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About St Martin
Half Dutch - Sint Maarten, and half French - Saint Martin, this island's beaches are beautiful all the way around the coastline. The Dutch side has the international airport, cruise ship port and duty free shopping, while the French side is slightly more chic and less frenetic. You can find the best places to stay in St Martin on both sides of the island, it all depends on the kind of Caribbean break you're yearning for.
Sint Maarten's capital Philipsburg, and the main tourist area, Simpson Bay are where you'll find the shopping centres - Sint Maarten probably has the best shopping in the Caribbean, plus casinos and tourist-friendly nightlife. There are also a number of excellent restaurants.
Much of the Dutch side sprouts waterfront resorts and condo communities, but if you're looking for something quieter try the far end of Simpsons Bay Beach, where there's a handful of cool spots.
Sint Maarten also has the Caribbean's biggest zoo, and some charming old Dutch monuments, which lend plenty of charm.
It's quite fun to cross the border back and forth - the challenge is in finding it!
Saint Martin's territory covers the northern two thirds of the island, and the majority of the island's natural treasures. Here you'll find the spectacular bluffs overlooking the ocean, prettiest secluded coves and the lushest interior.
Its capital Marigot has the marina and shopping, but if you're staying on the French side you're better off being on the beach. There are scores of good restaurants to choose from on the French side of the island.
Our selection of the best places to stay in St Martin embraces both French and Dutch areas and ranges from bargain properties in Philipsburg to one of the best hotels in the entire Caribbean.
For a Caribbean beach break
- French Esmeralda is a beachside hotel for those who appreciate a bit of boutique chic, but nothing too fussy. Spacious and whitewashed, most rooms face the ocean, or the large central pool. There's a choice of restaurants, including one on the beach and one fine dining.
- The Bleu Emeraude has just 11 contemporary chic rooms, but they range in size up to two bedroom suites, complete with kitchens, living areas and all the mod. cons. a modern family needs. As well as being close to the beach, guests have incredible views over the bright blue Caribbean to Anguilla.
- The Oyster Bay Beach Resort is beautifully located, right on the border of the French and Dutch sides of the island, and full of Caribbean character. Penthouses have fully equipped kitchens, and balconies complete with BBQs. This is a large and lively resort which also has its own night club, as well as restaurants and bars.
- The Hotel La Plantation near Saint Martin's Orient Beach is an excellent four star hotel with a good range of suites and two bedroom villas for families to choose from. You're right on the beach, but there's a nice pool too, and there are plenty of restaurants near by.
- The Pasanggrahan Hotel is a cheerful, historic looking guesthouse on the opposite side of the island, in the capital, Philipsburg. It's also right on the beach, and offers a range of room and suite sizes - three of which have kitchen facilities. It is also very reasonably priced, with rooms from only £61 per night.
- Divi Little Bay Beach resort is a large resort on its own peninsula, and with its own excellent beach access. It's also got three pools - one which is just for kids, three restaurants and a spa.
- La Samanna, on the French side, is one of the best places to stay in St Maarten and in the whole of the Caribbean! A luxurious spot, done with great taste and all the mod. cons.. It's got facilities for all and its own private beach.
- Another romantic spot on the French side of the island is L'Esplanade. With just 23 rooms, including several lofts and a two bedroom villa with its own infinity pool, this boutique hotel is romantic, laid-back and beautiful, yet unpretentious.
- The Hotel Marquis is a small and elegant four star boutique hotel with beautiful views and a serene location. There's also a top of the range spa.
For value chic
- Mary's Boon on Simpson's Bay, Sint Maarten, is a great value option, which offers more sophistication than you'd expect for the room rate, which starts at just £46 per night. It also has direct access to the beach.
- Holland House in lively, central Philipsburg has great facilities and stunning views over the bay. The decor in its 55 rooms is city chic and you're close to the main attractions of Philipsburg.
- The Hevea Hotel is a good value choice on the French side of the island, with just ten rooms, which are large and bright, plus a lovely sun deck. You're just a short walk from the beach, and the room rate starts at as little as £51 per night.
Still undecided? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in St Maarten, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Alternatively widen your search and check out all our Caribbean recommendations.
Best Hotels in St Martin
Hevea Hotel 10 rooms from $74Saint Martin, St Martin
A hotel for the budget minded traveller who appreciates contemporary style and being close to the beach. Large bright rooms, some more romantic than others decked out in light woods and all white bedding. Lovely sun deck and a short walk from the great beach below.Value chic - Beautiful contemporary bedrooms at bargain prices.Fishing - Deep sea fishing is an exciting adventure and the migration period of large fish is awaited with much anticipation every year.Sailing - St Maarten is one of the Caribbean’s leading sailing spots.Four poster beds - For romantics.
Seaview Beach Hotel 42 rooms from $75Philipsburg, St Martin
A very basic B&B type hotel for the budget minded traveller set just off the beach and within walking distance of all Phillipsburg's attractions. Comfortable rooms, terraces, breakfast. Rock bottom prices and rooms that have 1, 2, 3 and 4 beds. An ideal base for families on a budget.Value chicSights nearby - Situated in the centre of Philipsburg, close to all attractionsViews - Great views from hotelSailing - Can be booked nearby.
Mary's Boon 36 rooms from $75St Martin
A very good beach option for those who enjoy sophisticated interiors. Rooms and suites are boutique with four poster beds, colourful walls, and patios facing the sea. Swimming pool, excellent restaurant & small spa. Direct access to the beach. Ideal for couples and families. Superb value for money.Value chicOn the beach - Simpson Bay.Views - Great views from hotelSailing - Can be booked nearby.
