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VACATION RENTALS

Detail AZURE - 4 Bedr. Villa Rent from : $ 430 / day
Detail LA MISSION - 4 Bedr. Villa Rent from : $ 643 / day
Detail LES TROIS JOURS - 6 Bedr. Villa Rent from : $ 1 ,929 / day
Detail MOONRISE - 2 Bedr. Condo Rent from : $ 315 / day
Detail OCEANE - 4 Bedr. Villa Rent from : $ 586 / day
Detail LA SARABANDE - 3 Bedr. Villa Rent from : $ 450 / day
Detail LA PERLA ESTATE - 5 Bedr. Villa Rent from : $ 3 ,286 / day
Detail CORFU - 3 Bedr. Condo Rent from : $ 429 / day
Detail BELLE DE NUIT - 5 Bedr. Villa Rent from : $ 858 / day
Detail AMANDARA - 5 Bedr. Villa Rent from : $ 2 ,643 / day
Detail PARADISE VIEW - 5 Bedr. Villa Rent from : $ 610 / day

French St Martin covers the northern two thirds of the island. Governed from the much larger island of Guadeloupe, St Martin is a fully European territory and follows the same standards and laws as continental France.

The French side has initially been slower in development and retained to this day more of its natural beauty. Both sides of the island depend on each other, and without the attractiveness of the French side, Dutch St Maarten would not be very successful on its own. At the same time, the non-stop entertainment and action of the Dutch side is important to residents of the French side as well.

Citizens of any member state of the European Union can settle and work in St Martin without permission. For foreigners - Americans and Canadians -  owning real estate is no problem at all. Amazingly, English is the first language of most French St Martiners, and American investors will not encounter too many problems in dealing with the administration and public services.

The French government is promoting economic development of its overseas territories with very strong tax incentives, called ' defiscalisation'. Especially the real estate market has benefited here, because a tremendous amount of vacation apartments have been build and are available for very reasonable prices - with a minor catch, to be explained later.St Martin Map

Defiscalisation: A French tax payer can invest in hotel construction on St Marten and 100% of this amount will be subtracted from his income tax obligation. The 'defisc'-investor has to operate the Residence in the French Lowlandsproperty for a period of at least five years as a hotel, and only after this time period can the purpose of the building be changed into, let's say, condominiums.

And here is the catch: Most apartments on the market started their lives as hotel rooms or suites. To qualify for this, they cannot have a kitchen. Cooking facilities were installed on elaborate terraces or balconies, and this turned into a very Caribbean way of living. Obviously, this is not true for the higher end market.

There are also larger units available for French 'retail defiscalisation' investors. These properties are absurdly overpriced, because they are being bought with 'easy' money. Only after they are released out of the tax program (five to eight years after construction) will they return to sound market prices.

Residence in the French LowlandsThe island's most exclusive neighborhoods with grand estate homes are on the French side, the Basse Terre or Lowland region being the most notable one. There are more bargains to be found on St Martin, mostly because American investors haven't discovered them and Europeans are taking advantage of still very low prices.

Initially, the French tax laws appear as a deterrent, but closer inspection will show that most demands can easily be dealt with. Closings are a few points more expensive than on the Dutch side. There is a capital gains tax of 34% in case the property is sold with a profit. (Just by keeping track of expenses and being able to account for improvements and repairs, such property gains can easily be 'managed'.)

Advantage of the French side is a rock solid legal system, absence of obvious corruption in the administration, the financial resources of France. Property in St Martin appears to be more of a solid asset of ones financial portfolio. There are also distinct advantages of becoming a resident of France, including health insurance and other benefits.

It is a concern that many of the condominium complexes are not maintained very well and that construction quality on the 'defisc' projects is sometimes shoddy. The building codes are strict though and with some common sense, a decent property can certainly be found.

Boat Excursions Around St. Maarten Island

Our turquoise, always warm sea needs to be experienced by boat! There are day charter excursions for every taste, with snorkeling, beach BBQ, even visits to deserted islands. Explore the Caribbean's largest lagoon by piloting your own watercraft on a Rhino Safari. There are remote beaches and fantastic snorkeling spots to be found. READ MORE...

Fitness, Health and Exercise on St. Maarten - Saint Martin

For those who enjoy 'dry land' sporting activities as well as the multitude of water sports on offer, St. Maarten/St. Martin has excellent facilities. Fitness fanatics don't worry, as the island has many well-equipped gyms with a good range of strength training equipment and cardiovascular machines. READ MORE...

