"…the SXM newsletter for experienced travelers!
Connecting YOU with Paradise!"
Here I am writing again with March upon us and Spring only weeks away. How I look forward to those
wonderful spring days with rising temperatures and periodic rain showers to help the flowers grow;
followed 90 days later by the warm balmy sunny days of Summer. Oh, how I love those 80, 90 and
sometimes 100 degree days while basking in the sunshine of my yard.
As I have gotten older, I have grown to dislike Winter more and more; and, I have experienced
many of them. I no longer enjoy bundling up in my ski jacket, wearing a winter hat, heavy gloves
and lacing up hiking boots. At 40 years old, I loved skiing and dreamed of doing it in the Swiss Alps
(never did); by 50, I enjoyed a drink in my hand sitting by the fireplace in the lodge, more; and,
at 55, I hung up my skis and poles for good. How can I complain, you ask; when the New York
Metropolitan area (New Jersey and Connecticut included) just finished February which was recorded
as the warmest February since they (whoever they are) began keeping records. But, I remember
those winters past including last years when we had a snowstorm every week for eight weeks in a row.
Here's a few thoughts. St. Maarten/St. Martin has never had snow. Island homes/villas do not have
heating systems. The average daily temperatures on island are between 72 degrees at night and 85
degrees during the day. By the way, this is for 365 days per year. Every day the sun shines bright.
Every day, warm Caribbean breezes caress the island. St. Maarten/St. Martin DOES NOT have any
cold weather. In the evening, when the temperature drops to 72 or 73 degrees some of our island
friends wear sweaters. On average, the island gets 45 inches of rain per year - that's equal to less
than four inches per month. This is my kind of weather!
Yes, the Caribbean has hurricanes. The hurricane season runs from the end of June through
November 30th; but, in actuality, September is the worse month for hurricanes. So, the odds are
greater that the island will experience a tropical storm or hurricane during September. But, it hasn't
had a terrible hurricane in years.
If you live in an area of the world currently experiencing the winter doldrums and looking to get
away from it all, St. Maarten/St. Martin is the place for you. Besides the great weather, the way
of life is relaxing and less stressful. And, if you're a person who likes to fish, as my friend Lee
Halley always says, "Every day is fishing day!"
See you there!
Winner of the 2006/2007 St. MaartenHospitality & Trade Association's
Crystal Pineapple Award for Outstanding Tourism Journalism
Featured in this issue:
1. Poem: Young Bliss by Laura Richardson
2. Featured Hotel: La Samanna Resort & Spa, St. Martin
3. Featured Shop: Rendez-vous Lounge at Porto Cupecoy
4. Special Feature: The Rey House at Mont Vernon
5. Featured Activity: The Loterie Farm
6. Featured Restaurant: L'Escargot Restaurant
7. Sign Up to Win a Dream Vacation for Two
8. Villa of the Month: Villa La Favorita by Carimo Luxury Villas
9. What's Happening in Paradise?
I was a pilot
who twirled in
twilight copter spins
and whirled with levitating glee
when I was three.
In snow knee deep
we lay in drifts,
like down on angel's wings,
we flapped to carve
our silhouettes amidst
that bright white sea.
bike spokes spun in sync
through back yards
leaf-lined riding rinks.
Around the bend
our snake would wind,
the youngest always
last in line -
that was me.
In Fall, the mounds
of leaves concealed
a deep, dank universe
revealed with fingers
dug through molding beds
where squiggly earthworms
poked their heads.
When freezing winds
transformed the lake,
we briskly laced
our white boot skates,
to slip and slide
and sail and ride
the rippled ice
in search of
Spring balmy afternoons
we met with balls and sticks
to take turns up at bat.
When street lamps glowed
through navy skies
we sat curbside to chat.
We knew that
when ice cream trucks
sang merry cries
and fleeting home,
my heart would pound,
that Mom could spare a dime.
A blizzard dumped
four feet of snow.
They closed our school three days.
We children teamed on
what to do, then
til we were blue,
we built ourselves a real igloo.
We tunneled a week
through that hard-packed snow
living the life of an Eskimo.
Throughout the seasons,
porch to porch,
triangles tinkled to return,
to eat and bathe
for early bed
with daily prayers
and wishes said.
