------------------------- "…the SXM newsletter for experienced travelers!
---------------------------------Connecting YOU with Paradise!"
Dear Friends of St. Maarten,
It’s been a lousy winter in the Northeast and in the Midwest USA with lots and lots of snow. Boston has had its worst and largest amount of snow ever on record; and, Minnesota which is used to large amounts of snow has exceeded previous snowfall records. Of course, the New York City metro area really hasn’t had it that bad, but any snow and cold these days is a hassle and something I no longer appreciate.
Then again, there’s my octogenarian brother Joe, who probably as a baby complained to our mother that the milk in his bottle was cold. I call him every week to set up a breakfast or lunch date. He undoubtedly starts every phone conversation by asking, “How’s the weather by you? As cold as by me?" My reply is consistent, “The same as yours!” We live in New Jersey only 20 miles apart. How different can it be?
I like New Jersey and I always have. As a very good friend once said to me, "Why would you want to be in New Jersey when you can be in StMaarten?" Now that's a very good thought. Why would you want to be home during the winter months when the weaving blue/green waves of the Caribbean are calling your name? As the frothy waters lap at the sand, somewhere there’s a beach umbrella and a lounge chair with a towel and a good book lying on it just waiting for you. I can even picture the waiter standing by waiting to pour my drink.
I’m happy to say that Barbara and I found the remedy for the Winter Blues as we have for any post-winter blues many years ago. We pack our bags and head south for St. Maarten/St. Martin. And, we’ll be doing that real soon!
So, if you're wondering about it, check with your favorite airline - then check your favorite StMaarten/StMartin hotel - there are great deals just for the asking. If you don't have a favorite hotel or the time for research, email us! We'll help.
What are you doing home? Come on down and create some beautiful memories!
Meanwhile, enjoy our Newsletter.
Winner of the 2006/2007 St. MaartenHospitality & Trade Association's
Crystal Pineapple Award for Outstanding Tourism Journalism
Featured in this issue:
1. Newsletter Sponsor: La Cave Restaurant
2. Poem: The Hungry Shark by Laura Richardson
3. Featured Advertising: Luxury Marina Slips for Sale
4. Featured Villa: La Perla Collection by Pierres Caraibes
5. Sign Up to Win a Dream Vacation for Two
6. Featured Shop: Vini's Vino Boutique & Wine Bar
7. Featured Restaurant: Interlude Restaurant
8. Images from StMaarten/StMartin
9. Featured Hotel: Bleu Emeraude Residence
10. Featured Article: Why We Love StMaarten/StMartin
11. Featured Activity: Aqua Mania Adventures
12. Complimentary FREE Gift Certificates
13. What's Happening in Paradise?
La Cave Restaurant at La Samanna Resort
Perfect for a private celebration, business dinner, or just to enjoy life… La Cave offers to our guests a completely different dining experience. Sit among some of the finest wines in the world, experience the finest cuisine of one of the best Caribbean chefs, complimented by elegant and attentive service.
Private Dining: This is a great opportunity to enjoy a private dinner in our Restaurant La Cave, surrounded by over 12,000 bottles of our very special wines. A five course or a nine course menu will be served with a wine paired with each course by our Head Wine Waiter.
Exclusive Dinner: Enjoy a special dinner featuring some of the very best vintages from exceptional wine appellations including: Bollinger, Dom Pérignon, Cheval Blanc, La Bourgogne, “Parfums du Sud”, and the USA.
Wine Tasting: Traveling through the world, guided by our expert Sommelier, you will discover the hidden secrets of the wine accompanied by a selection of fruits and French matured cheeses.
------------------12,000 bottles of wine - 1,250 labels - 13 countries
------------------- Best of Award of Excellence Wine Spectator 2008
------------------- Best Wine List of the Caribbean Gault & Millau 2007
--------------------- Best of Award of Excellence Wine Spectator 2007
------------------------ Award of Excellence Wine Spectator 2006
-------------------------- La Cave Restaurant at La Samanna
------------------For reservations, tel: 1.800.854.2252 or 011.590.590.87.64.00
----------------Please visit us at: www.lasamanna.com/web/omar/wine_cellar.jsp
"Waves at Orient, Dusk" painted "en Plein Air"
The Hungry Shark
was a big, hungry shark
who hunted his food in the dark.
If he had his own way, he would search in the day
but his prey would hide under the rocks.
It has been said so large were his teeth,
that their points were as huge as the pyramids peaks,
and his hunger just grew
as his stomach pursued
its raven of sea life beneath.
And so the story unfolds
that his brain was as small as a toad's,
for though he was full, he still raged like a bull
while attempting to
EAT THE WHOLE GLOBE!
Believe it or not,
he accomplished that.
His belly was stretched beyond FAT.
He groaned in despair that his greed
had so far exceeded his need.
The world made him ache,
full of land, sky and lakes,
that, good fortune to all,
He went SPLAT!
And the world was much better for that.
