St. Maarten (Dutch) / St. Martin (French), ranked the fifth best island in the world in August 2014, is a tiny island paradise with an intriguing mix of cultures and cuisine thanks to its dual heritage. The friendly island covers 37 square miles, with Dutch Sint Maarten on the south spanning 16 square miles and French Saint Martin on the north covering 21 square miles.
St. Maarten / St. Martin proves that the best things do come in small packages! The island has it all — lush landscapes, sun-kissed beaches, excitement, adventures and relaxation — the choice is yours. Windsurf, snorkel, hike, horseback ride, dine on world-class cuisine, shop duty-free to your heart’s delight, hit the casino’s and nightclubs and so much more.
Nationalities: As a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, St. Maarten boasts 77 different nationalities. Saint Martin is an overseas territory of France. The island’s population is approximately 80,000.
Language: English is spoken everywhere, but Dutch is the official language of St. Maarten and French the official language of Saint Martin. On the Dutch side, you can also hear Spanish, Papiamento, Italian, Hindi, Chinese and other languages. On the French side, Creole Patois is also spoken.
Climate: Sunny and warm year-round, with some cooling from trade winds. Average temperature during the winter season is 80F (27C) and the island is a few degrees warmer, but not as humid in the summer. There are occasional showers in late summer and early fall, with average annual rainfall of 45 inches.
Currency: On the island, U.S. dollars are accepted anywhere and everywhere. But, in St. Maarten the official currency is the Antillean Florin or Guilder (NAF) and in St. Martin, Euro is the legal currency.
Shopping: As the only completely duty-free island in the Caribbean, St. Maarten / St. Martin offers some of the best shopping in the Caribbean and no duty is paid on imports on either side. Shopping includes everything from Swiss watches, French perfume, British cashmeres, Chinese embroidery, Japanese cameras and electronics, Indonesian batiks and Italian leather goods, to fine jewelry, crystal, linens, porcelain and liquor.
Getting Here: Maho is located just minutes away from Princess Juliana Airport (SXM). Air service to Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) in Sint Maarten is provided by: American Airlines, Continental, Delta, Northwest, US Airways, JetBlue, KLM, Air France, Corsair, United, LIAT, Windward Islands Airways (WINAIR) and many other major airlines.
Entry: U.S. citizens need a valid passport or birth certificate with raised seal and photo identification and a return/continuing ticket. Naturalized citizens must show an original naturalization certificate with photo identification. Green Card holders must have a valid passport and a return/continuing ticket. Canadian and European Community citizens need a valid passport and a return/continuing ticket.
Medical: St. Maarten Medical Center in Cay Hill and l’Hôpital Général de St. Martin in Marigot offer medical services. Airlift is available to Puerto Rico and the continental U.S. in case of extreme medical emergency.
Electricity: Most hotels in St. Maarten are wired as in the U.S.: 110 volts, 60 cycles. On the French side, all run on 220volts, 60 cycles so a converter and adaptor plugs are needed for travel appliances.
Maho is a small town sited nearby Princess Juliana International Airport, between Simpson Bay Lagoon and the Caribbean Sea. Maho is on the Dutch side of the island. Maho is comprised of hotels; private, luxury residential properties; Maho Village, and Maho Beach.
Maho Village is a “destination within a destination” that has truly redefined entertainment, dining, shopping and gaming in a vibrant resort atmosphere. Touted as the epicenter of the island, Maho Village has many duty-free offerings, a world-class spa and dining options including international restaurants, from Japanese, Thai, Italian, French and bars, cafes and lounges to suit every palate and mood.
As well as having white sand and crystal clear water, Maho Beach is also the ultimate location for plane spotting. Voted #3 in the world on Trip Advisor, 10 unique beaches you need to see to believe, Maho Beach is a not to be missed experience.
To live the island life, all you need to do is play Maho, eat and drink Maho, shop Maho and just live Maho!
Great Bay lies on the Southern coast of the 37 square miles island of St. Maarten (Dutch) and to the Western end of the Great Bay Beach next to the town of Philipsburg is the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel & Casino.This 210 room hotel, + Condominiums and Club Membership residences, is identified by its seven (7) story structure standing majestically on the waterfront of one of the most beautiful beaches of the island.
Today, Philipsburg bustles with a host of duty-free shops, cafés, boutiques and attractions. Its waterfront has become a popular stop for cruise ships, and the town’s many restaurants, cafés and nightclubs offer entertainment and dining options.