Spacious Suites with Modern Comforts and Ocean Views
It can be easy to mistake Royal Palm Beach Resort for a small town that happens to be wrapped around a crescent-shaped beach. The St. Maarten resort boasts an onsite eatery and a retail arcade filled with shops, a grocery store, and beauty salon. Its suites feel more like mini apartments than standard hotel rooms, with two-stool breakfast bars and four-burner stoves. During the day, the resort offers plenty to do, from swimming in the two pools to the occasional bingo night and crab racing. And at night, the action doesn't slow down at the bar and lounge areas, which offer live entertainment.
Royal Palm's blue-and-white stucco building reflects the Caribbean’s colors, and each of the 140 suites includes a private ocean-view balcony or terrace. The two-bedroom suites can easily accommodate a family or WWE Royal Rumble of six, as they are each furnished with two king beds, two bathrooms, and living rooms with sofa beds and wings chairs. Though each suite also comes with a full kitchen boasting granite countertops and modern appliances, visitors don’t have to cook their own breakfast, as the Royal Palm's restaurant serves it each morning.
St. Maarten: French and Dutch Cultures on Perfect Beaches
The 37-square-mile tropical island of St. Maarten is peaceably divided between its French north half (called Saint-Martin) and it southern Dutch half, Sint Maarten. The entire island is a beachgoer's paradise with picture-perfect sands, translucent blue water, and extremely lenient sandcastle-zoning codes. Chartered sailboats ship aquatic explorers out into the Caribbean for snorkeling and diving excursions that provide glimpses of underwater coral reefs and sea creatures.
Those venturing north can’t miss Pic du Paradis (“Paradise Peak”), the island’s highest point at 1,492 feet. From the peak’s observation areas, you can not only see the entire island but also spot nearby Anguilla, Saba, and St. Eustatius. The French part of the island also hosts the colorful Butterfly Farm, home to hundreds of butterflies ranging from South America’s blue morpho to Southeast Asia’s tree nymph.