Hotels & Villas
Oyster Bay Beach Resort

Perched on a palm-dotted promontory and surrounded by Dawn Beach and Oyster Pond is St. Maarten's most private and distinctive hideaway - Oyster Bay Beach Resort. Like St. Maarten - a beautiful island that [ ... ]

Hotels & Villas
Belmond La Samanna Villas

One of the most distinguished addresses in the Caribbean, Belmond La Samanna Villas offer the ultimate in luxurious Caribbean accommodations and services. Residential in feel, but private and exclusive [ ... ]

Hotels & Villas
Porto Cupecoy

Perfectly situated on the Dutch/French border of internationally acclaimed Sint Maarten, Porto Cupecoy is redefining resort living with an inspiring style, an unassuming elegance, and a wealth of amenities [ ... ]

Lee's Roadside Grill

Lee’s Roadside Grill opened for the first time in 1997 and it has now grown into a thriving must visit open air restaurant. Located in Simpson Bay on the lagoon, Lee’s Roadside Grill offers a totally [ ... ]

L'Oursin Restaurant at Belmond La Samanna Resort

The elegance of Belmond La Samanna's rooms and suites is complemented by the tempting variety of its cuisine, an irresistible combination of French and Caribbean specialties enhanced by one of the most [ ... ]

The Infinity Restaurant

The finest, most delectable international cuisine is just steps away from your room at Infinity Restaurant, located across from our open courtyard. Ocean views, outdoor dining on our elegant terrace, [ ... ]

Caribbean Gems

CARIBBEAN GEMS, established in 1983 has been consistently voted as St. Maarten’s #1 jewelry store in an independent poll conducted by The Daily Herald. High quality merchandise, competitive pricing and [ ... ]

Dawn Beach

Dutch Side - Atlantic Ocean
This is a lovely white sandy crescent shaped beach with plenty of coral rocks and big ‘surfing’ waves. Remember, you’re now on the Atlantic Ocean with bigger and rougher [ ... ]

Orient Beach

French Side - Atlantic Ocean
Do you enjoy Monte Carlo, St. Tropez or Nice? If your answer is yes, you will love Orient Beach, THE most popular beach on the island. On the hillside, several hotels provide [ ... ]


"…the SXM newsletter for experienced travelers!
Connecting YOU with Paradise!"

Dear Friends of St. Maarten, 

Here I am in New Jersey writing our bi-monthly newsletter and thinking about the things I enjoy on StMaarten/StMartin. Gosh, there are so many thoughts racing through my mind that I’m not sure where to begin. None the less, here are several reasons why Barbara and I have visited the island more than 70 times since 1978: 

Lying on the beach with a drink in one hand, a good book in the other relaxing while the calm waves of the Caribbean Sea caress your toes; 

Having a tasty dinner with your loved one at an outdoor café while you challenge each other to count the stars in the darkened sky; 

Drinking your morning coffee sitting on the balcony of your hotel watching the Pelicans cruise through the air in search of breakfast in the waters below; 

Offering a just read novel to a fellow traveler on the beach and accepting one of his in return leading to a discussion on authors; 

Enjoying an Investment Class in a casino as your money grows and grows while a waitress provides you with your favorite beverages; 

Watching the sun rise in the morning and setting in the evening and realizing that each day these magnificent images of the sky and sea will never be identical; 

Watching fishingmen in their boats going out in the morning heading for their favorite spots in the sea to throw out their lines or nets; 

The 37 wonderful beaches of StMaarten/StMartin each offering its own uniqueness and pleasures from privacy to crowds of like-minded tourists; 

The multi-colored flowers throughout the island – bougainvillea, hibiscus and, of course, the palm trees with their abundance of tasty coconuts ripe for the picking; 

Enjoying satisfying meals from roadside barbeque stands to innovative gourmet dinners at the finest restaurants in the Caribbean that provide numerous ethnic specialties which leave you wanting more; 

Shopping for sporty clothes, shopping for one-of-a-kind jewelry, shopping for the finest leather goods, shopping for a unique watch – just shopping; 

Even the most hardened workaholic will learn to relax after spending some time on the island and the idea of opening a bar or restaurant or ‘How many years do I have until retirement?’ will start creeping into your daily thoughts. 

I guess it’s time for me to surf United Airlines or American for a good airfare. Maybe we’ll meet you on island some time.


