Located close to Speightstown along the northern end of Barbados is the prestigious and exclusive Schooner Bay Resort. Unique among other private communities, it is incredibly spacious and set directly along the sands. However, it also has one of the most appealing community pool areas. Landscaped and featuring a fluid shape that incorporates foot bridges, gazebos and gardens, it is an amazingly appealing spot to spend time with family, friends or simply enjoying the flawless island weather.

A gated community, it is also low density, and is made up of premium condominium style properties, each with an elegant amount of private outdoor space to enjoy. Large and sheltered terraces let you take in the beauty of the carefully designed grounds and the sea beyond, and interiors are decorated to the highest levels of style, comfort and visual appeal.

The luxury condos vary in size, some are two-story properties capable of sleeping even larger groups.  The ground floor condos feature patios with barbecuing and al fresco dining in addition to comfortable seating, and additional patios off some of the bedrooms. Some feature a Jacuzzi on the private patio, too. All are furnished with great rooms, featuring open floor plans and enormous, modern kitchens. Most of bedrooms are ensuite for optimal privacy.

Whether traveling on your own, as part of a couple or in a family or group, you can find two to four bedroom options with an abundance of luxuries to savor. Home-like and spacious, every property at the Schooner Bay Resort is sure to delight.

While the stretch of beach in front of the community is private and authentically delightful, you can also explore some of the other famed beaches set along the island’s “Platinum Coast”. The famed Mullins Beach is a short trip south along the sands and features a trendy and noted beach bar along with amazing sunset views. Popular, it is worth a visit as you might visit during the baby turtle season or just enjoy a dip in the safest waters around.

Speightstown Attractions

As it is only steps from Speightstown, you will find an ample list of things to see and do when you are ready to head away from the flawless sands overlooking Godings Bay.

As a simple example, you are moments from famous Arlington House, an 18th century colonial home perfectly preserved and now a National Trust property. You are also close to an endless list of popular eateries and shops including the perennial favorite, PRC Bakery that is noted as one of the finest traditional Caribbean bakeries (don’t forget a currant roll!). You are also within minutes of the famed Fisherman’s Pub along the waterfront, noted for its steel pan music and its daily fresh fish specials. Naturally, you must pay a visit to the Town Square and consider a walking tour.

Of course, water sports are often the order of the day here, and you will want to give over at least one day to enjoying a few such options. There are diving and snorkeling shops, jet ski rentals, board sailing providers, and more. If you wish to just see rather than do, you can also easily find any number of enjoyable boat tours – and a sunset cruise may be a perfect way to increase the delight factor of your visit.

A visit to the Schooner Bay Resort means a very luxurious, private and peaceful experience. Close to the many excitements of Speightstown, it might also just be your new, favorite retreat on the lovely island of Barbados.

Many travelers head to St Martin every year. With its cosmopolitan flair and European influences, it is a unique spot. However, it is so close to neighboring islands that many travelers dedicate a day to visiting one of those picturesque destinations so close by. For visitors to St Martin, Anguilla is one of those appealing day trip choices.

Small in size, it is the perfect choice. With its stunning white sand beaches and flawless waters, it is a real gem for those who wish to savor a day of placid peace at an unforgettable beach, or exploring the crystal clear waters.

As we all know how quickly a day passes when on holiday, though, and it is important to plan ahead for your day trip to Anguilla. That way, you can be sure you do not waste even a moment trying to figure out what to do, where to go and even where to depart from on the day of the trip.

Heading to Anguilla

Reaching Anguilla is relatively easy and can be scheduled at the very last minute.  A public ferry from the port town of Marigot, St Martin leaves every 45 minutes to head to Blowing Hole, Anguilla starting from 7:30AM to 7PM. Tickets are about $20 per adult and $10 per child each way. Additional taxes and port fees are additional.

Once there, getting around is quite easy. Many people opt for a tour via one of the island’s taxi services, but if you wish to just hit the major destinations (i.e. the beaches) ask them to deliver you to your beach of choice with a pre-arranged time for pickup.

Another option is renting a car. Numerous rental car options will be available at the Anguilla ferry terminal. The cars are reasonably priced but expect them to have significant wear and tear on them. A temporary Anguilla Driver’s permit will be required at a cost of $20 and valid for about 3 months and you will need to drive on the left hand side of the road. The island is small and easy to navigate being 3 miles wide and 16 miles long. There is one main road that transects the island.

Day Trip Destinations on Anguilla

And just what is there to do on the tiny island? Unlike many other Caribbean islands, Anguilla is devoid of the shops and restaurants found in such abundance. Instead, the emphasis is on the beaches…mostly empty and stunning in their pristine conditions. While you will find eateries along some of the beaches (and chair rentals), it is mostly going to be about time on the sands or in the sea.

The most popular options are:

Shoal Bay – A two mile beach noted as one of the most beautiful in the world. It is the busiest of all three beach areas (though often nearly empty), with Shoal Bay East the more popular choice among travelers. Rent some beach chairs, try a meal at the nearest beach side restaurant and savor your most perfect beach day ever!

Rendezvous Bay – More than two miles long, it offers views of St Martin nearby and many feel it is an overlooked gem. With less services than the other two main beach areas, it is an iconic tropical escape with turquoise waters and silky sand.

Meads Bay – The second most popular spot, it has nearby resorts with restaurants, but also some very popular beach shack restaurants (Blanchard’s is one of the more famous). It is also possible to rent chairs and umbrellas here.

Learn more:
Anguilla | Intimate Paradise
Anguilla Water Activities
Must See Spots on Anguilla

If you have booked a holiday to St Martin and realized just how close you are to fantastic St Barts, it is likely you will want to pay a visit to one of the most unique destinations in the region. An authentic part of modern-day France, it is a fascinating place to spend even a single day. Noted as the “French Riviera of the Caribbean”, it has 21 gorgeous beaches and lots of sweet little towns.

