Secrets St Martin Resort Review: A Hidden Paradise in the Caribbean

If you’re seeking a quiet, remote adults-only all-inclusive getaway, Secrets St Martin takes the cake. Nestled on the French side of the island, Secrets St Martin is situated in a secluded bay in Anse Marcel.

This review is based on travel from February/March 2024. It was recently announced that Secrets St. Martin will be undergoing an extensive renovation, beginning in May 2024.

I hope this high-level Secrets St Martin review helps visitors over the next couple of months, and provide an idea of what to expect after the renovation. We are already planning to come back to see what changes are made!

Before you go
Here’s a checklist of what to pack for an all-inclusive resort!

secrets st martin review

Over the past couple of years, we’ve really enjoyed taking Caribbean vacations without staying at all-inclusives, but they definitely serve a purpose.

We were after a very last minute adults-only escape, and this is what was available. We’re happy to come experience this island from a different perspective, and we will definitely be back!

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Honest Review of Secrets St Martin

If you found this review, I can tell you wholeheartedly to take the TripAdvisor and Google reviews with a grain of salt. I am actually quite disappointed with the negative reviews, and when we booked this vacation as a last-minute trip, I felt sick to my stomach after reading them, wondering if we made the right decision to come here. 

I can tell you without a doubt that Secrets St. Martin is a fabulous place for rest and relaxation. We were looking for a place to come that’s quiet, relaxed, and private. And that’s exactly what we got.

Mind you, people were expecting this property to be like other Secrets Resorts, which it isn’t. BECAUSE Secrets St Martin is closing in May 2024 until 2025 for a complete renovation

I noticed some others comment about the lack of entertainment, but if they did their research prior to booking, they would’ve known there aren’t evening shows or lots of entertainment during the day. And that’s ok.

If you are looking for a place to truly relax, not think about anything, and rest on the beach or by the pool, have comfortable rooms and a variety of dining options, then you’re looking at the right place.

Would I recommend Secrets St. Martin? Yes, to those who don’t want a lot of activity. If you’re like us, and needed serious down time, we couldn’t have picked a better property.

Where is Secrets St Martin?

Secrets St Martin is located on the French side of the island, tucked away in Anse Marsel. It’s on the north side of Saint Martin, approximately 17 km from Princess Juliana Airport. On a good traffic day, it takes roughly 35 minutes to get from the airport to the resort. However, when we were there, our journey took 90 minutes because of heavy traffic leaving the airport.

Once you reach Anse Marcel, there isn’t much to do there but relax! You’ll find another beach club property next door, and a strip mall with a couple restaurants and shops. If you want to do any activities, you will have to take the road over the mountain to the other side.

Secrets St Martin Review: The Property

The grounds at Secrets St Martin are beautiful. It’s a very walkable property with paved pathways leading from the lobby to the room buildings, to the restaurants, and to the pool and beach area. The grounds are well manicured and there are a lot of flowering bushes and palm trees lining the property. 

You’ll enter the open-air lobby and have a view straight out towards the pool. On either side of the property are the room buildings. All of the restaurants are located by the pool, which is only about a 2-3 minute walk from any of the rooms.

Rooms at Secrets St Martin

Prior to going to Secrets St Martin, I read the rooms weren’t that great, but honestly we were pleasantly surprised! We were in a Mountainview room, and the view left much to be desired, but given we booked this trip last minute (and because we were only in the room to sleep!) we didn’t mind.

secrets st martin room

The washroom has two huge barn doors for privacy, as the shower isn’t private (it’s just closed off with a glass partition). The other side of the shower is a half-frosted glass as well, so if you want more privacy, you will have to consider this.

They could be redoing the rooms with the renovation but I have yet to find out any details. The toilet is located in separate stall by a frosted glass door.

The bed is very comfortable! We had a king bed in ours, flanked by semi–circle curtains to pull around the bed. There is plenty of closet space for storage and lots of little cubby holes for shoes, clothing etc. You’ll also find a dresser with some narrow drawers, a mini fridge stocked with soda, water, juice, and beer, a safe, and a Nespresso machine.

The room also has two sitting areas – a small dining table with two chairs, and a couch with a table. On the balcony there are two Adirondack chairs and a small table.

Toiletries provided include body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, which made packing much easier!

What we thought was really neat (and we’ve never seen before) is as little button next to one side of the bed. When you push that, it lights up the ‘do not disturb’ sign on the outside of the room. This is instead of the door hangers.

