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First stay on SBH

Boston...
posts: 115
reviews: 2
First stay on SBH

Although I remain a big Anguilla fan, I am thinking of trying St. Bart's in November.

I like the look and convenience of St Jean and am checking out Les Islets de la Plage and Hotel Emeraude Plage. Do any of you have thoughts about these? I know Eden Rock is right there, but it seems a bit expensive for what I want for this trip. Les Islets is sold out for the specific time I wanted to go, but I could rearrange things if it is that much better. Are there other places I should be considering?

On Anguilla, I like Mead's Bay for walking and because of the restaurants. I've stayed at Cusinart, Cap J, Carimar and Turtle's Nest and hope to find something on St. B that will provide a similar (but different) experience. (Maybe not quite Cap Juluca.)

I originally posted this on the AXA forum and got some good feedback, but they also suggested I post here as well. I'd love to hear about your experiences with the hotels, walkable restaurants and shops in the area as well as any tips you can share.

Thanks in advance.

10 replies to this topic
Pittsburgh...
Destination Expert
for St Barthelemy
posts: 1,295
reviews: 15
1. Re: First stay on SBH

Two caveats before posting...I haven't been to Anguilla (yet) so can't compare the islands and I haven't stayed in either hotels...

That being said, I don't think there are significant differences between the two properties to warrant changing dates unless you want a pool. Otherwise, they are on the same beach, convenient to all of St Jean and have similar amenities. Some other places you may consider are Villages St Barth which is above St Jean, or maybe a villa. One of the reasons we keep going back to St Barth is the wide range of private villas available. We have become additcted to the privacy of having our own place. If this is something you would consider, post back or do a search of the forum for agency recs.

Otherwise, the best advice I have is RENT A CAR! I cannot overstate how critical this is to truly experiencing. SBH. And while St Jean has shopping and restaurants, you should not miss Gustavia, the pristine, undeveloped beaches and amazing vistas while cruising around the island. Not to mention that many great restaurants (Santa Fe, L'Espirit, Maya's) will require a car.

Daffy and Tilly on the AXA forum both offer good advice on visiting St Barth, and I think they will agree when I say if you love Anguilla you will also enjoy SBH. But they are different, and should be enjoyed as such.

Oxford, United...
Destination Expert
for St Barthelemy
posts: 754
reviews: 283
2. Re: First stay on SBH

Hello Andrew

I like both Anguilla and St Barths, but prefer St Barths !

I agree with mamiesgirl that a car is essential on St Barths as there is a lot to see and driving is the only practical way to see the beaches, go to some of the excellent restaurants and see both St Jean and Gustavia.

From the hotels in St Jean I would choose Ilets ( I have posted a review ). However, if I couldn't stay there I would have no worries with staying at Emmeraude Plage. You could also consider Tom Beach, which is also on St Jean Beach and also has a restaurant ( which Ilets and Emmeraude Plage don't ) if that is important to you ! Also, St Jean has far more options than Meads Bay, so much so it doesn't really compare

All three hotels are small, no more than 20 rooms at most so not comparable to Cusinart or CJ. The equivalent hotels on St Barths would be Isle de France, Le Toiny, Christopher and Guanahani ( which are in relatively isolated locations ) plus of course, Eden Rock.

Staying in a Villa is also very popular on St Barths, and the supermarkets are far superior to those on Anguilla. There is a much better range of food, better value wines and the quality of breads, croissants, pastries etc is in a different league compared to Anguilla ( Geraud's and Le Bon Pain are really inferior in comparison to what is available in U Marche or any of the bakeries on the Island )

Don't be put of by stories of how expensive St Barths is. You can spend lots of money if you wish, but there are also plenty of cheaper options too. Actually, my daily budget for St Barths is lower than for Anguilla.

Hope this helps

columbus
posts: 979
reviews: 11
3. Re: First stay on SBH

Hello, Andrew...I have stayed at both properties and hands-down would choose Ilets. The "rooms" are actually stand alone cottages/mini-villas as opposed to connected rooms at Emeraude. There is zero road noise and only guests have access to the connecting road. The kitchens are clean and modern and indoors, not the case at Emeraude. Also, you have a living room, again, not the case at Emeraude (although you do have an outdoor patio, but no privacy). The pool area at Ilets is lovely. There is also access to a shared BBQ grill if you would like to enjoy some steaks in one night. The only "plus" I would give Emeraude is they do have a private bar/resto and serve a very nice breakfast and lunch for guests (menu service/additional cost added to bill). Good luck planning your trip. Feel free to PM if you have any additional questions about the properties. B

Atlanta,GA
posts: 197
reviews: 1
4. Re: First stay on SBH

Andrew.

