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SXM Blog

St. Martin is now open!

3/1/2021 - By SMRC

Our guests love St Martin because of the incredible plane-spotting opportunities at Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM). Well, that and the beautiful vacation rental villas, beaches & restaurants. You can literally sit on a beach or at the famous Sunset Bar and Grill and watch planes land over your head at Maho Beach.

 

What you need to visit St. Martin/ St. Maarten

 

After closing its borders in March, Sint Maarten/St. Martin is again open to Americans and to most Europeans. Everything you need to know to plan your trip is available here.

 

May-Ling Chun, Director of Tourism for the Government of Sint Maarten told TPG:

“.. our entry protocols and on-island processes continue to offer a smooth and safe experience for travelers coming to enjoy the best of Sint Maarten, and we remain committed to staying on this path. With an abundance of nature-focused activities, adventure opportunities, an incomparable culinary scene and 37 beaches to choose from, there’s never been a better time – or destination – to rekindle our collective love for travel.”

According to the official St. Maarten Tourism Bureau, all inbound travelers are expected to adhere to the following safety measures that the local government is instituting:

  • COVID-19 RT-PCR test with negative results for anyone above age 10, no older than 120 hours prior to day of travel (need to show at immigration)
  • Travelers originating from the USA and Canada can do an FDA approved antigen test for the SARS-COV-2 virus obtained from a nasal swab within 48 hours of departure for Sint Maarten
  • Travel Insurance — all visitors must buy mandatory COVID-19 health insurance prior to travel (https://www.sxmprotectionplan.com)
  • Fill out a mandatory health authorization application through an Electronic Health Authorization System (EHAS) for every visitor (need to show confirmation at immigration)
  • Facial coverings inside the Princess Juliana International Airport for all arriving and departing passengers
  • Mandatory temperature checks upon arrival
  • COVID-19 rapid test at an additional cost to the traveler if shown to be exhibiting symptoms

 

Do note that St. Martin is banning visitors from several countries, including Brazil, Panama, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

The U.S. Embassy writes, “Sint Maarten has provided helpful instructions for travelers wishing to visit Sint Maarten (https://stmaartenupdates.com/).”

Remember you will need to test prior to your return to the United States. As of Jan. 26, everyone aged 2 and older traveling to the U.S. from St. Martin must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted. St. Martin provides a list of testing providers here.

 

  

What’s open?

St. Martin no longer has a curfew in place. It was lifted back in June. Most hotels and attractions are open again. The French side of the island (Saint Martin) had been banning cross-border travel to and from the Dutch side (Sint Maarten), but that is no longer the case. The two countries share the island.

They began their phased reopening to foreigners in three stages, with mostly Caribbean neighbors at first. Now, most nationalities are again welcome.

How to get there

Related: How to use Google Flights to plan your next trip

According to Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM), European service began last summer with Air France flights from Paris (CDG).

Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines have all resumed flights.

American Airlines flies to SXM out of Miami and Charlotte. Dallas service launches in June. Delta flies out of Atlanta and New York-JFK. JetBlue flies out of Boston, Fort Lauderdale, New York-JFK and will resume service from Newark in April. Spirit flies direct from Fort Lauderdale. Finally, United flies from Newark, Washington/Dulles and Chicago.

I found flights from New York direct on Delta from $436 round-trip in May. Using SkyMiles would cost you 26,000 miles plus $85 in taxes and fees in main cabin coach. First class would be 90,000 Delta SkyMiles plus $85 in taxes and fees. 
 

American has round-trip flights from Miami starting at $507 in main cabin. Mileage redemption starts at 52,000 miles on main cabin as a “Web Special” with about $84 in taxes and fees. It’s 120,000 miles plus $84 for first class.

The cheapest seats seem to come from Spirit leaving Fort Lauderdale on May 1 for $235 round-trip (before any add-ons).

 

Where to Stay

In addition to the many hotels on St Martin, many guests prefer one of the hundreds of vacation rentals available throughout the island. There are numerous rentals available in the most popular areas on the Dutch side of the island from Simpson Bay to Oyster Pond.. For those looking for luxury consider a luxury villa in the French Lowlands. Many refer to this area as the “Beverly Hills” of St Martin due to the tropical setting and zoning the requires a minimum lot size of 2.5 acres. Many of the vacation rental homes in this area are on 4 – 5 acre lots, offering tons of privacy.

 

Orient Bay is one of the most popular areas of the island with many view villas overlooking Orient Beach and nearby islands. Reserve an affordably priced 2 – 6 BR vacation rental villa for family or friends and enjoy the restaurants in Orient Village, on the beach or in nearby Grand Case. Want to be right in the mix of the Orient Beach community, reserve one of the small apartments or town homes in the village.



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