Though French St. Martin shares an island with Dutch St. Maarten, the two territories could hardly be more different. While the highly developed St. Maarten has a busier flavor, St. Martin's charms lie mainly in its beaches, open landscapes, natural preservations, charming restaurants and quie elegance.
French St. Martin combines the best aspect of Caribbean and French culture. The combination works: travelers can spend their days on Orient Beach, mesmerized by white sand, turquoise water and refreshing tropical breezes by day, and indulge in the French flair of the fine restaurants at night.
St. Martin's seclusion and fine dining gear the destination toward the high-end traveler, although budget options exist. It is a prime choice for privacy-seeking couples, but families who enjoy a European athmosphere will undoubtedly enjoy it as well.
Aside from restaurants, Orient's Beach is St. Martin's main attraction. This two-mile expanse of white sand is a perfect place to spend the day. An array of watersports, including kayaking, windsurfing, snorkeling and parasailing is available. The beach is dotted with bars and eating establishments. Guests can take a quick ferry or jet ski to nearby Pinel Island, which is an excellent spot for snorkeling and enjoying beachside barbecues. Smaller quieter beaches are available on St. Martin, and travelers who visit them can get a full sense of the island.
The picturesque village of Marigot features narrow streets and treasures for those seeking jewelry, watches, perfumes, clothes, leather goods and fine foods. Travelers interested in history can visit the Marigot Myseum, which has displays about St. Martin dating back to the island's beginnings as a territory of the Arawak tribe.
Grand Case Beach Club.
This property has a series of buildings with 71 suites each with a fully-equipped kitchen and located on the quiet beach. The Sunset cafe, an open-air, seaside, full-service restaurant offering French cuisine. Watersports, including waterskiing are offered on property. Guests can take advantage of the onsite Presitge car rental to get out and discover St. Martin. Grand Case, considered the culinary capital of the Caribbean, is a quick trip down the road.
La Samanna, on of the Leading Hotels of the World, offers luxury on 55 acres of beachfront.
Le Meridien provides sybaritic stays on 180 acres of waterfront.
Esmeralda Resort features 65 upscale rooms on Orient Beach.
St. Martin beleives the way to traveler/s heart through their stomachs. The village of Grand Case is the central station for the island's culinary pleasures; more than a dozen choices - all of which offer French delicasies - are L'Auberge Gourmand (011-590-87-73-37), Le Pressoir (011-590-87-76-62). Bistro Caraibes (011-590-29-08-29) and Le Tastevin (011-590-87-55-45).
St. Martin Promotes itself as a destination that is careful about preserving its charm and its natural habitat, and to a large degree it has been successful. Guests can indulge themselves in all fun that is associated with a Caribbean beach vacation, even as they are swept away by the French food and romantic atmosphere.
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