When you think about St. Martin, you think about sandy beaches, wild nightlife, and warm weather. You might also think about luxurious vacation rental homes. (We certainly do.) As one of our favorite Caribbean destinations, we can’t seem to stay away. Here are five villas we’ve recently visited and marked with our stamp of approval.
Why We Love It: Teardrop pool
Planted right on the shore of Cupecoy on St. Martin’s Dutch side, we love Mumbai villa for its waterfront location, uniquely designed pool, and irresistible lounge areas. St. Martin is known for great beaches, nightlife, and weather – and Mumbai allows you to take advantage of all three at the same time. You’re also just a jaunt from ritzy Maho Village, where Las Vegas meets the Caribbean for high-stakes and high-energy gaming and nightlife. LR staffers Melissa Iacono and Kim Harper stayed here on recent trip, and combined fun afternoons at beach clubs and restaurants with taking some downtime back at the villa. “The views were incredible looking out onto the water,” Melissa told us. Their favorite restaurant? Mezza Luna, a quaint Italian spot on the beach where you can sit at picnic tables with your feet in the sand and palm trees overhead, surrounded by tea light candles and the sounds of the ocean.
Stay at Mumbai Villa
Ambiance, Terres Basses
Why We Love It: Spacious backyard
It’s easy to fall in love with Ambiance. Maybe too easy. The villa, on the Terres Basses hillside, is a stunner where the interiors are spacious and designed in order to allow you to enjoy the sun as much as possible. And it’s perfect for outdoor entertaining too. A poolside lounge area is perfect for having drinks with your feet in the water and al fresco dining is stationed close enough so you can serve dinner on the patio. And the lawn has room for a full-fledged soccer or football game, so you can work up a sweat too. If you’re looking to spend all your time outdoors, this is the place for you. The villa has four bedrooms, each with its own private ensuite bathroom and shower, making it perfect for couples. “I’d recommend it in a heartbeat,” says Luxury Retreats’ Wade Manricks.
Stay at Ambiance
Terrasse de Mer, Baie Rouge
Why We Love It: Friendly service
Terrasse de Mer’s white poolside pillars make it seem Ancient Greece-inspired, but Wade tells us “It’s a traditional St. Martin-style villa.” The villa is conveniently located off a main road, close to Baie Rouge Beach and the towns of Cupecoy (on the Dutch side) and Marigot (on the French side), though you’ll have a tough time leaving the house. Instead, you’ll spend much of your day lounging by the swimming pool and taking in “some of the best views in St. Martin,” as Wade puts it. Elegant and glitzy, Terrasse de Mer has so much to offer. Yet, the highlight of your trip may just be the presence of the villa’s housekeeper, as it was for Wade and his guests. “She was super nice, super friendly. [She] makes you feel right at home.”
Stay at Terrasse de Mer
Sol e Luna, Terres Basses
Why We Love It: Private resort feel
At Sol e Luna, it’s all about relaxation. Where do you relax? Everywhere. When do you relax? All the time. Start with the tiled terrace leading from indoors to out and hugging the pool to offer plenty of seating and lounge areas. Sun and shade are abundant, with the latter being best enjoyed on one of the plush white couches under the gazebo. Nestled in the hills, you can enjoy your privacy while taking in Terres Basses sea views beyond the yard’s lush vegetation. The interior is modern and the kitchen is fully stocked. Our very own Kirstie McFarlane was recently able to visit with her husband, some friends, and family. “We absolutely loved the pool area at this villa. It felt like we were at our own private resort! The pool is huge and there’s lots of different areas around the pool where you can eat, sunbathe, or nap in the shade.” Sounds good to us!
Stay at Sol e Luna
Villa Luna, Cupecoy
Why We Love It: Rooftop plunge pool
Within a gated community just beyond the French-Dutch border (on the Dutch side), Villa Luna is bayside along a row of similar homes, but that doesn’t take away from its privacy. Our favorite feature is the plunge pool at the edge of the rooftop terrace that faces directly out to the sea. Kirstie adored Luna for its decor – “We loved how modern and sophisticated this villa was,” – and its location, “We walked to the beach every day and loved having restaurants within walking distance.” When you need a break from the sun, the exercise room is fully loaded with a treadmill, exercise bike, and free weights. There’s also an open-concept living area where you can melt into the couch and watch TV while still enjoying the St. Martin breeze.
Stay at Villa Luna