St. Barths - Pricey or Outragously Expensive?

Nov 27th, 2000, 05:58 PM
  #1  
Kristen
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St. Barths - Pricey or Outragously Expensive?

My fiance and I are planning our honeymoon. Although St. Barts seems to have everything we want - small resorts, beautiful beaches, little commercialism..., we are concerned about how everyone comments on how expensive the island is. We are looking to have a nice honeymoon, however we just bought a house and are putting our money into that.
We were looking at villas that seem affordable off season (we are going in July). Is it true that we can plan to spend $20 for a salad a lunch? Are there any moderately priced restaurants? We aren't lobster and cavier people. Please tell me we can visit this paradise without breaking the bank! Thank you for your help!
 
Nov 27th, 2000, 07:47 PM
  #2  
Tim
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I too am looking into St. Bart's in July for a honeymoon. Is it true that many restaurants are closed that time of the year? How does the island compare to St. John or Virgin Gorda(the other places we are considering)in beaches, snorkeling, activities, etc...? Any info would be great. Thanks.
 
Nov 28th, 2000, 05:25 AM
  #3  
John
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St Barts can be outrageously expensive if you want or reasonable. Remember the locals have to eat too and they can't afford the high end restaurants. There are take out eateries and small unpretentious places where you can eat well, maybe not with the same atmosphere, for say $10 -20 each.
To compare to other islands, the beaches are gorgeous but the snorkling is not as good as elsewhere. The island is mountainous with beautiful views but is mainly arid. Water sports are available in St Jean Bay and Petit Cul de Sac.
 
Nov 28th, 2000, 09:21 AM
  #4  
BillK
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Ahhhh but what a salad!!!!!!!
 
Nov 30th, 2000, 05:11 AM
  #5  
Nicole
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Hi,

I have been going to St Barths for about 15 years. It is very expensive however there are ways to really get around it. Have you looked into renting a villa? It is really a good way to go. Much prettier than the hotels and you can realy pick where you want to stay on the island. You can get a villa with a pool, flights and a car for about $3K. You do need to hit the airfare on sale, but we have never spent more that $550 for air and fly out of Baltimore. It can be done. Another great thing about renting a villa is that you can eat in. Sounds a little boring at first but there are so many great take out places an they have everything from quiche, to roasted chicken to fresh bread, the best rice dish and pizza to die for and of course the DESERTS!!!! Get a nice bottle of wine and have your own private candle lit dinner for two over looking the ocean. Almost all villas have a spectacular view of the ocean, much better thatn in a hotel! We usually go out for a full fledged dinner about 3-4 times during the week. There are two great bars in downtown Gustavia that you can have cocktails at, watch the sunset and then go home, still gets you out but you save a little cash. As far as restraunts are concerned, they are all fantastic!! You can expect to pay at $100+ for two for dinner. But worth every penny!!! The best food we have ever had in our entire lives. Our favorite restraunt is Mayas! Great husband and wife team. The wife is the chef and the maitre de is the husband. It is right on the ocean and sooo romantic! For villa rentals there are two great companies. WIMCO, a bit pricy and St Barts properties. If you look on their websites you can see pictures of the villas. One cool thing about St Barts properties is that you are not only limited to the one bedroom villa. They can price you 2 and 3 bedrooms for two people too. Meaning they close up the other bedrooms and allow you in the master. The villas also have daily maid service and a pool man comes once a week. As far as off season, it really only occurs in the fall so you are fine in July.

Well, I am rambling, feel free to email me with any questions, I would be more than happy to tell you which areas are the best to stay. One more thing, the villa companies can arrange food and liquor, wine packages for you so when you get to your villa there is no need to shop for the first day. Very Nice!!!!!
 
Nov 30th, 2000, 06:39 AM
  #6  
Tim
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Great information! Thanks Nicole and John. Nicole, you mentioned you can give tips on the best areas on the island to stay. It would be nice to be near a beach but not necessary if it is easy to drive to the beaches. Any tips?
 
Nov 30th, 2000, 07:46 AM
  #7  
nicole
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Tim,

Most or almost all of the villas to be rented as well as the nicer hotels are not on the beach. The reason being , the best spots are cliffside for optimum winds and views. You almost never have to use you AC which is soo nice. Just leave your bedroom doors open and let the winds come through. Another thing that is wonderful, you will not have a key to your villa, in fact most villas do not have front doors. The villas are usually set up bungalow style, meaning each room is an entity onto itself and that way faces the ocean for the best views!!! You can stay on the beach, but I would not recommend it for three reasons. It can get buggy at night, the winds are not as good on the shore and it will only take you 30 minutes to drive around the entire island, meaning every beach is within a 5 minute car ride. And you will need a car, the mountains are almost impossible to navigate by walking, it can be done and is actually a fantastic workout in the morning but GET A CAR!

As for which places to stay, Pointe Milou, Colombier, St Jean, and my personal favorite Mont Jean. If you can spend a little extra $$ this is THE PLACE!!! It is a private road and has the most absolute view in the world. Colombier is another favorite.

