The Westin Dawn Beach Resort and Spa along with the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau so kindly hosted me in St. Maarten last weekend. It was a quick weekend trip, but the easy direct flight from JFK (only 3.5 hours) makes it a perfect city escape.

I could definitely get used to waking up to this view every morning! The sunrises were particularly beautiful, I can’t think of a better reason to wake up at 6:15.

{waking up to starbucks in the room}

Starbucks coffee brewed fresh in the room for those early morning sunrises on the balcony. No need to leave my room!

{i spy the island of st. barts}

You could see the island of St. Barts from the beach at the Westin, it is just a 70 minute boat ride away.

{the st. martin butterfly farm}

Discover a variety of butterflies and learn about their role in nature for a a fun and educational past time for adults and kids.

{orient beach | on the side where photography is allowed}

The only official clothing optional beach on the island. A row of a few beach rocks and this sign separate the nudist from the modest.

{the breathtaking orient bay}

{traditional st. maarten spices at the food stalls at the marigot market}

For the best assortments, visit on Wednesday or Saturday, the traditional market days.

{the local fashion at marigot, the capital of the french side}

{the famous sunset beach | image source}

I wasn’t able to capture a picture of the famous Sunset Beach Bar where people go to watch the planes takeoff and land, but I couldn’t talk about St. Maarten without telling you about this crazy popular past time.

{strolling in philipsburg, the capital of the dutch side}

Treat yourself at the Belgium Chocolate Factory and don’t miss the Guavaberry Emporium to sample the traditional and popular Guavaberry Liqueur.

{my temporary home away from home at the westin}

{private beach side cabana at the westin}

{view from the swim up bar at the westin}

I am looking forward to taking FMK back to the island to show him around. If you have ever been, please let us know your favorite things to do and places to eat in the comments below!

Disclosure: Accommodations were provided by The Westin Dawn Beach Hotel & Resort. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of The Westin Hotel or St. Maarten Tourist Bureau.