Choosing where to stay in St. Maarten can be difficult – how do you choose? There are so many cool neighborhoods, beachfront accommodations, and international borders (French vs. Dutch).
As this was going to be my first visit, I knew I wanted a stay somewhere near the famous Maho Beach. The hotel closest is the Sonesta Ocean Point Resort. Years ago, I thought this would be where my ocean view room was going to be. Yet, things took a turn when I took part in a Charity cause for Dominica after a hurricane hit them in 2015. I partook in an auction and won a bid for a hotel stay in Cupecoy Bay at The Summit Resort Hotel.
Cupecoy Bay is only 7 minutes away from Maho Beach and is the neighborhood next to Maho Village. The distance was more than ok with me as it is super close, yet what really made my decision was the clifftop location of the hotel and the surrounding things to do that give it a more homey feel.
The Neighborhood and Things to Do
The first thing you will spot is the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. Following that, are apartments, dorms, restaurants, and bars.
Cupecoy Bay is a residential area populated by many university who are studying medicine. It is quiet, yet it has a friendly vibe and happy times at the bars where everyone gets together.
You can walk through the neighborhood no problem. There is a market for grocery shopping, Fat Tony’s, Bar Code, and many other sweet little spots to hit up. As you go further west, you will find more casinos, beach clubs, and fine dining options on the beach.
Best Restaurant: Fat Tony’s
Best Bar: Bar Code
Where to Stay
Staying at The Summit Resort Hotel was great. The hotel is on a clifftop and you get 180° views of Simpson Bay Lagoon. On a clear day, you can see as far out as Anguilla. You face the sunrise in the east, which makes having breakfast on the outside patio all the more special.
Rooms at the hotel are huge – they are all suites. I could live there and actually -they rent per month also! Many students choose to reside there rather than at dorms. Daily rates go for $72 in low season and up to the $300’s in high season. Monthly rentals were in the low $1000’s. Within the studio, everyone gets a full kitchen – refrigerator, microwave, toaster, and oven. You have a kitchen table that extends, couch, table, cable TV on a flat screen, and furniture. A walk in closet makes more than enough space for two persons. Blinds and curtains come if you want darkness, or if you prefer light you have many windows. There is a pool deck with a bar and restaurant open daily except for Tuesdays.
Getting around was easy. Walk or dive or take a cab. As much as I love staying in touristy neighborhoods, the local neighborhood here in Cupecoy Bay really gave me everything I needed. I experienced less noise, less traffic, and a more peaceful stay. If anyone was getting wild, it was me and my friends drinking on our patio then taking dips into the pool joining others for a party.
Hotel: The Summit Resort Hotel
Price: $72-$300’s depending on month and season
Have you visited Cuopecoy Bay? Take a drive over next time you are in St. Maarten.