Paris Permenter & John Bigley's
Caribbean Family Tripper travel guide

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Divi Resorts Provides 60% Sale

Many Caribbean resorts maintain high season rates through mid- or late April but we've received word that the Divi Resorts has cut rates starting March 1--in time for spring break. Look for savings of up to 60 percent.

Dates: Valid for travel March 1, 2009 through December 23, 2009.

Sample Rates:
  • Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort, Aruba – studio suite from $139 per night
  • Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort – studio suite from $179 per night
  • Divi Dutch Village Resort, Aruba – studio suite from $125 per night
  • Divi Southwinds Beach Resort, Barbados – studio suite from $153 per night
  • Divi Heritage Beach Resort, Barbados – studio suite from $99 per night
  • Divi Flamingo beach Resort, Bonaire – hotel rooms from $127 per night
  • Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, St. Maarten – hotel rooms from $148 per night
All-Inclusive Option in Aruba: Divi Village Golf & Beach has an all-inclusive stay option where kids 17 and under stay and eat free and adults get unlimited golf after 3:00 p.m.! Guests can stay in new golf villas large enough for the whole family and overlooking Aruba’s only manicured golf course. The Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort is located across from three other Divi resorts, and this all-inclusive option allows guests access to the nearby Divi properties.

For more information:

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sonesta St. Maarten Offers Spring Equinox Specials

Spring is just around the corner and we've just received word of a great way to celebrate the new season: a Spring Equinox package at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino and Sonesta Great Bay Resort & Casino. The package is available through April but there's a special bonus if your stay includes the night of the spring equinox (March 20): that night is free!

The Package: The Spring Equinox package at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino and Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino includes:

• Complimentary room upgrade
• Welcome amenity
• $20 match play at resort casinos
• Sonesta Maho: 20% discount at The Good Life Spa
• Sonesta Great Bay: 20% off watersports and daily breakfast
• Visit either resort on March 20, 2009 (day of spring equinox) and that night’s stay is FREE!

Dates: Valid for travel through April 30,2009. A minimum four-night stay is required to qualify, blackout dates apply.

Price: Starting rates for both resorts begin at $199 per night for stays through April 11, 2009. Rates are based on double occupancy, are room only and are subject to 21% tax and surcharge. All-inclusive rates are also available.

Why Families Love These Resorts: We've stayed at both resorts, both located in Dutch St. Maarten, and they're both tops with families. Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino is a 10-acre, 537-room beachfront property is just minutes from the airport (perfect for a short getaway) and includes two outdoor pools and beach; three restaurants; a promenade of 40 boutiques and restaurants; four tennis courts; the Good Life Spa, fitness center and a casino for Mom and Dad.

The smaller, quieter 257-room Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino is located on St. Maarten’s one-mile stretch of soft white sand near the historic capital of Philipsburg (perfect for a beach stroll into town). This four-star property offers three swimming pools, three restaurants, four bars, the Golden Casino and the Vitality Oasis health club and spa.

The Fine Print: Sonesta St. Maarten Spring Equinox free night requires full prepayment at time of booking. Once booked, room and tax for the entire stay will be charged to the credit card used to confirm the booking. Offer not available to groups. Reservations must be booked via Sonesta.com prior to arrival. Subject to availability. Offer is not combinable with any other promotion and subject to blackout dates.

For more information:


Sunday, May 11, 2008

St. Maarten Sonesta Resorts Offer Family Fun Package

We know firsthand that families that travel with two guest rooms instead of one can have twice the fun. Especially great for families with older children, the second room option gives the kids a sense of freedom and everyone just a little elbow room.

But that can add up to an expensive vacation...unless a good package comes along. Here's one that just came our way: the new Family Fun Package at the Sonesta St. Maarten resort. When you book a second room, you'll receive it at half price!

The Package: Families book two rooms at either Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino (photo, left) or Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino and receive the second room at half price. Also, kids ages 12 and under eat, stay and play free (buffet dining only).

Dates: The Family Fun Package is valid for travel June 1- August 31, 2008. Book by May 31, 2008. Minimum five-night stay. This is not combinable with other offers.

Price: Rates at both resorts April 19 through December 19, 2008 begin at $165.00 per room, per night based on single or double occupancy. Rates are room only and are subject to 21% tax and surcharge. All-inclusive rates are also available.

For More Information:
• call 1-800-223-0757
• visit www.sonesta.com/stmaarten


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sint Maarten Offers Summer Savings Program

Families looking to stretch their vacation budget a little will be interested in this program we received: the “SXM Bucks” Summer Savings Promotion. St. Maarten, called the “Culinary Capitol of the Caribbean,” is offering this promotion which includes a wide range of discounts and free offers.

