Photo courtesy Karibuni Lodge
Luxury travel enthusiast and Contributor Sue Kelly shares her favourite boutique hotels in St Martin St Maarten, a Caribbean paradise
Boutique hotels in St Martin St Maarten provide a one-of-a-kind vacation that will keep you returning to the friendly island of SXM.
Generally, boutique hotels are small, with about six to 50 rooms, are usually independently owned, and often have some intriguing history. They work hard to not feel like big corporate hotels by providing a personalized holiday experience. Every boutique hotel is as unique as you are; explore the lodging choices below and see their unique value propositions.
One of the following luxury boutique hotels in St Martin St Maarten might just be your next vacation getaway in this tropical island paradise.
The Best Boutique Hotels in St Martin St Maarten
Named one of the best Caribbean boutique hotels, the award-winning Hotel L’Esplanada is known as a ‘hidden gem’. Nestled in the lush tropical hillside of Grand Case, the Mediterranean architecture, immaculately groomed grounds and unparallel views of the sea keeps its clientele returning year after year.
There are only 24 impeccably appointed suites, each with its own private balcony and fully equipped kitchen. Additional features include glowing hand-crafted Brazilian woodwork, Balinese furniture, rich French fabrics, and celestial king-sized beds, all adding up to a truly luxurious accommodation experience.
The Ti Spa and Ti Temple are onsite and bring your body, mind, and spirit into balance. Ti Spa offers a full range of massage and personal care treatments and Ti Temple offers complimentary yoga classes for guests. The refreshing pool is just footsteps away.
For more details, visit their website at www.lesplanade.com.
Le Petit Hotel
You might have guessed that the award-wining Le Petit Hotel is on the French side of St Martin. This Mediterranean-style hotel offers just ten suites, each on the oceanfront with a stunning view of one of the most beautiful bays on SXM. Its value proposition is absolute luxury right on the stunning beach of Grand Case Bay.
Let Petit Hotel is one of the most charming hotels on the island – sumptuous décor, fully equipped kitchens, dining areas, and contemporary bathroom fixtures pamper your senses in delicious indulgence. Continental breakfast is included.
As sister-hotel to Hotel L’Esplanada, guests at Le Petit Hotel are invited to enjoy complimentary privileges at Ti Spa, Ti Temple, and the swimming pool. Reserve early as this SXM luxury hotel books up quickly.
Learn more at www.lepetithotel.com.
Mary’s Boon Beach Resort & Spa
Known as St. Maarten’s ‘Little Secret’, this gem is located five minutes south of the airport, on the luxurious three-mile stretch of silky sand on Simpson Bay. If luxury means quaint, intimate, attentive, and steps from the sea, then Mary’s Boon is for you.
Established in the early 70s the fusion of Indonesian and Bali-style furnishings is reminiscent of another place in time. All 40+ suites have kitchenettes and over half are directly on the beach, with the remainder just 20 steps from the sand. The casual vibe portrays an Ernest Hemmingway feel: it’s like a home away from home. Modern conveniences include WIFI, plasma TVs, and satellite service.
Uniquely positioned, the latitude allows you to sit on your private deck and enjoy a cup of java at sunrise and sip an aperitif at sunset. At night, the bay sparkles with a myriad of tiny lights as the vessels bow and bend, to and fro, in the moonlight.
On site is the Tides Restaurant and Bar serving you in the dining room, lounge, on the beach, or poolside. This beach provides several options for your culinary pleasure and a short walk into the town of Simpson Bay offers numerous restaurants, night clubs, and shopping.
Check out the resort’s website at www.marysboon.com for further details.
The distinctive (and exclusive) Karibuni Lodge is definitely one of the most luxurious boutique hotels on St. Martin. Located on the north hill of French St Martin, the resort features incredible views of the Bay of Cul de Sac. With just six suites, you’ll not find a more environmentally friendly location, as Karibuni Lodge and its islands are part of the Natural Reserve of SXM. It is about 1.6 miles from Orient Beach.
If you’re searching for a secluded and intimate vacation, then your quest will be satisfied with its luxurious accommodations. Popular options include a three-bedroom villa as well as suites featuring a private jacuzzi or private pool, all set in a tropical garden nirvana.
A rare feature is that the hotel restaurant is located just offshore on Pinel Island. You’ll be ferried by private boat to enjoy an incredible French-Caribbean meal including many delicious recipes at the alluring Karibuni Restaurant with its eclectic rustic décor. Set on a wooden structure above crystal clear waters, the restaurant looks out onto the neighbouring picturesque islands, and is one of the most beloved restaurants on SXM.
Learn more at www.lekaribuni.com.
