--------------------------- "Connecting You with Paradise!"
Next week, Barbara and I are going to StMaarten/StMartin. I can't wait! I'm looking forward to this trip with as much anticipation as if I were a first time traveler. I'm excited about seeing our island friends, acquaintances and business clients. To have lunch, dinner or just to sit around and find out what's new in their lives. To reminisce and tell tales of years past. To remember old friends who are gone. To laugh about past beach parties and barbeques with friends and their friends and families. One party comes to mind a few years ago on the beach in Grand Case. The cousin of a friend of ours arrived, grabbed a beer as he kissed Barbara on both cheeks and strongly shook my hand while loudly proclaiming to the gathering, "When I heard there was a party at Aunt Rosey's house (82 years old), I knew the Fusco's were on island." That's the way it is with StMaarten / StMartin islanders. When you become their friend, their friends and family become your friends and family.
We're also looking forward to seeing the island - our island, our home. The island was fortunate this year. The hurricanes this season passed the island without doing any considerable damage, but they did drop lots and lots of rain. So, the island, hillsides and valleys should be pretty green with lovely vegetation and magnificent flowers. The fish in the sea should be in abundance and will bring many smiles to the faces of the fishermen. I'm anxious to see what new businesses have sprung to life and, sadly, to hear which businesses are no longer viable. I wonder what new buildings have been built and hope to see others newly painted and the renovations in some of my favorite hotels and restaurants. I also look forward to meeting new people who have settled on the island, opened a new business, and look to the future with great expectations. I wish them the greatest good fortune!
The only thing the island needs is you!
Winner of the 2006/2007 St. MaartenHospitality & Trade Association's
Crystal Pineapple Award for Outstanding Tourism Journalism
Featured in this issue:
1. A Spectacular Offer?
2. Win Our Dream Vacation for Two
3. Poem: Little Girls & Little Boys by Laura Richardson
4. Featured Hotel: Bleu Emeraude Residence
5. Featured Shop: Roland Richardson Gallery
6. Featured Activity: La Samanna's Spa
7. Featured Restaurant: La Cave Restaurant
8. Villa of the Month: Villa Mango by Pierres Caraibes
9. What's Happening in Paradise?
---------------------------------------- Special Offer
--------------- Ready for a Spectacular Offer?
How about Five (5) Days/Four (4) Nights in a magnificent three bedroom villa with your own private pool and incredible views of the Caribbean Sea plus the amenities of a five star resort including breakfast each morning? Look at the photo above. One of those villas will be yours for five magnificent days! Bring your family or friends!
La Samanna Villas: One of the most distinguished addresses in the Caribbean now offers the ultimate in luxury Caribbean villa accommodations and services. Residential in feel, but private and exclusive in nature, the La Samanna Villas in St Martin offer a simple elegance, exquisitely designed for the discerning Caribbean luxury traveler.
Featuring over 4600 square feet of exclusive villa space, private wrap-around infinity pools, generous villa living quarters, breathtaking Caribbean ocean views, master bedrooms with alcoves and oversized private terraces, the Villas at La Samanna in the Caribbean are palatial yet comfortable and laid back, with a true Caribbean spirit. Each villa with three bedroom suites embraces six guests in refined luxury.
Take this opportunity to rent the ultimate luxury real estate in St. Maarten, The Villas at La Samanna. A New Legend. For decades, the world’s jet-setting tastemakers have flocked to La Samanna. Its singular pedigree as the Caribbean’s most idyllic hideaway is legendary. La Samanna, from Orient-Express, five star resort services available worldwide.
----------------------------Win a Vacation to Paradise!
For our StMaarten/StMartin Connection Newsletter and you may
Win a 6 Day/5 Night Dream Vacation for Two at
1st Prize: La Samanna Resort & Spa, St. Martin
2nd Prize: Oyster Bay Beach Resort, St. Maarten
and a Day Cruise on Random Wind, a 54' sailboat.
----------------------------------------------- A Poem
"Radiance In The Garden"
-- Little Girls & Little Boys
The world belongs
to little girls
whose hair cascade
in curls and lashes flutter
around their radiant eyes.
