Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Relaxing in Maho Beach, St. Martin

It is very rare that I am traveling and have a totally free day. Quite honestly, I woke up totally baffled about what to do. Then I remembered that I was on the Caribbean island of St. Martin and the fact that the internet wasn’t working very well and I had nothing scheduled might not be bad at all.

The weather seemed to be about the same each day of my trip – partly sunny in the 70s with a little bit of rain at some point.  I went to the buffet at the Sonesta St.Maarten Ocean Terrace Restaurant for an egg white omelet filled with veggies, saving my calories for the scrumptious croissants. I then headed out to explore the large property before heading downtown.

The hotel is directly in the center of Maho, a small town filled with stores, restaurants, clubs, a market and even a Häagen-Dazs ice cream shop. I walked around a bit exploring, though nothing really caught my eye worth a stop.  I went back to the Sonesta for lunch at the Palms Grill Restaurant. It’s set outside overlooking the beach. I enjoyed the peaceful setting (and a turkey club sandwich) before hitting a lounge chair for some reading.

I am not very good at sitting still for too long (unless I'm at a computer), so I walked along the beach a bit and enjoyed the sunshine and turquoise water. I spent a little time at the pool and had a drink at the swim-up bar, however, the water was just too cold to swim. (Note to all Caribbean hotels: adding cold water to the pool is great when it's 90, but not so great when it's 75.)  There was only one thing left to do – take advantage of the invitation I received to go to the spa.

The Serenity Spa at the Sonesta Maho is just a few months old so everything is brand new. They carry a number of impressive beauty lines, including Sothy’s Paris nourishing body elixirs and moisturizers. I loved the selection, especially vanilla cinnamon, orange & cedar, cherry blossom. They also have a number of Aromatloria products for scrubs and body polishes that relieve muscle aches and stress.

My stress was non-existent as Spa Manager Jardin told me about the products and treatments here, all to get guests in the vacation mood and keep them in that frame of mind. I was already in the relaxation mood, but it went one step further after a perfect massage from Leo.

I couldn’t believe how late it was when I left the spa. (Where does the day go when you are basically doing nothing?)  I quickly changed for dinner and walked down to The Point, Sonesta Maho's fine dining restaurant.

I was told there was a bit of a wait for the restaurant, so I sat at the bar and enjoyed a glass of wine and the live music that they have at the hotel each evening.  Before I even finished my glass I was shown to my table. I was a bit worried that the menu was too filled with fish for me to find something to eat, but they were very accommodating and started me with an antipasto plate, made without anchovies just for me.

 For a main course, I enjoyed the Gnocchi with a tomato eggplant sauce that was creamy without being too rich.  I had a tasty Banana Flambe (actually mousse-like) for dessert with a latte and decided to head downtown to see what was going on at the clubs. 

It was still a bit early for the clubs to get going so I started at the Casino across the street. I managed to keep $10 going on a slot machine for an hour before heading next door to Cheri’s Café. It was a karaoke night and the crowd was growing, but I was getting a bit bleary eyed and decided it was time to turn in. I had a really big day coming up as I was asked to come down to Island 92 Radio and speak on the air. It was something I was excited about and I was equally anxious to check out the area down at St. Martin’s Simpson Bay.

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