Serene and seductive, or lively and nonstop, the dual island nation of St. Maarten and St. Martin lets honeymooners see and do everything – or sit back, relax and do nothing at all.
When most people think “Caribbean honeymoon,” they imagine long stretches of soft, sandy beach, moonlit swims in the ocean, and days on end of lounging in a poolside cabana or private balcony, simply enjoying the company of the one you love. That’s the stereotype of romance in the Caribbean, and for honeymooners who want a relaxed escape from the real world back home, it’s a perfect fit. But for more energetic couples who want to actively create honeymoon memories to last a lifetime, it may seem, well, a bit dull. Where’s the adventure, the excitement, the nightlife?
Luckily, both for them and for you as their agent, it can all be found in St. Maarten/St. Martin. The French side of the island offers a European twist on the traditional Caribbean experience, pairing the beaches and palm trees with upscale dining and intimate accommodations. The Dutch side, meanwhile, is where the action is: nightclubs, casinos, shopping and more. And here’s the best part: with so much packed into a small island, it’s easy for clients to spend their days soaking up the classic Caribbean ambiance and spend their nights out on the town.
french fairytale escapes Location-wise, it’s hard to find a better placed resort than La Samanna. Though it’s technically on the French side of the island, the boutique luxury property sits right on the Dutch border, putting clients as close to the bustling areas of Maho and Philipsburg as they can be while still returning to the serenity of the French side. And that’s not the only thing that sets La Samanna apart.
“La Samanna is a very unique property on the island of St. Martin, therefore it’s very hard to compare to another property on the island,” says Darrick Eman, director of sales and marketing. “It gives off a Caribbean feel, versus the big tall buildings you can find elsewhere.” With just 83 rooms, the resort is the very antithesis of a high-rise, with architecture resembling a sprawling Mediterranean summer home and lush tropical landscaping. “We’re on a big stretch of beach, just crossing the French side of St. Martin,” Eman continues, “and our suites have incredible ocean views as well.”
Eman says that as an Orient-Express property, La Samanna takes special pride in its rooms and suites, ranging from standard guestrooms with private terraces or balconies, to L’Occitane bathroom amenities and fresh flower arrangements. But for the couple looking for a little something extra, he says, “I would particularly recommend any of our specialty suites: Baie Orient, Baie Rouge, Baie Royale, any of those. They’re very unique, and all individually decorated as well.” In fact, Baie Royale is the property’s honeymoon suite, with a soaking pool on its main terrace, a covered cabana lit for nighttime enjoyment and a loveseat, all facing the ocean. Book Baie Royale along with La Samanna’s standard honeymoon package (which includes a bottle of champagne, one 3-course dinner for two, a couples’ massage, one day of luxury car rental and choice of a cabana on the beach or a sunset cruise for two), and clients will also receive an in-room collection of wines; an expanded assortment of bathroom amenities including bath salts and scented candles; a digital camera, printing station and gift-wrapped album; and an in-room library of romantic novels and movies. The Baie Royale package starts at $6,320 per couple for a 7-night stay; the standard Honeymoon Escape package starts at $3,920.
No matter where they stay, Eman says, there are certain romantic activities that every honeymooning couple should do. “One of the things I would recommend a couple do is dinner on the beach. We set up a lounge setting and there’s a big dish of seafood and sushi being served to you. It’s something very, very beautiful to have at night, with champagne and sushi, oyster, shrimp, salmon, oysters and all of that being served to you there on the beach. Another thing that’s fairly new is our private wine cellar. Technically, it can take up to 10 people, but it’s perfect for a couple. We set up a 5-wine dinner that’s very, very nice, with romantic candlelight and all that.”