Sam Fusco

Winner of the 2006/2007 St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association's
Crystal Pineapple Award for Outstanding Tourism Journalism -
Former Board Member of the St. Maarten/St. Martin American Marketing Association

Featured in this issue:

1. Featured Villa: Villa Azur by PierresCaraibes
2. Featured Shop: Shipwreck Shops
The Best Hotels for the Cheapest Prices!
4. Featured Restaurant: Topper's Restaurant & Bar
5. Featured Hotel: Le Petit Hotel
6. Sam's Selection: StMaarten/StMartin Images

7. Featured Activity: Random Wind Charters
8. Featured Article: What is a Sommelier 
9. Featured Article Part 2: An Interview with a Sommelier
10. What's Happening in Paradise?


Featured Villa



---------------------__Villa Azur ------------------

This newly remodeled villa offers a wonderful contemporary décor while keeping the spirit of the Caribbean. The sunset brightly colors the skies above while you relax on the terrace or sit by the pool.

AzurPool-328x219--- TennisCourrt-328x219

The many amenities of the villa include a fully equipped kitchen, TV with satellite in all of the bedrooms, a Jacuzzi, a pool, a floodlit tennis court (Artificial Grass Sit In Sport Tennis 15 HD 110 (sand filled), a ping pong table, a Jacuzzi tub in the master bedroom and an organic anti-mosquito misting system.

Kitchen-328x219--- Bedroom-328x219

The master bedroom is to the side of the living room in an independent bungalow. The large en-suite bathroom has a shower and a walk-in closet. The Jacuzzi tub is behind the king sized bed. The second and third bedrooms are located downstairs and open to the tropical gardens. Both have king sized beds and en-suite bathrooms. The fourth bedroom is a closed mezzanine with steps down to the living area and  bathroom.

OutdoorDiningArea-328x219--- OutdoorLivingRoom-328x219

This beautifully decorated villa is within walking distance of La Samanna Hotel. It is a perfect getaway for families with older children and friends travelling together for a Caribbean escape.

Pierres Caraibes Villa Rentals & Real Estate  

For reservations or information, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
or Telephone: 011.590.590.51.02.85 | From the US 1.213.805.0840
To view our complete selection of villa rentals visit us at: www.pierrescaraibes.com
For villa sales visit us at: www.exclusivecaribbeanproperty.com 









Featured Shop


---------- logo shipwreck 160--- LHlogoBig--- logo boardwalk 160

St. Maarten/St. Martin is the Caribbean's finest shopping destination, with its chic French influence and duty free status and "Shipwreck Shops" are the island's premium shopping destination. Our stores have been providing locals and visitors to the island with high quality Caribbean-made gifts, souvenirs, books and resort wear for over 40 years in 16 key locations in both French St. Martin and Dutch St. Maarten.

The Shipwreck Shop idea was born in the late sixties, with the shipwreck WestIndiesMallof a small yacht in a heavy storm on the coast of the caribbean Island of Antiqua. Stranded on this quiet Caribbean island the couple had to find a way to finance their escape, so they started a 'shipwreck' shop and decorated the store with wreckage from the yacht. The concept proved so successful, that the couple expanded the stores throughout the islands and Shipwreck Shops came to the island of St. Maarten.

As the island of St. Maarten grew from a fledgling tourist destination with only a few hotels, to a major player in the Caribbean tourism trade, complete with fantastic duty free shopping, in numerous world class hotels and casino's; so Reinier and Lydia Heere grew the company into the major retailer on the island, that it remains today. Over the years the stores have became a landmark on the island, and are well known as "the" store for high quality island clothing, souvenir items, gifts and handicrafts.

Today, there is hardly a resort or major hotel on either the French or Dutch side of this two country island that does not have a Shipwreck Shop serving the guests. Cruise ship passengers seldom miss the unique stores in Philipsburg and Marigot, identified by the life size Gorilla greeting them at the door.
Lord & Hunter was created as the upscale "premier" store in the operation and was chosen as the name of the recently established U.S. base for the continued expansion of the Shipwreck Enterprise. The name is derived from the English translation of the Dutch Family names of Heere (Lord) and De Jager (Hunter).

We invite you to explore our website, www.ShipwreckShops.com; where we can now bring you the delights of Caribbean cooking into your kitchen with our Antilles Spice Clipper line of treats, delicacies and sauces. Order online and bring the exotic tastes of paradise into your home year round.

