St. Martin is often referred to as St. Barts’ little sister. Although I have vacationed in St. Barts several times, I never ventured out to explore any of the surrounding islands. I soon realized that sometimes it is better to research a destination in person as opposed to attempting to experience it online. The “go and see for yourself” outlook deems true. I found that St. Martin is very similar to St. Barts; the smaller island is just as gorgeous and just as luxurious, albeit less expensive. As St. Martin was previously a nearly French colony, most of the natives speak French, but they are welcoming and hospitable, and their French accents only add to the islands’ charm. There are two parts of St. Martin: the Dutch side and the French side, which has been nicknamed by locals as the “Caribbean’s Twin City.” The French and the Dutch both fell in love with the island and settled in St. Martin in the early 1600s.
For three blissful days we enjoyed the aqua waters, blue skies and the French culture. The relaxed energy of the destination was contagious. From the moment you step foot on the island, your blood pressure instantaneously decreases, adjusting to the calm and mellow lifestyle of the area. The seafood was overwhelmingly fresh; all of our meals were caught locally, ranging from live Caribbean lobsters to the fresh fish of the day. The preparation was a work of art in itself. French culture is known to take cuisine very seriously, and as expected, all meals were prepared impeccably in both presentation and quality resulting in an extraordinary dining experience.
The trip provided me with some R&R time and the ability to decompress in the most tranquil setting. I felt at ease as the wind lightly blew in my face while I watched sailboats pass by across the water. When visiting St. Martin, all you truly need for the trip are the simple essentials: a bikini, a cover-up and a pair of flip-flops, and off you go. And if you feel like venturing out to other nearby areas, island hopping is a breeze. I highly recommend the five-star Belmond Hotel La Samanna in St. Martin. The property offers a wide range of accommodations; from small private bungalows to large private homes, the hotel has the ability to accommodate all of your travel needs. belmond.com/lasamanna