Category Archives: St.Martin/St.Maarten

Exploring Sint Maarten with kids.

Traveling to Caribbean Sint Maarten, always was an expensive adventure, especially traveling with kids.

Calculating expenses, we found out that airflight takes half of budget.

Knowing that usually prices drop in October/November, then first week of January, and after April 15th, trips could become affordable with  Westjet, Sunwing, or Transat… We use mostly or, or direct websites from airlines, or,

Marigot Harbour in Saint Martin
Marigot Harbour Saint Martin

Last year our family stayed in villa on French side in Concordia district in Marigot.

Marigot, Saint Martin , French West Indies

It was good immersion into local life, and good practice of French for kids.  We hiked on Fort Louis in Marigot, Tree Top Trekked at Loterie Farm, took windsurfing lessons on Galleon Beach (nearby is Butterfly Farm), fine dined in Grand Case, snorkelled and sun bathed on Friars Bay. The shopping we did in “U” supermarket, and fresh bread in local boulangeries. Few times we visited Grand Case for a nice evening stroll, beach comb and fancy dinner combination.

Saint Martin
Marketplace in Marigot, Saint Martin

From nearby Marigot Sea Port we took day trips to Anguilla and St.Barth. One day we spent in LoterieFarm. It’s a place to spend a whole day, first to go on Fly Zone (like Tree Top trek), and then soak and rest in the pool. We noticed many local families spent time on weekends here. I think our favourite beach in St.Martin is still on Happy Bay, and the runner up will be Friars Bay Beach.

Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
Philipsburg- the capital of Dutch side in Sint Maarten.

The choice and variety of hotels is also great in Dutch St.Maartten, from casino hotels, down to small boutique inns. We chose Joshua Rose guest house this time, cause of the good balance, price , location, and facilities.

Guest house located in the heart of Philipsburg, with easy access to transportation, beaches grocery stores and good restaurants. For dinner our favorite was “Green House” restaurant, with it’s great service, good variety and price combination. One evening we visited acclaimed “L’Escargot” with classy service and beautiful ambiance. Yes, it’s pricey, but you pay what you get, once for the trip is great. For lunch there are good places to eat like “GUSTO”, and few Chinese restaurants nearby.
I should mention the trip to “The Carousel” ice cream shop it’s well worth after lunch, and explore sophistication in ice cream variety. (Actually I tried once “Heineken Ice Cream”. It tasted good!). There are lots of photographs on display with famous people eating ice cream. Our kids, 8 and11, are too big for the Carousel to sit on, but they still enjoy the rides.

On the property of DIVI Resort, there are ruins of Fort Amsterdam, from there is a nice view of Philipsburg and Point Blanche Cruise Ship Terminal,. We spent hours there watching pelicans catch fish in blue waters down the cliff.

Sint Maarten
3D view of Maho Beach in Sint Maarten

Yes, we have to mention famous “Maho Beach”. The best time is after 1pm, when KLM / Airfrance jumbo jet is landing. It is really spectacular moment, quick and scary. Expect to see lots of tourists with cameras there.


Give and Get Caribbean Getaway !!!

Give and Get 

“Care to win a trip to Anguilla, Puerto Rico, St Barth, St Martin or Nevis, while enabling a scholarship for a child in need?

For the past 18 years, the Teacher Gloria Omololu Institute, has been delivering education with a focus on holistic and modern approach to learning. Located on the small island of Anguilla, the school caters to local, regional and expatriate children from 11 different countries all over the World.

Fundraising is a key component to sustaining and growing our student base and 100% of the funds collected are going towards enabling a child’s education during the 2013 – 2014 school year. With the help of our wonderful sponsors, we’re giving away 6 Caribbean luxury getaways to Anguilla, St Barth, Nevis, Puerto Rico and two to St Martin and special perks such as dinners, massages, boat transfer and an airfare voucher.

Here’s how it works:

GIVE – $39 or more to the scholarship fund and enable a child’s education

GET – the chance to win one of 6 Caribbean Getaways to Nevis, Anguilla, St Barth, St Martin or Puerto Rico.

