part 2 of iw's trip to St. Barths

Jul 5th, 2007, 04:01 AM
  #1  
iw
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part 2 of iw's trip to St. Barths

Ok, I know that there has been a lot of discussion here about the spelling of this island. I saw St. Barths and St. Barts, so I am still confused.

We got to the island from St. Martin, after leaving St. Kitts, via Winair. I am embarrassed to say that, yes, we did use Premium IV, which is a service that meets you at the transfer desk in SXM, collects your luggage, checks you in, gets you on your SBH flight and meets you in SBH and Jim, the owner, took us to the hotel. I did this because we had a terrible time with our e-tickets in St. Kitts and Premium IV smoothed it over and we had no trouble after that. I am not ashamed to tell you that I totally enjoyed the VIP service! I felt like Jennifer Aniston, only much shorter. Premium IV's agent, Richard, in SXM, did get us on an earlier flight.

Let me tell you....I am not a huge fan of flying, but I love to see places, so I do it. The flight into SBH is amazing! It is like a roller coaster. The plane comes in for a landing between 2 high hills/mountains and it is like a nose-dive and then, all of a sudden, the plane is flattening out on the very SHORT runway. It was awesome. I spoke with the co-pilot upon landing and he was hilarious. It was a big rush and I would do it again. Take off is very quick and not near as fun. I spoke with a couple who came in on the "vomit comet" ferry from SXM and I wouldn't do that one.

We stayed at the Emeraude Plage, which is a nice, small hotel. It is not fancy. I really have nothing to compare it to. It is very french. The staff is phenomenal! We stayed in a garden bunglaow, which had a king sized bed with a desk and a flat screen tv in the room. The a/c serviced the room only, which is standard on the island. I had a hard time styling/drying all of my long curly hair. The closet was big and the bathroom is ok. Not large, but adequate. There was an outdoor kitchen which was really cool. It had a full-sized fridge, toaster oven, cooktop and all the pans and dishes that were needed. Away from that was an eating table/chairs on the patio with two lounging chairs, too.
We had been "warned" about the big lunches on the island, and not being big lunch eaters, we opted to visit the local grocery stores and we had lunch on the patio. Yummy baguettes, tomatoes, ham, brie and melon. That was neat. Although we had a nice stay at Emeraude Plage and a great deal ($250USD/night), I would probably opt to stay at a different hotel next time.

I must say that a rental car is a big MUST. The local people will tell you that taxis are non-existent, not reliable and expensive. Our hotel arranged for a cute little pink car (DH loved that to be delivered for 29 euros a day. We did get the insurance for another 11 euros, but upon returning, we learned that our insurance would have been fine from home. Oh, well... live and learn. Once we had the cute little car, we had our freedom! Be warned.....it's like driving in New York on California coastline roads. These folks do not wait! Not a time to be indecisive. Also, walking along many of the roads is a HUGE risk. We saw tons of scooters and many STEEP hills.

We explored the towns near us. We went to the harbor town of Gustavia and spent a glorious day at Saline Beach. Once you get to that beach, there is a place to park and you follow the path and walk up some rocks, not difficult and oh, boy.....paradise awaits! It is a great stretch of beach with no restaurants or restrooms, just beach, water and a wonderful view!

We also did a snorkle tour to Colombier, which left from Gustavia and the company was Marine Services. Felippe (sp?) was the captain and he is from Corsica. He is very friendly and offers a lot of information about the island. Light snacks and an open bar were included for 135 euros for the 2 of us. At that point, 1 euro was about $1.34 USD. It wasn't cheap, but considering Premium IV's offer of $500 euros, we took it. Met some great young couples from the US and had a fun afternoon. Yummy rum punch!

We had been warned, again, about the expensive dinners, but honestly, we didn't find them to be that outrageous, compared to other islands. We ate at The Hideaway (yummy shrimp creole)$95USD, Eden Rock (great views...the most expensive at $174USD, including an appetizer, dessert and 4 drinks with 2 entrees), Bacardi Cafe (mexican/french twist...just ok) and Zanzibarth (very french on the hill in St. Jean....very good).

I will definitely return to this island. We didn't get to do/discover 1/2 of what the island has to offer in our 4 full days there.

In summary, the people are wonderful, the food is amazing and the island is clean and beautiful. I can't wait to go back!!!

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Jul 5th, 2007, 04:04 AM
  #2  
iw
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Oh, we did get a Capital One Visa card which, hopefully, will not charge a fee to convert ECD and Euros to USD.

