Saint Martin: the smallest island in the world to be made up of two separate countries, this Caribbean hot spot is known as the melting pot of cultures in the Caribbean.
Experiencing the best of French, Dutch and Caribbean cuisine, music and culture in the warm tropics is more than enough reason to book your flight to this island paradise. But knowing where to stay in Saint Martin is the key ingredient to your perfect trip.
We’ve put together a list of the top 5 hotels and top 5 resorts in Saint Martin so you can plan your vacation with confidence.
- La Playa Orient Bay
- Belmond La Samanna
- Holland House Beach Hotel
- Belair Beach Hotel
- Princess Heights Hotel
- Sonesta Ocean Point Resort
- Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
- Oyster Bay Beach Resort
- Esmeralda Resort
- Secrets St. Martin Resort & Spa
The Districts & Neighbourhoods of Saint Martin
Saint Martin is split in two (fairly equal) halves, the northern French part and the southern Dutch half. Marigot is the capital of the French side of the island.
This area is very European and you’ll find the best French restaurants and shopping here.
Orient Bay has the most popular beach on the island, and for fine dining, make sure you visit Grand Case. If golf and casinos is your jam, don’t miss Cupecoy.
Phillipsburg is the capital of the Dutch half, with the best nightlife on the island. On par with Phillipsburg is Maho Village - it is noisy and vibrant, with casinos, live music and all night partying! Simpsons Bay is the central point on the Dutch side and where you will find the marina. When you’ve spent all night partying and want to recover from your hangover under a quiet umbrella, go to Dawn Beach.
While this sounds like a lot of places, Saint Martin is a small island (only 87 square kilometres) so you may get to see all of them if you plan well!
Best Hotels in Saint Martin
Whether you’re traveling alone, with your partner or the whole family, you’re sure to find the perfect hotel for your needs in our list below.
#1. La Playa Orient Bay
This ocean front hotel is literally on the beach, in fact, you’ll be having breakfast with your feet on the sand! All of La Playa Orient’s 56 rooms have a balcony and fully fitted kitchenette, plus free WiFi.
Step out of the hotel and you’re a few feet away from one of the most popular beaches in Saint Martin, Orient Bay, with gentle swelling body surfing waves and a cool breeze to counter the Caribbean sun. The hotel has its own private beach with sun loungers and a beach bar. With breakfast served as you face the ocean, you could easily spend your day basking in the sun.
After a “tiring” day lounging on the beach, why not book a single or couples massage, done right in your bedroom! If you still feel up to going out afterwards, ask your concierge to make dinner reservations at your restaurant of choice and rent a car right from the hotel.
Neighbourhood: Orient Bay.
Restaurants: The sea-view La Playa restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, offering local cuisine, sushi and pizza.
Best for: Couples, families with children.
#2. Belmond La Samanna
The Belmond La Samanna is a garden paradise set on a stretch of private beach, with its white buildings glazing in the Caribbean sun. Ranked among the best hotels in the region, this hotel offers resort-like features.
The 30 foot long main pool and infinity pool both offer poolside beverage service so you won’t have to move a muscle to be refreshed. Beachside cabanas are available to reserve, and it comes with wireless internet and bluetooth speakers to enjoy your favourite music as you sip on a bottle of free champagne.
Lunch and bar services are available and delivered to your cabana while you take in the views.
If you’re feeling energetic, there are 3 professional tennis courts and a fitness centre. For those workaholics, a business centre fitted with Macs and printers will allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of your business back home. End the day on the massage table at the onsite spa.
Neighbourhood: 20mins from Marigot.
Restaurants: The 2 onsite restaurants offer sea views; one is a bistro restaurant and the other for fine dining. Both offer authentic French cuisine as well as Caribbean seafood, plus an extensive wine list.
Best for: Couples, luxury travellers, business travellers.
#3. Holland House Beach Hotel
Established in 1978, this iconic hotel in the heart of the Dutch capital has won the Travellers Choice award every year since 2012.
Holland House Beach Hotel is built literally on the beach, and its rear side is right on Front Street, where you will find the best duty free shops and boutiques on the island.
The recently renovated rooms offer ocean views, but the ocean isn’t just a view, it’s literally on your doorstep.
The outdoor restaurant sits on the beach, and you can grab an umbrella and beach chairs if you want to be closer to the water. Being in the capital means you’re walking distance from many attractions, including 2 casinos.
