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Destination I Do

St. Martin: The Perfect Blend

Words by Carolyn Steere
Photos courtesy of Radisson Blu Resort Marina & Spa

Legend has it that Christopher Columbus landed on this Caribbean paradise on the feast day of St. Martin of Tours, hence the island’s name. Jointly owned by the French (St. Martin) and the Dutch (St. Maarten), one can pass easily from one side to the next on this tiny Caribbean island and enjoy a rich diversity of culture and personality.

Your vacation begins the moment you step outside Princess Juliana International Airport as you board the water shuttle service which takes you on a scenic journey past the mega-yachts of Simpson Bay. Thirty minutes later you are warmly welcomed to the Radisson Blu Resort Marina & Spa located in a secluded Caribbean cove surrounded by the Anse Marcel’s National Nature Reserve. The newly renovated rooms and suites are comfy cozy and exquisitely decorated in beautiful tropical hues which calm the soul and mind. Step outside the doors to your private balcony overlooking the marina or gardens to sip your morning java or evening glass of wine. The 18 acres of the resort provide lush gardens to stroll through, an enormous infinity edge pool to relax by with a pristine white sand beach just steps away. Want to play? The resort offers plenty of toys to rent (banana boats, kayaks and WaveRunners) and is more than pleased to arrange scuba, sailing, fishing and snorkeling excursions to the nearby islands. Great options are available for dining on-site, including the upscale beachside C Le Restaurant and Le Marche’ for more casual dining. Also located on property is LeSpa, where you can feel the ocean breezes as you indulge in a seaside treatment. On-site car rental is an added convenience when you want to explore all the island
of St. Martin offers.

Clearly, the French side is a haven for “foodies” with multitudes of “lolos” (local beachside restaurants) and haute cuisine establishments for every budget and palate.  A must visit location is the town of Grand Case, aptly named the “culinary capital of the Caribbean” because of the myriad of fine eateries all within a short stroll.  Be sure to check out our favorite, Le Pressoir, a restored 1870s West-Indian house where Chef Franck Mear serves up locally inspired culinary delights. Le Marigot, the main town and capital of French St. Martin, and Loterie Farm, a secret hideaway nestled in the hillside of Pic Paradis, are scenic and fun stops along the way to hang out, zipline or grab a bite.

As an added benefit, the neighboring islands of St. Barths and Anguilla are easily accessible by ferry, charter or air, expanding your choices of beaches, restaurants and quaint towns. A day trip to Yellow Beach on Pinel Island with Scoobi Charter is a great spot for snorkeling, lunch and relaxing on the powder sand beach.

Perfect for a destination wedding (particularly one including families), the Radisson Blu Resort Marina & Spa is amazingly affordable, has an abundant number of options for ceremony and reception sites and offers every conceivable amenity for you and your guests. St. Martin/St. Maarten is a place where everyone gets along…what a perfect location to gather your friends and family to celebrate your all important wedding event!

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall2013/Winter 2014 issue. You can order a copy here.

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