The promise of spring weather is light at the end of a long wintery tunnel. Sitting behind a computer all day under the glow of fluorescent bulbs, it’s tempting to get lost in a day dream of exotic vacations, sunny beaches, and booze-y drinks.
For your next tropical getaway from the grind, the Caribbean has you covered. Whether you’re a barefoot bikini kind of girl, or prefer to strap on a pair of heels with your little black dress, beach bars around the Caribbean have everything you could possibly want from award winning drinks and luxe marble bars, to hammocks and tiki huts. Here, we brief a couple of the best:
Soggy Dollar Bar, Sandcastle Hotel, British Virgin Islands
Long before there was road access to Soggy Dollar, patrons would swim over to the beach with soggy money in hand. Even today, bartenders are caught hanging waterlogged bills to dry. Located at Sandcastle, one of the Caribbean’s top beach resorts, Soggy Dollar bar is the ultimate combination of paradise and relaxation, with a truly unpretentious vibe.
In her book, "1,000 Places You Must See before You Die," Patricia Schultz describes Soggy Dollar as the kind of place you can “wear to dinner what you wore to breakfast, and spend time in between moving from one hammock to another.”
Shortly after they opened the resort in 1970, original owners George and Marie Myrick began serving what would eventually become the British Virgin Islands’ official cocktail, and one of the most popular drinks in the Caribbean. Chances are you’ve heard of the Original Painkiller.
Containing noni fruit, from a plant believed to have healing benefits, the drink is a refreshing combination of premium dark rum, cream of coconut, and fresh pineapple and orange juices -- and is a no-brainer for anyone stopping by for a cocktail.
Infiniti Beach Bar, Grace Bay Resorts, Turks and Caicos
“Wear to dinner what you wore to breakfast, and spend time in between moving from one hammock to another.”
Infiniti Bar seems to go on for just that. With a sleek ninety-foot black marble bar reaching all the way from the Grace Bay Club to Grace Bay’s shore, Infiniti boasts the longest bar in the Caribbean. The bar skews hip while remaining refined and caters to patrons of all ages, including celebrities ranging from Rachel Bilson to Kathleen Turner.
Its original Infiniti Martini is a tropical blend of Hypnotic, Malibu Rum and pineapple juice. Though the Infiniti Martini is a favorite among patrons, the Moleca Spice Martini may be the most inventive mixing Cachaca (Brazilian “rum”), orange juice, Tabasco, and angostura bitters.
The bar also serves up live entertainment each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night to accompany their perfectly crafted cocktails. A trendy dinner menu is offered between 6 and 10pm featuring “small and sexy tapas” like Angus steak tartar, and “last but not least” deserts including a roast-your-own marshmallow option complete with hazelnut fondue.
MooMba Beach, Aruba, Between the Holiday Inn and Marriott’s Surf Club
MooMba Beach Bar is a self-proclaimed “laid back beach bar featuring a myriad of tropical libations, call drinks, beer and wine.” Set just feet away from the shoreline, MooMba’s bar lies beneath a beautiful thatched-roof tiki hut called a palapa and serves countless fruity martinis and vacation staples including daiquiris, coladas, and the refreshing Caipirinha.
Its signature cocktail, the MooMba Blues, is a concoction of dark and light rums, peach schnapps and mango juice. If that’s not enough to calm your thirst, there is also the MooMba shot - vodka, pineapple juice, coco lopez, and blue Curacao.
The bar hosts two happy-hours on beer and cocktails each night from 6 to 7pm and 10 to 11pm. If you’re lucky, you may rub elbows with celebs like Sean Paul, or Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots. Unlike many beach bars, MooMba serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. With a full menu featuring items ranging from burgers and pizza to Caribbean beef soup and Aruban fish chowder, there truly is a flavor for every palette.
Beach Bar at Bohemia, St. Kitt’s Marriott, West Indies
Kicking off the New Year in style, St. Kitt’s Marriott unveiled its new Beach Bar at Bohemia. The open-air watering hole not only features a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean, but is conveniently located by the Marriott’s main pool.
The 3024 square foot Beach Bar offers a dazzling array of premium rums and liquors, as well as a list of signature cocktails with names like the Bohemia Rhapsody and Kittitian Paradise. As if drinks on the beach couldn’t get any better, all the cocktails are mixed by award winning bartenders. The most tempting signature cocktail may be the Atlantic Breeze, which features Bacardi Gold Rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, a splash of mango and passion fruit juices, and a bit of grenadine. This colorful creation by Latasha Merritt won her the bartender of the year award in 2009-2010 and is a favorite among guests.
“We serve many fruity drinks,” she notes. “That’s what people here love.”
To soak up all those drinks, the bar also offers light Caribbean fare including conch fritters and ceviche.
Nipper’s,Great Guana Cay, Abaco, Bahamas
Nipper’s implores its guests to “Chill out. Party hard. Eat up. Dance the night away.” Not the worst instructions to be have to carry out. They proudly note that the “iPod is always going” during the day, only to be silenced once the live music begins at night. Even if you’re not the party-going type, hammocks, two pools, and countless sandy spots on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches offer plenty of oasis’ to seek refuge. There’s also the world’s third largest coral reef just off shore!
For food, Nipper’s has Overso, an enclosed, fine-dining restaurant that is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. Dishes including blackened grouper, broiled lobster, and coconut conch, are crafted by loyal chefs using the freshest in-season ingredients. They also host a Sunday pig roast buffet between 12:30 and 4 pm which serves roast pork, barbecue pork, Cajun coleslaw, corn bread, mac and cheese – the list goes on.