Saint Martin

The smallest inhabited island to be split by two countries, Netherland-belonging Sint Maarten is shared with the French. They occupy Mediterranean-esque Saint Martin, reminiscent of a fishing village. But today, our focus is on the southern Dutch side, where sprawling resorts indulge lavishly and lively beach bars entertain. It really is a treat to all senses, as white sands and turquoise waters glisten effortlessly. Taste buds too are in for a ride. With over 140 nationalities registered here, this is a culinary melting pot in every sense of the word. So kick your shoes off. Grab a drink. Tuck into open-air dining amid picture-perfect sunsets and Caribbean tunes.

Explore Saint Martin

The island is actually rather accessible, with direct flights arriving from both Paris and Amsterdam. Many major airlines from North America also fly here, and the airport itself is known for its thrilling low landings. Once on St Maarten, well-maintained roads make hiring a car an attractive option. Easy connections to high-end St Barths and other islands make this a nice first stop for a few nights before exploring onwards.

Climate & seasons

Peak season runs from December to April, with an influx of American and European travellers arriving to escape the cold at home. March is also when the Heineken Regatta takes place, the biggest sailing race in the Caribbean. The island gets quiet between July and October, known in the region as hurricane season.

Where to go

Beyond capital Philipsburg with its cobbled streets, colonial buildings and wealth of retail and dining, there is an abundance of natural features to explore. These span from lagoons, beaches and salt pans, with the most popular coastal spots being Grand Case Beach, Great Bay, Mullet Bay and Simpson Bay. Meanwhile, Maho Beach is where the famous extreme flyovers touch down. In the matter of accommodation, Belmond La Samanna in the French side is actually the obvious choice. Unrivalled in luxury, it perches above the shoreline like the idyllic hideaway it is.

What to do

This is a tropical paradise with plenty of treasures to uncover. Beside the obvious beach lounging and island hopping, visitors can enjoy diving, snorkelling, sailing and countless watersports. Adventurous travellers can fly down the world’s steepest zipline. All the while, retail lovers have duty-free shopping in Philipsburg to revel in. Foodies have dozens of different cuisines to sample, as well as buzzing nightlife and national spirit tastings at Guavaberry Emporium. Finally, culture buffs have museums and galleries to roam through. And let’s not forget, there’s a whole other French-speaking side to discover.

EliteVoyage Hotel Collection in Saint Martin

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