Biggest Differences Between the Dutch and French Side of St. Martin

You’ve been looking at St. Martin villa rentals, but you aren’t sure which side of the island you should stay on. Should you go with the Dutch side or the French side? Learn the differences between the two and then book your villa rental. It won’t be long before you’re relaxing in paradise.

The Atmosphere

Before you book one of the St. Martin villa rentals, you want to know about the atmosphere of the French and Dutch sides. The French side is very laidback and relaxed. It’s full of unspoiled nature and pristine beaches, and you won’t hear the loud horns of cruise ships or the bells from casinos as you stroll along this side of the island or zip line through the trees.

The atmosphere completely changes on the Dutch side. It has a cruise port and casinos, and it has its fair share of clubs. It also has beaches, but they are much more populated on this side.

While the French side is meant for relaxing, the Dutch side is all about having a good time. That’s especially true when the sun goes down and the nightclubs kick it into high gear.

The Food

While you could make your own meals in one of the St. Martin villa rentals, you likely want to go out for a nice lunch or dinner during your vacation. The French side has an interesting culinary scene. It has the French-style eateries that serve the finest cuisine, just like you would expect. It also has open-air eateries that offer up Caribbean specialties.

The Dutch side also has an amazing food scene. It’s perfect for picky eaters or those who want lots of choices. You can find American, Asian, and European cuisine, plus so much more. It’s not unusual to see people come over from the French side to get a bite to eat.


Do you plan to leave one of the St. Martin villa rentals and enjoy some shopping? Both sides of the island have you covered, but you’ll get a vastly different experience depending on where you go. The French side offers upscale shopping, such as Hugo Boss and Cartier. You can even blend your own scents at the local parfumerie.

The Dutch side has a little bit of everything, but it’s more geared toward tourists. You can find souvenir shops and boutiques here, as well as a Craft Market. This market is a must-see. You can bring a little of the island home when you depart St. Martin.

Booking St. Martin Villa Rentals

Now that you know which side of the island appeals to you, you can reserve one of the St. Martin Villa rentals. Keep one thing in mind, though. You can go between the Dutch and French sides of the island at will, so you will not be stuck in one place. Book your home base and then explore the entire island. You can easily enjoy the full experience when you visit St. Martin.

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