is a almost full. Full moons for 2009 are 9 Apr (this week!), 9 May, 7 Jun, 7 Jul, 6 Aug, 4 Sep, 4 Oct, 3 Nov, and 2 Dec.   Saba on Saturday afternoon

Tuesday from Hope Hill
SXM-Beaches: Thursday at Cupecoy was as clear and as calm as it ever gets with lots of sand at the little cove, a bit at the middle beach by the dock, and none on the villa beach at the far NW end.

Beach reading: The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Movie Tie-in Edition) by Alexander Mccall Smith - about $8 - The NY Times had a review of the upcoming HBO movie based on this series of books. I listened to one last summer as I drove around eastern NY. It's a combination of travelogue and mystery, as you learn quite a bit about Botswana while a mystery slowly unfolds. No fast-paced, wise-cracking dialogue here. Mccall is the African-born author of more than 50 books, from children's stories (The Perfect Hamburger) to scholarly works (Forensic Aspects of Sleep). He turns his talents to detection in this artful, pleasing novel about Mma (aka Precious) Ramotswe, Botswana's one and only lady private detective. A series of vignettes linked to the establishment and growth of Mma Ramotswe's "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" serve not only to entertain but to explore conditions in Botswana in a way that is both penetrating and light thanks to Smith's deft touch. Mma Ramotswe's cases come slowly and hesitantly at first: women who suspect their husbands are cheating on them; a father worried that his daughter is sneaking off to see a boy; a missing child who may have been killed by witchdoctors to make medicine; a doctor who sometimes seems highly competent and sometimes seems to know almost nothing about medicine. The desultory pace is fine, since she has only a detective manual, the frequently cited example of Agatha Christie and her instincts to guide her. Mma Ramotswe's love of Africa, her wisdom and humor, shine through these pages as she shines her own light on the problems that vex her clients. Images of this large woman driving her tiny white van or sharing a cup of bush tea with a friend or client while working a case linger pleasantly. General audiences will welcome this little gem of a book just as much if not more than mystery readers.   Cover

Random Wind   Activities: Diane says enter the SXM-Info contests for a $40 coupon aboard Random Wind. Five lucky couples win this every year. It might as well be you."

After dinner at Skipjack's on Monday we headed over to Pineapple Pete's to catch the last hour of Ronny Santana's show. He is an amazing guitarist and the photo shows him with Ziggy Chan who claims to be his manager and, moreover, Ziggy taught Ronny everything he knows. After the show, Pete (who is French-Canadian and whose name is really Pierre) came by and told us that he had taught Ronny everything he knows. When I mentioned that Ziggy had made that claim earlier, he replied, "Well, yes, but I taught Ziggy everything that he knows." So it turns out that Pineapple Pete's is not just a good restaurant with great live music, but a guitar school. I think I'll sign up.

  Ronny Santana and Ziggy Chan
Construction: There have been several projects announced or started by the Dutch side government and some of them will be helpful for tourists.
They have already announced that they have aquired the land necessary for the roundabout in Cole Bay where Welfare Road meets the road coming from Philipsburg over Cole Bay Hill. That started Monday, on Theo's 39th birthday, as he used an excavator to tear into the old Midass Muffler Building. Note that the government sign ignored the actual name of the business. It was a time-honored tradition for local businesses to rip off US corporate names, frequently adding an s at the end of the real name. This was especially true for businesses that ended in s, which led to Midass Mufflers and Hooterss Restaurant.

The Dutch side is replenishing the beach in front of Fusion Restaurant at the western end of Pburg and are going to put in a pier. That will bring some tourists to the far end of town (and the far end of the boardwalk). Surely Fusion Restaurant and Antoine Restaurant are thrilled by this project. The government has also awarded a contract to rearrange Airport Road. The genius who did the original design took the main road straight through the terminal grounds, separating the terminal from the parking lot. This forces pedestrians and cars to cross one another with disastrous results for traffic, especially on Saturday. The new road, to be completed this summer, will circle around the parking lot.

