Enjoy a French, African, British and Dutch heritage with the Personal Villas experience
Is it St. Martin or St. Maarten? Actually, it’s both, with the north side of this Caribbean destination (St. Martin) controlled by the French, and the south side (St. Maarten) a territory of the Netherlands. You’ll find the best beaches on the north side, the best nightlife on the south side, and plenty of reasons to visit both sections of this breathtakingly beautiful island.
Another benefit that draws visitors to the island is the tropical climate. Temperatures are relatively high and fluctuate only slightly throughout the year, thus making it the perfect year-round vacation destination. Even in winter you can still expect an average of 25°C! Thanks to the pleasant temperature of the water, Saint Martin/ Sint Maarten is ideal for sun worshippers and water sport enthusiasts alike.
The blend of French and Dutch cultures has created a cosmopolitan paradise that caters to all visitors’ needs. Perhaps you’re looking for world-class gastronomy and sun-kissed beaches? Maybe you’d rather go on a tropical adventure in the lush green mountains or the crystal blue sea? No matter what kind of traveller you are, we guarantee you will experience the getaway of a lifetime if you choose to stay in our luxury villas whilst exploring this magical island.
Philipsburg is the capital and the commercial heart of the Dutch part of Sint Maarten. In the city it is possible to find all kinds of shops, boutiques and cafes whilst exploring the picturesque promenade. With over two miles of stunning beach and turquoise waters dotted with hammocks, Philipsburg is the perfect way to experience the vibrant paradise of the Caribbean. The city is renowned for the wonderful range of duty-free stores on Front Street where you can save up to 30% on luxury brands and expensive jewelry. If you prefer a more cultural experience, the city boasts a range of museums, theaters, galleries and street art murals for those with an artistic flair!
Located on the west coast of the island, Marigot is a former fishing village that became the capital of the French part of Saint Martin during the reign of King Louis XVI. From this era, Fort St. Louis is still preserved and provides excellent views of the bay. One of the best ways to explore Marigot is simply to wander through its winding streets and enjoy the shops, bistros and cafes you stumble upon. If you’d like to immerse yourself in the local culture and avoid shopping for international brands, check out the city’s open-air market on Wednesday and Saturday. The stalls offer a diverse array of products from the area, from sweet delicacies and spices to handmade jewelry and flavored rums.
Providing safe and clean environments in our villas is always the top priority. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Personal Villas has been proud to adopt new sanitation and social distancing measures across our worldwide locations in order to lower the risk of infection. All of our team members, from housekeeping to management, have undertaken intensive training courses on our new COVID-19 procedures in accordance with the guidelines set out by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the local authorities of the countries in which our villas are based. When developing our thorough COVID-19 protocols, we followed the advice of the global tourism industry by implementing measures such as frequent cleaning of high-touch areas, ensuring optimal ventilation during housekeeping and using Personal Protective Equipment at all times.
Our staff receive regular check-ups regarding their own health in order to keep the team, guests and the community as safe as possible. In line with recommended sanitation procedures we have placed a minimum of two days between bookings to ensure that we have more than adequate time to clean and prepare homes to the highest standard. It’s worth mentioning that many of our staff have already received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and are awaiting the second.
The new initiatives and policies outlined below are designed to ensure the ongoing safety of guests and team members during the coronavirus pandemic:
The following measures have been put in place for the health of both staff members and guests:
SYSTEMS & DETAILS
The following measures have been put in place within the villas for the ongoing safety of guests:
The CDC recommends rooms be well ventilated so staff will open all windows and doors whilst cleaning. Fans will also be turned on when appropriate.
FOCUS ON FREQUENTLY TOUCHED AREAS
Staff will ensure to disinfect all high-contact zones within the villas, such as light switches, doorknobs, remote controls, taps and bannisters, on a regular basis.
FOOD & BEVERAGES DISINFECTED
All food, beverages and items purchased for the guests will be disinfected upon delivery. This includes all packaging, bottles, cans and plastic products.
MINIMIZE STAFF PRESENCE
Guests have the option to minimize the staff presence and interaction. Behind each villa experience is a team who pride themselves on the level of service, but we appreciate that during this time it is a personal choice and some guests may prefer less staff interaction. Let us know and we will do our best to ensure your stay matches your needs.
TOWELS & BED LINENS
Bedding and towels will all be washed and dried at the warmest heat setting (based on manufacturer recommendation). This includes bedsheets, mattress covers, hand towels, bath towels, kitchen towels, blankets and bed covers. Staff will also wear gloves when handling dirty laundry.
CLEAN FIRST THEN DISINFECT
Housekeepers will ensure to clean first with water and soap to remove any dirt and grime, followed by disinfecting with top-of-the-range industry products to kill germs and bacteria.
