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
---------------------------------- Connection

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

Dear Friends of St. Maarten,

Have you been to St. Maarten/St. Martin? If not, you're in for a treat. You may ask why I write the name twice. Well, if you did your "homework," which is an American school term, you already know the answer.

Since 1648, the island has been peacefully shared in joint ownership by the Netherlands and France, which is rather unique. In fact, it is the smallest island in the world governed by two major countries. That said, on October 10, 2010, St. (Sint) Maarten became a constituent (Independent) country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The beauty of this arrangement is that the Dutch side of the island is like being home in the USA or Canada: everyone speaks English as a first language and the majority of visiting tourists to the island come from the USA and Canada. Being on the French side of the island is like being in a village in France where everyone speaks French but tries not to let you know that they also speak English. This is part of the beauty of the island; visitors to the island get to enjoy a taste of both cultures, the Dutch and the French. 

With temperatures in the low 80's 365 days a year and only 45 inches of rain annually, whenever you visit the island, you are almost guaranteed to have wonderful weather and a memorable trip/holiday. And, as a very dear friend always says, "Wherever you are on the island, if you don't like the weather, cross the street."

St. Maarten/St. Martin is charming and habit-forming. For Barbara and me, it's a stepping-stone to Heaven that we hope you have experienced or will experience soon.  

In the meanwhile, enjoy our Newsletter.

Sam Fusco

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:  Eternity by Laura Richardson
3. Featured Villa: Villa Beaulieu by Pierres Caraibes
4. Sign Up to Win a Dream Vacation for Two
5. Featured Shop: Blooming Baskets by Lisa
6. Featured Restaurant: Ocean Lounge Restaurant & Bar
7. Featured Hotel: Radisson Resort Marina & Spa
8. Featured Article: 60 Fun Things to do on StMaarten/StMartin!
9. Featured Activity: Weddings in StMaarten by Jean Rich
10. Complimentary FREE Gift Certificates
11. What's Happening in Paradise?







Newsletter Sponsor

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

----------------------------------------- AWARDS
--------------------- Best of Award of Excellence Wine Spectator 2010
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
---------------------------- Email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






A Poem

"Breezy Day" Original "Plein Air" Oil


















Poem by Laura Richardson
Painting by Sir Roland Richardson

Laura and Roland Richardson would be delighted to hear from you!
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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





Featured Villas

-------------------------------- Villa Beaulieu 


Beaulieu is a beautiful luxurious villa with a fabulous hill side location overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the island of Anguilla and the spectacular St. Martin coastline. The villa also enjoys an impressive nighttime view of the distant lights of Anguilla and the bay of Marigot. 

B Pool-View--- B Living-View

The beautiful ocean view can be seen from throughout the house: from the expansive terrace and large heated pool, the spacious double living room and double arched dining room and even from the large kitchen bar, facing Baie Rouge with a double sliding window.

The fully air-conditioned, contemporary living area is equipped with Satellite TV and WiFi and leads into an elegant dining area with archway through to a landscaped patio.

B Kitchen--- B Bedroom3-2

Beaulieu features three equal oversized suites out of Italian tumbled marble; each one with a sea view, even from the bathrooms.
All of them have a private terrace, a private patio or garden.Bedrooms 1 & 2 can be connected through a double door ensuring privacy between the two dressing rooms.

B Bathroom3--- B Pool-Terrace

The villa is only a 3 minute drive from beautiful Plum Bay beach and within an easy drive of the superb beaches: Baie Rouge, Baie Longue, Cupecoy and Mullet Bay and the vibrant nightlife of Maho.

Pierres Caraibes Real Estate

For reservations or information, email: This email 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 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






Featured Shop





Not Your Mother's "Pocketbook!"

Offered in a rainbow of sizes and colors, Blooming Baskets by Lisa are definitely not your mother’s flowered pocketbooks.

All “Blooming Baskets by Lisa” floral handbags are individually designed and hand-made here on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. No two are ever perfectly identical – so you’ll not enter a room and encounter that dreadful situation.
They’re also infinitely fashionable. Equally at home when you’re wearing jeans to a picnic or elegant couture to a wedding… or, at the Academy Awards, should you be nominated or spend time with Hollywood friends.

