Saint Martin January 2020
Another year of trips begins! It was cold, so cold in Philly, and I needed a break. So Joe and I did a quick 4 day trip to Saint Martin in the Caribbean and it was just what we needed. Unfortunately, because this was more of a chill vacation (less activity, more relaxation) I did not get to see as much of the island as maybe I should have. All I wanted was sun, ocean, pool, good food- and that's what I got.
We flew into St Martin Friday afternoon- direct from Philly it was under 4 hours- incredible. By the afternoon we were in our resort on the beach swimming in the ocean. We stayed at the Divi Bay Beach Resort on the Dutch side (St Martin is cut in half and owned by the French on one side and the Dutch on the other). To sum up each side: The Dutch side- a few resorts, the Cruise Ship port, casinos. The French side- higher end hotels- fancy restaurants. All the action seemed to be on the coasts, not so much in the middle of the island. When we arrived to our resort (about a 20 min taxi from the airport- no ubers/lyfts in St Martin) we explored the property which was right on a private beach, and had a fort with a great view at the end of the property. Not a ton of people at the resort, seems as though the island is still in recovery mode from a hurricane a few years back. Divi Bay had recently renovated and just reopened- so it had a bunch of restaurants with pretty good food, as well as 5 pools on the property to choose from. We had lunch on the resort at Gizmos, and for dinner took a taxi to Le Tropicana in Marigot (French side right over the border). Really good french food, sat outside, in a port like area.
Saturday we hit the resort gym (terrible- most of the machines were broken, but there was nowhere to run so we worked with what we had), had breakfast on the resort, laid out on the beach (free chairs/umbrellas with your resort stay), checked out the main pool, had lunch on the resort at Sea Breeze, and then taxi'd to the Grand Case area of the French side for dinner at Le Cottage (another french spot, best meal of the trip). We had no problem getting into any restaurants which was great- since most did not offer bar seating or waiting areas. Grand Case is definitely the spot for all the high end restaurants, along with some high end hotels all on one main street.
Sunday was another lazy day taking advantage of the resort- breakfast, lunch at the shack, all day at the pool, then a taxi to Avantika, a thai restaurant on the Dutch side, for dinner. Most restaurants were closed on Sunday night. Avantika was right in a big strip mall area, casinos everywhere. Great food though- not so great cocktails (the cocktail scene is not the best here).
Monday was just enjoying our last moments laying by the pool, then off to the airport. This was a great trip to do for just a few days, and if you really want to just relax. Not much is there to explore- I would recommend if you have the $ staying in the Grand Case area on the French side, or if you are a resort person, Divi Bay was a great option.