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Thread: We're coming back

  1. #1
    Oh I Like That is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Aug 2019 Katy, Tx Posts: 2

    We're coming back

    So, first off, I wish I would have known about this forum back in 2013!

    My wife and I first visited the island for our honeymoon May 2013 and absolutely fell in love. Our plan was to go back for our 5 year anniversary, but my wife got pregnant with our second, so we had to put that dream on hold. Over the past couple of years we have been talking with each other, family & friends and everyone wants us to go on vacation to an all inclusive with them, so the original anniversary trip slowly kept falling by the wayside. Now, I have done all inclusive and cruises before, but they just are not my thing. I'm not saying anything is wrong with them, but they are not my cup of tea. I like privacy, being able to do what I want at my leisure and not have the cattle call of activities and food at specific hours of the day. The more I started to research, the more I realized, these all inclusive packages(if I wanted to stay on the beach) are not any cheaper than our week in St Barts. In fact, many of them were more expensive. I spoke with my wife and we both agreed that it was time to stop worrying about everyone else and make that anniversary trip happen for ourselves!

    (2013 trip)
    I started doing research for our honeymoon back in 2011 trying to find the perfect spot for my wife and me. We are both very laid back, don't like huge crowds and just enjoy relaxing with the occasional activity here and there. Again, I was not looking for an all inclusive or any place with tons of tourist
    attractions. I also believe part of why I don't really care for the all inclusive stuff is I'm not looking to get hammered and bloated off of cheap liquor and all you can eat food. I was a chef for many years, so I love being able to explore the local cuisine and make my own food with what is available. So as I was doing my research I came across St Barts(not really having any previous knowledge of the island) and saw that the only way to get there was by puddle jumper or ferry, also, there were no cruise lines allowed. The more and more I looked into SB I knew this was the place for us!

    We stayed at Villa West Indies on Flamands Beach and it could not have been more perfect. It was very secluded, within walking distance to the beach and had a great view. Only downside was the pool was FREEZING...but after a couple glasses of wine and jumping straight in, we got used to it. Our trip may not have been as exciting to everyone else, but to us it was exactly what we wanted. We literally spent everyday exploring the beaches with a packed lunch of ham & cheese sandwiches, fruit, cheese, baguette, chips and a bottle of wine. We would lay on the beach for hours, take a dip in the ocean, move to another beach and repeat. We did break up a couple of the beach trips with a couple of excursions, but for the most part it was relaxing on the beach or by the pool. Out of the 8 days we spent there, we only went out to eat 3 times, but I loved waking my wife up with breakfast cooking and grilling dinner outside so we could eat with a perfect ocean view. Of course the worst part of going to St Barts is having to leave, but we knew we would be back and could not wait.

    (Upcoming trip May 2020)
    We are so excited! My wife and I talk all the time about how we cannot wait to go back, then we have to remind each other we still have a little over 9 months to go! We fly out/arrive on our anniversary date and are there for a full week. We wanted to stay in the same area since we loved it so much, with West Indies no longer there, so we will be staying right on the beach at Raisiniers, which looks amazing. While we are planning on doing a ton of relaxing, I think we decided we wanted to get out a little more than we did previously and try more restaurants and excursions. I'm sure a few things have changed since 2013, so I can't wait to go through the forum to do some research and see what all we have to look forward to. I am so happy I found this place!

  2. #2
    KevinS is online now
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Boston Posts: 19,549

    Re: We're coming back

    Welcome!

    There's a good flow of information here, so you'll find plenty to read between now and your trip. The next few months, the lowest of the low season, may be quiet, but things will pick up in November. If you're going to dine out more then you may find my Restaurant List, which contains days and hours of the various restaurants on the island, to be a handy reference. It also has days and hours of the various Groceries, Butchers, Wine Shops, etc. The current version is Restos20, but there will be an updated Restos21 by the time that you visit. Contained in the PDF are links to two sites where you will find menus for a number of the restaurants. https://www.sbhonline.com/forums/showthread.php/96885-Restos-20-Final

    A few random thoughts -

    If you're cooking meat at the villa then I highly recommend the butcher Boucherie Ché Yo in St Jean. He sells beautiful meat. The simplest directions that I can give is that he is about 1/4 mile straight in back of the gas station by the airport. Go in the road next to the gas station, go around the tiny rotary on the right, and go straight back. If you go past the fire station and get to the sports stadium then you missed the rotary. Turn around and go back.

    If you're cooking fish or rock lobster, the best source is the fish market, La Halle aux Poissons, which is at the entrance to Gustavia if coming from Public. Early is better, say 06:00 - 06:30. Stick to Mahi Mahi/Daurade, Tuna/Thon, and Wahoo as the best choices. There may not be a lot of English spoken, and cash Euros are best.

    You'll find that there are cruise ships visiting, but not the monsters that you'll find on St Maarten.

    If you're there on the first Sunday of the month then you'll find a street market in Gustavia on Sunday morning.

    Since Hurricane Irma, my favorite beach restaurants are gone. A new one has popped up though, Lil' Rock Beach Club on St Jean.

    You may want to consider a hike to Colombier. Park beyond the far end of Flamands and follow the trail. There is no shade and there are no services of any sort, so carry in everything that you'll need.

    If you're a boater, consider renting a Contender from Ocean Must and doing a half-day on the water in Colombier. Tie up to one of the mooring balls. If you would rather that someone else drive the boat then consider doing a sunset cruise with Jicky Marine Services.

