Easy to get to with plenty to do once you get there, St. Maarten is full of surprises like an afternoon on the water learning how to grind a winch, trim a sail and punch a stop watch. The most popular attraction on the island and the perfect way for Americans to celebrate July 4, the ‘12 Metre Challenge’ entertains couples aboard the original America’s Cup Stars & Stripes for the imitable opportunity to learn from a professional yacht crew. During the otherwise sleepy month of August, Grammy winner John Legend and old school crooner Percy Sledge whose “When a Man Loves a Woman” has ignited plenty a wild night take to the stage on the first Saturday of the month at the Hennessy Artistry concert.
Amongst the finest on the island, Sonesta Maho Beach Resort is popular not only for its seaside locale, terrific restaurants and fabulous spa but also for the ‘All-Inclusive Romance’ package that woos couples with a bottle of bubbly, en suite treats like fresh strawberries and discounts on couples massages. And for those in the mood, “Marry Me for Free” is full of extra treats for wedding parties that book ten rooms for five nights. On the French side, Grand Case Beach Club is offering the fifth night gratis for stays through the end of October. Room and board deluxe includes welcome bottle of wine, scrumptious breakfast for two at the Sunset Café and unlimited water sports.
Another fan favorite, Jamaica is the ideal getaway for adventurous couples. “We are blessed with a number of hidden gems which celebrate our culture and our people,” said John Lynch, director tourism, “whether it is soaring through the tree tops, exploring the rich flora and fauna, savoring the taste of our spicy jerk, horseback riding on the beach, rafting on one of our many rivers or just enjoying a catamaran cruise.”
The island’s only natural nighttime attraction and one of only three in the world, ‘Glistening Waters Luminous Lagoon’ is a phosphorous wonder where the waters glow courtesy of tiny organisms that light up at night. Departing from the Glistening Waters Restaurant in Falmouth, the sunset tours are ideal for popping the question with dinner and an icy Red Stripe when the boat returns to dry land. For twosomes craving a plate of lip-searing jerk with their icy Red Stripe, the Portland Jerk Festival on July 7 at the Folly Ruins in Port Antonio is nonstop tastings and entertainment.A quick hop from the Jerk Festival and once the haunt for A-listers like Audrey Hepburn and Denzel Washington, Trident Castle is romantic retro-chic with eight regal bedrooms, uber-luxe 500-count sheets, digital surround sound and Apple TVs. Available for individual room stays and buyouts for wedding parties, rates start as low as $200.00 per night, per room. For the smooth sounds of reggae, the annual Sumfest Music Festival heats up Montego Bay from July 21 to 27 with red hot acts like Damian Marley and Beenie Man. Thousands of fans flock to the island for what has been dubbed the ‘greatest reggae show on earth.’