If you need to go further than your feet can carry you, the hotel will arrange transportation for you. A ton of activities are easily accessible from this location, including snorkelling, dinner in Grand Case, exploring Pinel Island, hiking, golf, tennis and Orient Beach.
Neighbourhood: Phillipsburg (capital of the Dutch side)
Restaurants: The Ocean Lounge Bar & Restaurant offers an eclectic cuisine with ocean view ambience. Their wine cellar has won the Wine Spectator award from 2017-2020. Needless to say, connoisseurs of wine will find their happy place here.
Best for: Lone travellers, couples.
#4. Belair Beach Hotel
Located on Little Bay Beach, the Belair Beach Hotel is the only All Suite Oceanfront hotel. With resort-like features, it has a combination of hotel, timeshare and condominium facilities. From your private terrace you’ll be gazing out over the bay watching the cruise ships, with Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Kitts in the distance. Located in the Dutch capital and only 20mins from the French capital, you will have the entire island at your fingertips.
Apart from the onsite restaurant, there is a well stocked Mini Mart, activities centre (Sunny Land Activities) and Starlite Car Rental. There is a fitness centre for the health nuts and the hotel caters for weddings and events. Activities arranged by the hotel include birding tours, history tours, hiking, snorkelling, and art tours.
Restaurants: The onsite restaurant, Gingerbread Cafe is located directly on the beach and is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Caribbean cuisine, specializing in Lobster!
Best for: Couples, singles, business travellers.
#5. Princess Heights Hotel
Princess Heights hotels is a luxury boutique condo-style hotel offering studio, 1 & 2 bedroom suites with fully equipped gourmet kitchens. Located on a hillside, each suite has its own balcony with a stunning view of the Atlantic ocean and St. Barths.
The hotel has been named St. Maarten’s Leading Boutique Hotel by the World Travel awards for 6 years, up to 2020.
All suites have spa bathtubs and direct pool access. Enjoy free WiFi, a 24 fitness centre and a BBQ area. Dry cleaning, laundry services, car rental, beach chairs and umbrellas are all available upon request. The numerous restaurants and duty free shops around Oyster Pond are all walking distance, and you’re 5mins away from Dawn Beach.
Neighbourhood: Oyster Pond.
Restaurants: The hotel does not have it’s own restaurant but with the abundance of restaurants just a stroll away, you certainly won’t lack for choices of cuisine.
Best for: Couples, families with children (children and baby services available).
Top Resorts in Saint Martin
If you’re looking for something with more amenities on offer, a resort may suit you better. Take your pick from our top 5 resorts below.
#1. Sonesta Ocean Point Resort
Sonesta Ocean Point Resort is a 5-star, adults only, all-inclusive luxury resort that sits on the edge of the island offering stunning views of Maho Bay. It features 3 pools, including an Edge pool which sits on the cliff overlooking the ocean, 4 bars, 2 restaurants, 24hr rooms service, state of the art fitness centre and open-air wellness area with private cabanas. The top 25 suites get their own personal concierge and butler service.
This is a “resort within a resort” as it sits adjacent to its parent resort, Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, which is a family resort. Guests of the Sonesta Ocean Point however will enjoy full access to the amenities of the parent resort as well, which includes the casino, spa and meeting & event rooms. The motto of the resort is “stay at one, play at two”. Oh, and all-inclusive here means full breakfast, lunch and dinner included!
Its signature Azul restaurant sits on the edge of a cliff with glass walls meaning you get unhindered sweeping views of the crystalline waters below you as you dine.
Neighbourhood: Maho Village.
Restaurants: Including the parent resort, you have the choice of 9 restaurants and 9 bars. Each restaurant specializes in a cuisine and it ranges from seafood to grill, Mediterranean, West-Indian, Asian and Italian.
Amenities: 3 pools, serenity spa, free WiFi, fitness centre, open-air wellness area, 24hr rooms service, concierge, butler service (for the top 25 suites), private balcony, casino,
Best for: Luxury travellers, adults only.
#2. Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa is the parent resort to the one mentioned above. It is a family-centric resort and the largest on the island, with 420 rooms and 10 acres of island fun!
Drinks and meals are all-inclusive, and as you would expect from a family resort, there are activities for all members of the family.
