In general, one can eat very well indeed on the island of St. Martin, which boasts that it is the gastronomic center of the West Indies. Whether in the stalls that offer local cuisine, or restaurants that serve the most exclusive fine dining, you’ll be spoiled for choice for sure.
The French Side
There are excellent restaurants, from French bistro style to fine dining, from fine French cuisine to local cuisine, not forgetting the small stalls on the beach where you can enjoy seafood and grilled fish.
- Belle Epoque is located in the marina, among a multitude of small, friendly restaurants. A simple menu and a view of the marina.
- Mini Club, Liberty Street, is one of the oldest restaurants on the island. Over the years, its local cuisine (crab stuffed fish) has never disappointed.
- La Vie en Rose is a beautiful colonial house in the Boulevard de France. This restaurant is one of the best places in the city. The only problem? Choosing a dish among the countless suggestions from the menu, among which is rolled sole with lobster medallions.
The Dutch Side
The largest concentration of ready-to-eat (fast food) is found in Philipsburg, to be avoided if you are not fans of KFC, Burger King and Pizza Hut. However, you can turn to some rather interesting restaurants to understand why Sint Maarten is known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean.
- The Snail, one of the best restaurants in Philipsburg (on Frontstreet), has been in business for over 25 years. Snails are obviously one of its specialties.
- Antoine specializes in French and Creole cuisines. Italian dishes are also served. The best feature of this restaurant? Its superb view of the sea.
- In Saratoga, you can contemplate the wonders of the ocean while enjoying contemporary cuisine.
Where to Sleep?
The French side
Simson Beach Marine Hotel
This resort is located in Nettle Bay. Its rooms have a balcony overlooking the bay. The garden of the complex is beautiful. There is also, of course, a swimming pool. Value for money – hard to beat.
If there is such a thing as a perfect hotel, it could well be La Samanna, a five-star boutique hotel built in the Mediterranean style and set in a lush garden on one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, Long Bay. The view is beautiful no matter where you are on the grounds: the private beach, the pool deck or in one of the 81 rooms and suites. Or even in one of the three-bedroom villas with living room, dining area and patio area right on the beach.
The restaurant has a varied and original cuisine, composed of French and Caribbean specialties and an excellent wine list. Not to mention a “children’s menu” to make life easier for parents. A babysitting service is also offered.
Finally, the Elysium Spa offers beauty care that emphasizes sea water and algae. What about activities? Sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, tennis and diving are all available.
Le Petit Hotel
This lovely hotel is elegantly decorated without many frills, but is quite charming, as are its owners. Shortly after their marriage in Vermont, the couple came to visit Mark’s parents who had lived on the island for twenty years. This stay was to last two months, but has never ended. They are now owners of small hotel. The rooms are comfortable.
Although the hotel is not near the city center, it has the advantage of directly facing the ocean. The couple also owns the Pavilion next door, which offers rooms with kitchenettes and beautiful terraces overlooking the beach.
Pasanggrahan Royal Inn
The name of the hotel means guesthouse in Indonesian. The hotel building is a former colonial governor’s residence and is located in Philipsburg. It offers thirty rooms. The restaurant is also excellent and has an ocean view. The cuisine is simple and unpretentious, but delicious.
If it is peace you want, this is your kind of hotel. Overlooking Oyster Pond Bay near the Franco-Dutch Villa, the Hotel Midnight Sun seduces you with its warm welcome. Its five suites are well-equipped with a mezzanine bedroom with a double bed, a bathroom, a large lounge with sofa bed, a kitchenette, a private terrace, a television and Wi-Fi. One of them has a Jacuzzi, and all offer a unique view of the marina and the Caribbean Sea.
The Princess Heights
If you’re traveling with your family, you probably might find it easier to stay in a condo-hotel. This is what The Princess Heights offers. Located within walking distance of the Dawn Beach, you also find yourself near restaurants, a spa and a casino. Choose a condo with one or two bedrooms. Each has a balcony overlooking the ocean. In addition, a fully equipped kitchen is attached where you can cook and enjoy local products.