Known as the “Friendly Island,” St. Maarten makes up the Dutch side of this unique two-nation isle. It is a popular destination for vacationers looking to relax in a tropical landscape with pristine white sand and gorgeous turquoise water.
But no island vacation is complete without a drink in your hand. Beach bars are the perfect place to grab a cocktail or a bite to eat and recharge by the Caribbean Sea, whether you just want to enjoy a cold one in the sun, chat with local residents, or socialize with friends.
There are plenty of bars to choose from all over the southern side of the island, and it can seem like a daunting task deciding on the best place to go for a refreshing drink. We’ve done the work for you and discovered the top beach bars in St. Maarten to satisfy your thirst.
Table of Contents
Driftwood Boat Bar, Beach Bar, and Restaurant
Fresh cocktails, a rustic ambience, and a boat—this beach bar is made for those who like a place with character. As the name suggests, Driftwood Boat Bar actually serves their drinks from a boat, though they won’t be drifting away any time soon.
Owned and operated by a local St. Maartener, this quaint beach bar is on the gorgeous Maho Bay only a stone’s throw away from the airport landing strip.
The Boat Bar is popular with visitors and locals alike for its well-priced cocktails—made only with fresh fruit—and the friendly, upbeat atmosphere.
During Happy Hour, beer and rum cocktails are only $3, making this place a popular destination after work for islanders. You can sip your drink or order food at one of the picnic tables, or lounge on a beach chair and gaze out at the turquoise water.
If you’re looking to dine, their professional kitchen prepares Caribbean and American meals for lunch and dinner.There are often local musicians and DJs playing here keeping you entertained while their amiable staff makes you feel like you’re surrounded by friends.
You can watch planes fly overhead as well as they take off and land right next door. This is the beach bar to visit for those looking for an enjoyable and quirky hole-in-the-wall experience.
Beacon Hill Road, Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten
Open from 10:30 AM – 10 PM
Good place to watch airplanes fly overhead.
The Boon Beach Bar and Restaurant
Located on the breathtaking strip of Simpson Bay Beach, the Boon Beach Bar boasts exquisite Caribbean fusion cuisine, delicious drinks, and an incredible view. With the airport nearby, it’s the perfect place to stop for a drink right when you arrive or just before you fly back home.
“The Boon” was originally built as part of Mary’s Boon Resort in the 1970’s and offers its own independent dining and activities for beachgoers looking for a place to relax. There is no charge for beach chairs and umbrellas, and the staff serves you while you lounge on the sand.
The bartenders craft excellent cocktails such as their signature bloody Mary that is hand mixed and garnished with bacon. Inside the restaurant, they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.
Their menu includes burgers for lunch and seafood and steaks for dinner, and they offer a unique tuna tartare and authentic soft Italian ice cream.
On the second floor in their elegant dining room, you can have a romantic dinner with a spectacular view of the ocean or enjoy a meal watching other beach goers down below.
Activities and live entertainment are plentiful at “The Boon.” They’re particularly known for their “Sunday Funday,” a family-friendly event that attracts both locals and tourists.
During this event, the beachfront bar offers specialty drinks while a DJ plays music in the afternoon and evening. This iconic beach bar is a classic stop that shouldn’t be missed!
117 Simpson Bay Road, Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten
Open from 7 AM – 10 PM
Dining reservations preferred, required for groups of 8+.
Ocean Lounge Beach Bar
This attractive beach bar is located in the heart of Philipsburg inside the stylish Holland House Beach Hotel between the boardwalk and Front Street. Known for their casual romantic atmosphere, this bar is the perfect place to take a break from touring or shopping around the capital city.
Whether you’re having a drink at the bar or chilling in their stylish lounge, you’ll have a beautiful view overlooking Great Bay Beach.
Live music is played here from a range of different styles including Caribbean salsa and reggae. They serve specialty cocktails as well as the classics, such as the “Ginger Splash” and their special gin & tonic. The bartenders use only the freshest ingredients to prepare their concoctions, making each one a delight.
However, Ocean Lounge is renowned for their extensive wine cellar of over 120 handpicked labels that earned them the 2017 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. They are especially proud to be featuring the Whispering Angel, a delicious new rosé from Provence, France.