Poem by Laura Richardson
Painting by Sir Roland Richardson
titled "Waves at Orient, Dusk" painted "en Plein Air," St. Martin, West Indies
Laura and Roland Richardson would be delighted to hear from you!
Magic Jack, Tel: 1.443.982.0683
Visit their beautiful gallery at:
Roland Richardson Gallery Museum
#6 rue de la Republique
Marigot, St. Martin
where Fine Art, History and Nature abound!
(c) copyright Laura and Roland Richardson 2013
---------- For more info, contact Susan Coquin, Call: 721.523.9960
---------- For more info, contact Susan Coquin, Call: 721.523.9960
The Perla Collection
Located on one of the most coveted stretches of beach in St. Martin, on Baie Rouge, are the 3 beautiful properties of La Perla Collection: La Perla Palais, La Perla Bianca and La Perla Classic.
The superbly appointed "La Perla Palais" with its three master suites is the principal property in the collection and features exquisitely designed Lulu by YSL interiors.
The sumptuous, grandly scaled living area opens out to a vast terrace and impressive chlorine-free pool that overlooks the beach, crystalline waters and distant curve of the coastline. The terrace has lounging and dining areas perfect for al-fresco entertaining. From the pool terrace you can step down to a private beach area with comfortable loungers raised up from the shore line. The villa has a superb gourmet kitchen with Miele fittings and a second professionally equipped service kitchen.
Flanking the terrace area are the three fabulous master suites: Klimt, Venetian and Lulu each with very large and lavish en-suite bathrooms with Dornbracht fittings and air-conditioned walk-in closets.
The villa is air-conditioned throughout and has superb amenities including a media room, a fitness room with a Power Plate machine and on-site professional advice, a spa with hammam and sauna and a Jacuzzi and massage table.
The villa provides all the in-house services you can dream of such as: on-site spa treatments to chauffeurs, chef or cook service. Please contact us for more details.
Located within the gated residence of Baie Rouge in Terres Basses with 24 hr security.
La Perla Bianca
Located on Baie Rouge beach, La Perla Bianca is the glamorous little sister in "La Perla Collection." Wonderfully romantic, this sumptuous one-bedroom villa is air-conditioned throughout and has a large sparkling, Philippe Starck living area with gourmet kitchen. Open-plan to the living area is the beautiful king-size bedroom suite with lavish en-suite bathroom with Dornbracht fittings, 2 showers and an air-conditioned walk-in closet. Modern with all the amenities the villa has a large pool and terrace with unobstructed views of the ocean. A step down from the terrace is a private beach area and the beautiful azure water of the caribbean.
La Perla Classic
A stunning view greets you from the beautiful pool and beachfront terrace of La Perla Classic, a fabulous one bedroom villa located directly on Baie Rouge. Part of "La Perla Collection," this classically elegant yet contemporary villa is air-conditioned throughout and has a large plush living area, beautiful gourmet kitchen and luxurious king-size bedroom with en-suite Dornbracht bathroom. The villa has a Jacuzzi on the pool terrace and its own private beach area providing a beautiful backdrop for a perfect romantic getaway.
Each villa can be rented on its own or alongside its two sister villas providing 5 suites in all.
Pierres Caraibes Real Estate
or Telephone: 011.590.590.51.02.85- From the US 213.805.0840
To view our complete selection of villa rentals visit us at: www.pierrescaraibes.com
and for villa sales visit us at: www.exclusivecaribbeanproperty.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
-------------- Welcome to the Headquarters for Wine Lovers
Vini’s Vino is the first and only Wine Boutique and Wine Bar on St. Maarten/St. Martin and it’s easy to find. Right there on the Strip in Simpson Bay on the ground floor concourse at Puerta Del Sol.
Now, this is a very classy place; but, don’t worry. You won’t need to be wearing a tuxedo to get in. Let’s call it “casual elegance.”
All of Vini's Vino's wonderful wines have been personally hand-selected during visits to the world’s greatest wine growing regions, featuring not only a full selection of French Wines but the best wines of California, Italy, Chile and Spain to name a few. On its shelves, you will find wines from several of the top vintners including Montrachet, Yquem, Dom Perignon, Latour, Gelas Armagnacs, Haut Brion, Lafite Rothschild, Mouton Rothschild, and Chateau Petrus, which is considered to be the most prestigious wine in the world. I for one enjoy holding and looking at the bottle. Many of these are kept in a special wine room for the finest (expensive) selections. The wine menu is truly global offering tastes from around the world.
A great opportunity to let wine manager Allan-Pascal Yemy take you on a grand guided tour, sampling glasses of many of these great wines. You can buy the bottle but for sampling there’s nothing better than service by the glass. The only wines restaurants offer by the glass are their house wines. Ordinarily, one red and one white. You cannot sample individual great wines unless you buy the bottle and the cost of great wine can be pretty high. At Vini’s Vino you can sample those great wines by the glass. Four or five or more. Sample to your heart’s content and have some fun while doing it.
