I’ve never not wanted to be in the city more than I have in 2017. Man, oh, man is it tiresome, and brutal, and rambunctious, simultaneously when you need it the least. And yes, many of you can say, “Tillie… then move.” Way ahead of you smart ass, that’s already in the works, but until that next big move, I can only rely on the memories.

Memories of when I was sunbathing poolside with frozen drinks being served to cool me down on the insides. It was absolutely marvelous. The sand leading up to the slant pool, giving the illusion you were taking a dip into the deep blue. Take me back to Sonesta Ocean Point… please.

Ocean Point was my first experience of an all-inclusive resort. To be honest, I thought all-inclusives were scams, for families going to DisneyLand, springbreakers tequila-ing their way through Cabo, or cruises. None of which is my ideal way to travel, ever. But when my partner-in-crime (a seasoned luxe all-inclusive traveler) and I arrived, shit got real.

First of all, when we arrived at the hotel we were golf carted passed the gates of resort heaven to a grand lobby with a handful of guests. At first sight, I assumed it was because of a low guest count, but I soon found out it was because everyone was already lounging at the two Ocean Resort pools, with DRANKS! Speaking of dranks, oh Lord, my heart is racing just typing this. ::clears throat:: Speaking of dranks, do you know what happened when exited aforementioned golf cart? Our suitcases magically disappeared to some closet until we checked-in, but we were served up a blue concoction mixed with sunshine and unicorn tears. This blue drink was a sign from God that this first-time experience could only get better. [For those who don’t know, blue drinks were my poison of choice in college. Any bar I would go to, I’d ask for a blue drink. I didn’t care what was in it; it just had to be blue. Since then, they have held a special place in my heart.]

As we sipped our way down the corridor to our room, the tranquility on what I was about to embark on hit me. We were in paradise. It’s always been hard for me to relax. Never have I traveled anywhere and been able to turn off my anxiety and incessant need to work. The moment that room door flung open, everything shut off. Within seconds, I was in my swimsuit on my way down to the pool, to sunbathe; something too, I had never done before this trip.

Peek into one of the caves

Later in the evening, around dinnertime, the turquoise blue water became a deep midnight. Stars were twinkling in the sky, and you could hear the waves crashing along the insides of caves. Afterwards, we retreated back to our abode to sit on the terrace and enjoy the breeze. The following day, before heading out for our catamaran cruise, we got to see one of the most beautiful sunrises. Have you ever experienced the calm of the world that happens during sunrise? Nothing is awake except for countable others. As the sun begins to peak out and hit the water with such a blinding force, it’s like a daily rebirth so many miss out on. If you like pitch darkness, sleep with the blinds closed. But, for just one evening, sleep with them open so you experience rising with sun. There may be that scream of, “Nooooooooo,” but I promise, it’ll be worth those few missed hours.

Sonesta in St. Maarten has three properties in total, all located on the Dutch side – Ocean Point, Maho Beach, and Great Bay. In some capacity we were able to experience all three. Though Ocean Point was an all time favorite, it’s important to acknowledge the family friendly atmosphere of Maho Beach. For anyone who is looking for a place to have grownup time along with children time, Maho Beach will be the most accommodating. For those who want to enjoy the nightlife, while still being in close proximity of the hotel, Great Bay is for you. During our visit we walked along the beach and experienced local life, local food, and tourist moments just minutes away from the resort.

…ugh, can you just take me back to St. Maarten already?