------------------------- "…the SXM newsletter for experienced travelers!
---------------------------------Connecting YOU with Paradise!"
Dear Friends of St. Maarten,
If you take only one vacation/holiday this year, make it St. Maarten/St. Martin. Why, you ask?
Let's start with the climate. How's an average daily temperature of 86 degrees with a nighttime average of 78 degrees. When the nighttime temperature dips to 70, our local friends wear a sweater or a long sleeve shirt/blouse. With temperatures like these, whenever you visit the island, you are almost guaranteed to have a wonderful and memorable trip/holiday.
How about rainfall. On average, St. Maarten has approximately 40 to 45 inches of rain per year. That is less than the 50 inches of rain annually for New York City. The difference is that when the island has rain, it is usually in squalls that last for 30 minutes or an hour. Then, an hour later the ground is entirely dry and you never know it recently rained.
Let's talk about the Caribbean Sea. As I write this at this very moment, the water temperature of the Caribbean Sea around St. Maarten/St. Martin is 82 degrees; that is similar to relaxing in a warm bathtub. The water of the sea is soothing. It rejuvenates your body and eliminates your aches and pains. You know those pains, the ones you had when you stepped off the plane; but, 20 minutes in the water and your muscles will feel younger than yesterday and your mind will be clearer than it's been in months.
While you're standing in four or five feet of the crystal clear azure waters of the Caribbean, you will be able to see small fish swimming around you. Take a dive into the water and you will see colorful schools of fish weaving back and forth in synchronized waves while casting about the rainbow colors of the sun. Add music to this picture and you will fantasize hearing an orchestra playing a master's concerto at Carnegie Hall.
Let's see if I can think of a few other enticements. Did I mention the island has approximately 400 restaurants including local entrepreneurs grilling fish, chicken and ribs in front of their homes to gourmet establishments serving exquisite meals on fine China? How about the 37 cottony white sandy beaches; one more beautiful than the next? Or, the 13 casinos on the Dutch side just waiting to separate you from your money unless Lady Luck came with you. Of course, there are available numerous other activities both on the land and in/on the waters of the Caribbean. Then, there's good old shopping for any kind of products or merchandise that you may want; and, most of it is duty-free. In addition, there's fun as much as you can handle and if you can imagine it, you can enjoy it. To top it all off, local St. Maartenians/St. Martinians are wonderful people and will try their hardest to make sure that you enjoy yourself. So, come on down to Paradise!
Phew, all this thinking has gotten me tired. I'm going down to the beach to relax on a chaise lounge and let the warm Caribbean waters tickle my toes while I start reading my new John le Carré (book) between sips of my Johnny Walker Black (Scotch). Cheers!
In the meanwhile, enjoy our Newsletter.
Sam Fusco President/Publisher
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. A Poem: Family Tree by Laura Richardson
3. Featured Condos: The Cliff at Cupecoy Beach
4. Featured Shop: The Belgian Chocolate Box
5. Featured Restaurant: Lee's Roadside Grill
6. Sam's Selection: StMaarten/StMartin Beaches
7. Featured Hotel: La Samanna Resort & Spa
8. Featured Article: The Almond Bottom by Sir Roland Richardson
9. Featured Activity: Happy Hour Charters
10. Sign Up to Win a Dream Vacation for Two
11. Complimentary FREE Gift Certificates
12. 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 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
by Laura Richardson
Old markings on a sprawling tree declare love’s ageless mystery.
Young hearts joined in frivolity carve deep their hope,
A father’s arms knot tirelessly his birthday gift hung from the tree.
Then, swinging high, his daughter’s glee, returns his wish,
Clothes lined to dry soak peacefully the sunny warmth that bathes the tree,
with Mother’s morning melody, sweet harmony,
Two sisters set their cakes and tea on checkered cloth besides the tree.
As babies nap, they jokingly recall their youth,
Grandpa relives his memories in dappled shade beneath the tree,
while Grandma calls him gingerly, her gentle prayer,
Strokes brushed on virgin canvas, palettes mixed with reverie,
an artist’s soulful effort paints a portrait of this tree,
whose broad, gnarled trunk rose steadily, in witness to their history,
of love and play and family, forevermore,
Poem by Laura Richardson
Painting by Sir Roland Richardson
Titled “July Blooms, Grand St. Martin”
painted “en Plein Air” on St. Martin, West Indies
Visit their beautiful gallery at:
Roland Richardson Gallery Museum
#6 rue de la Republique
Marigot, St. Martin
Where Fine Art, History and Nature Abound!
