Last year for The 2nd Annual Outlier’s Experience the Outliers got a chance to experience the beautiful St. Martin. If this destination is not on your radar, I think it should be! The views alone are enough to go back again. So, just in case you’re interested here’s some of the things we experienced..
Luckily for you, as of November 1st, 2022 there are no COVID-19 requirements and travelers no longer have to fill out the application EHAS.
The best thing about St. Martin when visting is you’re getting two countries for the price of one. Located at the south of the island is the Dutch side. Here you’ll find the island’s airport (SXM). If you’re looking for a busy night life, great beaches, and casinos, this is side for you. On the other end, Located on the north side of the island is the French side. If you’re looking for a more relaxing vacation with secluded beaches, and a laid back environment, this is the side for you.
For #TOE22 we settled on the French side, staying at Secrets St Martin All Inclusive Resort & Spa. About 25 minutes from the airport, If you’re looking for pure relaxation and seclusion, this resort is for you. It’s tucked away in a cove and The views are simply magnificent. We chose the Preferred Club Junior Suite Swim Out. Although, in hindsight, I’d much rather preferred their Corner Suite. As we only got a chance to enjoy our pool once and the corner suite was much bigger. The resort offers 6 dinning options: 3 à la carte restaurants, a grill, a café and a buffet. The burgers at the grill were pretty good, but overall the general consensus from the group, was the food was just okay.
I always encourage my clients to go off the resort. So, of course #TOE22 was no different. It’s the only way to truly experience the country in my opinion. You can either arrange for a driver with concierge or an excursion with the Amstar Rep on the property. The benefit of hiring a driver is they’re the plugs. The they know the area an can always recommend some great local spots: like when our group decided to stop for chicken on the side of the road after an excursion. It was the best decision of the day!
If you do plan on getting a driver, be sure to ask for the price Roundtrip. Most of the drivers we encountered would only advise of the price one way. It’s not a good conversation when being dropped off and realizing the price is more than expected. Expect to pay about $12-15 one way. Another good tip, keep small bills. It’s easier to shop around with, you’re less likely to need change, and it saves from pulling big bills out.
Things to Do Off The Resort
St. Martin may be the smallest island of the Caribbean, but finding something to do won’t be a problem. Most of the activities we settled on were located on the Dutch side. The best thing about #TOE is you’re not obligated to do anything after arriving. There’s group activities available; or if you prefer to do your own thing, you can do that too. The experience is catered to you
Here’s some we enjoyed..
Rhino Safari Tour
Offers a drive on your own Rhino Rider watercraft (small fast paced boat) along St. Martin’s coastline, stopping at two locations: Creole Rock (snorkeling opportunity) and Happy Bay, a secluded beach. I’m almost certain this was everyone’s favorite! You can choose from double occupancy ($75 pp) or single riders ($120 pp).
This was probably my personal favorite, mixing both history and adventure. One of the main attractions in St. Martin, The Rainforest Adventure Park, offers several packages for travelers looking to fly, ride & enjoy the views of St. Martin. We opted for the Flying Dutchman package ($99 per person). This included 4 tour activities: Sky Explorer, Flying Dutchman, Top of Sentry Hill, & the Emilio Wilson Museum.
Each adventure begins in a restored plantation house, telling the story of Tracy Wilson who was born into slavery on the property and direct descendants Emilio Wilson. Next take the The Sky Explorer, a chairlift over 2900 feet, to the Flying Dutchman. The steepest zip-line in the world.
Astra Restaurant & No Where Special
If you’re looking to step away from the resort for some good food, my suggestion is Astra Restaurant. An open air seafood and steak restaurant with a full bar on the Simpson Bay Lagoon. My steak and shrimp were perfect! For my lobster fans, you’ll be able to pick your own right out the sea. After dinner, our next stop for some good music and drinks at Nowhere Special Rum Bar & Lounge. Just ask around anyone will tell you. An honorable mention is We Lounge; offering drinks, food, and music all night long.
you’re not obligated to do anything after arriving. There’s group activities available or if you prefer to do your own thing you can do that too. The experience is catered to you
Thoughts to myself like…
If St. Martin isn’t on your list after all that then why are you here (joking kind of). I’m so glad we got to experience it. It was one for the books! Now we have 2 stamps under our passports, with amazing stories to tell. Next up … #TOE23