The world’s a toy
to little boys
who nimbly run
and jump and roll
chased by the sun
in brilliant fun.
The world is a flower
in a young girl’s hand
with magical powers
like a soft-petaled wand
that flows on her command.
The world is a treasure
to dragon-flying boys
whose fearless feats are
measured in quantum
leaps of endless joy.
It’s not without a trip,
a tear, a fall,
or rip, by chance,
but little girls and little boys
know how to dance
* * *
With many years,
I still defy the drying skin
that tries to hide
the youth within.
I realize that it is a stream
that passes through
the cocoon’s dream
and be reborn again,
and infinitely again.
Poem by Laura Richardson
Painting by Sir Roland Richardson, St. Martin, FWI
A Luxurious Residence on Grand Case Beach!
Bleu Emeraudes a new luxury resort located on beautiful GrandCase beach on the island of Saint-Martin, just north of the West Indies. Our outstanding facilities and an exceptional setting on the island make Bleu Emeraude a real paradise for travelers looking for gastronomy and a range of outdoor activities, all within easy walking distance. Each apartment has been specially designed to offer our guests tranquility and exceptional views of the Caribbean Sea and Anguilla Island on the horizon. We have top-of-the-range amenities and our services include: Direct access to the Beach, complete with sun loungers, umbrellas, and other equipment, indoors and outdoors parking, wi-fi Internet access, daily housekeeping...
THE STUDIO APARTMENT [2 persons]
On the ground floor or the first floor, the 45m² Studio apartment has private terrace and 2 deskchairsin front of the Caribbean Sea. Inside, the comfortable and clear bedroom is equipped with a "King size" bed and witha satellite TV flat screen, DVD, hi-fi players with Ipod station. The shower-room is fitted out with a big shower with toilet area and hair-dryer. The Kitchen is functional and completely equipped with a full-sized refrigerator, microwave oven, dishwasher and washing machine. There is also a dining room area. The modern and light decoration will give you a comfortable feeling during your stay.
1 BEDROOM APARTMENT [2 up to 4 persons]
Located on the ground floor or on the first or second floor, the 80m² one bedroom apartment consists of a living room with Kitchen counter, a double room with a big bathroom and a private terrace with two deckchairs facing the Caribbean Sea. The bedroom has a "Queen sized" bed 160x200 cm, storage space and a satellite TV flat screen. The living room is equipped with a high-quality convertible sofa 160x200 cm, a satellite TV flat screen, DVD, andhi-fi players with Ipod station. The kitchen is functional and completely equipped with a full-sized refrigerator, microwave oven, dishwasher and washing machine. The shower-room has a large shower, toilet area, and hairdryer.
Note: The one bedroom apartments on the second floor are slightly smaller, as they are situated under the roof. The terrace is not covered. One of these two apartments has an additional sofa bed and can hold up to 6 persons.
TWO BEDROOMS APARTMENT [4 up to 6 persons]
On the second floor, the two bedroom apartment of 120 m² is completely facing the Caribbean Sea and the beach. It consists of a living room with Kitchen counter, two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a big opened terrace with table, chairs and deckchairs. The large living room is equipped with a comfortable "King size" 180x200 cm convertible sofa, with satellite TV flat screen, DVD, andhi-fi players with Ipod station. Both equipped with TV flat screen, the bedrooms look out onto the sea and have access to the big private terrace. The Master bedroom has a 2x2 m canopy bed and shower-room and dressing room.
Reception open every day.
Secure underground parking lot.
Elevator with ramp for wheelchair access.
Continental breakfast service (see conditions).
Private terrace overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
Air conditioning in living room and bedrooms.
Fully furnished, with nice decor.
Flat-screen TV in living room and bedrooms (includes satellite and Canal + stations).
DVD player, Hi-fi with CD player and iPod docking station.
Free Wi-Fi access.
Microwave + traditional oven.
Standard coffee machine or Nespresso® machine, and toaster.
Refrigerator and freezer.
Bathroom with hair dryer.
Bed-linen, bath and beach towels.
Iron and ironing board.
Property with sea views. Beach with sun loungers --- and sun umbrellas.
Clear, unobstructed sea views.
