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Saint-Barthélemy

Background

Saint-Barthélemy

Discovered in 1493 by Christopher COLUMBUS who named it for his brother Bartolomeo, Saint Barthelemy was first settled by the French in 1648. In 1784, the French sold the island to Sweden, who renamed the largest town Gustavia, after the Swedish King GUSTAV III, and made it a free port; the island prospered as a trade and supply center during the colonial wars of the 18th century. France repurchased the island in 1878 and placed it under the administration of Guadeloupe. Saint Barthelemy retained its free port status along with various Swedish appellations such as Swedish street and town names, and the three-crown symbol on the coat of arms. In 2003, the populace of the island voted to secede from Guadeloupe and in 2007, the island became a French overseas collectivity.

About

Saint-Barthélemy is a French island located in the Caribbean among the Leeward Islands. Its land area is 21.0 km² (8.1 sq. miles). Administratively, the whole island of Saint-Barthélemy is a French Overseas Collectivity, until recently part of Guadeloupe and is part of the European Union.

The island is also known as St Barts, Saint Barths, or Saint Barth.

St Barts has long been considered a playground of the rich and famous and is known for its beautiful pristine beaches, gourmet dining in chic restaurants and high-end designer shopping. There is one small airport that can only accomodate small prop planes from St Martin and San Juan, and the harbor is too small to accomodate cruise ships. The fact that it is hard to get to is part of the island's appeal.

Singer Jimmy Buffett is a frequent visitor on the island, and owns a house there. He also owned a hotel, the Autor de Rocher, which burned down in the early '80s. David Letterman and Steve Martin also own property on the island, as well as the French singing star Johnny Hallyday.

Noteworthy annual events include New Years, Carnival in February, The Bucket in late March (a sailing event featuring the largest sailing yachts in the world), and Bastille Day.

Read more about Saint-Barthélemy in our Saint-Barthélemy travel guide »

Featured hotels in

Saint-Barthélemy

Saint-BarthélemyCarl Gustaf Hotel & Spa 

Rue Des Normands
Gustavia
St Barthelemy 97099
Saint-Barthélemy

Price (US$): $1642 - $2423 / night

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Location. Near the airport, Carl Gustaf Hotel & Spa is located in St. Barthelemy's Gustavia neighborhood and close to Gustavia Harbor, Wall House, and Fort Gustave. Nearby points of interest also include St. Jean Beach and Gouverneur Beach. Hotel Features. Carl Gustaf Hotel & Spa features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available. The hotel serves a complimentary continental breakfast in the room. Recreational amenities include a health club, a spa tub, and a steam room. The… more »

Saint-BarthélemyChristopher Hotel 

Pointe Milou, 9
St Barthelemy 97133
Saint-Barthélemy

Price (US$): $740 - $741 / night

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Location. Christopher Hotel is located on the beach in St. Barthelemy's Quartier Lorient neighborhood, close to Marigot Beach, Lorient Beach, and Grand Cul de Sac Beach. Other points of interest near this hotel include Petit Cul de Sac Beach and St. Jean Beach. Hotel Features. Christopher Hotel features a poolside bar, a bar/lounge, and a snack bar/deli. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a children's pool, and a fitness facility. Complimentary wireless Internet access is… more »

Saint-BarthélemyLe Manapany Cottages & Spa 

Anse des Cayes
Gustavia
St Barthelemy 97098
Saint-Barthélemy

Price (US$): $801 - $2921 / night

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Location. Le Manapany Cottages & Spa is located on the beach in St. Barthelemy, close to Anse des Cayes Beach, St. Jean Beach, and Corossol Beach. Other points of interest near this hotel include Fort Gustave and Flamands Beach. Hotel Features. Le Manapany Cottages & Spa's restaurant serves lunch and dinner. A poolside bar is open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. The hotel serves continental breakfasts each morning (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities include… more »

Saint-BarthélemyHotel Guanahani and Spa 

Grand Cul de Sac
St Barthelemy 97133
Saint-Barthélemy

Price (US$): $1414 - $1786 / night

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Location. Hotel Guanahani and Spa is located on the beach in St. Barthelemy's Quartier Lorient neighborhood, close to Marigot Beach, Grand Cul de Sac Beach, and Petit Cul de Sac Beach. Other points of interest near this hotel include Lorient Beach and Saline Beach. Hotel Features. Dining options at Hotel Guanahani and Spa include 3 restaurants. A beach bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary hot and cold buffet… more »

Saint-BarthélemyVILLA LA BANANE 

Baie de Lorient
Saint Barthelemy 97133
Saint-Barthélemy

VILLA LA BANANE AN EXCEPTIONAL HIDEOUT NESTLED IN THE HEARTOF A COCONUT GROVE IN A LAVISH TROPICAL GARDEN BOASTINGHIBISCUS FRANGIPANIS AND JASMINE YOU ARE IN THE BIGGESTHOMESTEAD OF THE ISLAND AN OPEN AIR HOUSE AN ARCHIPELAGOOF NINE INDEPENDENT SUITES EACH EQUIPPED WITH A BATHROOMOPENING ONTO A TROPICAL GARDEN OR A PATIO AND ITS OWNPRIVATE TERRACE EVERYTHING COMES TOGETHER WHEN YOU ARRIVE REFINEMENT AND VOLUPTUOUS TRANQUILITY INTIMACY SETTLESIN NATURALLY THE WELCOME IS WARM AND EASY GOING… more »

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Saint-Barthélemy

Capital
Gustavia
Location

located approximately 125 miles northwest of Guadeloupe

Geographic coordinates

17 90 N, 62 85 W

Area comparative

less than an eighth of the size of Washington, DC

Climate

tropical, with practically no variation in temperature; has two seasons (dry and humid)

Terrain

hilly, almost completely surrounded by shallow-water reefs, with 20 beaches

Lowest point

Caribbean Ocean 0 m

Highest point

Morne du Vitet 286 m

Natural resources

has few natural resources, its beaches being the most important

Population

7,406 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

white, Creole (mulatto), black, Guadeloupe Mestizo (French-East Asia)

Religions

Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jehovah's Witness

Languages

French (primary), English

Independence

none (overseas collectivity of France)

National holiday

Bastille Day, 14 July (1789); note - local holiday is St. Barthelemy Day, 24 August

Chief of state

President Nicolas SARKOZY (since 16 May 2007), represented by Prefect Dominique LACROIX (since 21 March 2007)

Head of government

President of the Territorial Council Bruno MAGRAS (since 16 July 2007)

Internet country code

.bl; note - .gp, the internet country code for Guadeloupe, and .fr, the internet country code for France, might also be encountered

Airports

1 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Gustavia

Other countries in the region