Choosing the right neighborhood to purchase or rent a house in is never easy. There are many variables to consider. Safety, distance to job and schools, real estate prices and traffic in the area to name but a few. Then you have your own personal list of criteria like pool or no pool, ocean view or view of the hills, a garage or curbside parking.
While these are definitely valid criteria when house hunting, and we at BrightPath along with our real estate partners can definitely assist you to find that perfect Caribbean abode meeting your standards, this post will focus foremost on the best neighborhoods to live in on Dutch St. Maarten.
Let’s start with one of the most coveted in real estate and that is the Gated Community.
Gated communities offer Safety, which makes them so attractive since most come with 24 hour security and an actual gate or security boom at the main entrance. Depending on your taste and location, there is a community ideal for you, here are a few of t. Maarten’s best.
Previously known as Cay Bay, Indigo Bay is conveniently located between Philipsburg and Simpson Bay, right in the valley of what we call the Cole Bay hill.
The eco-conscious developer behind this project was careful to build quality homes. A fact that can be seen by how well the homes survived the 2017 hurricane.
Besides quality homes with stunning ocean views, Indigo Bay also prides itself in having a beautiful beach and beach restaurant where one can enjoy cabanas and lounge chairs.
Surrounded by hills and luxury homes, the area of Oyster Pond sits right on the border with the French side on the Eastern side of the island. Long known for its exclusivity and privacy it has seen its share of celebrities purchasing homes here, eager to get their hands on prime real estate.
Most homes in the guarded Oyster Pond Estate, accessible by steep roads into the green and lush hills, offer an unobstructed view of neighboring St. Barth and the Oyster Bay Lagoon below.
It’s a quiet community where one needs permission from the home owner to access. It offers many great restaurants both on the Dutch part and the French side of the border. From here, it’s an easy and beautiful 10 minute drive along the shore to the popular French villages of Orient and Grand Case.
Adjacent to Oyster Pond is another popular gated community, Dawn Beach Estate, which sits right above the beach of the same name and the yet to reopen Dawn Beach Resort.
Many of the more affluent local families call this estate home and there is a true sense of community here as soon as one passes through security at the guardhouse at the main entrance.
Another popular gated community on the island is Almond Grove Estate.
Located in the hills surrounding the Cole Bay area, this gated community with 24 hour security and a security boom at the main entrance, offer beautiful views of Simpson Bay and the airport.
It is a favored place to live by many local and French families on the island and boasts proximity and easy access to Marigot, the international airport and the entertainment areas of Simpson Bay and Maho with their many bars and restaurants.
If luxury condominium is more your style, than Porto Cupecoy might be just what you are looking for.
20 acres of different size condominiums, high security FOB system, state of the art gym, lagoon style swimming pool, tennis courts, a marina and a plaza filled with some of the island’s more renowned restaurants, this is Porto Cupecoy.
Choose from one to 4 or 5 bedroom condos and penthouses, some with beautiful ocean views or lagoon view, while others look out onto the entertainment plaza and the swimming pool below. Also on property is an ATM and a supermarket.
When it comes to Porto Cupecoy, location is another main attraction. It is located on the border with French St. Martin, close to the 5-star resort of La Samanna, steps away from the Cupecoy beach and less than a mile from one of the island’s most well known private schools as well as the Maho area and the airport.
What did you think of the gated communities listed above? If gated communities are not for you and you prefer your regular standard great neighborhoods, keep on reading.
With homes nestled in the hills and valley surrounding Guana Bay beach, all with beautiful balconies and patios overlooking the ocean below, Guana Bay earns the right to be mentioned in our list of best neighborhoods on Dutch St. Maarten.
It’s a quiet neighborhood where one can hear the surf crashing onto the shore below. The beach, rough and with a heavy undertow, may not be ideal for swimming but is still a beauty to behold. It makes for perfect barefoot strolls or beach picnics.
Sip on your coffee in the morning while you watch the sun come up on the horizon, its rays illuminating the beach below or take a hike on one of the few hiking trails that start or end in Guana Bay, the trail to the popular natural pool being one of them.
Simpson Bay, also known as the island’s entertainment area is one of the most coveted areas to live in.
A modest fishing village at one time, Simpson bay has grown into the island’s epi-center of tourism, with bars, restaurants and some of the larger hotels within walking distance. Althoug there is still some fishing going on, the neighborhood is fast changing. Families that have lived their for generations are being bought out by developers and the modest homes along the beach are demolished to make space for multi level condominiums.
Beware that living here, means lots of traffic, possible noise from nearby bars and from planes taking off from the adjacent Juliana International Airport. Parking can also be an issue if you don’t have assigned parking, especially in the weekends and more so on Sundays when the crowd head for the popular beach bars on the Simpson Bay beach stretch.
Adjacent to Simpson Bay, just on the other side of the drawbridge is the exclusive Pelican area.
The entrance into this neighborhood is filled with restaurants, beach bars and hotels. Homes here can cost quite a heap but once you go up the hill, where the houses seem to get larger, one will see the reason why a home here is worth every penny. The view is simply amazing.
Pelican can feel overcrowded at times with homes built so close to one another but the higher up into the hills, the better the view and the less crammed one will feel.
Mary’s Fancy is one of those neighborhoods often overlooked when house hunting.
It’s a quiet residential area in the hills overlooking Philipsburg. The road into this neighborhood is not in the best of shape, but again the view can’t be topped.
Mary’s Fancy is a lush area. Homes here look out either towards Philipsburg’s Great Bay area, with the cruise ships docked at the harbor or onto the valley and the hills of St. Peters on the other side.
This neighborhood feels homier than the rest of the areas covered so far in this article and there are a lot more families living here. That is no wonder seeing that Mary’s Fancy is adjacent to the school district.
No, we are not talking about the world’s most popular zip code, but rather a small neighborhood in the hills of St. Maarten.
By now you know how hilly St. Maarten is and most homes here are built in the hills. This means a lot of steep inclines to drive up but the views are the best part of living here.
Belair lies right outside of the island’s downtown area of Philipsburg and looks down onto Little Bay beach, Great Bay and the Divi resort. It is another popular neighborhood for families because of its close proximity to the hospital and schools, both public and private.
When house hunting on St. Maarten, the key is to take your time and to visit each of the neighborhoods to get a feel of what they’re like. Don’t focus only on one particular area but explore others that may not be on the top of your list. Each neighborhood comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Having an open mind is essential. Who knows, you may just find your dream home in a neighborhood that possibly wasn’t even on your radar before.
The best part is that you do not have to do any of this alone. Our experts at BrightPath along with our real estate friends are standing ready to assist you, whether it’s with a tour of the island’s best neighborhoods, a list of homes that meet your criteria or with all the paperwork that comes with buying or renting a home on St. Maarten. So. Don’t hesitate, and give us a call or send us an email.
Our Blogposts are not intended as (legal) advice and do not take your personal circumstances into consideration. All information provided and statements made only serve to provide you with a general understanding of immigration, residence and business incorporation procedures on Sint Maarten. BrightPath does not accept any liability for damages resulting from using the provided information. We highly recommend you to seek personalized advice from us before you act or fail to act because of the content of our Blogposts.