Nearest beach: Grand Case.
Menu for a delicious vacation in your Saint Martin apartment!
Do you have an appetite for a delicious Caribbean vacation in Saint Martin? Apartments from the Bleu EmeraudeResidence are the best place to stay if you want to savor everything the island has to offer. Get prepared for a tasty meal. Here is the menu:
Starter: What about a refreshing swim? All Saint Martin apartments at the Bleu EmeraudeResidence have direct access to the Grand Case beach. The climate in Saint Martin is always perfect (from 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to 90 degrees in the summer). No more than five degrees separate the air temperature from the ocean temperature (and inside the apartment you'll enjoy the air conditioning in the living room and bedrooms). Or... Have a sweet rest on the deckchairs of your private terrace. It's overlooking the Caribbean Sea with an exceptionally dreamy view of the translucent water.
Main course: Are you packed full of vitamins and protein? Try one of the many sports Saint Martin offers: hiking, horseback riding, tennis, kayaking, windsurfing... Or... To spice up your day, try the Treetop Adventure Park of Saint Martin. High above a centuries-old forest reserve, you'll experience the thrill of suspended bridges and swinging ropes.
Dessert: After an exhilarating day, go rest in your Bleu Emeraude Residence of Saint Martin. Apartments are specifically designed for your pleasure: modern and comfortable design, "king-size" beds, satellite TV, spacious shower room and fully-equipped kitchen. Everything is there to help you relax and enjoy your Saint Martin vacation. Or... Have a cocktail of fun. Try one of the night-clubs or casinos of Saint Martin. The apartments of the Bleu EmeraudeResidence are very close so it won't take long to get there. Also located near supermarkets, Grand Case Village, 2 km from Grand Case Airport and only 16 km from Princess Juliana International Airport.
For reservations, Tel: Xavier Morel at 011.590.5188.8.131.52, Fax: 011.590.5184.108.40.206
Roland Richardson Gallery
Dedicated to the art of "PleinAir" Impressionism, Sir Roland Richardson's paintings of his Caribbean homeland have become true symbols of the region's beauty and rich culture. Sir Richardson's "Plein Air" creations, always accomplished on location, from living subjects, joyfully communicate the natural wonder andhistory of his native Caribbean, specifically the island of St. Martin, where the 66-year-old artist was born.
Sir Richardson's paintings emanate the glorious light that bathes our verdant landscape. His portraits speak the soul of a whole community, young and old, their work, their introspection. His turquoise seascapes roll in rhythmic waves while fruits and flowers on their vine, or bundled in bouquets, transform their moment's beauty to ever-lasting brilliance through the energy of light and color.
An on-going exhibit of Sir Roland Richardson's work is featured at a beautifully restored 19th century Creole townhouse in Marigot, St. Martin, at #6 rue de la Republique, where nature abounds with the colors of the Caribbean. Visitors are invited to tour the historic home & concealed courtyard garden, rich with indigenous beauty and history, including stone-laid walls and soldiers barracks dating back to the court of Louis XVI, before the French Revolution of 1789.
Born on the islandof St. Martin, Sir Roland Richardson is emerging internationally as a leading artist in the School of Caribbean Art, offering a unique view of his native West Indian culture as a "Plein Air" Impressionist. His mastery of multiple mediums including painting on location in oil, watercolor, pastel, drawing in charcoal and extensive fine print-making is rapidly earning the recognition and respect of art collectors andappreciators worldwide. Painting for over 45 years, Sir Richardson's work has been exhibited extensively aroundthe globe. His list of patrons include the late Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Romare Bearden, Martha Graham, Harry Belafonte, Susan Lucci, former Massachusetts Senator Edward Brooke andthe Getty family among many others. Sir Roland Richardson was knighted by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in 2007 for his lifelong artistic contribution to his community. He has also received a Life-time Achievement award from the French Government for his work.