Guided Tours & Attractions Around St. Maarten - St-Martin

Book here and save big over island tours offered by the cruise lines! Better rates, small groups (no 50-seater buses!), personable and enthusiastic guides - even free beverages - are just one of several reasons to trust the operators offered through ST-MAARTEN.COM. See all attractions in one island circumnavigation. READ MORE...

Hotels, Resorts and Guesthouses on the island of St. Maarten/St. Martin

St. Maarten/St. Martin is an island that has accommodations to suit almost everybody's budget or dream, right across the spectrum. She boasts everything from 5 star, first class, world-renowned hotels to charming little guesthouses, all-inclusive resorts and time-share properties. READ MORE...

REAL ESTATE, WEDDINGS, INVESTMENTS, PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Being one of the most accessible and cosmopolitan islands anywhere, the doors are wide open to not only vacationers, but investors as well. There are many reasons to employ the services of one of the providers mentioned in this section.  READ MORE...

Shopping for Jewelry on St. Maarten

Diamonds! Emeralds! Any kind of precious metal in any shape or quantity... St. Maarten's jewelry shops are among the most competitive in the world and line Philipsburg's fabulous Front Street. Prices are amazingly low and quality is up to international standards, with several of the larger stores having service centers in the US. READ MORE...

Shopping on Dutch Sint Maarten and French Saint Martin

Shopping is one of the big attractions on St. Maarten. The island's completely Duty Free status and the lack of any Red Tape for importing goods, guarantees great bargains for cosmetics, jewelry, liquors, cigars, and much more. Visitors vacationing on the island will be surprised by the excellent supermarkets. READ MORE...

Sint Maarten Visa and Other Travel Requirements

The following text is the complete content of a Travel Guide, published by the Sint Maarten Government in May 2015. This document only applies to Dutch Sint Maarten and NOT to French St. Martin.

Snorkeling and Diving Around St. Maarten - Saint Martin Island

No better way to appreciate the Caribbean Blue than taking a peek at sub-aquatic life. Almost all day charter excursions offer a snorkeling stop. And there are several professional scuba shops on island to either allow you to earn your certification or to go on extended dives. READ MORE...

St. Maarten - St-Martin is the Caribbean Gourmet Island

Known as the "Gastronomic Capital of the Caribbean", St. Maarten/St. Martin offers the widest variety of cuisine of any other island! We boast well over 300 restaurants serving anything from local BBQ ribs and chicken to first class French fare cooked by famous chefs imported for the season from Paris. READ MORE...

St. Maarten Highlights for Cruise Ship Visitors

If you visit by cruise ship and have only a few hours to enjoy our island, read up on this page to find out how to get the most out of your first St. Maarten/St. Martin experience. After all, we wish that you return for a full vacation on this mega-fun island. We list the most important attractions. READ MORE...

The 5 Most Unique Restaurant Experiences on SXM

Great food is the least we expect from a restaurant. Ambiance, service, other guests.. all is part of a dining experience. But where are the places on St. Maarten/St. Martin which offer an additional, unusual twist? Something you can't expect in a regular eatery? Read up on our list to find out! READ MORE...

The Beaches of St. Maarten/St. Martin

As hard to believe as it may be, St. Maarten/St. Martin has thirty-seven beaches on its thirty-seven square miles! Whatever your lifestyle or vacation style, if nude or prude, there will certainly be a beach suited to the ambiance you desire. Some great beach bars are actually top dining spots as well. READ MORE...

What's So Special About SXM?

A fact so charming, it always has to be mentioned first: The island of Sint Maarten  - Saint Martin is the smallest land mass in the world to be shared by two different nations. Only 37 square miles are governed by France and Dutch Sint Maarten, which is an independent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands). READ MORE...

Where to Party on Sint Maarten - Saint Martin

St. Maarten/St. Martin comes to life after dark. If you're a night owl, you've chosen the right destination! Take your chances at one of our famous casinos located across the Dutch side of the island. There are innumerable discos, nightclubs and bars on both sides of the island that will have you partying all night long. READ MORE...

Why You Need a Rental Car on St. Maarten/St-Martin

This island is ideal to be explored by rental car! Friendly locals, patient with drivers from abroad, very, very affordable rental rates, an easy road system with little chance to get lost - there is no excuse to NOT get your own wheels while on island. READ MORE...