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Just back from St. Bart's

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Just came back from 7 heavenly days in St. Barth for the first time. We knew it would be expensive and it was but we tried to do it on the cheap (not possible).

We stayed at the St. Barth Beach Hotel which is a modest three-star hotel, very low-key but it was great as a base and had wonderful views. We rented a smart car and drove around the island and spent most of our time exploring beaches, shopping and eating. Here is a honest first-timer’s impressions.

The great:
Safety. There is no fear of crime at all
Efficiency: The service people in St. Barth’s are prompt and professional. There is no “island time”. At the same time they are very friendly and helpful.
Size: You can’t get lost on the island and it doesn’t take long to get places
Restaurants: High standard of cuisine

The not so good:
Expense: Food, lodging, drink, transport are very expensive. Even if you self-cater, groceries are expensive. But wine is quite reasonable.
Traffic: Parking is a hassle. I was glad we had the smart car so we could fit in small places
Beaches: Maybe it is just me but I thought the beaches were so-so. The best was Columbier (which is hard to get to). The swells were quite rough. I love St. Jean beach for the action, it is the happening beach but it has been eroded quite aways and again, very rough.

If you can afford St. Barth’s it is a terrific place. For the rest of us, it was a pleasant taste of paradise.

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