The expansive arc of Simpson Bay Beach, St Maarten’s longest, has everything you’d expect from a Caribbean beach: squeaky white sands, clear, lapping waters and gently waving palms. While it backs on to Princess Juliana Airport, you shouldn’t be unduly disturbed by noise, and the space and relative lack of other visitors will make you feel like you’ve found your private tropical paradise.
But as soon as you’re ready to return to civilization it’s right there, in the numerous bars and restaurants within reach of the beach. Or feast your eyes on nearby Cole Bay Hill, whose lookout offers stunning views towards neighboring islands, all the way south to St Kitts.
Simpson Bay is in the island’s south-west next to the main airport, 10 minutes drive away from both Marigot and Philipsburg (respectively, the French and Dutch administrative centers).