Orient Bay Beach, St. Martin

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Orient Bay Beach on the French side of St. Martin is undoubtedly the best known and busiest beach on the island.

With two miles of beautiful, powdery, white sand it’s easy to see why so many people flock to Orient to spend time lounging, walking, visiting one of the great beach bars, people watching and playing in the stunning blue water.

Orient Beach 2 (600)
You might know Orient Beach as the “nude” beach and yes, the southernmost part of Orient is clothing optional and part of the naturist resort Club Orient.

The rest of Orient is divided into sections – each with it’s own restaurants, chair and umbrella rentals and shops. Heading north from Club Orient, the sections include Kontiki, Kakao, Bikini Beach, Waikiki, Coco Beach and Palm Beach.

copyright Rum TherapyKontiki

Each section has a different feel and some sections are busier then others – although there were pockets of activity all the way down the beach. It did seem that in general though, the beach became a little quieter and less crowded as we walked north – away from Club Orient.

copyright Rum TherapyBikini Beach

Orient Beach 4 (600)Coco Beach

Orient also offers water sport options and rentals such as kiteboarding, parasailing and jet skiing.

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Orient Bay Beach can get really busy, especially on days when there are numerous cruise ships at port in Philipsburg. But even if you prefer quieter beaches, with two + miles of gorgeous sand and water, you can almost always find a quiet spot to relax and just take in the beauty….

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Orient Beach 8 (600)

Find Orient Bay Beach on our St. Maarten/St. Martin Map
Press the  Orient Bay Beach bar underneath the map


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copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2013
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

The Beaches of St. Maarten/St. Martin by Antilles Treasure

We’ve had the pleasure of “virtually” getting to know the wonderful folks at Antilles Treasures through Facebook and email over the last several months. If you don’t already follow them, you should pop on over to their Facebook page and “like” them for daily pictures and other island related material. They also have a website at: http://treasures.beachjunkie.com/. Through conversations we realized they not only appreciate good rum, but they’ve spent a substantial amount of time on St. Maarten and Anguilla and have taken many wonderful pictures of their adventures. We will be spending some time on St Maarten and Anquilla this spring and asked for recommendations of – you’ve got it – the best beaches and beach bars!!! We wondered if they would be kind enough to do a guest post for us on this topic and here is what they had to say:

The good folks at Rum Therapy asked us to put together a guest blog about a couple of our favorite ST Maartin/ST Martin beaches. Since we love opportunities to discuss our favorite island, we jumped at the chance.

Island background: The island of ST Maartin/ST Martin is a 37 square mile land mass that anchors the northeastern corner of the Lesser Antilles. This island is split by two governments French and Dutch.  Coincidentally, there are 37 named beaches. So for every mile that makes up this jewel of an island, there is a breathtaking beach.

First on most visitors list is Orient Beach, located on the French Side:
If you are looking for a beach that has it all, this one is for you. This is a great “ activity” beach with a plethora of beach bars, each hocking their own chairs, umbrellas and cuisines.

Wherever you choose to park on a thick cushioned chair for the day, you will be greeted by a breathtaking view including some of the small islands just off shore.  Relaxing in your chair, you will be treated to the dance of the sun baked tourists being performed in many acts. This will range from the kids bouncing on the floating trampolines to parasailing boats and jet skis crossing to and fro in the bay that is just a few feet from your chaise.  This is also a great beach for couples of all ages to stroll lovingly hand in hand from one end of the beach to the other.

The south end of the beach features Club Orient which is a clothing optional resort and beach area.  You are on a French beach, so you will most likely see topless women but the only place that everything is optional is at Club O.  No you do not have to participate but it is good to be aware.

Our favorite places on Orient are either Kakao beach or La String.  Our tip for this beach is to visit the KO bar. This is a little Tiki Hut in front of Kakao.  The bartender, GP, makes incredible drinks and if you are lucky enough to land a bar stool you are in for some enjoyable conversations.

This is one of the few beaches that have bathrooms and showers at almost all of the beach bars.

Our favorite venue is Cupecoy Beach; Dutch Side of the island.The sand on this beach is “ever changing”, it shifts with the tides. The backdrop is 20 + feet of sandstone cliffs dotted by several hollowed out caves.  Lying on the beach, you will be treated to a view of the island Saba on the horizon, jumbo jets as they arrive in paradise and boats of all shapes and sizes cruising by.  At this point, Cupecoy is a clothing optional beach.  There are rumbling that this could change, but as of now, you will see sun worshipers displaying all options.

Beach tip.  Stop in and say hi to Dany.  He can rent you a chair for the day, but he also makes an awesome rum punch and some of the best ribs on the island.  We give him our food order as we find our chairs and he will deliver food and drinks when lunch is ready.

Third on the list is Baie Rouge on the French side.

We discovered this beautiful long beach on our first trip, and now it has found a home in our hearts.  The sand here is a bit coarse, and once you enter the water there is a fairly quick drop off.  Views from this beach are breath taking, from the high cliff walls that glow red in the sunset to the multi million dollar villas that dot the cliffs and shoreline.

There are two permanent beach bars on this beach.  One will signal happy hour by the sound of someone blowing thru a conch shell.

Our Beach tip, bring a couple of bottles of water with you and hike the length of the beach.  It is a quite a walk but the far end of the beach is gorgeous and in our minds the best segment of beach on the island.

If none of these beaches tickle your fancy, there are 34 other beautiful beaches to explore, some which will be unpopulated.  There are a few others with the amenities of umbrellas and chairs for rent but the three we described top our list of favorites and bring us back to them day in and day out over our many trips to paradise.
Rob and Mary/Antilles Treasure

A big thanks to Rob and Mary for putting together this informative and picturesque guest blog. Be sure to check them out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AntillesTreasuresLLC and at their website: http://treasures.beachjunkie.com/