  Midas Rotary

Not a big deal for tourists, but work has already started on the new fisherman's dock in the lagoon at the eastern end of the airport runway. There was a minimal place for the local fisherman that got lost as the runway got its 150 meter safety zone to please the US government. Now the fisherman will get it back. Of more interest to tourists is the fish market next to the bridge. There may be more fish available because of this new dock but certainly this year there are even a few shops and restaurants open in what was the largely vacant fish market building.

Cupecoy Beach Club gate   Here's an article from the NY Times on the carbon footprint of concrete. It says other interesting things such as we pour about a cubic yard of concrete for every person on this planet per year and goes on to discuss additives and measures to reduce the carbon footprint.

And how's this for construction? This was one of the fastest projects on the island. In a matter of days the Cupecoy Beach Club put some new rocks in the wall above their garbage bins. While everyone was watching that, they took out the beach access gate and blocked it off. Note the brand new, sparkling white rock to the left of the garbage gate, about the size of a door. That used to lead to Cliffside/Cliffhanger Beach Bar and down to Cupecoy Beach. Not any more. The beach from Cupecoy Beach Club past The Cliff, Rainbow Beach Club, and the private home are now inaccessible. So much for the beaches are all public.

Sapphire Beach Club: Our condo will be available again in really low season (starting 15 June) for $900 per week. The rental includes about $500 in coupons from several of our website clients. Check the calendar on our website for available dates.

For those of you who wish to sell or rent their week or unit, we have opened up the Sapphire Beach Club website for that purpose. We charge $25 per year. If you wish to rent or sell your unit, send us some text (and $25 to esk@sxm-info.com via Paypal). If you wish to rent or buy a unit without high middleman fees, check out the website. Given the large assessment that Sapphire just levied, there may be a lot of sales. At present, there are 20 sales and/or rentals available directly from owners. Given a 25 to 35% standard rental commission, there should be some bargains in eliminating the middleman and dealing direct.


AOC Butter   Groceries: We found this display at the Grand March in Cole Bay. That is AOC Butter from France. Just like wine, there are areas recognized for their butter and they command a pretty penny for it. The price here is 10.20 Naf (or $5.67) for 250 grams, just a touch less than nine ounces. It is better than regular butter. We had the Isigny version at Le Tastevin during our memorable dinner there this season.

Shopping:: We stopped by Jol and Carlinda at Octaedre Gems in the Marigot market and picked up some stunning garnet jewelry at very good prices. Carlinda is modeling the pendent that Martha bought. It's a real island souvenir, made in Jol's studio from garnet mined near Friar's Bay.

  Jol and Carlinda

Puyanch   Alcohol: We stopped in at Select Wine Cellar in the Orange Grove Shopping Center across the side street from the Harley Davidson dealer. We needed just a touch of Burgundy to get us through our final two weeks on the island and Sylvain has some great choices. For those looking for Bordeaux, we can suggest the Puyanch at $15 per bottle. We have already finished the six we bought five weeks ago. On their website there is a coupon good for a 10% discount on any purchase and the front page of SXM Info always has a contest from them offering a wine tasting to help you choose any bottle under $30 in the shop. Have a really great time by going at noon to enjoy a great luch from Champagne Snack Bar right next door.

Travel: There were several places noting drops in tourism recently, notably airlines and hotels. Many hoteliers that we have talked to say they have reservations through carnival (essentially the end of this month), but after that they have no bookings. Sapphire is still full as it is timeshare. Owners have to pay the maintenance fee and if they cook in the unit they can enjoy the warm weather for the same cost as staying home. The only extra cost is the airline fees which are dropping.