SURPRISE BIRTHDAY CAKE - Give us 24 hours notice by phone or e-mail with the details and we can have a Birthday Cake prepared for your visit to Vini’s before or after dinner to enjoy with your wine. The birthday person will never expect it.
Need a wine to give as a gift or to bring to a dinner? Concerned about which wine to serve with a particular food? The Sommelier and staff at Vini’s are ready to answer all your questions and to offer suggestions. By the way, many of their wines sell for under $10; so, you really don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a fine bottle of wine.
Vini’s Vino also features “specialty nights” of wine tastings and even wine classes. Even though it’s a wine bar, if you get hungry while at Vini’s they serve an assortment of unique platters to enjoy along with your wine sampling. You have to try the “Flaming Camembert.” Just another thing that will bring you back every night as it does so many people.
You see. People come to Vini’s before dinner for an aperitif, start tasting the wines and forget any other plans as it’s very social so they just stay for the evening. The same is true of the after dinner dessert wine crowd, they wind up staying until closing. You will too. Cheers and see you soon. Just remember we’re closed on Mondays.
Vini's Vino Boutique & Wine Bar
68 Airport Road, Puerta Del Sol Mall -Street Level
Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten
Telephone: 1.721.544.4526 Cell: 1.721.587.WINE (9463)
-------------------------- Restaurants & Bars
------------ "One of the Top Three Restaurants in the Caribbean!"
----------------------------Travel and Leisure Magazine
Interlude Restaurant'sopulent dining room offers dramatic, open-air dining with panoramic beach and ocean views that add to the enjoyment of the delicious meals, whether a heady dish of authentic osso bucco or a grilled ahi tuna with plant salad and Creole sandy ground sauce. World-class cuisine combines fresh, lively island flavors with classical French techniques. The wine cellar boasts one of the most extensive collections in the Caribbean.
Trellis Restaurant: Located adjacent to the main pool, this casual and beautifully decorated dining spot is open for lunch daily, and for dinner three times weekly. Trellis has a canopy and misters to keep you cool while you enjoy the gorgeous ocean views, as well as fabulous Gazpacho, sandwiches, and salads such as the locally caught Mahi-Mahi, grilled on Romaine lettuce with herbed French bread crostini or a classical Caesar topped with Cajun tiger shrimp.
The Beach Bar: Located on the beach, and only minutes away from the guest rooms and suites, this al-fresco lunch bar and restaurant allows guests to keep their feet in the sand while enjoying snacks, salads and cocktails as well as providing beach/beverage service to the beach chaises. The Beach Bar also features Lobster Barbecues for lunch on Wednesday and Sunday, with a special Lobster Barbecue on Monday nights. Perfectly complimented by our infinity edge pool, enjoy drinks whilst contemplating La Samanna's breathtaking sunsets.
WiFi is also now available at the Beach Bar and throughout most of the resort for easy access to the internet or to check your email.
La Samanna's Baie Longue Bar provides a cozy spot for cocktails before or after dinner. This rich, red velvet eclectic bar mixes Moroccan furniture, unique modern art and African decorative artifacts. It is set off by a multi-hued Indian wedding tent that provides exotic ceiling art. Long time bartender Orlando Philgene mixes up his signature drink, the Baie Longue Blue, and provides rum and champagne tasting for the aficionado of Caribbean spirits. Open daily from 10:00 am to midnight or until the last guest turns-in.
La Cave Restaurant: Enjoy a delightful private dinner in our most exclusive venue. Perfect for a private celebration or business dinner, the Wine Cellar offers our guests a completely different dining experience. Sit among some of the finest wines in the world and feast on cuisine from one of the Caribbean's best chefs, complimented by elegant and attentive service. La Samanna's 'La Cave' wine cellar is without doubt one of the finest and most attractive cellars in the Caribbean, with a superb selection of fine wines from across the globe, all impeccably controlled and selected by passionate experts.
Welcome to La Cave Restaurant! Travel with us to our medieval wine cellar fantasy, for this ultimate dining experience. Our sommelier will take you through a journey of discovery and our honoured Chef will join you in this intimate setting for an open discussion on the menu and a last cheer.
Enjoy a private wine tasting in our award winning wine cellar (2 people minimum) or savor a private wine cellar dinner with our Chef's innovative five course or nine course tasting menu and wine pairings.
Rum Tasting - The Caribbean is famed for its rum and at La Samanna we take this reputation very seriously. Enjoy a journey through some of the region’s finest rums, accompanied by selected speciality dishes.
----------------12,000 bottles of wine - 1,250 labels - 11 countries
---------------------- Best of Award of Excellence Wine Spectator 2010
-------------- Best of Award of Excellence Wine Spectator 2008
------------ Best of Award of Excellence Wine Spectator 2007
-------------------- Award of Excellence Wine Spectator 2006
--------------- Best Wine List of the Caribbean Gault & Millau 2007
"Your eyes, your nose, your "papilles" (taste buds): your taste becomes attentive, sensitive, and while smelling and tasting such wine or such alcohol, you discover a new treasure and a new pleasure..."
