• Travel

    St. Martin Vacation

    • Aug 13, 2012

    • By:Richard Perez-Feria

    What does a dream look like?

    That’ll be the pervasive question on your mind as you descend into this magnificent escape (the term “resort” doesn’t seem to do this corner of Heaven on Earth quite enough justice) in St. Martin. How could it not? Look at that beach. Look at those views. This is precisely where you go for the fantasy Caribbean vacation of your life. Not. Kidding. One. Bit.

    I’m not alone in my assessment about the Radisson Blu Resort, Marina & Spa. In fact, its unbelievably charming general manager (and Four Seasons New York veteran), Jean-marc Jalbert, takes it a step further with his astute assessment: “God was very good to us here.” Indeed.

    The fabulosity starts right after the non-stop JetBlue flight from JFK lands in this French colony tucked away in the southeastern Caribbean. You’re immediately escorted to a surprising half-hour water taxi straight to the property’s marina, all the while admiring the impossibly turquoise water, impressive millionaire estates and, perhaps, even sipping on an adult beverage. No tiny taxis thrashing over potholed streets for Blu’s guests. Arrive wind swept and energized.

    The resort itself is secluded—it’s surrounded on three sides by nature reserves and mountains—so your guard comes down because you feel protected, relaxed. Just like a vacation should be. A resort should also be about food, and Blu has several tremendous offerings. For breakfast, the legendary buffet at Le Marché is a must. Well, only if the sound of homemade croissants, fresh French pressed coffee, all-natural smoothies and every conceivable breakfast food known to man sound enticing. At dinner, C Le Restaurant tops off another day in paradise with its four-star offerings and priceless panoramic views. During the day, eat poolside or on the beach or try Le Lobby Bar’s amazing tapas.

    Another must is, of course, Le Spa. It’s exactly what you hope a world-class spa would be. Oh, with the nicest staff of any hotel anywhere. Every single person who works at Blu will feel like a long-lost friend (a good friend, not like the ones who keep poking you on Facebook). The staff learns your name almost instantly and makes your every wish their genuine pleasure. I’ve been all over the Caribbean experiencing the region’s very best resorts, and I’ve never seen anything quite like the warmth and truly caring personnel at Blu. It’s intoxicating and deeply gratifying.

    And be sure to pay homage to Blu’s longest full-time resident, Gaston, the resort’s bright orange, six-foot long (!) iguana. It’s harmless and quite the draw, as you can imagine.

    So, what does a dream look like? It looks exactly like the Radisson Blu Resort, Spa & Marina in St. Martin. Please don’t pinch me, this is one dream I don’t ever want to wake from.