Let your cares go away in Happy Bay, where you can have a beach entirely to yourself OR shed your clothes at Orient Bay Beach, where you can literally let all hang out. Explore the Dutch side – St Maarten and have the best of two Europe’s in the Caribbean. And, don’t forget the French side’s rolling hills – my favourite. All in all the island offers a perfect retreat no matter what you are looking for in a beach holiday.
In the video, 10 Reasons To Visit St Martin, I list a variety of reasons this Caribbean island should be on your travel list. Some include: the clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, sail to St Baths, or visit the Dutch side. My top reason St Martin deserves your visit is the carefree, no judging, let it all hang out (and I do mean all) Orient Bay. You’ll often find me at Club Orient, one of the very few nudist resorts in the Caribbean.
While one might think a nudist holiday is far from gentlemanly, nothing could be further from the truth. Clothes do not make a gentleman. In a future post, I will share “Naked at Lunch,” an account of my experiences in the buff.
All that said, you might be scratching your head and asking yourself – what is this fool talking about? St Martin (especially the French side) was devastated by Hurricane Irma in September 2017. Yes, I’m well aware. This original blog post was written well before Hurricane Irma began its furious march from Cape Verde in Africa and across the Atlantic Ocean.
I decided to keep the contents of the original post to remind people what St Martin was. St Martin was devastated and fiercely ripped apart by the hurricane. My main point of reference on the island is Club Orient, where I stayed. Knowing full well Club Orient’s location and the direction of the storm, I guessed it would suffer damage. I did not expect complete destruction, which you can see in the photos included below.
There is an effort to rebuild Club Orient. If you would like to help, any sort of contribution will be appreciated. Contact relief efforts for St Martin or have a look at Club Orient’s Facebook page where there are regular updates.
This is a first-hand account just days after Hurricane Irma made landfall in St Martin and at Club Orient ::
:: All wood units are gone. Presumably, the slabs are left, but the buildings are gone.
:: Gatehouse is gone. In its place is a huge pile of debris that landed there from the winds.
:: Pedro concrete wall … gone
:: Concrete buildings survived. Roofs were gone or damaged.
:: Except for the waterfront chalets 46-52 … They are gone. No sign of where they went.
:: The new beach goes from the water’s edge back to where the studios used to be. It’s about 200 feet.
:: Hurricane shutters on units left are gone as well as the contents of all the houses … presumably sucked out by the wind … no sign of where the furniture, cabinets, appliances, etc., went.
:: The units’ contents have been stripped by the hurricane.
:: The villa is standing … no further detail.
:: Papagayo is standing but may not be sound structurally. All the contents are gone.
:: The utility plant is covered with debris so Bert and Steve could not get a close look at the generators, switch panel, etc. It looks like there was about 5′ of water in that area, which means salvaging the electric plant is in doubt.
:: The reception building is still standing. The front desk and other furnishings are gone.
:: The tennis courts are gone.
:: Steve and Bert drove through Orient Village where most of the buildings are standing but the contents of the first floors that they could see into are gone.
:: Looters beat Steve and Bert to the resort. They were clearing out the Boutique. We let them take the contents because presumably, they need the stuff worse than we do!
Photos of Destruction and Damage From Hurricane Irma ::
If you love Caribbean Islands, you might also like Barbados