Saint Martin 2019: Part 5 - Orient Bay Beach
Orient Bay is a 2 mile long beach on the north east side of Saint Martin. It was severely damaged by hurricane Irma with beach bars and a lot of the vegetation gone. We were shocked to see online photos of the empty beach after the hurricane but we knew from different travel forums that Orient beach was coming back to life with beach clubs and restaurants being fully restored.
We drove to Orient Bay to see for ourselves if the famous beach was back in full swing. In the past we only briefly stopped there since, as I mentioned in my previous blog posts, I prefer very calm and shallow water for swimming. Orient Beach is pretty windy so the water is almost always on the rougher side with waves. On the other hand, Nancy and David loved Orient beach especially the Palm Beach section.
As we drove to the beach we noticed lots of cute restaurants, ice-cream and pizza places, small supermarkets located on Avenue des Plages that leads to a parking area.
We parked our car easily and went for a walk along the beach. We were greeted by the colorful green umbrellas of Bikini beach. It was nice to see the beach almost as busy as before.
Bikini beach chairs looked comfortable and the restaurant was built further away from the water as were the other restaurants on the beach.
We walked through Kakao beach restaurant and bar to take some photos.
Kakao restaurant has ample seating in the shade for dining.
I liked how they designed the whole area. Natural colors and materials look great against the bright colors of the sea.
The bar area also looked inviting.
Kakao chairs were spaced well. Beach beds are also available for rent.
Next we walked by Kontiki beach restaurant and bar.
The design of the restaurant is also pleasing to the eye.
Kontiki has attractive seating under gazebos and their beach chairs have ample space between them.
It was windy that day and the waves were too strong for us to stay for a swim.
Even though we couldn’t swim, that didn’t spoil our mood as it was a beautiful day and it was nice to soak in the sun and admire the amazing Caribbean colors.
Since it gets pretty windy at Orient beach, it’s a great place for kite surfing.
Overall we liked how Orient beach looked. The restaurants are well designed and have nice comfortable beach chairs with cushions. There seemed to be more space and it didn’t feel as crowded as it had been in the past. Below are two photos from before Hurricane Irma:
Orient beach felt much more crowded then.
We also stopped at Orient beach in the evening when the restaurants were closing for the day and only a few tourists were left on the beach.
We liked the quieter feeling.
The south corner of Orient beach had some chairs and umbrellas set up. I believe it’s a clothing optional section near Perch Lite.
The sun was about to set which made the evening even more wonderful.
We enjoyed walking along the beach and taking photos. There were more locals on the beach than during the day. Some were walking their dogs, others were doing yoga on the beach. We never saw this side of Orient beach before and we really liked it.
We were lucky to see a group of people with horses. Unfortunately we didn’t ask where they were from and if they belonged to a stable/ranch. I was frantically trying to take photos while running along them for a bit.
We were so happy to see the baby horses.
Orient beach is a large and exciting beach. If you like being among lots of people, it’s a great beach to spend a day or two. Brian and I tend to go to quieter beaches so we liked Orient Bay in the evening when it had a very peaceful, tranquil vibe. If we were staying nearby we’d go there for an evening stroll on the beach.
Here is my Abstract Painting 171023 inspired by the beautiful colors of the Caribbean Sea:
Please check out my paintings on my website. Thank you!