Dates: May – December 15, 2008

The Package: There are two promotions, depending on length of stay:

5 Nights: You will receive the 5th night free and $50 in “SXM Bucks” when you stay for five-nights or longer.

7 Nights: You will receive the 5th and 7th night free and $100 in “SXM Bucks” when you stay for seven-nights or longer.

Participants: The “SXM Bucks” can be used at any of the participating restaurants, shops and tour operations:

  • Divi Little Bay Beach Resort
  • La Vista
  • Mary's Boon
  • Oyster Bay Beach Resort
  • Princess Heights
  • Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort
  • Sonesta Maho Beach Resort
  • Westin Dawn Beach
Note: When booking reservations be sure to mention the “SXM Bucks” promotion to receive the discount.
  • Antoine's
  • Lee's Roadside Grill
  • Los Gauchos
  • The Tide Restaurant
  • Peg Leg Pub
  • Pineapple Pete
  • Ric's Place
  • Saratoga
  • AMA Jewelers
  • Ballerina Jewelers
  • Bedazled Jewelers
  • Caribbean Gems
  • Diamonds International
  • Effy Collection
  • Lucky Too Gift Shop
  • Lucky Too Jewelers
  • Shipwreck Shops
  • St. Maarten Guavaberry
  • Tanzanite International
Car Rentals
  • Best Deal Car Rental
  • Hertz Car Rental
  • U-Save Car Rental
  • Value Car Rental
  • Aqua Mania Adventures
  • Exquisite Watersports
  • Philipsburg Theatres
  • Xaro Tours
For more information:
• visit www.vacationstmaarten.com


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

POTD: Walk to Fort Louis, Marigot, St. Martin

It's a long walk up the hill to Fort Louis in Marigot, St. Martin but one well worth the climb. A stroll past a residential neighborhood brings you up to the fort with is open as a park now and offers an unobstructed view of the city, the sea, and on to neighboring Anguilla. Kids enjoy a look at the cannons at the hilltop. Bring water for your walk up the hill; you won't find facilities selling water once you reach the summit.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

POTD: Ferry Terminal, Marigot, St. Martin

Island hopping is easy in St. Martin; your family can hop a ferry from Marigot to Anguilla at this terminal located adjacent to the market. The ride takes under half an hour and you can just walk up and buy your ticket...but don't forget your passports!

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Friday, November 16, 2007

POTD: Capt. Hodges Playground, Sint Maarten

Whether you're coming in on a water taxi from one of the cruise ships or just strolling around Philipsburg during your resort stay in Sint Maarten, here's a good family stop: Captain Hodges Playground. Located on the boardwalk in Philipsburg, this playground is open Sunday through Thursday 10am - 8pm and Friday and Saturday 10am - 10pm. It's open for use by families with children ages 2-12.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

POTD: Largest Playground in Sint Maarten

Here's a little trivia question for you family travelers: where's the largest playground in St. Martin/Sint Maarten? Give up? It's at the Sint Maarten Park, the zoo just minutes from Philipsburg (on the Dutch side). This zoo is fairly small but very family-friendly with zero crowds, plenty of shade, wide trails, and a great gift shop.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Just Back from Sint Maarten

We just returned from five days in Sint Maarten! We'll be bringing you updates from the island where we enjoyed some beautiful weather (luckily just missing the rain that had been caused during the development of Hurricane Noel). We spent two nights at Sonesta Great Bay, a property we'd visited before it became a Sonesta a year ago; in fact, we were on hand for the cutting of the one-year celebration cake.

The cake cutting was followed by a special anniversary party at poolside:

Sonesta Great Bay has a wonderful location on a big stretch of beach that extends all the way into Philipsburg; just a few minutes from Great Bay there's a boardwalk to make strolls (even those with strollers) into town easy. We spent a morning walking around Philipsburg then returned for a snorkel trip just minutes from the resort.

After two nights at Sonesta Great Bay, we moved to Sonesta Maho, located near the airport. We stayed on the eighth floor, one of the renovated floors at the resort; our room had teak furniture and a great view of the pool and the sea beyond.

We'll be bringing you a full review of all our stops in Sint Maarten...stay tuned!


POTD: Watersports at Orient Beach

In St. Martin, Orient Beach is always one of the busiest beaches in the Caribbean, right up there with Jamaica's Negril Beach and Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach. You'll find watersports of every description here: jetskis, Hobie cats, windsurfers, and more. The no-hassle beach makes it easy to walk from vendor to vendor and compare prices.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

POTD: Sint Maarten Park

Birds from throughout the Caribbean, Central America and even parts of South America are found at the Sint Maarten Park, a zoo near Philipsburg.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

POTD: Caiman at Sint Maarten Park

This caiman catches some sun at the Sint Maarten Park, a zoo that features many Caribbean animals, birds and reptiles. The caiman, which looks like a small crocodile, is found on many islands (and was the namesake for the Cayman Islands).

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sint Maarten's Sonesta Moho Undergoes Renovation

The 537-room Sonesta Maho Beach & Casino has undergone a $2.5 million renovation, debuting 110 premium rooms with teakwood furniture. The resort, long a family favorite, features a casino, two outdoor pools and beach, three restaurants, shopping promenade, spa, and a large swath of beach. The hotel is just minutes from the international airport, convenient for families who want to make the most of their vacation time.



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