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Thread: Gustavia vs St Jean

  1. #1
    Helenehassell is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Apr 2013 Mobile, AL Posts: 3

    Gustavia vs St Jean

    My husband and I will finally get back to St Barts in April. We have always stayed in St Jean but this trip we are considering a villa in Gustavia. Does anyone have any thoughts on pros and cons of this plan? I am a bit worried about construction but it seems like to would be so nice to walk to dinner. Please forgive me if this has been discussed and redirect me to the thread.

    Helene Hassell

  2. #2
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,610

    Re: Gustavia vs St Jean

    Hi Helene and welcome to the forums. You are asking about 2 entirely different venues. It seems to me that any villa in Gustavia has to be high up? There may be exceptions. Of course if you don’t want to drive, Gustavia would be the place to stay for the variety of restaurants. St Jean has the beach and a few restaurants assuming Eden Rock is open by then. Several posters here have stayed in Gustavia so they will chime in.


    Andy

  3. #3
    Tiffany is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2014 Virginia Beach, VA Posts: 631

    Re: Gustavia vs St Jean

    We stay within walking distance of Gustavia and enjoy the convenience of walking to restaurants, shops and Shell Beach. It saves a lot of time in the car. Construction noise wasn’t an issue for us.

  4. #4
    KevinS is online now
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Boston Posts: 19,620

    Re: Gustavia vs St Jean

    Consider where you will be staying in Gustavia, and your tolerance for walking the hills to get to dinner and back.

  5. #5
    elgreaux is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Saint Barth Posts: 10,223

    Re: Gustavia vs St Jean

    Quote Originally Posted by andynap View Post
    Hi Helene and welcome to the forums. You are asking about 2 entirely different venues. It seems to me that any villa in Gustavia has to be high up? There may be exceptions. Of course if you don’t want to drive, Gustavia would be the place to stay for the variety of restaurants. St Jean has the beach and a few restaurants assuming Eden Rock is open by then. Several posters here have stayed in Gustavia so they will chime in.
    Eden Rock not opening until November or December 2019... so out of the running for April... still a huge construction site...

  6. #6
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 8,072

    Re: Gustavia vs St Jean

    Since you enjoy walking and may not want the issue of parking when driving into Gustavia, we might suggest then Gustavia. It is tough though to give up the St. Jean beach but you can stroll over to Shell beach. Hope your Villa or rental can have a nice view of the harbor but as others have said you will be most likely be walking up and down some hills.

  7. #7
    Bart -my real name- is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Alexandria, VA Posts: 5,262

    Re: Gustavia vs St Jean

    If you want to try something different from St. Jean, now is the time to do it. There is a lot of construction happening right on the beach at St Jean and only a handful of places to eat. The Sand Bar, Eden Rock and the Hideaway are all closed. Pearl Beach, Nikki Beach, Le Piment and Papillion Ivre are open as is that little place in the Creole shopping area.

    I was there recently, and only spent one part of one day on St. Jean beach because of the construction noise, and the giant wooden wall that is built to hide the construction site from view.

  8. #8
    Divabella is offline
    SBH Member Joined: May 2017 New York Posts: 213

    Re: Gustavia vs St Jean

    We will be staying in Gustavia for the second time in February (this is only our 2nd trip so I have nothing to compare it to). We love the ease of walking to dinners. Yes the hill is huge (same hill as Bonito but up a bit). I swear the hills aided in not gaining any weight last year. Great sunset view too!

  9. #9
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 8,072

    Re: Gustavia vs St Jean

    Like you Divabella, we enjoy the hills! Helps to work off the flavored rums and soufflés!

  10. #10
    Eve is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2008 Boston Posts: 8,036

    Re: Gustavia vs St Jean

    We stayed in St Jean for years and some trips never got to Gustavia.
    So we alternate locales, or just stay at the Sunset Hotel for a Gustavia fix.

  11. #11

    Re: Gustavia vs St Jean

    We stayed in Gustavia for 4 years in a row because the evenings are so easy and pleasant with many options within walking distance. The construction noise was an issue for us in 2017 so we stayed on the hill above St Jean last year. We found it to be much more quiet during the day. The beach at St Jean is not back to its best, but the sand and the water are still beautiful. Looking forward to our return to St Jean this year.

  12. #12
    cderekg72 is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jun 2005 Stamford, CT Posts: 19

    Re: Gustavia vs St Jean

    We split our two weeks the last three times we've been to the island (and are doing the same this year)-- a week in Gustavia, and then a week somewhere else on the island (usually quieter). I love having the time in Gustavia-- as others have noted, being able to walk everywhere is really wonderful. I suggest you try it once, because it is a great way to experience St. Barth. The noise can be a bit much, but I live in the NYC metro area, and I'm used to 'city noise' so it doesn't bother me that much.

  13. #13
    Jim A is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jan 2017 NY Posts: 288

    Re: Gustavia vs St Jean

    Quote Originally Posted by cderekg72 View Post
    We split our two weeks the last three times we've been to the island (and are doing the same this year)-- a week in Gustavia, and then a week somewhere else on the island (usually quieter). I love having the time in Gustavia-- as others have noted, being able to walk everywhere is really wonderful. I suggest you try it once, because it is a great way to experience St. Barth. The noise can be a bit much, but I live in the NYC metro area, and I'm used to 'city noise' so it doesn't bother me that much.
    I've never stayed long enough to split my stay and don't like the idea of packing up and moving BUT I am very intrigued by the idea of splitting the stay with part of the time in Gustavia. The one thing I wish were a little different about St Barths is the cab situation. I know I'll get killed for this comment, but I wish Uber were in St Barths. It would be nice to be able to have that extra drink (or two) and not have to worry about driving or deal with the hassle (or cost) of pre-arranging one of the limited cabs. I guess there are so many great places in Gustavia that splitting the stay and dedicating those nights to the Gustavia spots could work out nicely and still leave time to stay on a different part of the Island which we so enjoy. Maybe we'll try down the road when we can stay longer.

  14. #14
    tom is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Oct 2002 St. Louis, Missouri USA Posts: 117

    Re: Gustavia vs St Jean

    W e have split two week trips between St B and Anquilla which are two totally different islands but both great in their own right.
    tom

  15. #15
    Hawke is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2011 Posts: 674

    Re: Gustavia vs St Jean

    We split a vacation between St. Barts and Anguilla about 8 years ago. Sand on Anguillas north beaches are amazing, however the views you get on St. Barts are nonexistent. We were enjoying Anguilla until the window on our rental car was smashed and we lost some items. Never have felt unsafe on St. Barts.

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