The road that runs West from Marigot down the strip of land between the ocean and Simpson Bay Lagoon is called “Rue de Sandy Ground”. Sandy Ground itself is the name of the little township on the “far” side of the bridge that separates the lagoon from the ocean.
This blog-entry will be a bit different from my previous entries. I plan to describe in some detail the 700 meter stretch of “Rue de Sandy Ground” between Marigot and the bridge. My reason for doing this is simply because, when I was looking for an apartment to rent, I spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out which building was which and where, for example, the rumored supermarket was hiding … because I could not find it on any map!
With a bit of luck, these notes will help some future visitor who is trying to work out where things are on this three-quarter-kilometer stretch of road.
Not surprisingly, people who rent-out their apartments are cautious about providing a precise address until you have made a reservation and paid a deposit. But, if the rental website provides a decent set of photos, a little diligent research will sort out one building from another. Unfortunately, Google Maps is not much help. But at least it does show Marigot’s roads correctly … unlike the Apple Map, which makes a real mess of the Marigot shoreline.
If you zoom in on Google Maps, you will most likely see the Hotel Beach Plaza, correctly positioned and labelled. But, depending on how you search for it, you may find a second “copy” of the Hotel Beach Plaza, a quarter kilometer farther West. And Mario’s Bistro is in the wrong place. And the supermarket is in fact shown … but only if you zoom in far enough. At most “normal” resolutions, it disappears!
Unlike Google Maps, the “Google Earth” App does of course show all the buildings correctly, because it is based on a satellite photo. But many of the “pasted” photos and other named points in Google Earth are either in the wrong place or are misleadingly labelled. In Google Earth, you can clearly see two different locations for Hotel Beach Plaza … and Mario’s Bistro is still in the wrong place. But “Google Earth” does at least show all the buildings, so I will refer to it quite frequently in the following notes, if only by mentioning the colors of the roofs.
So I now plan to “take a stroll” down the stretch of “Rue de Sandy Ground” from Marigot to the bridge. We will begin this walk at the “Office de Tourism” which is situated on the “lagoon” side of the road right next to the traffic-circle where the “Boulevard de France” joins “Rue de Sandy Ground” …
As you walk West, you pass four large buildings, all on the ocean side of the road …
~ The Yacht Club Residence
~ Residence Le Pirate
~ Hotel Beach Plaza
~ Résidence Anse Des Sables
Here are a few notes on each of these four buildings.
The Yacht Club Residence may or may not contain a yacht club but I am pretty sure that it is primarily a condo building. On the ground floor, you will find a pizza place and a small Thai restaurant called “Chays” …
Residence Le Pirate is a large building consisting of a center block and two wings, all with white roofs. I found several apartments for rent in this building before finally choosing “our” place in “Résidence Anse Des Sables” …
The Beach Plaza Hotel also consists of a large center block plus two wings. The center block has a red roof while the wings have white roofs. I have the impression that the Beach Plaza Hotel has alternated between being a hotel and being a condo. Probably, it is a bit of both. Now, it definitely advertises itself as a hotel. The exterior of the building has been nicely renovated in the three years since we were here last (at which time it seemed distinctly shabby). But reviews of the hotel on places like TripAdvisor suggest that the interior still needs a lot of work.
“Our” apartment is in “Résidence Anse Des Sables”, which consists of three large blocks of apartments, all entered via a common entry-way. If you zoom in all the way on Google Maps, you will see this building correctly labelled. On Google Earth, one of the photos is labelled “Ancien Hotel PLM St. Tropez de Marigot St. Martin” which suggests that this building probably started life as a hotel. Now it is a nice apartment building. It is well maintained and pleasantly fully occupied. We cannot tell how many people live here long-term and how many, like us, are just renting an apartment for a few days or weeks. I found several apartments available for rent here. Being a condo building, the interiors of the apartments may be very different from each other. Our apartment has been very nicely renovated. Everyone in the building is extremely friendly. Most people greet us in French … but then promptly switch to English … 🙂
This building is the last of the four “apartment / hotel” buildings on this stretch of Rue de Sandy Ground.
Just a couple of minutes walk further on is “Simply Market”. This is the building with the bright red roof on Google Earth. It is in fact in the correct place on Google Maps … but it pops up only if you zoom-in all the way. It is a very nice, and super-convenient, market full of delicious French cheeses and cured meats. Google Maps shows Mario’s Bistro right next door to “Simply Market” … but in real life Mario’s is round the corner on the canal!
Just a few more paces and we are at the bridge. I will post a few photos of the bridge … and of Mario’s Bistro … in my next entry.
Bye for now. Future blogs will revert to being just brief notes and photos