The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten Rating: 4.0 Pearls

St. Martin (or St. Maarten, depending on whether you find yourself on the French or Dutch side of the island) is known for its pristine beaches with crystal clear waters -- on all sides of the isle. Here are some of our favorite hotel beaches: The coastline at the Westin is beautiful and serene -- if sometimes crowded during busier months -- and from here, the views of the resort's facade are markedly more elegant than those of its front side. Only 100 yards from the pool, switching between the two is an easy affair, and comfortable cabanas provide the perfect spot to relax at both.

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Best Hotel Beaches in St. Martin/St. Maarten (1 of 10)

 St. Martin (or St. Maarten, depending on whether you find yourself on the French or Dutch side of the island) is known for its pristine beaches with crystal clear waters -- on all sides of the isle. Here are some of our favorite hotel beaches:
The coastline at the Westin is beautiful and serene -- if sometimes crowded during busier months -- and from here, the views of the resort's facade are markedly more elegant than those of its front side. Only 100 yards from the pool, switching between the two is an easy affair, and comfortable cabanas provide the perfect spot to relax at both.
St. Martin (or St. Maarten, depending on whether you find yourself on the French or Dutch side of the island) is known for its pristine beaches with crystal clear waters -- on all sides of the isle. Here are some of our favorite hotel beaches:
The coastline at the Westin is beautiful and serene -- if sometimes crowded during busier months -- and from here, the views of the resort's facade are markedly more elegant than those of its front side. Only 100 yards from the pool, switching between the two is an easy affair, and comfortable cabanas provide the perfect spot to relax at both. Easily the most luxurious resort in St. Martin, the 55-acre La Samanna resort brings tranquility to an otherwise tourist-filled island. At both the beach and the resort's two pools, the tone is refined but not too quiet -- guests that want a cocktail (or five) won't feel as if they have to whisper their orders, and plenty of lounge chairs on the decks and in the sand mean there's no need to compete for the best spot. Located within an upscale community featuring several resorts, restaurants, and one of the island's best beaches, Esmeralda Resort's colorful Creole-style villas offer seclusion and elegance. And while the resort is not located directly on the beach (none of the resorts in Orient Bay are), it does have a short pathway through lush grounds that leads to Coco Beach, an affiliated bar/restaurant that provides baby-blue umbrellas lined with white fringe, and matching padded lounge chairs free of charge to the resort's guests. By far the biggest resort in St. Maarten, this 534-room behemoth is a veritable village with direct beach access. The shore is, however, practically adjacent to the island's airport. While this doesn't sound like an ideal situation, guests seem to actually enjoy it, responding to it as if its one of the island's most charming attractions. It is a great photo op, in a way. Located just a short walk from the lovely white-sand Orient Bay, guests at L'Hoste have quick access to water sport rental shops, restaurants, bars, and massage huts right at the water's edge. The happening scene, pristine sand, and cerulean crashing waves are a major island draw, and all are within five minutes on foot. Take note: In true French spirit, the beach is clothing-optional. Opened in 2009 and still gleaming, the intimate 11-room Bleu Emeraude sits along a peaceful crescent-shaped white sand beach, just a short walk away from the culinary mecca of Grand Case. The quiet beachfront comes with guest-only lounge chairs and umbrellas. This 240-room, family-oriented resort on Simpson Bay’s Pelican Key is flanked on two sides by the a picturesque beach, which is often crowded. This low-key, down-to-earth hotel in picturesque Grand Case has an authentic island vibe with bougainvillea-draped, cottage-style buildings and two serene beaches -- a wide beach with service from the cafe, and another rockier beach ideal for snorkeling. The beach just outside the restaurant and bar is a beauty -- long and wide, with the smooth, white sand and turquoise water for which Simpson Bay is known. The water is also rather calm, due to the inlet that forms the bay, and soothing beachfront massages are a spectacular addition to the hotel. Best of all, there's no jockeying for a good lounge chair -- the hotel has plenty for guests, and outsiders tend to stay further up the bay near the Flamingo Beach Resort. A central location on a quieter portion of Simpson Bay places this 140-room resort close to virtually every attraction on the island’s Dutch side. The picturesque beach along Simpson Bay features jetties separating it from neighboring tourist-filled beaches, as well as barbecue grills for guests to use right on the sand.
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