We have another Caribbean hotspot with loads to do — while also very relaxing.

We highly recommend St. Martin — or if you prefer — St. Maarten.

And one of our Jetsetters, Susan Barnes, gives us a live on-scene report.

Plus, she is connected to some deals and specials for you to luxuriate yourself.

Perfect Getaway

Let’s talk about why St. Maarten is a perfect getaway that should be at the top of your list.

First, the beaches are world class. Orient Bay Beach is famous for its turquoise waters and powdery white sand. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports like snorkeling and scuba diving.  And, yes there are some nude and topless beaches.

In addition, the beaches have plenty of bars and restaurants for food and drink while taking in the stunning views.

Another unique beach experience is at Maho Beach, located right next to the airport runway. You can watch planes take off and land just a few feet above your head, creating an unforgettable experience. You will also take notice of this eye-popping plane landing when you fly into St. Maarten.

History and Culture

St. Maarten has plenty of history and culture. You will quickly notice that there is a French and a Dutch sharing of the island. This is a result of centuries of economic competition, and eventually peaceful compromises.

There is also a Spanish influence throughout the island as these countries in the 16th and 17th centuries worked and fought to control commerce and resources of the Caribbean and North America. And there is African culture here as well.

You should explore the charming capital of Philipsburg, which is home to historic buildings, museums, and art galleries. The island is also famous for its colorful festivals, including Carnival, which takes place every year in February. (Every year, the island of St. Martin vibrates to the rhythm of 2 Carnivals. The first takes place in February on the French side and the second takes place in April on the Dutch side. The festivities go on for weeks between the seafront and the shopping streets.)

If you only hit one museum, make it the Saint Martin Museum (Musée de Saint-Martin) in Marigot. It provides you a deep understanding of the island’s past through its exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays, showcasing the influences of the island’s indigenous inhabitants, European colonization, African heritage, slavery, and Caribbean traditions.


For outdoor enthusiasts, St. Maarten offers a range of activities, including hiking, biking, and zip-lining. You can explore the island’s lush rainforests, rugged hills, and stunning coastline, taking in the breathtaking views along the way.

Another recommended excursion would be taking a day trip to Anguilla which is only a short fast boat ride away from the Simpson Bay area/St Maarten Airport, you’ll have time to explore the island by taxi or rental car, have lunch at one of the magnificent beachside restaurants, scuba dive or snorkel its fringing reefs or maybe play a round of championship golf. So, whether you want to dive a wreck, swim with dolphins or just laze away on a pristine beach, a day in Anguilla shouldn’t be missed.

For another amazing day trip which has often been dubbed as the ‘French Riviera of the Caribbean’, the hilly island of St Barths (also referred to as St. Barthélemy or St. Barts) is well known for being one of the region’s most exclusive and most expensive islands. Catering predominantly to the rich and famous, its 21 white-sand beaches, designer boutiques and mega-yacht filled harbor are more than a reason to plan a day trip to St Barths which is only a 30-45 minute ferry ride.

As you will see below, Susan Barnes takes you horseback riding through the mountains.

Luxury Including Your Own Butler

If you’re looking for a truly luxurious experience, St. Maarten has plenty of high-end resorts and spas where you can relax and unwind. You can indulge in a spa treatment, take a dip in the infinity pool, or simply enjoy the stunning ocean views.

As Susan shows us below, you will meet her butler.

If you’re interested in a vacation to St. Maarten, you can reach Susan and her travel agency Totally Travel at susan@totallytravelonline.com
Before you do that, check out her guided tour of the island.

John Daly and Susan Anzalone are the Co-Creators and Co-Hosts of Undercover Jetsetter, a show on travel, food, wine, mixology and, of course, golf. They show you how to jet set the world and at home. They also co-authored the book, The TV Studio In Your Hand: How to Shoot, Edit & Deliver the Easy Way on Your iPhone. Join them for tips and hacks on the road, at home, or in the kitchen.  Yes, as you will see, all on the iPhone.