Saint Maarten hotels

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St. Maarten, Netherland Antilles

St. Maarten is a 37-square-mile island that boasts an atmosphere and attitude that say only one thing: have fun! Sugar white shores and crystal blue waters beckon visitors from all over the world to this popular Caribbean locale. Take tours, rent boats or go sightseeing with friends and family. Try sailing on the Lord Sheffield, a sophisticated pirate ship, or go snorkeling in the ocean to view exotic fish and coral. If you are a land lover, then stroll along Front Streetor Maho Bay. For a step back in time, visit Wathey Squareor Concordia Hillto explore the history and heritage of the island of St. Maarten.

A trip to the island would be incomplete if you did not experience casinos like Sonesta Mahoor Casino Royale. Here the nightlife of St. Maarten is flamboyant and vibrant with people and music radiating off the street. The island also offers family-friendly activities that all ages will enjoy. From exploring the zoo and walking with the butterflies, to poker and blackjack, there is something for everyone on the little island of St. Maarten.

St. Maarten's Top 10

10. Fort Louis This historical French attraction in St. Maarten is a great place to tour and discover with friends and family.

5. Butterfly Farm Enjoy this artificial Eden where butterflies roam about amongst lush trees and tropical flowers.

9. Fort Amsterdam Go and see this Dutch fort built in the mid-1600s and learn the history of St. Maarten.

4. St. Maarten Zoo and Botanical Gardens Filled with rare and exotic animals, this zoo is unlike any you’ve seen before.

8. St. Maarten Heritage Museum The history of the island is on display for visitors to gain a better understanding of how the island came to be with exhibits, education and a library.

3. Random Wind Sailboat Excursions Sail and swim in the Caribbean waters with the Random Wind, a 54-foot traditional sail boat that harbours at Simpson Bay.

7. Loterie Farm An outdoor enthusiast’s dreams will come true at this private nature preserve in St. Maarten, where you can hike, dine or lounge in this breathtaking secret hideaway.

2. Maho Beach This beach is a popular hangout for St. Maarten visitors. Lounge in the sand and get a unique view of incoming airplanes that fly directly overhead.

6. Orient Beach The sand is like sugar between your toes at this popular spot in St. Maarten, where visitors can enjoy basking in the sun without a stitch of clothing.

1. Captain Alan's Three Island Snorkeling Adventure This is the best private charter and snorkelling adventure anywhere in the Caribbean.

St Maarten History

  • Museum of Saint Martin - Follow the history and the culture of the island, beginning with the Arawak.
  • Concordia Hill - This historic hill was where the treaty was signed in the 1600s establishing joint control of the island between the French and the Dutch.
  • Watley Square - Located in the centre of town, it contains the old wooden courthouse.
  • Fort Louis - Built in 1666 by order of Louis XIV to defend St Maarten against attack.
  • Mount Vernon Plantation - Visit the days when the island was all about sugar, not tourism.

St Maarten Art & Culture

  • Zdenka's Art Box - This amazing artist concentrates on making jewellery from wire.
  • Book Fair - Held every June, not only can you find great books, you may get to meet the authors.
  • Carnival Season - Every April, watch the parades and participate in the parties of annual Carnival.
  • Moseras Fine Arts Gallery - Owned by the artist, this gallery also features the works of other contemporary artists.
  • Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit - Take some time away from all the St Maarten activities and take a look at the displays of famous movie bad guys.

St Maarten Shopping

  • Gold Creations - This is a lovely jewellery store known for its friendly service and wide selection.
  • Belgian Chocolate Box - Belgian chocolate is some of the best in the world. Satisfy your chocolate cravings at this St Maarten chocolatier.
  • Marigot Market - This open market sells fresh foods, locally made T-shirts and lots of souvenirs.
  • La Romana - If you like Italian designers, you will love this upscale clothing venue.
  • D'Orsy's - Enjoy the fine fragrances sold at this small perfume boutique.

Gay & Lesbian St Maarten

  • Hotel L'Esplanade - This is a top-quality, gay-friendly St Maarten hotel with a fabulous view and many amenities.
  • Villa Rainbow - This hotel is almost exclusively gay and less pricey than some of the others.
  • Villa Cote Sud - This gay-friendly villa boasts stunning views and allows swimming au naturelle.
  • Villa Falaise des Oiseaux - This is a gay-owned villa that also has beautiful views and great service.
  • Eros - Wonderful gay bar on the island, but only open on Saturdays.

St Maarten Outdoor

  • Prickly Pear - Go snorkelling on this pretty little island.
  • Paradise Peak - For an unparalleled view, climb this mountain, but be sure to stop halfway for comparison.
  • Scuba Zen - This St Maarten company knows where all the best places to dive are.
  • Tintamarre Island - You can soak up the beach or hike the island.
  • Butterfly Farm - You can take a guided tour and see many different types of butterflies.

St Maarten Sport

  • Golfing is available only on one course, the Mullet Bay Resort.
  • Watching the yachts race is exciting, and the St Maarten's Regatta happens in May.
  • Mountain biking up Pic Paradise will give you quite the workout.
  • Hiking is available on trails throughout the island, but popular places are Pic Paradise and Mount Concordia.
  • Play tennis while on the island at Alberic Richards Stadium.

St. Maarten Events

Harmony Nights is a three-month celebration that goes from January through March at the Grand Case. Here visitors can enjoy tasty food, arts and crafts, and plenty of music and dancing.

In February, arrowroot, a traditional island ingredient, is celebrated during the Arrowroot Festival in St. Maarten at the village of Columbier.

The Heineken Regatta in March attracts attention from all over the world as boats big and small come to the island of St. Maarten to party and race.

April hosts the St. Maarten Open where more than 100 golfers come to the island for competitions at the Mullet Bay Golf Course.

From the end of April through the beginning of May, the St. Maarten Carnival is the place to go for dancing, parades and music making.

The Summer Heat Music Festival has June hot, hot, hot with a wide array of music from pop groups from all over the world, including local bands from St. Maarten.

The Summerfest in July offers everything from gospel to reggae where St. Maarten will be pulsating with music and dancing.

In August the Open Air Film Festival has St. Maarten visitors sitting in the cool breezes of the Caribbean and watching films with friends and family.

St. Maarten Day has been celebrated for centuries in honor of St. Martin Tours, the saint whose day was being celebrated when Christopher Columbus discovered the island on 11 November 1493.

St. Maarten New Year's Fireworks is an event that cannot be missed. Residents and visitors alike head to Philipsburg, the capital, and observe a fireworks display over the Great Bay that is absolutely massive.

When To Go

With the sun shining year-round, St. Maarten is an ideal location for visitors to take a vacation. Spring and summer are the busiest with huge crowds and a lot of festivities.

From late summer to winter the weather in St. Maarten is mild and slightly cooler due to the trade winds. There are occasional rainstorms and the daily temperatures are around 88°F (31°C).

During the winter, St. Maarten has an average temperature of 80°F (27°C). The average rainfall in the area is about 45 inches per year.

Getting There

The Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) in St. Maarten accepts flights from all over the world. By plane, visitors can reach the island from New York City in about three hours.

By boat, the St. Maarten A.C. Wathey Pier is one of the world's top cruise ports. This facility is more than 2,000 feet long and offers visitors seaside and boulevard promenades to stroll about.

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