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Electric Evenings and Neon Nights by Susan Campbell This island really knows how to kick it up into high gear once the tropical sun bids adieu beneath the waves. That’s when the scene begins to shift from idyllic low-key relaxation to explosive partying, and there’s something for every style of nocturnal celebrations here.

Beach bars, local hangouts, and happy hours

The shift from lazy beach day to barefoot bopping on the beach starts early, and locals and visitors alike tend to congregate around a few favored spots to socialize after a day’s work or adventure. If you’re in downtown Philipsburg kick off the evening on the boardwalk at

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either (or both) side-by-side legendary watering holes Taloula Mango’s and Blue Bitch Bar, or get into the groove at famous Hard Rock Cafe where fab drinks and rock and roll are always on tap. Moving onward to Mary’s Boon, you have laidback sunset style tapas and cocktails at happy hour at Satori, and later live music on the beach.

Then there’s Skipjack’s in Simpson Bay Lagoon – a good place to get the latest scuttlebutt at happy hour and enjoy frien­d­ ly camaraderie. Also boatie folks and locals alike will be found bellying-up to the wood bar to trade yarns at laid-back Lagoonies, a bistro and bar in Cole Bay. And they have live music Friday nights.

Top photo by Andrei Rancz. Other photos by Sasha

Or if you’re seeking romantic and easylistening live entertainment, sleuth out The Hideaway which is just that, hidden away perched atop Cole Bay at La Vista looking onto an infinity pool. Seaside below, you’ll find Topper’s in Pelican Key – try some of their incredible gourmet island-made rums and maybe stay later for one of their special event evenings. And not far from there is Kim Sha Beach where happy hours are rowdy and the nights get really wild at Buccaneer Beach Bar especially on Friday and Sunday nights when they light their mystical fireballs to please the gods of land and sea. Live music rocks the beach there Wednesday and Saturday nights. Also on Kim Sha beach is La Bamba Beach Bar famous for their Latin music Tuesdays and rock and roll Sundays. E Nights 77

Nightbeat Also close by is Jimbo’s Rock & Blues Café for happy hours Tex-Mex style with great tunes, tapas, and a big selection of frozen margaritas and signature cocktails at their cool wade-in pool bar. Then onto Maho, where the best place in the world for plane-spotting is located at Sunset Bar & Grill, a perfect hangout to start early and stay on for some early beachside revelry. Of course, don’t forget the French side – Orient Bay Beach has its own nightlife vibe and special soirees at seaside spots like Palm Beach. Live music and entertainment

As the tropical stars hit the night sky, unearth some local music stars, hot DJs, and eclectic entertainment at some of these spots. Pete’s Village hosts Pineapple Pete, SPN Sports Café, and The Alley Ultra Lounge – there’s something for every mood. And karaoke Thursdays and flashback Fridays are back at The Boathouse in Cole Bay – a legendary island nightlife landmark. You should also head to Maho’s magnificent quarter-mile of hot spots, it’s like a mini Vegas strip with its neon lights and gala entertainment. Pick and choose your vibe here without missing


a beat at spots like Cheri’s Café for outside cabaret style shows. More musical treats are in store there at The Sopranos Piano Bar with live pianists every night of the week and even dueling pianos on Thursdays. And if you can’t get enough tinkling of the ivories, then head to The Red Piano in Pelican Key. Open seven nights, and their special “Church on Monday” events will have you singing “hallelujah”!

to choose from. Yachties and locals alike will head to La Palapa Marina to catch Soggy Dollar’s famous DJ Bossman where the VIP lounge and private cabanas hide visiting celebs! And Le Shore is the newest place to see and be seen in Simpson Bay for electronica and theme nights. You’ll also catch today’s hottest tracks at Tantra – a multi-level party emporium in Maho Village boasting the island’s largest dance floor and hottest DJs. Another rooftop bar at the Sonesta Maho Resort is the new Sky Beach – a unique open-air lounge with real sand and an indoor bar with lively entertainment and special events.

Then back to the real beach at Maho for super surfside revelry at Bliss Nightclub, with an über cool pool, cabanas, tiki torches, and scads of special theme evenings. You can even get a chair massage there. You’ll also find both barefoot boogeying and stilettos in the sand, but either way, everyone gets into their very uni­que surfside groove. Of course, there are the glitzy casinos that never sleep that often have plenty of stellar nightly entertainment, but if you’d rather take your booty-shaking self to the streets on wheels, you can also bar-hop around the island on Da Party Bus. Long live the night! K

Clubs, lounges, and dance emporiums

Take on the late night offerings that often last right till dawn at the island’s trendiest high octane clubs. Start at Privé Hookah & Sky Lounge indoor bar and open terrace perched atop the Mega Yacht Building. They also have scads of special events and hookahs with multiple flavors E

Island hopping

If you have the opportunity to visit the island of Curaçao and are looking for some adult entertainment, add the VIP bar lounge at Campo Alegre Adult Resort & Casino to your list. Tel: (5999) 868-8422.

Note: establishment hours and nights of live music and entertainment might vary throughout the year; check their respective websites for updated information.

Privé Hookah & Sky Lounge

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Top photo by Bigstock. Bottom photo courtesy of Privé Hookah & Sky Lounge

Top photo by Alex Bowmore. Left photo by Natalie-Claude Bélanger. Right photo courtesy of Campo Alegre

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Nightbeat, St.Maarten Nights Magazine by Sue Campbell  
Nightbeat, St.Maarten Nights Magazine by Sue Campbell