Although the Dutch/French island of St. Martin is among the smaller Caribbean islands, it punches way above its weight in the tourism stakes. Almost half a million stay-over visitors come each year, lured by duty-free shopping and an outstanding concentration of bars, casinos, nightclubs and fine dining. However, 60 percent of the island’s accommodation market is devoted to timeshares, and there is little appetite locally to sequester visitors in all-inclusive resorts. Visitors to the island have a choice of just four resorts, although the quality of this quartet makes up for the dearth of options.
St. Maarten’s original two all-inclusive resorts are both operated by Sonesta. The Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino is the largest all-inclusive on the 37-square-mile island. Vacation packages include accommodations, breakfast, lunch and dinner in a choice of five restaurants and five bars on site, plus unlimited drinks. Families with children can take advantage of a supervised Kids Club, while adults are kept busy with a full program of strenuous or light indoor and outdoor activities. The resort is right in the center of the lively Maho area, close to the famous Sunset Bar & Grill, the focal point of a district packed with top restaurants, casinos and nightclubs.
For beach lovers, the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino and Spa dominates the mile-long strip of shimmering sands along Great Bay, with the island of Saba on the horizon and a steady stream of cruise ships arriving in port in the foreground. Unlike Maho, where kids under 5 stay for free, Great Bay is an adults-only all-inclusive resort. Guests can enjoy three swimming pools, four restaurants, four bars, a spa and an on-site casino. The vacation starts with a champagne check-in and incorporates a weekly cocktail party. A day-pass promotion allows guests of either Sonesta resort to spend a day at the other one, enjoying full use of the amenities.
On the shore of the Simpson Bay Lagoon, Hotel Mercure has emerged from a thorough renovation to establish itself as the prime all-inclusive option on the French side of the island. The three-star hotel offers standard room-only deals with a full American breakfast but also incorporates an all-inclusive package aimed at families with children. The deal includes complimentary drinks and meals at Les Voiles restaurant. Facilities include a gym, spa, pool and water-sports center, but just as rewarding can be relaxing among the palm trees or strolling the well-manicured lawns.
In a secluded cove reached only by a precipitous road, St. Martin’s newest all-inclusive resort took over the site formerly occupied by a 250-room Radisson. Riu Palace extends the successful Riu chain formula that already extends across the Caribbean in 37 resorts. The highlight is the 300-foot-long infinity pool, the longest on the island, while other attractions include spa, fitness center and beachfront gourmet restaurant. Formal dress is required for dinner, but snacks and complimentary drinks are available throughout the day.
- Sonesta: Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino -- Sint Maarten
- Sunset Bar & Grill
- Sonesta: Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
- Riu Palace St. Martin
- Hotel News Resource: Riu Palace St. Martin to Open This Summer
- Hotel Mercure
- Caribbean Tourism Organization: St. Eustatius Visitor Arrival Summary
- Photo Credit SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images
About all-Inclusive Vacations for Singles
Some of the most popular all-inclusive vacation packages and destinations for singles include: resort vacations in St. Martin in the Caribbean; ...