A month ago we went on our fourth annual family vacation in St.Maarten. We have been lucky enough to get invited by Uncle Kevin and Aunt Judi, who own a time-share place there, and we get to come every year around the same time in the first week of March. So I thought it would be helpful to start writing down all the places that we have liked there, and maybe someone else would find it useful one day.
On our first evening, after we all arrived and got unpacked, we all walked down to our favorite little bar on the beach, called “Driftwood.” It’s a small bar in the open air covered by palm trees with few tables right on the beach. They serve most delicious and very fresh Pina Coladas, and a must try there! As I mentioned, the “Driftwood” located right on the beach, the Maho Beach, which is the famous attraction for many people who enjoy watching takeoffs and landing of non-stop coming planes, which come and go from Princess Julian Airport. It’s really a unique experience to watch these planes come so close to the beach before they land on the runway.
After our delicious cocktails on the beach we watched our first sunset and went upstairs to get ready for dinner. We didn’t go far that night and just walked across the street to the “Moulin Fou” restaurant that serves French cuisine plus sushi. I know, what a weird combination and I would recommend to stick with the French menu.
The next day we woke up to a gorgeous day and even more beautiful color of the ocean, that was calling our names, so we decided to spend all day at the beach and work on our tan. It was a perfect lazy Sunday well spent!
On Monday we were ready to go for a drive to the French side of the island (Saint Martin). Driving is a little bit scary on the islands, but luckily Uncle Kevin has been coming here for many many years and very familiar and comfortable driving around here. Just 15 minutes drive and we were in the capital of the French side, Marigot, which is a great place for shopping. In addition to the mall, you can find many luxury shops on the streets, and also my favorite street market that is full of local souvenirs, crafts, and spices (I always stock up on a variety of spices there to take back home with me). One of my new and favorite lunch spots here is the “Ocean Lounge” which is at the Holland House Beach hotel. The place is so beautiful and breezy, and the food is great there as well. After our lunch we did a little bit of shopping and enjoyed Guavaberry rum cocktail on the ride back.
The next day we woke up to a cloudy and a rainy day, which was very unusual since we never seen any rain all the time that we have been here before. It was raining most of the day as we tried to find a new place for lunch back in Marigot, and stopped in few more shops on our way back. I think that is what I love the most about Marigot, all these little French shops with unique clothing that is different from what we get in the states.
Later that night we have planned a special dinner at “Le Cottage” restaurant since it was Kat’s and Adam’s anniversary. We have been trying to get into this restaurant a few times before, but it was always busy, and last year only four of us finally got to try this place, and we were so pleased with the food and service. So this time we have made a reservation ahead and couldn’t wait to eat there again. “Le Cottage” located in a charming small village Grand Case, which is full of gourmet restaurants, local art galleries and small shops. Every Tuesday night it comes alive with the colors of the carnival — Les Mardis De Grand Case. On this occasion, the main street is entirely closed off for pedestrian use and becomes a stage for groups of colorful dancers that creates a fun and carefree atmosphere. Very popular, all along the street you will find local crafts and art, more variate of spices and local food. Every four times that I have been here, we have been coming to this carnival, but this year due to the rain they canceled it, much to our disappointment. So I am sharing few pictures from my previous times.
Back to the “Le Cottage,” it’s definitely one of my favorite restaurants here, serving authentic French and Caribbean cuisine. Highly recommend to try the lobster cream soup that comes in a puffy pastry, shrimp and crab risotto, and Trevor loved his roasted rack of lamb with roasted potatoes and vegetables.
Make sure to save some room for dessert because it’s absolutely delicious and worth every calorie! I think that night was my favorite dinner of the trip and a great night overall even without the carnival. Stay tuned for part 2 of our trip…
LOCATION: St. Maarten (St.Martin) ~ March 4 – 7, 2017