Help us help a child in need and go to to get all the details and your tickets, drawings will be held weekly starting on February 16, 2013. These Caribbean Getaway tickets make thoughtful gifts you can feel good about giving to friends and family!

Your support of this great cause for a chance to win a Caribbean getaway is greatly appreciated!”

For details please click here:Give and Get Caribbean Getaway

First National Marine park in St.Maarten. March 2011 news

St. Maarten, in the Caribbean, recently established its first national marine park – the Man of War Shoal Marine Park. The aquatic area, which opened in late December, is the first step St. Maarten has taken towards preserving the area known as the Proselyte Reef, the island’s most important underwater habitat. “The development of the marine park has been long in the making and we are pleased to have begun the first and most crucial phase of the process.  By creating the marine park, St. Maarten is taking steps to preserve the local environment as well as enhancing sustainable tourism,” said Honorable Franklin Meyers, Minister of Economic Affairs, Tourism, Transportation and Telecommunications.  


Carine Salvi
Spécialiste en relations médias/Media Relations Specialist, Montréal

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Galeries Lafayette’s Christmas windows, Saint Nicholas Festival in Nancy and inland adventures in Tahiti


December can be very warm and festive, with dozens of ways to take advantage of the holidays.
The city of Nancy, all lit up for the occasion, is celebrating Saint-Nicholas with acrobats and musicians, while in Paris the Galeries Lafayette are already displaying their Christmas windows, as always filled with wonder and invention. For insight on how the stars work, the exhibit on French monuments in cinema allows you to explore the behind-the-scenes of film.
Need some pampering? Vichy offers the perfect glamourous weekend getaway for ladies. Should you wish to add a dash of sunshine to your festivities, choose Martinique, dubbed the « Island of flowers », explore inland Polynesia’s gorgeous landscapes or relax at the newly-renovated Bwa Chik Hotel & Golf in St-Francois, Guadeloupe.
For a 2011 full of pleasant discoveries, prepare your next gourmet escapade to Provence with Planet France or book a very romantic Valentine’s Day in Paris with Air Canada.

Caroline Putnoki
Director for Canada

On the agenda
Saint Nicolas Festival in Nancy
Troupes of actors, musicians, acrobats and storytellers take part in this traditional festival in the illuminated city on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 December.
Galeries Lafayette’s Christmas windows go musical!
With « Warm Christmas Show » chosen as this year’s theme, the department store’s window displays echo the music of Hairspray, Mamma Mia or the French « Le soldat rose ».
“ Monuments, Stars of the 7th Art ”
Until February 13th, 2011, the Conciergerie in Paris offers you the chance to go behind the scenes and visit a large movie set!

Our favorites
A girls’ weekend in Vichy, full of glamour and pampering!
Discover Vichy for two days of pleasure, comprised of shopping, dietary gastronomy and fitness.
Inland Adventures in Tahiti
Breathtaking mountain landscapes, lush green jungles replete with exotic wildlife, towering waterfalls, and historical sites… there’s plenty more to see in French Polynesia than just its world-famous beaches!
Martinique Romantique… A love story
Have you been dreaming of a romantic moment to savour in the warmth of the sun? Martinique is the ideal place for romance: open yourself to the incredible charm of its landscapes, fishing villages and luxurious nature, to its cultural diversity and sophisticated hotels.
The Bwa Chick Hotel & Golf in Saint-François, Grande-Terre
This charming 54-room hotel located in Guadeloupe was recently revamped and renovated, with its re-opening scheduled for December 17th, 2010.

He won, She won…..
By signing up for one of our many contests, several people had the opportunity to travel to France!  Marielou discovered the Mediteranean basin, Stéphane and Nathalie experienced a truly Guadeloupean journey and Rose and Rico explored the Rhône-Alpes vineyards. Here is the list of the lucky winners of our 2010 Contests.

Book now
Give Valentine’s day for Christmas
Air Canada Vacations is offering a trip to Paris, the most romantic city in the world. Without a doubt, the French capital is a perfect choice to celebrate Passion! Departures between the 9th and 12th of February 2011 for only $1139 per person!
WinterDelicious in Provence – Taste the wonders of Provence
Take advantage of Planet France’s exciting offer: a stay in an Aix en Provence four-star hotel from only $845!
Agents specialised in France
To organise your trip, choose one of our certified agents. They have received a complete training on all the practical and cultural aspects of France.

