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Where our members go for their naturist holidays

Club Orient
St. Martin

 

A unique clothing optional resort

St. Martin / Sint Maarten is a Caribbean island, half in the French West Indies, the other half in the Dutch Antilles. It is much visited by cruise ships which bring many seeking bargains from the duty-free shops in the port, Philipsburg which is awash with jewellers and shops selling Cuban cigars. It is here also where the casinos and night clubs tend to be. Both “sides” take U.S. Dollars and Euros. More or less everyone speaks English but if one speaks French it is an added advantage.

Orient Bay is on the “French Side”. Wendy & I have been to Club Orient six times now, all in October. We've chosen to stay in the “mini-suite” accommodation and found it to be ideal for two with enough room to entertain another couple for dinner.  The guests are very friendly, being mainly from the States and, we naturists are generally a good natured lot anyway. This place is a 24-7 nude experience but, not being from the western side of the Atlantic, it is wise to take cover for an hour or so from the infamous "no see ums" at dusk and sunrise (what a great name for the little blighters / biters). It is then that we need to avoid being covered in itchy bites as Europeans seem a whole lot more prone to being attacked than the locals and Americans.

The ages range from the thirties up but I suppose most guests fall into the bracket "middle-aged”. The beach is well used but Club Orient guests have free use of beach towels, sun chairs & parasols and, in truth it never gets uncomfortably busy in October. The swimming is sublime with the sea temperatures being only a degree or so less than the air. The beach is protected by a reef which keeps the water calm. A catamaran, “Tiko Tiko” operates from the beach for regular nude cruises to a local island and is something we keep meaning to do, as all who have tried the experience seem to come back raving about the food served by the crew and the ritual covering themselves with therapeutic mud which once washed off leaves the skin feeling marvellous apparently.

Being right on the beach, makes Club Orient wonderful for naturists and we usually enjoy a pre-breakfast nude walk right along the length of the bay which is perfectly okay before 09.00. Good breakfasts are served in the restaurant and we also have at least a couple of breakfasts at Baywatch a very short stroll down the beach from Club Orient which sets you up for the day and is run by Andy from New Jersey who has a unique sense of humour. The dress code here is optional, but always take something to sit on if you decide to go in the official uniform of naturism. Most of the bars along the beach tend to be “dressed”, or topless.

Club “O” has a supermarket and boutique, restaurant and another bar on the beach where cocktails are served ensuring a most relaxed afternoon! They also have an open air grill for lunches.

The next bay, Galion is "clothes optional" and is a most pleasant walk but I would recommend going early in the morning and not at all on Sunday as the place is busy then with people dressed and being there in the nude would probably not be a good idea. Early on weekdays however it is a lovely place for a quick dip. We always take something to slip on as one year the bay was being used by the French military for manoeuvres and stern looking troops were camping in the ruins of an old building looking far too overdressed and hot! Normally before breakfast the bay here is deserted with just the occasional person walking their dog.

We also love going to the marina at Marigot where there is a restaurant selling marvellous crepe breakfasts with lashings of good French coffee & fresh orange juice. A visit to the local market for spices, cheap jewellery and souvenirs is fun and then the beach calls one back to Club Orient!

Some restaurants on the island are still closed in October, but, by November we think most are open. There is a huge choice of good places to dine on both the French & Dutch sides to suit all tastes from the “cheap and cheerful” to gourmet cuisine.

I'm not convinced that the "duty free" experience saves you much cash but if you're after a new watch or some jewellery the choices are vast in Philipsburg. It’s worth going there to just buy the Guavaberry “Mash Up” delicious rum, infused with the local berries unique to St. Martin from the wonderful Guaverberry Emporium where a large selection of other rums, hot sauces and spices can be purchased from the ever friendly staff.

By and large, dragging oneself out of Club Orient is hard but well worth visiting is the Butterfly Farm within walking distance. The original plantation house is also a truly unique experience also close by.

Getting to St Martin involves flying either from Manchester via Paris with Air France, or Amsterdam with KLM. If you choose KLM your return flight will involve an extra fuel stop as the runway at St. Martin is too short for a fully tanked Jumbo! Watching the ‘planes land at the airport is something of a local sport! It is also well worth checking out on “U tube”, after rather than before, as there are quite a few video clips of ‘planes landing skimming the beach and perimeter fences of the airport. We’ve always booked through Peng who have been very efficient and arranged flights not listed in the brochure. The time at Paris both ways is about an hour and a half, but time soon goes whilst transferring from one terminal to the other.

As you might have guessed we are hooked on Club Orient and there are still as yet unseen things and places including a couple more beaches where your skin is all you need! We love Club Orient and, we have booked to go once again in October. It sets us up for a cold dark winter back here in Liverpool. It’s a great habit and one hard to break.

Club Orient’s website is well worth checking out. <<  http://www.cluborient.com  >>

Rod & Wendy.

 

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