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 Editor's Review
St. Barts
The volcanic isle of St Barthélmy (aka St Barth, St Barts) is a high chic hideaway in the French West Indies Leeward Islands. French, yes, especially the Quebec style patois, but with a Nordic twist. Once a rare Swedish tropical colony, the main town is Gustavia after the then King, but the ambience is unmistakeably French – notably in the many fine restaurants. A handful of around 25 hotels, mostly of the 15-or-so room boutique style, make the island a playground for the discreetly wealthy or those just seeking tropical privacy. (That’s if you’re not actually staying aboard one of the Riviera type yachts that throng the fine Caribbean harbour.) There are almost as many beaches as hotels – all just as opulent and mostly protected by a bay-enclosing reef. Beyond the reef, the current is used by migrating whales and dolphins to boost their progress. A low tide-fall and a narrow seasonal temperature band make this one of the most idyllic vacation locations imaginable. Vive La France tropicale, we say!

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