St. Martin / Sint Maarten

 out of 23  reviews

** SAINT MARTIN TOURS **

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 out of 23 reviews
Things To Do
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Affordability
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Local Food
Romance
Nightlife
Traveling While Black

23 Reviews

  1. author
    MonaLesaDiamond
    06 Jul 2021
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    Easily the most fun trip I’ve been on in a while!!!!!

    We stayed at Moho Sonesta. While you’re there …. One word… JOVANNY!! He is the concierge or was he the manager, I can’t recall. Anyway, he handled EVERYTHING we needed. Danisha was also amazing. Taria was never much help….

    We took a tour with a taxi we kept throughout most of our trip Mr. Greg then on the last leg we used Alex. They work with the hotel and I highly recommend requesting them.

    If you go to the French side St Martin, if the waves are heavy at the beach DO NOT JET SKI FAR OUT the waves will only get harder (unlike other places I jet ski’d). We ended up falling off and having to wait in the water for rescue to find us! The heavy waves may have also had to do with a storm coming. Check the weather before you jet ski!

    The drinks are great at the resort but the food not so much. I had the best snapper of my life by asking a bartender for a referal. Talk to the staff and taxi drivers to find out about the local spots to visit.

    I don’t recommend purchasing anything for order from any locals. I ordered a swim suit, didn’t get the suit by their fault, and I was not refunded….

    Overall, this was an amazing trip! I generally only travel to a country once. I came to Sint Maarten/St. Martin in April 2018 after the hurricane. It was great to come back and see it everything finally back up and running.

  2. author
    Toi Poole
    08 May 2021
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    Traveling While Black

    No matter which side of the island you visit, the French or the Deutsch, St. Martin and St. Maarteen do not disappoint. As per usse, I arrived on the island with itinerary from months of research in tow. Hubby has to hit balls (tennis) at each destination. So we secured a lesson from him and began to check all of the fun things we had planned on the list. The airport is fun, just because its located so close to the beach that if you were to google or even search Greenbook for photos on this destination, you are bound to catch a photo of people that appear so close to the plane that they can touch it. The island offers great rates for rental cars. St. Martin/St. Maarteen are definitely great destinations to explore on your own. The hotel was in Sint. Maarteen, the Deutsch side of the island. Immediately off the beach at a very nice resort. Sint. Maarteen is definitely a destination to do nothing at all. However if you need more, the nightlife is vibrant and you can eat until your heart’s content. While venturing over to the french side, I purposely ordered escargot for dinner as my quintessential french experience. Horseback riding is available as well as a shopping mall. As a bonus to my daughter’s first international trip, we had to take the ferry to Anguilla. So she could get a third stamp. I must say that I felt the weight of traveling while black during this trip. There was a distinct divide between complexion of the tourist and the complexion of those working on the island.

  3. author
    @pinderworld
    18 Mar 2021
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    This is #mahobeach in the fabulous Saint Maarten, West Indies. We were really excited about coming here again, because the first time we came, we didn’t get the chance to travel over to the Dutch side of the island where the airport is located to experience what has become a cult gathering of people to watch the commercial aeroplanes ✈️ on final approach into #princessjulianaairport .
    Watching the planes coming in extremely low over the beach itself is pretty exciting to say the least. It’s undoubtedly a plane spotters paradise!

    On arrival, we made our way to the beach bar, #sunsetbarandgrill , not only for a nice refreshing drink, but there they even have a surfboard which is dug into the sand with all the aircraft arrival times displayed. Many photos and videos around the world show the Dutch airline KLM’s 747 coming into land, so pics and views of this huge jet descending out of the blue sky are the pinnacle of the experience and we were lucky, the KLM Jumbo jet was on the arrivals for today and was going to be third in, according to the surfboard. Photographs in magazines and online gives the impression of Maho beach being a large beach when in truth, it’s pretty small indeed, so small in fact that it can become shockingly packed with observers very quickly, but that doesn’t take anything away from this cool experience. You actually almost feel like you are able to touch/stroke the wheels of the plane as it comes in for touchdown. The reverse thrust on landing makes the alarms of the cars parked up on the roadside scream as if excited like all the tourists onlookers.
    Another crazy thing which people like to do here is hang on to the wire fencing that runs along the airport perimeter as the planes prepare for take off. They’re signs galore warning ⛔️ against such stupid practices, but as you know, people will do anything for the GRAM!! In saying that though, they’re actually some really slick and truly creative offerings out there on said GRAM. @wheredidnikkigo and @cedtripping to name but a few. Puts my basic photography skills in the shade! Check out their feeds to see what I mean.