Special Dining Events
Throughout the year, Belmond La Samanna offers special dining events to its guests, profiling some of the world's best chefs and their cuisine at our luxury resort. Beach Dining Private Candlelight Dinner and Monday night lobster beach BBQ are two of our events. Please check back for additional upcoming Special Dining Events.
Belmond La Samanna Resort & Spa
Bay Long, St. Martin, French West Indies
For reservations, tel: 1.800.854.2252 or 011.590.590.87.64.00 or fax: 011.590.5188.8.131.52
Images from the Island
--------Sunset at La Samanna Resort ------------------- Stairs to beach at Rainbow Beach Club
-------------- Someone's Toy -------------------------- The Island of Saba in the Distance
--------The Pool at Great Bay Resort ----------------------- Firery Sunset over Pelican Key
-------The Pool/Beach at La Samanna Resort------------- The Pool at Flamingo Beach Resort
--- Lunch at Oyster Bay Beach Resort's Pool ---------- Wave Running at Radisson Resort & Spa
------------The Holland House Beach Hotel -----------------The Beach at Horny Toad Guesthouse
A Luxurious Residence on Grand Case Beach!
--------------------------- Click Here For Our 360 Degree Tour!
Bleu Emeraude is a new luxury resort located on beautiful Grand Case beach on the island of Saint-Martin, just north of the West Indies. Our outstanding facilities and an exceptional setting on the island make Bleu Emeraude a real paradise for travelers looking for gastronomy and a range of outdoor activities, all within easy walking distance. Each apartment has been specially designed to offer our guests tranquility and exceptional views of the Caribbean Sea and Anguilla Island on the horizon. We have top-of-the-range amenities and our services include: Direct access to the beach, complete with sun loungers, umbrellas, and other equipment, indoors and outdoors parking, wi-fi Internet access, daily housekeeping...
THE STUDIO APARTMENT [2 persons]
On the ground floor or the first floor, the 45 m² Studio apartment has private terrace and 2 deckchairs in front of the Caribbean Sea. Inside, the comfortable and clear bedroom is equipped with a "King size" bed and with a satellite TV flat screen, DVD, hi-fi players with Ipod station. The shower-room is fitted out with a big shower with toilet area and hair-dryer. The kitchen is functional and completely equipped with a full-sized refrigerator, microwave oven, dishwasher and washing machine. There is also a dining room area. The modern and light decoration will give you a comfortable feeling during your stay.
1 BEDROOM APARTMENT [2 up to 4 persons]
Located on the ground floor or on the first or second floor, the 80m² one bedroom apartment consists of a living room with Kitchen counter, a double room with a big bathroom and a private terrace with two deckchairs facing the Caribbean Sea. The bedroom has a "Queen size" bed 160x200 cm, storage space and a satellite TV flat screen. The living room is equipped with a high-quality convertible sofa 160x200 cm, a satellite TV flat screen, DVD, and hi-fi players with Ipod station. The kitchen is functional and completely equipped with a full-sized refrigerator, microwave oven, dishwasher and washing machine. The shower-room has a large shower, toilet area, and hair-dryer.
Note: The one bedroom apartments on the second floor are slightly smaller, as they are situated under the roof. The terrace is not covered. One of these two apartments has an additional sofa bed and can hold up to 6 persons.
TWO BEDROOMS APARTMENT [4 up to 6 persons]
On the second floor, the two bedroom apartment of 120 m² is completely facing the Caribbean Sea and the beach. It consists of a living room with Kitchen counter, two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a big opened terrace with table, chairs and deckchairs. The large living room is equipped with a comfortable "King size" (180x200 cm) convertible sofa, with satellite TV flat screen, DVD, and hi-fi players with Ipod station. Both equipped with TV flat screen, the bedrooms look out onto the sea and have access to the big private terrace. The Master bedroom has a 2x2 m canopy bed and shower-room and dressing room.
Reception open every day.
Secure underground parking lot.
Elevator with ramp for wheelchair access.
Continental breakfast service (see conditions).
Private terrace overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
Air conditioning in living room and bedrooms.
Fully furnished, with nice decor.
Flat-screen TV in living room and bedrooms (includes satellite and Canal + stations).
DVD player, Hi-fi with CD player and iPod docking station.
Free Wi-Fi access.
Microwave + traditional oven.
Standard coffee machine or Nespresso® machine, and toaster.
Refrigerator and freezer.
Bathroom with hair dryer.
Bed-linen, bath and beach towels.
Iron and ironing board.
Property with sea views. Beach with sun loungers --- and sun umbrellas.
Clear, unobstructed sea views.
Nearest beach: Grand Case.
Menu for a delicious vacation in your Saint Martin apartment!