Welcome to the world of Blooming Baskets by Lisa. Here, you’ll learn how we make them… the many places where you can use them… you’ll see our collection… and you’ll be able to order your very own handmade purse as well.


About Blooming Baskets!

In 1993, Lisa and Michele, two sisters from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, moved to St. Martin in the Caribbean. In 2000, they opened a handbag boutique which sold designer American handbags. Inspired by the kaleidoscope of flowers that populate the St. Martin countryside, in 2002, they took ordinary straw and raffia bags and put them on steroids. The result: colorful, whimsical new bags adorned with gorgeous silk flowers.

Blooming Baskets by Lisa, an entirely new class of “handbag” that defies traditional description, had been born. The response was immediate and overwhelming. Lisa and Michele’s signature flowered Baskets already are being sold throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. You’ll see Blooming Baskets by Lisa carried by the “rich and famous” on islands like the exclusive St. Barts and Anguilla. Go anywhere with a Blooming Basket, and watch heads turn for a closer look.

Lisa designs the Baskets at home on her terrace with the Caribbean Sea, sun, breezes, and flowers as her constant inspirations. Michele runs day-to-day operations. Learn how we make our Baskets. Then… start some excitement with your own colorful whimsical Blooming Basket by Lisa!

----------BBFullBloom--------------- BBSunflowerMadness


How We Make Them!

Blooming Baskets by Lisa come in four sizes – mini, small, medium, and large; and, because of their strength and durability, our large Baskets are often packed to the hilt and taken to the beach. “Smaller” baskets, which are not really small, go everywhere. Underneath, Blooming Baskets are hand-constructed of high-quality, long-wearing raffia, a natural product obtained from the fronds of the raffia palm. Our raffia is wrapped or covered in long-wearing straw custom-woven for us and sewn for high durability. Our baskets are made individually. Dyes are hand-mixed, with no pre-set recipe; consequently, “purple” on one basket invariably looks a bit different from “purple” on another. Of course, all our dyes are formulated to resist fading.

Since Mother Nature has created an infinite variety of real flowers, we follow suit with all our silk flowers. From Exotic lilies to stunning roses to huge, colorful daisies and many other varieties in countless colors, Mother Nature is faithfully recreated in silk for Blooming Baskets by Lisa.



Our Collection!

A couple of heads-up

First, we never create exactly the same Blooming Basket by Lisa twice. So when you order one of our beautiful floral handbags, know that your bag will be unique. The flowers (in color, design, and placement) and the precise bag color will differ, if ever so slightly, from our photos. You’re a unique person. So, your Blooming Basket will be unique, too.

Second, our floral handbags themselves change. Some colors disappear, others are introduced, and the combinations of flowers and dyes change.
So, if you see something that catches your eye today, grab it. It may be gone forever next time you look.

“Blooming Baskets by Lisa” offers baskets in four sizes and many flowers and flower colors. And of course, there are many Basket colors.

The Results speak for themselves.

No, they sing more than speak. And, you will absolutely love the melody!

--------------- For additional information, please contact us at:
------------------ Blooming Baskets by Lisa
-----------------Marina Village of Porto Cupecoy, Sint Maarten
-------------------- Tel: 1-721-586-7055 or 1-721-522-6668

---------------- Email us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or
----------------- Visit us at: www.bloomingbasketsbylisa.com





Featured Restaurant




Welcome to the Ocean Lounge for Fine Dining

Voted the #1 Restaurant in Philipsburg, St. Maarten by Trip Advisor Visitors!

The newly-renovated restaurant and bar at the Holland House is the Ocean Lounge Restaurant and Bar, which features a beautiful hardwood deck overlooking the ocean and the boardwalk where many locals go to relax at night, when the cool Caribbean breeze soothes away a day at work or a perfect day on the beach. Dedon outdoor furniture with plush cushions, combined with the service-minded staff, gives you that special VIP feeling.

