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“Best beach on the island but don't tell anyone!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Happy Bay Beach

Happy Bay Beach
Between Friars Bay and the Bay of Grand Case, St Maarten-St Martin
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Montreal, Quebec
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Best beach on the island but don't tell anyone!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2014

Visited this beautiful secluded beach twice on our recent trip to Grand Case. Walked in the first time from the end of Friar's Bay beach. The path is rocky but pretty and takes about ten minutes. Well worth the hike. The second time we walked in from the gate at the bend on Happy Bay road - not as pretty a walk, hot, lots of cows in the field, and perhaps 15 minutes. I'd recommend the Friar's bay path. The beach itself is gorgeous, private, quiet, big. Lots of nude sunbathing if that's your thing but everyone is respectful and discrete. There are no services so bring a picnic. Occasionally a tour boat or group of seafood arrives so the population might swell by 20 or so but they don't stay long and pretty soon the beach will be quiet again. Enough people we always felt safe but private enough to feel you were on your own beach in the Caribbean!

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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187 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Salida, Colorado
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
33 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Secluded”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014 via mobile

A great beach to spend a day without the crowds and beach vendors. We were there on a Sunday with many of the locals and their families. There was a local vendor there serving up drinks and some sort of BBQ dish. Lounge chairs were avaible for $.

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Jefferson, New York
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Can be kind of creepy.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014

We have been to happy bay many times over the past few years as we have rented a house within walking distance and for the most part have enjoyed the beach. With that being said there are some good things and some not so good things about this beach.
The Good: It's a nice, picturesque walk to the beach along the bluff. Usually calm water with nice breezes and it's usually not crowded.
Not so good: It can be kind of creepy. This is a clothing optional beach so I sometimes go nude and my girl sometimes goes topless. On more than one occasion we have seen people in the bush watching and doing weird things. Also this is not a good snorkeling beach. Beware of cow turds, depending on where you sit the smell can be somewhat overwhelming. Lastly- I had a very nasty encounter with a gentleman that provides food there. He has a little shack in the back and will make lunch for you if you request. He accused my girl of throwing a Champagne bottle in his garbage which he apparently must haul away at the end of the day. I promised him that her nor I absolutely did not throw anything into his garbage as we stay near by and don't bring anything to the beach. He kept cursing loudly at us. He would not stop.
Anyway- It's an OK beach but there are better on the island. I won't be back.

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Secret Hideaway Beach”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2014

This is a secluded hideaway beach that is outlined with gorgeous palm trees, dingos, cows, bluffs, rocks and a gentle carib blue water.

Bring your own food or grab some at from the awesome places and people down at Friar's.

Happy Bay is special, very welcome to nude- just simply a place where you can be without judgment. let's keep it that way-

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saskatoon, Canada
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“A beach that changes its personality daily”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2014

My wife and I have an apartment in St. Martin/Maarten, and have gone to Happy Bay numerous times. It is one of those places that truly changes from day to day. On a Friday, you can walk out onto the beach from the trail and you would think it is the "new Cupecoy" with almost everyone nude. On a Sunday, you might judge it as very much a family beach, and unless you're quite bold you would be unlikely to want to bare it all.

The charm of the place is that it is definitely unrefined, like a walk-in campsite. But that also means you won't have any security people to stop peeping toms/"bushwhackers" from getting their jollies in the bushes, or someone else happily taking photos with their zoom lens. (By the way, security personnel and the "strength of numbers" is what makes Orient such a great place to try going nude for the first time. Unless you're as white as a ghost or acting strangely, you will definitely not be noticed. The only people who get noticed are the stupid prudish cruise ship people who have to get their jollies walking in their shorts, t-shirts and running shoes to Papagayo's at the end of the beach and back. You guys are laughable!) One other thing: sometimes you'll encounter cattle in your hike in, but not to worry. Stay calm, stop, and they will soon move on. You will also be likely to encounter numerous cow pies on the trail, as well as on the beach.

All of that said, Happy Bay can be a great day at the beach, especially if you start by arriving before 10 a.m. For the trail, be sure to wear sandals or other footwear, and be careful. Parts of the trail are quite rocky and uneven, although not steep. Watch your step!

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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