Saint Martin 2019: Part 3 - Mullet Bay, Grand Case Beach and Friar's Bay
We arrived on Saturday so our first beach day was Sunday.
Our absolute favorite beach on Saint Martin has always been Le Galion beach, a little further down from Orient beach on the East coast of the island. Unfortunately, Irma destroyed the beach club so currently there aren’t any facilities there.
Time for us to explore some new (to us) beaches.
I love being in the water but I am like a baby when it comes to swimming. The sea has to be calm with no waves and shallow so I can stand to rest. In other words the water has to be like a swimming pool. And I have to say that even though I need pool-like conditions for swimming I only like being in a natural body of water. I’m not a fan of chlorine pools.
Mullet Bay is only 5 minutes away from Sapphire Beach Resort so we decided to make it our first stop to see how things were after Irma.
It was Sunday and with only 2 cruise ships in Saint Martin it was the right day to see and possibly spend the day at Mullet Bay. The sea is unpredictable there. Every time we’ve been to Mullet Bay, it’s been pretty rough but we’ve heard that it can be calm as well.
We’ve only spent the day there once before. Mullet bay is beautiful, the water is of amazing color but the beach clubs there always packed the chairs right next to each other with no space to move. We like to spend a full day on the beach and we like to keep our chairs in the shade. When the sun moves, we move our chairs, but when they’re packed like sardines, that’s not possible.
Previously, Mullet bay had nice barbecue chicken and ribs, so that was a plus but they never had real bathroom facilities, only porto potties. As far as we know the situation hasn’t changed.
A quick stop at Mulley Bay for photos. It was fairly early and the beach was pretty deserted at that point.
The water looks beautiful.
The chairs are still right next to each other even on the day with only 2 cruise ships. They are too close for our liking.
We didn’t stay. We saw a bar/restaurant in the distance but didn’t check it out.
Here is a small oil painting of Mullet Bay I did a couple of years ago as a thank you to David and Nancy who frequent this beach.
On our previous trips we stopped at Grand Case during the day for lunch at one of the lolos (bbq). We liked to stroll along the main street, looking at the cute colorful houses, and went into an art gallery or two.
From what I remembered the sea looked more or less calm so we decided to spend our first beach day in Grand Case.
It’s a beautiful drive from Cupecoy to Grand Case.
We were planning to rent chairs and have lunch at Rainbow Cafe but when we stopped to park on the street, we noticed the colorful tables and chairs of Captain Frenchy’s and decided to check it out.
Captain Frenchy’s is right next to Rainbow Cafe but they have a wider beach area and more space to move around.
Unfortunately, they didn’t have umbrellas to go with chairs. That didn’t seem to keep away some tourists, mostly European.
We were offered to rent this canopy shader (not sure how they are called). We agreed. Turns out we still prefer umbrellas but the canopies were OK for a day.
Rainbow cafe area is packed with chairs. I wish they would space them out a bit more.
My parents in law Nancy and David went to Rainbow cafe for lunch on several occasions and enjoyed them very much. Below are some dishes they had and liked:
Tuna Tartare with salad
Scallops with leek fondue and parmesan tiles
Chocolate and salted caramel dessert
On the other side of Rainbow cafe is Le Temps de Cerises hotel with lounge chairs with nice thick cushions
It looked like they have a restaurant/bar upstairs but we don’t know if it’s any good.
The beach was not very calm. The water gets deep fairly quickly so I didn’t have good time swimming.
The pier suffered some damage from hurricane Irma but is till standing.
Later in the day the local kids had fun jumping into the water off the pier.
We deliberated between having lunch at Rainbow cafe or one of the lolos but decided to stay at Captain Frenchy’s.
They have a simple menu which was fine with us.
We both got ribs and they were disappointing. They were very bland and had barely any meat on the bone. The only tasty thing on my plate was creole rice.
Later in the afternoon they had a live band with a pleasant, mostly reggae music.
More people showed up on the beach towards the end of the day. Lots of kids skim-boarding and having fun.
Despite the lack of joy from swimming in Grand Case overall we had good time on the beach. The vibe was nice, it was a good mix of tourists and locals and due to mostly European tourists around us at Captain Frenchy’s sometimes we felt like we were somewhere on a beach in the Mediterranean.
On a different day we stopped by Friar’s Bay. I’ve read on TripAdvisor that the water is mostly calm so we decided to see it for ourselves.
It was fairly early and the beach restaurants were only opening.
Kali’s beach bar has bright inviting colors
The only other establishment on the beach is Friar’s Beach Cafe.
They were just starting to set up the chairs.
We entertained the idea of spending the day on the beach but left. The water didn’t seem as shallow as I was hoping.
The drive to Friar’s bay wasn’t too bad, the road not too rough for our compact rental car. We were surprised to see cows crossing the street there.
Several times we saw goats like these ones in front of Monoprix supermarket (please read about supermarkets and bakeries in a separate blog post). We also saw chicken and roosters in Jordan Village.
I love seeing cows and goats in Saint Martin. They remind me of my childhood in my grandparents’ village in Russia.
Here is my painting of a young bull I did a few years ago.
Please check out my paintings on my website. Thank you!
You can read about some other Saint Martin beaches in my future blog posts.