TheHotelRRobert van Herpen and Chef Raymond Kaper, both from Holland, guarantee an enjoyable breakfast, tasty lunch or delightful dinner experience. Raymond began his culinary career as a trainee at the prestigious and leading Michelin star crowned Intercontinental “Amstel Hotel” in Amsterdam at restaurant La Rive.

After 2 years of training with Master-Chef Edwin Kats, Raymond wanted to broaden his culinary skills and went to work for the Dylan Hotel as a Junior Sous Chef. There he learned to be more creative and developed a deeper knowledge of combining flavors. After The Dylan, Raymond worked as a Sous Chef at the renowned Country Hotel “Duin and Kruidberg” and after a year he decided it was time to see more of the world and make good use of his knowledge and skills. He travelled to the Caribbean to expand his cooking style which developed into an interesting and eclectic European – Caribbean Style (EUROBEAN).

Chef Raymond works with local products from the Islands as well as fresh seafood and produce flown in twice weekly from Europe and the USA to create innovative and imaginative dishes. He leads a local team of young cooks and has set new standards and heights in casual dining on the Island. His counterparts on the waiters' side are the ever-smiling Lucia, who supervises breakfast and lunch, and the famous Jesse who oversees the dinner service and has already acquired a very loyal clientele.

Editor's Note: Once again, Barbara and I had a spectacular meal at Ocean Lounge Restaurant & Bar. After ordering two Black Labels on the rocks, we sat sipping our favorite scotch discussing forthcoming events while enjoying the beautiful view of the yachts in Great Bay.

OceanLoungeTableSettingAfter a while, our waiter brought us the Chef’s offering which was a creamy spicy tomato mousse served in a tall slender glass accompanied with a straw. One or two sips and the mousse caressed your palette with a lovely delightful taste on its way to your stomach. We really wanted more!

or appetizers, we enjoyed Gravlax, marinated and lightly smoked salmon with sour cream and toast, and Beef Carpaccio in lemon juice which were both delicious and easily either could be shared by two people. For our main course, we had Chilean Sea Bass served in an antiboise sauce with mini potatoes and fresh spinach, and Brill which is a white fish imported from Holland accompanied by a selection of vegetables.

For Dessert, we had the chef’s innovative rendition of French toast with Vanilla ice cream in the middle. It was truly unique. And, of course, the meal was accompanied by a lovely bottle of white Sancerre. By the way, Guido & Georgina, our servers, were attentive and friendly and along with Robert van Herpen, Manager of Food & Beverage, helped to make the evening memorable. For reservations, call Robert at 721.542.2572 or 800.223.9815 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Parking for dinner is available from 7 PM till 12 midnight. It's across the street from the Hotel behind Joe's Jewelry. You enter the lot via Back Street and will see a parking assistant and a Holland House banner. Parking is free of charge and exclusive for diners at our Ocean Lounge Restaurant & Bar.

In addition, our friendly and attentive professional staff will assist you with your needs and answer any questions about the Hotel, arrange car rentals, excursions to other islands, and point you to intimate and romantic Caribbean restaurants. They will also be happy to assist you with important island information, reconfirming your flight and arranging a taxi service. Come visit us! We look forward to making your special day an outstanding one!

Ocean Lounge Restaurant & Bar
at Holland House Beach Hotel
FrontStreet #43, Philipsburg, St. Maarten
For reservations, visit www.hhbh.com to use our computerized reservation system.
Telephone 1.721.542.2572, Fax: 1.721.542.4673 or
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Featured Hotel

-------------------- Radisson BLU Resort Marina & Spa, St. Martin


A blend of Caribbean Character with French Flair!


The new 4-Diamond AAA rated, Radisson BLU Resort, Marina & Spa, St. Martin awaits your pleasure.

The 18-acre, oceanfront property Radisson BLU St Martin sets the stage for one of the Caribbean's most provocative new luxury resorts, located on one of the best-preserved and most secluded coves on the French side of the island, Anse Marcel. An open-air design with tropical foliage and fountains seamlessly unifies the main house with its surroundings, inviting guests to savor the Caribbean immediately upon entering the resort.