We hope that we can entice you to come and visit our tropical island paradise during your next vacation. Whether your visit is a day stop aboard a cruise ship or a week in an island villa, St. Maarten offers something for everyone. Come to our island paradise and visit one of our famous Shipwreck, Cabana, Boardwalk or Lord & Hunter stores conveniently located in shopping plazas and resorts.

Shipwreck Shops,
Main Office, Philipsburg, St. Maarten.
For questions or information, please telephone: 1.721.542.5358.
Email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at: www.shipwreckshops.com


Special Feature   



The Best Hotels for the Cheapest Prices! 


to the island and l
ooking to save money?

We can offer you a 50% discount off the regular rate at select island hotels. These rates are confidential and the hotel names cannot be published here. Interested?


Email Sam Fusco at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please include your Name, Travel Dates and "Discounted Hotel Rates" as your Subject. Sam will answer you within 24 hours with the hotel name(s) and the 50% discounted rate | Or telephone us at (001) 973.835.0600. These rates are exclusive to StMaarten.org.








Featured Restaurant    


--------Twice the Excitement & Fun!



Topper's Restaurant & Bar

A Great International Restaurant in a Fun Caribbean Cottage
Topper's, located in bustling Simpson Bay on the beautiful island of St. Maarten, a place that celebrates the all-American comfort cuisine with a menu filled with familiar culinary traditions from the Heartland alongside international culinary delights. Daily specials focus on fresh seafood and the best quality meats cooked to perfection. 

DiningAreaRLunch is served from 11:am until 5:pm that includes daily specials such as coconut shrimp, Malibu Chicken, Creole Red Snapper, Beef Stew, Fish and Chips, homemade soups and Kabobs. 

Dinner is served from 5:pm until 10:pm. Don't miss the incredible 14oz Filet Mignon, Red Snapper in pink peppercorn sauce, Fresh Sea Scallops, Prime Rib, Fresh Local Lobster, Osso buco and more! 

After dinner enjoy the homemade pies and desserts as well as a complimentary sample of Topper's handmade gourmet flavored Rhum liqueurs. 

The cozy bar is a local hangout and well known for Thursday night Island style Karaoke and nightly live music with a variety of artists playing standards, oldies, Reggae and classic rock, you will want to stay and dance the night away. 

The key word at Topper's is comfort, from the fun and cozy Caribbean décor, feel-good atmosphere to the unprecedented service, and food. We aspire to become your home, away from home! 

Topper's by the Sea 

A Unique Continental Restaurant with a Caribbean Flair
Celebrating the surrounding environment and you, Topper's by the Sea's diverse menu offers a variety of international culinary delights and American comfort food with daily ByTheSeaTablesRspecials that focus on fresh seafood offerings with a distinctive Caribbean flair and the best quality meats cooked to perfection. You can enjoy sensational tropical concoctions, innovative libations and fabulous food in our open-air atmosphere while watching the turquoise sea lap gently on the shore. 

Breakfast begins daily at 8:30am until 11:00am with traditional breakfast offering as well as specialty items like our French toast kabobs. Don't miss our Sunday & Wednesday morning Bloody Mary Bar! 

Lunch is served from 11:am until 5:pm. Please check our chalkboards for daily specials such as coconut shrimp, Malibu chicken, Creole Red Snapper, homemade soups and beef kabobs. 

Dinner is served from 5:pm until 10:pm. Please ask your server about our entertainment or nightly specials such as our incredible 14oz Filet Mignon, Red Snapper in pink peppercorn sauce, Prime Rib, Osso buco and more! We also offer Private Sea Side Dining by reservation only for your special celebrations. 

Please enjoy a complimentary sample of our handmade flavored Rhum liqueurs after any meal and take a memory of the island home with you in a bottle! 

RumBottlesRComplimentary entertainment and daily specials will keep you coming back for more. Monday nights come alive with a Caribbean Show and buffet - an evening not to be missed, filled with memorable moments, smiles, laughter and true Caribbean fun! Tuesday nights offer stuffed pork tenderloin and our fresh catch of the day. Featuring Duke & James performing standards, oldies and classic rock, you will want to stay and dance the night away. Wednesday nights is the Lobster Party, fresh Anguillian Lobster succulent and sweet! The live show on Thursday nights is spectacular with wonderful performances of Cabaret, Chicago, Cats and more. Prime Rib and fresh Mahi Mahi specials top off the evening. Friday night we have a 16oz Filet Mignon and fresh Sea Scallops followed by Karaoke fun! 