Nature: I have sad news for those who remember the the touching photo of the male cowbird feeding his babies in the crown of the palm tree beneath our balcony. The birds are nest parasites and had taken over a dove's nest. As they don't know much about nest building, when the wind shifted and came in from our side of the island, the nest was blown apart and the fledglings were dumped on the ground. I went down and found them. I then built another nest for them in a shrub and put them in it. It appears that I don't know much about nest building as the next day they were on the ground again. I built them a better nest, further up another tree. Unfortunately, they would not stay in it. I found one dead on the ground the next morning and put the other two back in the nest, but they immediately hopped out onto the tree. By the next day I could not see them when I went out onto the balcony but the parents flew up to the top of the original palm tree and seemingly beseeched me to help them. I never did find them. It turns out that bird mortality in the wild is quite high. We are thinking of raising pheasants and the literature warned that we might lose some before they were old enough to release. The article went on to point out that in the wild about 1 in 100 actually make it through the first winter. Obviously, winters in the Caribbean are a bit milder, but it's tough out there.   Cowbirds

Crime and Traffic: It appears that any crazy vehicle can get permission (or not bother to get permission but nobody cares) to travel the roads. The underpowered ones slow traffic on the rare times that it can get moving and the large ones (construction equipment mostly, but we did have duck boats here for one ill-fated season) slow traffic in both directions. Even normal sized and powered vehicles such as the Jeeps used for tours cause problems because they move as a dense pack, never allowing any cross traffic. On our way into Marci's Gym on Monday morning we came upon one of the more recent additions, a tiny three wheeled contraption that seats two. When we came on the scene near the airport, one of the two occupants was already in the ambulance and the other was standing around dazed, although wearing a helmet. The remains of the tiny plastic machine were on the side of the road and a police cruiser was already there. A few newsletters ago we reported that the Dutch side had received about 40 new cruisers. They actually are using them. We made it through the crash zone and on the way to the gym, we met two more cruisers heading over. It appears that the only reason one never saw a Dutch policeman was because they didn't have any cars. Now they are ubiquitous.

The larger concern is your safety. Mixing these tiny motorized vhehicles (ATVs and these three-wheeled gizmos) with normal traffic is going to lead to collisions and these things, moreover their operators, are not going to fare well. The day after I wrote this the Daily Herald had its usual gory photo and it was an ATV rider bleeding on the pavement in Curaao. He made it to the hospital but did not live. Admittedly, he was doing stupid things with his machine. Then again, it appears to be possible to contract the stupids from contact with an ATV.

Small Island story: The French side is having their usual public spat over tourism. There is a ministry in charge of tourism and there is a tourist agency that spends the allocated tourism budget. Last year the ministry fired the director of the agency and they are now complaining about the replacement already. The interesting thing, and that which makes it a small island story, is that they are using the Daily Herald for their debate. I read one page where the head of the tourism agency is reporting on all the good things she is doing with the 3.1 million euros she has received, although she took great pains to point out that several people are involved in decision making. I think that means fire them, not me. Turn the page and their is government minister in charge of tourism going on about flying first class to promote the island. At least they didn't take a private jet.


Current Contest: 1 March to 26 April 2009
Caribbean View Condo - half price summer rental (May-October)
Lagoon Pub Crawl - two for one ticket
Skipjack's - $50 off a dinner for two
Select Wine Cellar - Wine tasting and a bottle of wine
Random Wind - $40 gift certificate
GCBC Watersports - Two for One snorkel trip to Crole Rock
Tijon Perfume - One free bottle
Peg Leg Pub - $50 off a dinner for two
PassportMD - Six months free service
Radiant Gems - $50 off a purchase of $200 or more

Read our rules, visit the websites of these sponsors, find their contest codes, and enter them on our entry form.

One of the rules is that you should enter each contest only once. You can enter five of the drawings on one entry. Thus, you could win a rather nice vacation at a considerable savings by combining accommodations with dinners and activities.

Future Contests:

26 April to 26 July 2009 | 26 July to 25 October 2009 | 25 October to 27 December 2009
27 December to 28 February 2010 | 28 February to 25 April 2010 | 25 July to 31 October 2010
same cast of characters as current contest



On 29 Mar the euro was at $1.330. Today it is at $1.348. Vanessa at California Restaurant confirms that they are still doing 1 to 1. Pirate Beach Bar's menu is in dollars, no conversion necessary. Momo at Ti Bouchon says his menu is in dollars also. We had a lunch at Kokomarina where the menu proclaims 1 to 1. Le France in Marigot's Marina Royale is doing 1 to 1 also. L'Auberge Gourmande is doing $1.2 to 1 . We'll let you know as we hear from more of them.