    So anyway, we got to witness and feel first hand, the force of the jet engines as the pilots engage forward thrust for take off. We stood on the roadside and could still feel the sand and small pebble debris as it stung our skin for being even that close, so you can imagine then, the force being felt by those fence surfing. We watched in disbelief as some were propelled back across the road and onto the beach. I mean, how do you even begin to explain to your travel insurance company (if you had) how you sustained your injuries?
    I find it a massive thrill visiting somewhere in person which I’ve googled the life out of and If you’re a bit of a plane geek like myself, you’d be in your element here, and it’s definitely, without doubt, a bucket list moment. #pinderworld #caribbean #caribeancruise #saintmaarten #mahobeachexperience

  4. author
    Jadan1
    14 Mar 2021
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    I traveled to St. Maarten in March of 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Traveling was pretty easy and straight forward. In order to fly into St. Maarten, you have to have a negative PCR COVID test at least 120 hours before your trip if you are a US citizen. Note there are different parameters if you are flying in from other parts of the world. You must upload it into the SXMEntry.com website and receive an approval email. St. Maarten is also requiring that you purchase insurance which will be added once you upload your PCR test. The cost is $30 and covers all hospital bills up to a certain amount if you contract COVID while staying in the country. At arrival, the lines were long but efficient. They double check your documents and stamp that they are ok. No need to print anything out, you can have them electronically on your phone. I went on a girls trip with my favorite gals and we stayed at the Sonesta Maho Beach resort. The resort is clean and COVID friendly. The staff were great, excellent customer service. At the time of my travel, the US was requiring that your present a negative PCR or rapid test before returning to the country. Sonesta offered this for $65 and scheduling and testing were super easy. The testing location is across the street and operated by a reputable doctor/clinic. Sonesta will also give you a $65 credit to use at the spa or gift shop. Sonesta is located at Maho Beach so you not only get a great view but you constantly see planes arriving during your meals or just hanging by the pool. It is also located right in the center of nightlife, make sure to check out 3 Amigos, Saint and We Lounge on a Friday and Saturday night. St. Maarten has 36 beautiful beaches on the French and Dutch side. I would recommend Maho or airport beach for that amazing “money shot” of the planes flying overhead; orient beach (clothing optional), mullet bay, great bay beach (by the boardwalk); and Baie Rouge. But there are so many beaches to explore, you can take your pick. I cant really speak on the local food since we stayed at an all-inclusive but I have heard good things about it from others. Locals are very friendly and the COVID numbers are low so many of them go maskless. Overall we felt safe, COVID wise and via our personal safety among locals. I would love to visit again!

  5. guygarb
    guygarb
    31 Dec 2020
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    I wish I could say more. I was visiting just for a few hours as a layover from Antigua and I must say from the moment I stepped off the plane and got to take a pretty cool photo on the tarmac I felt right at home. From everything I’ve seen of this destination it is most certainly on my list of must visits when I can stay longer. It was awesome seeing people that looked like me as soon as landed and entered immigration. I was in the French speaking side and seen the black mix of people speaking French felt pretty enriching.

  6. author
    Jennifers.journal
    22 Sep 2020
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    I visited Sint Marteen/St. Martin is June 2019 for a wedding and make a trip out of it. The resort we stayed was average, Simpson Bay Resort. We paid $487 for 5 nights in their junior suite. The price includes the wedding discount. The beaches were beautiful. We went to the famous Maho Beach that sits right behind the airport. They had many excursions and one I did was the Blue Bubbles Jeep Safari Tour. I got to both ride and drive the jeep in the mountains, go to local spots we couldn’t reach by foot, and learn about the culture. The food here was pretty good We went to Pineapple Pete and got ice cream from Carousel Gelateria Bar. Nightlife was similar to others. We went to Roxxy Beach Bar for an all white party. Traveling while Black was cool. We felt safe as two women traveling alone. The people thought we were locals, until we talked and heard our accent. It a must to explore both the Dutch and French side. It was crazy to see how they were so different yet so similar.

