With gorgeous champagne coloured beaches, crystal blue water and temperate weather, it’s no wonder that St. Martin is one of the most inviting places on earth to relax and disconnect from everyday stresses. The rich and famous have discovered the beauty of this Island in the French West Indies. Given this, the Island’s amenities, accommodations, and culinary options meet the standards of the Western world, while still embracing its Caribbean roots. Enjoy your vacation on this popular island by exploring our recommendations for the top ten places to relax on St. Martin.
Exploring St. Maarten/St. Martin’s History
The history of St. Maarten/St. Martin’s is unique and remains so in present day. The 37-square mile island is inhabited by residents representing over 100 countries and is governed by two nations: the Netherlands and France. There are several museums located on island which offers visitors a glimpse into the past and present day. The Amuseum Naturalis located in Grand Case provides respite from the busy activities on the street. The museum is entry-by-donation and offers visitors a variety of historical and biological exhibitions.
My Own Private Beach
Happy Bay Beach and Friar’s Bay are just two less travelled yet easily accessed beaches on the French side of the island. You will enjoy the sand and surf without the hustle and bustle of the more crowded beaches.
Want to enjoy the ocean closer to your home base? The Grand Case Beach Club is located on two beaches, Petit Plage and Grand Case. The hotel has a gorgeous pool that hangs over Petit Plage, with stunning views of the beach, Creole Rock and beyond to Anguilla.
Culinary Finds in Grand Case Village
Although the Island is only 37 square miles, there are over 400 restaurants to choose from – an astonishing ten restaurants per square mile! According to Fodor’s Essential Caribbean 2016, many of the best restaurants are on the French side of St. Martin where you’ll discover ethnic foods for every mood: Italian, French, Caribbean cooking, or even Japanese cuisine. You can enjoy the range of casual to fine dining ambience in any one of the half dozen restaurants in Grand Case Village – all within a 10 minute walk from the Grand Case Beach Club.
Explore the Work of Local Artisans
Whether you’re artistically inclined or not, you must check out one of St. Martin’s art galleries. Tropismes Gallery located along the Grand Case Boulevard sets itself apart from other more tourist orientated gift stores because it features the Caribbean work of local artists at prices you’ll find hard to resist.
A Visit to the Butterfly Farm
Immerse yourself in tropical surroundings and the colorful, fluttering residents at the Butterfly Farm. Take a guided educational tour to learn about hundreds of rare and exotic butterflies flying freely about. After the tour, explore the lush tropical rain forest, complete with ponds and a waterfall.
Getting Back to Nature
The Lotterie Farm has something for everyone. It is on a private nature reserve where you can access hiking and treetop adventure obstacle courses. To help you relax after a strenuous adventure, the Farm hosts several places to eat, including L’eaulounge, located next to the pool.
A Private Tour
A private inland tour of the island or a private boat tour of the nearby islands is a must for your vacation itinerary. It’s a perfect way to spend time alone with your loved one, or to get away on your own. Many reputable, private tour operators offer customized excursions. Be sure to ask your hotel concierge for their recommendations.
Are you a high-end fashionista, or do you love shopping for bargain deals? St. Martin’s shopping choices cater to every preference. Philipsburg is renowned as one of the top shopping destinations in the Caribbean, while Marigot and Grand Case offer French inspired boutiques and galleries. Besides the amazing retail selection on the Island, St. Martin offers the added bonus of duty free shopping.
Sail around the turquoise waters off the coast of St. Martin, as you enjoy libations and a selection of Caribbean inspired dishes. The ambience is surreal. Relax and listen to the evening’s entertainment, as you watch the sun disappear below the horizon.
Water Sports on Orient Beach
The island of St. Martin is renowned for its water sports and many tour operators available on Orient Beach – a popular location to get your feet wet with water sports. What better way to leave your worries behind than to explore the coral reefs snorkeling or scuba diving amongst a myriad of sea life? The more adventurous can go jet skiing, parasailing and flyboarding!
Wherever you land on St. Martin, rest assured there are plenty of amazing options for a fulfilling and relaxing vacation.