France Guide!French Ski resorts are open, Festival of Light in Lyon and the Gwadloup Festival

Bonjour friends,In France, activities abound all year long, the months of  November and December being no exception to the rule. The many exhibitions and events of the moment are pleasantly taking us to the eve of the coming New Year.

Ski enthousiast won’t have much to wait  as the season is almost under way in the French winter sports resorts. If you’d rather wander through less mountainous areas, Ulysses’s Provence  guide book will provide you with more ideas of outdoor activities : hiking, biking or the beach, among other things.

For those who feel like staying in town, there are many cultural events to choose from  : in Avignon,  a new exhibit named « Ponts » (for bridges) , is presented in two symbolic places of the city : the Palace of the Popes as well as the very famous bridge of Avignon, while the city of Lyon will be completely transformed thanks to the creativity and poetry of its annual Festival of Lights in early December. Two music festivals are just about to light up Guadeloupe with Caribbean and jazzy rythms.

Don’t forget to read all about our latest winners! They had the chance to visit France earlier this fall and share with us their impressions and favourite spots!

Caroline Putnoki
Director for Canada

Ski resorts are open!
For those who love snow, skiing and mountain adventures, look here to find out when your favourite resorts will be opening!

Festival of Light in Lyon
Every year, as near as possible to the longest night of the year, Lyon lights up and invites the public to one of the biggest urban events in the world. Four illuminated nights for a magnificent urban festival not to be missed!
Bridges Exhibition
Bridges is an exhibition that connects talent and Men to Avignon, the city made famous all over the world because of a bridge.

Our favorites
Guadeloupe Islands – Land of festivals
Caribbean and Creole musics are the stars of the 2 upcoming festivals : the Gwadloup Festival and the ÎloJazz Festival.
Ulysses, your travel bookstore, invites you to discover the Great Outdoors on the French Riviera The Côte d’Azur is a land of contrasts. Its sunny climate and Mediterranean way of life offer something for everyone, no matter what your interests may be. Discover the many outdoor activities you can practice there… Our winners have tested for you vineyards and the French Riviera! Rose and Rico, as well as Marielou, got the chance to discover respectively some French vineyards and the Mediterranean way of life. They share with us their impresssions…

Book now
Agents specialised in France
To organise your trip, choose one of our certified agents. They have received a complete training on all the practical and cultural aspects of France.
Tips from the certified “Agent of the Month” of November 2010 Each month, ATOUT FRANCE, France Tourism Development Agency, features one of our France certified destination specialists to allow you to get to know them better. This month, Evelyne Théberge from Uniktour tells you about her favourite winter product!

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Alliouagana Festival of the Word, Montserrat. Nov 12-14, 2010

Dear Friends
In just about a fortnight from now we will be into the 2nd Alliouagana Festival of the Word which takes place from Friday November 12 to Sunday November 14, 2010.  We hope that as many persons as possible will find this Programme interesting and will try to find the time to attend and participate in all of the planned activities.  Attached is the Programme for the Weekend and you will note that the Pre-Festival Symposium on Thursday November 11 is in honour of the late Alphonsus “Arrow” Cassell.  Kindly help with getting this information to as many persons as possible.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have further questions.
Gracelyn Cassell
Steering Committee
Alliouagana Festival of the Word
c/o The University of the West Indies
Open Campus Montserrat
P.O.Box 256
Salem, Montserrat
Tel:               664 491 3924        / 2344 office
Fax: 664 491 8924

Genesis Urged to turn St.Maarten to “Garden Isle”


ST. MAARTEN, Netherlands Antilles (October 9, 2010) – Citizens of this Dutch Caribbean nation were urged to mark their new political status by taking practical steps to transform itself into a “Garden Isle.”

St. Maarten transitions to a more independent status in association with the Netherlands when its first Prime Minister takes the helm on Sunday, October 10, and Lelei LeLaulu of the Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMEx) who spoke at the culmination of several days of events marking World Tourism Day, called for a “genesis approach” of intensive planting and growing of flowers, plants and other life forms.

