In 1993, Michael Michele traveled to the island of St. Maarten for a role in an NBC miniseries called Trade Winds. It wasn't a long shoot, but one aspect of the series left an indelible impression. "I just fell in love with St. Maarten," says Michele. After her stay, Michele went on to become a star on both television and film: as Dr. Cleo Finch in the top-rated TV series ER and as Muhammad Ali's third wife in the acclaimed Ali biopic. Next month, Michele appears in two major films. First, she stars alongside Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey in the romantic comedy How to Lose a Guy, and then opposite Kurt Russell and Ving Rhames in the gritty drama Dark Blue. But when it's time for a break, she leaves her home in New York City for the land of the tropical trade winds. Here's a weekend with Michael Michele on the island of St. Maarten.
"La Samanna, which is on the French side of the island, is just the most beautiful, exquisite hotel. It is extremely quiet, simple, and elegant. And it has a gorgeous beach. It's not a hotel on a grand scale, but it has all of the beauty and amenities of any five-star hotel on the mainland. On the Dutch side, I like The Pasanggrahan Royal Guesthouse, a larger hotel in the main town of Philipsburg. It's on the beach and has a good restaurant. If you want something more secluded, there are two on Oyster Pond Bay, which separates the French and the Dutch sides of the island. The first, Soleil de Minuit, is on a hill and has a great view of the bay. Le Mississippi is a small hotel, also with a great view, and charming rooms."