Off the main house is a veranda with breathtaking views of the Caribbean and a French-inspired Great Lawn flanked by formal gardens and royal palms that extend from the entrance down to the 14,200 square foot signature swimming pool with a zero-sand beach entry and a vanishing edge overlooking the waters of Anse Marcel and the Caribbean Sea.


------- LobbyR ---- GreatHouseDuskR

Accommodations include 63 suites and 189 guest rooms situated in two guest room wings that flank the main house and five all-suite structures overlooking the resort's 150-slip marina. Each guest room and suite features a spacious bathroom and upscale amenities, plus:

* A private balcony or terrace
* Flat-screen satellite television
* DVD player
* iPod dockable clock radio
* Mini-bar and coffee maker
* Cozy waffled robes
* Complimentary high-speed internet access


Dedicated to excellence. This is the guiding philosophy of the staff of the Radisson BLU St Martin Resort, Marina and Spa. Each member of the resort's team looks to satisfy the needs of every guest, be it preparing or serving an intimate dinner for two in C Le Restaurant, organizing a sailing, snorkeling or windsurfing adventure or planning one of our interactive Guest Enrichment programs. These can include power walks, French cooking classes, introduction to massages, French language class and wine or rum tasting. Let our Concierge assist you in discovering our island that is shared by both the French and the Dutch.

The resort's dining venues are equally distinctive in design. C Le Restaurant, which features fine French cuisine paired with island flavors, is a free-standing, open-air venue set on a stone terrace that overlooks the sea. Le Marché, a casual, open-air market-style eatery with French and Caribbean influences, is open for breakfast and dinner. Nearby discover Grand Case, the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean.

------ InfinityPoolR --- -YachtsInLineR

Known among the yachting community as one of the safest and most picturesque harbors in the Lesser Antilles, the proximity of Radisson Marina at Anse Marcel gives boaters a preview of the new Radisson BLU Resort St Martin. Nestled in a naturally protected cove on the north side of St. Martin, the charmingly chic French territory offers island-hoppers a peaceful getaway. The marina is located at 18º07'N 63º02'W on GPS.

Radisson BLU Resort Marina & Spa, St. Martin has partnered with Temenos Golf Course on neighboring island Anguilla to offer its guests an unparalleled Caribbean golf experience. The resort, located on the northwest coast of the French side of St. Martin, can reserve preferred tee times and arrange for private boat transfer to the Greg Norman-designed championship-caliber course.

------------------- Radisson BLU Resort Marina & Spa, St. Martin
St. Martin, Anse Marcel, St. Martin, F.W.I.

-----------------------For Reservations, please telephone (800) 333.3333
----------------- ----Visit www.radissonblu.com/resort-stmartin






Featured Article


60 Fun Things to do on StMaarten/StMartin!

Many first-timers to the island write us to ask the same question over and over again, "What is there to do on the island." So, listed below are a few of the interesting, exciting, enjoyable, fun activities that can occupy your beautiful vacation days and assure you of going home with wonderful memories.

1. Charter a yacht and sail to other islands
2. Collect unique seashells from the island's 37 wonderful beaches
3. Go deep sea fishing for a Marlin and challenge yourself
4. Go for a horseback ride on the beach
5. Go for a mountain bike ride on the trails
6. Go for a swim, often
7. Go for a walk on the beach, daily
8. Go shopping Monday through Saturday and rest on Sunday
9. Go snorkeling in Baie Rouge
10. Go scuba diving around Saba
11. Have breakfast at a restaurant, daily
12. Have lunch at a restaurant, often
13. Have dinner at a restaurant, frequently
14. If you vacation on island for 37 days, you can visit a different beach every day
15. Lie in a lounge chair on Orient Beach and watch people "strut their stuff" nude
16. Lie in a lounge chair on the beach with a good book and a drink in your other
17. Lie on the beach and do nothing except soak up the sunshine

18. Paddle a kayak around the island
19. Race a Wave Runner around the island
20. Rent a rod & reel and fish from the beach



21. Climb the 3,000 steps to the top of Saba's rain forest
22. Sit at a friendly bar and watch sports TV
23. Sit at a friendly bar and think about your job and work at the office, not
24. Sit at a bar with friends and enjoy the camaraderie or make new friends
25. Take a parasail and fly though the sky
26. Take a sunset cruise around the island
27. Visit a casino but bring Lady Luck with you
28. Visit a nightclub and dance till the morning hours
29. Visit Anguilla, St. Barths and/or Saba
30. Visit the Butterfly Farm for incredible sites

