Yacht crew houses in St. Maarten / St. Martin, Caribbean
Written by Simon Osborne
The most popular time of the year to head to St. Maarten/ St. Martin is around December through to February, as most yachts will have left or at least be leaving the regular hotspots in Florida and Newport, RI, and be in the Caribbean area.
A certain degree of caution must be applied for new crew to head to St. Maarten / St. Martin as it is quite different to the usual spots in Palma, Antibes and Florida.
For example, dock walking can be tricky as it is deemed illegal and there have been reports of crew being stopped by immigration officials due to no return flight being booked. This region holds more of an “unknown factor”, so it is advisable to book accommodation in advance and reach out to crew agents for an honest assessment of the job market.
Where to stay in St. Maarten / St. Martin
There are a few crew houses in the area, dedicated (at least partially) to yacht crew offering all the amenities you will need, in a great location. See below Yachting Pages’ recommended crew houses if you’re planning on going to St. Maarten/ St. Martin.
Well-known with “yachties”, Smiley’s Crew House has been open since 2001. Ideally situated in a great location in Cole Bay, it is in close proximity to all marinas. Smiley’s offers a good range of facilities including large living rooms, kitchens, A/C, showers, internet, Cable TV, secure lockers, linen and laundry services. It’s run by friendly and helpful staff that can help with getting day work, applying for jobs and forcing your way into the industry. Though it’s very popular and spaces do get booked up quickly, it’s well worth trying, as they can provide alternative suggestions if you’re struggling.
The largest crew house on the island and recently expanded, The Crew House is located a five-minute walk from the airport and offers an affordable, comfortable home. It is also only a mile away from the island’s famous nightlife and close to the yachting hub of Simpson Bay. Comprising of both private rooms and dorm rooms (ranging in size from four to nine beds), it offers amenities including air conditioning in all rooms, a view of the lagoon, free Wi-Fi, cable TV and lockers, bathrooms and showers, laundry facilities, and a kitchen and living area. They are also able to provide bicycle rental, gated seating and a private dinghy dock.
Garden Crew House & Hostel is located centrally, in the heart of Simpson Bay, close to lagoon, beaches, marinas, yacht clubs and night life, with local buses two minutes away. Facilities include a living room, kitchen, terrace and porch, TV and DVD player, washing machines, lockers, towels, linen, storage, Wi-Fi and bicycle rental. A good option if you are travelling on a budget and don’t mind sharing with others, though it does offer private rooms if required. Close to many bars, restaurants and shops, it is less well-known than Smiley’s and The Crew House, but still attracts many “yachties”.