  7. sashakaycox1101@gmail.com
    sashakaycox1101@gmail.com
    23 Aug 2020
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    I’ve always wanted to go to Maho beach because it looked new in all the pictures I’ve seen and I thought the airplane pictures would be cute. Please beware, it is a very dangerous beach as far as the planes go and the tide is very strong. There is barely any space for you to sit and put your belongings on the beach and they can wash away(which is what happened to me). It’s cute for pictures but the planes were a little too close for comfort for my liking. Go at your own risk but be prepared.

  8. author
    ROCKiiE
    30 Jul 2020
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    This was the first stop on our Carribean cruise. It was absolutely beautiful and full of history and culture. We took a tour of the island, both the Dutch and French side. We had a lovely time and I would definitely go back. The Dutch side seemed a little bit more lively, the locals were all friendly.

  9. author
    Tambari
    29 Jul 2020
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    Another cruise destination, my brother and I spent the entire day on a boat on the Sint Maarten side. It was booked as one of the cruise ship excursions. We snorkeled, drank punch, and watched the planes above us during take off and landing from the nearby airport. It was an extremely relaxing day.

  10. author
    AnaisBrj
    02 May 2020
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    Water sports, unsurprisingly, are at the top of the list of activities to do on the island! Indeed, the fine sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters are a starting point for many water activities.

    Scuba diving, with more than 45 sites!

    Palm diving, snorkeling, or snorkeling.

    Kite surfing

    Water skiing

    Wakeboarding

    Windsurfing

    Surfing

    The jet-ski

    Sea kayaking

    The paddle-board

    The flyboard

    The pedal boat

    Deep-sea fishing

    Sint Maarten Marina is a popular destination for yachts of all sizes. If you don’t have your own luxury boat, there are yachts available for charter, with or without crew.

  11. author
    kristine97212
    28 Mar 2020
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    I visited Saint Martin in February 2020. I was in an airbnb in the Dutch side. I recommend Shelly’s airbnb in the Dutch side. The view is magnificent and I had access to its swimming pool. I visited several beaches and they were magnificent (Mullet, Maho, Grand case, Orient Bay). It is necessary to have a car because you cannot visit the whole island. I ate Queen Conch with rice, kidney bean and banana. it was too good. I’ve been to Princess Juliana’s casino which is nice. RAINFOREST ADVENTURES
    It’s in the dutch side. It’s a very nice attraction. We paid $ 99. The chairlift ride is very good because we have a very nice view. This day, the sky was clear. When we arrived we could see the different islands (Anguilla, Saint Barthélémy, Saba). After we took our place to do the zip line. It was sensational. I recommand this activity. Parking is free.

  12. author
    Beau_Bella
    09 Oct 2019
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    We just simply LOVE ST.MAARTEN it’s practically home.
    The beautiful beaches,great local cuisine,and the super friendly locals.
    It’s amazing to see such a small island of 37 square miles have so much to offer. Definitely a must visit,the vibe’s just right!

  13. author
    TheForresterChronicles
    05 Aug 2019
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    My wife and I planned a group trip to St. Marteen for her 30th bday. There are two sides to the island: The French side (more expensive) and the Dutch side. We stayed on the Dutch side of the island at Simpson Bay Resort and Marina. There’s tons to do while in St. Marteen. You can go to Maho Beach to visit the Sunset Bar and Grill. We had a great time there and they have several drink and food specials as well as a great view of Maho beach. Maho Beach is located about 100 ft from Princess Juliana International Airport landing and take off strip so it’s a great place to see planes take off and land; however, be careful as the planes get VERY close.

    There are a couple of casinos on the island, one in Maho Beach and one at Simpson Bay, we visited both. Both casinos are full scale casinos and the minimum bets are about $2-$5. There are clubs and beach clubs located all around the island so finding a place to relax or party isn’t an issue. Most restaurants turn into clubs with music in the evenings.

    St. Marteen is also a $60 boat ride to the islands of St. Barth and Anguilla. This allows you to see 3 places in one trip! You definitely should take advantage of visiting at least one of the other islands in the area. We chose to visit St. Barth and went to Shell Beach.

