St Barts

In March 2006 we went to the island of St Barts in the French West Indies.   St Barts is owned by France, and actually regarded as being part of France.  There were never any plantations on St Barts, so there were no slaves or black population.  Everyone in St Barts is French, which they speak with an old fashioned Normandy accent.  (Not that we could tell, of course).

St Barts is difficult to get to from California - you fly to New York, then the Dutch/French island of St Maarten, then a six-seater plane to St Barts, which lands almost on the beach.  From the UK you would fly to Antigua, then St Maarten the next day, then the small plane to St Barts.   For these reasons, most visitors to St Barts are from France and the eastern part of the United States.  Many of the visitors we met go back every year.

There are many terrific hotels and restaurants in St Barts, and we visited several of them.

St Barts (St Barth) is a small island in the French West Indies. It is a 'departement' of France, so everyone speaks French, and they use the Euro.

We stayed at the St Barth Isle de France, an excellent beachfront hotel.

The hotel is British and French owned, and we had a room in the much-preferred main building.

A great restaurant and bar, open to the beach.

Many people had lunch outside on the deck.

There is shady seating by the pool, and direct access to the beach.

Like much of the West Indies, the water is blue/green and very clear.

We rented a small Suzuki jeep, and often visited the town of Gustavia, for shops and restaurants.

We also visited several other hotels. This is the Nikki Beach club, from the Eden Rock Hotel.

Hotel Le Toiny, Brad Pitt and Jen stayed there!

St Barts has terrific beaches and scenery.

Getting pretty suntanned here!

The well-regarded 'On The Rocks' beachfront restaurant of the Eden Rock hotel.

Gustavia harbor, from the Carl Gustav hotel.

The 'St Barts Bucket' yachting event was on while we were there.

Many big racing yachts were in St Barts - mostly American and British.

I used to sail with friends as a boy, but never on yachts like this!

Gustavia has a very nice natural harbor.

In the town is a famous inexpensive bar and cafe called Le Select, a favorite of Jimmy Buffet. It was full of yacht crews on our trip, so we couldn't get in!

Always good to find a nice spot to read!

The flight back to St Maarten was in a tiny six-seater plane.

You can talk to the pilot, and he sticks his elbow out of the window!

Bit different to a 747, eh?

Some interesting views of St Barts from the plane - that's our hotel on the bay.