#6 rue de la Republique, Marigot, St. Martin 97150
(up the street from Marigot Harbor by the French Pharmacie)
Island Tel from the USA: 011.590.5220.127.116.11 - Magic Jack USA-based Tel: 443.982.0683
Hours: 10am to 6pm Daily except Sunday
To visit Roland's complete artwork,
go to: www.rolandrichardson.com
Portrait photos: Laura Richardson
Artwork Copyright © 2011 Sir Roland Richardson
La Samanna Spa
Explore Our Spa
Integrate rejuvenation with your luxury Caribbean experience with our specially designed spa treatments. More...
Choose from a variety of specially created Spa Packages, each designed to enhance your Caribbean vacation. More...
The perfect way to relax your body and mind, re-balance your energies and take a step towards a healthier lifestyle. More...
La Samanna Spa,
St. Martin, F.W.I.
For reservations, tel: 011.590.518.104.22.168 or 590.87.64.00
Please visit us at: http://www.lasamanna.com/web/omar/spa_st_martin.jsp
------------ Featured Restaurant
La Cave Restaurant at La Samanna
Experience – Wine tasting – Cocktails
Only one table… …Make it your table for one night in the exclusive La Cave at La Samanna
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 our Chef René Bajeux, one of the best Caribbean chefs, complimented by elegant and attentive service.
This is a great opportunity to enjoy a private dinner in our Restaurant La Cave, surrounded by over 12,000 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.
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”, USA.
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 cheese.
Pearl of the Tropics, pride of each island, Rums will deliver their secrets and characteristics through a journey tasting around the Caribbean. Mignardises, selected by Chef René Bajeux, will enhance your experience.
La Cave is perfect for a soirée, an intimate meeting of like minded people surrounded by one of the finest wine collections in the Caribbean. La Cave can accommodate a cocktail party with canapés or fine French cheeses for a party of ten to twenty-five guests.
“La Table du Sommelier”La Cave Restaurant at La Samanna, St. Martin, F.W.I.
In the typical atmosphere of La Cave Restaurant, once a week, 10 lucky guests, not one more, will have the privilege to share an exclusive dinner at La Table du Sommelier in La Cave. Every week, Chef René will create a tasting menu, paired perfectly with the expertise of Christian, our Head Sommelier. You may not know each other yet… but this is all about the experience of La Table du Sommelier: enjoying fine cuisine, exclusive wine, and conviviality.
Your eyes, your nose, your "papilles" (taste buds): your taste becomes attentive, sensitive, and while smelling and tasting such wine or such alcohol, you discover a new treasure and a new pleasure...
--------------------- 12,000 bottles of wine - 1,250 labels - 11 countries.
----------------------- Best of Award of Excellence Wine Spectator 2007
-------------------------- Award of Excellence Wine Spectator 2006
---------------------- Best Wine List of the Caribbean Gault & Millau 2007
For reservations, tel:1.800.854.2252 or 011.590.590.87.64.00
Please visit us at: http://www.lasamanna.com/web/omar/wine_cellar.jsp
Villa of the Month
-------------------------------------- Villa Mango
With its sweeping sunrise views of the ocean from Tintamarre round to St Barts, Villa Mango is the ideal vacation getaway. Comprising three, well appointed equal bedrooms with en suite bathrooms and a newly built smaller bedroom with bathroom and private deck with view. The well designed spacious and airy living space and covered terrace dining area open out to a large sun deck around the private pool, this fabulously renovated property boasts air conditioning throughout. Conveniently located in the gated residential area of Orient Bay with its plentiful beach bars, restaurants and water sports, and only a short walk from restaurants, shops and the famous ‘St Tropez of the Caribbean’, Villa Mango has all the ingredients for a great vacation.
Orient Bay, St. Martin
• House keeper
• Pool Person
• Swimming Pool
Number of Bedrooms: 3+1
The three bedrooms have king size beds, one bedroom has a queen size bed. All bedrooms have bathtubs and or showers, hair dryers, TVs, phones, TV & DVD, air conditioning and ceiling fans.
Living Room Description
Contemporary and comfortable Furniture, cable TV, DVD & CDs, phones and ceiling fan.
Bathrooms Description (4)
Private Bathrooms with Showers or Bathtubs
Number of Bathrooms: 2 and 1/2
• Air-conditioning throughout the villa
• CD player
• Ceiling fans
• DVD player
• Electric Gate
• Hair Dryer
• Hi-Speed Internet Access
• Satellite TV
• Voltage 110/220
• Washer / Dryer
• No Smoking
• To Marigot: 11 min. drive
• To Nearest Grocery Store: 2 min. drive
• To Beach: 3 min. drive Long Bay.