    You'll find more traffic than in 2013, and lots of post-Irma construction. Some of it is rebuilding, much of it is new growth.

  3. #3
    Oh I Like That is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Aug 2019 Katy, Tx Posts: 2

    Thumbs up Re: We're coming back

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinS View Post
    Welcome!

    There's a good flow of information here, so you'll find plenty to read between now and your trip. The next few months, the lowest of the low season, may be quiet, but things will pick up in November. If you're going to dine out more then you may find my Restaurant List, which contains days and hours of the various restaurants on the island, to be a handy reference. It also has days and hours of the various Groceries, Butchers, Wine Shops, etc. The current version is Restos20, but there will be an updated Restos21 by the time that you visit. Contained in the PDF are links to two sites where you will find menus for a number of the restaurants. https://www.sbhonline.com/forums/showthread.php/96885-Restos-20-Final

    A few random thoughts -

    If you're cooking meat at the villa then I highly recommend the butcher Boucherie Ché Yo in St Jean. He sells beautiful meat. The simplest directions that I can give is that he is about 1/4 mile straight in back of the gas station by the airport. Go in the road next to the gas station, go around the tiny rotary on the right, and go straight back. If you go past the fire station and get to the sports stadium then you missed the rotary. Turn around and go back.

    If you're cooking fish or rock lobster, the best source is the fish market, La Halle aux Poissons, which is at the entrance to Gustavia if coming from Public. Early is better, say 06:00 - 06:30. Stick to Mahi Mahi/Daurade, Tuna/Thon, and Wahoo as the best choices. There may not be a lot of English spoken, and cash Euros are best.

    You'll find that there are cruise ships visiting, but not the monsters that you'll find on St Maarten.

    If you're there on the first Sunday of the month then you'll find a street market in Gustavia on Sunday morning.

    Since Hurricane Irma, my favorite beach restaurants are gone. A new one has popped up though, Lil' Rock Beach Club on St Jean.

    You may want to consider a hike to Colombier. Park beyond the far end of Flamands and follow the trail. There is no shade and there are no services of any sort, so carry in everything that you'll need.

    If you're a boater, consider renting a Contender from Ocean Must and doing a half-day on the water in Colombier. Tie up to one of the mooring balls. If you would rather that someone else drive the boat then consider doing a sunset cruise with Jicky Marine Services.

    You'll find more traffic than in 2013, and lots of post-Irma construction. Some of it is rebuilding, much of it is new growth.
    Wow! This is great, thank you so much! You have already made my
    life much easier. I look forward to looking up as much info as my brain can take in.

  4. #4
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 7,950

    Re: We're coming back

    Glad you are returning and appreciate the Forum. It is a great source for the up to date happenings on restaurants, events, places to stay and shops. Take a look at the 'Tips' sections- even though some of the points are old they are still very informative on places to hike- how to access them, boat rentals and where to go and what to do on them and much more.

  5. #5
    bkeats is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2010 Nuevo York Posts: 597

    Re: We're coming back

    Welcome Oh!

    We discovered St Barts on our honeymoon too. Though I did no research at all. All the planning was done by that extinct species known as a travel agent.

    Lots of information available here. You need to get to the fair isle more often. We have been coming about once a year for a while though I was told recently by a regular that we need to make it at least twice a year event. Trying to take that advice and plan another trip for this year. Once you're hooked, it's a hard habit to break.

  6. #6
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 25,290

    Re: We're coming back

    Quote Originally Posted by bkeats View Post

    Lots of information available here. You need to get to the fair isle more often. We have been coming about once a year for a while though I was told recently by a regular that we need to make it at least twice a year event. Trying to take that advice and plan another trip for this year. Once you're hooked, it's a hard habit to break.
    You got that right. But you are way ahead of the multitudes who have yet to find their happy place.

    I understand completely.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  7. #7
    dadto6 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2013 Northern Virginia Posts: 1,706

    Re: We're coming back

    We are hooked, and yes it is a hard habit to break. Ahhhh St. Barts!!!!!

  8. #8

    Re: We're coming back

    Our honeymoon hooked us, too, and we're working on fitting in a trip in May of 2020. Happy planning!

  9. #9
    dadto6 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2013 Northern Virginia Posts: 1,706

    Re: We're coming back

    We also have a trip booked early May. Hope our paths cross and enjoy a visit together. Happy planning!

  10. #10
    BND is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2011 Alexandria, VA Posts: 829

    Re: We're coming back

    Welcome! Glad you found your happy place too! It's an amazing island. You'll find lots of changes, but the "St Bart's attitude" remains the same.

  11. #11
    Libt is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Oct 2003 Indiana and Colombier Posts: 120

    Re: We're coming back

    I agree with Kevin on the Lil’ Rock Beach Club, oh my gosh it’s wonderful. While there in July, we had lunch there twice. There are plenty of umbrellas, the bar has a marble top and the meals are great. The waitstaff wears red and they’re adorable. I could go to Lil’ Rock every day. Reminiscent of “old St. Barth” in a great updated way. REALLY well done.
    LibT
    Colombier
    www.villakercliff.com
    www.villahautemaison.com

  12. #12
    Koops is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jan 2016 Chicago/DeKalb Illinois Posts: 25

    Re: We're coming back

    3 months out! Counting the days like a kid waiting for Santa. Sounds like SXM is close to normal, last Dec was a rough exit. I’ve been reading the forum like a stock ticker, getting the current info. Keep it coming.

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