We are back from another amazing trip to St. Maarten. I had several requests to share where we stayed and what we did. As many of you know we went to St Maarten around this same time last year. We liked it so much and where we stayed we decided to go back. We researched several other options but we liked that this was a direct flight (Mama hates to fly) and just loved St Maarten's vibe. The people there are just so nice and welcoming. Plus the island is not crazy expensive as far as food and drinks go.
Last year we stayed 5 days and this year we decided to do 7. I have to say I missed my kids like crazy, I had never been away from them for a whole week but it was nice to have the extra days. Somedays we just felt like reading and sitting by the pool and so we didn't feel stressed out to do excursions everyday. We had plenty of time to relax and to explore.
The island of St Maarten is fairly small only 37 miles but is divided into several different areas including a Dutch and French side. Where we stayed was technically the Dutch side but right on the French border in an area called Oyster Bay. My parents travel here every year and stay at Oyster Bay too so that is how we originally found the location.
Oyster Bay houses many time shares and some privately owned condos as well which is what we rent. We like the fact that we have 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, a living area and a kitchen. We don't really cook there but we do make cheese toast for breakfast and use the fridge to store snacks and drinks.
This is the view from the back of our condo, right on the harbor. The condos on the other side face the ocean.
There is an infinity pool right off our deck which is one of our favorite parts. The pool is technically shared with 4 condos in this private area we stay in but since we go in the off season we are always the only people there so it feels like our own pool. There is also a huge infinity pool that over looks the ocean that anyone at Oyster Bay can use.
We ordered these drink floats before we left and they were a huge hit! Perfect for the pool!
We could not stop laughing about the guys doing hand stands.
I can't say enough great things about my hat either, it was the only hat I packed and I swear I wore it almost everyday! It is lightweight and not bulky at all. The older I get the less I like getting a ton of sun on my face.
There are several restaurants within Oyster Bay you can walk to, which is really nice. Many nights we were lazy and this made meals super easy.
Thank you to everyone who recommended Big Fish- I heard a rumor it was Oprah's favorite restaurant on the island and we loved it too. The inside was really cool. Great decor.
I had a salad and a sushi roll that was mango, crab and avocado- and both were awesome.
This restaurant was called Infinity and we often ate breakfast here. It is located right by the main infinity pool. We also loved a place called Mr. Busby's but I have no pictures of it.
Their club sandwich was a favorite all week.
As far has parts of the island we visited and loved we had two favorites:
Orient Beach + Pinel Island
We went to Orient Beach two days we liked the vibe so much. The water was gorgeous and there are small shops and restaurants all along the water.
We loved Palm Beach Restaurant. It came highly recommended by my parents and their friends. We chilled for a long time on the couches and then moved to table for lunch.
Another view of my cover-up, currently on sale.
The view from the tables at Palm Beach. I just could not get enough of the turquoise water.
My lunch was my favorite all week- a burrata and serrano ham salad and beautifully plated I might add.
After our meal they served us an infused rum with ginger that was so good. Many places on the island did this as an after dinner drink but with different kinds of infused rums.
We also love Kontiki bar just a short walk from Palm Beach. The cutest ikea chandelier.
They had swings around the bar which clearly we had to try out.
Our crew for the week:) We always have such a fun time together. Erin and I have been friends since high school and feel so lucky that our husbands love each other too.
Our other favorite spot was Pinel Island. We went there last year on a snorkeling trip and knew we wanted to go back. You can only get there by boat or kayak. This year we took a taxi ride and then a short 5 minute boat ride over. The view from our boat ride, that is Pinel in the background.
There are chairs on the beach and then a bar/restaurant called Yellow beach. I am not a huge fan of mixed drinks but I really liked this lemon ice drink. It basically tasted like Italian Ice but with vodka:)
The water is just so stunning everywhere.
See that in the background? Those are tables in the water! They will wait on you in the water, although we were never lucky enough to score a coveted water table.
Another beach we visited was Galion beach. This is right beside Orient beach. It was the calmest water we had ever seen. No waves and crystal clear. It is the perfect spot if you bring kids with you. There were several families here with small kids and the kids could swim out so deep because the water was so shallow.
See what I mean?? Crystal clear. Matt really liked this spot because you could rent surf boards here and then take a boat right around the corner to surf. He is always looking for surf spots.
This was Juan, our driver for the week. He works with his dad and brother and we became fast friends with him! We used them last year too and they are the best, such nice guys.
One last sunset view from our balcony.
A few other outfits I wore on vacation.
and my trusty kindle:) I read The Nest, The Weekenders and got halfway through The Nightingale and loved them all!
Thanks to the girls at Everything but Water for sending me this white suit from their white capsule, it was a trip favorite! I had never heard of Karla Colletto before but now I am a huge fan, her swimwear is pricey but fits really well.
We are already planning a trip back next year!