Diamonds International – One of The Best Duty Free Jewelry Shopping in St. Maarten
If you haven’t heard of Diamonds International before – by the time you get on the plane or cruise ship, you will hear a LOT about them!
Diamonds International was established over two decades ago. What began as one store in St. Thomas has now blossomed into more than 125 locations.
Diamonds International is now one of the largest jewelry retailers in the world. They have more locations in the Caribbean than any other fine jeweler, but their network stretches from the company’s New York City headquarters into Mexico and as far as Alaska. Continue reading
Negotiating the Streets (and the Treats!) of Philipsburg…
An Article (originally published in Destination Magazine St. Maarten)
With three parallel streets on the sandbar that forms Philipsburg, it’s probably the easiest layout of shopping streets you could find in a town – you don’t really need a map; but here is a quick practical guide of important things you need to know when shopping in Philipsburg.
First of all, if you are visiting in high season, you need to check out which cruise ships are in town. It can be a real crush if five or more of the largest world class cruise ships are in town and you may not have so much of a relaxing stroll or get the full attention you deserve at your favorite store. You can check the local newspapers for a listing or ask at your hotel. Continue reading
Marigot is a Quite Different Shopping Experience to Philipsburg…
It has it’s own unique charm – reminiscent of the French Riviera
The Mediterranean/ Continental ambience of the French side capital Marigot (pronounced ‘marry-go’) where you can have breakfast at one of the fine ‘croissanteries’ of Marina Royale.. The aptly named ‘Le Croissanterie’ is a modest establishment, right by the water, that probably has the best croissants on the island and where you can get a filling breakfast for a family of four for a great price. Perfect to get your day started.
Parking in Marigot is rarely the same struggle as in Philipsburg, although you should be aware that the layout of the French side capital is more spaced out than Philipsburg so you’ll need to take some good shoes or, if you cannot walk far, plan your trip in advance so you can park close to where you need to be. A large parking lot at the south end of Marina Royale (where you will find the Tourist office and Arhawak museum) will give you access to the main town center where you will find classy French boutiques and brand names alongside inexpensive gift and souvenir shops. Continue reading
Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend?
And a boys, also – when they’re this price!
Yes, there are great bargains to be had when it comes to diamonds and jewelry.
Here’s something you may not know -
ok, you know how to negotiate (or you’ve learn our insiders tips and tricks on this), you know that prices are duty and tax-free and you know where to get a good deal – but DID YOU KNOW that there is only one place you can get diamonds from as close to the ‘source’ as is possible in the world – in St. Maarten?
De Beers controls the mining, polishing and distribution of diamonds throughout the world, but there are a handful of places that have the rights to sell their diamonds direct to the consumer, thereby creating massive savings – and one of them is in St. Maarten.
We’ll tell you where in our special insiders guide to St. Maarten.
Caribbean Art, Poetry, Music, Literature & History
St. Martin to the French artist is the modern equivalent of the impressionists’ Provence of the 1930′s – a far-flung colony in the exotic tropics where creative passions are easily stirred and imagination is free to roam and bring the seemingly trivial or innocuous to life. A la Gaugin perhaps?
PhD’s have been written on Caribbean culture and artists of all genres so it is no surprise that the rich heritage of the Caribbean is alive and well in St. Maarten and St. Martin – I mention both spellings of the name because the Dutch side and the French side are unique in their collective contribution to the arts. St Martin has the French flair with distinct Creole undertones and St. Maarten has the Dutch and English influence borne of constant colonial conquest and slavery. Continue reading
What Could Be Better Than Duty-Free?
How About FREE Duty Free?
With no customs import or export duties, goods are free to flow in and out of St. Maarten/ St. Martin relatively unregulated – plus if you consider no sales tax and high volume turn over, it makes a great recipe for a shoppers paradise!
On top of this, we’ll give you the inside scoop on:
- Bargaining and negotiating – how to know you’ve really got the ‘best price’
- Using coupons to get a steal of a deal
- How to get extra discounts
- The best places for the deals
- What is ‘grey market’ and how does it affect you?
- Is there such a thing as buyers remorse?
- Building relationships with your retailer
- How to say ‘no’
- When to say ‘yes’
I personally know of people from the US or Puerto Rico who have bought an inexpensive cruise to the caribbean just so they can go shopping for certain items – think about it, if you are in the market for the latest Bvlgari timepiece or cinema-sized flat screen TV and know that you can save $100′s (or $1,000′s if the item is high-ticket enough) by shopping in St. Maarten, then a $500 cruise can not only be a great and inexpensive weekend away but a good reason to save.
To make your shopping trip even better we added a coupon book to our Ultimate St. Maarten Guide, which worth more than $1000 in savings and give a ways. With the money you can save with our coupon book…you just shop more…