Hours were days,
months seemed like years,
yet all flashed like a glint,
in a glance.
From chasing each other
in tag till the dark,
we dared holding hands,
we learned how to dance.
When the time came
for my belly to swell
with babies dreaming
to be born,
I prayed for them
to share such joy
awakening each morn.
Light years have passed
while I still reminisce
on this far away world
filled with young bliss.
My children are grown,
those homes have passed hands,
the neighbors grew old,
some are gone.
Yet still it's as if
on a fine sunny day,
I wake with the sense
that it's time to go play.
Time to roam,
time to explore,
the season to open
every new door,
and always remember,
remember with splendor,
all that has come before.
By Laura Richardson, July 2011
"Young Girl in Red Blouse" painted from life by Sir Roland Richardson
"Among the top 10 hotels within the Caribbean"
Travel and Leisure Magazine
Welcome to La Samanna Resort and Spa - a world-class luxury resort hotel tucked away on the beautiful island of St Martin in the Caribbean. Our property offers an enviable beach location with stunning views of the Caribbean Sea. La Samanna is continually ranked among the top 10 hotels within the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas by Travel & Leisure Magazine, for its exemplary quality and service. Welcome to paradise at La Samanna Resort and Spa in the Caribbean, a secluded haven for luxury, elegance and superb cuisine.
The island of St. Martin is a Caribbean paradise with a distinct European flavor on which, for 30 years, La Samanna Resort & Spahas been its most luxurious flagship hotel with our unrivaled seclusion and unique style. Located only 15 minutes from Marigot, the capital of French St. Martin and 10 minutes from Princess Juliana International Airport, we offer the best of both privacy and convenience for our guest.
Our 83 luxurious guest rooms, suites, and private villas are nestle amongst 55 tropical acres lining our pristine, crescent-shaped beach rated by many as among the best in the Caribbean. From the main building perched atop the cliffside to our beachfront accommodations, each are designed in a Mediterranean villa-style with white stucco walls and terra cotta rooftops. The colorful walk along our villas is a botanical adventure pleasing all the senses with its fragrant aromas from labeled flora from around the world.
La Samanna's European Spa
La Samanna offers the only full-service truly European spa in the Caribbean. Featuring a total of eight treatment rooms surrounding a peaceful outdoor courtyard, La Samanna's Spa boasts two hydro-therapy rooms, five indoor massage rooms set in a serene rock garden with outdoor private showers and waterfall. At La Samanna Spa, we offer a wide range of world-class massages and spa treatments to pamper you from head to toe. Discover the healing power of the sea through our luxurious Physiodermie and St. Barth product lines and let us nurture you.
All technicians are European-trained professionals, thus we can offer more than 40 different stress-relievers such as hot stone massage techniques, natural seaweed body treatments, cryotherapy, Shiatsu, reflexology, and balneotherapy. Also available at La Samanna's Spa are manicures, pedicures, waxing, face/eye care and hair styling. Phytomer, a sea-ingredient based line of natural French products are used exclusively with all treatments.
Our Spa manager will work with you ahead of time to create the perfect rejuvenation package for each guest, scheduling around activities. This will allow one less detail to handle when you arrive. We can customize any of our treatments to fit your special needs. And, at your request, we will gladly and discreetly extend sound advice for integrating a healthier lifestyle for you to take back home. The La Samanna Spa team hopes that our talent, dedication and hospitality will help make your stay at La Samanna the ultimate vacation. If you're all spa'd out, then charter a yacht and sail off into the sunset with La Samanna regulars Dolce & Gabbana, DeNiro and Courtney Cox. MORE DETAILS...
"One of the Top Three Restaurants in the Caribbean"
Travel and Leisure Magazine
La Samanna's renowned dining room, Le Réservé Restaurant, has been claimed as one of the finest in the world not to mention one of the most romantic settings overlooking the Caribbean Sea. La Samanna's blend of Caribbean and French influence is especially expressed in its fine cuisine. Acclaimed by Travel & Leisure Magazine as "one of the top three restaurants in the Caribbean," the restaurant maintains a world-class reputation through its constant commitment to fresh, first-class food, found locally as well as flown in daily from France. The menu is full of new passion, both in presentation and palate. Classical yet unique, the menu strives to explore new tastes beyond those known to the luxury restaurants in New York and in Paris, a fusion of French, Creole and Caribbean soul. MORE DETAILS...
