Sint Maarten — Shopping and Leisure
St Maarten is heralded as being a shopper’s delight in the Caribbean, with lower prices than any other country in the Caribbean. Both the Dutch and French sides of the island have duty -free prices, so there is no sales tax paid by buyers. This provides an extremely competitive shopping environment for luxury goods, such as jewelry, cosmetics, electronics, alcohol, and tobacco. Prices are around 15-30 percent cheaper than in the US for these products.
The main shopping area in St Maarten is Front Street in Philipsburg. Here, you will find a mile-long strip of stores selling luxury products at competitive, duty-free prices. For clothing and general souvenirs, a good place to head is Back Street, which sells beachwear and island memorabilia.
All around this area of Philipsburg you will find food and snacks to buy, including at the open-air bazaar located behind the courthouse, which is nestled in between Front and Back streets. Stores are normally open seven days per week, from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., with a two-hour closing for lunch between 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.
There is a branch of Cartier located at 35 Front Street, or for luxury watches and jewelry from Bell & Ross, and Pomellato, you can go to Carat at 73 Front Street. There is also a branch of Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren clothing stores on Front Street at numbers 28 and 31 respectively. There is an endearing souvenir shop at 8 Front Street called Guavaberry Emporium which sells items such as hand-painted bottles and liquor.
Spas and Wellness
With an amazing location and a tranquil setting, St Maarten is an extremely popular spa retreat for visitors. There are several spas located in the country, usually near the south-facing beaches. Some of the most popular include the Dawn Beach Resort & Spa near the airport, the Christian Dior Spa at the Cliff Hotel, and Serenity Spa at Maho Beach Resort. There are plenty of other options, including the Good Life Spa and Spa St Maarten at Little Bay Beach Resort and Oyster Bay Beach Resort. It may also be worth heading over to the French side of St Martin where more options are available, such as La Samanna and Radisson Blu Resort & Spa.