Saint-Martin the largest of Guadeloupe’s outer islands, at 52 sq km, is divided between France and the Netherlands. See Netherlands Antilles section for general description and information.
The French part used to be a sleepy place, but has become very Americanized since the building of the yacht marina and lots of luxury hotels. There is no restriction on...
Emergency Address & Numbers: Gendarmerie: T875010. Police: T878833. Fire: T875008.
Hospitals and Medical Facilities: Hospital: T875007 Ambulance: T878625 (day), 877200 (night).
Voltage: 220 volts, 60 cycles (compared with 110 volts on the Dutch side).
Money Exchange: The US dollar is as widely used as the franc, but watch the rate. Credit card...
Car Hire: From several agencies, for example L C Fleming, Les Portes de St Martin, Bellevue, T875001 (also travel agency). Avis Bellevue, T875060. Many others.
Taxis: There are plenty of taxis, with controlled fares depending on the distance and number of people, no meters. You find them next to the tourist office in Marigot, T875654, in Grand-Case,...
International flights arrive at the Juliana airport on the Dutch side. On the French side is the Espèrance airport which can only take light planes.
Airport Information: T875303.
Air Guadeloupe (see Guadeloupe Before Travelling for address) has scheduled services to Espérance from Fort-de-France, Pointe-à-Pitre, Port-au-Prince and Saint- Barthélémy. Air...
The French side is a sub-prefecture of Guadeloupe, with the sub-prefect appointed in Paris. There is an elected town council, led by a mayor.
The economy is entirely dependent upon tourism, with the twin attractions of duty-free shopping and the sea (for bathers and sailors).
Local Tourist Office:
Rte de Sandy Ground - Marigot
97150 Saint Martin
Tel:(590) (0) 590 87 57 21
Fax:(590) (0) 59087 56 43
Tourist Offices Abroad
675 Third Avenue,
New York, NY 10017
Tel: 646 227 9440
Fax: 646 227 9448
30, rue Saint Marc
The capital of French Saint-Martin, lies between Simpson Bay Lagoon and the Caribbean sea. (‘Marigot’ is a French West Indian word meaning a spot from which rain water does not drain off, and forms marshy pools.)
Shopping is good. Boutiques offer French prêt-à-porter fashions and St-Barts batiks, and gift shops sell liqueurs, perfumes, and cosmetics at...
The French Antilles or French Caribbean Islands form two Départements d’Outremer: one comprises Martinique, and the other Guadeloupe with its offshore group, Marie-Galante, Les Saintes, La Désirade, and two more distant islands, Saint-Barthélémy and the French part of Saint-Martin (shared with the Dutch).
Geographically, the main islands form the north...
French cuisine in all hotel restaurants on the French side is quite good but expensive. Picturesque gourmet dining places on the seashore are the islanders’ favorites.
The likelihood of finding a cheap meal is rare but the absence of tax on alcohol makes retail purchases inexpensive. Many restaurants close in Sep-Oct. A useful restaurant guide is Ti-Gourmet...
Carnival is held pre-Lent and most of the events are on the waterfront in Marigot. It is not as big and grandiose as on the Dutch side, where carnival is held a few weeks later, but there are calypso and beauty contests and a Grand Parade.
Bastille Day (14 July) has live music, jump-ups and boat races; the celebrations move to Grand Case the weekend after (...
L’Atmosphere is a disco for ‘chic’ French people, at Marina Port La Royale, very little English spoken, drinks US$6.
Le Bar de la Mer
Le Bar de la Mer, T878179, at the waterfront is a popular meeting place for French-speaking young travelers, with live music once a week.
La Fiesta, Marigot waterfront. South American music, Brazilian...
There are a number of luxury resorts dotted around the coast, lesser establishments and guest houses and a building boom has raised the total number of hotel rooms to 3,758. Deep discounts are available at the larger resorts.
We list here only a very small selection; non-inclusion does not mean non-recommendation. Guest houses in Grand Case are rented from...
Postal Services: The Post Office will hold mail, but only for two weeks. Letters sent c/o Capiteneri Marina Port La Royale, Marigot, will be kept 4-6 weeks.
Telephone Services: There are several telephone booths on the French side but they only take telephone cards. 120 units for 90F, sold at the post office and at the bookshop opposite. There are 8...