---------- Malachite ---------- TheBlueMorpho

31. Visit StMaarten Park Zoo
32. Walk the wires through the trees at Loterie Farm
33. Watch a sunrise
34. Watch a sunset
35. Take lots and lots of pictures
36. Take Sir Roland Richardson's Master Class/Wed. at La Samanna/Thurs. at Marigot
Gallery/learn about art, colors, history, while the master paints. It's Free!

37. Visit 1700's on Mont Vernon Plantation/see art exhibition/take classes at art school
38. Visit other artist's galleries throughout the island
39. Visit the museums in Marigot and Philipsburg
40. Visit the Fort St. Louis ruins in Marigot


41. Visit the Fort Amsterdam ruins in Philipsburg
42. Visit Tijon Parfumerie in Grand Case and create your own personal scent/parfume
43. Take the St. Maarten "America's Cup" 12 Metre Regatta Challenge
44. Have a drink at La Samanna Resort's Baie Longue Bar/watch the sun set/create
---- lovely memories
45. Lunch at the Lolos (outdoor grilled food) in Grand Case. Prices are soooooo cheap
46. Visit Radisson Resort's pool - it is the largest most spectacular on the island
47. Have Yannick's homemade yogurt at Vesna's Taverna & Bagel House - it's the best
48. Enjoy a Timeshare sales presentation - worth the "free gifts" even if you don't buy
49. See the Cabaret Show at L'Escargot Restaurant in Philipsburg - it's the best
50. Experience on the water excitement with a two-person Rhino Rider watercraft
51. Enjoy an ice cream sundae at Carousel Gelateria & Bar in Simpson Bay - it's the best
52. Ride the merry-go-round of ceramic horses at Carousel - they're incredible
53. Come back to StMaarten/StMartin again and again!
54. Visit the island in early March and enjoy the spectacular Heineken Regatta
55. Visit the island in late April and enjoy the parties and dancing at Carnival
56. Visit the island any month except September and add a sparkle in your life
57. Enjoy a crispy thin crust pizza at Pizza Galley and enjoy the mega yachts views
58. Try a Kayak race, Triathlon, Bike race or Run from Tri-Sport
59. Enjoy 18 holes of golf at the Mullet Bay Golf Course
60. Enjoy a spectacular round of golf at the Greg Norman Temenos Golf Club in Anguilla






Featured Activity


Did you dream about your wedding since you were very little? Most kids do, from the time mummy read, "and Prince Charming slipped the glass slipper onto Cinderella's foot and they lived happily ever after..." We practise getting married by walking down the aisle as a flower girl or ring-bearer and see the joy of the radiant couple as they say "I Do" and tingle with the excitement of their family and friends sharing the moment.

Joy on your wedding day comes from the blessing of the love and commitment you share and looking forward to this beginning of your own family. Joy on the wedding day also comes from having a hassle-free wedding that brings your vision of your dream wedding to reality. You must realize your dream wedding and enjoy it too.

Hire a professional wedding planner. For the bride and groom, their wedding is a first-time event and hopefully a lifetime highlight. A professional wedding planner may arrange hundreds of weddings a year. So with her help you won't have to experiment on your big day. The wedding planner is your troubleshooter. She also will be sure the people she hires to serve you have proven quality and reliability, so you won't be looking out the back door waiting for a cake, or shedding tears because your bouquet doesn't match your dress.

A wedding should be your fantasy come true and a gala celebration. A bride's dream is nurtured as she integrates images from magazines, movies, weddings, and her imagination to come to a vision of her wedding day. All who love her and her wedding planner want the bride to realize her dream on this special day. So it was imagined, so it will be done.

A budget is very important. Be realistic when you set one so that you can live happily ever after and not start your newWeddingsCouple life with a financial burden. Discuss the budget with your wedding planner so she knows the limits. A professional wedding planner is your advocate. Speaking from experience, the wedding planner should be able through her experience and professionalism to optimize your budget and stretch it to cover the most important parts of your plan.

