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Where do I stay in St. Marteen???

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My grilfriend and I are vacationing to St. Martin/St.Marteen this mid-August. This is going to be our FIRST time on the Island, not to mention the Caribeaan. We are still not sure where to stay?! I have been researching and I am almost sold on the Westin on the St. Marteen side. Here is our search criteria:

1.Nice beach, where I can go to the Hotel's beach and "get away from it all."

2. Somewhat of a lively atmosphere. Young to mid age professionals (we do like to party and enjoy being in the company of like minded people)

3. Not even sure if this last point exists; but, a hotel/resort with the best swim up bar and or beach bar! ??

I understand location is not that big of a deal? I have been advised to rent a car and the island for the most part is easily accessible? Are DUI's a big thing to look out for? Should I take a cab everytime instead?

We plan to go out alot and explore and def be a part of the dinning and the nightlife, we are in our early 30's professional types just looking to unwind and have a great time like everyone else.

Thank you all for reading and I do very much look forward to hearing the feedback. Any other pointers about anything regarding this trip I am ALL ears...please.

Happy 4th of July!

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