Located on the northeastern side of the island of St Martin, Orient Beach is a popular beach with white powdered sand on the most beautiful crystal blue ocean. Along this gorgeous beach you will find many beach clubs, beach bars, high end hotels, Airbnb accommodations and fantastic restaurants. I personally always stay on Orient Beach whenever I am visiting the island. After being on the island many times over the span of four years, Orient Beach is without a doubt my favorite beach on the entire island. While there are many other amazing beaches on St Martin, this is for sure the best. And I am going to tell you why in this St Martin Orient Beach Travel Guide! Updated for 2023!
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Popular Things to Do on Orient Beach St Martin
As one of the most popular beaches on the entire island of St Martin, Orient Beach offers up plenty of activities for everyone. While St Martin Orient Beach might not have planes flying above like Maho Beach, there is lots to love here.The reason you will love Orient Beach so much is because there are so many different things to do on the beach. Whether you are into water sports, lounging on the beach, partying with some cocktails or playing beach sports, there really is something for everybody.
Orient Beach stands out as one of the best beaches on the island. It is unique in how much there is to do. There may be some other beaches on the island that have better sand or calmer water. But this beach offers the best of everything in my personal opinion. Below is a list of popular activities on Orient beach.
The easiest way to enjoy many of these activities is by booking an excursion with Expedia. Follow the link below to directly book some of the best things to do on Orient Beach!
The Best Things to Do on Orient Beach:
- Relax on the Beach-The most obvious choice is to rent beach chairs. Soak up that beautiful Caribbean sun and let your worries fade away. Depending on the time of year you are visiting, the water can be super calm or a bit rough. But either way the beautiful white sand is something straight out of a romance novel.
- Have lunch on the Beach-There are countless beach clubs and adjoining restaurants on Orient Beach for you to choose from.
- Jet Ski-Renting jet ski’s is a very popular activity on Orient Beach.
- Kiteboarding-This extreme water sport is incredibly popular on Orient Beach. Probably the most popular water sport for the locals. Kiteboarding is a wind powered sport that involves a lot technique. I have never tried it but always wanted to. It can run a bit expensive.
- Parasailing-Also very popular, parasailing is a kiting activity where you are pulled by a boat as you are strapped onto a giant kite and fly up high in the air. The views of the island are gorgeous from that high up.
- Hobie Cat-My personal favorite, a Hobie Cat is like a mini sail boat. You can sail all around Orient Bay. It is a super fun way to spend the day. The views you get of St Martin are fantastic and it’s a real adventure!
- Picnic-I love a picnic on the beach. You can bring some beach towels with some French wine and a baguette. This is a lovely way to spend time on the beach. On Orient Beach, the southernmost part of the beach is a beach. If you are up for it, it is a fun way to spend the day.
- Volleyball-There are several volleyball nets on the beach. In the evenings you will see teams playing almost every day. While some of these are private games, you can almost always find open volleyball nets to play.
Orient Bay St Martin Car Rental Options
Whether you are planning to visit St Martin Orient Beach or any other areas of the island, you will most definitely want to rent a car. Depending on where you are staying on the island, taxis and other ways of getting around just aren’t practical. Even if you are staying directly in St Martin Orient Bay, you will want to have rental car. Every time I visit St Martin car rental prices have always been very reasonable. Not only will you enjoy a St Martin car rental for the convenience and ease of getting around Orient Bay, you will also enjoy be able to drive to other parts of the island. While there are many places online to book a St Martin rental car, I always use Discover Cars because they usually have the best prices.
The Best St Martin Orient Beach Club
Orient Beach is home to many high end beach clubs as well as some more affordable options. At most of these beach clubs, you pay to rent beach chairs and umbrellas. This includes servers bringing you drinks and food from their bar/restaurant. Prices vary by location, but on average you can expect to pay about $25 USD for 2 beach chairs and an umbrella. Depending on whether you come during high season or low season, the price could be more or less. Also, if you choose to rent the beach chairs at the front row, that is sometimes also a higher price. Below is my list for the best of St Martin Orient Beach Club offerings!
My favorite beach clubs:
- Wai Plage-Wai Plage is my personal favorite beach club/restaurant on Orient beach.
- Coco Beach Club-Coco Beach Club is the newest and most high-end beach club.
- Bikini Beach-Bikini Beach is the longest standing beach club on Orient and is the best place to go for drinks at night.
- Kontiki-Kontiki is a beautiful high end beach club with an Asian influence on the food.
- La Playa-La Playa has a great tropical vibe with some fantastic food and great service.
- Kakao Beach Club-With a more rustic, beach shack vibe, KKO Beach Club is a great option.
Along with the beach clubs I have listed above, there are several other beach clubs available at the southernmost part of Orient Beach. Some of these do not even have names and are not as high end, but they are much more affordable compared to the fancy clubs mentioned above. These budget beach clubs can be a great option if you are trying to save a little money. You’ll notice that the budget beach clubs also seem to have a bit more of a party vibe compared to their more expensive counterparts. Either way, you can’t go wrong with any of the beach clubs I have mentioned. Because, you will most definitely have a great beach day no matter which beach club you choose.