Photograph of Lelei LeLaulu is available at:

World Tourism Day this year focused on biodiversity and LeLaulu proposed St. Maarten’s new political status was “a wonderful opportunity to enhance biodiversity by growing plants, flowers and food – not just because it’s the right thing to do, but also such a genesis makes economic sense to grow more local food for the bustling tourism industry.”

“Farmer to table initiatives boost incomes for small farmers while adding local dishes for tourists to savor,” he asserted, adding, “the coordinated growth of flowers attracts birds, butterflies, hummingbirds and other life forms, as well as tourists who love them.

“Hotels could host gardeners-in-residence to guide the beautification of hotel grounds, while voluntourist gardeners could help residents make this island bloom,” he suggested to stakeholders attending the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau’s World Tourism Day gala dinner at the Westin Dawn Beach Resort and Spa last month.

The natural beauty of St. Maarten.
Photograph available at:

Aside from beautifying the island’s coastal waters, LeLaulu pointed out, “planting mangroves protects resorts by forming a natural barrier to ocean surges, but mangroves are also fertile breeding grounds for fish and other forms of marine life.”

Regina LaBega, St. Maarten’s Director of Tourism, said biodiversity and tourism “are not foes unto death” and tourism had a responsibility to defend and preserve St. Maarten’s environment.

LaBega called for collaboration between government, private sector and non-governmental groups but she said it should be “legally wrong” for businesses to be set up shop “with utter disregard for the impact their operations would have on our biodiversity.”

About The Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx)

The Caribbean Media Exchange produces interactive symposia that match journalists from the Caribbean, North America and Europe with representatives of the government, business hospitality and development sectors to discuss tourism policies aimed at improving the lives of Caribbean people.

Since its inception in October 2001, CMEx has helped improve the quality of media coverage of sustainable tourism in the Caribbean; increase the media’s participation in the design of sustainable tourism policies; remind government decision makers of the impact of tourism on other sectors of the economy; and highlight the necessity of tourism to the economies of small island states.

Its mission is “to be the premier communications organization promoting sustainable tourism, through media and smart partnerships, to create holistic wealth for all peoples, including those in Latin America, the Caribbean and other Emerging Markets.”

For additional details, visit

St.Kitts Authentic Creations make Ideal Holiday Gifts

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


**Surprise Loved Ones with Unique Hand-Crafted Items Made in St. Kitts**

Basseterre, St. Kitts Get a jump on this year’s holiday shopping with a well-timed trip to St. Kitts, which offers a wealth of shops and markets that sell unique, hand-crafted gifts made by local citizens.   Whether it’s the man/woman who has everything or someone who simply is discriminating, it’s easy to find a memorable gift for even the most hard-to-shop-for individuals.

Following are some of the top places to shop for locally made gifts on St. Kitts:

Showcasing the creative talents of resident artists, various studios and galleries offer exquisite works of art for sale.  Browse the prints, lithographs and even original works of art inspired by St. Kitts, then select one to take home.  Visitors can discover the works Kate Spencer, a British-born artist who lives full time on St. Kitts, at her studio on a former sugar plantation or in her gallery at the St. Kitts Marriott hotel.  Images of St. Kitts’ iconic Green Vervet monkeys and Carnival are two favorite subjects portrayed at the Spencer Cameron Art Gallery by artist Rosey Cameron Smith, who has lived and worked in St. Kitts since 1978.  Booyork Gallery features the colorful paintings of local artist Dennis Richards, who has designed many stamps for the Federation and is also a talented musician.

Lovers of pottery or distinctive clothing will delight in unwrapping something from St. Kitts’ craft and artisan shops.  Displaying the work of artist Carla Astaphan, The Potter’s House features her one-of-a-kind hand-made and -decorated pottery from nesting bowls to votives to vases and even full tea service that make conversation pieces in any home.   No two pieces are ever alike at the Glass Island Designz glassblowing shop, which offers hand-blown glass jewelry, plates, frames, paperweights and more to shoppers.  For individually created fabrics, visit the Caribelle Batik factory on the grounds of the old Wingfield Estate, where you can watch the batik being made by hand in the ancient tradition, then buy it in t-shirt, dress, pillow, scarf, wall hanging or other forms in the gift shop. 

