Operation Escape to Sunshine

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It's mid-March and New York City still has a chill. The groundhog saw his shadow, the temps are hovering just above freezing and every New Yorker is longing for spring. I'm usually a patient person but this lady needs her sunshine so, last weekend I hopped a flight to the gorgeous island of St. Maarten for the weekend to escape from the cold city doldrums for sandy beaches (The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa) and a sultry night club (the aptly named Tantra Nightclub and Sanctuary).

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Here are a few of my St. Maarten musts:

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STAY

The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa that boasts the largest freshwater infinity edge pool on the island and that has, hands down one of the nicest hotel staffs I've ever met - from the waitresses at the cabana to the pit bosses in the lobby casino.

DANCE

Tantra Nightclub and Sanctuary From the statues of X'ian warriors that line the entrance hall to the mini boudoir stage for go-go dancers, Tantra succeeds in merging the charm of old world Asian accents with trendy touches. If the go-go dancers don't captivate you the clips of old Bruce Lee movies playing on the screen over the dance floor might. It's sensory overload in the best possible way - from bottle service delivered with sparklers attached to the unbelievable music.

DJ Ruckus was spinning keeping us all on the dance floor with his unbelievable tunes - here's a quick list of some of the music that was featured (try downloading this mix for your next workout - it kept me moving in 4-inch heels so imagine the workout you'll get in a pair of sneakers!)

"Electric Sex" - DJ Ruckus f/ Akira

"Unstoppable" - Kat DeLuna f/ Lil Wayne

"Hot N Cold" - Katy Perry

"All That She Wants" (Cory Enemy Remix) - Ace of Base

"Champagne Red Lights Pt. 2" - O'Neal McKnight f/ Busta Rhymes & Ron Browz

"Shooting Star" - LMFAO

"Roxanne" (Discotech Remix) - The Police

Bonus: Guests privy to the upstairs VIP lounge will find catwalk overlooking the main dance floor, gaming tables and a private staircase into the adjacent Casino Royale. Get info and VIP reservations for Tantra at 599-522-6853

EAT

Calmos Café

Plunge your toes in the sand and watch the surf come in while eating tasty bites like swordfish and shrimp kebabs and trying new island brews like Amstel Bright (which is only sold in the Netherlands Antilles). Bonus: Complimentary shots of homemade banana rum are often offered to the patrons.

SHOP

On your way out of Calmos Café, stop by the C'est La Vie gift shop for apparel that sums up the feeling of St. Maarten. The "C'est La Vie" logo is printed on everything from t-shirts to underwear.

DRINK

Guavaberryis the legendary folk liqueur of St. Maarten that is made from rum, cane sugar and wild Guavaberries (a local fruit).

Island Lover

In a frozen wine glass pour 1oz St. Maarten Guavaberry. Fill up with very cold dry white wine. Some people like to add a dash of sugar and a few ice cubes.

And, here's the good news it's low season in St. Maarten now so - flights to are ranging from $200 - $300 not a bad way to spend that tax refund!

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