Fact: after you visit St Barts----you will never return to Anguilla....let us know.

St Barts has finer, more sophisticated dining, gorgeous beaches and views (Anguilla is perfectly flat) along with a sexier Euro/French atmosphere much more like the South of France than Caribbean.

Regarding the places you mention we've stayed at both prior to becoming confirmed "villa people", since we enjoy the privacy and hillside views---with fewer bugs, too.

Of the ones you list I would pick Les Islets with one exception other than the lack of privacy, which is noise from the airport since you are right at the end of the runway.

St Jean Beach is the most developed and commercial on the island----OK for an afternoon lunch at LaPlage perhaps, but other beaches are far prettier in our opinion with Flamands being a favorite. Also, check to see if the sand is washed out near the end of the beach where the bungalows are located.

Have a great trip!

Edited: 9:01 pm, September 04, 2013
Boston...
posts: 115
reviews: 2
5. Re: First stay on SBH

Thanks very much for all of the thoughtful responses. I ended up booking Emeraude Plage as the breach front rooms at Les Islets were unavailable and I really wanted to be close to the water. I will definitely check out that hotel (for next time)!

So, about Emeraude Plage: are the kitchens equipped with cookware and dishes? Do the bathrooms come with toiletries? Insect spray? What else should I consider bringing with me? I know I can get food/wine at the grocery store on SBH.

Again, thanks.

Oxford, United...
Destination Expert
for St Barthelemy
posts: 754
reviews: 283
6. Re: First stay on SBH

The kitchens will be fully equipped, and if there is anything in particular not there I am sure it will be provided if you ask ! Also, I would be astonished if toiletries were not provided

All the rooms I have stayed in on the Island have come with insect spray, but if not you can buy it at the supermarket.

The only thing we bring to St Barths are tea bags. Everything else we need can be obtained on the Island

NY
posts: 645
7. Re: First stay on SBH

Let us know what you think of Saint Barth versus Anguilla. I am very curious. I have been going to Saint Barth for years and Anguilla is the one island that tempts me to try something else. And I have come across people who prefer it to Saint Barth, as I have come across people who prefer Saint Barth. Many on this forum would be curious to get a run down of pluses and minuses of both islands.

columbus
posts: 979
reviews: 11
8. Re: First stay on SBH

Andrew, the outdoor kitchen space at EP consists of a one or two burner plate, a sink, and a 3/4 size fridge. A few plates, bowls, coffee cups and frying pan. There is a coffee maker, bring your own cone-paper filters (or you can purchase, not provided) or filter packs of coffee. There are no pantry items (S&P, oil, spices, etc.) provided. I usually enjoy making one or two hot meals in SBH, but I found the kitchen at EP lacking for this. A word of caution, use the fridge for storing everything, chips, snacks, etc, or you will have visitors! B

Oxford, United...
Destination Expert
for St Barthelemy
posts: 754
reviews: 283
9. Re: First stay on SBH

As I said earlier, I like both St Barths and Anguilla and usually visit both during the same holiday ( so it is not a fact that you would never visit Anguilla again after visiting St Barths ! ). However, if I could only visit one it would be St Barths.

At the risk of a gross simplification, the difference between the two is the difference between France and the Caribbean......

The plus points for Anguilla in my opinion are that there are usually less people around so it can be more relaxing, less traffic, the beaches mostly deserted etc. All the nice beaches on Anguilla have facilities ie a bar, chairs/umbrellas can be hired ( unlike Colombier, Saline, Gouverneur etc ). The beaches are just as nice as St Barths and the fine dining just as good if not better. I am very happy with the hotel we stay at on Anguilla.

The general standard of living is much higher on St Barths. The supermarkets are much superior, all roads are paved, there are many more places to shop ( and better quality ), it is efficient rather than Island Time, there is no crime ( not that I have ever felt unsafe on Anguilla )

Anguilla is flat, St Barths has many hills/mountains so Anguilla is easier to drive on ( albeit on the other side of the road to the US ). Mrs FB2000 drives on St Barths, I drive on Anguilla !

Coming back to the comment from JaneyM, one of the things I like about Les Ilets is the privacy ! If the concern is the noise from the aircraft, then this would be the same for Emmeraude Plage and Tom Beach ( and even Eden Rock ). Personally this is not an issue for me, there are no flights after dark, the aircraft are small propeller types, and I quiet enjoy watching them, especially when they land over St Jean Beach ! If aircraft noise is a problem for anyone then they should stay somewhere else other than St Jean !

Boston...
posts: 115
reviews: 2
10. Re: First stay on SBH

Thanks again to everyone. I am looking forward to my stay.

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