By Dana Niland
Four months after Hurricane Irma, St. Maarten is “steadily recovering” and showing visible signs of progress, officials said.
This past month marked the reopening of St. Maarten’s cruise ports, as Viking Cruises’ Viking Sea ship and Marella Cruises’ Marella Discovery sailed into port on December 4 and 5, 2017 respectively.
American Airlines and Delta Air Lines operate daily flights to St. Maarten through Miami and Atlanta, respectively, while JetBlue is operating twice-weekly flights from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
St. Maarten’s boutique hotels and guest houses are also open for business, officials told Caribbean Journal.
Options currently accepting guests include Baker’s Suites, Horizon Beach Hotel, Carl’s Unique Inn, The Paradise Inn, Travel Inn Hotel, Princess Heights, Holland House Beach Hotel, Sea Palace Resort, Atrium Resort & Spa and several others.
Oyster Bay plans to reopen in April and Sonesta Ocean Point in the fourth quarter.
Many food, beverage and entertainment options are open in Simpson Bay, including Topper’s, Pizza & Co., Little Jerusalem, Bombay Bites, Lee’s Roadside Grill, Avantika, Marty’s, Rhythm & Booze, Pizza del Sol, Jungle Steakhouse, Sale & Pepe.
For fine dining, Rockland Estate is welcoming guests for island-inspired fare by acclaimed St. Maarten Chef, Dino Jagtiani.
Just one month after Irma, 80 percent of land-based activities and 64 percent of sea-based activities were back in action, and that number has steadily increased.
Ninety-percent of the shops on Front Street in Philipsburg are open, as well as Rainforest Adventures and Aqua Mania Adventures.