St. Maarten/St. Martin Journals

Schizy St. Martin/Saint Maarten

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An August 1997 trip to St. Maarten/St. Martin by naomi

La Samanna Resort & Spa Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean More Photos
Quote: Although it was a few years back, nothing realy changes on this gorgeous, albeit schizophrenic island.

Schizy St. Martin/Saint Maarten

Overview

Bananas for Sale Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
This is an unusual West Indies island because it's divided in two: one side is Dutch, the other is French. Odd? Perhaps, but history is riddled with oddities, the least of which is the vagaries of imperialistic colonialism. But enough about my dissertation. Unless you go during Hurricane season, this is a gorgeous place to visit.

Quick Tips:

Try to visit the Dutch side of the island to fully appreciate the differences. There are many, and I frankly prefer the quieter, less hectic, more luxurious, French side.

Best Way To Get Around:

Hire a driver for the tourist sites or be dropped off at places of interest and cultural import. Just make sure to tip generously. My mantra.

La Samanna Resort & Spa

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Hotel | "La Samanna"

La Samanna Resort & Spa Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
This is la creme de la creme and the place to go when you've come into lottery money or are lucky enough to be able to afford pricey digs. The suites are elgantly furnished with native materials meshed with a je ne sais quoi (me trying to be clever). You have batik fashion and mahogany, poster beds and outside hammocks. It's heaven without death. And my favorite part? The morning breakfast is served to your room and the coffee is the best I've ever had. Believe me, I'm kind of a coffee snob, so this means something. To me, anyway. The French may not like Americans, but who cares when you're quaffing cafe au lait at 9 a.m. and inhaling a freshly baked chocolate coissant?

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 20, 2000

La Samanna Resort & Spa
Marigot
St Maarten, French West Indies
590 590 87 64 00

The Restaurant at La Samanna

Restaurant | "The Restaurant"

Quote:
Is it hubris or just common sense to name your restaurant The Restaurant? In this case, just good common sense. Because there simply is no better place to eat on the whole island, Dutch side or French, unless you prefer fried fish. But this is the place to dine, not simply scarf a quick bite. The food is prepared fresh, with the best ingredients, most of which are imported from Mother France, of course. And you must save room for dessert and coffee. Your stomach will thank you. And did I mention the outdoor view overlooks the beach and ocean?

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 20, 2000

The Restaurant at La Samanna
Marigot
St. Maarten

Sights on site

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Story/Tip

My Palm Tree Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
There's much to take in on your leisure time, including the requisite fort (these island people were always fighting, defending, winning and losing land), a tiny museum on the Dutch side, called the Sint Maarten Museum in Philipsburg. Which, by the way, has some of the best tchotkes to bring home for the left-backs. The awful Speed II was filmed here and I'm sorry if you saw it, but it had to be filmed somewhere, right? Market day is fun, festive and colorful, just don't pander to the native folk, they hate that. Don't bargain with them, either. There's a very fine line between love/hate of the tourist market, so tread softly. The beaches here are not as pristine as others I've visited, but who care...Read More