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Thread: Weekend on Saba

  1. #1
    phil62 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2005 Glen Cove, NY Posts: 6,063

    Weekend on Saba

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    In January, Winair announced limited direct flights from St Barth to Saba. The schedule is to leave SBH at 9:30 AM on Friday, and return at 5:30 PM on Sunday, giving you 3 full days on the Island. The flight only takes 15 minutes, and the landing on Saba is quite interesting because the runway is only about 1100 feet compared to about 2000 feet on SBH.

    We were joined on our adventure by Rosita and Jean-Paul, their friend Charlie who just built a house on the Island, and our taxi driver, Wayne, who instantly became our new best friend, and transported us all around the Island.

    We stayed at the Queen's Gardens Resort, which sits at an elevation of about 1200 feet. I found a 2 night package on their website that included a 2 room suite with a Jacuzzi, airport transfers, full Breakfast, and a massage. The ambiance was extremely nice, the staff was great, including a bartender who boasted that he poured 27 different Gins from around the world. We did our best to sample them all, but sadly ran out of time. One caution, though, if you don't like, or have trouble with steps, this is not the place to go. Our room was about 4 flights up from the restaurant deck.

    Saba is shaped like a volcanic cone. There are very few spots that are level and the roads twist and turn as they wind their way up and down the mountain. Driving there is definitely not for the feint of heart. BTW, the roads were actually hand built by the inhabitants after Dutch engineers said it couldn't be done. It took over 40 years to complete the entire system, and now the Dutch government is pitching in by re-surfacing some of the oldest sections.

    The Island itself is very peaceful and quiet, and we found the entire experience very relaxing. Winair says that they will keep the current direct flights until April or May, and then evaluate to see if it makes financial sense to continue. We hope they do and would not hesitate to make the trip again next year.

    I put a little slideshow together. Click here to see it.

    Phil

  2. #2
    KevinS is online now
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Boston Posts: 19,605

    Re: Weekend on Saba

    It sounds wonderful, and the photos are great. The 4 flights of stairs, not so much.

    Nicely done!

  3. #3
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 25,382

    Re: Weekend on Saba

    There are other hotels and inns on Saba. Phil really picked a winner when he chose Queen's Gardens.. Our request for a king size bed and jacuzzi and VIEW, got us to a room on the upper floors. There are rooms not as many flights up, but most rooms require climbing steps.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  4. #4
    GMP62 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2015 Martinsville, NJ Posts: 1,396

    Re: Weekend on Saba

    What a lovely weekend you all had! Saba looks so quaint and inviting...loved the photos. Thanks for sharing your excursion with us all!

  5. #5
    cec1 is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,204

    Re: Weekend on Saba

    Sounds charming . . . with pictures to prove it! Thanks for the Trip Report! An annual return also sounds like a good idea (next year -- restaurant reviews!).

    I landed on Saba one time . . . probably about 1983. It was a WinAir flight in a four passenger plane . . . taking me to San Juan after WinAir had cancelled me out of three prior flights to St. Maarten (the object was to catch-up with my Eastern Airline departure from SJU to JFK). One other passenger was a very young "backpacker," whom we dropped on Saba. I clearly recall both the landing and takeoff . . . the latter being even more exciting than the former. As we left the end of the runway -- at a cliff -- there was a sudden, momentary drop of the plane toward the sea. Sitting next to the pilot, he had warned me to "hold on!" Never to be forgotten!

  6. #6
    phil62 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2005 Glen Cove, NY Posts: 6,063

    Re: Weekend on Saba

    Quote Originally Posted by cec1 View Post
    Sounds charming . . . with pictures to prove it! Thanks for the Trip Report! An annual return also sounds like a good idea (next year -- restaurant reviews!).

    I landed on Saba one time . . . probably about 1983. It was a WinAir flight in a four passenger plane . . . taking me to San Juan after WinAir had cancelled me out of three prior flights to St. Maarten (the object was to catch-up with my Eastern Airline departure from SJU to JFK). One other passenger was a very young "backpacker," whom we dropped on Saba. I clearly recall both the landing and takeoff . . . the latter being even more exciting than the former. As we left the end of the runway -- at a cliff -- there was a sudden, momentary drop of the plane toward the sea. Sitting next to the pilot, he had warned me to "hold on!" Never to be forgotten!
    The food was surprisingly good. First night at our hotel, I had a grilled lobster which was quite good. There was a limited menu, but enough choice so that everyone found something. No complaints, and all plates went back to the kitchen clean. Each morning I enjoyed a full American Breakfast that included eggs, bacon, sausages, juice, coffee, and toast. Also offered was an English Breakfast that featured Eggs Benedict, plus everything else.

    We went to the hotels sister French restaurant the second night, and that was quite good as well. I opted for steak [big surprise], but the menu was fairly diverse, and once again, everyone found something that they enjoyed.

    Overall, the food was not SBH caliber but was non the less enjoyable and satisfying.

    Phil

  7. #7
    kent1994 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2004 Pennsylvania Posts: 1,848

    Re: Weekend on Saba

    Thanks for sharing Amy and Phil. Loved the photos!

  8. #8
    ShariLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Nov 2004 Maine Posts: 22

    Re: Weekend on Saba

    Thanks for sharing. Looks like a great little adventure!

  9. #9
    marybeth is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2004 Pittsburgh, PA Posts: 3,285

    Re: Weekend on Saba

    Beautiful pictures and it sounds like a lovely trip. Thanks for sharing.

  10. #10
    julianne is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2003 CT Posts: 3,082

    Re: Weekend on Saba

    Thanks, Phil. Great slide show. Looks as if you were "on top of the world"!

  11. #11
    tim is offline
    Moderator Joined: Jun 2003 Vélo, Virginia Posts: 16,823

    Re: Weekend on Saba

    Thanks for the trip report. Saba is a place I've always wanted to visit. I did land there by "mistake" one time, and it was quite an experience.
    The best moderation is the least moderation.

  12. #12
    Peter NJ is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2002 Highlands NJ Posts: 6,822

    Re: Weekend on Saba

    Looks amazing thanks for sharing
    The last of the famous international playboys

  13. #13
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 25,382

    Re: Weekend on Saba

    Peter, it was a wonderful excursion. If Winnair offers the direct flight next year, we would do it again. Delightful change of scene.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  14. #14
    BND is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2011 Alexandria, VA Posts: 833

    Re: Weekend on Saba

    Phil and Amy! Obviously you two had a delightful experience--made all the better with Rosita and Jean-Paul as traveling companions. And, thanks for posting the slideshow. It would be a fun trip to make this summer if Winnair still offers the direct flights.

  15. #15
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 25,382

    Re: Weekend on Saba

    It was the direct flight that made it doable. A fun side trip to a charming destination.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

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