Set priorities as to what is the most important part of your vision. I recommend as a tool, the couple get a notebook to create a "dream book" to log in the elements they want for their wedding. You will use it to plan everything with your planner for how your taste and style will be incorporated. A professional planner will take care of processing the legal paperwork so your marriage will be correct and recognized worldwide. I guide my brides to the right location and time of day - our island provides dream seascapes for locations and everyone becomes radiant in the golden light of sunset.

List the elements for the fun and remembrance; beauty and fashion, flowers, toasting, food, music, reception, cake, and photography and/or videography. Pick a color, a theme for the decorations or a special bloom for your flowers. A wedding planner's expertise will allow you to realize your dream while keeping to your budget.

You will be planning your wedding for sometime and you can use that time to put into your dream book: everything from a picture you have from another wedding to magazine clippings and notes, a poem or song, so you don't forget. Use your imagination. The dream book will help your planner share your vision and bring it to reality.

While wedding planning software can assist you, a local wedding planner will insure what you can do with the local possibilities, can customize your wedding, and will make sure you don't forget doing things on time, but most importantly your planner will help you optimize your wedding in St. Maarten/St. Martin.

Set your priorities with the most important first, and the least, last, so your planner can help you cut if you must keep to your budget, without diminishing the glow of your wedding. You don't want to trim off a rose if your mom's name was Rose and you carry it for her. Take your first dance to your favorite song played by one of our great local entertainers in the arms of your loved one.

I recommend that you put a high priority on photography. After the bouquet is tossed and you've left your wedding party in a shower of petals, the photographs are what survive forever. You'll show them over and over again and use these to remember why you got married, re-savor your love and joy as time goes by. If you are blessed with children, photographs give them a chance to see you when your love was in early bloom and you made your commitment to each other. Somehow we can be re-inspired on an anniversary and experience our young love again when we look at those pictures. Now photo technology has brought us DVDs so we can also hear our emotion-filled voices as they pledge vows to each other. Yes the wedding day is the big day, but you can best relive your memories over and over through pictures, then shed those tears of joy again.

tog2Share also with your planner any unique ideas. One of my brides planned a starfish and shell theme for her cake superbly executed and she said, by the way, "My groom's favorite treats are champagne and chocolates." So I arranged for her to give her groom a wonderful champagne and a silver shell of chocolates that were hand and custom-made for her in shell shapes filled with aphrodisiac flavors to indulge in after the last dance. "If you can dream it, I can make it happen," is my motto as your wedding planner. I am very proud that my clients have nicknamed me their "Fairy Godmother," as they said I "must have waved a magic wand to make their dream wedding a reality."

If ever there were a picture-perfect place to get married, the island of St. Maarten is it. Blessed with some of the most breathtaking beaches anywhere in the world, St. Maarten also offers all the first-class amenities you could ever ask for:

1. World-class restaurants, ensuring that every meal can become a long-lasting, pleasant memory
2. Fifth Avenue-class shopping in Marigot, and exquisite jewelry shopping on Front Street in Philipsburg
3. Perfectly clear turquoise waters for some of the world's best snorkeling
4. Modern airport with wide-body jet connections from many US gateways

Tying the knot in St. Maarten means enjoying all the benefits of a beautiful tropical wedding with none of the planning hassles. How so? Because Jean Rich, a Rhode Island native who has been living in St. Maarten for more than 20 years, handles all the details for you. As the Manager of the renowned BelMar Grill - Seafood - Wine Bar at Simpson Bay, Jean brings unsurpassed culinary experience to your wedding reception. As the planner/coordinator of literally dozens of tropical weddings over the last 15 years, she has fielded and successfully responded to all kinds of requests. No matter what flavor of tropical wedding you want, Jean Rich has the experience and creativity to make it happen.

