Island Profile: Saint Martin
By Jacqueline Hanikeh | Published on March 8, 2017
Island Profile: Saint Martin

Saint Martin, or also known as Saint Maarten, is one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean — as well as one of the smallest. The island as a whole is only 37-square miles. Unlike most islands, this one is divided between two countries and control it together. The French on one half of the island and the Dutch on the other half. Since there are two types of diversity, the island even has different electric outlets and currents from either side. Saint Martin possesses about 37-white-sand beaches, a variety to pick and indulge from. In fact, the island is known to have one of the most perfect weather in the world. It’s not as hot in the summer, because of the blowing from the trade-winds. The winter isn’t freezing cold either, but during those months it can get windy and even possible rainy days. Yet that doesn’t surpass the island’s overall gorgeous weather and environment.

Just like many other islands, Christopher Columbus discovered St. Martin on Nov. 11, 1493. While taking his second journey into Antillean waters, he spotted St. Martin and immediately marked the new discovery for the Western world. The island was coveted for its protected waters and salt deposits, earning the name Soualiga, Land of Salt. Over the course of the sixteenth century, the remaining American Indians on the island were enslaved and deported to another island. When the Spanish realized how small the island truly is, they lost interest and began to desert it. Centuries later, the Dutch began to settle on the island between 1627-1631 with the intention of exploiting the island’s natural salt deposits, which needed the North American’s operations.

In case the Spanish attacked, the Dutch built a fort to protect their island. That wasn’t enough to stop the Spanish, because in 1638 the Spanish military claimed the island and once again deserted it for its small size. In that same year, on March 23, the French and the Dutch settled the case of the ownership of the island and signed an agreement, the Treaty of Concordia. The treaty brought unity and splitting the island into two section between the French and the Dutch. Agreeing to no borders, people are able to move freely and Saint Martin soon became known as the “Friendly Island.”

Island Profile: Saint Martin © Tommy Miles

Today, Saint Martin is home to many fascinating and fun resorts, like the Atrium Beach Resort & Spa. Located in Simpson Bay, right on Kimsha Beach, and on the road heading to Pelican Key neighborhood. This resort is one of the most active and luxurious hotels on the island and beneficial as well, because it’s only a short walk from several beach bars, restaurants, shops, water sports, casinos, and nightlife. The resort offers modern, high-end suites that includes a full kitchen, internet access, flat panel TVs with international and American cable service, good quality AC and more. The hotel also recommends a rental car for a more faster travel to places further away, yet there are still exciting areas and places that are very close even by walking. It’s also close to the airport and it only takes a short drive, which is convenient for all visitors. The swimming pool area is separate from the beach, so guests of the resort can have more privacy. There are also many other selections from activities to partake in at the resort, including a children’s swimming pool, spa, fitness facilities, etc.

Around Atrium Beach Resort & Spa, there are many amazing and delectable restaurants to choose from. Right by the resort, there’s The Greenhouse Restaurant. A well-established restaurant that serves fantastic food and the place is mostly known for their lobster specials. The perfect place to dine with family or friends. The Buccaneer Beach Bar is just a minute walk from the resort which is fitting for visitors. It’s a full-service beach bar and the place is well-known for their full moon parties on the beach. Another interesting bar that you can’t miss out on is The Red Piano. For a seven minute drive from the resort, The Red Piano is a great area to hang out with friends. As for the island’s favorite late-night Piano Bar, it has many talented musicians entertaining the crowd while they enjoy their beverages. Right by The Red Piano is Bon Appetit. It’s a delightful bistro style restaurant that offers a wide range of delicious meals for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This place is a great casual spot to savor quality time with friends or family all while eating appetizing meals.

Island Profile: Saint Martin © chezshai

Saint Martin never turns down visitors when it comes to exciting activities. The island is chock-full of activities that will suit anyone from all ages. The Aqua Mania Adventures is a nine minute drive from Atrium Beach Resort & Spa and the spot is fantastic and very thrilling. Activities from scuba diving, cruise tours, jet skis and kayaking are just a few off of the list of fun water sports to try out. The Hollywood Casino is just a seven minute drive, but it’s definitely worth it. A wide variety of slot machines and table games consume the place. Everyone gets a kick out of this casino and it’s hard to miss while driving by. Miguel’s Spa & Salon is located right at the resort, so you won’t need to leave where you’re staying at. The spa offers top-quality services for both ladies and men. It includes a breathtaking retreat that caters to your every need from head to toe. If you’re booking a room at the Atrium Beach Resort & Spa, you shouldn’t leave without trying out their best spa on the island. A trip to Saint Martin is certainly a memory that won’t be forgotten.

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Cover photo © Jean-François Renaud

About The Writer
Jacqueline Hanikeh

By: Jacqueline Hanikeh | Published on March 8, 2017

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