On Monday we went to SkipJack's for some wonderful fish. They have just switched to Netco for their wine supply and now have two pinot noirs on the list. The Concannon is a mere $29 and, as it is young and fruity, it's a great wine with flavorful fish preparations - not too big, not too complex, just go with the flow, and enjoy the view of the mega-yachts. We started with the tuna carpaccio, wonderful tuna topped with capers, shallots, sea salt, basil, lime, and a drizzle of olive oil ($15).
Martha had the shrimp kebab ($23) and I went with a Cuban grouper special ($21). Dinners come with a side salad, your choice of starch (rice, baked potato, or curly fries), and your choice of sauce (although many dishes come with a suggested sauce). The Cuban preparation featured black beans and some peppers, but it was not very spicy hot. Martha's shrimp were flavorful, indicating they were not farm-raised and the grouper was firm and fresh, as always. The service is good and friendly and, on a decent evening, the view of the lagoon and mega-yacht marina is quite pleasant.
Tuna carpaccio
Tuna Carpaccio
Shrimp kebab
Shrimp Kebab
Cuban grouper
Cuban Grouper

Pirate Beach Bar
On Tuesday we headed to Pirate Beach Bar for a great lunch on Orient Beach. Martha had the Pirate Salad which features conch (left, $10) and I had some wonderful grouper with rice and peas (right, $12) and a helping of Matouk's hot sauce. Put those two together and you'll have a $22 lunch on the beach. There's a coupon on the website that would get you two beers or rum drinks, two chairs, and an umbrella for only $12 more. That's a total of $34 for two lunches, two drinks, two chairs and an umbrella for the afternoon. That's hard to beat, and the the food is great also. With the plates you get a choice of rice and peas or fries and you get a bit of cole slaw and a bit of salad.
Conch salad Pirate logo Grilled Grouper

Auberge Gourmande
On Wednesday night we headed to an early dinner at Auberge Gourmande. It wasn't planned that way but traffic was quite light and we went from Cupecoy through Marigot to Grand Case in about 25 minutes, arriving about 7PM. We parked in the central lot as the free lot near Calmos is under construction, so arriving early isn't much help. It's a short walk past some great restaurants.

We opted to sit inside and as we were the first customers, we choose a corner table peering into the glass-sided wine cellar. Florence was still offering a the 2005 Savigny Les Beaune Premier Cru from Bouchard for a mere 59, as she was on our last visit. It was just as good this time. We skipped an ap although we were tempted by the duck liver from the Landes region, pan-sauted with caramelized pears in a Sauterne wine reduction sauce.

We continued our asceticism, as Martha ordered the blackened filet of tuna served with creamy parmesan risotto and I ordered the sauted Chilean sea bass filet and shrimp, served with coconut sauce on a bed of sweet potatoes and roasted vegetables. The tuna was especially good with a good bit of blackening and very tasty atop a well-made risotto. I also liked the seabass and shrimp combo. Both dishes came with a small bit of sauted endive, which is a big plus in our estimation. For dessert we had the chocolate delight served with fresh fruits and coulis. It really was a delight with espresso and the standard balloons of Armagnac.

Service here has always been great. Florence and Christophe not only are very good at what they do, but also quite friendly and knowledgeable. Florence maintains one of the larger wine cellars on the island with a good selection of Bordeaux and Burgundy. L'Auberge was voted best in the Caribbean by the readers of Caribbean Travel + Life in 2007.