Laura and Sir Roland Richardson would be delighted to hear from you!
Magic Jack, Tel: 1.443.982.0683 - Website: www.rolandrichardson.com
© Copyright Laura and Roland Richardson 2013
The Cliff at Cupecoy Beach offers Luxury Vacation Rentals on the island of St. Maarten/St. Martin. The Cliff is a great choice for your Caribbean dream vacation. Located on a Caribbean beach, the Cliff at Cupecoy Beach has luxury condominium suites with ocean views, full amenities and privacy and features the first Full-Service Christian Dior® Health Spa. A much better alternative to a St. Maarten Hotel room, it's like renting your own St. Maarten vacation villa on the beach, but with total security. Each vacation rental condo is elegantly and comfortably furnished for a great Caribbean Holiday.
A testimonial to Caribbean life on St. Maarten/St. Martin, The "Cliff at Cupecoy is a prestigious, one of a kind vacation experience. Situated on St. Maarten's "Gold Coast," The cliff at Cupecoy looks over the pristine white sand and sapphire waters of secluded Cupecoy beach. Each Luxurious suite offers panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea, and neighboring islands; Saba, St. Eustatius (Statia) and St. Kitts. Cupecoy Beach is known for its caves and cliffs making it one of the most picturesque beaches on St. Maarten/St. Martin.
Each suite extends from the front to the back of the building guaranteeing spectacular views of the caribbean sea. Suites have oversized living and dining rooms for lounging and entertaining and have fully equipped kitchens with granite tops, stainless steel KitchenAid® appliances and all necessary utensils for preparing a gourmet meal. All Suites have a view of the Ocean and suites from the 5th level and above have views of the Simpson Bay Lagoon, Anguilla, and French Lowlands (Basses Terres). There are four elevators in the building which service a maximum of two suites per floor to ensure privacy.
It took an entire year of planning and paying attention to every detail to achieve the goals of The Cliff. Those goals are simple: ideal location, magnificent view, beautiful design, practical layout, complete security, latest technology, full range of amenities, and luxury living on the beautiful and friendly island of St. Maarten/St. Martin.
St. Maarten/St. Martin's 36 beaches are all legendary, but many savvy beach goers will point out Cupecoy Beach, which lies under sandstone cliffs, as one of the island's natural treasures. A small, intimate beach, with dynamic rock formations and caves as well as cliffs and white sand beach.
Situated above this beach is The Cliff at Cupecoy beach, a gated luxury condo resort community that opened in 2006. The Cliff occupies a dramatic setting offering high-end comforts, panoramic views and 330 feet of Cupecoy's white sand frontage. Surrounded by lush landscaping, the resort is a balconied 12-story structure featuring 72 deluxe two and three bedroom residences, including a handful of stunning penthouse apartments. All told, it's 180 bedrooms. The appointments and furnishings have been carefully chosen. Look for travertine marble floors, granite kitchen counters, KitchenAid appliances and whirlpool tubs.
The resort's Dior Institute Spa is not only run by Christian Dior®, but its his first spa in the Caribbean. Among the resort's other amenities, you'll find an indoor two-lane, 25 meter lap pool, a fitness center with beautiful Caribbean ocean views, a sculptured outdoor pool and children's pool, as well as a tennis court lit for night play.
Upon entering The Cliff at Cupecoy you are greeted with a 3,000 ft² lobby with extra high ceilings and travertine tiles.The lobby is professionally decorated with quality furnishings, including trees and plants. While you are checking-in with our professional staff you will be overwhelmed by the open arches revealing views of the Caribbean Sea and neighboring islands. Come, join us, and ensure your wonderful vacation!
The Cliff Luxury Vacation Rentals at Cupecoy Beach, St. Maarten
For reservations or questions, Tel: 1.866.978.5839 or 1.721.546.6633
For 9 years now, we make Belgian Chocolates and are considered the oldest original Belgian Chocolate Factory in the Caribbean. We have no subsidiaries or branches on other islands.
Our 75 different chocolate flavors are made with love daily fresh by factory owner Beatrix in our Philipsburg Atelier in Old Street. From here we sell direct or distribute them to our sales outlet in Simpson Bay next to Village Portofino (opposite Windward Island Bank and Druggist) or to first Class Hotels, Casinos, Villas and Yachts on this island.
