St. Martin

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Club Orient is arguably the best known nudist resort in the Caribbean



  U.S. Citizens: Passports are required for international air travel to all destinations outside the USA.

St. Martin/St. Maarten boasts more nude friendly beach opportunities to enjoy yourself than virtually any other Caribbean island, even comparing favorably with its larger competitor, Jamaica. About 37 beaches are on St. Martin. A small island, roughly 6 x 8 miles, St. Martin/St. Maarten (half is French, half is Dutch) can be traversed in an hour or two by car, but getting through Marigot on the French side or Philipsburg on the Dutch side can be a nightmare due to traffic. Club Orient is on the French side and about 5 miles north of Philipsburg (Dutch side). Since Club Orient is on the French side of the island, St. Martin (French) will be used in the report. You can move from the French to Dutch side of the island without any formality.

Even though nudity is allegedly unlawful on the island, many parts of St. Martin, on both the Dutch and French side, are nude-friendly mainly because, as my villa rental friend, Xavier, says: "we just don't care!" Which is true.

There are numerous beaches to choose from for nude beach combing and sunbathing including Cupecoy Beach, Long Baie and Baie Rouge on the west side to Orient Beach on the east. We like them all for different reasons. Terrific villas and guest houses are on or near the western beaches and great hotels and resorts on or adjacent to Orient Beach on the French east side.

Club Orient Nudist Resort--south end of Orient Bay. This most popular nudist resort is on the south end of Orient Beach. All guest quarters are located on this 30 acre site and include stand alone cottages or chalets . You can choose accommodations from either concrete block buildings or the traditional wooden chalets in garden view or beach front locations.

Starting at about $200-300 USD/night, you can enjoy all life has to offer nude at Club Orient. Rates are 40%-50% higher during high season (December 15-April 15). NOTE: Rates are charged in Euros by the resort and dollar equivalent fluctuates. Rates not guaranteed; subject to change without notice. Chalets include a living area, kitchen, sleeping area, private bath and dining area with air conditioning and fan. Restaurant Papagayo's is open air. Rates include car parking and use of of umbrellas/chairs at the unit and on the beach. Tax is 5% on hotel costs. For purposes of this report, rates are expressed in USD $ but all amounts are actually charged in Euros. *NOTE: Rates are not guaranteed and will change without notice.

Note: Here is a recent comment from Club Orient about nudity on the beach beyond its boundary:
Walking past Pedros....nude: Over the years one of the most erroneously repeated statements has been that if you wish to walk without clothes past the rocks by Pedro's bar (north end of Club Orient property line), all you have to do is make sure you're finished by 8:00 AM. The Gendarmes were out in force and ticketed 17 people for being nude beyond Club Orient…..at 7:00 AM. The government has required Club Orient to place a new sign at end of Club Orient's beach stating that, "Nudity beyond this point is illegal and violators are subject to penalties." So if you still wish to take your morning stroll in the buff, be aware that the Gendarmes are enforcing this rule and you could be stopped and fined.

  U.S. Citizens: Passports are required for international air travel to all destinations outside the USA.

Planes, boats and ferries can get you to St. Martin daily from just about anywhere in the world. Airfare from the US on scheduled airlines can run from $500-$700/person, round trip. Rates vary seasonally. American Airlines dominates the market (and Caribbean for that matter), so don't expect a benevolent rate from them. Check with us for charters to St. Martin, primarily from certain eastern U.S. markets.

Rental cars are plentiful; jeeps and cars can rent for $35-50/day and taxis are fairly inexpensive. Ask the price first before you enter a taxi. You can also visit Anguilla, Saba and St. Eustatius, all nearby and accessible by boat, ferry or commuter plane. As of January 1, 2007, visitors from the USA are required to have a valid passport....not necessarily to visit St. Martin but to gain entrance back into the USA.

Public and pedestrian access to the beach is available via the road outside the Club Orient property.