For example, you could select from any of the following:
Beach wedding. We do all the planning for a beautiful wedding right on the beach, under the palms, on a gorgeous Caribbean day. Get married at whatever time of day you like -- even right before a breathtaking Caribbean sunset.
Gazebo wedding. How about a ceremony inside a beautiful gazebo, overlooking the beach? Our gazebo even has a pool nearby, so you and your guests can switch to bathing suits and cool off after your reception.
Ocean wedding. Some of our clients prefer to be married at sea. We charter a sailboat or a yacht of virtually any size, and you get the wedding of your dreams right in the Caribbean Sea.
Church, hall, or restaurant wedding. No matter what location you prefer, we'll plan it from start to finish. No problem!

It's easier than you think and less expensive. Why shouldn't you enjoy a wedding in paradise? Still have questions, then email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We'll relieve you of all the stress and worry; and, we'll make it happen for you!

Weddings In St. Maarten, Simpson Bay, St. Maarten
Dr. Jean Rich is a well known wedding planner who lives on St. Maarten.
For info call: 1.305.767.2253 or 1.866.978.5233 Toll Free or 011.599.581.5843 cell.
Visit us: www.weddings-in-stmaarten.com or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Special Feature

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.

(The Business Names below link to their Websites.)


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)


Ballerina Jewelers - (Gift Certificate: $100 off)

Blooming Baskets by Lisa - (Gift Certificate: $20 off)

Caribbean Gems - (Gift Certificate: $50 off)

La Samanna Spa - (Gift Certificate: $50 off)

Zhaveri Jewelers - (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)

Car Rentals

Summer Set Car Rental - (Gift Certificate: One Free Day with 7 Day Rental)


Tropicana Casino - (Gift Certificate: A $10 free play, free beer & hot dog)

Please email us your Gift Certificate choices! Include
your first & last name, email address, travel dates and the name of the hotel/villa/condo where you will be staying. The Certificates will be emailed to you within 48 hours.





What's Happening in Paradise?


by Sam Fusco

April 30 – The Netherlands has a King! - In keeping with a planned transition, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands after 33 years as queen has abdicated her throne in favor of her son Willem-Alexander. In a nationally televised emotional signing ceremony watched by millions of her subjects, the much loved Beatrix ended her 33–year reign as queen. Four hours later, her son, Willem-Alexander swore an oath of allegiance to his country and the constitution in the historic New Church. He is the first Dutch king since King Willem III who died in 1890. Needless to say there is a lot of partying going on tonight in Amsterdam and the rest of the country – including St. Maarten.

The French Red Cross, in partnership with the Radisson Blu, will celebrate on May 4th its fifth annual gala. This prestigious event will take place at the Radisson Blue Resort in the Salon Caraibe (the ballroom). The theme of this evening is the Secret Garden. The format has been changed from a formal sit down diner to a delightful & friendly 
neighborhood Restaurants & Bars concept. So you can expect to find great food, great wines & cocktails and great entertainment. We invite you to visit each restaurant and partner in country-style stations and discover their best creations from appetizer to dessert through wine and Rums.

During the night, mix with local and international artists, come to share their talent, meet the famous Ryan Magarian, Jansen Chan, a renowned pastry chef, Lucas Léonardi, the Chef of Christopher Hotel in Saint Barth and Sarina Suno, the Violin Diva. A silent auction with two works of art offered by Mr. Alain Chayer and Francis Ecks will take place as well as the famous raffle. As always, prestigious prizes will be offered.

This event is not only the premier event of the year for the French side of Saint Martin; it is also the main source of revenue for the Red Cross who desperately needs more funds. This year, more than ever, La Croix Rouge needs your support and we are looking forward to seeing you on May 4th. All the benefits of the night will go to the French Red Cross to support its actions in Saint Martin.

If you are unable to attend this event, we would appreciate a donation to this great cause. You can purchase your tickets (€160 per person or €300 per couple) by calling the French Red Cross at (011.590) 690.408.408 or contact Caroline at the Radisson @ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Credit cards are accepted.

Bikini Beach Tapas Bar & Grill is one of the most exciting highlights on Clothing Optional Orient Beach, setting the mood and new trends. Elisa, American born, who runs the place has given it its international flavor. Her multi-lingual staff and diverse menu will make her place YOUR “Homebase” while in St. Martin. Very popular with locals as well as tourists, Bikini beach has it’s beachfront & chair rental back and it’s business as usual, 7 days a week, 3 meals a day. Don’t miss it!

