"St. Barts" Île Saint-Barthélemy by bsfreeloader

Île Saint-Barthélemy Travel Guide: 54 reviews and 177 photos

As I typically do, I walked a lot on St. Barts. It is a rather beautiful place, with a comparatively pristine natural environment, well-preserved architecture, and a tranquil pace. But the stench of elitism and privilege permeating the island overshadows all else. Unlike on Saba and Anguilla, where passing motorists typically waved and often slowed and asked if I needed a ride, passing motorists on St. Barts looked upon me with scorn, speeding by with their noses turned up and a sneer on their face. St. Barts is not only a playground for the rich and famous, it’s a place for the privileged and pretentious. This is a place where even the taxi drivers possess an unhealthy arrogance. Rich white folks who like to mingle with other rich white folks and be served by black people and who enjoy shopping for overpriced, high-end name brand goods and eating at overpriced restaurants will enjoy St. Barts. Those with a conscience will be disgusted by the vulgar displays of wealth in the marina and throughout the island and by the disdain the St. Barts elite shows us commoners. As far as I’m concerned, the rich and famous can have St. Barts – it isn’t that great anyway.

  • Last visit to Île Saint-Barthélemy: Feb 2008
  • Intro Updated Feb 21, 2008
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Comments (2)

  • briantravelman's Profile Photo
    Jul 30, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    I was in Aruba, and we also had taxis stop and offer us rides, and we were offered rides by locals on several occassions as well.It doesn't surprise me about St. Barts. It is a playground for the rich and famous, and privledged as you said. The people who go there want luxory, and think they are better than everyone else. They frown on "real" travelers like you and me, and look at us as lessers. They don't go there for the local culture, or adventure, and are nothing but a bunch of snobby show offs.The island is only 4 miles long. I've walked 15 before. There is no need for a car.I'm sorry you had a bad experience with the people there. Other islands are friendlier.I've personally never been to St. Barts, but your post confirms what I have always thought. I never thought it was worth visiting, until recently. It's not really my type of destination to be honest, but there is some stuff there that's very overlooked and worth visiting, but I wouldn't spend more than a day there. I would stick out like a soar thumb among all the rich people. I don't fit in with them at all.IDK how much of the original Caribbean culture is still left. I honestly had no idea there were even any black people left on the island. I thought it was just rich French people and ex pats.I read from another user on VT, that if you went there in the 50s, there were only black people there, and the island was crime and poverty ridden. It was a fear to walk down the street. I guess the French cleaned it up, maybe a little too well. They should've just dealt with the crime and poverty, and left everything else alone. Instead, they turned it into an overpriced destination for snobby rich people, who have no idea what real travel is about. I feel sorry for those black people who have to serve these guys.It is sad that you won't find too many travelers there like you and I.
    And the VT page confirms it, because as you see, there is nothing written about the island's historical sites, traditions, or dozens of caves.
    I bet if more people knew about those places, the island would get other types of tourists, and maybe the rich people would be outnumbered.

    I experienced a similar situation with the people in Aruba. The local black and mulato people were really friendly, but the Dutch people were very rude, unless they were trying to do business with you. I feel sorry for the happy locals who have to put up with the snobby and grumpy attitude of the Dutch. It sounds like the same situation on St. Barts.

  • garridogal's Profile Photo
    Apr 18, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    It's refreshing to read such an honest account.

    • briantravelman's Profile Photo
      Jul 30, 2014 at 1:34 PM

      I agree. I don't like when people ignore the nagative stuff, and only post the possitive stuff. I like to know the truth, good or bad.
      I'm glad you posted about what St. Barts is really like.

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