Do you have an appetite for a delicious Caribbean vacation in Saint Martin? Apartments from the Bleu Emeraude Residence are the best place to stay if you want to savor everything the island has to offer. Get prepared for a tasty meal. Here is the menu:
Starter: What about a refreshing swim? All Saint Martin apartments at the Bleu Emeraude Residence have direct access to the Grand Case beach. The climate in Saint Martin is always perfect (from 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to 90 degrees in the summer). No more than five degrees separate the air temperature from the ocean temperature (and inside the apartment you'll enjoy the air conditioning in the living room and bedrooms). Or... Have a sweet rest on the deckchairs of your private terrace. It's overlooking the Caribbean Sea with an exceptionally dreamy view of the translucent water.
Main course: Are you packed full of vitamins and protein? Try one of the many sports Saint Martin offers: hiking, horseback riding, tennis, kayaking, windsurfing... Or... To spice up your day, try the Treetop Adventure Park of Saint Martin. High above a centuries-old forest reserve, you'll experience the thrill of suspended bridges and swinging ropes.
Dessert: After an exhilarating day, go rest in your Bleu Emeraude Residence of Saint Martin. Apartments are specifically designed for your pleasure: modern and comfortable design, "king-size" beds, satellite TV, spacious shower room and fully-equipped kitchen. Everything is there to help you relax and enjoy your Saint Martin vacation. Or... Have a cocktail of fun. Try one of the night-clubs or casinos of Saint Martin. The apartments of the Bleu Emeraude Residence are very close so it won't take long to get there. Also located near supermarkets, Grand Case Village, 2 km from Grand Case Airport and only 16 km from Princess Juliana International Airport.
Bleu Emeraude Residence
On Grand Case Beach, St. Martin, F.W.I.
For reservations, Tel: Xavier Morel at 011.590.5184.108.40.206, Fax: 011.590.5220.127.116.11
Why We Love StMaarten/StMartin!
by Sam Fusco
On March 1st, 2013, Barbara and I will be married 38 years. Wow! Who would have thought it? So, now you know that if I told you my age was 29 going on 30, I lied! We've had marvelous times. In the early years, we visited Aruba, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Mexico, Canada, and the Bahamas each once or twice. We have also been to Europe approximately 40 times visiting our favorite countries/destinations including Italy, Switzerland, France, England, Scotland, Wales, Spain and Portugal. So, I guess you could say that we enjoy traveling and have seen a good part of the Western World.
So then, what makes St. Maarten/St. Martin so special that we have come back so often several times each year for periods of just a few days to more than five weeks twice a year? Although the beaches are pristine and inviting, it's not the most beautiful place in the world. It doesn't have great churches or ruins dating back thousands of years. There are no snow-capped mountains to take your breath away. You cannot visit buildings or monuments where the history of the world was established or view cities that have seen the creation of the world's great religions. So, what is it that has attracted us to this little island these many years?
As you may have already read in our book or a previous article, Barbara and I have been visiting St. Maarten/St. Martin since 1978. We guesstimate that we have been there more than 70 times over the years. We also guess that we know about 300 people on island and since there are only 80,000 people on St. Maarten/St. Martin, that's probably more than average considering that we weren't born there and do not have family on the island. So, what's the attraction?
For one thing, just looking at the magnificent sunrises and incredible sunsets on the horizon is mystifying. Every day, they seem to rise from and fall into the waters of the Caribbean. Each is beautiful, each is unique and each is breathtaking. Likewise, as you ponder the straight line of the horizon, you can undertstand mankind's thinking prior to Columbus that the world was flat and that indeed those ships that ventured far enough into those unknown waters would fall off the edge of the earth. That said, take a thousand pictures of each sunrise and sunset and no two will be identical. Then again, if you live in a city, you may not have seen a sunrise or sunset in years, but then your city may have a different magnificence to offer.
In a climate whose average temperature is 80+ degrees every day, the flowers and plants are constantly in bloom and the different colored petals of the bougainvillea, hibiscus and other flowers are always pleasant to see and smell. When was the last time you cut down a coconut from a palm tree, broke it open, drank the milk and ate the coconut fruit? Barbara and I did it several years ago. It took me 40 minutes to tear the protective skin off the coconut and to crack open the shell. I haven't worked that hard in years and we had a bunch of laughs doing it. Later, I found out from a local friend that there is a right way to break open a coconut; and, of course, I did it the wrong way. By the way, it's the only time we have ever cut down a coconut from one of the plentiful palm trees around the island.
Finding the right beach is like shopping for shoes; it must be a perfect fit. The beaches of this island paradise are all appealing with each providing charm, character, and hidden pleasures. Yet, in common, they are all fabulous. Some are little secluded crescent shaped patches of sand nestled between rocky cliffs with cottony white rolling dunes and rock formations jutting into crystal clear blue/green water. Others offer gentle waves that caress the shoreline with peace and solitude; and, some have raging waves, great for surfing.
There are also some beaches where bathers strolling in the nude will keep you busy with envy and also provide some good laughs. No matter what you seek, the 37 beaches of St. Maarten/St. Martin will satisfy your desires. Although hotels and resorts occupy several beaches on both sides of the island, the public has access to all beaches. Remember, topless bathing is optional everywhere, even at most resorts, and nude sunbathing is a common practice on the island.
