The 5 Best Hotels in St. Martin – St. Maarten
Shared by both France and the Netherlands, this tiny Caribbean island just south of Anguilla has become known for its split personality. Saint Martin, the French side to the north, stays true to the region's European roots with a penchant for sophistication and elevated cuisine, while the southerly Dutch side of Sint Maarten buzzes with casinos and big-ticket resorts. No matter which side you choose to stay on, the island’s best hotels deliver on style, charm, and stunning island views. Time to check in.
Belmond La Samanna, Saint Martin
Craving seclusion with a side of unabashed luxury? At the only five-star hotel on the island, you’ll find the best of both. Its 81 rooms, housed in eight whitewashed villas spread out over 55 acres fronting Baie Longue beach, feel blissfully secluded, and most of them feature mahogany antiques and have their own ocean-view terrace. The level of privacy here has attracted the likes of Jackie O. and Oprah, but anyone willing to splash out on a room will feel just as much like a VIP thanks to diversions like private boat charters, soothing treatments at Elysee Spa, award-worthy French-Caribbean dinners at the fine-dining restaurant (now with its own candlelit wine cellar), tricked-out beachside cabanas, and service that goes above and beyond.
Sonesta Ocean Point Resort, Sint Maarten
While it may not be the most luxurious escape in all of the Caribbean, as far as Saint Martin all-inclusives go, this 129-room adults-only spinoff of sister property Sonesta Maho Bay blows the rest out of the water. Both action-seeking couples and laid-back honeymooners love Sonesta's individually designed suites (think private terraces and 400-thread-count sheets), “limitless” rates (all meals and snacks, alcoholic drinks, and scheduled activities are part of the deal), sceney Sunset Lounge and Bar, and direct access to buzzy Maho Beach. (There’s also an infinity pool framed by a man-made beach for those who’d rather avoid Maho’s crowds.) Ask for a ground-floor room if you want access to the narrow swim-out plunge pool; higher room categories include alcohol in the mini-bar and daily butler service.
Le Petit Hotel, Saint Martin
This über-charming sister property of the island’s larger Hotel L’Esplanade feels like the beachfront guest house of your most well-traveled friend. Ten rooms are tricked out with global finds—hand-painted Mediterranean tiles, Moroccan lamps, Balinese furniture—as well as beds wrapped in Frette linens and sea-facing terraces or balconies. The rate also includes free WiFi and a continental breakfast buffet, where guests are given baskets to fill with treats should they wish to dine in the comfort of their own room. There’s no pool, but a tiled staircase leads down to Grand Case Beach. Looking to stay awhile? Book the lone suite for a full kitchenette and space to sleep four.
Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, Sint Maarten
If you’re looking for a quiet, cottage-style escape close to town, Westin Dawn Beach isn’t the spot for you. However, if action, people watching, and convenient amenities all within arm’s reach are key aspects of your ideal getaway, look no further. An expansive infinity pool is all that separates this 310-room behemoth from the sands of secluded Dawn Beach, on the island’s Dutch side. You’ll find all your favorite signature Westin details here, including Heavenly Bed mattresses in the spacious guest rooms (all with furnished balconies and many with sea views) and a full-service spa, as well as island resort musts like a swim-up bar, multi-level pool, lobby casino, and sea-view restaurants including adults-only Aura, where elevated steak and seafood dishes are served in a romantic setting.
Hotel l'Esplanade, Saint Martin
Despite sitting hillside above Grand Case, far from the beach, family-owned Hotel l’Esplanade has long been the getaway of choice for St. Martin fans. Each of the 24 sleek, loft-style suites elevate the typical Caribbean sleep with full (and fully stocked) kitchens, large living rooms, pebble-wall showers, and private terraces. The terraced grounds are green and gorgeous, awash with bougainvillea, stunning bay views, and stone steps that lead down to gardens surrounding a good-sized pool. There’s no proper restaurant on site (a poolside lunch is served during high season), but the charming bistros of Grand Case are just a five-minute walk away.
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