High Season, Dec. 15, 2011 - Apr 14, 2012
Two Bedrooms $5,200 - Three Bedrooms $5,300 - Four Bedrooms $5,400
Low Season, Apr 15 - Dec 14, 2012
Two Bedrooms $3,700 - Three Bedrooms $3,800 - Four Bedrooms $3,900
Xmas Rates 2011
All rates are per week in US $ and subject to an 8% Government Tax & Service
2012 Early Bird Booking Special (EBB): 5% discount
Applicable for travel throughout the high and low season 2012.
7 night minimum stay. Bookings MUST be made by 14 Dec 2011.
All rates categories. Does not include Thanksgiving or Easter
Pierres Caraibes Real Estate
For reservations or information, contact Lisa Desbiens at
Tel: 011.590.590.51.02.85, Cell: 011.590.622.214.171.124, Fax: 011.590.590.51.02.45 or
villa rentals and sales, please visit us at: www.pierrescaraibes.com
What's Happening in Paradise?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - by
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Sam Fusco
Jewels by Love has just created a new website and it is spectacular. I spent an hour viewing dozens of incredible watches from Patek Philippe, Breguet, Vacheron Constantin and Ulysse Nardin to name a few of these prestigious brands. They give you the time, but above all, the watches presented on the website are works of art. With complex mechanisms and functions, they are made with great care by the world’s greatest watchmakers using the most noble of materials. All their watches are heirlooms to be worn and admired and to be treasured for generations. Don’t take my word for it! Visit www.jewelsbylove.com and see for yourself.
St. Maarten's Carnival 2012 is a comin' soon! It will be held on April 19th to May 2nd, 2012. If you haven't been on island during Carnival, start making your planning now! You don't want to miss it. It's drama. It's comedy. It's fun. It's entertainment. It's unforgettable. The costumes worn by parade participants are fantastic and incredible. Bring your spouse. Bring your children. Bring your friends. You dance and sing and drink and eat the nights (and days) away. Did I mention that Carnival is a St. Maarten historical event? Come on down to St. Maarten for Carnival. It's a blast!!
Jean-Marc Jalbert appointed General Manager, Radisson Blu Resort, Marina & Spa St. Martin. “Jean-Marc joins the spectacular resort with rich experience across Europe and the United States, including Sofitel, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and independent Relais & Châteaux properties,” says Javier Rosenberg, Vice President, Owned and Managed Operations, Carlson Hotels, Americas. “Jean-Marc’s most recent experience includes more than eight years with Sofitel Luxury Hotels & Resorts in a number of properties and capacities, including General Manager and Vice President of Food and Beverage for the Americas.”
“I’m very excited to be joining the resort team and establishing the Radisson Blu brand in the Caribbean. When completed, our current renovation will position us at the top end of St Martin’s hotel inventory. We can’t wait to showcase our new products, services and amenities when we begin to welcome back customers in mid December 2011!” said Jalbert.
Jean-Marc received a bachelor’s degree in Food & Beverage and Hotel Management from lycee Hotelier Paul Valery in Menton, France. He is fluent in French, English, Italian and Spanish. Jean-marc is also an advisory board member for Hotel F&B Executive Magazine.
As the season quickly approaches, there are several re-openings to report: after staff vacations and annual maintenance, La Samanna Resort & Spa will re-open on November 2nd; Lee's Roadside Grill, the ever popular restaurant in Simpson Bay re-opened on October 15th; Pizza Galley who boasts the "Best Pizza" on St. Maarten (with my blessing) re-opened on October 15th; Radisson Blu Resort, Marina & Spa St. Martin will open in mid December after extensive renovations; Peg Leg Pub & Steakhouse on the terrace at Princess Casino Port de Plaisance Resort who serves some of the "Best Steaks" on island will re-open on November 1st; Saratoga Restaurant (one of my favorite restaurants) re-opened October 17th to begin their 22nd season. Congratulations to Chef/Owner, John Jackson.