Renovation of La Samanna's world-renowned Wine Cellar into La Cave Restaurant offers a remarkable opportunity to wine enthusiasts, with its cavern's inventory rivaling the top eight best resorts in the world for wine as written by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. A unique and private dining experience, created for individual tastes and mood, can now be had by candlelight in the Cellar itself, where new, sought and rare vintages will compliment a fine dinner menu.
On the more casual side, a very special treat is to plan a lobster barbecue on the beach for lunch, or in the evening with flamed torches, and island music. The selection each morning at our breakfast buffet pleases guests from around the world while enjoying their coffee with a peaceful overlook of Baie Longue. MORE DETAILS...
"One of the world's best places to stay..."
CONDE NAST TRAVELLER
La Samanna Resort & Spa in St Martin can provide the perfect setting for your Caribbean destination wedding. Our exclusive Caribbean beach resort and professional staff are highly prepared to host your wedding celebrations and make your most special day look like an effortless vacation. Our Guest Services Manager will assist you in choosing the perfect location for your wedding ceremony, based on your group size. The hotel offers unique wedding locations ranging from the beautiful beach terrace to the pool terrace or our stately Rendezvous Pavilion, where your wedding reception and celebrations can be held. We look forward to welcoming you and your wedding party to our romantic Caribbean beach paradise. For more information on planning your Caribbean Wedding at La Samanna Resort, CLICK HERE.
Leisure & Activities
For those who crave action, the choices at La Samanna are endless. Activities such as complimentary kayaking, yoga, pilates, tennis, snorkeling and more are all on hand, while scuba Programs, water-skiing, wake boarding, kid's 'banana' boat, wave runners, snorkel trips, day charter boats, island tours and off-property excursions are easily arranged by our concierge. Indulge in spa treatments at the La Samanna Spa, or get yourself in prime physical and mental condition at our superb fitness center. READ MORE...
La Samanna Resort & Spa,
Bay Long, St. Martin, F.W.I.
Please visit our web site at: www.lasamanna.com.
Sign Up to Win a Dream Vacation for Two
Subscribe to our Newsletter and you may:
Win a 6 Day/5 Night Dream Vacation for Two
at La Samanna Resort & Spa, St. Martin
or Oyster Bay Beach Resort, St. Maarten
Plus, A Day of Sailing on a Random Wind Charter
Located at Porto Cupecoy in Sint Maarten, Rendez vous Lounge
sells food to eat in or to take out - Telephone: 011.599. 524.9919
Visit us at: www.rendezvousloungesxm.com
For the pleasure of the little one as well as the adults Rendez vous Lounge
serves all day some Italian ice cream called gelato.
On the terrace of the restaurant, it is a great place to unwind while getting submerged
by the mediterraneen style of Porto Cupecoy.
From there you can watch the boats cruising the marina.
The Rey House on Mont Vernon Plantation
Love to be outdors connecting with nature? Or are you a daredevil and love extreme sports? Well here we have them both! Loterie Farm is a secret hideaway nestled in the hillside of Pic Paradis on French Saint Martin where you can wine, dine, climb, hike and glide over the treetop canopy. It is truly an eco-tourism and gastronomical experience you're not likely to forget or find elsewhere.
The sign at the entrance of Loterie Farm says "established in 1721." We have significant records suggesting that the first owner of Loterie Farm was an Englishman b the name of Richard Bailey who won the rights to establish a sugar plantation at this location in a land oterie. That's why it's called Loterie Farm.
Of course, it wasn't always called Loterie Farm; it was before called Loterie Plantation but the word plantation is indicative of forced labor so we don't like to use that word anymore. It's cute when you're using it in terms of a restaurant that might sit in the middle of a city but out here this was a real plantation.
Today, Loterie Farm preserves and protects Mother Nature with the same respect that it does the memory of the slaves that labored this land some 160 years ago.