There are few foods that people feel as passionate about - a passion that goes beyond a love for the "sweetness" of most candies or desserts: after all, few people crave caramel, whipped cream, or bubble gum. Chocolate is, well, different. For the true chocoholic, just thinking about chocolate can evoke a pleasurable response. You may want to grab a bar or make a nice cup of hot cocoa before you begin exploring here.
Candy bars, milk shakes, cookies, flavored coffee - even cereal and medicine! Chocolate is a key ingredient in many foods. In fact, it ranks as the favorite flavor of most Americans. And yet, few of us know the unique origins of this popular treat.
The story of chocolate spans more than 2,000 years and now circles the globe. The tale began in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America where cacao (kah KOW) first grew. Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao tree. But the journey from seed to sweet is a long one, spanning many centuries and requiring many processes.
History of Chocolate
The tasty secret of the cacao (kah KOW) tree was discovered 2,000 years ago in the tropical rainforests of the Americas. The pods of this tree contain seeds that can be processed into chocolate. The story of how chocolate grew from a local Mesoamerican beverage into a global sweet encompasses many cultures and continents.
The first people known to have made chocolate were the ancient cultures of Mexico and Central America. These people, including the Maya and Aztec, mixed ground cacao seeds with various seasonings to make a spicy, frothy drink.
Later, the Spanish conquistadors brought the seeds back home to Spain, where new recipes were created. Eventually, the drink's popularity spread throughout Europe. Since then, new technologies and innovations have changed the texture and taste of chocolate, but it still remains one of the World's favorite flavors.
How Chocolate is Made - Harvesting Cacao is Hard Work
We tend to think of chocolate making as an assembly-line process. Most people picture automated presses plopping out candies onto conveyor belts at speeds unmatched by humans. But, before cacao reaches the machinery of a chocolate factory, it must first pass through the hands of a farmer.
Making Chocolate Takes Years of Manual Labor
Like most agricultural crops, cacao must be closely monitored by farmers. They regularly walk their fields and check for pests, molds, and diseases that can potentially wipe out a whole harvest. In addition, a farmer must spend three to five years caring for young cacao trees before they'll produce their first yield.
Cacao Harvesting is Done by Hand
Unlike many contemporary crops; cacao can't be harvested by machines. Each thick pod growing off the trunk and branches of the cacao tree must be plucked by hand.
To meet your taste we offer customized flavors, travel packaging and delivery service. Our boxes are insulated. If you are visiting St. Maarten on one of the cruise ships you can use our free ship delivery service. You must place your order either directly in our shop by 3 pm or you can use our pre-order facilities via internet, phone or fax directly from home or cruise ship.
Once you taste our chocolate, you will appreciate our quality. Finest Belgian Chocolate (Callebaut), Pure Cream and Butter, natural Vanilla from Tahiti and other high end ingredients make our Chocolates unique. We will surprise you with traditional flavors and new combinations. Some of our chocolates take 5-6 different steps for finishing…
The Belgian Chocolate Box by Beatrix
109 Old Street, Philipsburg, St. Maarten
For information, telephone: 1.721.542.8863
Or visit us at: www.thebelgianchocolatebox.com
----------------------------The Place For Great Local Food!
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 relaxing atmosphere for all visitors that want to surrender to the flavors of our local cuisine. Fresh fish, live lobsters, steaks, bbq Ribs, chicken and more will tempt your taste buds. If food is not what you’re looking for then, mingle with the locals and dance to the sounds of our live music while indulging in a cold tropical cocktail. Whatever reason brings you to Lee’s you can be sure it will be a totally fulfilling experience.
If you're planning a trip to St. Maarten, then you must visit Lee's for great local food. They serve mouth-watering lobster, fresh fish, ribs, chicken, burgers, etc. "Fresh it is!!" Every day, Lee's fishing boats catch some of the fish, which you enjoy on the B.B.Q. grill. All food is cooked in front or your eyes and if you want, the chef will let you do it yourself. Interested in lobster? The lobster tank has a good supply. Whatever you eat, you'll love it! If you like to have fun and dance, Lee's offers live music every night.
Hours of operation vary during the year. Open daily (Closed Mondays) for lunch and dinner from 11 am to 11pm sometimes earlier - sometimes later. Live Music & Dancing Nightly 7:30PM to 10:30PM. Happy Hour 4pm to 6pm and 10pm to 11pm daily. Lee's accepts American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover Cards. And, don't forget the "All Day Drink Specials" and "Free Wi-Fi." Lee's has been voted the "Best Seafood Restaurant" for six years in a row!
