I'm going to Saint Martin in two weeks, any great places to stay on either French or Dutch side, which side do you prefer? Restaurant recommendations (especially involving beachside seafood?)
The Sint Maarten is a bit more rougher, cheaper but feels more local. The French side is fancier with a big focus on delicious french fare. Grand Case has amazing restaurants, and a beautiful boutique hotel l'esplanade hotel. Orient Beach has a lot of hotels and condos for rent and sports a beautiful, expansive beach with lots of bars, cafes. I would definitely rent a car with French plates. It sounds crazy but you are dealing with French police on one side of the island and Dutch police on the other side. French plates seem to deter hassling from either side for minor traffic violations etc. Al Dywan is an awesome restaurant for cheap, delicious mediterranean food. It's a great place to grab some lunch before hitting the beach. Gus's Beach Bar is our absolute favorite, located in Baie Rouge East Rd. It's the perfect beach, not too big, 2 little beach bars and a little cliff that juts out where you can carve out a little space to just chill. Marina Port Royal you can catch ferries to St Barthélemy and Anguilla. There are also some great french bakeries located in the port area. A short trip to Pinel Island is always a must, literally a 5 minute boat ride, you can still see the beach from this tiny island. You can also check out the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino and go clubbing on this side of the island with favorites likeBliss [Dutch side].
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