Island News

Updated March 17, 2014

Jewels by Love
is proud to announce the opening of their sleek new watch and jewelry salon at No. 69B Front Street - a new Landmark in Philipsburg! As a branch of the fabled Fifth Generation family owned Jewels by Love store in Marigot, this new store is managed by Rish Love Mahtani, following in the footsteps of his trailblazing father Love Mahtani. The Sixth Generation will now perpetuate the legacy of excellence and carry the torch that his great, great, great grandfather lit! 



TEL: (590) 590 87 25 50 - USA TEL: 1 917 546 0902 - EMAIL: JBL1@JEWELSBYLOVE.COM




TEL: 1 721 542 6808 - USA TEL: 1 917 463 4319 - EMAIL: JBL2@JEWELSBYLOVE.COM




 In tribute to their flawless reputation, three of the world’s four greatest watchmakers are already on display at this new location viz., Breguet, Vacheron Constantin and A. Lange & Sohne (for the very first time ever in Dutch St. Maarten!) – more surprises to come shortly!



The St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA), the largest business representative on the island, recently revamped its auction website in addition to the re-launch of their industry website Since its inception, the auction site has offered great value for money to its members and the general public. The site offers a wide range of items such as hotel stays, dinners, activities, shopping certificates, airline tickets, jewelry and other attractive items, all at discounted prices. Persons visiting the site can bid on the items which will be awarded to the highest bidder upon completion of the bidding period. has been very well received and is being accessed both by future visitors to the island and residents alike, all looking for a great deal.


SHTA initially developed the auction site to drive tourism to the destination by featuring one discounted hotel stay per month in St. Maarten. Throughout the years the website has expanded to accommodate more and more items simultaneously. In addition to the opportunity of bidding on very attractive items, it offers SHTA members a great opportunity to advertise their products and services, receiving ample exposure on the site and direct traffic to their own website.


Check out the auction site at  The site can also be seen on the St. Maarten Auction Facebook page at Winners can pay and collect their items at the SHTA office on the Pondfill road, open Monday – Friday 8am to 5pm. For additional information on the auction site, items and the SHTA visit or email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or telephone + 1 721 542-0108


Global Snapshot: How Leisure Car Rental Thrives in Competitive Rental Market 
An Interview Conducted by Auto Rental News (

Jimmy Fitzpatrick, GM ( talks about how his company has grown the past seven years and how it competes against the franchises and other independent rental companies in the highly competitive rental market on the island of St. Maarten.

Starting with fewer than five used vehicles, Leisure Car Rental opened its doors in St. Maarten on March 1, 2007. Today, the independent rental company has grown to 50 vehicles at its main office located near Princess Juliana International Airport.
Serving tourists in St. Maarten, Leisure Car Rental hopes to expand its fleet to 75 cars by 2015.

What’s your total fleet size?
At this time, we have 50 vehicles.

How many locations do you have and in what types of areas? 
Our location is near the Princess Juliana International Airport, the larger of the two airports in St. Maarten. For now, we deliver cars island-wide (on both Dutch and French sides on the island). We deliver to the airports, cruise ports, hotels, resorts, villas, marinas, and even private residences.

How did the business start? 
Leisure Car Rental started operating on March 1, 2007. The business was a one-man operation with fewer than five used cars. I only served the local market at that time, since most tourists preferred newer cars. There was very little chance of leisure competing in the tourist market when most car rental agencies had a newer fleet.


By 2009, our fleet doubled to 10 cars. We had about three employees and made a bold move to begin competing in the tourist market. I still remember our first tourist client. His name is Mr. Steve Marcello. He still rents from us to this day. He single-handedly convinced most of his friends to rent from us, too, and they return to us year-after-year for their car-rental needs. To read the rest of the article, please click the link:



Double  Whammy Again in the Daily Herald Best Of St. Maarten 2013. #1 Best Pizza & #1 Best Desserts. (If you want to read the article go to We are still the only Restaurant offering Gluten Free Pizzas and the guests that have Celiac or want to be Gluten Free are thanking us every night. That's our news from Paradise... J.P. -


Get ready for the greatest water sports event of the year! The 34th Heineken Regatta is coming up in two weeks. So, mark your calendar for March 6th through March 9th, 2014. This is the biggest regatta in the world. You don’t want to miss it. The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Office is ready to assist you in your regatta preparations. Karen Smith and Desiree Bos will happily answer your questions. For additional information, call 721.544.2079 or visit


St. Maarten Carnival is scheduled for April 21st through May 5th, 2014. The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) has released the dates for the Carnival 2014 festivities, an impressive lineup of 24 days of Carnival activities to mark the 45th anniversary of Carnival on St. Maarten that invites resident and visitor to “Come, Celebrate Life.”

