TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards 2013 – No spots for St. Maarten in hotel and beach top-25POSTED: 11/22/13 4:56 PM
St. Maarten – For a tourist destination, St. Maarten does not have a strong appeal to the visitors of the TripAdvisor website, or so it appears from the rankings in the 2013 Traveler’s Choice Awards. While the country receives more than 1.5 million cruise passengers and another million plus visitors via the airport, St. Maarten is consistently absent in TripAdvisor top-25 rankings of beaches and hotels, with one exception. Among the top beaches in the Caribbean Orient Beach claims the 13th position – but that beach is in the French side of the island.
The TripAdvisor rankings show one trend that ought to concern St. Maarten: the rise of Cuba as a popular tourist destination. Among the 25 best beaches, Cuba claims four places, as does the Dominican Republic. The top beach is Grace Bay in Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, followed by Playa Flamenco in Puerto Rico in second place and Horseshoe Bay Beach in Bermuda in third. Palm Eagle Beach in Aruba claims the fourth spot. While Dutch St. Maarten is absent, the French-side Orient Beach is in thirteenth position while neighboring Anguilla made the top 25 in 18th place with Shoal Bay Beach.
For the choice of best hotels in the Caribbean, TripAdvisor visitors also snub St. Maarten. Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are in the top 25 with four hotels each, Turks and Caicos with three, and the emerging competitor Cuba with two.
The Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada is the most popular hotel, followed by The Tuscany in Turks and Caicos and the Grand Isle Resort and Spa in Great Exuma in the Out Islands (Bahamas). Aruba features in twelfth place with the Bucutian and Tara Beach Resort, not coincidentally located at the Palm Eagle Beach.
St. Maarten also does not make the cut in the category of small hotels in the TripAdvisor top-25. Secret Bay in Dominica claims the top spot, followed by Caribbean Club in Grand Cayman and the Shannas Cove Resort in the Out Islands.
Turks and Caicos and Jamaica each have four small hotels in this top-25, followed by Dominica, Out Islands, and Antigua with three each.