Adam & Eve Residence
The Adam and Eve Residence is a clothing-optional, naturist residence of just seven suites located in a secluded lush garden setting in Orient Beach. It’s just a five minute walk to the magnificent white sand of the world-famous beach and village with its many restaurants, shops, bakeries, and water-fun rentals.
The proprietors, Carolin and Alain are experts at making your every wish come true, from home-cooked meals, cocktails by the atypical pool, infinity jacuzzi spa, lounge bar, or whatever. You can also book the hotel-owned catamaran The Good Life, and enjoy a sail to one of the many islands in the area.
This luxury St Martin boutique hotel is one of the few offering an a la carte holiday in a gated, private enclave. Your body, mind and spirit will be wrapped in a tropical veil of sun and luscious trade winds, beckoning you to return.
For more information, visit www.residence-adam-eve.com.
Its name paints an intriguing picture of what this hotel might be like. Voted one of the best hotels in the Caribbean, this luxury St Martin hotel unites West Indian charm with modern comforts and exemplary service. Located along the north Atlantic coast, on Orient Beach, its 53 rooms are shared among 17 villas and are encircled with lush palm and banana trees, bougainvillaea, and hibiscus.
The Creole coloured guest houses create an exotic atmosphere around the inviting swimming pool and onsite restaurant. A breakfast buffet is included and might include eggs, pastries, fresh bread, yogurt, fruit, toast, juice, tea and coffee.
La Plantation has an arrangements with three new upscale beach restaurants allowing you to sign your invoice over to your room – very practical. And these locations will provide you with a beach towel to enjoy their beach lounges and umbrellas. Enjoy the contemporary vibe in this quirky modern setting and, as they say on the Orient, ‘the beach is just the beginning’.
Visit their website at https://en.la-plantation.com for further details and reservations.
Azure Hotel and Art Studio
This eight-room boutique hotel is located on Simpson Beach in Sint Maarten, just minutes from the Princess Juliana Airport and within walking distance to the village of Simpson Bay. Your toes will be in the sand and unwinding in paradise in no time as you watch the yachts and sailboats passing by.
There is a well-appointed room or suite for every budget, most with kitchenettes. Other amenities include free high speed internet (it works on the beach too), free international calls from your cordless room phone, air conditioning, satellite TV with premium channels, as well as beach loungers and umbrellas. Children over seven years of age are welcome.
The Azure offers the convenience of the GiGi Organic Food Restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner – a perfect way to relax and dine in a romantic setting without leaving the hotel. At one time the Azure housed an art studio. Proprietors Michael and Fawnette – both artists – are happy to show you their art onsite.
For more details, visit their website at https://azurehotelsxm.com.
The newly built El Zafiro is the newest hotel to be included in the SXM suite of luxurious boutique hotels. Located at the far end of Simpson Beach, near the airport, it offers eight units, and additional ones are under construction.
El Zafiro’s contemporary vibe and modern spirit are easily seen in its upscale furnishings, tropical colour schemes, and clean lines. All suites look directly onto the gorgeous sand and seascapes of Simpson Bay. It’s ideally located for airplane spotting, swimming in the surf, beachcombing and accessing Maho Beach.
A short 10-minute walk up Beacon Hill will lead you through a neighbourhood to the Casino, Sunset Bar and Grill, and Taco Macho Restaurant. You can of course stay and dine at El Zafiro’s as their open beach bar, lounge, and restaurant are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (breakfast is complimentary).
Visit their website at https://www.elzafirosxm.com/el-zafiro-1 for further details and reservations.
Coral Beach Club
Escape the everyday by luxuriating in this private retreat on the eastern side of Sint Maarten. Located on Dawn Beachnear Oyster Bay, this hotel sits on the border between the French and the Dutch regions of SXM. The magnificent mountains form a protective backdrop on this windward side of the island. Here, the protective bay opens to the breezes of the Atlantic Ocean, where you’ll be up close and personal with mother nature.
There are 14 exquisite two-, three-, and 4-bedroom villas, each with a private pool, set directly on Dawn Beach with fantastic views of the ocean and the neighboring island of St Barths. Also available are seven townhouses located on Oyster Bay, overlooking the picturesque Oyster Pond Marina.
Other amenities include upscale furnishings, fully-equipped gourmet kitchens, and large terraces designed by renowned architect, Jean-Pierre Heim. The chic Oyster Pond community also boasts the Big Fish Restaurant, open for lunch and dinner. Several eateries and a convenience store is within walking distance. Downtown Philipsburg, the capital of duty free shopping, is a 10-minute drive south, and the famous Orient Beach is less than 15 minutes north.
Visit the website of this St Maarten boutique hotel at www.coralbeach-club.com.
Contributor Sue Kelly is a frequent visitor to the island paradise of St Martin and St Maarten. She’s also a radio host, educator and author of Still Sexy After Sixty (www.stillsexyafter60.com)