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  Club Orient Resort has thought of everything: a fully stocked grocery store and boutique, full service restaurant and bar on the beach with daily happy hours, live entertainment and weekly manager's cocktail party, water sports facility, spa and fitness center, tennis courts, and more. All of these conveniences are located on the property where clothing is always optional. However, this resort is NOT all inclusive. It you're used to other similar properties in Jamaica, Mexico or Dominican Republic, you will find no food or drink included in the room rates here.

Massage and spa treatments are available on site. A general store, La Boutique, is on site for food, drinks, books, artwork and clothing.

TIP: Open an account for the restaurant, bar & grill at reception upon check in. Euros and US Dollars, travelers checks or cash. American Express, Master Card, Visa, Optima, Carte-Bleu and Discover are accepted credit cards throughout the resort.

The island, especially Philipsburg on the Dutch side, is a shopper's paradise, perhaps eclipsed only by St. Thomas as the charge card capital of the Caribbean. The numerous cruise ship passengers help keep it that way, too.

St. Martin is one of the more progressive of the islands so you will find just about everything you need for your vacation there. Tourist traps, fast food franchises and real estate companies mix with some of the quaint areas to drag this island into the 21st century.

Guests of Club Orient have free car parking on site and use of chairs and beach umbrellas at their rental unit and on the beach at no additional charge.

Day visitor policy: Club Orient's beach, water sports facility, restaurant and bars are open to the public during daylight hours. Resort tours are available upon request. Club Orient welcomes visitors to spend the day offering a package for beach chair rentals, umbrella rental, parking and use of facilities.

Water sports include snorkeling, sea kayaking, diving, sailing, windsurfing, floats and paddle boats.

Club Orient produces its own power and water. The power is BOTH 110v and 220 v, NO need for converters.

NOTE: Please take care of your valuables, cash, airline tickets and passports while on vacation. Some vacation destinations are considered "third world" countries and experience petty theft. Recommendation: Do not take precious jewelry unless you wear it all times; keep your cash, valuables, watches, travel documentation and cameras with you. Just a word of caution to make sure you remember to practice common sense with your valuables while you're on vacation.

  Eat in or eat out as you wish. Terrific French and Dutch establishments are everywhere, so take your pick. Dotted along the 2.5 mile Orient Beach, bistros and bars have on site dining and snack shops & dance clubs are on the beach, too. Papagayos Restaurant at Club Orient is a nude restaurant, open air and anchors the south end of the beach. You don't have to be a guest to dine there. Papagayos serves Club Orient guests as well as anyone who has the money. Prices are comparable to European and U.S. meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Each chalet includes a kitchen, but guys, be forewarned: Most women on holiday do not mix the word "kitchen" in the same sentence as "vacation." Plan to volunteer to cook or barbecue if you want to do something nice for your spouse. Plus, if your budget can afford it, read on:

Restaurant ideas:
St. Martin has a terrific wealth of restaurants on both the French and Dutch sides of the island. Here are a few to consider, thanks in part to some recommendations from our clients plus a recent issue of Caribbean Travel & Life magazine. ALERT: Bars and restaurants come and go so take time to discover new ones as the list below can change without notice.

On Dawn Beach, you will find Mr. Busby's Beach Bar for beaching and open air burgers, plus it's a great place to start your snorkeling adventure.

At Oyster Pond, straddle the island's imaginary border between the men's room and the main restaurant at Captain Olivers, a good place recommended by some of our friends who live there. Stop for cappuccino and croissants at any one of the French side's superettes, where wonderful pate, fresh poulet roti (chicken rotisserie) and pastries are featured.

If you want to bar hop and do the tourist thing on Orient Beach, stop at Bongo Byrons and the Bikini Beach Bar, where few are worn. In French Marigot, stop at La Parisienne for a sidewalk cappuccino.

For the greatest concentration of French bistros and restaurants, visit Grand Case, a small town north of Marigot on the northwest side of the island. Grand Case's main waterfront street is lined with the best restaurants on the island including Le Tastevin plus many others along the street.