The streets of St. Kitts’ capital city, Basseterre, are filled with plazas, stores, and souvenir outlets that offer authentic Kittitian products for sale.  From cloth dolls to wood carved decorative pieces and hand created jewelry, shoppers will find plenty of items that embody the vibrant culture and spirit of the local people. Clothing designers also have shops in Basseterre, including Judith Rawlins’ elegant Brown Sugar, a favorite of stylish women throughout the Caribbean and ideal for fashionistas who would relish a couture present. 

Stop by any duty-free store on St. Kitts to find various flavors of Brinley Gold Rum, a liquor which is made exclusively on the island and is a favorite of connoisseurs.  Pick up sample-sizes or larger bottles of vanilla, mango, lime, coffee, coconut and new spiced rum flavors of this award-winning liquor made on St. Kitts, then bring your favorite home as a gift.  Also made on St. Kitts is Belmont Estate Rum, which comes in gold and white varieties and is excellent those who enjoy mixed cocktails. 

In recent years, St. Kitts’ Port Zante cruise pier has been transformed from a small shopping operation to a veritable shopping mecca. Cruise passengers and island visitors will be dazzled by the range of items for sale, from upscale brand name watches and jewelry to locally made handicrafts, liquor and art.  Adjacent to the main shopping area, the Amina Craft Market at Port Zante is known for featuring jewelry created from local stones and shells, clothing made on island and more for a-typical holiday gift-giving. 

Located in the northern Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, St. Kitts offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history.  The island’s stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, the only man-made UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Eastern Caribbean, and the more traditional vacation pastimes such as watersports, golf, shopping, tennis, gourmet dining, gaming at one of St. Kitts’ two casinos or simply relaxing on one of the island’s sandy beaches.  Guests can select from accommodations ranging from intimate plantation inns to larger hotels or resorts. 

For more information about St. Kitts, please contact the St. Kitts Tourism Authority toll free from the US at 1-800-582-6208 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-800-582-6208      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or from Canada 1-888-395-4887 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-888-395-4887      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, e-mail, visit, or connect on Facebook, Twitter and/or YouTube

Special Travel Arrangements into Montserrat for Arrow’s Funeral on October 1st, 2010

Special Travel Arrangements into Montserrat for Persons Coming for Arrow’s Funeral
Increased Flights and a Ferry Service to be Organised(September 23rd, 2010 – Brades, Montserrat):  In anticipation of the significant number of persons that will be coming for the funeral on October 1, 2010 of Montserrat’s most-famous son Arrow, the Montserrat Tourist Board (MTB) wishes to announce increased access, both by air and sea, to cater to these travelers.  In addition to the regularly scheduled air services on Winair ( and Fly Montserrat (, several additional charter flights are being organised on Fly Montserrat.  The cost of a return ticket from Antigua on these special charters is US$250 per person.   Passengers can pay in EC$ or US$ cash or by credit card (Visa, Master Card or Discover Card).   Travelers are also advised to limit the amount of luggage they will be bringing, as the aircrafts can only take a very limited amount of baggage.  Along with an increased number of flights, a return ferry service will also operate during the week leading up to the funeral on Friday October 1, 2010.  Further detailed information on dates, frequency and times of departure will be circulated, as soon as information is confirmed regarding the number of persons wanting to travel by ferry.Persons wishing to travel to Montserrat for the funeral, whether on the special air charters or by ferry, are asked to contact the Montserrat Tourist Board by email at, by phone at (664) 491 2231, by fax at (664) 491 7430.  The following information would be required:          Name of person traveling          Number of persons in the travel party         Time and date of arrival into Antigua         Airline and flight no. arriving into Antigua         Time and date of Departure from Antigua         Airline and flight no. for departure from Antigua         Indicate whether desirous of traveling  by air charters or ferry          Accommodation in Montserrat where you will be staying
This travel information is necessary so that adequate return flights and ferry services can be arranged in and out of Montserrat during the period leading up to the funeral and afterwards. Persons are also asked to monitor the Getting Here section of the MTBs website at for updates on travel arrangements and also on Facebook at