Monday,  June 17, 2019  9:39 am

Three things to do on the French side of St. Martin


Three things to do on the French side of St. Martin
The French flag flies proudly from Fort Louis, located in Marigot on the French side of St. Martin.
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch: christine@paxglobalmedia.com.

Following the dramatic exit of Hurricane Irma back in September 2017, St. Martin is on the road to recovery. 

Despite several Canadian airlines halting flights following the storm, direct flights from carriers like Air Canada, Sunwing, and WestJet have returned to the island's Princess Juliana International Airport once more.

"Starting in the fall, Air Canada will fly once a week into St. Martin," said May Lin Chun, director, St. Maarten Tourism Bureau, during this year's SMART conference down in St. Martin. "WestJet is the only Canadian airline that will operate a summer flight to St. Martin, coming this year."

As an exclusive partner of the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino, Sunwing resumed year-round, weekly direct flight services from both Montreal and Toronto back in Feb. 2018, meaning Canadians can go to St. Martin/St. Maarten any time of year. Air Transat also resumed service to St. Martin for the 2018-2019 winter season.

With gorgeous new hotels opening up, like the Secrets St Martin Resort & Spa, there's never been a better time to visit. Here are three things your clients can experience off the resort, or as part of a tour, on the French side of the island.

1) Climb the steps at Fort Louis

Fort Louis offers unrestricted views of Marigot, Simpson Bay lagoon, Simpson Bay, Anguilla, the Lowlands, and Nettle Bay. Found in Marigot, Fort Louis is an historic defence fortress that was built in 1789 as a means to keep the harbour warehouses (which stored valuable trading imports like coffee, salt, rum, and cane sugar) safe from looters. 

When you visit, bring a comfortable pair of sneakers—to get to the top, you'll need to climb about 90 narrow stone steps, first!

Canons remain at Fort Louis, built in 1789 in Marigot on the French side of St. Martin.

The views going up are incredible, but once you reach the very top, the scenery is truly breathtaking. From its highest point the site offers an unrestricted view of Marigot, Simpson Bay lagoon, Simpson Bay, Anguilla, the Lowlands, and Nettle Bay

Bilingual signage is posted on various points of interest, available in both English and French.

2) Unwind at Loterie Farm

For your clients who still want to relax, but need a change of scenery, Loterie Farm is the place to be. 

The pool opens at 10 a.m. every morning, seven days a week.

Set in verdant surroundings, the concept of Loterie Farm is to provide a setting in which guests can swim, lounge, eat, and drink amongst friends in a peaceful serenity.

Tree-top cabanas are available for rent at Loterie Farm.

Walking in, the main pool deck area has many sun loungers and cabanas. Wandering further through the property, tree-top cabanas, furnished quite literally like a luxury treehouse are available to rent.  

Cabanas cost anywhere from €75 per couple—that includes full all-day access to amenities plus a bottle of Minuty rosé— to €290 for the VIP cabanas, which hold 10 guests and grant access to a private deck. Loterie Farm opens at 9 a.m., seven days a week, and the pool opens at 10 a.m. Daybed rentals are €20 per person. There's no admission fee for those who only want to eat and drink, but if you change your mind and want to enjoy the pool, simply inquire at the front desk. 

3) Make your own perfume

Imagine being able to say that you're wearing a scent that nobody else in the world smells like?

Start sniffing! 300 scents are waiting to be mixed to create a custom fragrance.

At Tijon Perfumerie, you can create your very own custom perfume, with a little help from owner John Berglund, and his wife, Cyndi. After buttoning up your lab coat, you'll be asked to get acquainted with the perfume organ—where 300 tiny jars of pure, essential oils, containing everything from Amber Musk to Tobacco, to Guava Fig are stored. 

It takes a good nose to create a balanced scent!

Using your nose as a guide, you'll choose a combination of oils that target the required top, middle, and base notes to perfect a perfume. 

Tijon accommodates private group glasses, but the perfume-making classes themselves can last anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours! Lab coats and workbooks are provided, and at the very end, you'll have to name your final product. The classes are also a great idea for corporate events, bachelorette parties, or other group functions.

For additional things to do in St. Martin, visit  http://www.stmartinisland.org/.


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