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St. Maarten air/resort, 4 nights, from $615

A limited-time sale for an extended weekend getaway to this tiny half-Dutch, half-French isle, known for its beautiful colonial architecture, 37 beaches, and one of the largest lagoons in the Caribbean.
Image: St. Maarten
The St. Maarten Getaway package includes round-trip airfare and four nights' accommodations in this half-Dutch, half-French isle, known for its beautiful colonial architecture, 37 beaches, and one of the largest lagoons in the Caribbean.St.maarten / AP file

The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare and four nights' accommodations, from $615 per person—plus $94 in taxes.

When: Through June 30, 2008.

Gateways: New York City; add $194 for Portland, Maine; $254 for D.C.; $382 for Charlotte; $454 for Boston; additional cities available.

The fine print: At press time, the lowest advertised price was $615 per person, based on travel June 13-17. Rates vary depending on travel dates and availability. Accommodations in a basic room (run of house), daily breakfast (at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino only), and complimentary room upgrades to the next room category are included. Hotel taxes are covered, but airfare taxes and fees are an additional $94. Prices are per person, based on double occupancy; single supplement is $464. Airport-hotel transfers start from $19 per person each way for the 10-minute ride by shuttle van or car. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: May 31, 2008.

Contact: JetBlue Getaways, 800/538-2583,

Why it's a deal: According to a recent search on Kayak, the lowest round-trip fare between New York City and St. Maarten starts at $421 for travel on June 13-17 (American). For an additional $288 per person, the JetBlue package covers airfare, accommodations, room upgrades, breakfast (at one of the resort options), and hotel and airport taxes.

Trip details: The St. Maarten Getaway package includes round-trip airfare on JetBlue and four nights' accommodations at one of two Sonesta resorts: the 537-room Maho Beach Resort & Casino or the 257-room Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino.

The starting rate includes accommodations in an island/garden-view room at Maho or a mountain-view room at Great Bay. Each features one king-size or two double beds, a balcony, and standard amenities like satellite television, high-speed Internet, an alarm-clock radio, a coffeemaker, and an electronic safe. However, the special offer allows upgrades to the next room category (premier island view or deluxe garden view) at no additional cost.

The 10-acre Sonesta Maho Beach Resort on the southwestern shore, about seven miles from the capital of Philipsburg, has two pools, four tennis courts, the Good Life Spa with six treatment rooms, a promenade with 40 boutiques, and plenty of nightlife venues.

Only a 10-minute walk from Philipsburg, the Great Bay resort is conveniently located on a one-mile stretch of sand that overlooks the harbor of the same name. Here you'll find three swimming pools, two whirlpools, a floodlit tennis court, a 13-station fitness center, three restaurants, and four bars. After a long day in the sun, reenergize at the Vitality Oasis Spa.

If you'd like to venture away from the beach, check out a few of Philipsburg's attractions, including the two historic forts, Fort Amsterdam and Fort Willem; the tiny St. Maarten Museum; and Front Street, lined with historic landmarks.

Those looking for a longer trip can add extra nights at the time of purchase. For example, five-night packages are available for an additional $100 per person or more, depending on travel dates.

For more tips on what to do in the area, visit the official Web site for the tourist office of St. Maarten.