Peg Leg Pub & Steakhouse at Port de Plaisance Resort is sponsoring an event to benefit the French Side Animal Shelter, I Love My Island Dog Association. 10% of of all gross proceeds from the opening day will go to help the shelter. They will also have a jar at the bar until November 15th for those who want to donate but couldn't make the opening day event. By the way, the Pub is featuring a Thanksgiving Day Buffet starting at 5:30pm which will include a complete meal with delightful desserts. Luncheon platters will be available from 12 noon until 3pm. Stop by and enjoy the day!
La Samanna Renovation Over the past four decades, the panoramic views of Baie Longue have enticed guests from around the world to visit La Samanna – one of the Caribbean’s most luxurious resorts. La Samanna intends to strengthen their commitment to presenting guests with an elegant and luxurious resort experience with an extensive renovation project.
When guests arrive at La Samanna this fall, they will discover enhanced accommodations across the property. 60% of all the suites, rooms and villas have been completely renovated influenced by the Mediterranean style of La Samanna. Furniture, pillows and other materials have also been replaced in graceful and light colors reflecting the Caribbean Sky and Sea. The renovation work started in early September and will be completed in time for the resort’s re-opening on November 2, 2011. Please click here to watch the video to hear La Samanna General Manager Pascal Deyrolle chat about the recent renovations.
Dive Adventures has a sunset cruise/dinner in conjuction with The Stone Restaurant on Thursday nights. $70 per person which includes Lambada Coastal Sunset Sail, with drinks and snacks, and a sumptuous dinner at The Stone Restaurant as we arrive back at the marina with menu choices of Cajun Marinated Tiger Shrimp, Vegetarian Spring Rolls, and Surf and Turf to name a few. The Sunset Sail leaves Simpson Bay Resort Marina providing an unforgettable sightseeing sailing slowly along the coast to Long Bay into the setting sun. For reservations, tel. 1.721.544.2640 or 544.2631.
Reserve your room at Oyster Bay Beach Resort and FREE DINNER at Infinity Restaurant is on us! How to redeem this offer: At check-in, be our guest and enjoy our fine wine with lunch or dinner, for two adults, ordered from Infinity’s regular menu. Offer valid only for online bookings. Must present a copy of this offer at check-in to qualify. Print out a copy of this offer. NO CASH VALUE.
Mention Code: StMaarten.org Promo.
Offer valid any day of the week.
Valid for Redemption: August 24, 2011 – Nov. 30, 2011
For reservations, please telephone: 1.866.978.0212
Oyster Bay Beach Resort
Emerald Merit Rd 10, Oyster Pond, St. Maarten.St. Martin
Tropicana Casino offers Special Mega Bingo Prizes on December 2, 2011 and December 30, 2011 with guaranteed payouts of $5,000 and $10,000. Tropicana Princess Casino is situated on the unmatched Caribbean shores of St. Maarten. It is only two miles away from Princess Juliana International Airport and serves its customer base with 297 slot machines between 2pm and 4am. Tropicana Casino also has nightly progressive jackpot bingo which you can win up to $15,000. Casino provides unlimited free drinks and nightly buffet for players. You can enjoy gambling in Tropicana Princess Casino for as little as 1 cent to a dollar with the video slot and reel machines. You can enjoy the most select casino games such as "King Kong Cash" "Lucky Lady's Charm" "Hot Shots" "Instant Winner" "Alfastreet Roulette" and "Zeus" in the casino. For information, please telephone 721 - 544 5654.
The Special Mega Bingo Prizes will be at the following times:
Friday, December 02, 2011 : @12 am $1000 - @1 am $1000 - @2 am $5000
Friday, December 30, 2011 : @12 am $1000 - @1 am $1000 - @2 am @10000 (New Years Eve Promotion) free drinks, food and live entertainment....
