Saint Maarten
Saint Maarten
By Christine M. Soltis

Drop into the heart of the Caribbean where you can come close to a cosmopolitan culture at the island of Saint Maarten (St. Martin).  Partially owned by the Dutch and part by the French, you are certain to enjoy two distinctly different experiences.

When preparing to visit Saint Maarten, seek out flights to Princess Juliana International (SXM) Netherlands Antilles.  WhatsCheaper.com provides the following link to book your flight:  (http://www.whatscheaper.com/flight.php).
Also, choose hotel accommodations by WhatsCheaper.com here: (http://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php). 

Right in the center of the Caribbean, this tropical island exhibits a blend of the Dutch and French at your fingertips.  About two-thirds of the island is French territory, making it part of Europe.  The second sector consists of Dutch and is within the Netherlands Antilles.  This line is noted with only a few signs, so the blend is sure to impress. 

Marigot is the French capital city and it is filled with cafes, pastries and shopping centers.  Overlooking the Marigot Bay rests the largest remaining historical monument known as Fort Louis.  Once used as a lookout point for foreign invaders, the fort now offers a steep climb to spectacular views of the island and its surrounding sea.  WhatsCheaper.com recommends that for more history in Marigot, check out the southern end to find the St. Martin Museum, “On the Trail of the Arawaks.”  Here, island history has been preserved to study and you will find historical treasures, which were found by the Hope Estate Archaeological Society. 

Philipsburg, the Dutch capital is a small area comprised of four streets parallel to one another.  Don’t be fooled by this small area squeezed within the Great Bay.  Everything you need can be found here from cafes to the harbor where cruise ships dock.  Check out the Salt Pond or take a boardwalk trek and enjoy palm trees before indulging in plenty of duty-free shopping (this may be cheaper than the French side, which requires European currency (Euro).

Now that you’re aware of the differences, WhatsCheaper.com wants to send you to the beach to relax.  Sunset Beach is an absolute must-see, where planes fly right overtop the sands and can be watched while you are sunbathing.  At this very popular white sand beach, other activities are in surplus including daily events such as crab races or international or Caribbean artists performing live music. 

For other beach options, on the French side, choose Orient Beach, which is St. Martin’s flagship beach.  Also referred to as “the French Riviera of the Caribbean,” enjoy expansive, mile-long sands.  Or visit the town beach of Grand Case Beach and watch sailboats dock at resorts near private homes and commerce.  There is also the Simpson Bay Beach, which can be accessed from yachts on either side.  While riding in, view the draw bridges near the Simpson Bay Lagoon. 

On the Dutch side, enjoy Simpson Bay Beach even more, which once was famous amongst fishing families.  Half of this beach runs parallel to the airport and since it is less crowded, this is a great place to watch the sunset and planes.  WhatsCheaper.com wants you to know you can also visit nearby Kimsha Beach, one of the most centralized beach locations.  Pick up equipment rentals to become active in the sun and sands.  With some of the finest snorkeling sites anywhere, many locations in St. Maarten offer a glimpse of the exotic sea or diving at a past wreckage site. 

For additional activities, WhatsCheaper.com recommends horseback riding with the Bayside Riding Club located in Le Gallion.  From pony rides to dips into the Atlantic Ocean, this is certain to be an adventure across scenic trails and subtle seas.  With duty free bargains everywhere, when it comes to shopping don’t shy away from perfume, jewelry and more of your distant desires.

For dinner, search the separate cultures by indulging in local tastes from regular burgers to exquisite French or Dutch options.  Stay all night and have dinner along the beach.  The nightlife may also continue booming with beach parties or even a possible concert. 

St. Maarten; find yourself in the heart of the Caribbean where it is certain to touch your heart not once, but twice.