I hope this helps. When are you getting married? If is is not in high season, you can almost always get a car thrown in with the deal.
 
Nov 30th, 2000, 08:27 AM
  #8  
R. Bailey
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St. Bart's doesn't have to be ultra-expensive off-season, even at a hotel. We stay at Village St. Jean hotel at a reasonable rate - not luxurious, but nice and well run; also has a kitchen so you can save on breakfasts or lunches if you want. There are also some affordable restaurants, especially if you are careful about appetizers and deserts. You can find a $20 salad lunch, but you don't have to.
 
Nov 30th, 2000, 10:15 AM
  #9  
BillK
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The best thing about St Barths is you get value for your money If you pay $100 - $150 for dinner you won't feel ripped off if you pay $300 you won't feel ripped off and if you grab a cheeseburger and a beer at Le select for $20 you won't feel ripped off. Three beaches I would recommend are Saline (a must), Flammands (opposite end of the island view of St Martin) and St Jean the most popular. Three restaurants Paradisio (Bernard and Alain are great hosts) Mayas (the jet set) and depending on your budget Bou Bous -reasonable or Lafayette Club -expensive - both for lunch, they're side by side in Grand cul de sac.
 
Dec 4th, 2000, 05:34 AM
  #10  
Tim
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Thank you all for the great information. This will with out a doubt help us choose a July honeymoon spot.
 
Dec 5th, 2000, 11:11 AM
  #11  
gail
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Kristen, I was on St. Barths a few years ago and thought it was very expensive for what we got and we suposedly had a good deal. I would never recommend it to a budget since you have more priorities at home. St. Barth is beautiful but we got a room in the Petit Cul de Sac area and to be honest it looked like a HOJO reject room. The cost was over $300 a night.
Also be very careful of using the phone from there I made that mistake and it cost me ALOT.

If you want a nice place to go, that is wonderful, great views of the ocean and easy to get to try, Compas Point on Nassau, Bahamas, or go to Harbour Island one of the outislands. Try this website for info www.romorabay.com or www.coralsands.com We stay at a small resort there that is so beautiful only 10 rooms and I have recommended it to several other people who have raved about the place. Great food there too.

If you need any other info, please let me know.

gail
 
Dec 23rd, 2000, 02:56 PM
  #12  
Paul
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Yes, there are moderately-priced restaurants. Most of them will be somewhere close to the harbor in Gustavia, a few more are near Plage St. Jean. We're talking very casual places.

A good way to keep your average meal cost down in St. Barts is to stay in a villa or a bungalow with a kitchenette.
You can stock up anything you might want or need at the Match supermarket just across from the airport. There are also a couple of great french bakeries on the island where you can pick up baguettes, croissants and lots of other goodies for breakfast. If you do that, it won't feel so painful when you do decide to splurge a little on a lunch or dinner.
 
Dec 27th, 2000, 10:03 AM
  #13  
cher4travel
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Kristen...my husband and I rented a house on St. Barts four years ago, and it was wonderful. We purchased groceries at store across from airport and did alot of cooking in. I was wonderful to feel paradise all around you when sitting outside, with the warm tropical breezes everywhere. The carribean is expensive, however, we believe you can save money by cooking in and eating out a couple times a week. All in all, the only way to go is rent a villa, relax, and have a wonderful home away from home. Congradulations, and best wishes in St. Barts. and yes, you can spend an easy $20 for a salad..possibly more!! Good luck.
 
Jan 5th, 2001, 04:36 PM
  #14  
julie
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St. Barths can be expensive, however we were able to find some good deals on hotel packages through wimco.com.
Especially since you are going off season. Good luck and congrats on your wedding.
 
Jan 15th, 2001, 04:53 PM
  #15  
Ashley
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We went there for our honeymoon in May 2000, and it was absolutely fabulous. The best of the Carribean in my opinion. Everyone's comments seem accurate- you can find less expensive meals. We really splurged for our honeymoon and stayed at Hotel Isle de France on Flamands, and a can of coke cost $4, which we didn't realize until we got the week's room charges. But- all of the natives are extremely nice. Driving is the best- really fun! You must rent a jeep. We went to Bou Bous twice for lunch. And I recommend La Langouste. Make sure you see Grande Saline Beach- breathtaking!
 
Jan 16th, 2001, 10:14 AM
  #16  
SR
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For a great hotel that is a 5 minute walk to St. Jean Beach, and is cheap- call Village St. Jean. Rent a "Cottage Terrace" for $150 (approx) a night and you'll have a 1 bedroom villa type room with a kitchenette, outdoor sitting area and a view of the water. TO save $$ on food, pick up breakfast at the super market across from the airport (great french bread/pastries) and hit Kiki A Mo Mo for $10 per person lunch (also 5 minute walk from hotel). Another benefit of Village St. Jean is that is run like a hotel- you have a villa, but there is a staff when you need it.
 

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