Dutch versus French accommodations in St. Maartin / St. Marten: Resort facilities and prices
Properties on the Dutch side tend to be less expensive for what you get because timeshares are allowed only on the Dutch side. Timeshare resorts provide one or two bedrooms with kitchen and living room for about the same price as a hotel room, and the larger timeshare resorts have a greater variety of water sport, restaurant and day tour operators on premises or within walking distance that are in competition for your vacation dollars. One of the nicest Dutch side resorts is the Royal Palm Beach Club.
However, if you like privacy, smaller properties, and Naturist beaches then stay on the French side (you can drive anywhere in SXM in 15 to 40 minutes). For example, L'Habitation is so isolated that International presidential meetings have taken place there. A single, long roadway up and down a steep hill connects to this area of just a few commercial sites. The hotel changed ownership a couple of years ago and I believe it still is a 5 star property. This writer usually visits the hotel for lunch or to have a drink around the pool, or dine in the restaurant opposite the hotel once each vacation. Bring lots of cash or credit though, and in most French side resorts there are fewer amenities compared to the Dutch side.
If you can stretch your visit to about 9-10 days, we would highly recommend that you stay on the French side for a few days, and also do the standard 7 night rental in a timeshare on the Dutch side. For vacations of 7 night multiples, your best value is a full featured, recently constructed timeshare resort (older and less inviting resorts usually cost about as much, you just get less). You could stay in a hotel on the Dutch side too, but this would be my distant 3rd choice. In any case, the Island is small so you could stay on either side and drive to anything in 15-40 minutes.
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