"On one of my first trips to St. Maarten, a friend of mine had rented me this old white car. It looked like one of the first cars ever made. I remember coming down the road to Oyster Pond Bay, which is between the Dutch side and the French side of the island. You have to go down this steep mountainside, where you have dirt on one side and a cliff on the other. You literally have to stay on this deserted road for quite some way to get down the mountain. But the car broke down! I was just sitting against the car waiting for someone to come by. Finally, I got a ride. But I remember standing on the side of this car, between the Dutch side and the French side, with nothing but the rocks, trees, and lots of water. And I was thinking that there are still some areas on earth with very few people. St. Maarten is one of those places. You have this whole world in between the two sides, and, believe me, there's not a lot out there. Water, rocks, and trees. There's still virgin territory."

michael michele's st. maarten essentials

la samanna, very expensive;

le mississippi, expensive;

the pasanggrahan royal guesthouse,
expensive; 011-599-5423588

soleil de minuit, moderate;

the bridge, creole seafood;
expensive; 011-590-590-296357

citrus at cupecoy, new american;
expensive; 011-599-5454333

l'alabama, contemporary french;
expensive; 011-590-590-878166

le pressoir, country french;
expensive; 011-590-590-877662

le chanteclair, french; expensive;

le tropicana, seafood; expensive; 011-590-590-877907

mario's bistro, french; expensive; 011-590-590-870636