This past December, my husband and I celebrated our sixth anniversary by visiting St. Martin, known as The Friendly Island. We try to get away (just the two of us) every year. Last year, we went back to St. Lucia (our honeymoon spot). I can’t decide which one I like better!
St. Lucia is a special place, especially for us. But St. Martin was a – maz – ing!
We actually booked the trip using a Groupon! We were VERY nervous but it was such a good deal. My husband kept calling to reconfirm and asking them to send us confirmation emails. I’m happy to say, it was no problem.
We arrived to the small airport and quickly made our way through customs. There is no entrance fee (like the Dominican Republic). We took a quick shuttle to the car rental place, got our car and were on our way.
Side note: We did have to buy the full rental insurance, which was Groupon deal imposed but we didn’t know about it. That was the only hidden cost from using the Groupon.
Getting around the island is…funny. It seems everyone offers the same map. It’s probably because there are only a few “main” roads. There are NO street signs. You turn based on location (second round-about at KFC, turn right when you get to the fruit stand, etc.). It’s a bit tricky but not bad once you get the hang of it.
We stopped on the way to the hotel to get water and some wine. It seemed a bit iffy but everyone was nice.
St. Martin is half French and half Dutch. Our hotel, the Westin Dawn Beach Spa and Resort is on the Dutch side, right at the French border. The check-in process was effortless. The staff friendly and accommodating. Check out the view from our ocean-front balcony!
We could see St. Barth’s from the beach. There is a 45-minute ferry ride if you want to visit that island. We choose not to…only because we didn’t have a lot of time and we wanted to just relax and enjoy St. Martin.
The beach was perfect. Waves but not too big. Water warm. Sand smooth.
The pool was fantastic too. It wasn’t crowded and they put cushions on the chairs and towels – all the chairs. Crazy cool, right? Oh btw, try a banana/mango daiquiri – yum (I might have had 50 of those in two days).
We had the breakfast buffet each morning. It was very nice. We had dinner one night at the hotel. It was not so great.
The other nights we went to Big Fish and Le Santal. The concierge recommended both and we were extremely pleased. I’ll be reviewing those within the next few posts. Speaking of the concierge, Fran was awesome. So helpful and friendly. Speaking of friendly, St. Martin really is the friendliest island. Everyone smiles, everyone is nice, everyone is well, friendly!
On our way back to the airport, we left a little extra time to stop by Maho Beach. Have you heard of it? It is super cool. So much so, I’m doing a whole post just on it – stayed tuned.
If you’re thinking of going to St. Martin – do it! It is beautiful and relaxing. Rent a car though, driving is fun and to visit the variety restaurants there, you’ll need it.
What is the friendliest island you’ve visited?
st. martin st. maarten