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Off the Beaten Path Escapes in the Caribbean   by Jennifer Smith

Featured Hotels & Resorts in St Martin/St Maarten

The Caribbean is full of popular destinations where tourists flock to spend a few days soaking up the sunshine, but those looking to escape the crowds may have a slightly different destination in mind. The Caribbean is often said to have something for everyone, and in this case the claims are completely true. Vacationers don't need to stay on popular islands like Jamaica to enjoy a slice of Caribbean life, they can visit a number of islands that are "off the beaten path."

Major Caribbean destinations are filled with well-known spots where tourists flock from around the world, but even these islands can have some out-of-the-way areas. Still, those seeking to travel to someplace truly unique can find hidden and untouched Caribbean islands to be a great choice. Islands like tiny Saba or spicy Grenada offer up their own unique style.

Little Bay, Philipsburg, St. Maarten
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Every island has its own personality, and even the smaller Caribbean islands can offer more than just seclusion. St. Martin, for example, is the smallest shared territory in the world: A little more than half of the island is French (Saint Martin), while the other portion is Dutch (Sint Maarten). Spend the day enjoying the shopping on the Dutch portion of the island, but dine in style with the French that evening. You'll also avoid the crowds you'll find in better-known islands.

Grenada, the Spice Island, is known for its fertile soil that has helped it become one of the world's top producers of nutmeg. Its lushness is certain to delight travelers who enjoy taking a trip into nature and French history also lends a bit of culture, though English is the official language of the island. This island also has beautiful beaches for travelers to enjoy. Another unusual aspect of Grenada is its true nature: Grenada is really three islands, though they are usually referred to by just the one name. Petit Martinique and Carriacou are the two tiny islands off Grenada's coast.

Saba, too, is unique. This small, rocky island is better known for its snorkeling than its beaches. In fact, it's said to have no beach at all, though there are a few spots where vacationers heart-set on sunbathing can find water meeting a small stretch of sand. And of course, its beautiful scenery both above and below the waves can certainly be worth a look.

Don't confuse this island with any other - Dominica is another oft-overlooked isle. Its raw beauty has earned it the nickname the "Nature Island" of the Caribbean and it has remained relatively untouched over the years. Adventurous travelers can certainly find an escape in this Eastern Caribbean island, where mountainous terrain provides the ideal setting for a variety of activities.

Though these are not your only travel options for something a little different in the Caribbean, they are certainly some of the most intriguing choices. Travelers planning a true escape to the islands can find it on these and other islands, all you have to do is take a look off the beaten track.


About the Author - Jennifer Smith writes for,, and other Segisys travel Web sites. © 2006, Interactive Internet Websites, Inc.  Article may only be reprinted if it is not modified in any way, and if all links remain live.
View the full list of St Martin/St Maarten Hotels
Wyndham Sapphire Beach Club & Resort, Cupe Coy
Commands panoramic views of the sea from its position on the southwest shore of St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles. American/French culinary delicacies lure diners to Sapphire Café, an open-air restaurant/bar that borders the pool. An internet room contains computers and laptop stations with high-speed internet access. A grocery and liquor store rents videotapes for use in suites'  vcrs. A beauty salon offers massages and facials while a small fitness center contains cardio machines and a universal gym. Complimentary activities include bingo, pool aerobics and a scuba-diving demonstration in the outdoor pool. The pool contains a rock-garden island and a shallow children's section. A four-person spa tub and pear-shaped children's pool are located near the main pool.
The Westin St. Maarten, Dawn Beach Resort & Spa
Situated on a Dawn Beach beach, this spa property is close to Dawn Beach and Guana Bay Beach. The Westin St. Maarten, Dawn Beach Resort & Spa has an outdoor pool, a spa tub, a steam room, a sauna, and a fitness facility. This 4.0-star Dawn Beach property features massage and treatment rooms and spa services. Business amenities include a business center, meeting rooms for small groups, and business services. The Westin St. Maarten, Dawn Beach Resort & Spa has a restaurant, a bar/lounge, and a poolside bar. 24-hour room service is available. Event facilities consist of a ballroom, exhibit space, conference rooms, and banquet facilities. 
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Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino, Maho Beach
Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino is located within one mile of the Atlantis World Casino, the American University of the Caribbean, and Maho Beach. Paradise Plaza is within three miles of the hotel. Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino features two pools and a swim-up bar. A health spa features five treatment rooms, and offers massage, body wraps and scrubs, hydrotherapy, Vichy showers, facials, and nail care. Ocean Terrace, an air-conditioned restaurant with ocean-view seating serves breakfast, lunch, and nightly dinner buffets. The Palms Grill features an all-day menu of salads, burgers, sandwiches, pasta, pizza, ribs, steak, and fish. The Point is an air-conditioned, ocean-view, linen-service dinner restaurant. 
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Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino, Philipsburg
Fresh from a $10 million renovation, the Caribbean's Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino draws couples, recreational aficionados and outdoor enthusiasts by offering a tropical mix of sailing, snorkeling, tennis, stage shows and gaming action. This seven-story hotel is perched on the beach near Mt. Willem and sits five minutes from downtown Philipsburg's shopping and restaurants.  A little further away, travelers will discover a zoo, botanical gardens, parrot jungle, butterfly farm and scenic vistas of paradise peak.  Guests can enjoy traditional Italian cuisine at la Cucina, dine indoors at the Molasses or overlook the turquoise Caribbean waters at the Bay View Restaurant. 
Le Domaine De Lonvilliers, Anse Marcel
Le Domaine de Lonvilliers exudes Creole flair amid tropical splendor on the island of St. Maarten located in the Netherlands Antilles. This Caribbean delight rests on the northwest side of the island, overlooking the bay of Anse Marcel, and near the gourmet capital of the Caribbean, Grand Case. his hotel features buffet breakfasts each morning that include eggs, cold cuts, fruit, cheese and French pastries. La Veranda is a colorful Creole- inspired eatery that specializes in seafood dishes and continental preparations. Ô Paradis beach bar serves international and local fare.  Leisure amenities include use of an outdoor pool, a children's pool and two spa tubs. Massages and salon services are available. Guests also have access to a private, white-sand beach and marina.
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