Top 5 Caribbean Beach Bars
by Kari O'Brien
For those who know the Caribbean, from the laid back, margarita bars, to the rowdy nightclubs packed with tanned, gyrating young bodies, there are no shortage of "best" attractions to spend those precious evenings. With all the frothy golden, pink and blue drinks on your "action" list, it would be easy to miss your vacation's main attraction: The beach.
Thankfully, the Caribbean offers up a full menu of beach settings where the golden, frothy and lively reggae fun come together. CaribbeanEdge.com has done all the research to select five top beach bars that we believe best incorporate today's stylish architecture, fresh drinks, stimulating atmospheres and classically, breathtaking beach views.
Encanto Beach Club
Our first stop is actually a four-in-one: the beach, the bar and a pool located in the El San Juan Hotel & Casino. Encanto Beach Club is situated in the chic Isla Verde district of Puerto Rico, popular with the elite for photo-op beaches. Encanto owes its alluring lines to French architect Stephen Dupoux. Dupoux earned his rep bringing urban chic and tropical beauty to the snazzy beach clubs of Miami.
The seductive pool, weaving between low lighting all add to the extravagant atmosphere Dupoux loves. Resort guests party and relax on canopied poolside daybeds and a swim-up bar through the day and evenings. When they're ready to retire, guests can rent out tiki cabanas packed with modern necessities like wifi, flatscreens and minibars. Take advantage of the staffs' free gambling tips while sipping mimosas over poolside brunch at this g-l-a-m-o-r-o-u-s beach club.
Turks & Calicos
Flashforward from the Caribbean of now, to the Caribbean of the future and meet me at Infinity Bar. Infinity Bar is the pride of the Grace Bay Club resorts of Turks and Caicos. Another architectural masterpiece, Infinity's über modern and innovative designs have made it a cause célèbre in travel magazines since its opening in 2007. Designer Keith Hobbs boasts clients like George Clooney and the London Metropolitan Museum of art.
Black chandeliers, Corinthian columns and Bisazza gold glass tiles decorate the luxurious club, but Infinity Bar's highlight is "the Caribbean's longest bar", a 90 foot black marble bar stretching across the Grace Bay beach to the shore. The entire resort is a Spanish style villa, and the bar is surrounded by lush green vegetation and immaculate white sand beaches.
Guests may opt to dine on the beach itself, curling bare toes in to the sand as they enjoy a full-service menu. Private tables, complete with linen settings and wine chilling stands, can be arranged on the beach, for romantic meals surrounded by candles and torch-lighting. As the beach and sky reflect of the polished surface, the bar, the fresh, eclectic Mediterranean menu and the night seem to stretch on forever.
Turtle Beach Bar and Grill
St. Kitts and Nevis
Turtle beach and St. Kitts are Caribbean classics. St. Kitts and Nevis is an exotic paradise, with verdant forests, vibrant local culture and history, and exquisite coral reefs, offering up diverse and beautiful marine life. Turtle Beach Bar and Grill is located right on the sandy, coral-reef Turtle Beach, where snorkeling, kayaking and yachting offer endless daytime fun.
Turtle Beach Bar is an open restaurant style bar. The ocean breezes blow right through, and the private peer extends over the few feet of sand between table-filled decks and the blue reef. The bar's classic menu offers frozen island favorites and tropical punches, and some of the best food in the Caribbean. The grill serves up lobster, steak, burgers and shrimp, but for a special treat try the honey mustard ribs.
St. Kitts frequenters often run into old friends here at Turtle Beach. During the day, this popular beach destination offers a kid-friendly atmosphere, with plenty to keep them entertained. If you're really lucky at night, you might even catch some of the monkeys roaming the beaches.
Myett's Garden and Grille
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Nestled between ferns and palms on Cane Garden Bay, Myett's two story restaurant and bar manages to camouflage itself into the tropical flora. The lush green mountains and powdery white beaches make Myett's Tortola home a lively part of the British Virgin Islands.
The Cane Garden Bay area is surrounded by large private villas and inn style hotels, but Myett's impressive building offers guest suites with beach views and an in-house boutique.
Guests enjoy Myett's, "friendly, international mix of locals, seasonal residents, regular visitors, 'barefoot fleet' sailors, and staff", says Craig Corser, Canada, a Myett's regular. "Myett's is a frequent choice for drinks, lunch and dinner on our regular visits to Cane Garden Bay. Rum drinks, live entertainment and beautiful sunsets over Jost Van Dyke are daily features of happy hour."
Myett's features outdoor, garden dining, indoor seating and patio dining. The restaurant's laid-back atmosphere fills up in the evenings, and the bar is hopping day and night. Live entertainment is offered Monday, Saturdays and Sundays in the summer, and all week long in the winter's. "Myett's menu includes local and American dishes including excellent fresh fish and vegetarian choices." The grill serves up mahi-mahi burgers, kabobs and all the Caribbean favorites. From the drink menu, try a Myett's Delight, coconut base with rum and fruit punches, and feel free to mingle.
Orient Beach, St. Martin
La Playa is more than a bar on the beach, its part of L'Hoste hotel on Orient beach. Orient Beach is one the best known beaches in the Caribbean. The beach faces the Atlantic Ocean and the water is shockingly blue. L'Hoste Beach Hotel lies on clean sands with palm trees sprouting up between lawn chairs and hammocks, and patios stretching from building to building.
La Playa is definitively a beach bar, offering rows and rows of umbrella-covered chairs and rental hammocks for its patrons. Beach service is more than offered, its encouraged. Order a bucket of Carib beers right from your seat and don't move an inch as they are delivered to you.
The restaurant serves an expansive outdoor patio built over the sand, shaded by umbrellas and giant palm fronds. The menu is both diverse and generous, offering continental, Caribbean and American cuisine. The bar and restaurant area are very popular, thanks to a friendly staff and immaculate service. Feast on a full breakfast around the shady pool, or take a drink out to the lounge chairs and people watch on the very French beach. There's no better place in the Caribbean to select a live lobster out of the tank and enjoy a fantastic grilled lobster lunch.