Amongst a good number of travel writers and gourmet magazines, Bon Appétit Magazine featured this treehouse-like eatery in its February 2005 issue. The Hidden Forest Café's setting and ambiance are as eco as the dishes are culinary using the freshest ingredients found on island, each garnished with flowers, fruits and vegetables grown on the nature reserve itself.
Mangoes, Bananas, Sour Sop, Coconuts, Papaya... with over 1000 species growing on the reserve, the Hidden Forest Café is notorious for serving succulent dishes garnished with fruits and vegetables homegrown. Those same natural products find their way to the Tree Lounge where tropical cocktails are concocted, namely Loterie's signature drink Sex in the Tree, and served in a relaxing social setting.
'Tree days off' If you like our treelounge, you'll love our sealounge. Same chilled vibe out in the "Grand Bleu." When, where, what? ...you decide. We offer half and full day charters starting as low as $500 US for you and up to 10 of your closest friends.
In addition to hiking, Loterie has three treetop adventure obstacle courses with zip lines as well as many other obstacles: Ti'Tarzan for the young, the FlyZone for adults and the FlyZone Extreme for the eco-adventure thrill seekers.
The nature reserve at Loterie Farm is 135 acres located at the bottom of Pic Paradis (the highest peak on Saint Martin) and stretches from sea level elevation all the way to the top of the mountain providing unique hiking trails taking you along the most elaborate flora and fauna on Saint Martin in a lush and dense tropical forest environment.
--- Here at Loterie Farm, expect nothing less than the magic of Mother Nature
Route de Pic Paradis #103 Rambaud, Saint Martin
Telephone: 011.590.5126.96.36.199 or 011.590.6188.8.131.52
Lee's Deep Sea Fishing
Joel and Sonya have been pleasing diners for almost 40 years from their colorful Créole house at 96 Front Street in Philipsburg, making them the oldest restaurant under the same management of St. Maarten. The menu features escargot (of course!) in seven different styles, each more interesting than the next, but goes on to include the finest of French cuisine.
As Graham Porter said in the Today newspaper: "At the risk of sounding clichéed, experiencing fine dining on the island without a visit to L'Escargot, is like a long vacation in the Caribbean without the sun and beach." More recently, the Daily Herald had a very complimentary review of an evening at L'Escargot.
If you are coming from the head of town to the east where the cruise ships dock, you'll see the colorful side of the Créole cottage and up above on the front will be Joel, the friendly snail. On the left is the reverse of that sign is Sonya, visible to those approaching from the foot of town. Lunch is available Monday through Friday from 11:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Dinner is available seven nights per week from 6:00 PM until 10:00 PM, except summers when the restaurant is closed on Sunday. From the US, telephone 1.721.542.2483 for reservations.
Stop in for a light lunch of soup and salad with a chilled bottle of Sancerre, Macon Villages, or Meursault - a perfect pick-me-up after a morning of shopping. The menu also features some of the freshest seafood in the Caribbean including local lobster (Thermidor, if you please) and Dover Sole flown in fresh several times each week. There is also the tenderest rack of lamb and our Gourmet Magazine award-winning "Le Canard de L'Escargot," crispy duck in a pineapple and banana sauce. Save some room for dessert because our crème brûlée also has a Gourmet Magazineaward of its own. Our appetizers range in price from $7.50 to $12.50 and the main courses range from $18.50 to only $30.50 for our award-winning rack of lamb. Our recipe for accras was featured in an article on Créole cuisine on SXM-info.
Our fine red wines include famous Bordeaux from Chateau Canon, Chateau Talbot, Chateau Pichon-Longueville, and La Tour de Pez. There is a large selection of Burgundy featuring Pommard and many more.
The restaurant is right on Front Street, just a small stroll from the courthouse or pier. There is a bit of parking behind the restaurant, but there is more in the center of town and some along the street. If you are walking the street, follow the odor of garlic drifting down Front Street. If your nose fails, the sounds of Edith Piaf will guide you to the right spot. It's more French than France and straight out of Provence. Look for our sign and the Chaine des Rotisseurs sign outside. Step inside to another world and admire Joel's vast collection of minature bottles, snails, and hot sauces. Check the wall for your friend's business cards and add your own. Friday nights feature a cabaret loosely based on La Cage au folles, and loose is definitely the word to use for this cast of characters. Feeling rambunctious? Surprise your friends and join us on stage. But, remember:
96 Front Street, Philipsburg, St. Maarten
For Reservations, telephone: 1.721.542.2483 or 1.721.554.2424.
