Post # 1   Bookmark and Share Old 12-17-2011, 06:02 PM
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Default Thread Title:  St Maarten - Hot Spots?

So Im going to St. Maarten in about a month for a business trip. Just wanted to know if anyone has been and if there is anything I should definitely check out. Ill be on the Dutch side 90% of the time, but I hope to visit the French side as well. Time to put my rusty French language to use

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Post # 2   Bookmark and Share Old 12-21-2011, 02:58 PM
dabrams dabrams is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
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Default Thread Title:  Ask Stephanie!

Hey there!

Check out this post in the Ask Stephanie Forum.

We'll see if we can get someone with local knowledge to help out with some suggestions as well.
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Post # 3   Bookmark and Share Old 12-21-2011, 03:58 PM
Stephanie Abrams Stephanie Abrams is offline
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Default Thread Title:  Fun in St. Maarten.

Hey JD! You are going to have the best time! The combination of the two cultures of St. Maarten (Dutch) and St. Martin (French) sides of the island combine in the most magical way. The locals will tell you that absolutely every place you want to visit is 15 minutes away from where you are standing. That's your first indication that you have to suspend belief when it comes to time. Throw your watch away and just relax!

Where are you staying? If you're not staying at the Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Casino, stop in for a drink and play time in the casino. Then take a very short taxi ride (or your rental car) and drive the quick trip to Dinghy Dock at Capt. Oliver's Marina. This place is a happening, attracting visitors, locals and the staff of hotels and resorts! Great down-home menu with the best ribs you'll ever have and items like corn on the cob served at long picnic tables so you'll actually get to meet and talk with folks from all over the world who are working on the island or visiting. The place is just the most fun! For a really neat evening, go to Dinghy Dock for dinner and then to the Westin Dawn Beach to play in the casino and enjoy their bar/lounge area. Makes for a very nice evening. If you're a guest, you won't have to leave!!

If you are traveling alone, you might want to take an island tour which will give you the highlights of the island plus the scenic views in an efficient manner and take the stress out of driving all over the island destintinon. You won't want to miss the shopping in Phillispburg! If there are any French products you like, buy them on the French side of the island. (Note that the Westin Dawn Beach is on the Dutch side of the island within about a block of the "border" of the French side. No, there is no border crossing . . . just an imaginary line dividing the 2 sides and a lot of signage in French to distinguish the transition!).

The usual lists of places to visit in St. Maarten and St. Martin can be found on the websites of the tourist board for the destinations listing the most popular and memorable sites but that's where the local tours take you to for the most part.

One of the unique advantages of being in St. Maarten is that you have amazingly easy access by ferry to the islands of Anguilla, Saba, St. Barths and St. Eustatius and, with essentially two destinations on the island you are on, you can visit 6 islands if you are there for enough days by exploring the two sides of St. Maarten/St. Martin and adding them to the four islands listed above. You can easily make a ferry early in the day and a return ferry late in the day and be able to swim, shop, sightsee and explore each of the island or plan to overnight on any or all of them. The cool thing is that you can have the advantages of visiting multiple islands for the day by ferry while basing yourself in one resort hotel in St. Maarten and get all the benefits of a cruise without from a land vacation!

I hope you have enough days to do it all!
I'm going to get a very special person who is based on St. Maarten to give you further insights into best kept secrets and must-visit locations but you're off to a good start!

Share your experiences with us while you are traveling or when you return!
I'm in Ireland right now. . . put that on your 2012 "Must Visit" list! This place rocks!
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Stephanie Abrams
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