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Thread: Any recent experiences with ホles des Saintes?

  1. #1
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106

    Any recent experiences with ホles des Saintes?

    We're thinking about extending our St. Barts trip this coming winter with some time elsewhere and ホles des Saintes seems tempting. Guadeloupe is an easy connection. The reports on SBHonline are 7 years old and range from positive to negative. From the descriptions and photos on the web, TdH looks a lot like St. Barts without the glamour. Maybe a French Bequia.

    Looking for some first hand opinions.

  2. #2
    BBT is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2008 Posts: 11,048
    Josh you may wish to read this part of a blog I follow on a young cruising couple. They were there in April. They are a unique couple he is French she is Finnish and they met in Spain and have cruised these last 3 years.

    http://www.worldtourstories.com/search/label/GUADELOUPE
    "St. Bart's is Crack for Vacations." Credit given to EDW

  3. #3
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    Josh---- so funny you posted this! Tom and I are also seriously looking at going ( have been investigating for the last year or 2). A friend of ours on SBH goes regularly, and loves it. We may make an excursion /extension with him and his wife there in November. We have heard good things..... I'm following the blog Bob mentions above, and also this one :
    http://windtravelersailing.tumblr.com/
    that's a companion site to their blog which is windtraveler.net ( I think). Anyway, she writes about Iles des Saintes, and loved it there too. Definitely in our plans..... Tom really wants to get FAR away for a bit, and an extended stay at some point not to far in the future. Would love to hear your report if you go before we do.....
    If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room :)

  4. #4
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    Found the post:

    http://www.windtraveler.net/2013/07/...caribbean.html

    "Sailing into Iles de Saintes and the protected bay of Terre de Haut is about as close to love at first site as I have ever been. It's no wonder that the Saints decided to take up residence here. Once again I am forced to wonder, does it get any better than this? As you sail across the calm azure water, the colorful little town beckons like a siren. Tucked into the vibrant green hillside, red roofs, whitewashed walls, a tiny church steeple and pastel-shuttered buildings cluster together along the shore making for an incredibly picturesque scene. In fact, walking up and down the narrow, winding streets here I kept thinking to myself, "This might just be the most photogenic little town I have ever been".


    The French are doing something right and I'm not just talking about the croissants. Strolling lazily throughout this quaint town of Terra de Haut you get the overwhelming feeling that life is pretty damn good here. Mopeds zip to and fro, people saunter by with baguettes tucked under their arms, and rusty bicycles lay - unlocked - along white picket fences. Goats and chickens roam free along the streets and little artisan shops sell everything from local art to breezy Caribbean attire. Walking around, I was reminded of a handful of beautiful places in Europe that I have travelled to years ago... It's as if the French Rivera and Amalfi Coast hooked up with the alleys of Rome and cafes of Paris and squeezed themselves ever so perfectly onto this beautiful, Caribbean Island. If I spoke French fluently, you'd probably be hard pressed to get me out of this place. As it stands, I do not speak French, and as such, going to the grocery store was a bit of a challenge. I am happy to report that "a la creme de lait" is, in fact, the 'cream cheese' I was looking for. It's always nice when that happens...certainly better than thinking you are buying pickled onions and discovering those little balls in that jar are not onions at all."

    See the link for photos.......sounds pretty nice!
    If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room :)

  5. #5
    KevinS is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Boston Posts: 19,622
    The most recent SBHOnline visitor to Les Saintes that I remember was MartinS. Look around for anything that may have been posted regarding that trip. My recollection is that your French needs to be good, plan on walking everywhere, and that the sidewalks roll up fairly early.

  6. #6
    MIke R is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Stinson Lake - New Hampshire & Provincetown - Cape Cod Posts: 52,003
    the only one who wants to go more than I - is Wendi....

    some day
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

  7. #7
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinS View Post
    The most recent SBHOnline visitor to Les Saintes that I remember was MartinS. Look around for anything that may have been posted regarding that trip. My recollection is that your French needs to be good, plan on walking everywhere, and that the sidewalks roll up fairly early.
    Yeah , I read that post a couple of years ago when we first started looking at it.....but I think it has changed a bit. The reports above from the sailing blogs are both from the past few months. It still sounds very laid back....def no Nikki Beach!!! Our friends go there to get away from everything, and just chill.....but find plenty of low key things to do there---- bars, food, etc. Another friend who lived on SBH for many years, has offered us a long- term rental home on the island.....those of you who know Tom well, know that he has been wanting to do this for quite a while. It may be too remote for me for more than a week or two or 3...... But Guadeloupe is so close! We'll see. Have to go check it out!!
    If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room :)

  8. #8
    Peter NJ is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2002 Highlands NJ Posts: 6,822
    The last of the famous international playboys

  9. #9
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106
    Thanks so much BBT, Kathy, Kevin, Mike, Peter. These reports make it seem very attractive. We have one way flights to sbh so going a bit further is not a problem.

  10. #10
    Reed is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Nantucket - St. Barth's Posts: 1,086
    Was there maybe 5 years ago on a Sea Dream Yacht Club cruise and Kona and I really liked the vibe. I have heard from a number of SBH locals that a little island called Marie Gallant?? is amazing and like SBH was 30 years ago. Would be interesting to hear if anyone has been there. kr
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  11. #11
    elgreaux is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Saint Barth Posts: 10,223
    We have been to Marie Galante and it is nothing like Saint Barth, as there are primarily sugar cane plantations that feed a few small rum distilleries such as Pere Labat and a sugar refinery. it's very pretty, hardly anyone speaks a word of English and there are very few things to do... I'd say it's a nice weekend excursion. Guadeloupe also has extremely limited English and most people speak Creole rather than French on a daily basis. There are some very beautiful places to visit and we enjoy going there but for us the language is not an issue...while it's romantic to think these places are like Saint Barth 30 years ago, believe me, they are not, for various socio-economic reasons. Guadeloupe averages 30 to 40% unemployment for starters... Island hopping on a sailboat might be the way to go...

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