Protection of Endangered Shark and Ray Species - Nearly two years after the historic decision to legally protect sharks and rays in St. Maarten's Territorial waters, sharks and rays have now received international protection, becoming the latest additions to the Convention of the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Nature Foundation St. Maarten has also been cited for its work to protect the species. The foundation was not only the catalyst for ensuring legal shark and ray protection on the Dutch side, it also spearheads a project to learn more about shark and ray behaviour in the marine park and near coastal waters. The foundation is also the scientific authority on CITES for St. Maarten.

The World's Wildlife Conference closed on March 15, with historic decisions and measures to protect not only sharks and rays, but also elephants, rhinos, big cats and precious timber. The governments of 170 countries have turned to CITES to ensure the legal, sustainable and traceable trade, in amongst others, five shark species and manta rays. CITES Secretary-General John E. Scanlon said: "This is a big day for CITES and for the world's wildlife. It takes enormous effort to negotiate treaties and then make them work. The international community has today decided to make best use of this pragmatic and effective agreement to help it along the path to sustainability in our oceans and forests." (This article courtesy of Caribbean Gems.)

Captain Oliver's 9th Annual Regatta Officially Launched - On April 17th, Captain Oliver's Regatta and Coors Light held the launch party for the 9th Annual Captain Oliver's Regatta which is set for the weekend of May 18-19. Sailors, sailing enthusiasts and the press attended the cocktail party at The Iguana Bar in Captain Oliver's Restaurant where
Regatta Director Stuart Knaggs presented the upcoming event. The format of the regatta will be kept the same as in previous years. Seven different classes will include Racing Monohull, Racing Multihull, Beach Cat, the "1-Design" Class, Cruising Monohull and cruising Multihull, as well as the Rum Class for unrated Boats for emphasis on participation.

"This is now the fourth year Coors Light sponsors this event and we are excited to be here again for the 9th Annual Captain Oliver's Regatta" said Miguel Destin, Marketing manager from Caribbean Liquors and Tobacco. Rikke Speetjens, Regatta Coordinator, added. "We are busy with the preparation for next month's regatta and getting all the necessary things in place." Maggi Shurtleff, owner of Captain Oliver's Marina and Hotel, would also like to invite the public to come and enjoy the regatta atmosphere and entertainment at the several bars and restaurants in the marina during the weekend. (This article courtesy of Caribbean Gems) 

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!

LCAR is clearly the St. Martin Rent A Car Agency with a Noticeable Difference! Reserve a Hatchback, Sedan, Minivan, SUV, Convertible or any other vehicle type with us, and never again pay for a scratch, ding, dent, stolen, or totaled car. Since we are the only car Rental Agency in both Dutch and French St. Maarten to proudly offer Zero Deductible Insurance! For reservations, visit www.leisurecarrentalsxm.com, call 721.581.8577 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Our reservation system is fairly fast and simple. Thank you!

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. 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.

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 sufficient 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 expansion of 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.

There are ample roads and pathways which will be lit partly by solar powered lighting. The entire project will have the benefit of 24 hour security. We would be delighted to take you for a tour there to show you how amazing it is now and how wonderful it will be when completed. Plans have been finalized and sales have started for preconstruction two bedroom townhouses with private pools at from $395,000, as well as 3 bedroom suite free standing Villas turnkey starting $ 495.000 They all overlook the beach and have ocean views with the guarantee of stunning sunsets. For a private tour or additional information, contact Mr. Dieter Schaede, Owner/Broker, Sunshine Properties at (1) 721.544.4498, US Toll Free: (1) 623.643.8906 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

The StMaarten/StMartin Connection Newsletters are e-published bimonthly by Steeple Associates, Inc., 5201 Warrens Way, Wanaque, NJ 07465. For Questions or Comments, telephone: 973.835.0600 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Publisher: Sam Fusco. Editorial Consultant: Marilyn Fusco. Sales and Marketing: Barbara Fusco. Contributing Correspondents: Jean Rich and Laura Richardson.