MUST SEE IN Saint Maarten LIST:

  • 1. Sunset Beach
  • 2. Butterfly Farm
  • 3. Prickly Pear
  • 4. Saint Maarten Museum
  • 5. Simpson Bay Beach
  • 6. Fort Louis
  • 7. Seaside Nature Park
  • 8. Salt Pond
  • 9. Orient Beach
  • 10. Friars' Bay

Saint Maarten EVENT CALENDAR:

  • 1. Arrowroot Festival - February
  • 2. Heineken Regatta - March
  • 3. Carnival - April
  • 4. Festival of Laughter - May
  • 5. Annual Saint Maarten Book Fair - June
  • 6. Saint Maarten Summerfest
  • 7. Saint Maarten Caribbean Festival - July
  • 8. Fete de Cuisines - October
  • 9. Saint Maarten Salsa Escape - November
  • 10. Saint Maarten's Day - November

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Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, Saint Maarten
144 Oyster Pond Road, Saint Maarten
By Chrystyne Jackson

When visiting beautiful Saint Maarten, make your trip complete by staying at the Westin Dawn Beach Resort and Spa, Saint Maarten. This hotel offers the best in comfort and amenities. At the end of your stay you will appreciate the easy express check out.

The Westin offers both regular guestrooms and suites. You can get connecting rooms if you choose. After a refreshing shower, relax in the luxurious robe provided. There is laundry/valet service for your convenience. High speed Internet access is available.

Guests can shop without leaving the hotel at the on site jewelry and clothing stores. The spa facilities include a steam bath, sauna and whirlpool. If you prefer, you can treat yourself to an in room massage treatment. Maintain your workout routine at the fitness facility, which features state of the art cardio equipment, strength machines and free weights. The outdoor pool is the perfect place to cool off on a hot day. If you are hungry you can enjoy light fare and cocktails at Liquid, the swim up bar. Enjoy a perfect steak dinner at Aura. Ocean offers contemporary cuisine with an ocean view for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can also get breakfast, lunch and dinner at Ocean Blu, which specializes in sushi. When exploring Saint Maarten be sure to take in Grand Case, the culinary capital of the Caribbean, and home to an amazing array of restaurants. For a unique experience, visit the Butterfly Farm, where butterflies are raised and exhibited.

Saint Maarten is a jewel in the Caribbean. Make your visit there most special by staying at the Westin Dawn Beach Resort and Spa. WhatsCheaper.com can assist with booking your hotel reservations. Just click on this link (http://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php) to get started today.

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Hotel Mercure Saint Maarten & Marina
Baie Nettle, BP 172, 97150 - Baie Nettle,
By Sara Katayama

Looking to sweeten the deal over a round of golf? Or get out on an tropical vacation that will never be forgotten? The Hotel Mercure Saint Maarten & Marina has everything! Less than a twenty minute drive from the airport, this hotel is settled on a sparkling beach, boasts relaxing massages and countless nearby excursions for the whole family to enjoy!

Whether you are looking for one king or one double and two twins, this hotel has got you covered. Each non smoking room comes complete with a LCD TV, satellite available, mini fridge and terrace for smokers. A crib is available upon request.

The hotel restaurant allows you to indulge in the local cuisines or, for those less adventures, they also have a variety of international foods as well. They are open through breakfast, lunch and dinner, so whenever you are hungry, they are ready for you! The hotel comes fully equipped with an outdoor pool, gym and babysitting upon request.

In the nearby area, there is a full, 18 hole golf course, a museum, and the choice of two casinos; all within seven miles from the hotel! Places children friendly, and places for unwinding a little. There are tons of other places in the area for fun as well. And at the end of a sunny day, you can go back to your room to enjoy the air conditioning and relax for the next, fun-filled day!

This hotel has the right stuff for the whole family, four-legged barkers included! If you are looking for beautiful scenery with all the amenities of home, plus some, the Hotel Mercure Saint Maarten & Marina deserves consideration. For easy booking, let WhatsCheaper.com guide the waybto paradise! Click (http://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php) to get started now!

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