June 2, 2010
Simpson Bay Yacht Club
Simpson Bay Yacht Club:
is a bustling and beautiful marina in the heart of Simpson Bay. The residences here are highly sought after for their central location in the heart of the action, and nonetheless peaceful atmosphere, tucked away by lush yet elegant landscaping and architecture. Views out over the lagoon also offer a fresh respite from the hustle and bustle of the town of Simpson Bay. Private boat slips on the lagoon, 24/7 security, several swimming pools, hot tub, and tennis courts reserved for residents complete a long list of amenities.
Simpson Bay itself is a bustling combination of tourist and residential area, located in southwestern St. Maarten, between Simpson Bay Beach and the Lagoon. To the east lies the airport and Maho, and to the west, Mount Pelican. Because Simpson Bay is both a tourist hotspot and a residential community with working locals and expats, one finds a movie theater, gas stations, doctors’ offices, dry cleaners, etc. in addition to the usual tourist shops. The St. Maarten Montessori School and Learning Unlimited are also each a five-minute drive away. The Dutch side drawbridge divides Simpson Bay, opening daily for sailboats and mega yachts entering the calm waters of the lagoon. Such prestigious marinas as Isle de Sol Yacht Club and Simpson Bay Yacht Club are winter homes for some of the world’s largest and most posh yachts and sailboats.
Simpson Bay offers boutiques, a new Carita Paris Day Spa and Salon, supermarkets such as Gourmet Marche and the brand new Market Garden, two gyms, dive shops, water sports including kayaking and the famous Rhino rides, the Dolphin Casino and endless dining and nightlife. Restaurant styles vary from Saratoga Restaurant in Simpson Bay Yacht Club, a St. Maarten institution in fine dining, now in their 19th season, to the casual and reggae inspired juice bar and health food restaurant, Top Carrot, also located in SBYC. International cuisine options range from Lebanese, to Argentinean, to local and Creole seafood, to Italian, TexMex, Indian, and fun BBQ rib joints. For the kids, or even just for desert, try Carousel – Simpson Bay’s new ice cream parlor with a working carousel looking out over the lagoon.
Numerous bars dot the Simpson Bay Strip, including the Lady C Floating Bar, an actual 1930s wooden sailboat, floating in the lagoon, where the bar, tables, DJ, and dance floor are all on deck. Jimbo’s Rock n Blues Café in SBYC has a swim up pool bar and generous margaritas, or Pineapple Pete’s where you can enjoy live music nightly, darts and pool tables. If the smoother club scene is more your flavor, try One Eleven, above the Dolphin Casino, for DJs, dancing, and regular fashion shows.
On the eastern side of the drawbridge, Kim Sha Beach is home to Buccaneer Beach Bar, with its mesmerizing nightly fire-balls (artistically carved old mooring balls that house a contained fire on the sand), and La Bamba Beach Bar, which has hot Latin salsa music and dancing as well as live rock on Sundays. Kim Sha is also the site of St. Maarten’s annual Heineken Regatta finale party, awards ceremony, and concert.
To the west of the bridge, the largely residential Simpson Bay Beach sprawls out in a 3-mile, crescent shaped stretch of white sand. In contrast to the busy town of Simpson Bay, the beach is a serene sanctuary. Only a few quiet, boutique resorts and two beach bars, including the popular beach bar, restaurant, and lounge, Karakter, dot the beach between private condos and houses. During holidays, certain Sundays, and occasional charity volleyball tournaments, parts of the beach can be crowded and lively. Otherwise, Simpson Bay beach is a calm, private spot great for walking, swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. It is also a popular beach for dog-walkers and runners. Facing south, a clear view of neighboring Saba in the distance looks like an emerald mountain jutting out of the turquoise sea.