Set above Grand Case beach, lolos (food stalls) hold forth with local cuisine that compete taste-wise with the refined restaurants nearby on the waterfront. Choose from the following beachside fare: Conch stew, spare ribs, grilled or fried fish and numerous side dishes such as johnny cakes, stuffed christophene, macaroni & cheese, peas 'n rice, coleslaw and fried plaintain.

Plop your butt down at any of the BBQ lolo joints (you'll know them by the 55 gal drums used as BBQ grills) including: Sky's the Limit, Talk of the Town and many others where you can stuff yourself for $10 USD (or more...add on for inflation and the Euro).

NOTE: Small beachside bistros come and go so be prepared for name or ownership changes.

At the other end of the spectrum, try Ric's Place in Dutch Philipsburg, a great sports bar for super burgers and fries.

  Rates vary by room category so contact us for an exact quote for your desired accommodation or villa. Generally accommodations start at about $130*/night up to about $400/night. Rate based on per room, double occupancy per night. Children under 12 are free. Rates subject to discounts for long stays and are seasonal. Discounts do not apply to Villa.

The private villa on site which can be up to $1,100+/per night (villa sleeps up to 7 people).

*ALERT: Rates above are in US dollars for examples but room reservations are expressed and charged in Euros. Actual deposit and final payment are in Euros. Rates not guaranteed and will change without notice.

A deposit of about $550-600 (Euros 500) will reserve your chalet; final balance is paid upon check out.

NOTE: Typically, all pricing is in Euros on the island, but USD is accepted at many stores, restaurants and bars in town.

Club Orient includes about 137 separate or duplex chalet (cottages). Club Orient homes provide a blend of traditional Caribbean simplicity and European luxury. Dwellings can accommodate from 3 to 7 persons. Every unit is equipped with a full kitchen, dining area, air conditioning,telephone and internet service, full bathroom with tub or shower, front and back patio with an outdoor shower, picnic table and beach chairs and a specially chosen bottle of Bourdeaux wine, compliments of Club Orient Resort.

Categories include:
Chalet: Concrete structure located either waterfront, near the beach or in the gardens.
Studio: Wooden structure located in the gardens, two individual units per structure.
Mini suite: Wooden structure located in the gardens, two individual units per structure.
Mini suite deluxe: Concrete structure located in the gardens, two individual units per structure.

All accommodations include:
* Fully equipped kitchen
* Patio with outside shower
* Beach Chairs
* Safe
* Ceiling Fans
* Air Conditioning
* Sleeps up to 4 persons

La Villa at Club Orient features three bedroom, two baths, great room with dining room, outdoor Jacuzzi with dining area and privacy fence. Luxury villa with deluxe amenities include:
* 1500 sq ft
* Sleeps up to 7 persons
* Great Room and Dining Room
* Two King size beds
* Two Twin size beds
* Foyer with desk and Sofa daybed
* Two full bathrooms with Antillean showers
* Dish T. V. in Great room and two bedrooms
* Internet and telephone access
* Privately fenced backyard and patio
* Outdoor shower and Reflection Pool


  You will find both families with kids and adult singles and couples all over the island at resorts everywhere including Club Orient. Families are usually the exception during high season (winter) but lots more prevalent during the summer and fall. When the cruise ships are in town, avoid the crowds downtown...half of them seem to congregate at Orient Beach to watch you! The nude beaches are mostly adults with every age represented there.

  Club Orient is comprised of about 137 chalets, studios plus one villa laid out on the south side of 2.5 mile Orient Beach. Most activities on the resort center around the beach and visiting with other guests at the resort. Nightlife locally is found mostly along the central and northern parts of Orient Beach while the towns of Marigot and Philipsburg are home to numerous bars, restaurants and bistros and casinos, although only the Dutch side includes gaming establishments.

St. Martin's French and Dutch sides are probably the best combination of nightlife, dining, resorts, beaches and casinos anywhere in the Caribbean. There is literally something for everyone from laid back, no-nonsense resorts to the finest villas in the Caribbean.

For club hopping around Marigot, our fearless clients and explorers have suggested Club Alibi, Club 1, Pasha, all for late night mischief and dancing.....after about 11 PM. Others have suggested a fun little club near the airport called Club Cheri, for local entertainment earlier in the evening, including island talent, skits and reviews.