Oyster Bay Resort Sees ‘No Off Season’
The crowded courtyard of Oyster Bay Beach Resort at the close of its annual Owners’ Appreciation Month last week was a testament of the timeshare property not subscribing to the notion of an “off season.” Resort Director of Sales and Marketing Paolo LoCastro said Oyster Bay doesn’t understand what off season means because September saw timeshare owner’s ﬁlling the rooms. The resort held a close Dinner that paid homage to the theme - “The Roaring 20s” with women Dressed up as ﬂappers and men as gangster types. Two of the notable faces to grace the resort’s red carpet were Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams and Health, Labour and Social Affairs Minister Cornelius De Weever. The prime minister said St. Maarten was grateful that the resort’s timeshare owners opt to spend time here in the off season, giving an extra boost to the resort and the country. “St. Maarten is truly blessed. We give the best to our guests and their return shows conﬁdence in our people and country.” LoCastro commended resort staff and management for their efforts in showing appreciation to the owners, saying that it’s that dedication that made the resort “one of the most successful resorts” in the country.
St. Maarten has a new telephone area code.
After much talk, St. Maarten has become part of the North American Telephone Numbers Plan. The new area code is 721. Under the old system, you had to dial 011.599.542.2176 to reach Caribbean Gems. But, now, with the new 10 digit system, you can dial 1.721.542.2176 to reach Caribbean Gems. The new area code 721 replaces the old 599 area code. This new system which went into effect on September 30th, 2011, makes it much easier for people in North America and the Caribbean to call St. Maarten. There is a one year transition period until September 30, 2012 during which either the new area code or the old will connect your call; but, after September 2012, the 599 area code will be phased out. This is another step to upgrade St. Maarten's telecommunications with the rest of the world.
SHTA To Support Heineken Regatta With $5000 Contribution
Last week, the SHTA met with the organizers of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta to discuss plans for the 2012 event and SHTA’s contribution. During this meeting, The SHTA again conﬁrmed its long term commitment to the regatta and made a ﬁnancial contribution of US$5,000. The SHTA also committed to assist with ﬁnding accommodations, when needed, for the guest judges, jury members and media ﬂying in from abroad to take part in the Regatta. The St.Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) has been a proud sponsor of the St. MaartenHeineken Regatta for more than 10 years. The SHTA is the largest private business representative on the island, representing close to 150 companies. Organizers of the regatta said they are very appreciative of having the SHTA as one of their sponsors, as the association is comprised of many of the islands hotels as its members. The SHTA lends a hand at assisting the Regatta with working together withthe many hotels on the island to assure that the guests and hotels are as involved in the event as much as possible. “The SHTA recognizes the importance of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta for St. Maartenas it is marketed worldwide and attracts many visitors from abroad. The economical Impact of this event should not be underestimated,” a release from the regatta organizers read.
Paris Texas re-opens !
Same great food and drink. Kiss ass margaritas and awesome fajitas.
New staff and lots of fun! Dinner 5pm till 11pm - closed Mondays
Bikini Beach re-opens "all the way" for breakfast , lunch and dinner November 1st
Same fun people. Lots of authentic Thai specialties from chef Air.
Thai buffet every Thursday night from Nov 10th.
New renovated boutique staffed by Betty (ex La Playa)!
This year !!!!!!!!!!!! Noodlekini Snack bar $1 = 1 € !!!!!!!!!!!!! open 9-5 daily, gourmet hotdogs, pasta bowls, quesadillas and wraps featuring Rum Jumbie drinks.
BUDA BAR re-opens and "takes back the beach" on Sundays with classic beach DJ parties on October 23rd. All that is missing is you.
Wine Spectator - Best of Award of Excellence
La Samanna Resort & Spa is pleased to announce that Le Réservé Restaurant has been presented with the Wine Spectator’s 2010 “Best of Award of Excellence,” which is given to restaurants that offer 400 or more selections, along with superior presentation, and display either vintage depth, with several vertical offerings of top wines, or excellent breadth across several wine regions. The magazine’s second-tier award was presented to only 778 winners worldwide, giving special recognition to restaurants that clearly exceed the requirements of the “Award of Excellence.”
“We continue to expand our diverse wine collection at Le Réservé, one we believe already constitutes one of the best in the Caribbean,” said Head Sommelier Christian Mirande. The handpicked wine selection at Le Réservé has been honored by Wine Spectator for “The Best Award of Excellence” since 2007. To learn more about the wines that we serve and our head sommelier please visit our wine cellar.