    We recommend renting a car. The island is so small you can drive around the entire island in about an hour and half. It’s just a big circle, so it’s easy to find your way around. We drove to the French side of the island to visit Orient Bay beach. Truth be told, the beaches on the French side are nicer in our opinion. A small part of Orient Bay is a nudist beach, so just be aware of that.

    Overall, we had an excellent time in St. Marteen and definitely recommend a visit!

  14. LivLife16
    LivLife16
    21 Jul 2019
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    Maho Bay is definitely a place to relax. The El Zafiro is beautiful hotel with a private beach. Complimentary breakfast and drinks in the morning. :)

  15. author
    HibaAnderson
    31 Aug 2018
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    I spent a week in St. Maarten in August 2016 and it’s one of my favorite Carribean destinations.
    Nonstop flights from JFK make it affordable and quick ($300 Roundtrip with Jet Blue, less than 4 Hours)
    The Beaches on the Dutch side of St. Maarten have beautiful Emerald green colored water, so it’s perfect for just relaxing and enjoying the calm waves.
    The best part about a trip to St. Maarten is that you will be VERY close to both Anguilla and St. Barts and can easily take a day trip to either for affordable rates found on Viator.

    I took a Catamaran trip to Anguilla which included Rum Punch and Lunch for approx. $80 which was lots of fun. Anguilla has pristine Beaches with Crystal clear water, incredibly tranquil and relaxing.

    On a different day, The Ferry to St. Barts was approx. $40 roundtrip. once there, you can enjoy high end shopping, get a quick tour of the island via taxi ride, atv/scooter rental, and more beautiful Beaches with lovely turquoise waters.

    St. Maarten was also VERY safe, I took this particular trip as a Solo traveler and I plan to return for either a Girls Trip, or with Bae ☺

  16. Ccferg23
    15 Aug 2018
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    We stopped in St. Marteen as apart of a cruise stop. We were amazed. It really is the friendliest island. He people were the most welcoming and hospitable i’ve ever come across. We took a tree top adventure here and loved every moment. The tour bus let us through the country side and showed both the Dutch and French Sides and took us to several historical sites along the way. Once back to the beach area, we wandered into the market area and fell in love. The art is just amazing. We walked away with 5 paintings and a mahogany lazy Susan server. The store owners were even kind enough to send it all over to the boat for us so we could enjoy the beach more. And we did! Jet ski’s and speed boast were everywhere. I would high recommend this Beautiful place. I cant wait to go back.

  17. author
    Ashley_J_Jackson
    08 Jul 2018
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    I did a cruise that stopped at St. Marteen and St. Kitts in April 2017. Both islands were sooo beautiful I couldn’t get enough of the views. After getting off the cruise port of Philipsburg I took a short ferry ride over to the beach. I had frozen drinks at Caribbean Blue Beach Bar and Restaurant. It was located right off the beach perfect for people watching and enjoying yhe beach view. The staff was really friendly and drinks were big and tasty.

  18. author
    Above_itall82
    16 Jun 2018
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    There is so much to do in St Maarten/ St Martin. Explore and visit the Dutch versus the French side, experiencing the different cultures. So many great places to eat authentic Caribbean food. You can catch the ferry just 20 minutes to some sister islands such as Anguilla and St Barth’s. By far one of the best trips I’ve experienced.

  19. author
    SheisNayilah
    06 Apr 2018
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    Rum punch filled catamarans, jet skis, beautiful beaches, two cultures immersed on 1 island= standard day in paradise in St.Maarten/ Saint Martin. It’s the smallest island in the world divided and occupied by two countries. Both parts of the island is beautiful, however my fave side is the Dutch side. My first time visiting, I spent a few weeks there, if you’re looking for a resort check out Little Divi Bay it’s gorgeous, the resort has a private beach exclusive for guest. The other times I visited was through working on a cruise ship. Cruise traveling is sort of like “eating at a buffet” you get a sample of different islands for one price. In other words, it might be cheaper visiting St.Maarten cruising. Upon arrival on the Dutch port side(Philipsburg to be exact) make sure you get a mojito from this stand called Mojito Lemon Letam. Boyyyyyyyy they make the best mojitos in St.Maarten!!! Andddddd it’s ONLY $5. You can customize them as well.

