When the Sonesta Great Bay invited me to return for a fiesta the night following my tour, I jumped at the opportunity to check out the evening vibe at the hotel.
Call it whatever you wish, but when I think of the Caribbean I think of steel drum music, and I eat that sound up – there’s something so calming about the gentle island instrument.
It was a partly-cloudy evening – we were under the stars but the moon was hidden. Tough break, but let’s not cry over split milk. It was awfully pleasant out by the pool, the tables all set up and the band at the far end, smoke and fire rising from the hot grills.
The four of us sat at a table overlooking the ocean as well as the pool, the hotel’s position on the hill providing a nice vantage point. There were no cruise ships in the harbor – we saw the last one leaving on the drive over, as the sun set to the west.
Not long after we were seated the band began to play, the first two songs remakes of popular Bob Marley tunes. A lot of people would consider this tacky – something done only for tourists – yet I disagree. My friend shared a tale of a morning in Jamaica last year when he saw all the locals bobbing their heads to his music at a bus stop, the tunes coming from a cell phone.
People can think what they wish, yet we all know that the name Bob Marley will never be forgotten.
As we drank cold beer and chilled white wine we dined on grilled chicken, ribs, fish, and sausage, as well as a full spread of barbecue sides: Baked mac & cheese, potatoes, corn on the cob, etc. Soon the band called the dancers to the stage, and the way the women moved their hips had my complete attention.
Good lord, did it ever, and I was once again reminded why men crave to date dancers. I asked the waitress for another round, pushed my chair back. It was nice sitting there in the night breeze, the outside of the water glass perspiring heavily, the tablecloth below it damp.
The experience was all context for my article to come on the St. Maarten Sonesta properties – I’m starting to get a real sense of the whole thing.