Note: Keep in mind that the surf on the Atlantic Ocean side of the island is rougher than on the Caribbean side. In addition, remember that rip tides or rip currents can occur anywhere and are dangerous, so it might be wise to research them and learn how to swim out of them without panicking.
Lying on the beach reading a book as the waves tickle your toes is therapeutic. Watching the waves can lull you to sleep and watching the Pelicans in the sky forage the waters for their meals is an education. The wonderful island sun not only warms your body, but also you soul. It satisfies your brain; and, within a few moments, the business worries, job stress, family concerns or other headaches from home seem to disappear. Your brain, like the great computer that it is, begins to relax and goes into vacation mode. Thinking about island activities, the fun, and the laughs with friends, the great meals that lie ahead or the challenges that await you at the casinos can be euphoric.
Sitting in a restaurant on the lagoon having lunch, while three foot long Tarpons (fish) casually glide through the shallow waters only two feet below, is fascinating. Much smaller fish swim alongside with them and they all seem to get along just fine. Occasionally, one of the large silvery Tarpons jumps out of the water creating lots of attention. Was he swimming away from a larger rival seeking his lunch or was he just saying, "Hey, look at me!"
One of the strongest assets of St. Maarten/St. Martin is its people. They are friendly to everyone! Even strangers will usually smile and say, "Hello!" Island friends usually offer hugs and kisses, and people that we've met several times at businesses or friend's homes will usually say, "Welcome home!" Bartenders at our favorite casinos, bars and restaurants will have our favorite drinks ready as soon as they see us enter. World politics and the problems of the world are never discussed, but the local people do have strong opinions about their own government as people generally do in most cities, towns and countries of the world.
Smile at people on St. Maarten/St. Martin and they smile back. It's infectious! Visit the island several times and they'll treat you not as a tourist, but as someone who belongs; and, little by little, it will become your second home. Then, you'll know why we love St. Maarten/St. Martin!
to all destinations for daytrips, all the toys for water sports and combine
a professional and well established dive center to round off the package."
AQUA MANIA Adventures is such a company, with over 20 years experience in the customer service industry and friendly and reliable staff. These are the people to help you plan an unforgettable vacation. St. Maarten is uniquely surrounded by four beautiful islands - The French Jewel "St. Barts," the Unspoiled Dutch Queen, "Saba," and the two British sisters, "Anguilla and Prickly Pear Cay." Each day a new country and culture, and exciting opportunities to explore and enjoy.
Aqua Mania Adventures has a great new addition to its list of toys, activities and fun. "PLAYSTATION 4 KIDS" It is the brainchild of owner Mike Yates, and lends some much needed entertainment on island for kids. "Playstation" is a converted catamaran that hosts swings, slides, monkey bars, paddles boats and a floating trampoline. I've personally seen it and it looks like a lot of fun. It presents quite a sight out there in Simpson Bay. Playstation operates daily from 9.30am to 5pm. The cost is $15 pp for 3 hours of play and kids 12 and under need to be accompanied by an adult. Playstation is also available for Birthday parties and various Kid's functions including our new "Survivor Trip," "Gilligan's Island," "Kid's Lagoon Cruise" or a semi submarine.
Strategically located at Pelican Marina in Simpson Bay, AQUA MANIA Adventures offers "Edge I & II" - High Speed ferries to St. Barts, the only constant service to Saba. State of the art sail cats, "Lambada and Tango," offer the best means to travel to pristine white beaches and the aquamarine waters surrounding Anguilla and Prickly Pear. Great snorkeling at these destinations and local restaurants provide a tasty BBQ lunch. Lambada's crew is legendary for a guaranteed good time.
If you prefer a half day sightseeing and snorkeling combo, Sand Dollar is a popular outing with departures twice daily. Captain Alex is a dedicated and amusing companion for the three hour trip, and snorkeling at Creole Rock caters to the experienced and novice alike. This is a trip to christen that new gear or knock the cobwebs out of the trusted antiques.
St Barts is aptly called "The Jewel of the Caribbean". Just 45 minutes from Pelican Marina with the "Edge" ferries. Depart at 9 am to arrive in Gustavia Harbour, the hub of activity. Check in 8 am!
Sidewalk cafes offer crepes and croissants for breakfast, car rentals meet the boat, the taxi stand is a few feet away, and boutiques are open for business. This exceptional island has white sandy beaches, good snorkeling, great restaurants and a unique shell museum. A day guaranteed to entertain with sights and delights. Lunch can be had at a local burger shack, or fine dining at one of the exclusive hotels, your choice, beachside. Many of the shops in Gustavia may close over the lunch time period, so we recommend shopping in the morning.