We view our restaurant as your home away from home and with that we aspire to deliver you a comfortable and personalized experience. Please share with us any special requests. Our goal is to anticipate your needs and to fulfill your expectations. Enjoy!  



Best BBQ 2012
Best Breakfast 2011
Best Lunch 2010
Best Happy Hour 2009
Best New Restaurant 2008
Best Bartender 2008
Lonely Planet - Selected for Best Bars of the World  



Topper's Restaurant & Bar
113 Welfare Road, Simpson Bay, St. Maarten

For reservations, tel: 1.721.544.3500 or 520.6760

Topper's by the Sea
At Flamingo Beach Resort
6 Billy Folly Road, Pelican Key, St. Maarten
For reservations, tel: 1.721.544.6002 or 520.7667
Visit us at: www.sxmtoppers.com

Featured Hotel 



On the Beach in Grand Case, St. Martin, F.W.I. 


Capture the mysterious quality of enchantment and romance, found only on the unspoiled shores of Grand Case Bay, Saint Martin. Welcome to Le Petit Hotel, a Mediterranean style jewel set right on the beach and just footsteps away from Saint Martin's renowned French side restaurants. Here, casual, elegant dining is an epicurean delight. InteriorPhoto-332x220

Perfectly situated in the picturesque, seaside fishing village of Grand Case, Le Petit Hotel offers nine deluxe studios and a one bedroom suite, all with a king size bed, fully equipped kitchen and dining area, cable television, direct-dial telephone, private safe and ceiling fans. Marvel at the splendor of the setting sun from your own private ocean front terrace, as it melts into the turquoise sea. Fall asleep in air-conditioned comfort to the sounds of gentle surf lapping the powdered shore.

OBedroomBalcony-332x221ur beach offers wonderful swimming and snorkeling, and of course we supply comfortable beach chairs and beach towels for our guests. Or, if you prefer, you can start your morning with a stroll to our lovely sister hotel L'Esplanade, where a beautifully tiled swimming pool awaits, beckoning you to enjoy a refreshing dip. The pool overlooks the Caribbean Sea and is surrounded by tropical flowers and plants. There is also a swim up bar in the high season.

Day to day reality will slip away, as you indulge yourself with an afternoon of duty free shopping in BalconySeaview-307x230the stylish boutiques and art galleries. Take advantage of easy access to boating, parasailing, deep-sea fishing, golf, tennis and horseback riding. You can also visit the surrounding islands by boat or plane, which makes a nice day trip. Le Petit Hotel has an activities desk where we would be happy to plan any excursion for you. By night, discover a variety of colorful local bars and "Lolos" with their Antillean hospitality, or try your luck in one of the numerous casinos. And, for a quieter evening, we have a wide selection of books available for your reading pleasure.

Welcome to Le Petit Hotel, where the ultimate pairing of pristine destination, unparalleled personal service and exquisite accommodations is no longer a fantasy. Capture the spirit of your intimate island home, where you arrive a stranger and leave as a treasured friend... Discover LE PETIT HOTEL! 

-------------------------- "Le Petit Hotel, for the lucky few..."

Le Petit Hotel,
On the Beach in Grand Case, St. Martin, F.W.I.
For reservations/Tel: 011.590.590.29.09.65 or fax: 011.590.590.87.09.19.
Please visit our web site at
www.lepetithotel.com or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Sam's Selection

------------ St. Maarten/St. Martin Images

LaSamBeach-332x222--A LaSam Villa-320x213----
------------ La Samanna's Beach --------------------   La Samanna Villa 

MarigotMall-329x219--MarigotMarina-333x222-- --
------- Marigot Mall & Fort Louis  ------------------- Marigot & Marina

---------Radisson Pool ---------------------------- Westin's Pool & Ocean View 


Featured Activity  


A Traditional Sailboat on the island St. Maarten

We invite you to join us as we sail, swim, snorkel, eat, drink, fish and swing into the Caribbean Blue for a most wonderful day in paradise. Random Wind is a 54' traditional sailboat that's been around the world twice. We start off in the shade of the stern; where the cushions are seriously thick. There is no rush, we are already on the water in the steady breeze of the trade winds. Then we set sail. We follow no set itinerary, we watch the sea conditions every day; we sail and swim where it is safe and calm.

