The trip could not have come at a better. I was feeling the itch. The itch to put my toes in sand, wear sleeveless dresses, and drink a fruity libation. My island transformation happened to be in St. Maarten. Most places have two sides, but it really is true for St. Martin. St. Maarten for my Dutch friends and Saint Martin for my French friends. In one day you can go from saying Hallo to Bonjour in a matter of minutes. St. Maarten has much to offer for the experienced traveler and the vacationer. The island boasts galleries for the art enthusiast, festivals, regattas, and outdoor activities such as zip lining and hiking. If you want more than just a beach, St. Maarten is your destination.
St. Maarten had been on my “list” for awhile. It is amazing how long my list keeps growing. As a traveler and travel writer I am always awaiting the next destination or assignment. I decided on this trip to use all my senses to enjoy each moment. I was very busy on the trip, but was able to enjoy what the island had to offer. St. Maarten is located 150 miles from Puerto Rico and a short plane or ferry ride to Anguilla and St. Barts. The island has over 37 beaches. Let’s take that in for a minute.
There is a beach for everyone. One of the more popular beaches is Maho Beach. Maho Beach is located next to the Philipsburg airport and it is the spot to watch the sun set as planes land. The planes fly so close over the beach that if you are on the beach be prepared to get sandblasted as the planes rev up their engines. I preferred to watch the festivities from my trusty spot at Sunset Bar & Grill. Princess Juliana Airport is the main gateway to St. Maarten. There are numerous airlines arriving every minute it seems. For such a busy airport I was shocked at how efficient customs handled the large masses.
There is a lot two do on both sides of the island. The French side boasts the islands only nude beach and a ferry terminal that travels between the islands and other beaches. English is spoken everywhere, but it is important to remember that on the French side you will be charged in Euros so know your exchange rate.
The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa (with its lobby casino) was my home away from home and provided a great combination of sand, surf, and relaxation. The hotel’s Dawn Beach location was great for early morning strolls near the water which I used as my morning meditation. I wish every morning I could meditate near water. Although I traveled primarily through the Dutch side of the island it was nice to come “home” every night to everything the Westin has to offer.
On the plane ride home from St. Maarten there was only one thought in my mind. How soon can I return?
My visit to St. Maarten was sponsored by the St. Maarten Tourism Board. All opinions are my own.