Only products with bleach, a minimum of 70% alcohol and disinfectants registered by the Environmental Protection Agency are believed to be effective against the coronavirus. Therefore, Personal Villas will exclusively use these chemicals to sanitize our properties.
Visit the beaches
You’ll find a distinct difference between the French and Dutch beaches on the island. The St. Maarten beaches tend to be a little more, well, modest — which means beachgoers are wearing swimsuits. On the St. Martin side, expect topless and even clothing-optional beaches as the norm. On both sides, though, you’ll find dazzling white sands and amazing snorkeling. Here are some of the best beaches to soak up the sun:
Cupecoy Beach : This St. Maarten beach is the exception that proves the rule: the clothing-optional standout on the Dutch side. Head here for an all-over tan, then relax as you watch the sunset. This is also a fantastic beach for a run in the sand, and if you start early enough, you may have it all to yourself.
Maho Bay : Okay, this St. Maarten spot may not be your first choice for sunbathing, but you’ll want to stop by for the astonishing Instagram opportunities: Never have you seen a plane swoop overhead so close to the sand. No one will believe you didn’t use Photoshop.
Orient Bay Beach : This St. Martin beach is the most popular on the island for a reason, and it’s no surprise people compare it to St. Tropez. You’ll find all the restaurants and boutiques you could want lining the streets around the beach, every water sport imaginable is available, and if you think you’ve spotted a celebrity, you’re probably right. Looking for the clothing-optional section of the beach? Head to the south.
Partying and sunbathing isn’t all that St. Martin/St. Maarten has to offer. If you love being active, you’ll want to check these off your island to-do list:
Hike to Pic Paradis : This hike, which starts off the main road between Grand Case and Marigot, isn’t that tough — only 1,391 feet, and only the last part is really steep — but you’ll still get to say you climbed to the highest point on the island. Seeing the entire island spread below you is worth it.
Ride a bike through history : A historical bicycle tour of Philipsburg gives you a greater understanding of this unique island and its colonial history (Spoiler alert: The Spanish were involved, as well as the Dutch and French). Particularly fascinating is the tour of 17th-century Fort Amsterdam, which has an unexpected connection to the island of Manhattan.
Go snorkeling : St. Martin/St. Maarten has some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean. If you’ve never tried snorkeling before, the beautiful waters surrounding the island are the perfect starting point. Whether you’re a complete beginner or a more experienced snorkeler, the island offers a wide variety of marine experiences.
Numerous snorkeling excursions are available for those who are not yet comfortable renting some swimfins and heading out on their own. Make sure you don’t miss out on a chance to swim at Creole Rock, which has one of the most diverse ecosystems on the island. Luckily, this zone is surrounded by a rock formation that prevents high winds and, therefore, intense waves so swimmers and snorkelers can enjoy a peaceful experience.
Another unmissable snorkeling spot is the famous Turtle Reef, which owes its name to the active presence of both green and hawksbill turtles. This reef never ceases to amaze in terms of biodiversity and diverse ecosystems. Apart from turtles, you can expect to see stingrays, colorful fish, crabs, lobsters and even some shark species! Make sure to tick this magical spot off your bucket list!
St. Maarten Museum
Located in central Philipsburg, the St. Maarten Museum is the perfect indoor activity and an ideal pitstop while strolling the streets of the Dutch capital. Run by the Sint Maarten National Heritage Foundation, the museum features diverse exhibits covering everything from pre-Columbian history to the ravages of Hurricane Luis, which devastated the island in 1995. It is free to enter the small St. Maarten museum and it runs solely on donations, providing a much needed breath of fresh air from the shop-’til-you-drop culture!
This native island fruit gives off a sour taste when eaten raw and tourists might be confused as to its popularity. However, the magic of the guavaberry comes to life when used as the main ingredient in locally produced liqueurs, hot sauces and rums. The vibrant Guavaberry Emporium is home to all of the island’s guavaberry goods and is a must-see cultural staple of downtown Phillipsburg. Try some guavaberry products for yourself and prepare to be mind blown!
Do you consider yourself an art lover? Do you enjoy admiring local artistic talent? If so, you had better fit the Tropismes Gallery into your itinerary! This gallery exhibits pieces from contemporary Caribbean artists, including painters, sculptors and photographers. Whether you want to buy an original piece, give a memorable gift to a loved one or simply relish the exhibition, Tropismes Gallery is well worth the visit.
It goes without saying that Caribbean greens have gained international prestige amongst golf fans. This popular reputation is largely down to the growing list of designer golf courses created by famous industry figures such as Jack Nicklaus, Pete Dye, Tom Fazio and Nick Prince. C aribbean golf courses typically include fairways lined with graceful palm trees, tropical flowers and, on some occasions, panoramic ocean views. Experiencing this unparalleled beauty whilst basking in the warm rays of Caribbean sun is every golf lover’s dream.
