Let me preface this post with saying there is so much to do in St. Maarten, and you will never be able to do it all in one week or even two. Every person you talk to who has visited the island will recommend "the best" restaurant and the one thing you just have to do. Don't stress. If you are with people you enjoy, you will have a great meal wherever you are and great fun no matter what you do. We had great meals everywhere we went.
We stayed in Villa Namaste in Pelican Key on the Dutch side of the island. Because our house was so amazing and we were only there four whole days, we decided on two adventure days and two house days. It was the perfect mix. This post will detail days 1-3.
Day 1 | Travel to the Island
We picked St. Maarten because it's very easy to get to from the East Coast. We flew from Richmond through Atlanta and landed at 3 p.m. (2 p.m. our time). Our house recommended Wilfred Brooks as a driver, and he sent his cousin to pick us up at the airport. It was $8/person to get to the house including tip. (Willy drove us a few other places on the trip and we highly recommend him!) The house was a fifteen minute drive from the airport (with traffic), so we were in our suits hanging by the pool by 4 p.m.
Willy's cousin recommended dinner at Lee's Roadside Grill, so we walked there in our bathing suits and cover-ups at 6:30 p.m. We had taken the 5:45 a.m. flight out of Richmond, so we were all tired and went to bed as soon as we walked home - I think it was 8:30. We are a wild and crazy bunch.
Day 2 | Catamaran to Prickly Pear and Anguilla
We always plan a boat day when we go to the Caribbean. We usually save it for the later part of the trip, but I decided to put it at the beginning this year. I highly recommend this strategy. Boat days can be tiring with all of the sun and activities, so it is best to be well-rested. The boat day is always my favorite because no one has wifi access so we all truly unplug and hang.
It was a quick 6 or 7 minute walk to Simpson Bay Marina where we got on the boat. On the walk there we picked up coffee and croissants at Bon Appetit. I got a ham and cheese croissant and a chocolate croissant. I shared the chocolate one with the group. They were both so yummy!
We booked the Lambada catamaran through Aqua Mania tours. It holds about 60 people and there were 55 or so on our trip. The boat is large and it didn't feel squished at all to me. The boat sails to Prickly Pear Island for snorkeling and then Anguilla for lunch and swimming. The cost is $120/person which includes a morning snack, lunch in Anguilla, and an open bar. You have a choice of chicken, ribs, mahi mahi, or a salad for lunch. They all come with rice and cole slaw. I got the chicken and it was very good.
We knew we would be tired after the boat day, so we had planned to pick up pizza on the walk home. We stopped at Bon Appetit again and got three large pizzas, which turned out to be three very small pizzas, but there were tasty!
We were in bed again by 8:30 this night. We are so lame, I know! But don't worry, there was a dance party complete with conga line on the boat!
Day 3 | House Day + Fancy Dinner + Piano Bar
After a tiring day on the boat, we were ready to spend the entire day lounging at the house. We had French toast, bacon, and cantelope for breakfast.
We walked to dinner at So French right around 6:30 p.m. so we were able to catch the rest of the sunset from our table.
The food was great. The chef started with an amuse bouche (the small soup pictured below) and then I shared an appetizer of frog legs with a friend (because how often do you see frog legs on the menu and I eat all.the.things). If you've never had frog legs, the meat tastes like a lighter, more delicate chicken.
My main course was a filet of beef with a foie gras sauce, scalloped potatoes, and a vegetable medley. It was so tasty and I was stuffed.
But not too stuffed to stop by The Red Piano Bar on the walk home. I had never been to a piano bar before, but it is my new favorite thing. We snagged seats around the piano and sang the night away until...10 p.m. We are such party animals. Fair warning: the average age the night we were there was 72. We didn't mind, but I just want to put that out there.
Stay tuned for Six Days in St. Maarten | Part Two!
Be sure to check out where we stayed: Villa Review: Villa Namaste in St. Maarten.