The Beach House Kid’s Club, separate pool for kids and various kids’ programmes will ensure the adults get to enjoy the casino while the kids are taken care of. Couples and business guests will also enjoy this resort, with wedding gazebos, honeymoon packages and over 24000 square feet of meeting space and unique outdoor venues.
Neighbourhood: Maho Village.
Restaurants: Choose from five restaurants, a pizzeria and paninoteca, café, and five bars (including an adults only sports bar). Cuisine ranges from Italian to Asian, grill, seafood and authentic Mediterranean.
Amenities: Free WiFi, oasis pool area with swim-up bar, separate kids pool with small aqua park, two fitness centres, oceanfront wedding gazebo, Serenity Spa, casino Royale, access to tours, Hertz car rental and motorized water sports (additional cost), outdoor movies.
Best for: Couples, families with children.five restaurants, a pizzeria and paninoteca, café, five bars
#3. Oyster Bay Beach Resort
Located just south of the “invisible” border between the French and Dutch halves, means the Oyster Bay Beach Resort is the perfect location for anyone wanting to explore both sides of the island during their stay.
Every room in this resort gives you panoramic ocean views; even the restaurant outdoor seating will have you looking over the Caribbean sea. No need for binaural sleep music, you will literally hear the sound of the ocean as you lay in bed.
You will find yourself away from the noise of the island in a serene surrounding, but not too far from a party when you’re in the mood; this is the perfect location! A great hotel or resort is nothing without the service to match, and travellers have rated this resort among the best for service and friendly staff.
Neighbourhood: Oyster Bay.
Restaurants: The Infinity Restaurant serves a selection of Continental & International cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Amenities: Infinity pool, free WiFi, fitness centre, rooms feature blackout curtains and kitchenettes, diving, spa, car rental, rooftop jacuzzi.
Best for: Couples, families with children.
#4. Esmeralda Resort
Esmeralda Resort, built on the white sands of Orient Bay in the French half, is a more private resort featuring just 65 rooms and 17 villas. Each villa however, has its own private pool set against tropical gardens, a private entrance and terrace. For a secluded and exclusive resort destination, it doesn’t get better than this.
Suites offer kitchenettes or full kitchens, large dining rooms while the villas are 3-5 bedrooms, offering you plenty of space.
The location means there is an abundance of activities around the resort; you can find anything from helicopter rides, windsurfing, full day excursions and 3 other beaches. Complimentary breakfast is served onsite but there is an array of restaurants surrounding the resort.
Neighbourhood: Orient Bay.
Restaurants: Due to the abundance of restaurants around the resort, their only onsite restaurant is the Astrolabe, which serves international cuisine with a musical ambience.
Amenities: Concierge and room service, 24hr front desk service, luggage service, golf cart service to your villa, post office service, local newspaper, scuba diving equipment, pool/beach chairs and umbrellas, baby bed, babysitting (additional charge), private swimming pool.
Best for: Couples, families with children, large groups.
#5. Secrets St. Martin Resort & Spa
Built in a secluded, tranquil cove in Anse Marcel Bay where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea, Secrets St. Martin Resort & Spa is the only all-inclusive, 5-star resort on the French side of the island. The focus here is on luxury and romance.
Boasting the largest infinity pool in the Western Caribbean, an oceanfront whirlpool, white sand beaches, swim out options, daily activities and nightly entertainment, not to mention the world class Secrets Spa by Pevonia where partners can indulge in couples massages and treatments.
Conveniently located 35mins from the airport, walking distance to the Anse Marcel Marina and a short drive to Grand Case and Orient Bay, this location is ideal for explorers. Nestled in a cove means mountain landscapes and sunset backdrops are your daily experience.
Neighbourhood: Anse Marcel Bay.
Restaurants: Choose from 6 dining options serving international gourmet cuisine including 3 à la carte restaurants, a grill, a café and a buffet.
Amenities: Limitless access to gourmet à la carte dining options (no reservations required), unlimited international and domestic spirits, juice and soft drinks, 24-hour room and concierge services, pool and beach wait service, mini bar refreshed daily, daily activities and nightly entertainment, themed parties, unlimited international calling to the US, Canada and Mexico, free WiFi.
Best for: Couples looking for a romantic getaway, honeymooners.
From all-inclusive resorts to luxury boutique hotels, find your home away from home in Saint Martin with one of these great hotels and resorts.