Taxi tours can be arranged upon arrival at Gustavia. Prices vary depending how many people in a group. Afterwards a stop at St Jean Beach for shopping, beaching and lunch, and then return to Gustavia with a short time to spare for shopping before the ferry departs. Check in for the boat is at 3.45pm, for departure at 4pm. Arrival at Pelican at approximately 4.45pm.
St Barts also has some great scuba diving. Little pinnacles, reefs and wrecks are abundant with marine life and local dive shops are attentive. Dive trips can be arranged with St Barts Plongee or Plongee Caraibes.
St. Maarten is also a great dive destination. The outlying wreck and reef sites offer fantastic dives and excellent photo opportunities. For the average diver whose partner or family do not dive, here is where St. Maarten excels. Plenty of beaches, snorkeling, activities, shopping and day trips to keep everyone entertained while the divers go about the pleasure of diving. Waters are warm and inviting, and the marine life is aboundant. Moray eels, turtle and southern stingray are common sightings - and frog fish and jaw fish are a treat to find. Dive Adventures chooses dive sites the morning of the dive, to ensure the best decision is made for that day's weather and sea conditions.
-------------------------Aqua Mania Adventures
------------------------- Pelican Resort Marina, St. Maarten, N.A.
------------- For reservations, call 1.721.544.2640, Fax: 1.721.544.2476.
----Visit: www.stmaarten-activities.com Visit: www.diveadventures-sxm.com
Complimentary (FREE) Gift Certificates
from Island Businesses
Going to the island?
Looking to save money?
View our list of Gift Certificates below!
Choose the ones you wish to use on island.
Please include your first & last name, email address, travel dates and the name of the hotel, condo or villa where you will be staying on island. We will email the Certificates to you within 48 hours.
(Click the Business Name to visit their Website)
Bleu Emeraude Residence
(Gift Certificate: $100 off)
LaVista Beach Resort
(Gift Certificate: 30% off)
The Cliff at Cupecoy Beach Condos
(Gift Certificate: 5% off)
Oyster Bay Beach Resort
Click the Language to Print your Gift Certificate
English - French - Spanish - Portuguese
Beau Beau's Restaurant at Oyster Bay Beach Resort
(Gift Certificate: $25 off)
Esco Pazzo Pizzeria
(Gift Certificate: $10 off per couple)
Hideaway Restaurant at LaVista Resort
(Gift Certificate: 10% off)
Infinity Restaurant at Oyster Bay Beach Resort
(Gift Certificate: $25 off)
La Cave Restaurant at La Samanna
(Gift Certificate: $50 off)
La Dolce Vita Ristorante Italiano
(Gift Certificate: $10 off per person)
Le Réservé Restaurant at La Samanna
(Gift Certificate: $25 off)
Peg Leg Pub and Steakhouse
(Gift Certificate: $10 off)
Rare Bar and Restaurant
(Gift Certificate: One Free Dessert Per Person)
Temptation Bar and Restaurant
(Gift Certificate: One Free Dessert Per Person)
Toppers Restaurant and Bar & Toppers by the Sea
(Gift Certificate: $10 off)
(Gift Certificate: $100 off)
Blooming Baskets by Lisa
(Gift Certificate: $20 off)
(Gift Certificate: $50 off)
La Samanna Spa
(Gift Certificate: $50 off)
(Gift Certificate: $50 off)
Aqua Mania Adventures
(Gift Certificate: Buy $150 of Watersports Dollars for $125)
Happy Hour Charters
(Gift Certificate: $10 off Jetskis)
Random Wind Charters
(Gift Certificate: $20 off)
Scuba Fun Dive Center
(Gift Certificate: 10% off)
Summer Set Car Rental
(Gift Certificate: One Free Day with 7 Day Rental)
(Gift Certificate: A $10 free play, free beer & hot dog)
What's Happening in Paradise?
by Sam Fusco
After more than 25 years, Saratoga Restaurant is closed and John Jackson, an innovative CIA schooled chef, is no longer on island. John created many signature dishes that people frequently returned for particularly the "Salt & Pepper Sea Bass" which was served standing on its fins in the middle of your dish; and with its mouth wide open and its eyes staring up at you, it almost challenged you to eat it. It was my favorite. John was also instrumental in publicizing the island with the St. Maarten Boat Show Chef's Contest and numerous other food related events for tourists visiting the island. The business and the fabulous building are for sale. He is missed by many friends and fans; but, alas, "They made him an offer he couldn't refuse!"
Ristorante Pizzeria Amici Miei (My Friends) will soon open on the Boardwalk in Philipsburg at Coconut Cove. This new restaurant will serve pizza, pastas, lots of tasty salads, and of course, fish and meat dishes... including (my favorites) lobster and fritto misto which are house specialties. Amici Miei will be open for breakfast and lunch until 3pm and will provide a full bar and service on the beach until 4:30pm. They will even have beach chairs and umbrellas available for your convenience. This new eatery is sure to be a hit with tourists as well as locals since it has the same management as Esco Pazzo Pizzeria and La Dolce Vita Ristorante Italiano which are located at the Princess Port de Plaisance Hotel & Casino.
