St. Martin's chic and relaxing side draws plenty of inspiration from its French roots with gourmet cuisine, fashionable boutiques and an air of elegance. Allow a private chef to cook up authentic French fare in the comfort of your own villa, or dine at some of the finest restaurants in the Caribbean. Enjoy a serious slow-down as you stroll through sophisticated town centers and sunbathe on secluded beaches.
Villa rentals in Saint-Martin boast as much laid-back luxury as their surroundings: crisp white estates have pools overlooking the ocean, palm-lined sun decks, breezy indoor/outdoor living areas, and space and amenities for families and groups, or romantic retreats.
Visit Marigot and Check out the ultra-luxury shops on rue de la République, rue du Général de Gaulle, and rue de la Liberté. Savor French cuisine at one (or several) of the gourmet restaurants and shop French fashions. Hike up Pic Paradis, the island's tallest peak, with a stop at the Loterie Farm nature preserve on the way. On beach days, take your pick of shorelines, but put the beautiful, extra-peaceful Long Bay with unbeatable sunset views at the top of your list. Best spot on the island for a fun day trip for the entire family is Loterie. Zip lining is available for all ages (beginner and expert zip lines) and the newly built extra-large swimming pool is perfectly refreshing after you fly through the skies. You can also enjoy a deliciously organic lunch at their café. Saint-Martin celebrates Carnival pre-Lent in February with festivals and Bastille Day on July 14 with colorful parades and sailboat races.
Note: The beaches on the French side are more liberal with topless sunbathing commonplace.
Baie Longue is a beautiful beach at Long Bay is the largest on St. Martin. For a wonderful beach stroll, walk around Canonnier Point to Plum Bay Beach, a surfing hot spot. Baie Rouge has rock formations at both ends of this beach provide interesting snorkeling and diving. Anse de Peres Friar's Bay is fringed with a pretty, protected beach. There is a path to Happy Bay with its coconut trees and white sand.
The most popular time to travel to Saint-Martin is from December to the middle of April. Off-season is also rainy season (and technically hurricane season), from late May to mid-November. It doesn't necessarily rain every day, however, and the island's high temperatures remain relatively consistent throughout the year. If you don't want to take any chances with sunshine, travel between December and April. If you prioritize privacy above all else, travel between May and November, when crowds will be at an all-time-low.