Villa of the Month
Terres-Basses, St. Martin
Absolutely dazzling! With a superb open view to the Caribbean Sea, Baie Longue and surrounding areas. This new and beautiful 3-bedroom villa is suitably positioned, just 2 minutes drive from both Baie Longue and Plum Bay beaches. Its modern design combined with the warm decoration and the privacy of Terres-Basses makes this villa La Favorita among the favourites. Newly refurnished!
Terres Basses, St. Martin
Number of Bedrooms: 3
Each bedroom features king size bed, private bathrooms with showers (additional outside shower for bedroom 1 & 2), air conditioning, ceiling fans, Plasma TV & DVD. Bedroom 3 offers a private terrasse and Bedroom 1 has a small attached additional air conditioned bedroom with one single bed.
Living Room Description:
Contemporary and Confortable Furniture, Air conditioned, Large plasma TV, DVD, Stereo Tape/CD & Ceiling Fan.
Number of Bathrooms: 3 1/2
Private bathrooms with showers (additional outside shower).
Air-conditioned living area
Washer / Dryer
To Marigot: 12 min. drive
To Nearest Grocery Store: 7 min. drive
To Beach: 2 min.drive to Plum Bay Beach & 3 min. to Long Bay Beach.
7th Night Free Special: Valid from Apr. 14th, 2012 to Dec. 15th, 2012 (Christmas Holidays not included). This special will apply automatically to any reservation made to arrive 60 days from booking date and when the villa is booked to its full capacity. Any request for arrival 61 days or more from booking date must be approved by the owners. Not available on reservation already booked. The owners reserve the right to discontinue this promotion without further notice!
High Season 12 --- Low Season 12 --- Christmas 12 --- High Season 13
$9,000.00 $5,500.00 $16,000.00 $9,000.00
Weekly - Rental rates are subject to 8% VAT
Christmas/New Year - special rates & conditions apply
Rates subject to change without notice
Carimo Real Estate & Villa Rentals
Telephone Toll Free US/CANADA: 877.215.0519, International: 1.646.415.7784 or 1.646.416.6830
To view our complete selection of villa rentals and sales, please visit us at: www.carimo.com
What's Happening in Paradise?
by Sam Fusco
On April 14th and 15th, 2012, the St. Maarten Golf Association (SMGA) will host the 20th St. Maarten Open. As with all of our past Opens, the local community is the major winner as most of the proceeds are donated to one or more community organizations. From recent Opens, donations have been made to organizations including the St. Maarten Medical Center, the L.C. Fleming Hospital, the I Can Foundation, Mental Health Foundation, Key to Freedom, Repair of Broken Walls Community and the Belvedere Community Association in addition to the St. Maarten Golf Association Junior Golf program which teaches kids the basics of the game in an after-school program and provides professional instruction for the qualified ones.
Tri-Sport has a new Eco Tour that is extremely popular with passengers aboard Royal Caribbean International Cruise Lines. It is called "Scenic Hike and Yoga" and takes place at the trails on the East side of SXM in between Guana Bay and Geneve Bay. This happens to be the last coastal area in the South side of the Island that remains a true Wilderness.
Description: Drive to the Guana Bay lookout point located on the Dutch side, this vantage point offers spectacular views or this most Eastern beach, known to have the best surf on the island. Upon arrival, you will be given a hip-pack that contains a bottle of water and receive a safety briefing and orientation from your friendly guide along with a description of the yoga postures that you will be enjoying along the way. Then it is time to set off with your knowledgeable guide on a wonderful outdoor adventure. Follow the coastal trails through grassy fields and along the rugged eastern coastline, making a few stops along the way to experience short bouts of yoga postures supervised by a certified instructor. Continuing along the trails overlooking the rough caribbean Sea below, your guide will point out interesting cacti and plant life growing in the area, as well as the neighboring islands of St. Bart's, the deserted Isle of Fourche, and Pelican Rock.
