Westin comes to Dawn Beach
A St. Maarten flag now proudly flies atop the highest
point of the island’s latest hotel development
on the property of the former Dawn Beach hotel destroyed
by Hurricane Luis in 1995. The new phoenix, rising from
the ashes of that destruction is an ultra-modern five-star
complex where luxury will be standard.
Construction of the US$120 million, over 400-room Westin
St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort, Spa and Residences is
on schedule for a December opening, according to the
owner, the Columbia Sussex Corporation’s Vice
President of Construction, Tom Donovan, at the celebration
to mark the attainment of the highest point of the building
The project consists of 310 hotel rooms and 99 three-bedroom
residences, which may increase by another 30 similar
two-bedroom residences in future. The residences are
expected to be completed by Spring 2007, while the hotel
proper is on track to be opened by the official start
of St. Maarten/St. Martin’s high tourism season
in December this year.
When it opens, Westin St. Maarten will be the first
residence resort property on the island offering the
privacy of a home with the modern amenities of a resort.
Interest in the residences is reportedly very high,
with several reservations already booked. These residences
are separate with pool and Jacuzzi, and cater to a wide
variety of clients.
The new Westin St. Maarten has already shown a significant
impact on the island’s economy, and authorities
are impressed with the pace of construction but more
importantly with the policy of as much as possible making
use of the available labor force and St. Maarten sub-contractors.
In addition, the resort is already recruiting and training
St. Maarteners for positions at the complex when it
New Airport Terminal
to become operational in September
It is September, 2006. Your aircraft taxis to a stop,
after its touchdown. You literally waltz through one
of the four jet bridges and arrive at Immigration control,
but rather than the customary long lines, you are processed
in a jiffy at one of the 10 immigration and passport
Welcome to the swank, ultra-modern new terminal building
of the Princess Juliana International Airport. Need
facilities such as postal services to mail a quick postcard
back home, or banking/ATM service for some cash transaction,
or is it a fast check of your e-mail on the Internet,
all these services and more, including taxi and customer
information booths, are available at your fingertips
at the brand new terminal building. Indeed, new horizons
are no longer just beckoning, they are already in sight.
Phase II of the Princess Juliana International Airport
NV Master Plan, will be completed in time for it to
become operational in September this year, as announced
recently by the president of PJIAE, the operating company
of the airport, Drs. Eugene Holiday.
The new terminal has been designed with the passengers’
convenience and comfort as guide. Fully air-conditioned,
the four-level facility has a spacious check-in area
with 46 check-in positions, six passenger security screening
points, and 100% hold baggage screening system with
explosives detection capability. Holiday calls it “a
modern facility with Caribbean charm.”
The US$87 million project propels St. Maarten into the
modern age of aviation, doubling the size of the current
terminal building and increasing the airport’s
carrying capacity to 2.5 million passengers per year,
way above the 1,646,065 passengers it handled in 2004.
And with a 2,815m2 mall offering a large selection of
St. Maarten and international brand name stores, passengers
will be able to “shop till they board,”
especially since 70% of the stores are located after
the security check points.
The airport expansion project further involved the re-routing
of the Airport Road and the construction of additional
parking areas for aircraft and motor vehicles. In addition,
an integrated Air Traffic Control and Radar Facility—one
of the most advanced in the Caribbean—was commissioned
in March 2004 as part of the project.
Surely, PJIA is not only a hub for the Northeastern
Caribbean, it has also become the most strategic asset
of the island as a 21st Century tourist destination.
Second only to the international airport at San Juan,
Puerto Rico, PJIA is committed to enhancing visitor
experience and consolidating its position as a regional
leader in aviation.
The new terminal building is expected to be officially
opened by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands
during her planned visit to St. Maarten later in the
year. Passengers would have already been making use
of the facility ahead of the royal opening.