Who says you have to be a nightly fixture on Entertainment Tonight or Access Hollywood to enjoy the fruits of St. Barts? The beautiful island paradise that has long been the vacation haven for the rich and famous such as P. Diddy, Liz Hurley and Zsa Zsa Gabor is also accessible to cost-conscious travelers looking for a swanky Eastern Caribbean getaway. While you can splurge and easily spend upwards of $1,500 per night for a deluxe suite or St. Barts' villa, several quaint island hotels offer package deals and lower rates tailored to us members of the bourgeois-hindered.
Getting to St. Barts isn't overly complicated. You can fly into nearby St. Maarten, St. John or Guadeloupe and take a puddle jumper to St. Barts' small airstrip (just big enough for a Gulfstream V) or tarry to St. Barts on one of the ferry's that go daily back and forth from St. John. Luckily, if you're looking to escape this winter's last gasp, USAirways (tel. 800-428-4322; www.usair.com) is having a fire sale on flights from a handful of U.S. gateways to Caribbean destinations. If you book travel by Sunday night March 13, 2005, round-trip airfare from Hartford to St. Thomas will run you $454; from Washington D.C. to St. Maarten it'll cost $458. St. Kitt's, which is also accessible to St. Barts and other Eastern Caribbean islands via small boat or puddle jumper will run you $350 from Charlotte, North Carolina. The ten-minute plane ride from St. Maarten to St. Barts costs $168 round-trip on Winair (tel. 011 590 590 27 61 01; www.st-barths.com/winair/winair_contact.html). Ferry service is less expensive, but of course takes a bit longer. You can check all details on getting to St. Barts at www.st-barths.com/descriptivepgs/guide.html, an informative, comprehensive guide to the island.
The Hotel Baie des Anges (tel. 011 590 590 27 63 61; www.hotelbaiedesanges.com) has several land only package deals that include a bevy of extra service such as daily breakfast and a rental car, which helps you get around an island full of things to do and places to eat. A seven-night summer deal that includes accommodations for two people, daily poolside breakfast, an automatic car (it's $15 extra for a manual transmission car with air conditioning), transportation to and from the airport and all taxes and hotel surcharges will cost you $1,398 total for the week for a sea view room with a terrace or $1,566 total for a sea front terraced room. That's $783 per person or only just over $100 dollars per day for a week-long jaunt to the European party playpen. The hotel also has three and five night packages available. Travel on these deals is good from April 1 to December 31, 2005.
While budget hotels and hostels on St. Barts are as prevalent as flip-flops and dread-locks in an IBM boardroom, there are other deals on the island. The Residence Bois de l'Angelique (tel. 011 590 590 27 92 82; www.st-barths.com/bois-de-angelique) has excellent summer rates starting at $132 per night if you book for two nights and travel from April 14 to December 19, 2005. The hotel consists of five comfortable poolside bungalows equipped with television, telephone, air conditioning and a ceiling fan. The hotel provides all airport transfers as well. It does not have an ATM or Western Union for all the cash you may need to keep up with the Rothchild's at the beachside bars.
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