Françoise VAILLAND HAMEL
- english, french
100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
A magical vacation spot
We spent a wonderful week in Françoise and Yves’ studio apartment. It was exactly as described and somehow roomier than we had expected. The outdoor kitchen was great for preparing our coffee and croissants, and from the patio we enjoyed a gorgeous view of water, beaches, and islands. We also swam several times in the pool, which was just around the corner from the studio and in front of the main part of the house.
The inside of the studio was very comfortable and well appointed. The bathroom was especially nice! Internet was reliable and fast enough for streaming video. The ceiling fan and the breeze from outdoors kept us cool at night, so we never even used the air conditioning unit.
On previous visits to the island we stayed in Grand Case and didn’t really need a car. Here you will definitely want a car! However, it’s not hard to hike over to Orient Bay, so you don’t have to drive everywhere. We also enjoyed paddling the kayak to Pinel Island, and highly recommend that you arrange to do the same!
The studio and house have been completely fixed up since Irma and the restoration is fabulous. Completing recovery in the neighborhood and across the island will take much more time. We welcomed the many signs of repair work being done, but some structures may never get rebuilt. Nevertheless, this should not keep you from visiting and having a magical, relaxing vacation.
The beaches are lovely, the restaurants are amazing, and every day we were glad to be there. Françoise and Yves were excellent hosts in every way, and we can’t wait to go back!
Les proprios ont très bien rénovés la maison suite au passage de l'ouragan de 2017. L'ile Pinel située tout près de la résidence est une option de plage très intéressant et accessible en kayak.
Malheureusement il reste beaucoup de travail à faire sur le reste de l'ile.
One word... Excellent!!
We were dreaming of a Caribbean experience to get away from old man winter. That's when we discovered this property in Cul-De-Sac side. We were blown away with the guest house that Francoise made available. It was very modern, clean, close to many restaurants. Store was near by. She also setup your own parking space. Theres an outside kitchen with the view of the ocean. There's also a pool that you will have access to. Wifi was great and she also provided us with a kayak to use to get to Pinel island. I highly recommend this property if you want to impress someone. Thanks again Francoise and family. You were an excellent host.
As I sit in my office waiting for our first major snow storm of the season, I find myself daydreaming about our return visit last month to French Cul De Sac in St. Martin. Once again, Francoise and Yves were perfect hosts and again we thoroughly enjoyed the peaceful quiet of their studio apartment. Just the chirping of the sugarbirds and perhaps the mewing of Moise the cat to disturb the melodic pounding of the surf below. Try going cold turkey on the Internet and email as I did. You'll be amazed how quickly you settle into the rhythm of island life! We of course swam and strolled at Orient Beach daily, taking in the many sights. We also took advantage of our host's kayak which we took to Pinel Island on two occassions. The far side of the island has a beautiful beach with great snorkeling but beware of the current there that can quickly take you if you get too caught up in the beauty below the waves. On another day we drove to the end of Rue de Grande Caye (where we parked our car) and hiked up and around the end of St. Martin, enjoying magnificent ocean views and Anguilla in the distance. We walked to the very isolated Petite Caye where we frolicked in some huge waves before hiking on up the hill to Anse Marcel, site of the Radisson resort and marina. There, a nice Candadian couple allowed us to share their cab so that we could get back to our parked car. A beautiful and enjoyable day as were all of them. You will need a car if you stay here. I highly recommend Automax. We've used them twice and both times have been completely hassle free. Louis and his assistant Sebastion meet you at the airport where they will give you your car and send you on your way. They meet you on your return, you hand them the keys, and that's it. At least that's how it's been for us. So, enjoy your stay with Francoise and Yves in Cul De Sac but there is a downside: at the end of your stay you have to leave - and then you're left to daydream about your Carribean vacation as the cold wind blows and the snow falls outside your window. Bon voyage!!
A peaceful island respite
We stayed for a week at this studio and enjoyed a wonderful tropical respite. Our vacation in St. Martin was the perfect way to start the new year and recharge after the holidays. Getting away from Minnesota in January made us appreciate all the more being surrounded by warm sunshine, birds, the sound of crashing waves, and flowering shrubs...all just outside our door!
This unit is very private, very quiet, very clean, and very comfortable. It is not connected to any resort and is most suited to those who wish to get around the island and try the various beaches and villages on St. Martin. A rental car is a must if you really want to explore. That being said, our fondest memories were of staying "close to home" at French Cul de Sac. A nearby restaurant, Villa Pizza, was casual, delicious, and they offered much more than pizza. My favorite dish was the Chicken Curry, and we went there 3 times. It is within walking distance if you don't mind hills and bring a flashlight, as streetlights are not prevelant. Nearby Pinel Island had the best beach that we encountered. We went one particularly windy day via ferry (which was $7 per person and very easy to catch); but really enjoyed using Franciose and Yves' kayak to get to Pinel another day. It was a simple and beautiful trip, we pulled the kayak up on the beach and spent the day in the sun being waited on by staff from one of the two beach restaurant/bars. Heaven!
The best part of our stay was our ability to enjoy the outdoors on our private patio. Coffee outside in the morning was the best I've ever had. Just reading a book in the sun and enjoying the privacy and the quiet was such a treat.
We appreciated Francoise's attention to detail and our comfort. She and Yves were available and helpful, and respected our privacy at the same time. They are great hosts. We will be back for certain.
Advisory: Be familiar with the Manchineel Tree. It is a toxic plant that is common around beach areas and can cause skin burns and rashes...or worse. We came into contact with this menace somewhere along the way. It didn't ruin the trip, but next time I will avoid it like the plague. Worse than poison ivy!
Getting there: if you aren't familiar with St. Martin pay close attention to Francoise's directions on how to get to the studio. Street signs aren't as visible and you must pay attention to landmarks to find your way the first time.
Superbe séjour....Nous voulons revenir...
Séjour extraordinaire, l' appartement est idéal et reflète complètement la présentation sur le site, rien ne manque ! l' accueil est formidable, Françoise et Yves sont des personnes charmantes et l'on se sent bien dans ce lieux idyllique.
La plage est à coté, nous sommes proches de tout, vraiment de très belle vacances..
Dès que nous reviendrons sur St Martin c'est là que nous reviendrons, MERCI à vous deux, très cordialement Gilles et Sandra.
(Text automatically translated) Daily flights from Europe (Air France, Corsair, KLM ....) the Caribbean and the USA. Possibility of car rental discount with reception at the airport, or taxi.
The owners who live on the island for 20 years wil be happy to provide you with advices and good address