Looking for a place to stay on Saint Martin? One of my favorite spots on the Dutch side of the island is Cupecoy, and I recently discovered an under-the-radar, classy condo-hotel there that’s worth the splurge. The Cliff at Cupecoy sits just above the craggy coast offering unobstructed views of the ocean. The high-rise has managed to stay somewhat of a secret because, well, most think it’s just a residential condo. And while, yes, all 71 units are owned (most, as second vacation homes), 25 of the bunch are included in the Cliff's rental program so when the lucky owners are not in town, the units are available to rent on a short- to long-term basis (there is a 2-night minimum). What’s especially great about this place – aside from the privacy, the fantastic Christian Dior Spa, the curvy outdoor pool, the two-lane indoor lap pool, the fitness center with ocean views, and the indoor-outdoor restaurant and bar with ocean views – is that all accommodations are spacious apartments with full kitchens, luxury finishes, and, of course, dramatic ocean views (video room preview above). Accommodations range from 1- to 4-bedroom suites and penthouses. Décor varies from one unit to the next but you can expect marble floors, granite counter tops, and sizable balconies.
Cupecoy’s cliff-lined beach comes and goes with the tides, but the rocky steeps and coves afford some privacy and the sliver of sand (or 15-foot-wide stretch depending on the day) is rarely crowded. Some great restaurants, bars, the Atlantis Casino, and a tiny grocer where you can pick up wine, cheese, baguettes, and other necessities are only a short walk away. (I must warn, it’s a perilous walk – the lack of sidewalks and curvy roads are not conducive to pedestrians, especially at night.)
Rates start from $300/night for a 1-bedroom suite in the off season and go up to $500/night in high season; 2- to 4-bedroom suites go from $405 to $1050 accordingly. The resort is currently offering a Stay 7 Nights, Get One Free promotion (866-978-5839; cliffsxm.com).