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Back to Orient Beach

We are going back to the Club O beach for the second time since Irma. We are a little later than usual for our trip but hope to see some familiar faces. Last year was quite sad from a view focused on what was lost but it was inspiring also to see the way the people have worked to keep the beach going.

We will send a report when we get home to share some joy.


We had to cancel our usual Christmas/New Year trip this year, but we'll be there in May. I just saw on Orange Fever's facebook that the bar is open and Luc is renting chairs. He says the restaurant will be open in December if the collective can get the utilities there. Anyway, glad to see their open. We always rent chairs from Cedric, but enjoy going down to Orange Fever for lunch.

Have a wonderful trip! When will you be there?
We were on the island for 10 days staying at Jardin d'O , and beaching at Club Orient every day. Our weather was great and the water was warm. Couldn't have asked for much better in that department. We met up with some of our friends that had arrived before us and got to know some new friends while we there. There is just something about this beach that is unlike any other when it comes to meeting new people. Or is it the people that go to a nude beach?

I would say the French side of the island is about 50% rebuilt from Irma with the hotels ahead of that. The Beach bars are still rebuilding but it looks like most will be opening this winter season. There are about 6 small bars and food shacks being built close to the Club O section but after that it is the big operations like Kon Tiki, Bikini, La Playa, open but still being built up. Cocoa Beach isn't open but is being built bigger than before.

We were told that one very rich and well connected French business man has bought up all four of the leases or permits and is taking control of most of the beach. That is has us concerned that one person can have that much influence.

Club Orient itself has not seen any changes yet but were told that the court case has moved quite a bit and there is hope for a future.

The Perch bar is in full operation with their Happy hour still lining the people up. The food was very good and the drinks flowing. Always a good time for us there at lunch. While we were there, they moved the whole operation back about 40 feet overnight including the covered terrace and were open for lunch the next day. (something about complying with the new beach rules put in place by the Gov't)

Of the small operation north of the rocks we sopped at Orange Fever and had some drinks, (restaurant operation to begin in December) the sangria was top notch.

The restaurants in Orient Village are all open and were very good. We ate at three and had great meals each time. Even though some villas are under construction the stores and restaurants have been completely rebuilt. Grand Case is not as far along. We would say about half of the restaurants are open and there is still a lot of storm damage.

The airport has come a long way from last year. You don't go through a tent anymore and they have about 10 gates open. We were told that it would take another 2 years to completely rebuild but it was a lot better, much more comfortable.

All the way around a great trip. Over and over people we met or saw talked about trying other places over the last 2 years and said the same thing that we found. There is no place like St. Martin and the Club O beach

Buffboater, sounds like you had a great trip! Thanks for the updates. It is true about meeting people at CO beach, and it always a great time, esp. at happy hour! I'm excited about the carbets operations coming back and am hopeful they are all open by April.

Life's a beach!
Buffboater, great upbeat report! We are especially glad to hear about the progress at Orient as we head there on Thursday to stay 10 days split among Club Fantastico, Adam N Eve and Jardin D'O. We should be in that Happy Hr line each day! By the way, my understanding is that the 4 big beach restaurants on Orient have been owned by the rich French guy since the '90s.
The so-called "rich French guy" is Norbert Luftman. He has held the leases for those properties for years and appears to be able to do whatever he feels like doing with nary a nod of disapproval from the local French authorities. Note how quickly he rebuilt compared to the difficulties and foot dragging experienced by the operators of the carbets.