Order some food off their eclectic tapas menu of American, European, and Caribbean cuisine to go with your wine.
Parking is available for free in the backstreet or you can pull up to the front of the hotel to use their free valet service. If you’re looking for an elegant place to unwind or a romantic ambience, this is the place to check out!
45 Holland House Beach Hotel, Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
Open from 7 AM – 12 AM
Offers free valet parking service.
Reservations preferred, required for groups of 8+.
Buccaneer Beach Bar and Restaurant
With a family-friendly atmosphere and entertaining evening activities, this is a great place to come with the kids. Buccaneer Beach Bar is located on the south end of Kim Sha Beach in the middle of St. Maarten’s entertainment center.
Their prime location makes it an energetic place with a laid back atmosphere where you can drop in for comfort food, refreshing drinks, and a great time.
During the day, Buccaneer Beach Bar offers loads of fun activities for locals and visitors to join in. There are crab races, beachfront pig roasts, and Friday night children’s movies that are fun for the whole family.
Their loungers and umbrellas are available to rent, and their delicious frozen cocktails are recommended as you rest at one of their shaded picnic tables. The kitchen opens at 10 AM and serves burgers, ribs, popular American appetizers, pizzas, and salads.
Buccaneer Beach Bar is particularly known for their mysterious Fireballs. On Friday and Sunday evenings, the staff sets large metal balls ablaze on the beach just as the sun sets and the moon begins to rise.
These unique Fireballs are known for their good luck and fortune, though it is unknown how they came to land on Kim Sha Beach and why they are regarded as the Fireballs of the gods.
Each metal sphere has intricate carvings that tell the tales of Poseidon, Zeus, and Hades, and the lighting of the Fireballs is a celebration of the magical union between fire, water, and wind.
While you enjoy a drink here, ask one of the staff to tell you more about the legend!
10 Billy Folly Road, Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten
Open from 10 AM – 12 AM
Good for kids.
Wide availability of parking space.
Indigo Beach Bar
Between Simpson Bay and Philipsburg lies a charming upscale bar and restaurant just south of a residential area. This newer addition to St. Maarten has become known as one of the poshest bars on the Dutch side of the island because of its privacy and top-notch service.
The more reclusive area of Indigo Beach sets it apart from the crowded spots at Simpson Bay and Philipsburg. This is the place to be if you’re looking for more secluded beach access, spacious seating, and a stylish ambience.
The sophisticated environment is a breath of fresh air away from the organized tours and crowds, and you can lounge on white canopies and enjoy a glass of rosé or champagne while gazing at the beautiful aquamarine water.
Their refreshing cocktails are superb as well, such as the fresh Moscow Mule and exquisite Ti’ Punch. With the purchase of food or drink, you can recline on one of their lounge chairs on the sand for free.
Overlooking the sea on their covered deck, enjoy Caribbean cuisine for lunch, served every day starting at 10 AM, or dinner, served Wednesday to Saturday.
The staff is friendly and attentive, and they often post events and their latest specials on their social media page. This hidden gem is a stop you’ll want to hit for a serene experience on the road less traveled.
#1 Lakeside Drive, Indigo Beach, Sint Maarten
Wednesday – Saturday: 10 AM – 10 PM
Sunday – Tuesday: 10 AM – 8 PM
Available for dinner only Wednesday thru Saturday.
Plenty of parking space available.
Karakter Beach Bar and Restaurant
Ever seen a school bus serve alcohol? For a unique beach bar experience, this is the place to visit. Within walking distance from “The Boon,” this small and quirky bar offers a relaxing atmosphere with tropical cocktails and speedy service.
The origin of Karakter and its iconic bus is unclear, but over time it has become a popular destination on the end of Simpson Bay Beach. The main part of the bar is attached to the old bus, their kitchen is located inside the vehicle, and all seating is in the open air.
During the day, you can relax on one of their comfortable, cushioned lounge chairs under the umbrella with no cover charge, shaded picnic tables, and superb service. In the evenings, Karakter transforms into a charming beachfront restaurant with candles, torches, and live music setting a cozy and romantic atmosphere.
Some of the island’s best-known artists frequently perform here, and shows are often sold out. Reservations are therefore highly recommended especially on the weekends.