Although St Martin/ St Maarten is home to only one golf course, Mullet Bay, many enthusiasts go island hopping to visit some other world-class greens. A popular second choice is playing on the lush fairways of Saint Kitts and Nevis or on the exciting slopes of Antigua and Barbuda .
Mullet Bay Golf Course is an 18-hole green situated near the Princess Juliana International Airport on the Dutch side of the island. Golfing at this course is recommended for the more experienced player as it has a reputation for having rather challenging fairways and holes running along a peaceful lagoon. Mullet Bay was designed by Joseph Lee and purposefully modeled around the aforementioned lagoon to give golfers the chance to experience fun – and sometimes daunting – holes. Be careful not to get too distracted by the breathtaking scenery, even the experts might walk away without making par!
At the end of April, St Maarten hosts a golf tournament in which locals and visitors from around the world participate. If you have a competitive edge and like the idea of a $10,000 cash prize, don’t hesitate to contact the St Maarten Golf Association to confirm the dates and book a spot. The tournament also draws in lots of spectators, so for those who prefer to put their feet up and enjoy a live game don’t miss out!
Are you planning a family vacation to St Martin/ St Maarten? You’ve made the right choice. With its stretches of white sand beaches, cheerful vibe, amazing marine life and outdoor adventures, this island paradise is the perfect playground for kids and adults alike.
Experience the ultimate treetop adventure with kids both big and small! As the island’s only private nature reserve, Loterie Farm is home to a stunning tropical rainforest with dazzling flora and fauna. If you go on a hiking route, keep your eyes peeled for monkeys, lizards, colorful birds and big blue butterflies in the mahogany trees. For thrill seekers, the park sports two exhilarating zip line rides, the Fly Zone and the Extreme Fly Zone. Loterie Park also has a fun obstacle course with swinging ropes and suspension bridges for mini Tarzans. Qualified monitors are present at all times to make sure all the fun happens safely.
Tiki Hut Snorkel Park
If you and your family are staying in Sint Maarten, don’t miss out on a day of relaxation and snorkeling at the Tiki Hut. This floating hut can be enjoyed for a few hours or the whole day; choose between lounging on deck chairs and dipping in the water whenever you please! A special three-feet pool is built into the middle of the Tiki Hut for kids and a friendly team is present to help out if necessary. The menu is fun and ideal for children as it includes hamburgers, hotdogs, sandwiches, cookies and soda
Rhino Safari Excursions
This awesome experience allows families to man their own boat on a guided tour through the turquoise waters of Sint Maarten. Bouncing over the waves at high speeds is exhilarating for people of all ages, not to mention the beautiful ocean views. There are multiple tours available: Creole Rock includes a snorkeling adventure to see the coral reefs and tropical fish whereas Happy Bay includes a trip to one of the island’s most idyllic beaches. Rhino Safari Excursions are open to children as young as three, but due to the high speed of the boat we would recommend the experience for families with slightly older kids.
The Coronavirus outbreak has undoubtedly wreaked havoc on the global tourism industry and caused a series of disappointments for travelers. We understand that the ever-changing restrictions can be both stressful and overwhelming, so we want to reassure you that flexible cancellation policies have been implemented for your convenience and peace of mind.
Vacations are an opportunity to disconnect from the daily grind, reconnect with loved ones and relax, so we will do everything in our power to ensure our guests get the experience they deserve, even at a later date. Excellent customer service is at the heart of what we do and we are grateful for the trust you put in us.
Book With Confidence
Due to these uncertain times, we understand that you may need to reschedule travel dates. At Personal Villas we have been working diligently with our owners and partners to offer the most flexible travel plans.
Offering Our Guests Flexibility
For all rentals until Sept 1st we are offering refundable deposits less the 5% service fee. Villa guests that are unable to travel due to any Covid-19 travel restrictions may also reschedule travel within 1 year of original check-in date (same property, same rate category). For rentals beyond Sept 1st including Christmas & New Year rentals, we are working with owners and guests on a case-by-case basis. Please inquire with our team for more info.
Consider Travel Insurance
For added peace of mind in the event of any unforeseen events, we do suggest travel insurance which can be obtained through our partner Rental Guardian . Please inquire for more info.
Plan the Perfect Getaway
Dreaming of your next vacation? Allow our villa specialists to email you a list of curated options, perfect for your ideal getaway. Take advantage of Personal Villas concierge services to pre-stock your villa with favorite groceries & beverages before arrival, airport transfers, activities & excursions with the best local tour companies, and anything else to make a relaxing stay.