I have lived on three Caribbean islands within the last seven years and have traveled extensively through the region with past jobs so I have a pretty discerning eye when it comes to vacationing in the Caribbean. And do I have a recommendation for you … St. Maarten!
A couple of weeks ago I went on a “work-ation” to St. Maarten. I’ve been there twice before but this time I took the chance to bring my husband and kids along. So my perspective was very family-focused and I was impressed at every turn.
We started at Simpson Bay Resort in Simpson Bay. The view was lovely and the staff pleasant. They assign each room to a personal concierge who is available to answer all your questions and help coordinate your activities. The resort’s location allowed for an easy walk to a lot of restaurants and an adorable little grocery called Peli Deli. We went there every day to pick up things I could prepare using the microwave in our room. Is it bad that the young cashier at Peli Deli remembered me from my trip last year when I stayed at a neighboring resort? I don’t care if it is … I was flattered.
We moved to Divi Little Bay which I must stay is aamaaazing. Sure the location is stunning and the amenities impressive but it was the people that won me over. The staff was fabulous from General Manager Celine Van Meer, to Sales Manager Joan Samson to all the folks in Reception, Housekeeping, Maintenance, Food and Beverage and the Spa. From the first step on the resort we were greeted with incredible warmth that continued to the minute we left.
For a family, this is the perfect resort. The rooms were great and they had activities for all ages. We stayed in a one-bedroom unit that had a full kitchen, living room, dining area, two bathrooms and a big bedroom. My kids were in heaven with the space and the grass yard in which they could run away when they got tired of pool or beach time.
Divi’s main pool is kid friendly and the beach is conveniently a few steps away. The second plunge pool is a great escape and offers a to-die-for view of the sunset. It’s deep so not so great for the kids unless they are full swimmers. But it’s great for parent bonding (hint hint). The resort also have several Jacuzzis around for a nice soak. I hopped in one night after the kiddos and hubby feel asleep.
Adelaide’s favorite part was the Kids Club that has daily activities. She made her very own tie-dye shirt and she and Oliver played in the Club a few times when Daddy needed to keep them busy when I was out working.
The Spa was fabulous. I’ve visited many spas throughout the world and I definitely grade the ladies at Indulgence by the Sea with very high marks. My Swedish massage was perfectly relaxing and therapeutic, and my pedicure was spot on.
Divi Littl Bay offers four on-site restaurants but if you prefer to prepare meals yourself, they do offer a little grocery on site that we … of course … patronized every day. The boutiques have clothing items I would actually buy (and I did) and there is a decent fitness center.
For those looking for action, the water activities were varied (jet skis, kayaks, paddle boats, etc.) and available to guests at no additional cost. Can’t beat that!
A big, hearty special thanks goes to Janelle Hermance of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau for making all arrangements and ensuring the experience was a smooth as Oliver’s baby bum.
More about SXM Carnival and other attractions in my next post.