The recurring question that we hear is “Is the island ready? Ready to welcome guests, ready for tourists, for cruise liners and everyone else…” that is why I met with Steve and his family to see if St Martin was indeed ready!
While is may not be where it was at, St Martin is coming back to the tourism market for many. Guests are on island, future guests are inquiring and booking their stay for a sun and fun filled vacation on our Friendly Island.
This morning I met with Steve and his family staying at Dreamin Blue. Steve and his lovely wife have been coming to St Martin for more than 10 years. They discovered the island while on a cruise and they decided to make St Martin their little piece of paradise. They have tried several villas on the island, but Dreamin Blue is a clear favorite of theirs. Pointing to the panoramic view, Steve tells me, this is why we come, from Grand Case to Terres Basses, the terrace overlooks the shoreline of St Martin et Anguilla in the distance. “It just doesn’t get better!” Michelle is quick to add that Esther – the fabulous housekeeper at Dreamin Blue – is another reason. They have gotten to know her during their many stays, and she makes their vacation just that much sweeter.
Over coffee and fresh from the bakery, still warm pastries, Steve tells me that they were scared to come down at first. They had seen the many videos of the destruction of the island by Hurricane Irma and were not sure what they were going to find once on island. It turns out that they were very pleasantly surprised.
The airport is different, and while it took a little time to go through customs, the process is quite simple coming in and going out. There is less of a crowd at the airport as well, and that is true everywhere… less traffic on island, the beaches are deserted.
The food found on the french side, is a big reason why Steve, Michelle and their family come to Saint Martin. The local flavors, mixed with the French influence make for a unique cuisine. So far, they have been to O’Plongeoir, La Main à la Pate and Altro in Cupecoy. All have been excellent. The menus have changed, they are smaller, but the flavors are definitely there! Tonight they are going to La Villa in Grand Case.
They also enjoy going to the supermarket – where they found everything they wanted -and cooking at home. The BBQ grill is set on the terrace, a cocktail while watching the sun going down, family time and then dinner with a twist – a locally made hot sauce called Island Explosion.
This vacation was about being together as a family but also about coming to support the island, the locals & the economy – not with a hammer or donations, but allowing us to do what we do best and love – welcoming guests to our beautiful island. They wanted to be a part of the healing process Saint Martin is going through and we are truly thankful they are here.
What did they not expect? They did not expect the amazing job that has already been accomplished in 3 months. Sure there is a lot of damage, but the people are great. The rental car is just like the island, it has a big dent in it, but it runs great. Internet, power and water are working just fine and the villa is better than ever as all the “technology” has been upgraded and changed. Steve’s son was very impressed during his stay, he now had access to technology that had not been at Dreamin Blue previously!
And do they feel safe on Island? The answer all around is yes. The locals are kind, strong and resilient and even if life is tough right now, they are tackling this trial with determination!
I will finish this with the sentence that pleased me best
“I am amazed that the island is as good as it is. Tell everyone – This is ready, Come!”
So, will Steve and his family come back to St Martin soon? Absolutely, we are delighted to welcome them back in January, this time with friends.