tuna Jumbo shrimp and sea scallop duo Chocolate delight

Le Village Restaurant
For lunch on Thursday, we headed over to the Village Restaurant in Marina Royale. The marina has parking on both sides and it's a short drive from Cupecoy or Simpson Bay. We had a table with a lovely view. The marina is colorful but the view of our wine (Monredon Cotes du Rhone, 20), water, and the hot oil for my soon-to-arrive pizza reine (ham, cheese, mushrooms, and tomato sauce, 10) is just as nice. Martha ordered a shrimp salad (15). While we were dining the fruit vendor hawked her wares to some other patrons. You have to love a country where somebody brings along a wheelbarrow full of fresh papayas, mangos, and pineapples while you are having lunch. I thought we would have some pizza left over, but it was too good and Martha helped a bit. After lunch we were given a shaker of rum, and (we think) vanilla, banana, and a bit of cream with ice. This was a great end to a nice lunch on a hot day.
  Our view  
  Reine pizza fruit vendor drinks  

Tai Chi Restaurant
On Friday we headed out to Tai Chi Restaurant in Orient Village. We tasted the wonton soup again for our upcoming St Maarten Events article. After that we continued with Thai food, having the squid in a spicy sauce and beef Thai style (with broccoli and carrots in a tasty brown sauce). The squid was perfectly done and not all that hot. I've been to Thailand and it's the only place that was too hot for me, so this is toned down a bit, but I'm sure you could ask to step up the heat, if you dare. Both dishes came with a bowl of rice and we had to leave a bit behind, as there was so much food. With five Kronenbourg beers our total bill came to $70. I think thats pretty good for a tasty dinner in a lovely setting. As it was Friday night, the square was alive with vendors and Mambo Loco was singing.
  Squid with Thai sauce

News and Changes: Orange Fever on Orient Beach has most of the kitchen in place and plans on finishing this week. Beatrice has the ground rent and handles the beach chairs while Luc and Olivier, both from Sunset Caf in Grand Case, will be running the bar and kitchen. They will have the usual Orient Beach grill fare but think they will add some of the more interesting salads, like those at Sunset Caf. The success of Kokomarina down here at the cheaper end of the beach suggests that there may be a market for their efforts. Read on and you'll see why it's quite brave to be opening anything at this time.

Paradise View on Hope Hill above Orient is definitely closed. Bernie at the Local Rum and Spices shop next door said it closed over the summer and she hasn't seen Claudette Davis since. The shops on the hill are still there and Bernie still feeds the sugarbirds and looks after stray cats. She deserves your support and the local spices, hot sauces, and chutneys are great - no high fructose corn syrup, xanthan gum, etc.

  Bernie at the Local Spices and Rum shop
Noche in Grand Case was closed on Wednesday night. hmmm? The Blue Martini across from the Dutch airport was closed on Friday night, making the bar even more content-free than the website, a difficult trick. They were closed again on Saturday night. hmmm?

One now starts to wonder if they will be presenting semi-famous musicians Firefall and Al Stewart on 11 April. hmmm?

Jimmy Goldman closed Tijuana Yacht Club on Friday. There was a quick ad in the paper inviting everyone to a closing party with live music. We stopped in for two songs and and drank half of two bottles of $5 Dos Equis before we drove off.

The SXM Culinary team chosen to represent island at this year's Taste of Caribbean will be Raymond Southern from Westin, M. Geoffrey from Le Pressoir, Stephane from L'Astrolabe, and Paul Peterson and Dino Jagtiani from Temptation Restaurant. The team manager is John Jackson of Saratoga. Mario Tardif from Mario's Bistro, and Cecille Briaud-Richard from Chanteclair are coaches. The competion will be 12-14 Jun in Puerto Rico

John Abbot has been held over until 15 April playing pop/rock at Sopranos. Saturday nights feature a Jam session with Paps and all Heineken is two for one.

Karakter, on Simpson Bay Beach near Mary's Boon, is having a beach dance at 6:30 on the first Friday of every month. You just missed one!


Gunslinger's Steel Pan Band Last Tuesday Night in Grand Case: Grand Case had its last Harmony Nightof this season. Here's some photos from previous years.

Friday Night in Orient Village: Once again Orient Village is bringing in a band and several vendors on Friday evening for a lively time in their square.