You don't lack for anything on this island, except for maybe a true tropical atmosphere with palm trees and rain forests. St Martin is really an arid island with low hills and scrub brush dotting the landscape.

For a great overview and aerial shot of all of Orient Beach, see Ed and Sandra's excellent jpg panorama here.

Here's an informal list of the more popular sections of the beach from Mont Vernon on the north end to Club Orient on the south end: Boo Boo Jam area (had a fire in 2012), Palm Beach, Coco Beach, Waikiki Beach, Kakao Bikini, Beach Kontiki, Sun Beach and Club Orient

  Although the island is small, you have a variety of hillside, town, country and beach locations to enjoy. You are just minutes away by air from Anguilla, Saba and St. Eustatius. Shopping in Philipsburg is some of the best in the Caribbean besides perhaps St. Thomas in the USVI.

Most sports activity is in, on, under or around the water.

A fun excursion is to choose the daily nude cruise on the yacht Tiko Tiko that visits the little island of Tintamarre a few miles offshore for sun, snorkeling, one meal, boozing and fun. The day tripper cruise can be arranged at Club Orient. Sundays, a sailing tour of the island is available, too.

Contributed by TM from the UK: Happy Bay is on the French side - it is the very next bay south of Grand Case. Cannot be reached by road except via a 10 minute hike from the Friars Bay (Beach) parking lot which is why it is somewhat deserted. We got there via a 10 minute (maybe less) water taxi service directly from Grand Case Beach Club resort for $15 per head, round trip.Tell the boat guy when you want to be picked up. We found that 4 hours was just about right as there are no facilities/amenities on the beach so you need to take water and a snack with you.

For nude day tripper cruises, you can also contact the folks at: www.nudetrips.net They offer local nude cruises on their power boats.

 

St. Martin has lost some of its quaint, Caribbean ways: The island has morphed into a popular tourist mecca as traffic and crowds mix it up daily, especially when the big cruise ships visit. But St. Martin has held on to more of its traditional values than most of the other islands. The Island is unique, offering the French, the Dutch and the Caribbean cultures all on one island. It defiantly represents a little traditional Dutch, a little traditional French and a lot Caribbean. It's still a fun place to visit.
     
Orient Beach is a premier spot in the Caribbean to enjoy the good nude life on a beach about 2.5 miles long.
     
Orient Beach attracts its share of day trippers from the cruise ships. On big cruise ship days, Orient Beach will have textiles that get the courage to walk down the beach to see what the nude way of life is all about. Cameras are not allowed on the beach or resort and are very sensitive to guests' privacy. Club Orient service includes security on the beach and resort 24/7 that enforce these policies.
     
Food and restaurant selections are outstanding all over the island.
     
Try the smaller villages around the island for meals, drinks and entertainment. (Crowds seem to be everywhere in town when the cruise ships dock)
     
  You can meet people easily at Club Orient. Try the nude sailing charter while you're there to meet other guests from Club Orient as well as other tourists.
     
  The island's beaches are still some of the best to choose from in the Caribbean, if not the world. Orient Beach is one of the best.
     
  Best shopping is in Philipsburg on the Dutch side, 5 miles south of Club Orient.
     


  Fall, winter and early spring are drier and a little cooler than the heat and humidity of summer. Lows run in the 70s while the highs in summer or upper 80s/low 90s. Winter months are milder and less humid.

The most expensive rates and prices are from December to March. Other dates are lower when you will find room rates available and a discounts offered for longer stays. Hurricane season is late August to early October but actually can extend from June through November.

  Build better roads through Marigot.

Downplay the fast food franchises, but progress marches on.

  Click on the Photo Album button to view l photos of Club Orient. These were provided by the resort. You can contribute to this section - all you have to do is go to our Contribute Trip Report / Photographs page.

  We need more trip reports from from folks who have recently visited Club Orient. You can contribute to this section - all you have to do is go to our Contribute Trip Report / Photographs page.

   

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