Hi, I read the review about "Not Feeling Too Safe in Grand Case." To the authors, I'm sorry about your experience.
I'd like to add the area around the Atlantis World Casino on the Dutch side. While in St. Maarten, I stayed at the Delfina Hotel. On Thursday, August 17, I went to Marigot and I also watched planes at the Sunset Beach Bar. That evening I took a bus from Philipsburg and got off at the Atlantis Casino, about a 10-minute walk from the Delfina. It was about 7 PM and dark. I was walking on the side street - the bus only goes on the main road - adjacent to the casino parking lot when I felt my shoulder bag being grabbed from behind. I turned around to see two men, one of whom appeared to have a knife. I decided it was best to give them the bag. The two men went into a car and drove off, turning right onto the main road in front of the casino, as if they were heading toward the French side. Fortunately I was not physically injured, nor did I lose my passport nor any money. Among other things I lost all of my vacation pictures. I was too stunned by what was happening to get the license plate number. I asked the casino staff to call the police, and I was interviewed by a detective, but I haven't heard back yet and I am not optimistic about recovering my bag and its contents. Needless to say, I was quite shaken up by the incident and couldn't sleep that night. The hotel staff and one of the regular guests (who rents/sells property around the university there) were genuinely surprised that this happened to me. But it did. Anyway, the next day I left two hours earlier than I had planned to, since I had lost my desire to explore any more of St. Maarten.
As a result of this incident, I now believe that St. Maarten is *not* safe for visitors. (I never had problems in supposedly "unsafe" places like Philadelphia, Detroit, and New Orleans.) Perhaps I should have just paid the exorbitant (to me, at least) taxi fares.