Karakter serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and offers vegetarian and vegan-friendly Caribbean cuisine as well as gluten-free options. Their tapas menu, available from 11 AM to closing, is especially impressive for such a small place.
It features plates inspired from all over the world such as nachos, charcuterie platters, and homemade Indonesian meatballs—all of which you can have served to you at a table or right on the sand.
Order a tasty Ti’ Punch, Rum Punch, or another one of their special cocktails to quench your thirst at this lively beach bar.
121 Simpson Bay Road, Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten
Open from 9 AM – 10 PM
Dining reservations highly recommended on weekends.
Parking is limited.
Roxxy Beach Bar and Restaurant
Built after Hurricane Irma, this hip and modern beach bar is a newer addition to St. Maarten with a chic Las Vegas feel and sophisticated French flair. With contemporary architecture and a party atmosphere, this fashionable beach bar is hard to miss in the heart of Simpson Bay on Kim Sha Beach.
There are two bars here: the main one has a VIP room on the second floor with a breathtaking view of the ocean. There you can dine and have easy access to the main cocktail counter. The second bar is a classic low-key wooden beach shack right on the sand where you can stop by after a swim in the sea.
Roxxy’s is known for their extensive rum and cocktail list, and you can settle down with your drink on one of their loungers, benches, or premium beds for rent, or order lunch or dinner at one of their numerous tables until the party starts.
Every weekend, Roxxy’s turns into a beach party with locals and visitors coming together for a good time. The bartenders put on an entertaining show as they mix your drinks and serve you tasty cocktails. There are events going on constantly at this location with DJs playing upbeat music all weekend.
This is the place to be if you’re looking for an energetic atmosphere, beautiful views, strong drinks, and a fun night out with friends.
127 Welfare Road, Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten
Open from 9 AM – 10 PM
Private rooms available for special occasions through their VIP host.
Plenty of parking space available.
Sunset Beach Bar
On the other end of Maho Beach lies this world-renowned beach bar and grill. Voted in 2011 as the “Best Beach Bar in St. Maarten” in a poll conducted by St. Maarten’s Daily Herald newspaper, this place is known for its proximity to the airport’s runway.
Plane spotters come for a cold drink and the unique experience of watching planes fly by so close it feels like you can touch them. The bar handwrites the departure and arrival times on surfboards daily so you know when to expect them.
This locally loved beach bar offers loungers and umbrellas that you can rent for $10 to relax while enjoying the ocean view. They offer snorkel gear rentals as well for those wanting a closer look under the sea.
When you get tired of the salty waters, they have a pool along the new Sunset boardwalk for you to jump into. The poolside lounge chairs are $10 for the day, which includes poolside service.
Sunset Beach Bar has a rotation of DJs and local bands performing there daily, meaning there’s never a dull moment. Order one of their tasty cocktails or beer bucket specials, and if you want a bite to eat, they serve traditional American cuisine for lunch and dinner every day with vegetarian options.
Try one of their pizzas named after different airlines. This is a beach bar that can’t be missed for the full St. Maarten experience!
#2 Beacon Hill Road, Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten
Open from 7:30 AM – 11 PM
Popular destination to watch airplanes fly overhead.
SandBar Beach Bar and Restaurant
As the newest establishment on this list, SandBar is a hybrid beach bar and food truck located right after Sunset Bar. Though it may not be as well-known as other beach bars, it is a local spot with an enchanting ambience, great food and drinks, and excellent service.
Their food truck offers a variety of options from burgers and hot dogs to grilled fish and sushi. You can relax on the beach with your meal or sit at one of their tables located right on the sand. Local bands often come to perform here during the evening Happy Hours.
Other events such as karaoke night happen on a weekly basis, giving both locals and visitors a chance to mingle and bond. This beach bar is child-friendly as well with a special kid’s menu and game area for them to play. And every Friday night, SandBar serves s’mores on the beach from 6-8 PM as a delicious dessert.
Here you can sip your specialty cocktail and watch the yachts go by or enjoy the ambient music from a live band. Bring your kids and have a fun family beach day with good food and plenty of drinks. Their Happy Hours are not to be missed for an enjoyable local experience.
#2b Beacon Hill Road, Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten (after Sunset Bar)
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 11 AM – 1 AM
Closed on Mondays
Good for groups and kids.