    At Great Bay beach located in Philipsburg, you can cop a ride on a jet ski for about $45-$50; or if you are traveling with a large party you can take a catamaran from Great Bay Beach to Mullet Bay Beach. (The larger the party the cheaper it is per person) I did a catamaran with Golden Eagle. I believe it starts at $75-$80 per person, HOWEVER if you have a large party you can work out an extremely affordable group rate.(Its all about having the gift of gab) This catamaran excursion includes 3hrs or more of endless rum punch, snorkeling, and pure fun.Your dollar goes a longer way on this side of the island.

    If you want to lay out in the sun and take an occasional dip in the water in a super low key environment hit up Mullet Bay. It’s absolutely beautiful.

    Thrill seekers can also tour the entire island with ATV’s and 4×4. I believe you can rent one out for about $100 for the day.

    Visit the famous Maho Beach also known as “Air Plane Beach”. What’s cool about Maho, is that it looks like the planes are descending and ascending to and from the water. Definitely a must see! Maho Beach also has $35-$40 half day shore excursions.

    As you can see I spent most of my time on the Dutch side. The French side is beautiful as well. It’s a tad pricier and the currency is of course Euro. I dined and watched the sunset at Cafe Calmos a cute beach front restaurant. My day ended with a mini photo shoot with my friends! I mean why not? Perfect lighting, bikinis, sun and sand practically yell “photoshoot”.
    If you consider yourself an exhibitionist (I was in my past life) and a free bird “ Orient Bay” is the beach for you! Part of the beach is nude. Now I visited St.Maarten before Hurricane Irma. I heard from friends that there are some damages to the property located at “Orient Bay” however the beauty of this beach overpowers it. Which is a plus! Needless to say St.Maarten will always have a special place in my heart. I give it 5 stars!

  20. SheenaLatrice
    SheenaLatrice
    19 Dec 2017
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    St. Maarten!! I miss this place sooooo much! The people there are so kind and the beaches are beautiful! Make sure to leave your hotel and visit the different beaches. You can even take a ferry and island hop to Anguilla for a beach day too. SXM was the first island I’ve visited in a while with a real nightlife!! Plenty of clubs and bars that play songs you know and listen to on the radio. Food was great! Amazing seafood and I had the best oxtail ever from a local restaurant. I hope they recover fully from the hurricane so I can visit again!

  21. Kirt_Ifill
    17 Nov 2017
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    This Island is full of things to do. Excellent night live food is great from hotels and local spots . Skip jacks restaurant is a must !!! Maho beach is a must to say you been there ( planes land over the beach) but there is nicer beaches

  22. author
    Jcssleepygirl05
    17 Nov 2017
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    I had the fortunate opportunity to visit this beautiful country before Hurricane Irma destroyed it. Arrived and took a taxi to the resort in Simpson Bay. Which was not too far from the airport.

    Getting around: to save money, I would recommend using the local taxi. Its a van that cost 1 to 2 dollars. It takes you around the city. We took it from Maho Beach area to Simpson Bay. You can also have your resort call a Taxi. They charge per person after hours. About 8 dollars a person each way. So for large groups’ this can add up.

    Nightlife: we went to a club called Tantra. They played all of the current hip hop hits. Mixed in some other dance music. But was a really nice mix. I believe the ladies were free. There are other bars in this area as well. Seemed like the hub for bars and clubs. Very close to Maho Beach.

    Maho Beach: You must go. I’m not sure the current condition of the actual beach since the hurricane. But you can watch the planes land and the people hanging on the fences (not recommended) but its great for people watching. There is (or was) a bar next to the beach were you and eat, drink, sit and watch the people getting jetblasted by planes on the beach. Also a great place for fun Instagram photos.

    Lots of seafood and Caribbean options for food as well. Enjoy tropical island drinks while you enjoy the beach.

  23. Sabrina Nicole
    10 Nov 2017
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    I visted Maho beach and Orient beach! Maho Beach is amazing, because you can see the planes come in very low over the beach and it is an amazing sight! Orient Beach is amazing, as you can see the picturesque landscape and enjoy the French Riveria sunset! Definitely want to return

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