St. Maarten/St. Martin Journals

A Week in St. Maarten

A November 2009 trip to St. Maarten/St. Martin by n38858

Sopranos Piano Bar Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean More Photos
Quote: Documenting a week in St. Maarten by an experienced St. Maarten junkie

Where to stay

Beachside Villas

Hotel | "The Best Destination in St. Maarten"

Quote:
Beachside Villas is the epitome of vacationing in St. Maarten. Guests are treated with the utmost of class and personalized care, while not feeling invaded or overburdened. The hotel, while adjacent to the airport, brings the sights and sounds of the exciting aircraft to a whole new level, with a viewing platform that overlooks the runway. Aviation enthusiasts will instantly fall in love. While it may invoke a sense of classless, American "airport neighbor" imagery, I can assure you it is anything but. The meticulously maintained grounds are adorned with flowering shrubs, ferns, bushes, and trees. Secluded and private at the end of a private drive, this gated resort offers a beautiful common area incl...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 22, 2010

Beachside Villas
St. Maarten
St. Maarten

Daytime Activities

Aqua Mania Adventures

Attraction | "Fantastic Divemasters and Exquisite Sights Makes This a Must"

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Aqua Mania trained and got me my diving ratings several years ago. Every four or five months, when travels bring me to St. Maarten, I dive at least twice with Aqua Mania. The staff has always been of the highest quality professional, with expertise and personality exploding through their wetsuits. Mania's gear is kept clean, safe, and regulated; their boats spacious, safe, and fun to dive. Mania's location is not the easiest to find, as it is nestled inside the Pelican Timeshare complex. Rest assured, it's worth it.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 22, 2010

Aqua Mania Adventures
Pelican Marina Simpson Bay
St. Maarten/St. Martin
599-544-2640

Sunset Bar & Grill

Attraction | "Get Blasted -- By Turbofans..."

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As a commercial pilot, I always enjoy a few beers down at Sunset, with the unprecedented, world-famous views of arriving and departing aircraft. Sit on the deck under an umbrella, listen to the air traffic controllers, and watch the heavies swoop down over the ocean and right by your face as they complete their final approach and touchdown. The larger aircraft are visible turning base-to-final, while some smaller aircraft (twin pistons) sneak up and land or takeoff mid-runway. Departing aircraft produce so much jetblast, you're sure to get a facial should you stand directly behind one of the engines. Do so, however, at your own risk. Personally, I love it. Even better, should you know aircraft marshal...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 22, 2010

Sunset Bar & Grill
2 Beacon Hill Road
St. Maarten

Orient Beach

Attraction | "Tourist Trap"

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I went to Orient for the first time in several years on this trip. We had brought a St. Maarten newbie with us this time around, and he wanted to see what all the hubbub was about. In short, nothing. There is nothing you can do at Orient that you can't do at any other beach, for less, with less crowd, closer to your hotel. While the novelty of a nude beach may be enticing to some, I can assure you most people walking around nude at Orient are not people you want to see. Save yourself the drive, the money, and the aggravation of being surrounded by hundreds of tourists, and find a smaller, nicer beach near your resort.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on January 22, 2010

Orient Beach
Orient Bay
St. Maarten, St. Maarten/St. Martin

Overall

Quote:
St. Maarten is much closer to the equator than the Bahamas, Bermuda, or even Puerto Rico. If you have not been before, St. Maarten sun can sneak up on you unexpectedly. With that in mind, not only should you increase your SPF by 5, you need to plan your day with the intention of either taking a nap, or getting a good two hours in where you are NOT in the direct sunlight. You don't HAVE to do this unless, of course, you were planning on going out at night. Take it from someone who has fallen asleep at dinner, the casino, and the bar, that the sun drains a lot of energy from you. So be sure to have a water in between beers during the day, and give yourself a solid two hours during the height of the day ...Read More

Best Restaurant

Mario's Bistro

Restaurant | "A Definitive St. Maarten Experience"

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You don't go to St. Maarten and not go to Mario's. It simply cannot happen. Call them, talk to Didier, make a reservation, and enjoy the most pristine dishes, atmosphere, ambiance, view, and service. To ramble on would be a waste of words. This is what St. Maarten is all about. Stop reading and call them for a reservation.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 22, 2010

Mario's Bistro

St. Maarten, St. Maarten/St. Martin
590 87 06 36

Nightlife

Soprano's Piano Bar

Attraction | "The Best Atmosphere for Nightlife in St. Maarten"

Soprano's Piano Bar Photo, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
Quote:
The Sopranos bar, located in downtown Maho is one of the 'must-dos' of a St. Maarten visit. Although rather pricey, the entertainment is worth it. Maurice, manager and barkeep has a personality that will keep everyone happy. The piano players, and yes, they are really playing, are of the highest quality. While we were there, Greg Asadoorian, winner of the Carnival Cruise Lines Best Piano Bar Player award, entertained us every night.Dressed in what can only be described as retro-chic, the Soprano's bar borrows its name from the HBO television show. You may find servers dressed in period Mafia-wear. Velvet booths adorn every side, while a bar and piano make the centerpiece.Do you...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 22, 2010

Soprano's Piano Bar
Maho Beach Resort
St. Maarten/St. Martin, Caribbean
+599 5801560