The rooms also have a buzzer-type doorbell on the outside, which is muted when the button is pushed on. You will also find a tablet on the bedside table with resort info, restaurant info, and can order room service from it too.

Secrets St Martin review: The Beach

The beach at Secrets St Martin is beautiful. Given that it’s tucked away in a bay, it’s not that long, but it takes about 10-15 minutes to walk from one side to another.

The sand is soft and there are lots of lounge chairs; go early if you want shade because there aren’t a lot of umbrellas!

Pool at Secrets St Martin

Secrets St Martin has the largest infinity pool in the Eastern Caribbean. And let me tell you – it is gorgeous. It’s easily one of the best pools we’ve ever been in!

There is a shallow side where the swim up bar is, and a volleyball net. There is a sloped beach-effect on one side of the pool where you can gradually wade in.

On the far end of the pool, where the infinity edge is, it’s quite deep which is perfect for floaties. Because the pool is so large, it rarely ever feels crowded.

Is Preferred Club worth it at Secrets St Martin?

As of 2024, I can say that Preferred Club is not worth it at Secrets St Martin.

Why? Because aside from the Preferred bar in the lobby, there is nothing else distinguishing Preferred guests from regular guests. The pool is shared, as is the beach. There are no dedicated Preferred areas. 

The only perk I could see is if you booked a swim up suite on the Preferred side with a marina view – which would be much more private than a regular swim up suite.

But to me, that additional cost isn’t worth it. Spend the money on extending your stay, or an excursion!

This is one Secrets Resort where you can save your hard-earned money and opt out of Preferred. You won’t notice the difference!

Whether this will change after the renovation, we will see!

The Service at Secrets St. Martin

If you greet the staff with a smile and a hello, that’s exactly what you’ll get in return! We had positive experiences with all the team members we interacted with.

Restaurants and Dining at Secrets St. Martin

We were pleasantly surprised by the food at Secrets St. Martin! While we didn’t have anything in particular that blew us away, all of the food was well prepared, cooked perfectly, and had lots to offer.


For breakfast, you have two options: the buffet or light bites at Coco Cafe. The buffet was one of the best ones we’ve experienced throughout our travels.

While it isn’t huge, it offers enough variety to satisfy everyone’s tastes. You’ll find the regular offerings like bacon, eggs, pancakes, waffles, cereal, etc., as well as a section for local cooking.

Every day it changed, but we had codfish and polenta, sweet potatoes, beef and pepper, banana fritters, cod fritters, and so much more! The breakfast buffet also had my favourite thing I’ve ever seen: a self-serve mimosa and Bloody Mary station. Yes, please!

We absolutely loved Coco Cafe. The coffees are amazing and you can add shots of coffee liquor in it as well. There’s a large display case with all kinds of sweet and savoury treats that rotated throughout the day.


There are a few options for lunch at the resort. The one we visited the most was the buffet, just because we loved the variety. Even though we aren’t used to eating 3x a day, we couldn’t help ourselves! From a lovely salad station, lots of pizza, local cooking, and great veggie dishes, we never ever left hungry. I always visited the mimosa station, too!

Every day there was a BBQ by the pool area. It was the same every day, but a good option if you didn’t want to get dressed for the buffet. There were hamburgers and hotdogs, nachos with queso and chilli, salad, and amazing grilled chicken. You could either take it to your lounger on the beach or by the pool, or grab a seat at one of the tables by the BBQ.

You can, of course, head to Coco Cafe for something light. They have tasty wraps and pitas, croque monsiuers and sandwiches prepared and ready to go. 


The dinner options at Secrets St Martin were great because they rotated every night, so if you’re staying for 5-7 days, there’s a good chance you can hit up most of them (or all of them)!

All of the dinner menus can be found at the lobby, if you wanted to check them out before going!

Steakhouse at the Market Cafe

We ate twice at the Steakhouse and had great service and tasty food! You’ll find menu items from steaks to shrimp & fish skewers to burgers.


Olio was our favourite restaurant. The setting is so beautiful right along the water. If you get there around sunset time, you’ll see the clouds light up with the setting sun from over the mountain. This is where we had our best meal, too. Recommendations include French Onion soup, lamb, and any of the daily specials!


Portofino is where you’ll find more Italian-inspired dishes like pasta.

Seaside at the Market Cafe

We loved that we were able to visit Seaside for dinner. The shrimp with coconut and ginger was one of the nicest, lightest meals I had and I could eat it every day. The setting is right off of the buffet area and we didn’t even know it was there!