Editor's Note: Here's a short story. In 1995, Hurricane Luis destroyed more than a thousand boats in the lagoon; and, by 1998, several other hurricanes contributed damage. During those years, St. Maarten/St. Martin took a pretty good beating. Tourism was down; and, there weren't many smiles on the faces of the local people who made their living off the island. One of those unhappy faces was Captain Lee Halley's. The fishing business had sunk pretty deep and the future looked pretty bleak for lots of people.
Lee had a shack on the property where he docked his boats and it was mostly loaded with fishing gear. Friends stopped by to pass the time, have a couple drinks and discuss fishing. One day, Lee set up a grill to cook fish for himself and his friends. Next thing you know, he decided to build a bar and offer drinks and grilled fish. Then he built a dining area. The more he built, the more people came. Then Lee built a restaurant building with awnings, a dance floor, tables and chairs, offices upstairs and a new dock for his boats. Then a funny thing happened. Tourists found Lee's Roadside Grill & Bar and they told their friends, who told their friends, and so on and so on.
One night, Lee went to bed. When he woke up the next morning and looked in the mirror, he found that he was no longer just the fisherman that he had been for most of his life. He was now also a businessman and the owner of one of the most popular restaurants on the island. So, stop by Lee's Place and enjoy yourself.
And, for those of you that crave excitement and adventure, the sport of deepsea fishing may be a fight up your alley. Nothing ever compares to man against nature, like fighting a Wahoo, Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Marlin or any other tropical fish that dares to test your will, Strength and skill.
Do you have what it takes to fight the good fight for a few hours and possibly land a fish that may weigh twice as much as you do? Yes, then let's go fishing...
--------------- Click the link below for a 360 Degree Virtual Tour of Lee's:
--------------------------------Lee's Roadside Grill
-----------------84 Welfare Road, Simpson Bay - Across from Royal Palm Resort
---------------For reservations, tel: 1.721.544.4233 Fax: 1.721.544.4234
Enjoy a Complimentary Glass of House Wine or Soda with Dinner!
If you’re planning a trip to St. Maarten, then you must visit Lee’s for great local food. They serve mouth-watering lobster, fresh fish, ribs, chicken, burgers, etc. “Fresh it is!!” Every day, Lee’s fishing boats catch some of the fish, which you enjoy on the B.B.Q. grill. All food is cooked in front or your eyes and if you want, the chef will let you do it yourself. Interested in lobster? The lobster tank has a good supply. Whatever you eat, you’ll love it! If you like to have fun and dance, Lee’s has Live Music nightly from 7:30pm. Happy Hour is 4-6pm & 10-11pm. Print coupon and present it when ordering dinner. Not valid with other offers.
--- ---- --------
----------------- Divi Little Bay Beach --------------------- Grand Case Beach
---- -------------- Cupecoy Beach ----------------------------------------- Dawn Beach
--------------- Great Bay Beach ------------------------------- Longue Beach
--------------- Great Bay Boardwalk --------------------------- Orient Beach
--------------- Pelican Key Beach ------------------------------ Pinel Island Beach
----------------------La Samanna... your archway to St. Martin!
La Samanna is an authentic hideaway of French Caribbean luxury along Saint-Martin's most exclusive beach--Baie Longue. The boutique resort offers 55 acres and a total of 83 oceanfront rooms, suites and villas. Located just minutes from Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM), La Samanna is within easy reach of major US cities.
Located atop a rocky bluff and tucked within a gentle cove, La Samanna's Mediterranean-inspired architecture is bold white with clay-colored terracotta shingles--a throwback to personalized service and complete indulgence. Where umbrella drinks arrive upon request and celebrities stay tucked beneath sprawling palms. Dense mangroves and bright pink bougainvilleas offer added privacy. The Caribbean Sea's stunning blues shimmer throughout the day, as Saba Island rises in the distance. Wrapped in a dreamlike contradiction of intimate seclusion and adventurous activities, guests laze in simple solitude one day. Then engage in yoga, sailing, snorkeling and professional tennis the next. La Samanna's beachside Water Activities Cabana has an experienced staff to coordinate all activities, both on-and off-property.
