With over 350 restaurants—yes,
350-plus restaurants—dining in St. Maarten can
be as exotic and sumptuous an experience as you can
imagine, or as simple as a flip of the hamburger or
chicken-leg on the grill.
From French or Italian gourmet cuisines to sizzling
Caribbean dishes, from Moroccan to Indonesian; from
Chinese to Indian, from Mexican to Italian; from Japanese
to Surinamese cuisines, the ethnic origins of food served
in St. Maarten is a true reflection of the demographics
of the island’s population.
Mouth-watering, finger-licking, spicy St. Maarten dishes
rub shoulders (or is it palates) with international
menus. Whether it is in Grand Case at Rainbow or Setal,
or at the Marigot waterfront by Enoch’s or maybe
at Sugar Cane’s or Temptations at Cupecoy or Yvette’s
in French Quarter for cozy home cooking, the gourmet
food train runs along a trail that passes through virtually
every nook and corner of the island. No wonder the island
is known as the “Gastronomic capital of the Caribbean.”
You can sample some tasty barbecue ribs and/or chicken
at Johnny B Under the Tree in Cole Bay, famous also
for its grilled lobster, or you could choose to dine
like royalty at any of the first-class restaurants along
the Boardwalk in Great Bay. In fact, you may wish to
start off with breakfast at one restaurant, lunch at
a different one and enjoy a romantic dinner at yet another
for the entire duration of your stay without repeating
(unless you wish to) your visit to any one of them.
The choice is yours.
You can actually smell the dampness
of the earth, hear the cacophony of birds chirping,
as if calling out to you in various languages and catch
the refraction of sunlight on some broad green leaves.
And as you look down, lo and behold, before you unfolds
a most breathtakingly beautiful, some would even say
mesmerizing view of the island, the kind you’ll
most likely not see on any postcard. You are standing,
of course, at the highest point of the island—Pic
Paradis (Paradise Peak) on the other side of the historic
Freetown. Pic Paradis is a lush, tropical crown of rain
forest, sitting majestically at the top of the Loterie
Farm —a haven for hikers, bird watchers and other
Nature lovers. It is accessible by motor vehicles.
The Highest Hills of
the Friendly Island
Paradise Peak, 424m
Mt. Careta, 401m
Mt. O’reilly, 381m
Sentry Hill, 341m
St. Peter’s Hill, 316m
Face-lift for Frontstreet, Philipsburg
is the color of Frontstreet these sunny days, the commercial
nerve center of St. Maarten, which is on its way to
becoming a green zone in the environmental sense of
The beautification of Frontstreet includes brand new
cobblestones laid throughout its length and breadth
while green benches are strategically placed along it
for those who want to take a short break from shopping
for their favorite duty-free items. Palm trees now line
the island’s busiest street from the Head of Town
to the Foot of Town, and with its green public telephone
booths for that quick call home, the face-lift Frontstreet
has undergone is so impressive that the Lt. Governor
of St. Thomas had to visit and see for himself, as news
of this super make-over had reached him.
The renovation of Captain Hodge’s Pier is near
completion, while the second phase of the Promenade
(popularly known as the Boardwalk) along the Great Bay
Beach has been extended westward to the area of Sea
But it is not only Frontstreet that has been virtually
re-done: the entire Philipsburg area has, step by step,
been spruced up. From the ultra-modern Dr. A.C. Wathey
Cruise and Cargo Facility right up to the Sucker Garden
Road, meandering around the new Sundial roundabout at
the junction with the WG Buncamper and WJA Nisbeth roads,
the roadway has been resurfaced, trees and street lights
stand at attention, while tiled sidewalks allow pedestrians
to stroll up and down in comfort. All of these also
contribute to a freer flow of traffic.
A new and free parking lot now stretches from near the
Sundial roundabout to the traffic lights at the University
Boulevard which leads to the University of St. Martin.
It is government’s intention to extend the beautification
project to all parts of the Greater Philipsburg area
as an integral component of the Great Bay Improvement
Plan and the Economic Development Plan.
2006 – A gala buffet of
opens with “Emancipation Day” (July 1) in
St. Maarten. The flamboyant, or “July Tree”
is in full blossom, with its fiery crown, resplendent
in the sun, striking chords of freedom and friendliness.
Then from July 21 – 23 and 28 – 30, at venues
throughout the island, it is time to celebrate Summerfest
2006. From jazz to gospel music and all the genres in-between,
the true hallmark of Summerfest is its all-inclusive
nature. It is a musical gala buffet, pleasing to the
body and soul, in an incredible atmosphere of sheer
joie de vivre, which continues to attract international
superstars to shine like the flamboyant tree under our
“Sweet St. Martin” skies.
Maarten takes top honors at CHIC’s
Taste of the Caribbean 2006
Peterson of the St. Maarten/St. Martin National Culinary
Team, won the 2006 Caribbean Bartender of the Year title,
the top honor for mixology at the recent “Taste
of the Caribbean 2006,” held during the Caribbean
Hotel Industry Conference (CHIC) 2006, at the Hyatt
Regency in Miami, Florida.
In the bartender segment of the competition, bartenders
from the competing teams were required to prepare a
variety of drinks to demonstrate their creativity, skills,
personality, and showmanship.
Peterson’s drink mix “St.Maartini”
beat out stiff competition from 15 other Caribbean countries
and territories whose national culinary teams took part
in the event, dubbed the annual showcase for the development
and refinement of contemporary Caribbean cuisine, presented
by the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA).
The St. Maarten/St. Martin National Culinary Team also
won a Gold award in the qualifying rounds of the culinary
competition at which each team of chefs had to prepare
a 3-course meal for 35 persons in less than 4 hours,
with the menu created from a “mystery basket”
of ingredients, the contents of which were not revealed
until the beginning of the competition.