Find out why Random Wind is the number one sailboat excursion in St. Maarten. StandingBoard-318x239Relax, sail into the Caribbean Blue while listening to music, chatting, having a cold drink. Troll a fishing line. Snorkel in some of the island's best sites. Eat a homemade lunch. Have some sweets.

What sets Random Wind apart from the other excursions is that there are just enough people. You have your own space and can really relax if you want. The crew love to get to know you and are interested in sharing stories and having a laugh.

The boat has an underwater camera that anyone can use. Trip photos are posted on the website: www.randomwind.com and are free to copy!

The Tarzan Swing is great fun. You can swing out and let go or try a flip. The crew are getting really good with flips and dives. It is great fun to watch as well as have a go.

The bowsprit seat is the best. For one, two or three it offers quiet time to contemplate, dolphin watch, etc. it is so great when the dolphins ride alongside in the bow wave - it's like a gift from heaven.

Although the bar is more extensive than most, open and available the entire trip (Diane will even serve you drinks in the water if you are chillin' on a noodle), it is not a booze cruise. Alcohol is not pushed on you - it is there to enhance the good time everyone is already having. It is a chilled out trip that is fun, entertaining and really quite special.

We usually stop twice; at the first stop while you are snorkeling, chillin' or walking the beach, your hostess is cooking you a full lunch in the yacht's galley. Diane always has good sweets for after lunch before sailing out again. The best seat on board is the bowsprit; sitting out over the water, it is a place for contemplation, inspiration and if there is a bit of a swell - exhilaration.

Tarzan Swing
At the second stop we drop the spinnaker pole & swing into the ocean from St. Maarten's only Tarzan swing. We like to call it good clean fun in paradise. Thus far, those between 3 and 87 have had fun with the Tarzan swing; if you are 2 or 88 you can break the record! Your crew can show you how to flip forwards & backwards if you are feeling adventurous. If you just want to watch, they can be quite entertaining!

Reasonable Prices
Our trip is $109 per adult and $75 for kids 5-12. Kids 4 and under are free. Can you imagine staying on land - going out to lunch, having as many drinks as you want (including bottled water, juices and sodas), having quality snacks, going snorkeling, fishing and swinging from a Tarzan swing for only $109 for the whole day. You can't stay on land for that cheap! Also, book your reservation directly with Diane at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at www.randomwind.com and get $10 off per adult. Contact Diane for Group FourPeople-318x239Discounts.

We have a great stereo system with 6 speakers. We can play radio, CDs and ipods. We have a hook-up for your ipod if you want to bring it, or you can listen to our music - we have a huge selection! We love Jimmy Buffet, Bob Marley and lots of other stuff. Diane is especially stuck in the 80s! On sunset cruises (private only) we play soft music like Enya, Mozart, etc.

Our mission:
It is the mission of Random Wind Charters, NV to bring joy to those who board our boat as well as to those we encounter on land.

To attain this mission we:
Encourage fun & laughter in a stress free environment.
Treat all people equally & with respect.
Enjoy alcohol responsibly so as to enhance the good time we are having.
Take pleasure in the waters of St. Maarten/St. Martin as a green company; appreciating the beauty & leaving no footprint.

Our favorite places are Baie Rouge and Baie Longue. Baie Rouge has a lovelyLaSamannaPeople-320x320 emerging reef where we see all kinds of fish as well as turtles, sting ray, eel, star fish and who knows what may decide to show up. On very calm days it is lovely to swim through the cave. We anchor close enough for you to swim to any one of three beaches. We love it there. When we arrive at Baie Longue we are greeted by a school of jack fish; it is as if they know us and we enjoy feeding them and taking pictures with our underwater camera. There is a nice wall to snorkel on, above which sits St. Maarten's only 5 star resort, La Samanna Resort & Spa. This is where we swing from the Tarzan swing.