The 2014 Carnival schedule will be as followed:

Senior Road March Competition, Saturday March 29, Survivors Children Balloon Parade, Sunday March 30, Fete to Fitness Jump up Friday, April 4, Calypso Eliminations, Saturday April 5, Teen & Senior Speech & Cultural Competition, Sunday April 6, Rio Productions Lighted Parade, Saturday April 12, Jr. Pageant & Jr. Calypso Show, Sunday April 13, Opening of Carnival 2014 Monday April 21, Miss Mature Pageant Tuesday April 22, Teen & Senior Pageant, Wednesday April 23, International Concert (Zouk), Thursday April 24, Night of the Hit Makers Concert, Friday April 25, Jouvert Morning Jump Up, Saturday April 26 (4am), Riddimbox Presents Concert, Saturday April 26, Daybreak Breakfast Fete, Sunday April 27 (3am), PJD2 Caribbean Queen Show, Sunday April 27th, Senior Calypso Finals & Carnival Honors, Monday April 28th, Sabor Latino II Concert, Tuesday April 29, Junior & Grand Carnival Parade, Wednesday April 30, Second Day Parade, Thursday May 1, International Show Reggae, Friday May 2, Youth Extravaganza, Saturday May 3, Family Fun Day, Sunday May 4 and Burning of King Momo/Closing, Monday May 5.


Visitors to St. Maarten Contribute Year-round to Island’s Economy

Interval International, a prominent worldwide provider of vacation services and an operating business of Interval Leisure Group (Nasdaq: IILG), today announced that vacation owners and their guests who travel to St. Maarten stay an average of 10.9 nights and spend more off site than on property for a variety of expenditures. In addition, their average annual household income is reported to be more than $147,000, reinforcing the affluent nature of timeshare owners who visit the island.

These are some of the findings from the St. Maarten Timeshare Owner, Exchanger, and Guest Survey, which was co-sponsored by Interval International and the St. Maarten Timeshare Association (SMTA). The report was compiled by the Shared Ownership Services division of HVS, a leading hotel consulting and valuation firm.

“Interval has a long-standing commitment to the Caribbean, one of the most highly demanded international travel destinations for its U.S.-resident members,” said Neil Kolton, Interval’s director of resort sales and service for the Caribbean and Florida. “We’re very pleased to provide this valuable research that shows vacation owners and exchangers spend generously while in St. Maarten. It’s also interesting to note that average expenditures and length of stay remain consistent between high and low seasons, reflecting a steady economic impact.”

“As the survey indicates, timeshare owners are contributing appreciably to the island economy in many areas as it relates to on property and off property purchases,” said Ricardo Perez, general manager of Oyster Bay Beach Resort and SMTA board member. “While their spending supports local businesses, we’re also very encouraged by the large number of respondents — 90 percent — who expressed their desire to return to St. Maarten for future vacations.” 

 Other notable findings from the survey include:

 The majority of respondents were from the U.S. and Canada (88 and 6 percent, respectively)

  • About 30 percent had household incomes greater than $150,000
  • Average age was 60.6 years
  • Average travel party size was 3.3 persons
  • Those aged 41 to 55 spent the most on entertainment and nightlife (average of $359 combined for both on and off premises)
  • Average spend for off-premise dining was $631 (82 percent more than on site)
  • Spending for groceries was $261 (50 percent more than on premises)
  • The off premises shopping average per respondent was $794 (130 percent more than on-site)

    Interval International conducted the online survey of its members who own timeshare on St. Maarten and/or visited within the last three years. In addition, the SMTA forwarded the survey to other timeshare owners and their guests who previously visited the destination. The fielding period was July 10 - September 5, 2013 and there were more than 5,000 survey respondents.


Oyster Bay Beach Resort
Honored as a Top Performing Resort
as Reviewed by Travelers on the
World’s Largest Travel Site

 Oyster Bay Beach Resort for the second year in a row has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. This world recognized accolade, which honors excellence in hospitality, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. Ricardo Perez, General Manager of the Resort, expressed great pride saying that  only the top-performing 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award. 

TripAdvisor is the world's largest travel site enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 200 million unique monthly visitors, and over 100 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide, including China. 

Oyster Bay Beach Resort, located between the Atlantic Ocean and Oyster Pond on St. Maarten, is an exciting, multi-use resort that includes; timeshare, condominiums, deluxe hotel accommodations, restaurants and now a Marina.  More information is available on its web site: 

The Resort recently announced the approval by the Government of their new project, the Oyster Bay Marina, to be constructed on Oyster Pond, across from the Resort’s lobby.  Mr. Perez was pleased to report that the project is going better than expected. Out of 35 boat slips offered for sale as long-term leasehold ownership almost all of them have been sold.