We never had a chance to visit Bordeaux, but menu items included duck and lamb, as well as seafood.


Himitsu is the Japanese restaurant at Secrets and was open 6 out of the 7 days we were there. While you don’t need a reservation for the main restaurant, you do need a reservation for the Teppanyaki (dinner show).

We didn’t get a chance to do that either, but a tip would be to book it as soon as you get there because the early time slots fill up quickly. When we were there, they brought all of the appetizers for us to share. We all had sushi rolls as well, and a main. There are only 3 main dishes available, so you may want to check the menu beforehand to see if that’s something you’re interested in.

Room Service

While we didn’t order room service, you will find a menu in the room which you can order on the tablet found on the beside table.

Secrets St. Martin Dress Code

While there is a dress code at Secrets St Martin, we didn’t see it enforced. We saw lots of men in shorts and open-toed shoes (contrary to what’s listed online!), and it’s a more laid-back resort for attire. Still, it’s good to bring what’s listed in case it changes after the renovation.

Entertainment & Activities at Secrets St. Martin

We usually don’t partake in the daily activities (haha we’re lazy when we take these kinds of trips!), but we only saw water aerobics once, and none of the activities listed on the daily sheet. I’m not sure if it’s because of lack of interest or just not enough staff.

Evening entertainment started with a piano player in the lobby and a local musician or singer from 8-10 pm. It was a nice way to end the day, but there were no shows if that’s what you are expecting (again, didn’t bother us, we came for pure rest!).

We knew ahead of time we weren’t going to book any excursions, but there is the Amstar desk right in the lobby as well as a car rental desk if you want to go do your own thing. 

We hiked a couple of days, and can highly recommend the hike to Petites Cayes (allow at least 2 hours roundtrip, more if you want to hang out at the beach). The views are beautiful!

Secrets Spa by Pevonia

While we didn’t visit the spa at Secrets St. Martin this time, there is a hydrotherapy circuit and a menu of spa items to pick from. Pay attention to the daily discounts and take advantage of them when you see them, because we found the spa prices pretty pricey!

Tipping at Secrets St. Martin

I understand and appreciate that tipping is subjective. I also realize there is a lot of confusion with tipping at all-inclusive resorts, since technically, your package includes gratuities. 

We love to tip, and I feel like everyone should tip, even a little bit! I’m with the mindset that if we can afford to travel, we can afford to tip. The staff work so hard, and provide excellent service with a smile.  It doesn’t have to be much, and the tips are also very appreciated.

Every time we travel I always bring an extra couple hundred dollars in tips and it’s well worth it! The staff work so hard to give us a relaxing and memorable holiday – the least we can do is show our appreciation! 

Sint Maarten/St Martin’s average minimum wage is the equivalent to 5.81 USD/hour. While this isn’t as shocking to us compared to other Caribbean islands, an extra dollar or two goes a long way in improving their quality of life.

I’m the type of person that pretty much tips every time. I never not tip at a meal, and I will leave tip money throughout the week for housekeeping, turndown service, and the minibar.

This is what we normally tip – but remember, this is completely discretionary!

  • Drinks: $1-$2/drink
  • Breakfast: $2-$5/couple
  • Lunch: $5/couple
  • Dinner: $5-$15/couple
  • Housekeeping: $3-$5/day
  • Turndown service: $3-$5/day
  • Mini fridge attendant: $2-$3/day
  • Spa services: 20% of services

Travel Tips for Secrets. St Martin

  • If you book direct and stay for at least 4 nights,  your airport transfers are included (huge perk!)
  • Arrive by 9:30-10:00 am for the best chair selection. We are early risers and usually headed to the pool by 8:30/9:00 after breakfast and there were a lot of chairs available. 
  • Use the do not disturb light in your room! This is especially important if your room or minibar hasn’t been tended to yet in the day and you’re still in your room.
  • Bring $1s for tipping!
  • We brought pool floaties which were amazing in the infinity pool and for the deep end.
  • Feel free to bring your own insulated tumbler for drinks or water so you don’t have to keep going to the bar. They will fill it for you!
  • I bring wrist coils and a sealable pouch for our room keys. It was so convenient just grabbing that and putting it around my wrist if we were running out for coffee and when we didn’t have pockets or a bag.
  • Bring lots of sunscreen! And while you’re at it, bring aloe vera too.
  • We brought towel clips to keep our beach towels in place on the lounger.

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