St Martin / St Maarten
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Plan Your Trip to St Martin / St Maarten: Best of St Martin / St Maarten Tourism

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Explore St Martin / St Maarten

Get the experience of visiting two island colonies in the same 37 square miles. St. Martin's spicy blend of Caribbean, French, and Dutch cultures matches its physical diversity: the island is both urban and untamed, with rainforest-like landscapes, white beaches, and amazing caves and wildlife. Visitors like to party between duty-free shopping sprees and beach sessions. The north side, St. Martin, is controlled by the French government, and it’s where you’ll find the biggest party beaches. A territory of the Netherlands, St. Maarten is home to the liveliest casinos and nightlife. Travel between the two colonies is pretty painless, so enjoy two holidays for the price of one. Want more tips and recs? We’ve got them below.

Essential St Martin / St Maarten

How to do St Martin / St Maarten in 3 days

Duty-free shopping, lively nightlife, and plenty of quiet beach time
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A guide to dining out in French St. Martin

If you were to ask me to name my favourite things about St. Martin, I’d list the beaches, the nightlife, and, most importantly, the food. The French side of this eastern Caribbean island has so many dining options including French bistros, trendy beach clubs, and sophisticated steakhouses. While narrowing it down isn’t easy, here are my top spots to get a taste of St. Martin.
  • La Villa Restaurant
    La Villa is my go-to for French classics in an unpretentious setting. I’m a fan of the rich lobster bisque, the French onion soup, and the buttery escargot. The seafood dishes are great, too, especially the triggerfish filet glazed in an almond and butter sauce. The restaurant is open for dinner starting at 5 p.m., so be sure to make a booking.
  • Rainbow Café
    I fell in love with Rainbow Cafe the first time I went. The beachside restaurant is decked out in natural wood furniture, hanging plants, and crochet hammocks, creating a laid-back boho vibe. There’s also a rooftop lounge with stunning views of Grand Case Bay. The eclectic international menu includes codfish fritters, snapper tacos, and sushi. My advice? Order several plates to share over a slow brunch with friends.
  • Le Bistronome Sxm
    Ideal for a date night, Le Bistronome is a cosy dinner-only restaurant set in a charming cottage in the foodie village of Grand Case. The small menu focusses on French cuisine with a Caribbean touch, with every dish highlighting fresh, local ingredients. Options change often, but some recent standouts include the tangy Thai coconut soup and the foie gras with a side of pineapple chutney.
  • Coco Beach
    This is my top spot for light bites and drinks in a gorgeous beachside setting. I always go for lunch and order the fresh mahi mahi ceviche, curry roasted cauliflower, and black rice risotto. Among the long list of signature cocktails, the Cherry Bay—made with gin, cherry liquor, Aperol, and watermelon juice—is my favourite.
  • JAX Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar
    A sophisticated steakhouse in Maho Bay, JAX sets the scene with dark mahogany wood, leather seating, and low, soft lighting. If you’re looking for a light start to your meal, order the oysters on the half shell and beef carpaccio. Highlights on the tightly curated menu include the short ribs and the grass-fed rack of lamb. The restaurant hosts DJs and live performers, so come late if you want a night of lively entertainment.
  • Villa Royale
    Hidden away in an assuming building in the Grand Case neighbourhood, Villa Royale celebrates the island’s Haitian population and cuisine. Don't worry about making a booking: There’s plenty of seating in the large dining room, where bright plaid tablecloths cover the tables. Expect traditional Haitian dishes like djon-djon rice (seasoned with black mushrooms), cod fritters with a side of spicy pikliz, and grilled conch. If you only order one thing, make it the moist and tender curry goat.