August 2014…Summer! Dreams of white sand beaches and crystal clear aquamarine waters ran aimlessly through my mind. Ha…you’re only fooling yourself…you won’t get that, I subconsciously thought.
Low and behold, one day local travel agency was offering chartered flights to St.Maarten/St.Martin.’St. Who?’ was my initial reaction as I had never heard about this place before. Sceptical at first, I agreed and was on my way.
8 hour flight delay at the airport..What was I getting myself into??? I was beginning to have second thoughts about this ‘St.Maarten’ character. At last, after a long day and an hour and a half of flying…we landed at The Princess Julianna Airport.
The next stop…Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino. The bus arrived at the entrance and we were greeted by extremely polite staff which was well appreciated after the rough day we endured. We got our keys to the room along with complimentary drinks. The room was quite extravagant..surpassed my expectations for sure and oh my…what a view of the casino and nightlife in the shopping village below. Great room..excellent so far! 🙂
After dinner, my tiredness seemed to disappear at once and I was ready to explore! The beach!!!! Where was it??? As it was late at night, we could not clearly see our surroundings so we followed some signs and alas! The ocean 💕…
The smell of the salt water filled my nostrils awakening that familiar sense of connection with this magnificent body of water. Even though it was dark, I could see the beautiful turquoise waves beating against the rock that surrounded the hotel, simply breath-taking!
The following day, I could finally see everything clearly. I thought what I had seen the night before was breath taking…but boy was I wrong! All words under exaggerate the beauty and sophistication of this place. The towering resort was built in the shape of an L with 10 levels of rooms topped of with a brilliantly lit SONESTA sign, which could be seen from the famous airplane landings right at the edge of the beach(perfect for all you adrenaline junkies out there looking to experience some jet blast :-P). An ocean terrace over looking the sea gave a 360* view of Maho beach and accented the resort beautifully.I had never in my life seen such exquisite sea water, except in a picture. Real aquamarine water…right before my very eyes. Symmetrical, transparent waves rolled gracefully unto the crisp white sand, as if to cool it down from the blazing Caribbean sun. The greatest eye-candy in the world.
As for the food at the hotel, delicious. There was something for everyone at each of the restaurants. The staff was exceptional and the general atmosphere was relaxing and fun. The daily planned activities and optional tours made sure that there was never a dull moment.
There is also the Serenity Spa where I got my first Swedish massage. The staff at the spa was so welcoming and friendly, they make you feel right at home. The massage was heavenly and I was even more relaxed..though I didn’t think that was possible.
Lastly, we took an island tour and our guide,’Dannyboy’ (lol), was very informative. I gathered a lot valuable information and visited the towns of Philipsburg and Marigot ( Dutch and French respectively). Did you know that St.Maarten is both French and Dutch where each side follows the laws of their mother country? I didn’t either!We got a glimpse of many of the other beautiful beaches and the antique architecture that reflected the island’s colourful history. It’s really something to see two very different cultures of people living in harmony. Famous statues were scattered around the island, again marking their past, from honorary bus drivers to traffic directors. I can safely say that St.Maarten is equally beautiful all around. To all you shoppers out there…Philipsburg offers some great bargains. :-D.
My short vacation was truly life changing and by far the best I’ve had so far!! It was surely a surprise as I went knowing nothing about the place. St.Maarten to me is the definition of an island paradise.