St Barts or Anguilla

Old Feb 19th, 2011, 11:31 AM
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St Barts or Anguilla

Hoping to finally make a trip this May for some much needed island time.... debating Anguilla or St Barts. My husband and I have been to Anguilla, so we know how amazing it is. We're thinking St Barts might be nice for somewhere new... we love French cuisine and were debating a trip back to Paris, but want to do more relaxing, so decided on tropical. So I'm wondering how the beaches compare on St Barts to Anguilla. Are they as beautiful? Are they as quiet? How easy/hard is it to get around St Barts via rental car? Anyone been to both that can help me compare?

Thanks!
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Old Feb 19th, 2011, 11:32 AM
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I should add: 4 adults... early 30s... no children. Thanks!
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Old Feb 19th, 2011, 06:48 PM
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We have been to both a number of times. St Barts is gorgeous and hilly but the beaches in no way compare to Anguilla's 33 gorgeous beaches. It's not bad to drive around but we just prefer Anguilla because of the beaches, the people, and the food. Much more of an island vibe.
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Old Feb 19th, 2011, 09:38 PM
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Anguilla is fantastic, as you know. So is St. Bart's---but for different reasons. St. Bart's is "top of the line" extremely expensive, but you will feel like "somebody" on this island.

Anguilla beaches (as a reference, we stayed on Shoal Bay East and loved it) are pristine, and we loved the "high-end" restaurants. But there is just something about St. Bart's. Many pocket beaches,short, but spectacular.

The restaurants are "very French" as is the shopping. The driving is hilly, and easy. The yachts in Gustavia----perfection!

Now the French side of St. Martin has the food, but not the class.

So my take on it----you've been to Anguilla, try St. Bart's, but be ready for "sticker shock". As I've said before on this site---sometimes it is better to fly a short time with the eagles instead of living a lifetime with the sparrows.
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Old Feb 20th, 2011, 07:06 AM
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thanks for these replies so far. i was thinking the photos of the beaches didn't look quite as pristine (i am a sucker for the water in anguilla that looks as clear as a pool!), but i do love the sounds of some of the villages in st barts with better shopping. also like the hills... seems tropical in a different kind of way than flat anguilla.

here's another question: flight vs boat/ferry from SXM to st barts? we loved taking a private charter boat (shared with other people from our hotel) from anguilla to SXM. but the boat option to st barts seems much longer. i also HATE tiny planes (read: panic attack) but would rather suffer on a short flight than be on a horrible ferry/boat for longer. any thoughts on that?

thanks!
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Old Feb 20th, 2011, 07:10 AM
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I've been to both and I agree with everything TPAYT says. If you've been to France and like the culture then I'm sure you will enjoy St. Barts. It's France in the tropics.

It's a hilly island but the driving is easy. It's French so you drive on the right.

We are happy on St. Jean beach so we don't do much beach hopping but there are wonderful, quiet beaches around the island. If you like exploring then you'll enjoy finding them. Here is some info on the beaches, along with pictures:

http://www.sbhonline.com/St-Barts-bb...php?tid/20116/

The food is great on both islands. It's very expensive on St. Barts but you can certainly find some low prices at places like Andy's Hideaway (St. Jean) or Le Select (Gustavia).

St. Barts is expensive so you should be ready for that. One way to dramatically cut your costs is by staying in a villa. There are really nice villas, most with swimming pools, all over the island. And with two couples sharing it is much more affordable than hotels.

I love both Anguilla and St. Barts but they're very different. The next time we choose between the two we'll be heading to St. Barts.
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Old Feb 20th, 2011, 12:48 PM
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I think the flight from SXM is something like 13 minutes so you're on and off before you know it. You may have heard that it's a scary landing. I didn't find that to be true but I'm not an overly nervous flyer.

The sea passage can be quite rough and the ferry has the unfortunate nickname of the vomit comet. I don't know how accurate that might be. We did take a day trip once from St. Martin to St. Barts but we were on a chartered fast boat and I didn't have any problems and I am prone to seasickness.

An advantage to chartering a boat is that you can leave the airport and be on the boat in a matter of minutes. You might have to wait for a flight.
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Old Feb 20th, 2011, 09:09 PM
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They are both wonderful islands but very different in nature. Since you've been to Anguilla, give St. Barts a try. You'll need a car in both as you're probably aware, and yes, St. B is very hilly.

The short flight to SBX is a roller-coaster adventure with everything you've said that scares you but I think its worth it. We've taken the catamaran several times and the outbound journey has resulted in people retching overboard everytime. Perhaps a speedboat if you can get one might be a calmer option.

In case you'd be looking for nightlife, you may not find much in May on an already quiet island to begin with. Drive to St. Jean and Gustavia and go late (after 10.00pm) as thats when things start hopping, if at all.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 11:59 AM
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 06:59 PM
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No, not completely mad.
Just because the jet set (and wannabes) come to party doesn't mean they're chillin' with the rest of the world. We've seen up and down nightlife in Gustavia and St. Jean in March and April, better experiences in June, late Sept/Oct and Nov. Depends who and what fancy boats are in dock and whether the jet set are partying publicly or privately. Some nights the bars can be a snooze, other times packed and Bohemian.
O'Corner, Strand, Le Feeling come to mind for a good time.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 03:59 AM
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Have you considered a split? That way you try something new, yet get those gorgeous Anguilla beaches. It's doable to get from Anguilla to St. Barth, or even split it with St. Martin.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 08:53 AM
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I would I sure love to be in your shoes!! Anguilla or St. Barts? My two favourite islands. You have been well advised not to take a boat from SXM to St. Bart's. It's too long and rough. St. Bart's is gorgeous in its own way, very different from Anguilla but you still will feel very comfortable. Don't miss! The fabulous wealthy who can afford their own yachts and could go anywhere seem to beat a path between St. Bart's and Anguilla.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 11:37 AM
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Mathieu, you haven't been for a while,

The O'Corner is now L'Isola, a very nice Italian restaurant, and Le Feeling has gone through several identity changes from the Hot Spot to The St Barts Pub.

St Jean has always been livlier than Gustavia, La Plage, Nikki Beach, even Le Piment, the Z bar and Andy's Hideaway. Even live music at Kikiémo.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 04:03 PM
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True dat, JR - it has been a couple of years, but will be making up for lost time in April. Thanks for the updates. (Is the Christopher Hotel in Point Pilou still chugging away ?)

Saba is on target for a hike up Mt. Scenery, then possibly 2 days on SBH and the rest on SXM to deal with some business.

M
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