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Posts tagged ‘St Barts’

Travelogue – Saint Barthélemy

Last summer we spent a week for my birthday in the volcanic Caribbean island of St. Barts, or Saint Barthélemy (St. Barths) as the French call it in the French West Indies. Miami is 3.5 hours away and St. Barts lies 160 miles east of Puerto Rico and immediately south of the French and Dutch shared island of Saint Martin, where we flew into to jump on a noisy seaplane for a 15-minute journey across the water to St Barts. The flight is not for the faint hearted but there is the option of a boat, which takes slightly more than an hour.

The island has a jet-setting reputation of photo shoots, paparazzi and huge homes owned by billionaires that mostly sign idle. The haunt monde reputation began in the 1950’s when David Rockefeller bought two plots of land, including one on Gouveneur Beach. That move compelled the Rothschilds to follow and they arrived with a suitcase of cash and developed an estate in a coconut grove nextdoor to the Rockefellers. Today the Rothschild property is the Hotel Guanahani & Spa.

The island certainly has an air of chic. A mixture of St-Tropez sophistication with Caribbean laissez-fare, but the island doesn’t come across as pretentious. Just over 9,000 people permanently live on St. Barts, although around 200,000 tourists visit the just over 9 sq. miles during it’s summer months.

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My 2017 Top Five Favourite Places

Last on my short agenda of Top Five’s is Places. My list for 2017 is a mix of old and new. I was lucky to get to some familiar places again last year such as Barcelona, North Fork, Beaver Creek and San Francisco, all of which I love but although they didn’t make my favourite five, a couple of my old tried-and-true did.

So here are my Top Five Favourite Places that I visited in 2017:

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My 2017 Top Five Favourite Hotel’s

The second of my belated 2017 Top Five’s is Hotels. I stayed in 26 different hotels last year, but after much back and forth I’ve chosen five, so please join me to test the bouncyness of the bed, the 500 thread sheets and copious amount of pillows that usually end up on the floor as I guide you through My 2017 Top Five Favourite Hotel’s:

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Summer of catastrophe’s

I have had a tremendous summer of travel, but my head spins when I think about where I have been and some of the absolute sadness and tragedy that many of these places have had to deal with, and how lucky I’ve been to miss some of these awful events.

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Hurricane Irma

Like a lot of others I am sat tonight glued to CNN and the Weather Channel like it’s a drug. One of the reasons is work related. I live and breathe risk during the week, natural, human or otherwise, so what is happening in Florida and happened to those poor Caribbean islands and Texas last week has massive ramifications for us at work. 

For reason’s I haven’t fathomed I seem to be rather attracted to hurricanes. I wouldn’t mind but I can’t even fly a kite. Yet in the last couple of weeks I have been in St Barts, Saint Martin, Sarasota, Tampa and Miami and I live on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean that has annoyingly been a recent magnet to big storms, around 7 or 8 hurricanes in the past 5 years, once we even had two different hurricanes over consecutive weekends! 

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Rich and famous

Not me obviously, I grew up in Catford, but whenever I can I like to get amongst it, you know, have a nose and rub up against some big shoulder pads. Our summer plans got derailed so we were looking at quick breaks, easy-ish to get to from here, and the Google-search-other-half found us a short break in St Barts, or Saint Barthélemy as it is known in French France.

The volcanic Caribbean island of St Barts is what the French call an overseas collective, which puts it in a similar category to Bermuda and it’s relationship with the United Kingdom.

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