Es­cape To

The liv­ing is easy for on the is­lands of Saint Martin and Anguilla

Business Traveler (USA) - - INSIDE - By Jenny Southan

Happy Land­ing – The liv­ing is easy on Saint Martin and Anguilla

There can’t be many places in the world where you can sun­bathe on a beach, drink a cold beer and watch a gi­ant Air France A340 take off roar­ing just feet over your head. Sure, there are signs say­ing“dan­ger of death”on the fence sep­a­rat­ing the road from the land­ing strip, but it doesn’t stop peo­ple stand­ing there gaz­ing up in awe. It’s not un­usual for fully-grown adults to be thrown into the sea by the sheer force of the en­gines – just look onYou Tube.

Half French, half Dutch, the 13-square-mile Caribbean is­land of Saint Martin (Sint Maarten in Dutch) is not par­tic­u­larly pic­turesque, there aren’t any cul­tural sights and the bars are out­ra­geously tacky – at Maho Beach’s Sun­set Bar and Grill, top­less women drink for free. (Who cares about fem­i­nism when you can en­joy end­less serv­ings of Run­way Rum Punch?)

But for a self-con­fessed“av geek”like me, the plane-spot­ting op­por­tu­ni­ties are all that mat­ters. (Keep an eye out for su­pery­achts, too – I spot­ted Ro­man Abramovich’s Eclipse moored off­shore.)

Princess Ju­liana air­port (SXM) was named af­ter the princess of the Nether­lands, who touched down in 1944, a year af­ter it opened. From the US main­land, you can get here via Mi­ami with Amer­i­can Air­lines. Make sure you get a win­dow seat. On­ward con­nec­tions from SXM can also be made to is­lands such as St. Barths with lo­cal car­rier Wi­nair, An­tigua with Liat, or Cu­raçao with Insel Air.

While the all-in­clu­sive Son­esta Maho Beach Re­sort and Casino of­fers a prime po­si­tion for ob­serv­ing low ap­proaches, the classi­est


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