The Best Restaurants and Nightlife in Orient Bay
If you are coming to St Martin for vacation, you can be sure that you will want to go out at night and have some fun. Orient Bay has some of my favorite places restaurants on the entire island. The convenience of being able to walk to dinner can’t be beat. Also the proximity to the beach means you can go for a moonlit walk on the beach after your meal. Dinner in St Martin, as is typical for most European countries, starts much later than you what we are accustomed to in the United States. Most locals go out to dinner between 7:30-9 and will stay out well after they have finished their meals. If you go to these restaurants before 7:30, expect to mostly be surrounded by other tourists.
Best Restaurants in Orient Bay
The best and most popular area to have dinner in Orient Bay is located in their “La Place -Le Village D’Orient”. This a small courtyard area that offers many different restaurants all with mixed outdoor/indoor seating. You can find all different kinds of food from traditional French food, Italian, American, and even Asian. If you are plant-based like me, you can find my full guide to Orient Bay here. Below are the restaurants in this village for everyone, not just plant-based travelers.
- Cote Plages-The original restaurant in this village, Cote Plage is a traditional French fine dining restaurant.
- La Trattoria-An Italian restaurant with fantastic cocktails and delicious pastas!
- Le Télégraphe– An eclectic restaurant offering many different kinds of food.
- Le p’tit bistro-A traditional French restaurant with a less fine dining atmosphere than Cote Plage
- Sao Asian Factory-An Asian restaurant offering sushi, Asian noodle dishes and much more!
- Le Piment Restaurant-An Italian restaurant that focuses heavily on pizza!
Best Nightlife in Orient Bay
Orient Beach surprisingly does not have a huge nightlife scene. There really aren’t any nightclubs or bars that stay open super late. The only beach bar that stays open in the evenings is Bikini Beach, which stays open fairly late and is all dependent on how big of a crowd they have that evening. Aside from Bikini Beach, Yellow Sub is also a popular nighttime hangout place in Orient Bay. It is located just set back from the beach and is a restaurant/bar combo. They have pool tables that you can rent and have some drinks for a fun night out. Other than that, Orient Bay doesn’t have any “nightlife’ per say. But it is a fabulous place to come for dinner.
The Best St Martin Orient Beach Hotels
Orient Beach is home to many beautiful hotels. Some are located directly on the beach while some are backseat a little. These hotels range in prices from very expensive to somewhat affordable. I wouldn’t say any of the hotels could be considered budget level. Orient Bay is on the of the most expensive areas on the entire island so expect to pay a bit more to stay here. But in my opinion, it is totally worth the cost. These are some of the best options for St Martin Orient Beach hotels.
I personally always stay at the Mont Vernon Residences on the northernmost area of Orient Bay. This is an old hotel that are now private residences that you can rent on Airbnb. I always love staying here because it is far enough away from all the action to still be quiet but close enough to to walk. It is still undergoing renovations after the 2017 Hurricane Irma. Even with the ongoing construction, I still love it here. It always feels like home. But here are some other hotels that I recommend due to location and my own personal research.
Hotel Options of Orient Beach
There are many other places to stay both in hotel accommodations and Airbnb listings. I always recommend staying in an Airbnb if you plan to come for a week or more. I personally love having breakfast at home and having the option to cook for myself if I want. The hotels I’ve listed above are all at different price points so I hope you will be able to find something you like.
When to Visit Orient Beach
The best time of year to visit St Martin Orient Beach is definitely in the winter months. Between December-March are the best times of year to visit. The reason this is the best time of year to visit mostly has to do with the seaweed. During the summer months between July-September, Orient Beach is typically covered in seaweed. Sometimes the seaweed coverage is so strong that you can’t even walk out to the water in some parts of the beach. But in the winter there is no seaweed issues at all.
Hurricanes can also be an issue if you decide to visit during the summer months. Peak hurricane season in St Martin is July-October. The last major hurricane to hit the island was 2017’s Hurricane Irma and it did quite a doozy on this island. It is best to avoid coming to island during these months if you want to avoid the possibility of being part of a hurricane. The only upside to visiting during the summer is you can sometimes find more affordable prices since this is considered the off season.
The winter is typically when you will experience higher prices on the island. Not only is it the best time of year to visit because of no hurricanes, but people are usually eager to escape the cold weather that happens in many other areas of the world. For this reason, expect to pay a premium. This is especially true of the holiday season where you can see increases in prices sometimes X4. No matter what time of year you decide to visit, I am sure you will have a fantastic trip. I have visited during the summer months several times and it is nice to have lower crowd levels during my trip.
In conclusion, St Martin Orient Beach is quite possibly my favorite beach in the world. It is without a doubt my favorite beach on St Martin, both the French and the Dutch sides. So, I have spent three separate vacations to St Martin on Orient Beach. I never get bored here and am always in total love with this beach. If you can, I recommend to come during the winter months. While this is the beach time to visit St Martin, you will not have to deal with any seaweed and the weather is always gorgeous. But anytime of year you decide to come, be sure to make St Martin Orient Beach your home for your visit!
Thank you very much for checking out my website. I hope this blog post provides you with useful information for planning your next trip to this beautiful Caribbean island. Also, if you are interested in more of my content on the island of St Martin, you can find that here. Enjoy your trip!