Friday, January 8, 2010

Renting a Villa in St. Martin: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Why am I in St. Martin two days after arriving home from Aspen? My youngest son was about to start medical school on the island and someone had to help settle him in. Because the first week of January is the busiest time of the year on the island, I couldn't find a hotel room close to the school (opposite Mullet Bay Beach close to Cupecoy) so I opted for renting the least expensive 2 - bdrm. villa I could find in the Terres Basses area (15 minutes to the school) through an agent with Villa Luxe.

The Good
■ beautiful view from the patio, across pool to island of Saba
■ blue and white French country theme (more of a charming cottage as opposed to a villa)
■ stocked for breakfasts without me asking for anything
■ the owners lived next door and were truly helpful
■ spacious bedrooms, two baths with showers, wireless for internet
■ concierge on call to problem solve and make reservations

The Bad
■ the price - it's high season although apparently it's half price come April (I wonder if it would have been cheaper to book directly through Pierres Caraibes, the local St. Martin property management)
■ AC wasn't on when we arrived and I panicked a bit before we figured out that the air conditioning could be easily adjusted even by a non-techno person like myself
■ the owner's dog.....disturbed me the first time I saw him but I got used to him and he became no bother at all
■ a little too "buggy" for me....note to self: if a bed has a mosquito netting canopy, it's not just for decor
■ at the end of the stay I was wishing it was within walking distance to a beach

The Ugly
■ no water from taps the morning after our arrival, so couldn't shower but could make coffee using bottled water...the owner came by about 11 am. explaining that the water was off on the whole French side of the island that morning and that he could play with some valves and put it on for us....but not to use the water for brushing your teeth - which I already had the night before....and definitely ugly would be how I would describe myself as I stood in my pyjamas with curlers in my hair and no makeup meeting the owner for the first time as he explanied about how the French side conserved water on Sunday mornings

The Consensus
The good outweighed the bad - incredibly peaceful, tastefully decorated, well equipped, gave me a real sense of island living. Having owners in residence next door was comforting. I liked the spaciousness and tranquility of villa/cottage living as compared to a hotel and will try renting another one on my next visit - perhaps something closer to the beach though.


  1. Welcome to the blogging world!It will be wonderful to travel the world with you Stephanie - XO
    Your first official follower ~ A Gift Wrapped Life

  2. I'm a big fan of renting a villa for an island stay. Beats a hotel every time for me! We've stayed at 3 different villas in Barbados, and will be visiting our 4th in February. You really need to do your homework, though. My best advice is to always find a beach location. On our last trip we stayed in Landmark House in the Sandy Lane Estates. It is a lovely 4 bedroom villa, complete with Butler (Percival!), cook, 2 maids, laundress (!), gardener, and security guard. There's nothing like having your lunch served to you on your lounge chair by your own personal butler.