When I have paid days off of work, I do NOT like to waste them.
So when I found out that I would have the week off between Christmas and New Years, I got my sister on board to plan a family trip to St Martin.
When We Went: Dec. 26, 2015 – Jan. 1, 2016
Where We Stayed: We rented a 3-bedroom house on VRBO, a part of HomeAway. It was on the French side of the island just across the Dutch side border. My mom was in charge of booking this trip and she found this house for about a third of the price of most of the homes! Also, our house was right on a private beach where as most of the other homes she saw were up in the hills. Fun fact about our house, the one next door was owned by Donald Trump.
Where We Ate
Oceans 82: We actually found this restaurant thanks to Mario Batali who posted a photo on Instagram the night before. It’s located in Grand Case on the French side of the island. It’s part of a long strip of very nice restaurants right on the water. I had a tuna steak and everyone LOVED their meals.
Dreams Beach Bar: We had lunch at this ocean front spot on the French side of the island. The menu was massive with salads, burgers, sushi, pasta and other seafood. Pretty decent lunch.
Skip Jack’s: This lagoon front restaurant in Simpson Bay was great seafood with a view of some pretty massive yachts. It was one of our favorite meals that we kept talking about even after we left. Mostly seafood but other options as well.
Yacht Club Restaurant: We chose this dinner spot in the moment one night while shopping in Marigot. We picked this Italian restaurant because of its proximity to the harbor. It seems like there are huge yachts everywhere in St Martin so we wanted a spot where we could watch them come in. The pizza was amazing if I do say so myself! I know it’s sacrilegious to not eat seafood in the islands but it was damn good.
What We Did
Maho Beach: Call me a tourist, but I was very excited to cross this spot off my travel bucket list. Maho Beach is on the Dutch side of the island and it’s where the planes land on the runway just past the beach. There are a couple restaurants right on the beach where you can get a beer or some food and watch the planes come in. Large planes (Delta, JetBlue) come in about every 20 minutes and private jets land much more frequently. For us, there were way too many people so we watched a couple planes come in and then hightailed it out of there for some ice cream.
Pinel Island: On our last day in St Martin, we went to Pinel Island which was recommended by a friend. This is a very tiny island just off Orient Bay. It’s covered on one side with lounge chairs and a couple beach restaurants. The other side is all rock and completely untouched. We had heard it was a spot where locals go but when we got there, it was all cruise ship tourists. There were eight cruise ships on the island that day so they must have heard about this spot as well. Either way, we enjoyed the sandy beaches and warm water! The great weather didn’t hurt either. Cost: $14 round trip
Dinner Cruise: We booked an amazing buffet dinner cruise on a catamaran through Aqua Mania Adventures. The crew was great, the food was even better and we got to see beautiful sunsets. Definitely a highlight of my trip for sure. Cost: $75 for adults and $35 for children ages 5 to 12.
Some other miscellaneous photos from our St Martin trip: