Photo taken Nov. 30th, 2017
Sint Maarten - Saint Martin Is Ready to Receive Guests
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One month has passed since the most powerful hurricane in recorded history went right over our tiny island of St. Maarten - St-Martin.
We are the kind of people who have experience with tropical cyclons. A category 2 hurricane, which would cause mandatory coastal evacuation in the USA, just motivates us to close window shutters and to order another beer in our favorite pub.

Many of the island residents remember powerful Hurricane Luis, hitting SXM on almost the same day of the month, but 22 years ago. We all thought it can't get any worse than that. Boy, were we wrong!
The fury of a category 5+ storm can't be described; the howling, rumbling, sound of debris crashing into ones home, shaking of the complete building, of the roof ready to lift off, water pushing through every crevice, flooding of living quarters... everyone's experience was different - none easy, for most traumatic.
Directly after the storm, there is the initial disbelieve in the carnage visible around, not recognizing ones neighborhood anymore. People who lost everything they own are roaming the streets, looking for help. And the bottom dwellers of society smell their pathetic little chance to benefit from the disaster around: looters break into the remaining buildings which weathered the hurricane somewhat intact.
Where to get food, water, shelter are the challenges of the first days after the catastrophe. The question arises if the island will be able to rebuild. Because the visual impact of the devastation is so strong that even the most positive minds struggle to believe in a future.
While the average person battles for survival, the political posturing of the ruling elites has already started, making the differences of the Dutch and the French side very apparent. Here the generous, instant and professional disaster relief from France, in stark contrast to the South's refusal to accept assitance by the Dutch, the hesitance in enpowering the Dutch Marine soldiers to step in and stop the looting. Than the absurd closing of the boarders by a Prime Minister, who days later denyes of ever having given these orders...
Thousands upon thousands of persons evacute the island on military planes send by various countries or by chartered cruise ships.
The nights go by in darkness. There is an initial curfew of 6 PM.
But work is being done: every day, clean up crews clear up the debris, work through mind numbing heat in the toughest conditions and manage to make a huge difference: as soon as the worst obstacles are removed from the roads, some sidewalks cleared, all looks allready so much better.
A week or two into the disaster comes the news that the first neighborhoods have electricity again, some even water.
In the Simpson Bay region, some restaurants and bars re-open. The curfew is pushed to 9 PM and later to midnight. The first cold beer becomes a powerful symbol of the return of civilisation.
Now, one month after the storm, we are still in surrvival mode; but at least we, who remain here, are now convinced that Sint Maarten - Saint Martin will be rebuild into an even more fantastic vacation destination, creating opportunities for all residents. We also understand that we have to earn this with our own hard work.
While huge parts of the island are still not back on grid, Simpson Bay has become the nucleus of commercial activity. Here, we have resorts with rooms intact, great beaches and some of the visitor's favorite restaurants already open again. The international airport accepts commercial flights again by October 10th, the first cruise ship is expected for the 11th of November and will stimulate the opening of stores in Philipsburg. And by the middle of December, there will be enough attractions rebuild to wholeheartedly invite visitors back to the island to have a vacation of a life time!

Restaurants on the Caribbean Island of St. Maarten - St-Martin

Update December 2017: A great number of restaurants suffered severe damage through hurricane Irma in September 2017. Some will be rebuild, some will...

Sint Maarten Jewelry Shopping

Diamonds! Emeralds! Any kind of precious metal in any shape or quantity... St. Maarten's jewelry shops are among the most competitive in the world and line...

St. Maarten - St-Martin - Shopping Hub of the Antilles

Our island might be tiny in size, but everything needed for a sophisticated lifestyle is available. Especially the selection of luxury items is...

Weddings, Real Estate, Business on St. Maarten - St. Martin

Being one of the most accessible and cosmopolitan islands anywhere, the doors are wide open to not only vactioners, but investors as well. There are...

Where to Party on St. Maarten/St-Martin

St. Maarten/St. Martin comes to life after dark. If you're a night owl, you've chosen the right destination!

Where to Stay on St. Maarten - St. Martin

St. Maarten/St. Martin is an island that has accommodations to suit almost everybody's budget or dream, right across the spectrum. She boasts...

Explore Everything About Sint Maarten - Saint Martin

THE 38TH ST. MAARTEN HEINEKEN REGATTA MARCH 1 – 4, 2018

It's regatta time again! The world's largest warm sailing yacht competition will see crews from all over the world battle for honors. But the...

Two Countries on the Tiny Island of St. Maarten - St-Martin

The island of St. Maarten - St-Martin is a cosmopolitan melting pot, with European roots and at the same time a strong Caribbean identity. English is...

Island 92 Radio St. Maarten Live Stream

Listen to Island 92,  St. Maarten’s premiere Rock, Blues and good-time music station. Bringing the island the classics, singles, B-sides, deep cuts,...

After the Storm - St. Maarten's Strong Come-Back

Our small island received a direct hit by the strongest Atlantic hurricane ever measured. The date of September 6th, 2017 will now be in the...

Other Islands

Anguilla, St. Barths and Saba are the closest neighboring islands to St. Martin/St. Maarten, close enough for day-trips. Whether you fancy a...

What's So Special About SXM?

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Guided Tours & Attractions Around St. Maarten - St-Martin

Book hereand save big over island tours offered by the cruise lines! Enjoy much better rates, small groups and no 50-seater buses. The tour guides...

The Amazing Beaches of St. Maarten - St-Martin

As hard to believe as it may be, St. Maarten/St. Martin has thirty-seven beaches on its thirty-seven square miles! Whatever your lifestyle or...

Restaurants of St. Maarten - St-Martin A to M

Buccaneer Beach Bar

Way back, Buccaneers were not nice people. Lucky us that the age of seafaring pirates is over in this part of the world. And that Buccaneer Beach...

Buffalo Wings - St. Maarten's Zone for Comfort Food

Buffalo Wings St. Maarten took the well established concept of crispy fried chicken wings smothered in sauce to the next level. Ad an element of...

Driftwood Boat Bar for Plane Spotting

A visit to the Driftwood Boat Bar  needs to be on everybody's Caribbean bucket list: Soaking up rays in the tropical sun while overlooking the...

Isola Authentic Italian Restaurant

Enjoy the gentle Caribbean evening breeze on the open terrasse of Isola Ristorante Italiano while dining on authentic Italian cuisine.  Adjacent to...

Jimbo's Rock & Blues Café

Jimbo's Rock & Blues Café cooks up a delicious fare of Tex-Mex (recently renamed Carib-Mex) grilled over chips of smoking Mesquite.

Lagoonies Bistro and Bar

For decades, Lagoonies Bistro and Bar has been the preferred hang-out and watering hole of the sailing community. Located right on the shore of...

Mario Bistrot at Porto Cupecoy

Mario's Bistro has been a landmark restaurant on the waterfront in Sandy Ground (Marigot) for many years. About two years ago Mario moved to the...

Melange International Grill

Grill at your table! Mélange International Grill brings an exciting new dining concept to our island, developed by Nikhil Gurnani: "I wanted to...

Restaurants of St. Maarten - St-Martin N to Z

Buccaneer Beach Bar

Way back, Buccaneers were not nice people. Lucky us that the age of seafaring pirates is over in this part of the world. And that Buccaneer Beach...

Ocean Lounge

Overlooking the beach and boardwalk, the Ocean Lounge Restaurant and Bar at the Holland House Beach Hotel has become the center of fine dining in the...

Pineapple Pete Restaurant

At PINEAPPLE PETE Restaurant there is a simple motto: “Great Food, Great Service”. This is exactly what you will find here, outstanding food, fast,...

