St. Maarten Named ‘Best Caribbean Shopping Experience’ by Porthole Cruise Magazine

A zipline adventure at Treetops, on St Maarten.

The island of St. Maarten (www.VacationStMaarten) has received the 2012 Editor-in-Chief Award from Porthole Cruise Magazine as the ‘Best Caribbean Shopping Experience’.

The award is determined based on those in the cruise and travel industry that have “gone above and beyond in terms of service, quality, and excellence,” according to Bill Panoff, editor-in-chief, Porthole Cruise Magazine.

Porthole Cruise Magazine, now in its 16th year and featuring a circulation of 500,000, is published bimonthly and offers cruise and destination related feature stories, as well as information on industry trends, ship reviews, destination features, and much more. The magazine recently formed a new partnership with World Travel Holdings, one of the nation’s biggest leisure travel companies.

“We are honored to be chosen as the Best Caribbean Shopping Experience by Porthole Cruise Magazine,” said May-Ling Chun, interim Director of Tourism for the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau. “We truly offer something for everyone in terms of shopping trinkets and treasures and it is nice to be recognized for that by a leading publication in the cruise industry,” she added.

St. Maarten’s capital, Philipsburg, is the epicenter for shopping with boutique stores lining Front Street, which stretches for over a mile. Shoppers will find that most prices are as much as 50% less than other countries and are quoted in U.S. dollars saving the confusion of sorting out the exchange rate.

Along Front Street, stores range from Tiffany to Tommy Hilfiger. The Sint Rose Shopping Mall on the boardwalk by Front Street features Cartier, Lalique, and Faconnable.

Old Street, situated off Front Street, is highlighted by 19th century houses which contain specialty shops. Maho Plaza (located by the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort) is another area for name-brand stores.

“Whether travelers come for our beaches and spas or our cuisine and nightlife, one thing is certain – they never return home empty handed,” said Chun.

St. Maarten offers great buys on jewelry, a perennial favorite among shoppers, with jewelers offering everything from loose stones to original designs.

International fashion items such as Gucci and Ralph Lauren can be found at reasonable rates, as well as fine leather goods, top-of-the line cosmetics and state-of-the-art electronics.

Art enthusiasts will delight in native prints and crafts pieces as well as works from artists all over the Caribbean.

For more information on St. Maarten visit the official site of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau at www.VacationStMaarten.com.

About St. Maarten

St. Maarten is the smallest island in the world to be shared by two nations, Kingdom of the Netherlands and France, creating a European-influenced vibe with a Caribbean flair. As “the culinary capital of the Caribbean,” St. Maarten offers an eclectic array of cuisine for food lovers with more than 365 restaurants to satisfy the tastes of every palate and pocketbook.

Located at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles, the island’s 37 square miles has 37 breathtaking beaches and is home to both historical and family-oriented attractions. During the day, watersport enthusiasts can enjoy the island’s scuba diving and snorkeling facilities while the capital of Philipsburg offers true duty-free shopping in a bustling Caribbean city atmosphere and 14 casinos and numerous nightclubs provide endless evening entertainment.

Accommodations are varied and include elegant private villas, family oriented resorts, quaint cottages and luxury spa resorts. Air service to Princess Juliana International Airport is available from numerous U.S. and Canadian cities as well as from Europe, South America and the Caribbean.

Find St. Maarten on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VacationStMaarten and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/StMaartenTravel. For more information, visit www.VacationStMaarten.com.

For more travel features, visit:

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

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