What is the Tarzan Swing?
On some boats there is the possibility of flying a giant, beautiful sail called a spinnaker sail. It is large and bulbous. It is used to catch a lot of wind, going downwind. We have a spinnaker sail on Random Wind but the ropes run across the boat such that it is not safe to use with more than a few people on board. There is a big pole that is used to hold the spinnaker sail out to maximize its' effectiveness. One day Captain Trevor came up with the idea of using the spinnaker pole to hold out a trapeze from which we can swing. I thought perhaps it was a crazy idea but was interested so next thing I know he has a ski rope and he is pulling the pole down. After about two months of testing, playing and perfecting, we went public with St. Maarten's only Tarzan Swing off a boat! So now everyday we drop the spinnaker pole about 40 degrees, secure it with two lines, attach an awesome, strong trapeze that Trevor designed and made and we get up on the rail and swing into the Caribbean blue. We have non-skid tape on the rails for safety. Now, as a result of Trevor's instruction, we can throw back flips, back dives and front dives. We play every day bringing great joy to our guests, young and old. The youngest person to do the Tarzan swing is 3 and the oldest person is 87.

A Couple Reviews:

"I would recommend this excursion to anyone. Diane and Trevor SettingSun-320x320were excellent hosts. It's a great way to see the island from the water. The boat is beautiful and comfortable, and you are taken care of all day. The size of the group they took out was perfect. You get to know everyone, but have plenty of room to relax. We had a great time and made two stops to snorkel and see the beautiful fish. You can swing into the water on the Tarzan swing - or just relax and float in the wonderful blue water. It was definitely our best day on the island. Absolutely fabulous and recommend to anyone going to St Maarten." Eileen and Ron, London, England

"Just returned from a trip to St. Martin. We booked this trip for a Tuesday and traveled with 13 other people. I have two teenagers and they loved the entire day. The food was over the top. The snorkeling was outstanding. We saw lots of fish and beautiful corral. Diane and Trevor couldn't have been more helpful. We couldn't of had a better experience. My children loved the Tarzan swing, the Jack fish and lunch!!! If you want a relaxing day with pampering don't miss the Random Wind excursion." Dottie, Raleigh, NC - More Reviews...

Check out www.heinekenregatta.com for info on the race. 
Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

---------------------------- RANDOM WIND CHARTERS
----------------------------------- Cole Bay, St. Maarten
----------------------------- For reservations, tel: 1.721.587.5742
----------------- Visit: www.randomwind.com or Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Featured Article

What is a “Sommelier?”

By Dr. Jean Hager Rich – Wine Connoisseur

How does he or she work? How can you use one? 

Sommelier is a French word that has become used in English as well. It’s pronounced “sum-al-yea,” and means a wine expert who works in a restaurant or wine shop and has extensive knowledge about wine. A particular specialty of a Sommelier is in matching (“Pairing”) of wine with food. A Sommelier’s advice is especially valuable in pairing a wine with a dish including his evaluation and judgment to match the preparation of the dish and any sauces or accompaniments.

If you are a host or person who wants to make a dinner an event, you’ll want to know a Sommelier and have his/her advice when choosing a wine to enjoy with your meal whether it’s in a restaurant or for dining enjoyably at home. A Sommelier advises not only which wine to drink, but also when to drink the wine so it will be drunk at the optimum time. A Sommelier may suggest whether a wine should be cellared longer to be fully appreciated, or conversely, that it’s the right time to drink it now. Perhaps, the Sommelier may suggest another wine because a certain one is past its prime.

he Sommelier is usually responsible for choosing the wines to be stocked by a restaurant or wine shop and for maintaining the cellar at a standard to optimize the enjoyment of the wines by the clientele by keeping the cellar conditions correct.

A Sommelier is knowledgeable in the rituals of wine service to enhance the enjoyment of the client. For example, the Sommelier should sniff the cork and decide if the wine is in good condition. If it’s not, he will not present it to the client.

A responsible Sommelier will recommend a wine to please both a client’s taste and budget. In serving the wine correctly for maximum enjoyment, the Sommelier will advise on the temperature of the wine and decide whether a wine should be decanted to best enjoy it. Decanting serves to aerate the wine to better express its character. It is also done to separate the wine from any sediment that has developed as it ages that would spoil the drinking experience if the client got it in their mouth. That’s why decanting is traditionally done over a candle to show the slide of the sediment and capture the sediment at the shoulder of the bottle and not let it go into the decanter.

It’s possible to become a wine expert by learning and tasting on your own, but most Sommeliers go to a school with specific wine courses and follow the formal training with experience, being mentored by the more experienced. Sommeliers take exams given by experts and are tested in competitions with colleagues. Internationally, a course is offered called “Master of Wine.” This is the highest level of wine certification and less than 200 professionals worldwide have qualified for it.








