Belmond La Samanna Rating: 4.5 Pearls
Easily the most luxurious resort in St. Martin, the 55-acre La Samanna resort brings tranquility to an otherwise tourist-filled island. Featuring two beautiful pools, an extensive wine cellar, a yoga and Pilates studio, a European-style spa, and the island's most pristine beach, this 81-room, eight-villa retreat is hard to beat. The vibe is about as fancy as St. Martin gets, giving the hotel a romantic (and kid-unfriendly) feel. The airy, Mediterranean-style guest rooms are perfect for couples, with private balconies, ocean views, and hand-painted tiles in the bathrooms.
The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Though a larger property (with 314 rooms), The Westin Dawn Beach has a romantic vibe in many ways. It features a lovely double-decker pool (with gorgeous views of the ocean), several al fresco restaurants, and the best spa on the island, complete with a relaxation lounge, a steam room, and a long list of couples treatments. Rooms have private balconies and spacious, pristine bathrooms.
Holland House Beach Hotel Rating: 3.0 Pearls
The stylish 54-room Holland House Beach Hotel might be missing a pool, spa, and fitness center, but its location in the middle of Philipsburg gives guests the best of everything else -- step out the front door, and you’ll find some of the island’s best shopping on Front Street. And just out the back door, Great Bay Beach and the Caribbean Sea await. Inside, spacious rooms are updated and tastefully designed. Take note: With a surrounding such as this, opting for a beach view is well worth the extra cost.
Bleu Emeraude Rating: 3.0 Pearls
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. Modern rooms are sleek with updated electronics, designer furnishings, and white-on-white decor that puts the focus on the stunning ocean views. However, the hotel sits on a particularly busy street and has virtually no amenities beyond the beautiful beach.