Of course, if you are enjoying just a day trip, planning is an essential since flight and ferry options are limited, and a handful of hours can run by very quickly. As they say, “time flies when you are having fun,” and everyone agrees that St Barts is a wonderfully fun spot to visit.

Air or Sea?

While it is certainly far faster to take one of the daily flights (they are only ten minutes!), a water journey is a great part of the experience. As one traveler noted, “the 30-minute trip comes with incredible views and a glass of fresh mango juice. What a way to start the morning.”

Additionally, you need to consider getting around on the island, and most visitors opt to do a traditional car rental; located easily from the ferry and boat docking area in Gustavia. Of course, as that same traveler pointed out, “The island is small so you could walk to some of the beaches from Gustavia, but it’s hilly,” with a laid back attitude where street signs are concerned. You don’t want to waste any of your precious time attempting to navigate on foot. Instead, map out your visit ahead of time and hop into a rental to visit the top day trip destinations.

Top Day Trip Destinations

Gustavia is where most visitors arrive, and if a rental car doesn’t appeal, you can hire a guide to drive you elsewhere. However, Gustavia itself could be your focus as it is an utterly charming town. It offers appealing waterfront, several beaches nearby, and lots of fine shops, restaurants and sightseeing.

If you wish to see more than the island’s main town, the next destination would be St Jean and its wonderful beach. This is home to the Baie de Saint Jean where the picturesque Eden Rock Hotel can be seen. The beaches here are very kid-friendly with clear and calm waters, stretches of sand and no seaweed. Don’t forget to enjoy a ham and cheese (jambon et fromage for the French-speaking crowd) at one of the charming beachside grills and food stands.

Nikki Beach might also be your ideal day trip destination when visiting St Barts. It is considered one of the loveliest beaches in the region. It is also home to an array of vendors offering smoothies and tasty local foods.

Saline Beach is on the southern end of the island, and a bit more difficult to find. It requires a brief hike, but is an enormous place often almost empty and offering up great body surfing conditions.

You will, likely, have to return to Gustavia at the end of the day. Many travelers make a point of visiting one of the local bars to savor an island classic – pina colada – before the scenic and brief return to St Martin.

Planning Is Key

You could easily dedicate an entire holiday to St Barts. So, if you have only time for a day trip, be sure you hit at least a few beaches and pay a visit – even just a quick one – to both Gustavia and St Jean to see their charming streets, shops and surroundings. Don’t forget to do a bit of snorkeling if you get the chance!

Though it is less than 38 square miles in total size, the Caribbean island of St Martin (also called St Maarten) is home to two countries! There is the French side of the island, which takes the most common name of St Martin, and then there is the side belonging to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which is commonly referred to as St Maarten. Clearly, with two unique nations in such a geographically small space, the island is home to an amazing range of culture.

Reason #1 Cultural Diversity

After all, travelers come for the European flair found on both sides of the island, but there are also the Caribbean, African and Creole influences. More than 70 different nationalities are living on the island, with a handful of languages in use. There are multiple religions, many kinds of music, and then there are the delicious foods that belong to each culture.

If someone were eager to enjoy a truly cosmopolitan experience in a tropical paradise, then all of this cultural diversity alone would be reason enough to book your winter holiday in St Martin, but there is actually a great deal more to consider. Let’s begin with the most obvious, the flawless setting the island provides…

Reason #2 The Island Itself

With nearly perfect year round weather, the island offers a perfect environment to savor a holiday, but especially when winter’s freezing, wet and overcast conditions have you down. Afternoon trade winds keep everything cool, and though the island does not have a tremendous amount of land-based activities (with the exception of amazing shopping, dining and some great museums and markets), it does offer nearly perfect conditions for sailing, windsurfing and diving/snorkeling.

Reason #3 The Beaches

Just consider this: the island is less than 38 square miles, but it has more than 35 excellent beaches! This means that, whatever your preferences, you will find a beach to suit your tastes! While all of the beaches are noted for the clarity of the waters, beauty of the sands, and general appeal, there are some that are ideal for beachside dining, those that are perfect for fans of water sports, family-friendly beaches, and even some hidden or secluded options. Whether your winter getaway to St Martin is meant to find you sitting ocean side sipping cocktails, catching trade winds while windsurfing, or picnicking with the kids, there are several options to enjoy.

Reason #4 The Food

While we did mention food when emphasizing the cultural diversity of St Martin, one definite reason to book a winter holiday to the island is the food. Taking a trip to St Martin, and spending time sampling its many eateries is similar to a trip around the world. After all, you can sip darkly roasted coffees while nibbling French pastries in one neighborhood, dive into the generous servings of grilled chicken or local Creole favorites in another area, and savor five-star dining at yet another. The ingredients will always be some of the freshest, and often local. Think lobster, conch, goat, and the very freshest produce imaginable and you have an excellent portrait of dining in St Martin. Winter is also when Harmony Nights occur in Grand Case, and these are evenings dedicated strictly to food.

Reason #5 The Events

When you book a winter to early spring visit to St Martin, you may provide yourself with opportunities to partake of some of the most exciting events imaginable. There is the annual Heineken Regatta in March, which is the world’s largest warm water regatta and event that most sailing enthusiasts have at the top of their bucket list. Of course, the Carnival events on the island’s Dutch side draw huge crowds for its wonderful blend of cultures. There is an arrow root celebration in February, the SXM Music festival, and more.

Hopefully, these inspire you to book a holiday in St Martin in order to enjoy a luxurious break from winter’s chill.