Close to amenities, beach frontage, and properties both busy and tranquil; these St. Maarten resorts cover all the bases
Though the dual nation of St. Martin/St. Maarten is small and you’re never really that far away from restaurants, nightlife, casinos, and all the island has to offer, those 10 extra minutes spent driving to your destination could be better spent on the beach. Whether you like the hustle and bustle of a busy resort area or prefer a little tranquility, our picks for the top resorts on St. Maarten’s Dutch side are all within a five-minute drive—or walk, in some cases—to the island’s most popular areas. And they’re all located on beautiful, white sandy beaches. What more could you ask for?
The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa
Tucked into the south side of beautiful Dawn Beach in the popular Oyster Pond area and backed by The Westin name, you can’t go wrong with this resort. The feeling of calm and serenity so closely linked with being on vacation begins the moment you enter the large, breezy lobby where neutral colors are accented by pops of turquoise. The twinkling lights of the resort casino beckon you to try to your luck, while the large infinity pool and surrounding deck area look out over the brilliant blues of the Atlantic. Meander among the grounds where plush green lawns and perfectly placed palm trees keep the calmness and serenity alive. From ice-cold drinks and casual fare at the poolside bar to fine dining at the resort’s Aura restaurant, The Westin has your dining options covered. This resort’s suites offer an unparalleled level of comfort; their Heavenly Bed lives up to its name, and the large tub is ideal for a soothing soak at the end of a day in the sun. From the entrance to the suites to the grounds, decor is seamless and chic. If you can tear yourself away from this beautiful property, the surrounding area has much to offer including restaurants, bars and shopping, and both the French border and Philipsburg are a short drive from The Westin.
Coral Beach Club
Location, location, location is what it’s all about at Coral Beach Club, which is nestled on the Dawn Beach waterfront in the popular Oyster Pond area. Several bars and restaurants are within walking distance including Mr. Busby’s Beach Bar and Big Fish Seafood Grill, and you can stock up on freshly baked pastries, coffee, ice cream, and essentials at nearby Pier Grocer. A plethora of shops and dining options await in Philipsburg, just a short drive away, and the island’s French border is conveniently nearby. Coral Beach Club’s modern buildings gleam white on the beautiful beachfront, and are backed by Oyster Pond.
From condos to townhouses to two-, three-, and four-bedroom villas, this sleek resort can accommodate parties of various sizes. Attention to detail is paramount; travertine floors, central air conditioning, rain showerheads, and fully equipped Italian kitchens add an air of luxury to your vacation. The on-site concierge takes the stress out of planning excursions, and is on hand to assist with whatever need should arise during your stay. Enjoy snorkeling at the offshore reef, then go for a refreshing dip in the common pool or your own private swimming pool, depending on which accommodation you choose.
Royal Palm Beach Resort
If you like to stay in the midst of restaurants, shops, activities, and more, Simpson Bay is the place to be. And the Royal Palm Beach Resort is ideally located a stone’s throw from the airport and a short drive to the island’s best shopping in Philipsburg. Despite all that is nearby and though it’s one of the larger resorts on the island, Royal Palm offers a homey, peaceful atmosphere.
Just off the gorgeous white sand beach you’ll find intriguing snorkeling, where beautiful tropical fish gather around large underwater boulders. There’s plenty of beachfront seating from which you can take in the island’s rolling green hills and sparkling blue waters, and the pool and swim-up bar offer the ultimate refreshment. There’s no shortage of activities based right at Royal Palm, like scuba diving, shopping, scheduled events, and more, but be sure to take the time to pause for sunset. Watching the sun sink into the Caribbean Sea at the end of a perfect day is one of those unforgettable vacation experiences that’s not to be missed.
Divi Little Bay
Situated on a peninsula just west of Philipsburg with amazing sweeping views of the bay and cruise ships that come to call, Divi Little Bay offers an air of seclusion despite its proximity to one of the Caribbean’s best shopping destinations. Whether you want to jump right in to Philipsburg’s bustling streets lined with duty-free jewelry, clothing, and souvenir shops or you prefer to watch mammoth cruise ships as they approach and depart from the busy harbor, the Dutch side’s capital is sure to entertain.
Families and couples both young and old will find what they’re looking for at this Divi property. Several on-site swimming pools, restaurants, and poolside bars offer land-based entertainment, while numerous watersports including windsurfing, scuba diving, and more are ideal for exploring the beautiful waters of Little Bay. This property offers an all- inclusive option as well, eliminating the decision-making and budget considerations that come with dining out. In the guest rooms you’ll find modern amenities like air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and a flat screen TV, as well as your own private balcony. The Divi Little Bay’s combination of a tranquil, private setting and proximity to Philipsburg makes it hard to beat.
Simpson Bay Resort & Marina
Restaurants, activities, and shopping abound in Simpson Bay, where lovely Simpson Bay Resort & Marina stands tall on the beautiful white sand beach. Nightlife and casinos are also within walking distance, or if you prefer to stay close to home, the resort offers plenty of on-site entertainment options including watersports, a tennis court, a casino, and multiple dining venues. Several pool areas, some with swim-up bars, help you keep cool on those hot Caribbean days.
Rooms at this large resort feature tropical-themed decor and can sleep from two to eight people. Each unit has its own kitchen should you wish to prepare a meal from the comfort of your room, and a private terrace or balcony, ideal for watching the sunset. If you’re looking for more of a high-end experience, the adjacent recently renovated Villas at Simpson Bay offers larger rooms and a sprawling free-form pool. No matter which property you choose, be sure to take advantage of Simpson Bay’s extensive watersports program, whose offerings include water skiing, windsurfing, stand up paddleboards, Simpson Bay Lagoon cruises, and many more. The noticeably cheery attitude of the staff is contagious, making it hard to be unhappy during your vacation here.