MULLET BAY BEACH
By Teala Howell
When you fly into St. Maarten and look out your window, the first things you notice are the beaches…and one of those beaches, the one to the left of the runway…is Mullet Bay Beach. Mullet Bay was once home to a luxurious resort and casino. It had a plethora of restaurants, shops and was one of the best resorts in the Caribbean - until Hurricane Luis, a category 5, hit the island on September 5th 1995 and tore it all down. Mullet Bay Resort and Casino was never rebuilt and the beach has remained bare but beautiful for years since.
Mullet Bay has become one of the most popular local hangouts on Dutch St. Maarten. On the weekends, especially Sundays, the locals go to Mullet to relax and have some fun in the sun. However, the beach's beauty also attracts many tourists, and here on The Friendly Island, we mean it when we say “the more the merrier”! Unlike many of the island's beaches, there are no longer any signs directing you to this little piece of paradise. It's like a secret—you either know where it is, or you don't and from here on out, this secret will be poorly kept.
It's easy to get to, both on foot and by car. In order to get there by car from the Dutch side, you drive past Maho towards the golf course and take the second left which will lead you to the dirt parking lot. Drive slowly because the roads do contain a pothole here and there. If you're walking, you take the same route and it's about a ten minute walk from Sonesta Maho Resort. Remember to make sure there is no one playing golf if you plan to walk across the golf course!
Once there, you'll see that this beach is truly beautiful. The water is a clear, turquoise blue, the sand is pearly white and the whole thing is lined by palm and seagrape trees. Facing the West, Mullet is coolest in the early morning. The beach warms up as the day progresses, making it ideal for tanning, and, in the late afternoon beachgoers have a picturesque view of the sunset.
An interesting thing about Mullet is that it is forever changing. Right now the beach may be flat and level with the water, whereas in a few months’ time the beach may have a steep drop into the water and so the cycle continues. If you plan to come back to the island again, it would be something interesting to see and compare to your previous trip. The sea also changes from time to time. For the most part the water is as calm as that of a pool, but sometimes when the trade winds blow just right the surf gets big and you’ll see many surfers catching the waves. Be cautious when the water is rough because the undertow does get pretty brutal. The number one rule to remember during rough days is to never take your eyes off the waves when in the water.
There are no water sports on the beach but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be a day well spent! If you happen to have a snorkel there is plenty of marine life on a reef to the left side of the beach. There are chairs and umbrellas to rent for $5 apiece, but this price is definitely negotiable. You can also simply lie on your towel or bring your own chair and umbrella. On Mullet, it’s entirely up to you. If you’re looking for a quieter setting you can go during the week, and if you’re okay with a crowd, come down to the beach on the weekend. You can also walk the length of the beach if you’re looking to get a bit of exercise into your day or simply work up an appetite. If you get hungry there are two little places where you can buy typical beach food—BBQ chicken, ribs, hotdogs, hamburgers and of course drinks! Daleo’s has a larger seating area and Wi-Fi, whereas Rosie’s is a smaller vendor. Both of which make amazing food at a good price, the service isn’t bad but you must remember that these are rustic little beach huts!
Mullet Bay Beach, as previously, is bare. There are no real restrooms on the beach; however, there are a few port-o-potties for the beach hut customers. Regardless, the beach is plenty of fun for the entire family—whether you want to simply soak up the sun or do some swimming or even have some lunch (Caribbean style), there is something for everyone.
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