Sint Maarten, the friendly island

Sint Maarten – Saint Martin is the smallest landmass in the world to be shared between two countries.

Philipsburg is the capital of Sint Maarten, a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Marigot is the capital of Saint Martin, an overseas collectivity of France. The French part covers approximately 60 percent of the island, while the Dutch part covers the remaining 40 percent.

European colonial powers of Britain, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and even some Nordic countries usually fought for sovereignty over Caribbean islands in lengthy back-and-forths. However, the two leading contenders on the island chose a different path: peaceful coexistence. There is no physical border between the two countries. Thus, you may travel between the Dutch and French side as much as you’d like!


You can’t leave Sint Maarten without trying the local snack shacks; all around, you’ll find Caribbean barbeques triggering your senses. Try the perfectly grilled chicken, ribs, seafood served with rice & peas, and local johnnycakes. For anyone seeking a refined fusion cuisine experience permeated by Caribbean influences, Mario Bistrot at the Cliff is the place to visit.

Conch and dumplings is the iconic dish of Dutch Sint Maarten. The conch (sea snail) is first pounded and then pressure cooked with the dumplings, herbs, and spices. The thick sauce from the conch and dumplings is used as gravy to eat with rice, vegetables, and johnnycakes. Enjoy this dish at Nowhere Special in Simpson Bay or Yvette’s Restaurant in French Quarter.


Dutch is the official language spoken on the Dutch part of the island, and French is spoken on the French side. However, almost everyone on the island speaks English.

Sint Maarten is a melting pot of many different cultures bringing together people from the Caribbean, the Americas, and Europe. Thus, if you spend an afternoon in a cafe, you are likely to hear an eclectic mix of languages, including Spanish, Creole, and Papiamento.

In the 14th century, the Carib Indians named the island Soualiga, namely the “Salt Island.” This was due to the island’s main mineral deposit. You can still visit the remains of the Great Salt Pond in Philipsburg today. Later, Sint Maarten/Saint Martin received its name from the day that Christopher Columbus landed on the island, on November 11th, 1493, the holy day of St. Martin of Tours. This day remains still in our days, a traditional time for feasting and celebrations.

Conch and dumplings is the iconic dish of Dutch Sint Maarten. The conch (sea snail) is first pounded and then pressure cooked with the dumplings, herbs, and spices. The thick sauce from the conch and dumplings is used as gravy to eat with rice, vegetables, and johnnycakes. Enjoy this dish at Nowhere Special in Simpson Bay or Yvette’s Restaurant in French Quarter.


Sint Maarten may be a relatively small island at only 37 square miles, but there are 37 unique and beautiful beaches for you to explore! Each is unique and worth the sandy experience. The Cliff is built over a secluded part of Cupecoy beach, and Mullet bay beach is only a few steps away. However, you might want to visit Grande case, Friar’s Bay, Baie Rouge, and Kim Sha beaches as well during the time of your stay.

There is no doubt that you will visit Mullet bay beach, one of the most popular beaches on the island, during your stay at the Cliff. The lovely sands run close to the golf course and are accessible within a short 5-minute walk from the residence. It is never too crowded but does tend to get a little busier at weekends.

Cupecoy consists of a series of small beaches located below ochre-colored cliffs. The waves here are gentle, and the sunsets are awe-inspiring. Enjoy the beautiful views here on this beach with caves to explore on top. A secluded part of Cupecoy beach is accessible right down the residence through stairs only accessible from the Cliff for more privacy.

The lovely beach and the azure waters make Maho a great place to spend the day. Crowds usually gather here to watch the planes take off, be careful not to leave anything lying around because it could be blown away. Settle back with a drink at Sunset Beach Bar, watching the planes soar overhead and gazing at the gorgeous ocean.

Explore Saint Maarten

We advise exploring everything our unusual island has to offer to make the most of your vacation. Enjoy beautiful lengths of shoreline, great snorkeling and diving, award-winning restaurants, and a plethora of adrenaline activities that will keep you entertained all day and night! Do not forget to reach out to our concierges before your arrival to book activities and tours in advance.

Of course, you can make an opinion upon arrival and visit our Reception desk for more detailed advice.

Restaurant Dining

If you enjoy variety in your meals, Sint Maarten is the right spot for you, with over 300 restaurants! The island is home to more than one hundred different nationalities, and a variety of cuisines will influence your dining experiences. 

During your stay, you should not miss the opportunity to book a table at Mario Bistrot, our residence. The renowned chef Mario will delight you with the finest and innovative cuisine in the Caribbean.

For further recommendations about restaurants to visit during your stay, feel free to contact or visit the Front Desk. 

Night life

You may dance and enjoy yourself all night with the nightlife on Sint Maarten. After a day of fun in the Caribbean heat, relax with a tropical drink or a refreshing beer before an electrifying night. Every day and night is a party, with a wide range of pubs and clubs to pick from. Whether Jazz, Latin music, live piano, enjoy and dance whichever style suits you the best.

Ask our front-desk for upcoming events.   


Glittering and feathered costumes, loud drums and calypso beats, mouthwatering food and drinks, and thousands of happy people, blend them all and enjoy the most intense festivity on Sint Maarten: the Caribbean Carnival. For months locals put their souls into preparing this event, sewing Carnival costumes, writing songs waiting for this exceptional event.

The island’s wildest celebration is held on both French and Dutch, once a year but on different dates. The French carnival fever takes hold during Lent, where jump-ups and huge parades color the streets of Marigot and Grand-Case.

Zouk and reggae fill every corner with performances from popular local and international bands.


Philipsburg, capital of the Dutch side, mainly consists of three main streets: Cannegieter street, Back street, Front street, and has been expanded on the beachside with the Boardwalk. Each street is known for its specific offerings in products.

While Sint Maarteners tend to shop in Cannegieter and Back street, Front street attracts more foreign visitors as it offers a large selection of luxury and jewelry stores. Most of them offer affordable prices for high-end jewelry, and there’s plenty of room for negotiation due to the competition.

Front Street can be intensely crowded, especially during the high season from November to May and when cruise ships are docked. However, you can temper the experience with some window-shopping on Back Street or a dip in the Great Bay, both of which run parallel to Front Street.