In each of the 83-oceanfront guest rooms, whites and blues envelope guests in clean interior design. Rooms are graceful and light with decorative pillows, white travertine flooring and marble countertops in bathrooms. Accommodations include traditional guestrooms, one-and two-bedroom suites and three-bedroom cottages. All suites offer living rooms, dining rooms and private terraces. Washed in the resort's classic Caribbean grandeur, La Samanna Villas offer more than 4,600 square feet of exclusive space. Each three and four-bedroom Villa is complete with wraparound private infinity pools, generous indoor/outdoor living quarters, sweeping ocean views, oversized private terraces and more.
On an island known for its gastronomical exploits, the Executive Chef at La Samanna does not disappoint. The day begins with buffet breakfast to rival the finest on the mainland. Fresh fruits, homemade French pastries and gourmet coffee delight guests. During the day, The Beach Bar and Trellis Restaurant serve up lunch as each overlooks one of the resort's beautiful pools. While at night, Interlude Restaurant celebrates French-Caribbean fare and La Cave--the region's most talked about wine cellar--entertains with more than 12,000 bottles.
Travel and Leisure Magazine
Award-winning French Cuisine La Samanna's renowned dining room, Interlude Restaurant, has been claimed as one of the finest in the world not to mention one of the most romantic settings overlooking the Caribbean Sea. La Samanna's blend of Caribbean and French influence is especially expressed in its fine cuisine. Acclaimed by Travel & Leisure Magazine as "one of the top three restaurants in the Caribbean," the restaurant maintains a world-class reputation through its constant commitment to fresh, first-class food, found locally as well as flown in daily from France. The menu is full of new passion, both in presentation and palate. Classical yet unique, the menu strives to explore new tastes beyond those known to the luxury restaurants in New York and in Paris, a fusion of French, Creole and Caribbean soul. More details...
Renovation of La Samanna's world-renowned Wine Cellar into La Cave Restaurant offers a remarkable opportunity to wine enthusiasts, with its cavern's inventory rivaling the top eight best resorts in the world for wine as written by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. A unique and private dining experience, created for individual tastes and mood, can now be had by candlelight in the Cellar itself, where new, sought and rare vintages will compliment a fine dinner menu.
On the more casual side, a very special treat is to plan a lobster barbecue on the beach for lunch, or in the evening with flamed torches, and island music. The selection each morning at our breakfast buffet pleases guests from around the world while enjoying their coffee with a peaceful overlook of Baie Longue. More details...
CONDE NAST TRAVELLER
Caribbean Weddings at La Samanna La Samanna Resort & Spa in St Martin can provide the perfect setting for your Caribbean destination wedding. Our exclusive Caribbean beach resort and professional staff are highly prepared to host your wedding celebrations and make your most special day look like an effortless vacation.
Our Guest Services Manager will assist you in choosing the perfect location for your wedding ceremony, based on your group size. The hotel offers unique wedding locations ranging from the beautiful beach terrace to the pool terrace or our stately Rendezvous Pavilion, where your wedding reception and celebrations can be held.
We look forward to welcoming you and your wedding party to our romantic Caribbean beach paradise. For more information on planning your Caribbean Wedding at La Samanna Resort, Click here.
Leisure & Activities For those who crave action, the choices at La Samanna are endless. Activities such as complimentary kayaking, yoga, pilates, tennis, snorkeling and more are all on hand, while scuba programs, water-skiing, wake boarding, kid's 'banana' boat, wave runners, snorkel trips, day charter boats, island tours and off-property excursions are easily arranged by our concierge. Read more...
La Samanna Spa Indulge in spa treatments or get yourself in prime physical and mental condition at our superb fitness center. Guests don't have to go far for world-class relaxation. La Samanna Spa offers seven treatment rooms, including five indoor/outdoor treatment suites--each with a private Zen garden and outdoor shower. From a detoxifying body wrap to a classic deep tissue massage, the Spa has a full range of services focusing on extravagance, rejuvenation and wellness using natural elements.
All technicians are European-trained professionals, thus we can offer more than 40 different stress-relievers such as hot stone massage techniques, natural seaweed body treatments, cryotherapy, Shiatsu, reflexology, and balneotherapy. Also available at La Samanna's Spa are manicures, pedicures, waxing, face/eye care and hair styling. Phytomer, a sea-ingredient based line of natural French products are used exclusively with all treatments.
Our Spa manager will work with you ahead of time to create the perfect rejuvenation package for each guest, scheduling around activities. This will allow one less detail to handle when you arrive. We can customize any of our treatments to fit your special needs. And, at your request, we will gladly and discreetly extend sound advice for integrating a healthier lifestyle for you to take back home. More details...
