What’s more, Eman says, friends and family members can arrange for extra activities, amenities and surprises as a gift to the newlyweds. “They can call to personally request that and we’ll arrange that for them, or travel agents can facilitate that as well,” he explains. “It can be anything from private dinners, special amenities in the room, flowers, champagne, an extra day of car rental or extra couple of spa treatments. Another thing that’s very popular is the beach cabanas. It’s a covered, big bed where couples can just relax, or they can sunbathe right in front of it, and they usually rent for $500 per day.” Whatever the request, be it from the honeymooners’ family back home or from the newlyweds themselves, travel agents can work directly with the resort to make it happen, he continues—and for spontaneous needs or desires while the couple is on property, the hotel staff is there to suggest restaurants, tours and other activities. Regular room rates at La Samanna start at $995 per room per night dbl.
the other side of romance The seclusion at La Samanna is ideal for couples who want to spend their honeymoon relaxing and recuperating. But for couples with a more active escape in mind—or couples traveling on a tighter budget—Dutch St. Maarten has plenty to offer. The port town of Philipsburg, with its line of shops, boutiques, restaurants and bars, gives clients staying in the area plenty of options for entertainment—they can spend an entire day simply strolling the boardwalk, perusing the stores and stopping for a cool, frozen drink and some people-watching when they need a boost.
Not far from Philipsburg’s port scene, St. Maarten’s Maho area boasts some of the best nightlife on the island. Here’s where you’ll find Casino Royale, a massive entertainment complex comprising gaming and live, flashy, Vegas-style shows. The newly opened Tantra, sitting right next door, is the largest nightclub in the eastern Caribbean.
For active clients who want to see the best of everything, the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino offers one of the island’s best locations. Sitting just above Philipsburg’s boardwalk scene, the Sonesta gives honeymooners convenient access to both of St. Maarten’s hotspots. Couples can walk down the beach directly to Philipsburg, or take a 10-minute ride over to Maho’s nightlife centers. Plus, there’s plenty of activity on property, from scuba diving courses offering full PADI certification to kayaking, snorkeling and jet skiing.
The Sonesta also offers couples a totally exclusive honeymoon experience: charters aboard the resort’s private 30-ft. boat, the Adventuress. Sailing away with your loved one, sunbathing on the ship’s sundeck and relaxing under its 10-ft. canopy with complimentary drinks and stops for snorkeling and swimming along the way—it’s the perfect blend of adventure and romance.
The resort’s Seduction in St. Maarten package romances newlyweds with a special dinner for two in any of the resort’s restaurants and daily breakfast at its breezy Bay View restaurant, with rates starting at $203 per room, per night dbl. And with the Sonesta’s beachfront location and oceanview accommodations, couples will still get a taste of the traditional Caribbean. Regular rates at Sonesta Great Bay start at $135 per room per night dbl.