Band in the square at Orient

  Our condo: We are here until 15 April and have a good bit of the following two months rented already. The condo will be available for rent at $1000 per week from 15 April to 15 June, $900 per week from 16 June until 1 October, and $1000 per week until 15 December 2009. The rental includes about $500 in coupons from several of our website clients. The holiday weeks will be available at $2000 per week and the balance of the high season that is available at $1500 per week. It will be unavailable from 15 January 2009 until 15 April 2009. Check the calendar on our website for available dates. The rate is so good and the coupons are so popular that we get about 60% occupancy in the low season (we are already at 30%). If you want a week, it's best to book early.

It's hard to use the words Cap Juluca and bargain in the same sentence, but having just spent $20 million on renovating the resort, the new owners are now offering two nights for the price of one from March 14 - April 12, 2009. If you are coming late in the season and wish to experience awesome luxury at half price, consider a two day trip. Stuck at the beginning of a timeshare week, you may save a few bucks on airfare by avoiding Saturday. You'll certainly avoid the crowds at the airport. We stayed here about two years ago and wrote about it in our features section. It will cost about $70 each way for the ferry and a taxi (per couple). Fantastic late breakfasts that carried us thrugh to dinner were included in the room cost, but you'll spend a few bucks on dinner. Import duties are quite high in Anguilla so wine and food, almost all imported, costs more than on SXM.  

  SXM-Info has chosen SkyMed as our preferred medical travel insurance partner. Any medical travel insurance will get you back to the US, but SkyMed takes you home. Where's home? From their website: "Our definition of home is simple: Home is where you say it is. When struck by the unexpected, our service takes you home.  

PassportMD provides many things, including access to Monthly Harvard Health Letter and the Harvard Mental Health Letter, savings on prescriptions, medical reminders, an ability to email your doctor, and more. The most important benefit for travelers on cruiseships or those who take extended vacations in the third world is the ability to have your medical records stored in a secure server that will allow quick access in your time of need. SXM-Info has teamed up with PassportMD to provide these services with a two month absolutely free, no strings attach trial.


  Our article featuring four recipes from four restaurants from Cupecoy to Sandy Ground has been published in St Maarten Events and is available on the island. Look for a moules appetizer from Mario's Bistro, a vichyssoise from Ti Sucrier, lamb chops from Montmartre Restaurant, and a blanc mange dessert from Boucaniers. I had taken several photos for the article and Michael Dingemans, the publisher, was on the island just before high season taking more photos. As always, his wife, Carina, turned it into a beautiful layout. The magazine is distributed free throughout the island and contains a useful island map as the centerfold.

Amazon: I'm not convinced that the Kindle e-book from Amazon is the best thing to take to a beach, but it sure is a lightweight way to get some of your favorite books to the Caribbean, especially now that the second bag costs $25 or so on most flights! They just came out with the newer version and it's barely a quarter inch thick and weighs about 10 ounces. It has 16 shades of gray for the page background and reads well even in direct sunlight. Maybe it is the best thing to take to the beach? Here's a NY TImes review of the Kindle. Martha has been downloading audio books from our local library to her Zune (an iPod knockoff) and that has been working rather well. Obviously, these are audio books and it's not the same as "reading" the text, but it works quite well.


Coupons: Look on the SXM-Info website for a list of all restaurants and others that have coupons for some freebie or discount. There are several coupons there to make your vacation a bit cheaper. Here's a list of what you'll find:
Bikini Beach
Beau Beau's
Diamonds International
Kakao Beach
Oizeau Rare
Pizza Galley
Pirate Beach Bar
Tai Chi
Select Wine Cellar
Endless Summer Beachwear
Radiant Gems

Mario's Cookbook   The Mario's Bistro Cookbook is still available online. They are shipped via UPS and cost $49 for one, $87 for two, and $123 for three, delivered. Delivery via UPS should take a day or two in the US.

Sandy Molloy at Molloy Travel offers personalized service to fit your needs and budget.

Thibault and Amaury from Bistrot Carabes have studio apartments on Orient Beach. They are in refurbished units at the former Mont Vernon hotel. The rates are good in this lovely location.