Here's some information about a new client. Leisure Car Rental St. Maarten was established in 2007, with one objective: To always go above and beyond the Call Of Duty to ensure Maximum Customer Satisfaction. We offer a wide range of Automobiles to meet all needs and budgets. So whether you're the extravagant type, or the more cautious thrifty shopper, we have an auto for you. We can undoubtedly guarantee the Best Value in the Industry!
JP and the Pizza Galley team are back from vacation and open for business. So once again, you tourists and local people alike can stop by for those wonderful pizza's including the garlic pizza, my favorite, the incredible Caesar's Salad which is always big enough for two people and who can refuse a slice of Lorna's Key Lime pie or Strawberry Rhubarb pie. Visit www.pizzagalley.com.
Note from JP Guilbert, owner of Pizza Galley.
Hi Sam, Everything is good and we are very busy here. The island is buzzing with lots of boats arriving from all over the world for the Heineken Regatta this weekend... Remind your subscribers that Pizza Galley is the only restaurant on SXM that serves Crispy Thin Crust "Gluten Free" Pizza and the demand is there. By the way, Pizza Galley won again! #1 Best Pizza and #1 Best Desserts in the Daily Herald Newspaper's "Best of St. Maarten" 2012 Contest. That should do it... J.P.
The 33rd St.Maarten Heineken Regatta will play host to more than 32 countries and already has close to two hundred entries for this year's regatta. The regatta team looks forward to hosting participating boats from February 28th - March 3rd 2013. It is known as one of the “must do” events in the Caribbean whether you attend for the sailing or the concerts, you don’t want to miss it. For early entries please visit our website: www.heinekenregatta.com.
Peg Leg Pub located on the promenade at Princess Port de Plaisance Hotel and Casino is having its Annual St. Patrick's Day Buffet on the 17th of March. All you can eat dinner from 6pm till finished, and since it is a Sunday - no lunch platter that day.
Tropicana Casino celebrates its 14th Anniversary in March. Mondays Hot Seats, Tuesdays 3X Points for the Winners Club Card Holders, Wednesdays are the Magic Boxes day. Every Thursday we will have a bingo raffle where you can win a Blackberry phone, Samsung Galaxy Mini, Apple Ipod Nano and 32"LED TV. Fridays and Saturdays we will have $2,000 Bingo games at 1 am and 2 am. Sundays you can win Samsung Galaxy Tablet, Acer Laptop, 40" LED TV or Apple Ipad. On Saturday, March 30, 2013 we will have the biggest single game prize in one bingo game in the Caribbean with $14,000 full card payout. Russian Cabaret will be performing on stage every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights as well.
Note from Laura Richarson: Hi Sam, We are having an open house the weekend of March 23 and 24 for our annual Art Lovers weekend, but also celebrating our 15th anniversary of the gallery with it officially being named the Roland Richardson Gallery Museum.
For Sale: Large, highly successful, casino-colocated restaurant with a long-time loyal following is for sale. Restaurant has a prime location with ample free parking, a seasoned staff, and a diverse lunch and dinner menu of seafood, legendary steaks, salads, and more. Owner is asking $250,000 and is willing to stay on during transition. Qualified buyers only (no agents). Price does not include the cost of you getting Managing Director paperwork if you don't have it already. Send inquiry to jmbwebjmbcommunications.com with the subject "Restaurant." Please include info on any relevant experience. Your inquiry will be given to the owner who will respond directly. (St. Maarten)
Many tourists about to visit the island often write us to ask about a map of the island. I usually tell them that you can get maps of the island at the airport when you arrive. In the arrivals building when you are picking up your baggage, you will notice several kiosks and wall shelves with lots of publications and advertisements from island businesses. Most of these have small fold-out maps which are suffienct for traveling around the island. If you want something bigger and better, Cartographer Michal Kasprowski who lives on the island has just published a new and revised 2013 edition of his St. Maarten/St. Martin Street map. The detailed map with index, made on a 1:15,000 scale, provides many details on both sides of the island, including separate street maps of Philipsburg and Marigot. You can purchase your map at www.omnimap.com/catalog/int/stmartin.htm?248,186?308,176 for $16.99.
The island has been enjoying a record high number of visitors over the Holidays and during the months of January and February 2013. Apparently, at one point, so many people came by private plane that Juliana Airport ran out of parking spaces for the planes. There is now talk of the Government planning to expand the airport.
Here's some interesting information from Sunshine Properties: We are delighted to have a new exciting development at Indigo Bay. This is a beachfront 150 acre site with plans for a lush tropical forest with waterfalls. It will be very ECO conscious with an ECO farm. Overall, 65% of the land is designated as green space. It will consist of private villas with futuristic environmental planning of low energy saving plans solar heat for water is standard and special packages for solar electric are available also standard 10 inch concrete walls with insulation assure cooling advantages as well as guide living a small boutique ECO hotel, restaurants and a harbour for water sport, diving and fishing vessels.