-------------- La Samanna Resort & Spa
------------------------------------- Bay Long, St. Martin ----
------------------Please visit our website at: www.lasamanna.com
The Almond Bottom
by Sir Roland Richardson
Cracking almond shells makes a unique pounding sound. It has a roundness that floats. It recalls the general quietude that enveloped my childhood village of Grand Case.
I heard it again the other day and, unexpectedly it evoked the special crunchiness of the salt encrusted pondside ground of the path between the receding ponds. I always sought to walk where neither animal not people had tread; the crunch made walking here special. I always felt as if it was a passage into the unknown. We took this path whenever it was the season to pick cashews or mangoes, hog plums, sugar apples or soursops. Kenep trees grew like hedges at the foot of the hill, the cherry trees sweetened the air with their red brightness, the only Locust tree I knew rose gracefully, silver and blue... adventure was "Over the Pond."
The wind became the sound of endless numbers of little waves taping on the shore. The luminescent grey-green heavy water transformed into white fluffy fluttering froth. This "snow" would be blown across the path against our feet and shins-myriad rainbow-filled bubbles bursting, leaving a briny coating.
Often cattle walked the edge into the water and sank to their knees in the smooth black mud releasing the smell of primitive earth. Chichiwees and Daddy Long Leg pond birds rose and set in chirping flocks leading the way across the pond.
Memories are mysterious and magical. They exist intact and unchanged by time. They interconnect yet maintain their integrity. They weave the network of a whole life while inhabiting their own space and timelessness within our life. Memories are more than remembered past events and though they are part of the fabric making up the present person, they are somehow apart. What happens that makes an event or an experience a memory? We don't remember our whole life with the same distinctness as a memory. Within them, all our senses are intensely active simultaneously.
The Almond Bottom was over the pond in a place all its own. Unlike other trees, Almonds go through several full seasons every year. Leafless, their dark trunks and spreading knobby branches are scary. Soon young spring-green buds shoot out shinny and shimmering, then transform rapidly into large emerald and cool deep green leaves in which cluster its hidden fruit. The almond fruit ripens from a lentil shaped invisible green fruit to a bright yellow which falls to the ground. Then autumn's splendor of yellow, orange, flaming red and purple all cascade, covering the ground and fallen nuts, under a thick brown coat that sounds hollow and mysterious to our searching feet.
Bats and rodents and kids love to eat the thin yellow skin, but the nut hidden inside is what brings us on this adventure. In the deep shadow that lay like a pool separating it and us from the rest of the world, we scrambled and searched amidst roots that writhe as if alive. The trees' huge purple barked trunks took several of us to span them with our encircling arms. They were so tall we called them great-grandfather trees and were certain that they were aware of us and offered us these nuts as a reward for our daring.
On the way home we walked in the mud and all went home with black "shoes." After sunning the nuts for a few days, the cracking would begin. The pounding would float intermittently over the village and stop when that distinctive crack was heard. Hidden inside a thick spongy fibrous cover is a thin hard inner shell which nestles our prize. Despite pounded fingers and much labor and its tiny ness, the almond nut is one of the Caribbean's true hidden treasures. It is like a little rolled cigar. Brown outer skin, pearly moist and crunchy inside, this treasured flavor contains memories that have nourished numberless generations. An old lady friend once said to me "My children partly rear from these nuts, you know. Oh, we eat good bread from these."
As eager children, we would and could at any time of year crack a few and delight in their fresh state. But boiled in brown sugar and cooled on a wet board or on a piece of marble stone, these almond sugar cakes preserve Sunday afternoon strolls in our finery, giggling, sharing, munching the treasure we held in pieces of brown paper: moments when we were content with the present.
Sir Roland and Laura Richardson happily invite you to discover their beautiful gallery in Marigot at a charming Creole landmark building with private garden.
Roland Richardson Gallery Museum
#6 rue de la Republique, Marigot, St. Martin 97150
Artist's tel: (011.590) 5126.96.36.199 ~ Gallery tel: 590.87.84.08
----------------------------- Welcome to Happy Hour Charters
------------------ Where we help you plan your St. Maarten Activities.
Whether you are looking for a Jetski adventure, a day on a boat, enjoying a sunset sail or exploring the island by Scooter we can help you. Explore our site and contact us with any questions or to book your activity. We also have activities for cruise ship passengers as we can provide transportation to our location.
