I’ll be starting today’s post off different because everyone is so curious about the rebuild of Saint Martin. To be open, honest and fair, the Dutch Side has come along FAR better and faster than the French Side.
Businesses are not just dusting off their front doors and cleaning. You all know that is NOT how this works. The businesses are building from the bottom up because the doors were NOT left after the hurricane. It left catastrophic damage behind its aggressive and relentless beating.
Wrap your head around days of punishing and flooding rains, gusts of winds that could have traveled a person off of their feet, then you understand, you don’t rebuild in a day.
We visited many places on The French Side of Saint Martin and I will share what I saw through my eyes. No filters, because I don’t do that kind of journalism. That’s Lady Liberty and she’s standing strong.
Today, allow me to share with you, upscale, trendy, beachside dining at Orient Bay in Saint Martin. Kontiki. Rebuilt and open for business.
Chic Beachside Dining At Orient Bay in Saint Martin
My view as we entered the Orient Bay Beach area. Again, our day today offered constantly changing sky views and weather. Unpredictable and the only day of the trip that the sky ever looked this way. Odd right?
However, it made it a perfect day to tour and not feel bad about not being outside the whole day, walking, etc.
We’ve arrived and I am wondering what is in store for us behind this walkway. Seeing the destruction before we entered here, and the force of nature that had prevailed, truly had me wondering, how this looked so distinguished already. Kind of like a ‘diamond in the rough’ so to speak.
We had spent the morning touring and then creating our own Perfume at Tijon. We were starved and Kontiki did not disappoint. Look at the beauty behind the wall. WOW! Orient Beach was graceful elegance, here, at Kontiki.
Describing Kontiki: very trendy, very much a gem of the area, and it is situated on premium location in Orient Bay. Kontiki boasts spectacular views. Truly, the bar and restaurant are set in a gorgeous space.
I do want to mention this is a clothing optional beach and for my teen sons, the optional turned into some life scarring, as they got a glimpse of something they never want to see again (enough said). Bad on me for not forewarning what they might see, lol. Lesson learned.
There are plenty of chairs as you can see, and I more took this image so you could see the run of the beach and the water. Truly that is the question everyone keeps inboxing me about. Here is your answer.
Let me change things up and start in an area rarely covered in articles, but we will discuss it today. The restrooms. Yes, I am starting here because we even Selfied in them.
That should also answer those who have touted other than perfect conditions on TripAdvisor. Please y’all tell the truth. This is how they looked. Clean, and ready for all of you. Our visit was in Mid-Late January 2019. FACT!
Completely upscale, stylish and cool for lack of better wording. The stalls are large, the sinks are fun and even if you don’t need to do any more than wash your hands, go in.
Truly the weather was not cooperating with us today. When we climbed to the top of a hill earlier in the day, it rained as we quickly descended and ended that photo shoot.
It cleared up as soon as we went to create perfume and were indoors. Go Figure. Then, as we headed to Kontiki, it decided to sprinkle on us again. There’s more than one Palupa covered dining area.
The weather kept changing while we were eating to the time we left, it was a crazy weather day, at least on the French Side. It was raining, then it cleared, then it misted, and we saw rainbows, all very beautiful and mystic.
Here’s another Palupa covered dining area and there are more, I just want you to know that. Also, take a look at how close you are to the beach.
If you see the ‘green’ stuff, this is after hurricane issues. It’s called Sargassum Seaweed if you want to Google it. They comb and groom the beach daily, but it keeps washing in.
It won’t harm your time there, but it is there. So that is what you are seeing in the photos. I promised no BS and it’s straight up!
From Tapas To Dessert
There are menus, but this is the daily special board. Trust me, so happy I could see French to English conversion. #ThankfulMoment
Cheers to a very chic, beachside restaurant. The upbeat vibe and light background music definitely creates an ambiance. It’s been completely freshened from top to bottom after the hurricane.
Our visit here was in Late January 2019. From beer to wine to cocktails, you certainly will find a spirited accompaniment for your dining pleasure. This is David, the General Manager, and I had the pleasure of meeting him.
Famous for ruining my main entree, that’s me! I own it and I do it in the name of culinary love. I’ve asked over and over to just have smaller portions, tasting portions sent, so I can share those with you.
As you know, that NEVER happens, but the food is fabulous and if it means I am doing down in history for eating more of the Appetizers/Starters, well I’m guilty and will accept that charge.
Beignet de Legumes – L’Airgre Doux. – Veggie Tempura Beignets.
Being real with this… you don’t even need the sweet and sour dipping sauce. Just, bite, and bite again and suddenly the plate disappears. Really suggest these with a cocktail. My winning pick of the starters.
Ceviche de Crevettes & Ses Chips de Mais
Since I already speak 3 languages, I have promised myself to add FRENCH to make it 4 languages. The best part of traveling and dining was the language, and the heavy accent is an obstacle unless I am focused.
However, the word Ceviche runs deep in my love of food and as a culinary traveling enthusiast, I just had to. Different from other Ceviche I’ve tried, and perhaps needing a bit more ‘tang’ on the shrimp, it was delicious.
Fresh, not citrusy. I would have loved an addition of either a mandarin orange through this medley of flavor or a lemon. The chips were crisp, fresh, not over-processed and a spectacular match up to the bursting freshness of the shrimp.
Rouleaux Imperiaux – Spring Rolls With Fresh Mint
These are fried, so I will tell you these were not my ‘jam’, but, passed around the table one more time and it was apparent they were everyone else’s favorite choice. GONE.
Wrap de Medallion de Langouste
Wasabi mayo, tomatoes, red onions and lobster. It’s a wrap. Plain and simple. It sounds fancy and it tastes delicious, and it was delicate, succulent and messy all at the same time.
I made it all the way through my day, until this WRAP without anything on me, lol. That’s just a DANA thing. Of course, what kind of meal would it be without French Fries?
Dunk, repeat and enjoy crisp bites of heaven in a cup. Who’s with me? After all, vacation calories don’t count.
Wrap de Poulet Croustillant
Chicken, Aoili, Parmesan and lettuce make this wrap a fabulous go-to choice and 3 of our party enjoyed them. The fried chicken pieces were crispy and moist.
A Sweet Ending
We were rushed for time towards the end of our meal, we had a commitment on the Dutch Side and traffic can be a beastie on the island, so we needed at least 1/2 hour to get there.
So, when the dessert came over to our table, we were excited and sad to push through the indulging part. I mean, there are no words for the presentation, other than EXCEPTIONAL.
What you are wondering is did the taste, match the presentation? The raspberries were plump, and sweltering with fresh juice. While the Macaroon was kidnapped, I understand it was like being in France. Wish we all could have been part of that journey.
Let me allow you a moment to get up close and personal with our confections. It will have you licking the screen and I again apologize.
Yes, if you are offered a tour of the French Side, Saint Martin. GO. Experience. Try. Support the businesses that are open. IF you are in port, you have time, hire a private driver, and go to the French Side.
Eat your lunch at Kontiki and then go back to the ship. You will be so happy you did! Saint Martin is recovering and is definitely a destination to enjoy. Don’t hesitate, book and go. We enjoyed it as a family and I know you will too!
My thanks to Saint Martin (the French Side) and Kontiki for hosting us. We wish you continued success and hope to see you again! ~ DANA XO