An Interview with a Sommelier!


Q: What is a Sommelier? 
A: It’s a person that serves the wines usually in a restaurant.

Q: What is his/her function? 
A: To help the customer choose the wines, according to the menu and the customer’s taste.

: Why do you smell the cork? 
A: I don’t always smell the cork, because it can smell corked, but not the wine. 

Q: Why do you smell the wine before tasting it? 
A: To make sure the wine is correct. Also, just by smelling, some wines offer some nice aromas that foretell their special character and flavor. 

Q: What must you look for when choosing a wine? 
A: A wine is a living thing that has aroma, color, body and flavor which depends on the variety of grape used, how it was grown, harvested, fermented, blended and aged, bottled and how it is to be stored and aged in the bottle. In France, the appellation tells what variety is in the bottle. It’s important to consider the year and the producer. In the USA, the variety of grape is important as there aren’t regulations as there are in France as to which varieties can be grown in which region. 

Q: Why is white wine drunk a year or so after being bottled and red wines several years later? 
A: Some great white wines like Corton Charlemagne shouldn’t be drunk before 10 years, but for white or red it depends on how the wine is made and also the vintage. 

Q: Should white wine always be drunken cold and red wine at house temperature? 
A: The white wines in general could be served cold, but not too cold (iced) otherwise you can lose all the flavors. Reds are usually good at 16 to 18°C which is the temperature inside of a castle in France. 

Q: What does someone do if they are intimidated by a restaurant’s wine list? 
A: Let the Sommelier guide the customer. A Sommelier is a person who wants to please the customer and not try to sell the most expensive wine on the list. 

Q: How does someone match a particular wine with a meal? 
A: You must know the dish, its ingredients and preparation, and the wine. 

Q: How does someone become a Sommelier? 
A: School, but also the experience is important. I worked for 10 years in restaurants and I have had the opportunity to taste great wines every day.

What's Happening in Paradise?

by Sam Fusco

Buccaneer Beach Bar


Presents a 4th of July Party

On Friday, July 4th | Come Join The Fun!

Free Face Painting for The Kids at 5-7PM
See Marcel, The Acrobat at 6-7PM
Watch the Quarter Finals of the World Cup at 12PM
Watch 4th of July Kids Movies on a screen on the Beach
Enjoy Hotdogs, Hamburgers & Cheese Burgers Pizza Specials
Watch the Fireball at Sunset
Happy Hour Every Day at 5-7PM 


Buccaneer Beach Bar
Billy Folly Road | Next to the Atrium Hotel Simpsonbay
Tel: 1.721.526.7953 or Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vacation Closings & Reopenings 

Belmond La Samanna Resort & Spa will close for annual vacations and maintenance September 1st to October 31st or November 1st

Lee's Roadside Grill located in Simpson’s Bay will close on September 7th for vacation and maintenance and will reopen on September 30th

Leisure Car Rental St. Maarten, the Award Winning car rental agency, will not be closed for vacations and will be open all year. 

Pizza Galley has just received their 2014 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. Pizza Galley will close August 9th for vacations and maintenance and will re-open October 15th

Random Wind Charters, located in Simpson Bay Lagoon, will probably be closed for two weeks in late August or around September 8th to haul the main sailboat out of the water to put in a brand new engine. This will make the Random Wind better than ever. 

Pierres Caraibes Villa Rentals located in Marigot specializes in renting villas on both side of the island. In fact, they do not close for the summer and are open all year. 

The Mailbox Business Center, (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) located at the Palapa Center & Marina in Simpson Bay will be open all year. 

Scuba Fun Dive Center located in Dock Maarten, Philipsburg, will not be closing for summer vacations. Read their TripAdvisor Reviews here

Holland House Beach Hotel located in Philipsburg is fully operational and actually quite busy and will be open all year. 

Esco Pazzo Pizzeria, (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) at Port de Plaisance Resort and Casino is offering a Special for the month of July. From 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm buy one pizza and get a similar one for FREE. 

L'Hoste Hotel and its restaurant, La Playa, which is located on Orient Beach will be open all year. La Playa Bar Restaurant with its private beach in front of the hotel offers an idyllic setting for breakfast or lunch in the shade of the palm trees caressed by the sea breeze. Enjoy the unique Beach Bar ambiance and savor cocktails on the beach until sunset. 