Enjoy your own Private tour by boat to discover St. Maarten. We offer either a half day or full day option for up to 8 passengers per boat. Our half day option is a 3.5 hour trip leaving from our dock at 9:00am or 12:30pm. Our full day trip leaves at 9:00am and returns at 3:30pm.
We provide snorkel gear, floating noodles, captain, cooler with ice and beer, water, soft drinks and light snacks. The full day has a picnic lunch option included in the price or we can also arrange a restaurant stop - this would be the clients cost.
Our boats have plenty of shade as they have full bimini tops as well as boarding ladders to make swimming and snorkeling very easy to enter the boat. Our price per boat is $650 for the half day and $950 for the full day with the picnic lunch. (Sandwiches, salads, fruit platter, etc.)
Discover the Lagoon by JetSkis
From our dock you will take the jetskis through the largest salt water lagoon in the Caribbean and head toward Marina Royale in Marigot, the French Capital. Here you will see all the restaurants and shops along the dock. Up on the hill you will also see Fort Louis, built in 1789. From Marigot we will make our way towards the French Lowlands where you can see the beautiful homes and villas of the wealthy only from the lagoon. We then make our way past Porto Cupecoy where you see the Mediterranean style complex. As we continue our tour we pass all of the Mega Yachts in the lagoon; we get up close for some great pictures! On our return to our dock everyone has a James Bond moment as they land their Jetski back on its lift.
No experience is necessary, we have had passengers as young as 4 years old and drivers as old as 75. In fact we had a 75 year old grandmother with her daughter and 2 grandchildren come out with us, she had so much fun (never done it before) that when she landed the Jetski, she jumped off and gave us a high five and proclaimed "when I get home I'm buying a Jetski!!"
This is a great way to discover the lagoon and to see things that you can only see by water.
Price per Jetski is $110 with up to 2 riders per Jetski (maximum weight is 500 pounds). We take a maximum of 5 Jetskis per guide; you must be 18 or over to drive the Jetski. This is a 60 minute excursion. The trip may be modified based on sea conditions/safety. Life jackets and safety equipment is provided for all participants.
For Cruise Ship Passengers
You will need to arrive at the meeting point a minimum of 15 minutes prior to your starting time. You will be met at the main entrance as you are exiting the port. There is only one main entrance and exit to the port. There are turnstiles at the entrance and this is where you will be met by the representative of "Happy Hour Charters." Please keep in mind all departure times are based on local time not ship time.
Happy Hour Charters
Welfare Road, St. Maarten
Visit us at: www.happyhoursxm.com
Call us direct to book at 1.721.581.2124 or 1.721.553.2184
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(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 Oyster Bay Resort
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)
Interlude 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)
Roland Richardson Gallery Museum: $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)
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)
What's Happening in Paradise?
by Sam Fusco
July 8, 2013 - L'Hoste Hotel, Orient Bay, will be open all year and is under a new management since the 12th of December 2012 whose name is Mr. and Mrs. Guillot-Tournus, a French couple. With 56 spacious Junior Suites and one villa "La Cabana" designed in tropical style, the hotel lies directly on Orient Bay Beach with a poolside solarium, a beachfront restaurant and a bar "La Playa." Its private beach with lounge chairs and umbrellas is open to serve you breakfasts and lunches. More information is available on its website www.hostehotel.com.
Island Businesses Summer/Fall Closings & Promotions:
Aqua Mania Adventures: It’s Summer and we are running a special promotion for daytrips to St. Barts on Saturdays. Take The Edge from Simpson Bay Resort, $45pp plus port fees. Summer Sales are starting, the beaches are gorgeous and it’s time to treat yourself. Grab a friend and head out for a day of relaxation and fun. The Edge departs 9am and returns 4:45pm. For reservations, call: 1.721.554.2236.
Bleu Emeraude Residence, Grand Case, will be open all summer but may close for a couple weeks in September.
Bobby Valins, “The Villa Lady,” has villas waiting to be rented.
Caribbean Gems, Philipsburg, will be open all year.
CaribbeanKidsClub.com: Jill Steinke is currently taking advanced reservations for the summer months. She also has a wonderful house for rent in Anguilla, which is an opportunity for time share owners to extend their vacation while touring a neighboring island.
Celine Charters, Simpson Bay Lagoon, will not be closing this year. They have two boats and even when one is out of the water for cleaning, etc., the other is always working.