Hotel La Plantation 52 rooms from $128St Martin
An excellent four star hotel suited to families, foodies, and beach goers alike. Charming rooms, suites, and two-bedrooms villas, all with their own kitchens. Swimming pool, romantic poolside terrace, and plenty of restaurants to choose from on the beachfront or directly on the beach.Families - 2 bedrooms villas are ideal spots for families.Sights nearby - Butterfly Farm.Sailing - Can be booked nearby.On the beach - In front of the hotel.
Pasanggrahan Hotel 35 rooms from $99Philipsburg, St Martin
A cheerful and historical guesthouse directly on the beachfront makes an ideal spot for a family, groups of friends, or those on a budget. A range of rooms, suites, and a penthouse (3 bedrooms) have kitchens, balconies, and panoramic views. Steak and seafood restaurant and fishing trips.Families - The penthouse has three bedrooms and a panoramic view from the rooftop.Fishing - The hotel provides deep sea fishing escapades.Value chicViews - Great views from hotelRecommended by - Frommers
Horny Toad 8 rooms from $118St Martin
A small unpretentious collection of apartments directly on the beach. Each unit has its own kitchen, living area, and you can walk directly out of your door onto the beach. No eating options available, but ideal for a couple or family who want to do their own thing. Excellent value.Quirky - A small, unpretentious spot with an excellent reputation.Value chic - Superb value for moneySailing - Can be booked nearby.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Recommended by - Fodors
La Vista Beach Resort 18 rooms from $135Simpson Bay, St Martin
A good value beach resort for those on a budget. A collection of studio and two-room apartments have kitchens, balconies, and sea views. A short walk directly onto the beach or to the large swimming pool. Close to all the restaurants and activities around. An ideal base for families or couples.Views - Fantastic seaviews from all angles.On the beach - Overlooks the crystal waters of Lay Bay.Sailing - Can be booked nearby.Surfing - Suitable beaches nearby.
Holland House 55 rooms from $170Philipsburg, St Martin
A lively spot with great amenities and stunning views over the bay below. Contemporary chic rooms have all the mod cons and in-room massages. Large wine cellar, pool, bar and restaurant, and easy walking distance to the town's main attractions. A good choice for a family.Views - Fabulous bay views.Beach LifeSights nearby - Cyrus Wathey Square, Philipsburg Courthouse, and Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit.Lively - A lively venue in the evenings for cocktails.
Esmeralda from $180St Martin
A beachside hotel for those who appreciate a bit of boutique chic. Luxurious rooms, suites, and spacious condos, all with kitchens, white washed walls, and romantic furnishings. Large central pool, fine dining French restaurant, beach restaurant and direct access to the beach.Foodies - The Astrolabe specialises in French cuisine, and the beachfront restaurant serves International food.LuxuryViews - Great views from hotelRomantic Break
Oyster Bay Beach Resort 190 rooms from $195St Martin
Plenty of Caribbean character and luxurious living on a lively beach resort. Chic rooms, suites, and penthouses have fully equipped kitchens, BBQs and balconies. Swimming pools in tropical settings, ocean vistas, spa and beauty centre, restaurant, and laid back romance.Views - Great views from hotelBeach LifeRomantic BreakLively - Beau Beau is a lively night spot at the hotel.Recommended by - Fodors
Bleu Emeraude 11 rooms from $240St Martin
A contemporary chic set up with all the mod cons makes for an ideal base for a family beach holiday. Rooms and two bedroom suites all in white have DVD players, iPod docking stations, kitchens, and living areas. A short walk out of the hotel onto the beach. Ideally located for beach life.Views - Views over the Caribbean Sea to AnguillaSights nearby - Paradise Peak.Four poster beds - For romantics.Sailing - Can be booked nearby.
Divi Little Bay Beach resort 265 rooms from $215St Martin
A large and attractive beach hotel with all the amenities on a pretty peninsula; ideal for families and beach goers. Contemporary chic rooms, suites, and family rooms in creams and pastels, three pools (one for kids), three restaurants, a spa, and easy access to the beach.Outstanding location - Set on a peninsula of its own with unrivalled beach access and seaviews.Beach Life - Swimming pools, beaches, and ocean views.Views - Great views from hotelWindsurfingRecommended by - Fodors
Hotel Marquis 17 rooms from $263St Martin
A luxurious beach boutique suited to the sophisticated traveller. Four Star comforts and elegant decor throughout; romantic suites with kitchens and living areas. Large pool, top of the range spa, fitness centre, and a gourmet discovery package. Ideal for couples and families.Beach LifeRomantic - Good for couples.Sailing - Can be booked nearby.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRecommended by - Fodors
L'Esplanade, St Martin 23 rooms from $265St Martin
A dreamy little spot and a hidden gem with boutique interiors and varying accommodation. Rooms, lofts, and a two-bedroom villa (with its own infinity pool) with romantic furnishings, a laid back atmosphere, and sea views. Tennis and squash courts on site. Delightfully unpretentious.Luxury - An oasis of tranquility with amazing ocean views and impeccable attention to detail.Honeymoons - A dreamy spot with chic interiors, wonderful views, and a romantic atmosphere.Views - Stunning ocean views and rooftop vistas.Beach LifeRecommended by - Fodors
Belmond La Samanna 83 rooms from $581Marigot, St Martin
The piece de resistance on the French side of St Martin. Luxury for the scrupulous traveller, the honeymooner, a family, or friends. Uber chic rooms, suites, and 3/4 bedroom villas, have all white walls, marble bathrooms and all the mod cons. Three fantastic restaurants, spa, and private beach.5* Luxury - One of the top 10 Caribbean hotels.HoneymoonsBeach LifeRomantic BreakRecommended by - Fodors