MAGIE BLUE
Oyster Pond Beach Resort of St Maarten

Friendly St. Maarten Island

Welcome to the Friendly Island of St. Maarten/St. Martin!

A small territory of 37square miles shared by two nations--France and the Netherlands. The French territory covers two thirds of the island and is an overseas collectivity of France. The Dutch territory of the island, St. Maarten, was until recently a part of the Netherlands Antilles, but became an autonomous country within the Netherlands in October 2010. The border between the two nations is untended and invisible, except for a sign welcoming you to one country or the other --- in this friendly place, who cares about nationality?

St. Maarten (Dutch side)/St. Martin (French side) has a unique charm, rich culture and the best cuisine in the Caribbean. It is surprisingly cosmopolitan and hospitable to all people and cultures. It has succeeded in establishing a sense of harmony between people and nature for which it justly deserves its reputation as “The Friendly Island”.

St. Maarten is magical and entrancing, yet marked by contrast. Multiple nations, cultures, languages, currencies, beaches, restaurants, and festivities all blending together to create a uniquely welcoming community spirit. It is also a haven of sand, sea and sun. The sea and lagoons, the hills and plains and the heat and trade winds set the tone: St. Maarten is the doorway to rest, relaxation and happiness…like no other island in the Caribbean. You will want to visit it again and again!

   



Climate: Situated in the heart of the Antillean Arc called "The Windward Isles," the island enjoys a particularly healthy subtropical climate, tempered by the steady flow of trade winds... Water temperatures are only slightly affected by seasonal variations, staying year around in the 79-86 F range.

Language: French and Dutch are the official languages while English is spoken everywhere... as well as Creole, Papiamento and Spanish...

Time: *Subtract 4 hours from GMT. * Subtract 5 hours from Paris time. * Add one hour to Eastern Standard Time (except during daylight savings time when the time is the same).

Currencies: The official currencies are the Euro on the French side and the Guilder on the Dutch side. The US $and most credit cards are widely accepted. Many ATM and change booths are available. In many restaurants on the French side 1 Euro=$1 if you pay in cash. Good deal!

Requirements: A valid passport is required to arrive, but not between the two countries (France and the Netherlands are both members of the European Union). A small, white form, generally distributed on the plane, must be filled out and turned in at the custom booth upon arrival. No vaccinations are necessary. The custom check is very fast and simple.

Airports: The new Princess Juliana International Airport, inaugurated in 2006, is located along Simpson Bay Lagoon on the Dutch side. It handles flights from Europe, North and South America and many Caribbean islands.

Getting Around: The island numerous taxicabs offer a comfortable solution for a quick visit of the island. Telephone #'s:
  • Marigot: 059-087-5654
  • Phillipsburg: 599-542-2359
  • Princess Juliana Airport: 599-545-43-17
  • Aeroport de Grand Case: 0590-87-5303

Vehicle Rentals:  Many car rental agencies, local or international, offer a vast selection of vehicles for rent. In the high season it is advisable to reserve your car in advance. The quality of the vehicles vary widely, from new to barely operational. We recommend Dollar/Thrifty car rental. Call 1-866-078-0932.

Beaches: There are 37 beaches on the island. Among them there is a beach for everyone. Take your pick. Our favorites, beside our own Dawn Beach, are:
  • The Galion, a family beach with shallow waters, good for kids.
  • The vast Orient Beach, the most famous of the island with a nude "Nothing is better" section.
  • The gorgeous Ance Marcel beach, beautifully maintained by the hotels.
  • Pinel Island is also a beautiful beach-ust a short 10-minute boat ride at a cost of $7 round trip.
Please visit www.sxm-beaches.com for complete info.

Restaurants: The island is considered the gourmet capital of the Caribbean.

More then 300 restaurants offer French, Italian, Dutch, Creole, Chinese, Thai and much more!

Please visit www.sxm-restaurants.com

Shopping: Walk along Front Street of Phillipsburg will reveal a real shopping paradise.

You can find everything from French perfumes, Swiss watches, Japanese electronics, Italian leather goods, fine jewelry, porcelain and liquor.

It is 100% duty free.

Art Galleries: Since the very first human settlement, St Maarten has been source of inspiration that has attracted artists and sparked their talent. Among the most famous is Sir Roland Richardson.

Visit www.nocoart.com, www.donabryhiel.com, www.francis-eck.com.

Carnival: An explosion of colors and good spirits, extravagance of music, the Carnival symbolizes every aspect of the Caribbean and its a most popular celebration. On the Dutch side Carnival goes through the whole month of April. On the French side festivities begin on the day of lent (Mardi-Gras) until mid-lent.

Heineken Regatta: Is one of the biggest and most dynamic regattas in the Caribbean. Four days of outstanding entertainment complement the many days of sailing. It is no wonder that it has its slogan "Serious fun"! Visit www.heinekenregatta.com

Many more treasures are waiting to be discovered during your stay at the island.

And when is the best time to visit? All twelve months of the year!!!
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