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October 15, 2009updated Feb 08, 2013

St. Maarten Comes Alive After Dark

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

For travelers seeking a vacation that not only offers an assortment of daytime activities, but provides a wide variety of options when the sun sets, the island of St. Maarten offers something for everyone with nighttime activities at clubs, casinos and laidback beach bars.  Visitors can dance the night away at a trendy nightclub, hit the slots at a casino, or enjoy a refreshing cocktail at a lounge or beach bar.  Many of the island’s hotspots host live bands at least once a week and offer an exciting and entertaining happy hour.

Much of the nightlife can be found within the big resorts, which combine lounges, night clubs and restaurants.  Many of the hotels offer beachside barbecues with steel pan players and local musicians that are available for both hotel and non-hotel guests.  On Friday nights, the boardwalk on Front Street in Philipsburg explodes with activity, and on weekends the Maho village area becomes a carnival of sorts featuring fire-eaters, acrobats and belly dancers. 

Tantra (www.tantrasxm.com) is the newest addition to the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino complex and the largest nightclub in the Eastern Caribbean.  The Asian-inspired atmosphere provides a luxurious and sophisticated backdrop for live DJ’s and international musical performances. 

A popular nightspot in Maho Bay is Bliss, located inside The Caravanserai Beach Resort. Bliss is one of the most popular nightspots in St. Maarten and reflects a Miami-style disco with a large pool area and cabanas.  Every afternoon features a different theme or promotion, while live DJs play the latest hits on the weekends.

Bamboo Bernies Buddha Lounge (www.bamboobernies.net) recently moved to the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino complex and serves food and drinks into the early hours of the morning.  Exotic cocktails include heaven, fire and ice, plus an extensive list of sakes. 

The Lady C (www.ladycfloatingbar.com), docked at Simpson Bay, is an old vessel from 1938 that has been refurbished and turned into a floating bar.  It’s the only bar of its type to be found in St. Maarten and features weekly theme parties that make for never-ending fun.

Sopranos Bar  (www.sopranospianobar.com), located on the first floor of the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino, is a stylish piano bar that features nightly live performances by renowned pianists and local jazz artists.  The piano bar is inspired by the hit TV show and offers a wide selection of wines, champagnes, cocktails, cognac and Cuban cigars.

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The Axum Art Café (www.axumartcafe.com) on Front Street in the heart of Philipsburg doubles as a laid back café during the day and an art gallery displaying various paintings and sculptures including the works of owner Ras Mosera.  During evening hours, Axum features live jazz and reggae music, poetry readings and entertainment for the artistically inclined. Gambling is only legal on the Dutch side of the island and travelers can choose from over 14 casinos, all of which offer live entertainment, slot machines and gaming tables.

The Princess Casino (www.princessportdeplaisance.com/casino.htm) at Port de Plaisance in Cole Bay features more than 12,000 sq. ft. of gaming tables, slots, private “high-roller” rooms, a gourmet restaurant with live entertainment and nightly music for dancing.

The Jump Up Casino (www.jumpupcasino.com), located in Philipsburg, offers the widest variety of slots and live entertainment, all themed after the colorful St. Maarten Carnival.  Experience authentic carnival sounds and view gorgeous costumes on display inside the casino.

Hollywood Casino (www.casinosxm.com) in Simpson Bay has a variety of table games, popular slots and a sports desk amidst an array of Hollywood star images.  Try your luck at 20 tables including: black jack, roulette, craps, three card poker, punto-banco, Texas hold’em and Omaha Poker, as well as over 170 slot machines. 

Casino Royale (www.playmaho.com), located by the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino boasts 14,000 square feet of gaming, featuring 20 tables from roulette, craps, baccarat, blackjack and poker, and more than 400 slot machines. 

Located in Cupecoy, Atlantis World Casino (www.atlantisworld.com) is a destination casino featuring award-winning restaurants and other entertainment alternatives to give visitors the ultimate experience.  Atlantis World Casino offers more than 400 of the latest slot machines, as well as tables for baccarat, poker, three card poker, Caribbean poker, Texas hold’em, roulette, and blackjack. Their latest addition is a new Sports Book with large plasma screens, which plunge sports fanatics into the action.

The Golden Casino (www.sonesta.com/GreatBay) in the Sonesta Great Bay is open every night until the early morning hours, and is the perfect place to test your luck in Caribbean stub poker, blackjack, roulette and 84 state-of-the-art slot machines.

www.VacationStMaarten.com

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