Club Orient Resort, Orient Beach, will be closed from August 18th to October 7th. Of course, the beach will be operating as usual.
Happy Hour Charters, Simpson Bay Lagoon, will be open all year barring any hurricane specific activities.
Hotel Beach Plaza, Marigot, will close on August 26 for renovations to the rooms and facilities and will reopen on December 12, 2013.
Hotel L'Esplanade, Grand Case, will close from September 8th until October 8th.
L’Hoste Hotel, Orient Bay, will be open all year. In addition, their beach restaurant, "La Playa," will also be open. And, keep in mind that you don't have to be staying at the hotel to enjoy a great lunch or bask in the sunshine.
Leisure Car Rental, St. Maarten, will be open all year and has car rentals available.
La Samanna Resort & Spa, Bay Longue, will close September 1st and reopen November 2nd. The closing dates include Interlude Restaurant, Trellis Restaurant, La Cave Restaurant and La Samanna Spa.
Lee’s Roadside Grill, Simpson Bay Lagoon, will be closed for vacation from September 9th to September 29th. In addition, they are now closed on Mondays during the summer/fall seasons. By the way, Lee’s now accepts American Express, Visa, Master Card and Discover Cards; so, “Don’t leave home without them!”
Le Petit Hotel, Grand Case, will close from August 25th to September 7th.
Mirian and Pieter, Passaat SailHoliday Charters, Simpson Bay Lagoon, have already taken vacation so they will be operating throughout the summer and fall seasons. They will probably haul Passaat out of the water in September to paint the bottom.
Oyster Bay Beach Resort, Oyster Pond, will be open all year.
Pizza Galley, Simpson Bay Lagoon, will close for vacation on July 19th and reopen in mid-October.
Radisson Blu Resort Marina & Spa, Anse Marcel, St. Martin will not be closing for summer vacations; but, the pool will be closed for maintenance and there will be less activities available during the summer months.
Scuba Fun Dive Center, Philipsburg, St. Maarten/St. Martin’s longest established PADI 5* Dive Resort will be open all year. We offer resort courses, diving and snorkeling trips. For reservations, tel: 1.721.542.3966 or 1.721.586.2822 cell.
The Butterfly Farm, Orient Beach, will be open all summer from 9am to the last tour of the day at 3pm, 7 days a week.
The Horny Toad Guest House, Simpson Bay, will be open all year.
The Loterie Farm, Pic Paradis, reports that the Hidden Forest Café restaurant will be closed for the month of September until mid-October; but, the treelounge and l’eaulounge will be open as well as all activities in the forest.
The Marquis Boutique Hotel, Anse Marcel, has a new Hotel Manager whose name is Moira Olivieri. I did some advertising work for Moira a few years ago. She is a professional who takes pride in her work. I wish her well in the new position. Marquis is a beautiful hotel on the hillside with spectacular views. By the way, Marquis is offering a Summer Special valid for July 1st to August 31st: a 30% discount on rates and the 5th Night Free.
The staff at Pierres Caraibes Villas, Marigot, may take vacation; but, the business will be open all year and has villas waiting to be rented.
The US Coast Guard Tall Ship Eagle which is a training ship visited St. Maarten on May 25th. Once in port, the cadets were given shore leave for the day to be with their families who came down from the States to visit with their relatives who were in training on the vessel. The cadets enjoyed the island and their families as well helping to advance the economy of the island. There was a reception by Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams who spoke during the event. The US Coast Guard and the St. Maarten government are trying to make this a regular stopping point for the vessel while the cadets and officer candidates learn seamanship skills.
The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) recently reported that visitor traffic to the Caribbean should be up 4-5% this year compared to 2012 which saw strong growth. All in all, more than 25 million tourists visited a Caribbean island compared with 2011 which is the largest number of travelers to the region in the last five years.
During the 2014-2015 tourism season, Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean Lines newest vessel which will launch in November 2014, will make six calls (stops) in St. Maarten. The Quantum has 16 decks and can carry 4,180 passengers in 2,090 staterooms.
In June, JetBlue Airways started a 2nd flight on its very popular San Juan, Puerto Rico to St. Maarten route. This is an extremely valuable route for daily travelers who wish to go to San Juan on daily shopping trips and for travelers coming down from the States who want to connect to St. Maarten. Right now, this 2nd flight will be a test to see if the traffic between the two islands is enough to make it a 2nd year round flight. The test period will end September 3rd.