If you’re looking for an accommodation with Caribbean vibes, French flare, white sand, turquoise waters, and iguana friends, I know just the place. Staying at La Playa Orient Bay was such a positive experience for us, and I honestly don’t think there is a better location to stay on the island! Here is everything you need to know before you book.
This hotel is situated on Orient Bay Beach, on the French side of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten. (Remember to bring your European adapter!) Getting here from SXM (Princess Julianna International Airport) was pretty easy, and they offer complimentary parking to boot.
It’s a perfect spot to base yourself for a weekend, week, or more. It’s also walkable to nearby restaurants, so you’ll have options whether you plan to explore the island or stay in place for your whole trip!
With an open-air reception area, you’ll feel the island vibes as soon as you arrive! The rooms are located within large beach houses, and it truly feels like you’re by yourself inside your room, not like you’re in a house with a bunch of neighbors. I love that the hotel looks like a series of homes instead of a traditional hotel block.
Also awesome: The Best Things to Do on St. Martin/Sint Maarten
La Playa does have its own pool, complete with cushiony loungers, umbrellas, cabanas, and… Iguanas! We never encountered an aggressive one, but they were fascinating to watch! If a sandy beach is not your idea of a relaxing time, definitely check out the pool.
We booked a Junior Suite with a Premium Ocean View. It came with our own private balcony, which happens to be a favorite hotel room feature of mine. I also loved the bright, coastal vibe of the room and the light wood accents. We were delighted to find that the room was at least as large as its online photos portrayed. It also came with a full kitchen, complete with fridge, microwave, electric stove, coffee maker, tea maker, flatware, and more.
Keep reading: What to Know Before You Visit the Caribbean
The bathroom was actually separated into two rooms: Shower and sinks in one room, toilet in the other. The shower was quite large and feature both a rainfall shower head and handheld nozzle. We appreciated the double sinks and ample counterspace, and while we would have liked having a few more towels, we were satisfied with what we had.
Essential info: The Traveler’s Guide to Solid Toiletries
The restaurant at the hotel is open from 7:00am-10:00am for breakfast, and from 11:30am-4:00pm for lunch each day. The restaurant is fully open-air, with tables both under a terrace and in the sand. There are also charming, covered bench tables, so if you come early, you might snag one of them. The restaurant does not reopen for dinner, but there are several other options nearby. You won’t go hungry in the evenings!
Full breakfast was included in our room rate, and while I’d planned for us to venture out for breakfast at least part of the time, we enjoyed it so much, we ate here every day!
Chow down on my World Foods Page!
This was the dreamiest part! Orient Bay’s powdery, white sand is perfect for sunbathing, a morning jog, or romantic sunrise or sunset walks. La Playa has their own beach chairs reserved for guests, and there are loads of water sport options to choose from nearby as well. We saw a constant stream of paragliders, kite boarders, kayakers, and more while we were there.
Fun nearby: How to Spend Half a Day at Pinel Island
Want more? Check out all my Saint Martin/Sint Maarten posts on my dedicated Caribbean Islands Page!
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