October 4th Update

Airport re-opens on October 10

Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher on Wednesday announced that Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA/SXM Airport) will open to accept all commercial flights as per October 10, 2017. “We will be back in business,” the Minister said. The symbolism of the date was also important to the Minister, marking seven years since St. Maarten obtained its new constitutional status.

The airport, the Minister explained, was given time following hurricane Irma and Maria to get back to a suitable operational level that falls within international safety standards. She re-iterated that the damage to PJIA was severe and no quick fix could have been applied. “Even as we open our airport, we are still months away from restoring PJIA to its former glory,” she said.

However, the Minister continued, “acting CEO of PJIA Michel Hyman assisted by Head of the Civil Aviation Department Lou Halley and his team, has done a terrific job in getting the airport to a point where we can open for business. I cannot praise these folks and their resilience enough in getting PJIA back up and running. Thank you.”

The Minister explained that while the airport is opening, there will be some changes in terms of passenger movement and security within the terminal building to allow for repairs to the building to continue. She said Hyman and airport management will ensure that passengers are in a safe environment at all times.

“There might be some inconvenience here and there, but we only ask a little patience as we work to get back to 100%,” the Minister said. She added that all airlines will issue information regarding their resumption of service via their respective outlets and agents.

“We are in discussion with all of the airlines about resumption of service to St. Maarten. St. Maarten as a destination has been hit hard and the road to recovery is long, but we still do have some hotel inventory that can be serviced and we still want potential investors here. Basically, the message we want to send to the world is we are resilient, we are open for business and we look forward to welcoming you back.”

Minister Arrindell-Doncher also extended thanks to the personnel of PJIA and other contracted workers who have diligently been working to restore the airport to operational status as well as the Immigration and Customs Department. She thanked all airport handlers, airlines, commercial, charter and military, that came to St. Maarten’s aid by transporting relief supplies while the airport was closed.

September 30th Update

Minister of Aviation Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher told The Daily Herald this week that the management of Princess Juliana International Airport was still carrying out in-depth assessments of the internal and external facilities, the majority of which suffered heavy to severe damage. The minister estimated the airport would not be back at full operation capacity “in all its glory” for another 35 weeks, but woud be able to function optimally much sooner than that.

The entire airport perimeter fencing was destroyed and all four jet bridges sustained substantial structural damage. The swing cabs were blown off all four bridges and all metal entrance doors attached between the bridges and the terminal building were blown in.

All runway and taxiway lights and precision approach path indicators were destroyed. The shoulders and a section of the runway were under water due.

The majority of the roof was destroyed in the terminal building exposing the terminal to outdoor elements with water found on all four levels of the terminal.

There is no official date for the resumption of commercial flights into St. Maarten, according to the minister.


September 27th Update

Royal Islander Club – 9/27 – FB posts: “Our professional team is working together with the insurance adjusters to assess the full extent of the damages at the Royal Islander Club La Plage & La Terrasse in an effort to formulate a plan of action. This process had to be redone again after the passing of Hurricane Maria that brought severe water damage. Unfortunately, due to Hurricane Irma, Royal Islander Club La Plage and La Terrasse will be closed through the end of 2017.”

Coral Beach Club & Oyster Bay Beach Resort   –   9/27 – Website message: “Due to Hurricane Irma, Oyster Bay Beach Resort and our sister property Coral Beach Club are currently closed. Thankfully, all of our resort guests and staff are safe. Unfortunately, the resort suffered major damage and will remain closed until repairs can be made”

Sonesta Resorts – 9/27 – FB posts: “Our beloved hotels suffered significant damage as a result of the passing of Hurricane Irma”, “We have started to process refunds for 2017 reservations, however please bear with us and understand that refunds are issued progressively based on the date of travel and there is a sequence, which must be adhered to in our systems. We will continue to issue refunds until March 31, 2018. You will be refunded, however please be patient.”

Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach – 9/27 – Website Message: “Due to Hurricane Irma, The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa is currently closed.”

September 25th Update

Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten – 9/25 – Email from hotel: We will continue to issue refunds until March 31, 2018.

September 22nd Update


September 16th Update

Updates from St. Maarten / St. Martin hotels are as follows:

  • Alicia’s Inn – 9/18 – Guests and staff are confirmed OK. Hotel has sustained some damage to roof structure, already on path to recovery. They do not have water or electricity. However they will be receiving guests starting today.
  • Beach Plaza: ​Badly damaged
  • Beachside Villas: 9/19 Facebook: “GREAT NEWS! Beachside Villas will be up and running by November 1, 2017. We should have the first villas ready to go in 2 weeks.”
  • Belair Beach Hotel: ​Sustained damage and it will take time to repair. Phone service and internet down
  • Belmond​ ​La​ ​Samanna:​ According to a statement on its website, Belmond La Samanna has assessed the damages and at this time does not anticipate opening until at least April 2018
  • Esmeralda Resort: Hotel 70% severely damaged
  • Grand​ ​Case​ ​Beach​ ​Club:​ ​Grand Case Beach Club suffered significant damage that will take some time to repair and rebuild, possibly up to a year to have the hotel back to normal
  • Hotel Mercure: Damaged
  • La Playa Orient Bay:​ Severely damaged. The hotel was undergoing  renovation prior to Irma and due to the impact of the storm the reopening is postponed until further notice
  • La Samanna – assessing damage but will remain closed for the remainder of the year
  • La​ ​Vista​ ​Hotel:​ ​The Beach building is relatively in decent shape. The roof tiles came off but the roof itself in still there. Some water damage and missing doors and windows
  • Oyster Bay Beach Resort: Significant damage.
  • Princess Heights: Minor damage.
  • Riu Palace St. Martin: Infrastructures severely affected
  • Royal​ ​Islander​ ​Club:​ ​9/19 Facebook post from Sept 16: Dear Members, Guests and Friends of Royal Islander Club, Unfortunately, due to the significant damages that Hurricane Irma brought to our beloved friendly island, Royal Islander Club La Plage and La Terrasse will be closed through the end of 2017. From time to time, we will update you on the progress of the renovations and expected opening dates of your home away from home.
  • Sea​ ​Palace​ ​Resort:​ ​Damage to the hotel was extensive. They anticipate the hotel will remain closed to visitors for several months.
  • Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten (Sonesta Maho Beach, Sonesta Ocean Point and Sonesta Great Bay): All guests who were in-house during the hurricane have now been evacuated. Resort damage is severe. All further reservations from now through the end of 2017 have been cancelled.
  • Summit Resort Hotel: Due to extensive damage, the Summit Resort will remain closed.
  • Westin Dawn Beach: Suffered significant damage. Hotel is closed until further notice

Source: CHTA – CTO Joint Update, September 16th


Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten Statement September 14th