Also, in St. Barths, we learned that if you use a credit card to pay the bill which already has a 15% service charge and you want to leave a tip, the tip has to be in cash. If you leave a tip on the credit card, it has to be done before the charge card is taken to the register.
iw is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 10:16 AM
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I think this is the first St. Barthelemy trip report I've ever read on this board. Thanks! Do you mean you saw St. Barths and St. Barts on the island itself? How interesting.
I think I will have to try 3 islands in 14 days just to see what you're talking about. LOL!
Enjoyed both reports. Thanks for posting!


caribtraveler is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 01:14 PM
  #4  
iw
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Yes, caribtraveler, I saw both on the island and I had to blink to believe it! LOL

Have you not been there? I love following your posts.


I should post a warning: DO NOT TRY 3 ISLANDS IN 14 DAYS. IT IS HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH. ALTHOUGH, YOU CAN TAKE LESS NIGHTTIME CLOTHES SINCE THEY CAN BE WARN MORE THAT ONCE AND NO ONE WILL KNOW!
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Jul 5th, 2007, 05:00 PM
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I have not been to those 3 islands, but they're certainly on the (long) list.
We'd probably do a Nevis/St. Kitts combo as a family. I think St. Barthelemy would be great for a trip with just my husband. If it's not next year, maybe in a couple of years.
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Jul 5th, 2007, 05:49 PM
  #6  
iw
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Yes, a Nevis/St. Kitts trip is for a family, for sure! The kids would love Oualie Beach or the Marriott's pools.

Keep me posted......
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Jul 5th, 2007, 07:21 PM
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I enjoyed reading about St. Barts - it brought back a lot of good memories. Did you like it better than St. Kitts/ Nevis? Never having been there, they are on my short list of next trips. would you recommend St. Kitts, Nevis, or both for a one week vacation?
Maggi is offline  
Jul 6th, 2007, 04:54 AM
  #8  
iw
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Maggi,
It's hard to say if I liked St. Barths better than the others. It's just different with the french culture. After 3 trips to St. Kitts and Nevis, I was ready for something new. All 3 islands are beautiful and all have different things to offer.
We usually spend 4 days in Nevis and 5 or 6 in St. Kitts, so I wouldn't split a week between the two ( if you are talking about 7 days), I don't think. Although, if you read both of my reports you will see that we split 14 days between the 3. I constantly felt like I was packing and unpacking.
I don't think that my husband would stay a whole week in Nevis. 3 nights seems to do it for him.
As for choosing between St. Kitts and Nevis..that's hard. It really depends on what you like to do. Both islands offer rainforest and volcano hikes. Nevis is easy to see in a short amount of time. The beaches are nice, the food is good, but there is no nightlife. On St. Kitts, there is Brimstone Hill Fortress, Turtle Beach, Caribelle Batik, more beaches and the casino at the Marriott and one across the street, too. A lot of people stay on St. Kitts and take a day trip to Nevis on the ferry or a catamaran and hang out at Pinneys Beach, home of the Four Seasons, Sunshines and Chevys.
So, I am not trying to be unhelpful, but Nevis is much quieter than St. Kitts, so it really depends on what you like.
Let me know what you decide!
iw is offline  
Jul 6th, 2007, 01:36 PM
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Welcome back, iw! Glad you had a great time and thanks for writing up the two trip reports. So, you've got to tell us where your next trip is planned already. and please say you're not going to try to do another "3 islands in 2 weeks" trip!
ejcrowe is offline  
Jul 6th, 2007, 02:13 PM
  #10  
iw
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ej, You are a hoot! I have given my husband strict instructions to shoot me if I plan a 3 island trip again! I hope his finger isn't trigger happy.

Now we are talking about going somewhere in June for 1 week and then to another place in August, but August is tricky with storms. Hummm. Any thoughts?

I do feel that we did not do justice to St. Barths, so that is high on the list to return to. And, then, don't you know it, we got an email from the GM at Oualie today asking about our trip. See....I have to go back to Nevis at some point!
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Jul 6th, 2007, 02:16 PM
  #11  
iw
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Oh, yeah, my teaching certificate expires in 3 years, so I might be exploring w/o DH. LOL
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Jul 6th, 2007, 09:23 PM
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Thanks, iw, I will keep your comments in mind. They both sound appealing. One of our favorite islands so far has been St. Barts. I hope you get a chance to go back.
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Jul 7th, 2007, 06:24 AM
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How would you compare the beaches of St. Barts to the ones in St. Kitts and Nevis?

What's the night life like in St. Barts? Quiet like Nevis?
skbfan is offline  
Jul 7th, 2007, 06:52 AM
  #14  
iw
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skbfan.....The beach where we stayed at Emeraude Plage, was ok. Saline Beach was beautiful! I did think that Saline was more beautiful than the beaches in St. Kitts and Nevis. Sorry, I feel like a traitor. Maybe it was due to the fact that Saline was undiscovered and not developed.

Night life....we did not discover it in St. Barths. We had dinner and then moved to the beach at the hotel and took our own drink, since the bar was closed. Listened to the waves.
In Nevis, we did the same thing.
In St. Kitts, we did the casino.

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