Club Orient Resort located on Orient Beach will be closed for maintenance and vacations from August 17th reopening on October 6th

Captain Alan’s Boat Charters, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., located in Oyster Pond will be open all year. 

Hideaway Bar & Restaurant located at (www.LaVistaResort.com) will be closed for maintenance and vacations for the month of September. 

Le Petit Hotel located on the beach in Grand Case will be open all year. Read their TripAdvisor Reviews here

Prestige Value Car Rental, (www.valuecarrental.com) with five locations on the island will be open all year.

Mario's Bistro located in Marigot will be closed for vacations and maintenance during August and September. Tel: 590.87.06.36.

This year, Princess Juliana International Airport is celebrating its 70th Anniversary. In addition, Regina LaBega, the former Tourism Director, is celebrating her one year anniversary as Managing Director of the Princess Juliana International Airport operating company (PJIAE). Congratulations to Ms LaBega and her staff for a job well done.


4th TripAdvisor Excellence Award For Summit Resort
The Summit Resort Hotel announced June 27 that it had received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award for the fourth year in a row. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence world-wide, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor.    “Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is a true source of pride for the entire team at The Summit Resort Hotel and we’d like to thank all of our past guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor.   There is no greater seal of approval than being recognised by one’s customers. With the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on customer reviews, the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence in our business and our continued commitment to excellence. We would also like to thank each and every one of our employees for their hard work and dedication to guest satisfaction which is what made winning this award possible,” said Owner Bruce Jakubovitz. 

Cable TV Launches The Travel Channel
St. Maarten Cable TV Managing Director Beulah Jonis has announced the launch of the Travel Channel, leading international travel broadcaster, on channel 173. It is part of the basic line-up, with all programming aired in English. “We are elated to announce the launch of the Travel Channel, where viewers have the opportunity to experience great story telling, shared human journeys and engaging encounters across the world,”  said Jonis.  “The Travel Channel not only shows its viewers the destination, but also the adventure it takes to get there. It features documentaries, reality shows and how-to television shows related to travel and leisure around the world.  The Travel Channel airs a variety of shows, including the popular “Hotel Impossible” and “Trip Flip” Programming ranges from authentic and inquisitive to surprising and fun. The Travel Channel focuses on the entire travel experience to include dining and various foods local to the particular country,” SXM Cable announced through a press release.  

St. Maarten One-Millionth Cruise Passenger Mark Mid- May
St. Maarten surpassed the one millionth cruise passenger mark in mid-May, it was announced last week.   The one millionth cruise passenger mark is usually reached around mid-June each year.   Port of St. Maarten Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Mingo said he is very pleased with this news, noting that it further signifies that the country continues to grow in the cruise area. “This is a significant sign that our cruise sector is strong and continues to grow. This goes back to the relationships and strategic partnerships that have been developed over the years with the cruise lines,” Mingo said in a press release.   The countries cruise sector has grown “in leaps and bounds” Over the past 50 years, the press release stated. Port St Maarten will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014 since the cruise pier opened.  

Princess Heights Designated For 4th Trip Advisor Award
For the fourth year in a row, Princess Heights Luxury Boutique Hotel has been awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award, a recognition only given to properties that are able to achieve high and consistent quality and service standards, based on reviews and feedback from travellers from all around the world.   TripAdvisor, by far the largest online traveller review site, applies a patented algorithm in order to select properties that, among other factors, maintain an overall TripAdvisor “bubble rating” of at least four of five. Princess Heights has maintained a 4.5 bubble rating over four consecutive years.   Owner and General Manager Emil Lee stated that receiving the exclusive award for the fourth year is “a testimony of our consistency in terms of quality and guest service and our commitment to always keep improving. This prestigious recognition is a wonderful validation of the countless hours that staff and management have invested to ensure that our guests enjoy lavish accommodations with world class personalized service.”  

Note: Several Articles Courtesy of Caribbean Gems Newsletters

The StMaarten/StMartin Connection Newsletters are e-published bimonthly by Steeple Associates, Inc., 5201 Warrens Way, Wanaque, NJ 07465. For Questions or Comments, telephone: 1.973.835.0600 or email: info@stmaarten.org.  Publisher: Sam Fusco, Editorial Consultant: Marilyn Fusco, Sales and Marketing: Barbara Fusco. Contributing
Correspondents: Laura Richardson, Sir Roland Richardson and Jean Hager Rich.