You’re sitting in your office, staring out at the snow, longing for warm sun on your skin, sand in between your toes, and a gentle ocean breeze. Sound familiar? But here’s the thing – your favorite island got slammed by Irma and you need an inside scoop on what’s happening in SXM.
Well, you’ve come to the right place.
I recently returned from a week-long stay in Sint Maarten and while I was there I toured the entire island, leaving no stone unturned. I was seeking an insider’s look at what was happening on the island, and that’s exactly what I found.
So I’m going to break down some of the things I learned, the best places to stay, eat, drink and, yes, be merry. The first place I’m going to write about is Simpson Bay. Why Simpson Bay first? Because Simpson Bay is the area where I spent most of my time in and around while I was there. It’s also one area on the island where a lot of businesses are open.
The truth is, if you’ve never been to Sint Maarten and you’re driving through Simpson Bay, chances are you’d never know there was a major hurricane just a few months ago. That’s the truth. Sure, there are a few broken windows here and there, maybe a stray sign with missing letters or a blown out light, but honestly, it’s very unnoticeable.
Best Place to Stay
The Azure Hotel and Art Studio is literally a stones throw from Princess Juliana International Airport, better known as SXM. It’s ranked by Trip Advisor as the #1 hotel in Simpson Bay, and we couldn’t agree more.
Located on the south side of SXM, Azure is perfectly situated on the shore of Simpson Bay, offering stunning views of the gorgeous Sint Maarten sunsets. It’s a quiet, quaint place filled with character and charm. And most importantly, owners Michael and Fawnette are exceptional hosts.
The hotel has eight rooms and is as close to the bay you as can possibly get without getting wet. The sound of the waves lapping onto the shore are sure to make you feel peaceful, relaxed and right at home. And while tranquility is the Azure’s calling card, it’s also located a half block from a small, but well-stocked, market, and it’s a two minute drive to the heart of Simpson Bay.
Best Beach Bar
Buccaneer Beach Bar is the perfect place to spend an evening, an afternoon, or an entire day. Owners Bernard and Jill have gone out of their way to ensure that Buccaneer gives visitors the quintessential beach bar experience. With a fantastic selection of food cooked fresh on the outdoor grill, ice cold libations, and live music.
The bar sits on Simpson Bay’s Kim Sha Beach, just off Welfare Road — the main thorough fare through Simpson Bay. The water is always calm and it’s a great place to relax on one of their many colorful lounge chairs. And, it’s pirate themed, so, I mean, is there anything else better?
You can see Buccaneer Beach Bar up close in this video by SHOWME Caribbean:
Best Place for a Nice Meal
Vesna Tavern has a wonderful menu filled with French-influenced Mediterranean style food. There is nothing boring about this menu. Vesna is situated right on Welfare Road in the heart of Simpson Bay. The dining room is open-air, with wonderful breezes that caress the thin, silky curtains covering the windows.
If you love Greek food, be sure to eat at Vesna’s on Saturday night, better known as Greek night. The owner, Vesna, spends all day cooking delightful greek dishes that will make you wish you had a bigger stomach.
Another favorite is the traditional Metze Appetizer. It’s a selection of three of Vesna’s traditional Greek appetizers served only on Greek Night. Are you sensing a theme?
Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Vesna’s is a must-try in Simpson Bay.
Best Sports Bar
Pineapple Pete’s is a sports bar and much more. An island favorite, they serve a large selection of grilled foods in an outdoor, laid-back setting. Their bar area has several televisions that are usually tuned in to sports, be it football, baseball, or soccer. They also have two pool tables and some dartboards, if you’re so inclined.
If you go, be sure to try to their grilled seafood. There is nothing in this world better than a grilled lobsta’ and an ice cold Carib. Trust me.
Well, that’s my short but sweet list of ‘best of Simpson Bay’. What do you think? Have a different favorite?
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