Set on a pillowy beach a stone's throw from the airport, Mary's Boon has a singular charm born out of a singular vision, that of pioneering aviatrix Mary Pomeroy, who opened this place in 1970. Its offbeat, ramshackle appeal undergirds what is now a cheerfully spiffed-up boutique property, where the best rooms have big cherrywood four-poster beds and spacious layouts. The briny breezes blowing in off Simpson Bay often negate the need for air-conditioning, particularly in beachfront rooms that open to both the sea and the resort garden. Mary's Boon is not for everyone: The close proximity to the airport means steeling yourself for the occasional teeth-rattling sonic boom. It's not fancy, bathrooms could use an update, and some of the cheaper garden rooms are clearly space- and light-challenged. But who wants to stay inside anyway when you can loll about that long stretch of uncrowded white sand, watching boats tootle in and out of Simpson Bay? Mary's Boon is also the kind of friendly place that encourages mingling with your neighbors (especially if you share a beachfront patio). Chat up your new friends at the beachfront bar and restaurant, the Tides, and toast to pilot Mary Pomeroy, who at the age of 77, flew her little plane out of St. Maarten on June 5, 1990, and vanished forever into the blinding blue sky.