St. Maarten

St. Maarten is an amazing and beautiful place, but I still couldn’t resist posting this picture. There are two bars that sit right next to the beginning of the airport runway (Maho Beach). They land directly over your head and the big ones can literally knock you down. It’s awesome.

This island being French and Dutch means you get two vacations in one! Ha! Not really, but it’s still cool to check out the different styles on the island. I’ve been about 3 times and still find cool places to explore. My favorite place to chill is probably Gran Case on the French side. Great beach side food and cool shops and style. Philipsburg is much more developed and casinos can always be cool if the mood strikes.

I took a boat to Anguilla last time. Totally secluded and awesome. If you are with someone where you can take advantage of this…I would. Maybe not once in a lifetime, but pretty damn secluded beaches…ha. There is also a pretty sweet beach side lunch shack that I can’t remember the name of but it’s famous as hell. When I went they were “out” of food. I must of looked like an asshole or something cause everyone else was eating just fine 🙂

On our most recent trip we moved around a lot!
Anguilla – it was way too quite for us. Visiting is one thing, but staying was an exercise in patience. Cabs are not easy, and we even got picked up by a random resident because she could tell we were stuck in the middle of nowhere and were totally fucked. She was remarkably nice.
The ferry back to St. Maarten stops on the north side so we stayed in Orient for a night. Then we went to Maho in the south for some fun. Do the Rhino boats! This was so much fun. So much. Those little boats go really fast, and the snorkeling was great, the guides were great. This was an awesome choice for an excursion.
***You always think you like Marigot but you don’t. You like Gran Case. Marigot is the one where the cruise ships let off and everything is that crappy made for tourists shit. Gran Case is the authentic one with the real food and beach side restaurants and the sleep street lined with shops.
Orient Beach is the one with all the bars (we had a good time in Orient but our hotel sucked and we weren’t feeling the bars at the time…).

Even more recent update…

The hurricane was not kind to St. Maarten, but the island is coming along nicely. The worst hit places as far as reconstruction goes is the Dawn/Oyster area and the Grand Case area (it’s super sad, but the rad Corral Bay Beach Club, below, was completely annihilated, at least I got to experience it). Grand Case has the Lolo’s open and the beach resort is open but overall it’s going to be a long long time before it’s splendor is returned. Marigot is actually much more charming now. Without spending all of one’s time in Grand Case Marigot really started to shine, with all kinds of cool areas away from the cruise ship farmers market section. Simpson Bay was also a big hit as many of their places have returned or new cool things have popped up in their place. Mary’s Boon is about a perfect a lunch afternoon as one can have.

Orient Beach is changed forever. The rows of beach bars are gone and are not going to be replaced. Instead you find Miami like beach clubs, a far worse death to the area than I could’ve imagined.

Philipsburg has a crazy boardwalk now…not sure if that’s always been there but somehow I have been here a million times and never done it. It was as you’d expect for a boardwalk, maybe even less than you’d expect, but still interesting and fun.

We stayed in Terres Basse for 2 weeks at 2 different vilas. This area is great for security and for amaze balls houses. It is not a great location as you have to drive for every single thing you could ever want (we drove to the french bakery in Marigot almost daily). It is close to Cupecoy with its market and the beach bar at Cupecoy was fun (the bar is small but it’s cute and local…salty maybe more than cute, also the beach here can be rough as shit, which can be fun, it can be calm and wonderful as well), as was Mullet bay just down the road (they open these bars on weekends only I think, but that might be a hurricane thing, the girls giving massages are plentiful and the beach is long and wide).  As a side bar we also hit up Friars beach which had nice beach bars and a very mellow beach (there are only a few bars but they all seem to be restaurants too).

We also went to Loterie Farm on this last trip. Pretty cool outdoor area that they’ve added a modern pool and lounge area to. The pool was ice cold as shit but we got a bungalow and it was pretty rad. The hike up the mountain is brutal but you will literally be surrounded by monkeys much of the way so they make it easier to handle.

Notes to self:

-This island is one of the kings of private pools and villas…so find one for god’s sake


Hotels

Coral Beach Club (Mar. 2010)

Sonesta Maho Beach (Feb. 2016)

Zemi Beach Anguilla (Feb. 2016)

Esmerelda Orient Beach (Feb. 2016)

St. Maarten Villas (Jan. 2019)

http://singleluxurytravel.com/sonesta-ocean-point/http://singleluxurytravel.com/sonesta-ocean-point/(opens in a new tab)Sonesta Ocean Point (Jan. 2019)