BEL AIR / CAY HILL

A Historical Area For St Maarten Nature

This area in Cay Hill was named after the plantation with the same name of which only ruins remain nowadays. Plantation “Welgelegen” was owned by the first medical doctor in the Dutch side Mr. Rijgersma. He was sent to the island by Dutch King Willem III in 1863 after the official abolition of slavery. Rijgersma’s task was to look after the health and wellbeing of the entire population of 2819 persons. Of those were 1878 that had just gotten their freedom. Some of them stayed on Sint Maarten, cultivating their land, while others migrated to surrounding islands in search for a better life. With such a small population, the doctor had ample time to research the flora and fauna he encountered. From those he painted aquarels and sent them to universities and institutes in the Netherlands, Sweden and the USA. A century later, those treasures, were compiled by a Dutch scientist Mr. Hennie Coomans in two books that are available in the library for the reading public. “Welgelegen” means that the plantation was well situated with a nice view, good breezes, good soil and a large pond. Hotel l’Espérance can be found right in the middle.

 

Best things to do in the Bel Air area:

Best St Maarten / St Martin activities in the Bel Air area: 

See our national symbol the Courthouse!

• Make an AMAsterdam bar selfie in an Amsterdam streetcar or “red light district”!

• Visit Rainforest Adventure Park

• Visit Fort Amsterdam

• Visit the Heritage Museum

• Take a brewery tour!

• Spend a day at Little Bay Beach, take a one day Divi Little Bay Resort pass and/or enjoy a meal at Gizmo’s or PureOcean!

• Take a Spirit of St Maarten dinner tour!

• Take the Philipsburg Mural tour!

• Spend a beach day at Great Bay Beach, and don’t forget to take lunch at the Ocean Lounge.

• Do an active Philipsburg Trisport tour!

• Try a rum of local manufacturer guavaberry made of namesake fruits that grow on the island.

 

Best St Maarten / St Martin restaurants in the Bel Air area: 

• Ocean Lounge

• Dutch Blonde Beach Bar

 Emilio’s

 

Best St Maarten / St Martin bars in the Bel Air area: 

Take a local craft beer!

Learn the true history of pirates at the Rusty Parrot and have a drink with the experts (trust us, pirates are good people these days)!

 

Best St Maarten / St Martin shops in the Bel Air area: 

• Coffee Lounge

 Joe’s Jewelers

• Ballerina’s Jewelers

 

Best St Maarten / St Martin resorts in the Bel Air area: 

• Divi Little Bay Beach Resort

• Belair Beach Hotel

 

Best St Maarten / St Martin boutique hotels in the Bel Air area: 

• Horizon View Beach Hotel

• Holland House Beach Hotel

• L’Espérance Hotel

• Pasanggrahan Boutique Hotel

• Alicia’s Inn

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