Annual Fete de la Cuisine to Feature Six Michelin Star Chefs
The annual gastronomic event - Fête de la Cuisine – will again feature prominent Michelin star chefs with local culinary masters for an array of activities to delight and satisfy the palate from November 4 to 12. The fête is organised by Top Promotion Foundation in collaboration with the Dutch Alliance Gastronomique from whose membership the six top chefs with at least one Michelin star each will be drawn. The visiting chefs will be welcomed with early cocktails at Sunset Bar and Grill on November 4, followed by their attendance at the Boardwalk Fest, Organised by St. Maarten Harbour Group of Companies and the Tourist Bureau. Henri Brookson of Top Promotion said Fête de la Cuisine will host a guavaberry and potato pudding contest during the Boardwalk Fest. There will also be an Italian evening in the tent “Bella Italia,” with gourmet foods and ﬁne wines from Italy. The tent will be on the beach, across from Holland House Beach Hotel. The opening cocktail and Dinner party of Fête de la Cuisine will take place at Holland House Beach Hotel on November 5, with the visiting chefs teaming up with the hotel chef to create a four-course signature dinner.
St. Maarten now has its First Marine Park
Located two miles outside Great Bay, Man of War Shoal Marine Park, the island's first marine park, has officially become a protected marine area. Home to most of the islands's sea species and, based on research, possessing the most significant ecosystem left on the island in terms of coral reefs and sea grasses, the area was selected to be listed as a protected area. This adds to the island's tourism product, where diving is a popular activity for tourists. Management of the marine park was handed over to St. Maarten Nature Foundation during the signing at Captain Hodge Wharf. Nature Foundation Manager Tadzio Bervoets explained, "Most of our sea species, like dolphins, whales, turtles, all call the marine park their home. That's why it is important that we have this management agreement not only to police, but also research what is going on within the marine park."
Sonesta Resorts Announce New Weekly Italian Charter
Sonesta Resorts St. Maarten announced on October 18th its new charter partnership with Italian tour operator Eden Viaggi as a result of a joint effort with the St. MaartenTourist Bureau. Eden Viaggi will launch a year round direct ﬂight from Milan’s Malpensa Airport (MXP) to Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) on December 18, once per week every Sunday. The ﬂight will be operated by Alitalia on its A330 aircraft offering a total capacity of 277 persons, including 20 Magniﬁca business class seats. The ﬂight initially will make a stop in La Romana, Dominican Republic, but soon it will be dedicated solely to St. Maarten. Packages will be on sale as of November 1. “The partnership with Eden Viaggi was generated from our participation in ITB Berlin 2011, the largest travel tourism trade show to support the European market,” said Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort and Casino General Manager Juan Fernandez, who spearheaded the deal. “We look forward to our new partnership as a major boost to our resorts and the economy of St. Maarten.”
Million Passenger Mark reached in July
St. Maarten reached and surpassed its millionth passenger for the year in July, the earliest this milestone has been clocked in the ten consecutive years the country has hosted a million or more passengers. The total cruise passenger arrival number for this year stood at 1,047,134 as of July 31. This year’s projected cruise arrivals are tagged at 1,463,873 cruise passengers. July with 18 cruise calls, one more than June, saw the arrival of 76,375 cruise passengers, an increase of 19,775 passengers over the month’s projection of 55,611. Despite the number of arrivals for July being lower than that of the same month in 2010, a 16.8 per cent decrease, the millionth passenger mark was reached a month earlier than last year.
JetBlue Daily San Juan Flight on track for November Start
JetBlue St.Maarten General Manager Marc Boasman said on Wednesday that preparations are on schedule for the airline’s inaugural ﬂight on the St. Maarten-San Juan route. The daily ﬂights will commence on November 17, utilizing the Embraer 190 aircraft, which seats 100 passengers. Ticket sales began on June 17, with fares as low as US $150 roundtrip, which includes all taxes. “With our tremendous growth in SJU [San Juan, ed.] and us now being the largest carrier operating there, this service presents many opportunities for our visiting tourists and local population alike.