On my latest trip to Saint Martin, earlier this month (February), I swung by Orient Beach to check out the scene and see what progress had been made since my last trip in early January. As you’ll see in the video (particularly if you compare it to my video from January) a lot of the debris that once littered the beach is now gone.
In it’s place is nothing but sand and clear space. It’s certainly a stark contrast compared to what the beach looked like before Hurricane Irma struck, but it’s transformation serves to remind us of the days when Orient Beach was simply just a long beautiful beach with a few small huts to serve the patrons.
It was reported just a month ago — in early January — that the company that owns Kontiki, Kakao, Waikiki, Bikini and Coco filed for building permit applications and were busy clearing the beach in the meantime. It’s expected that those permits will be approved shortly, which would clear the way for the rebuilding of those beach bars.
The beach just past Pedro’s is alive and thriving, meanwhile. Perch Bar & Grill is open and, as you can see in the video, there are a lot of umbrellas and beach chairs lining that area, known primarily as a naturist beach.
Still to be cleared from the beach is the debris left from Pedro’s Beach Bar, and the destroyed — and relatively new — vendor huts built by the Collectivité.
All in all, a lot of progress has been made on Orient Beach. My only hope is that the next time I go back to Saint Martin there’s even more activity there and perhaps a few more beach bars open.