My sister wrote a trip report for Travel Talk Online. She does a great job in describing the beaches, and places to eat and drink.
Clink HERE for the report.
I noticed all the construction on the Dutch side. I didn't think it was possible for that side of the island to become even more over-developed.
St. Martin was slammed recently in a big travel magazine saying that the island, especially the Dutch side, is losing it's character. The French side still has some open spaces. The French side also uses euros, has property taxes and zoning laws so that could be one reason we don't have all the fast food places, traffic and over development the Dutch side has. The French side is more expensive, bureaucratic and therefore less attractive to big developers.
St. Maarten/St. Martin was THE spot back when La Samanna first opened. Now St. Barths and Anguilla, two nearby islands, are attracting more of those visitors while St. Maarten gets the big cruise ships with their day trippers.
I worry for the future. Who wants to travel to an island and sit in traffic all day? Serious crimes, unheard of before, are being committed and the locals are furious about the immigration problem. Of course some of the complaints are more about intolerance toward people from other islands.
People concerned about the environment/conservation are starting to speak out. They want to make sure the island is not turned into one big slab of concrete.
I still get pissed every time I see Domino's pizza in the recently renovated airport.
I wonder how the bids for that space went down. Did any local people even get a chance to put in a bid? Domino's has crappy pizza and nothing to do with Caribbean food. If you are traveling to the Caribbean from America why would you even want to eat Domino's and I doubt all the European or Canadian tourists are dying for it.
St. Martin is a special place. There's a reason so many people have been going there every year for decades. People complain because they love the island and don't want to see it ruined.
St. Martin has many of the same issues as places like Venice or Florence. Tourism is a big part of the economy but in the process do you lose your soul or the thing that attracted tourists in the first place?
Friar's Bay Beach.
Le Gailon Beach, aka "the baby beach". The water is so blue, clear and calm.
More photos on my Flickr page.