Beau Beau’s Renovates Its Space, Revises Its Menu
Oyster Bay’s popular beachside bar and grill, Beau Beau’s, gets a refreshing new look and taste! The restaurant has been renovated to include a new deck for island-breeze dining and dancing and beautiful new decor for the corridor between Beau Beau’s and the resort. And, get ready for your taste buds to start tingling! The talented Chefs at Infinity Restaurant have collaborated with Beau Beau’s to bring new flavor to the menu. Beau Beau’s is introducing delicious new culinary delights such as Southern Caribbean Fried Chicken and Grilled Mahi Mahi. Stop by for a fun evening of live entertainment and fabulous food. For reservations or additional information, tel: 721.543.6040.
Shipwreck Shops will have a booth at all the Heineken Regatta parties. Shop locally and support the Heineken Regatta by buying Heineken Regatta HR-2012 Gear by Shipwreck Shops. Party locations are as follows.
Wednesday the 29th at the SMYC
Thursday 1st of March at Port de Plaisance (FASHION SHOW starts at 8pm)
Friday 2nd of March at the Boardwalk in Philipsburg
Saturday 3rd of March in Marigot
Sunday 4th of March at Kim Sha beach!
Tropicana Casino will host another $10,000 Anniversary Blazing Bingo Event scheduled for Friday, March 30th, 2012 from 8:30pm until 2:00am. There will be a delicious Free European Buffet served at 10:00pm followed by Legendary Local Singer Melvin Hodge live on stage and a superb Russian Dance Spectacular Show at 11:30pm. should be an exceptional night of fun at Tropicana Casino.
Pizza Galley once again has won the #1 Pizza on the Island in the Daily Herald "Best of 2011" and first runner up for the Best Dessert. By the way, we are also now serving "Gluten Free Pizza." Pizza Galley is the first and only restaaurant on island to serve it.
Radisson Blue Resort, Marina & Spa, St Martin has just announced an awesome sale!!!! 40% off on reservations at the Marina Suites. This doesn't happen often... so get it while its hot! Here is the scoop: The Marina Suite Sale features 40% off suite rates and includes daily Breakfast Buffet for 2. Reservations must be made by April 15th, 2012. Travel Dates: February 1st - April 15th, 2012. Click this link for Reservations, Terms and Conditions.
Several weeks ago, thieves burglarized Caribbean Gems Jewelry Store in Philipsburg. They broke into the store at night, ransacked the office and raided the jewelry displays. They also tried to break into the safe. Luckily they did not succeed. But, there was a lot of merchandise outside of the safe and they took a lot of it. "It's quite a substantial loss," said owner, Manu Budhrani. The police are still investigating.
You are happily invited to visit with artist Roland Richardson while he works on location. Dedicated to the art of "Plein Air" Impressionism, Sir Roland Richardson's paintings of his Caribbean homeland have become true symbols of the region's beauty and rich culture. Sir Richardson's "Plein Air" Creations, always accomplished on location, from living subjects, joyfully communicate the natural wonder and history of his native St. Martin.
Art appreciators are invited to experience creative talks with Roland Richardson on Wednesdays at La Samanna Hotel and on Thursdays at the Marigot Gallery, while observing his portraits, still lifes and "Plein Air" paintings come to life. Celebrated as the "Father of Caribbean Impressionism" with over 40 years' experience painting, Sir Richardson happily shares his knowledge and life stories with his audience. An on-going exhibit of Sir Richardson's work is featured at a beautifully restored 19th Century Créole townhouse in Marigot, where nature abounds with the colors of the Caribbean.
St. Maarten's Dialing code 1-721 went into effect September 30, 2011. The Bureau Telecommunication & Post St. Maarten (BTPSXM) announced on Monday that the use of St. Maarten’s new dialing code 1-721 will commence as of September 30. Calls to St. Maarten using either 00-599 or 1-721 will be processed regularly during a “permissive dialing period” which will run until September 30, 2012. Callers using -599 will be advised that the dialing code has changed and the new code should be used. The mandatory dialing period will commence on September 30, 2012, and remain in effect until March 31, 2013. During this period calls to St. Maarten using 00-599 will not be processed and callers will be advised to dial 1-721 for calls to St. Maarten. The use of country code 00599 will be discontinued for St. Maarten on September 30th, 2012.