Calling Saint Martin / Sint Maarten Since the island is made up of two halves, each under the jurisdiction of a different country, the seemingly simple act of placing a phone call may seem a bit tricky. On the French side, numbers consist of 10 digits starting with 0590 (for example 0590-12 34 56). On the Dutch side, numbers consist of seven digits beginning with 54 or 55 (for example 541-2345). To place a call within a side, just dial the number. Calls from one side to the other are considered international. From the French side to the Dutch side, dial 00599+seven-digit number (for example 00599+541+2345). From the Dutch side to the French side, dial 00590+590+six-digit local number (for example 00590+590+12 34 56). Calls from other international destinations should follow this same format, with the necessary international calling prefix added. Currency The French side uses Euros (€ or EUR). Most establishments will also accept US Dollars, although the exchange rate varies from one business to another. The Dutch side uses Antillean Guilders or Florins (ANG). Businesses may post prices in either Antillean Guilders or in US Dollars, and most will also accept US Dollars although once again, the exchange rate will vary. Most businesses accept traveler's checks and credit cards as well and there are plenty of conveniently located ATMs and currency exchange offices. To avoid paying extra exchange fees, traveler's checks should be in US Dollars. Language In Saint Martin, the official language is French; in Sint Maarten it is Dutch. However, most everyone speaks fluent English. You may also hear Spanish, French Creole and Papiamento.
Princess Juliana International Airport Sint Maarten http://www.pjiae.com/ 599-546-7549 Major international carriers include Continental, Air France, KLM, American and Air Canada Grand Case Airport also known as Aérodrome de Grand-Case Espérance small aircraft only
Although there are several smaller local dailies and weeklies, the island's primary daily paper is the Sint Maarten Daily Herald. http://www.thedailyherald.com/ 599-542-5253
Conventions & Tourism
At the tourism offices, you can pick up a wealth of brochures on area attractions, restaurants and lodging opportunities. They also carry maps of the area, can inform you of area festivals, and are happy to field any questions you may have. St. Maarten Tourist Bureau Address: WG Buncamper Rd, Ste 33 Vineyard Office Park ST. MAARTEN Phone 1: 599-5-22337 FAX: 599-5-22734 Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-noon, 1pm-5pm St. Martin Office du Tourisme Port de Marigot Marigot ST. MARTIN Phone 1: 590-87-57-21 Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-1pm, 2:30pm-5:30pm; Sat 8am-noon
Tipping On the French side, hotels will add a 5% tax to the final bill; a service charge may also be added if not, an additional tip of 10-15% is standard. On the Dutch side, hotels add a 5% tax to the final bill and most add an additional 15% service charge. Restaurants everywhere may add a service charge of 10-15%, but an additional gratuity if warranted is appreciated. Remember to tip taxi drivers 10-15%; porters should receive about $1 per bag; hotel maids should receive $1-5 per night depending on the extent of service.