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24. Nov, 2010

St Maarten Hotels – Philipsburg

St Maarten Hotels – Philipsburg

Philipsburg view

Situated on a narrow stretch of land between Green Bay and Great Salt Pond, Philipsburg is the capital of St Maarten.  Steeped in history you’d be forgiven for not being aware Christoper Columbus discovered Philipsburg in 1493 (well actually it was already an Arawak settlement before he made the discovery). As for the name – well in 1763 John Philips, a Scottish captain the Dutch Navy founded Philipsburg (the clue being in his name). Philipsburg which then became a focal point for international trade.

Good news for shoppers – the main shopping district Front Steet is the heart of the city. Additionally the port is home to many cruise liners.

As for the St Maarten All Inclusive experience – well you’re in luck.

Divi Little Bay Beach Resort situated on Little Bay road offers that All inclusive experience. More information on our St Maarten Resorts page. Regarding going all inclusive, there is usually a minimum stay for an all inclusive trip to the Divi (usually 7 nights). Additionally, check the small print as surcharges do apply to certain menu items. Overall if you’re after an all inclusive experience then certainly the Divi should be considered.

18. Nov, 2010

St Maarten Hotels – Anse Marcel

St Maarten Hotels – Anse Marcel

Surrounded by hills with a wonderful white beach Anse Marcel may well be a top candidate for that St Maarten All Inclusive experience. Situated on the French side (Northern area of St Martin) Anse Marcel is a quieter destination then others.  Very close to Grand Case – so there will be plenty to do. The Marina at Anse Marcel offers fishing expeditions and leisure charters.

Additionally Anse Marcel is home to the Radisson Blu Resort Marina and Spa. Good news if you want to book with a well known/familiar hotel chain. There are not many well established hotels on the island – so if you like things to be as you’d expect then the Radisson surely would be a consideration.  If however, you’re after a more authentic St Maarten All Inclusive experience then it may not be for you.

Anse Marcel

Anse Marcel - St Martin

08. Nov, 2010

St Maarten Hotels – Orient Bay

St Maarten Hotels – Orient Bay
Orient Bay

Orient Bay

Situated on the French side of the island (East side) Orient Bay is home to one of the finest beaches on the Carribbean, if not the world, two miles of white sand – what more could you ask for? Orient Beach is the most busiest and liveliest beach on the Island. The Bay is also home to a nude beach – so if you’re easily offended (or easily pleased) this may or may not be the right place for you. Club Orient is the Islands only naturist resort at the southern part of the beach.

The bay has been recognised as a marine reserve. Snorkeling here is out of this world (literally). With several tiny islands near to the coast (such as Green Kay, Little Key and Pinel Islet) there’s further opportunities for would be snorkeling.

As for a St Maarten all inclusive experience, you may be disappointed in Orient Bay. Most hotels will be in the 3 star region, with breakfast being the only meal served. Our recommendation for a hotel (non all inclusive) would be the Alamanda. On the plus side there are some wonderful restaurants very close the hotel.

Above all not exactly the All Inclusive experience more a self serve experience. Still with such a picturesque beach you may not need anything else.

03. Nov, 2010

St Maarten Hotels – Oyster Pond

St Maarten Hotels – Oyster Pond
St Maarten All Inclusive - Oyster Bay Resort

Oyster Bay Resort

Oyster Pond is situated in on the border between St Maarten and St Martin. Situated on the East of the Island, Oyster Pond is a wonderful marina. Great hotels, great restaurants. You can even catch a ferry to Barth. Perfect if you’re a sailor!

But what’s that I hear you say? You want to know about the hotels in Oyster Pond? Well good news! There are some wonderful hotels. As well as many villas. But standards can vary so be warned. Such places to reside may not fit the bill for that St Maarten all inclusive experience. However, if Oyster Pond is the place for you then we would recommend the following for that St Maarten all inclusive experience.

Oyster Bay Beach Resort – Perched on a coral reef overlooking the Caribbean Ocean and Oyster Pond Marina the Oyster Bay Marina is the place to stay within Oyster Pond. The Oyster Bay Beach Resort does cater for special packages so good news if you want to go all inclusive.