Rendez-Vous Lounge at Porto Cupecoy

The Rendez-Vous Lounge has become the location of choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner on St. Maarten's Western coast. Residents and visitors alike...

Taco Macho - a Mexican - Colombian Restaurant & Bar

For authentic Mexican and Colombian food, presented with warm Latin hospitality, there is no better place in St. Maarten than Taco Macho. The...

Top Carrot for Organic Breakfast and Lunch

Top Carrot is an iconic vegetarian-friendly restaurant slash coffee shop focusing on healthy and very tasty breakfast and lunch...

Topper's Restaurant and Bar

Topper’s Restaurant & Bar is a great international restaurant in a fun Caribbean cottage that celebrates all-American comfort cuisine alongside...

Wasabi Charlie - Japanese and International Cuisine

Wasabi Charlie promises Japanese food with a twist. Owned by Pierre Ferland of Pineapple Pete-fame, Wasabi Charlie is St. Maarten's favorite place...

Hotels and Resorts on St. Maarten - St. Martin - Presently Open

Atrium Beach Resort & Spa

The Atrium Beach Resort & Spais located right on the beach and only a short walk away from several beach bars, restaurants, shops, water-sports, casino and...

Commodore Suites Boutique Hotel

The Commodore Suites is offering contemporary suites with kitchenettes right in the center of Simpson Bay and close to all...

Holland House Beach Hotel

The Holland House Beach Hotel is a St. Maarten landmark, with a unique location right on Great Bay beach in Philipsburg, the island's...

Jardin d' O Nudist Resort

Nestled in the hills facing Orient Beach, Jardin d' O is a secluded, private clothing optional resort, featuring a number of charming cottages and a...

Jewelry Shopping

Shiva's Gold + Gems

 "Take home our jewelry, have it appraised, then pay us." That's right! St. Maarten's leading jeweler Shiva's Gold + Gems is THAT confident of the...

Jewels By Love

"Jewels by Love - A Family Tradition" You will find the most valuable timepieces, backed by generations of experience and passion for horology here....

Grand Jewelers

Grand Jewelers has excellent choices of Geneve, Movado, Raymond Weil, Citizen and Seiko watches. They guarantee that they will offer you the best...

Oro Diamanté - Fine Jewelers of Distinction

Fine attention to detail, first-rate service, and exceptional value are qualities that have set Oro Diamanté apart for over two...

Pharmacies, Beauty Salons and Spas

Miguel's Spa + Salon

Ideally located at the Atrium Beach Resort an SPA, Miguel's Spa + Salon offers excellent and qualified...

Orange Grove Pharmacy

In urgent cases, the Orange Grove Pharmacy is the only one offering 24-hour emergency delivery service to any location on the island. No matter what...

Simpson Bay Pharmacy on Sint Maarten Island in the Caribbean

This pharmacy is located at the Simpson Bay Yacht Club and is within walking distance to a Medical Clinic, an ENT-Clinic and a Dentist. The Simpson Bay...

Xperts International Hair Salon & Spa Sint Maarten

Eyup Akyurt is living proof that top professionals are willing to make our island their home. He has extensive international experience as a hair...

Entertainment on St. Maarten - St-Martin

Ocean Lounge Bar

 At cocktail time, the island's power brokers, vacationers and visiting business people mingle at the Ocean Lounge. Some enjoy their drinks right at...

The Jump Up Casino in Philipsburg, St. Maarten

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The Hollywood Casino on the Island of St. Maarten

The Hollywood Casino is located right in the center of a group of larger resorts and is the gaming spot of choice for anybody staying in Simpson Bay...

Topper's Bar

Topper's has become famous for its Karaoke nights, while it has always been one of the most popular restaurants. But for a few years now, the bar has...

Red Piano Bar

The Red Piano is among the most famous bars on St. Maarten, situated in the center of the Pelican Key in between the Simpson Bay Resort and Flamimgo...