If you really like Oyster Pond there’s even an opportunity to puchase real estate within the vicinity of the resort. After just one visit many have been smitten by the beauty and character of Oyster Pond.

See the map below for layout of the resort.

St Maarten All Inclusive - Oyster Bay Beach Resort

Map of Oyster Bay Beach Resort

25. Oct, 2010

St Maarten Hotels – Simpson Bay

St Maarten Hotels – Simpson Bay
Simpson Bay

Simpson Bay

If you’re contemplating a stay within St Maarten then you may well have considered Simpson Bay as an ideal location for your vacation. Simpson Bay is situated close to Princess Juliana Airport this lagoon has something for everyone (plane spotters included). The stretch of beach at simpson bay runs from the Royal Palm Beach Club to Beacon Hill.

There are some great places to stay at Simpson Bay. Including resorts, hotels and even villas. With one of the longest beaches with the least development on the island it may fit your bill perfectly. A word of warning though there may well be stretches of beach close to Princess Juliana Airport that will definitely have some low flying planes in the horizon from time to time.

Additionally, a further word of caution, the hotels within Simpson Bay are on average 3 star. So you most likely will not get that St Maarten All Inclusive experience here in Simpson Bay. However, there are great beaches and it’s the home of a wonderful Marina.

The marina can accommodate up to 180 vessels. With concierge services available the best place for the possibility of an all inclusive experience within Simpson Bay may well be the marina (boat not included).

We would recommend: The Royal Palm Beach Resort – more self service then all inclusive but nevertheless the villas on offer are very welcoming, and are set to a reasonably high standard.

Simpson Bay is a very popular area with a whole host of shops, restaurants, casinos, and even movie theatres! There’s something for everyone (including jewellery shops if you’re feeling generous). And lets not forget that wonderful beach!

Here’s a little video showing you Simpson Bay in all its wonder:

11. Oct, 2010

St Maarten Hotels – Grand Case (St Martin)

St Maarten Hotels – Grand Case (St Martin)
Grand Case

Grand Case Beach Club

With over 80 hotels on the island you’re sure to find the ideal hotel for your vacation from 2 stars and up including the St Maarten all inclusive experience. With beaches to visit, a whole host of activities on offer – including sailing, windsurfing, horseback riding, snorkelling, diving, deep sea fishing, parasailing, sunset cruises you’d be forgiven to think you’d spend much of your time in the hotel. However, the hotels St Maarten have on offer are regarded as some of the best hidden gems of the Caribbean.

A word of caution, some ‘travel sites’ will display favourable reviews for certain hotels as they’ll be receiving a favourable rate of return. So how do you look past such travel sites? How can you be sure you’ll get the best deal or be in the best part of town – or whether or not the hotel is all that its been made out to be?

Well, we recommend beginning with location – for this post we’ll be discussing Grand Case. Take the Hotel L’esplanade situated in Grand Case (St Martin) – this hotel has been designated as a Super Star Hotel by Reed Publishing Star Service for five consecutive years. Definitely one of the more known hotels on the island. A word of caution: it’s probably the least best kept secret on the island and beyond, so it would be best to book early to avoid any disappointment. Click here for their direct website.

Grand Case is also another name for one of the airports (which should give you some clue as to the location). The location is also regarded as the Culinary capital of the Caribbean. The finest restaurants of the Caribbean come alive at night. How about lunch? The gentle sounds of the turquoise waters set the stage for a  beach front eatery. With one of the calmest beaches on the island just a stone throw away (in fact even closer) you’ll get to experience the best the Island has on offer. Lets not forget about the Grand Case Beach Club (which is also a wonderful hotel within Grand Case – click here to go direct the site) – regarded as one of the best places in the world for sunset watching.

So where’s the draw back? Can Grand Case be so good? Well, there is an issue of the airport where planes do get awfully close (or so they seem) to a particular section of the beach. Great if you’re a plane spotter, otherwise they could come as a shock if you’re on the wrong stretch of sand. However, overall Grand Case is very clean, friendly, vibrant and a place where you’ll find some wonderful all inclusive hotels.