The natural beauty and exclusivity of Saint Barthèlemy, along with its distinctly French sex appeal, make it one of the world’s playgrounds for the rich.So obviously bankers love it.
Wall Streeters who want to be seen soaking in the sun or dancing on tables with the hottest and wealthiest must go to St. Barts. Period.
If you work like a dog and have only a few days off a year, why wouldn’t you want to spend them in paradise?
David Rockefeller purchased land on the island in the 1950s, establishing it as a vacation hot spot.
St. Barts is populated with just over 5,000 year round residents. Come Christmas and New Years, the wealthy and good-looking populate the multi-million dollar Balinese villas and pricey hotel suites left vacant for most of the year.
To feel the gleaming white sand between your toes, total travel time for a commercial flight from New York is a little over 10 hours. For those Wall Streeters who choose to fly privately, the trip from NYC can take as little as three hours.
St. Barts has 17 public and free beaches. They all have gleaming white sand and calm waters. Due to St. Barts' exclusivity and few accommodations, all beaches are relatively uncrowded, even during the holidays.
Villas are the most popular accommodations on the island. A two bedroom villa with a pool will cost about $5,000/week in the summer and about $18,000/week during the Christmas and New Years holidays. To rent an eight person villa during the peak holiday season, rates can reach $60,000/week. Weekly rental rates have even been known to reach the gastronomical $150,000 mark.
For those who can't live like the rich and famous, there are only a handful of hotel rooms available. Rooms during the holiday season are nearly impossible to find, and hotels can charge outrageous rates. During the non peak seasons, rates at the least luxurious hotels start at over $300/night.
For those wishing to make a statement with their estate, there are compounds selling for over $35 million.
Roman Abramovich purchased the old Rockefeller estate in one of the largest private home sales in history.
In 2009, Russian oil tycoon Roman Abramovich purchased a 70 acre estate on the island for just under $90 million, one of the largest private home sales in history. Abramovich's compound on Gouveneur Beach, is the same estate once owned by the Rockefellers.
Abramovich is known for throwing massive and indulgent parties at his estate. His New Years Eve parties are one of the biggest showbiz events of the year, and this past New Year's entertainment was provided by The Red Hot chilli Peppers. Stars in attendance this year included Rupert Murdoch, Russell Simmons, Martha Stewart, Paul Allen and Jon Bon Jovi.
Source: The Daily Mail
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen also frequently hosts events on his massive yacht, the 416-foot Octopus. The ship is apparently so big, and the island is so small, that when Paul Allen hosts parties, he sends shuttles to the shore and anyone can come aboard.
Source: Vanity Fair
Wall Streeters love coming to the island because they can ditch the black Mercedes and whip around in a Mini Cooper and feel like Mark Wahlberg in The Italian Job. Well-to-do men like Russell Simmons and Roman Abramovich have been seen tooling around the island in the bitsy British coupè.
The businessman and private equity investor Ron Perelman, who is 69th on the Forbes world's billionaires list, is a regular on the island and is known for throwing lavish parties on his yacht. George Soros is a frequent visitor of St. Barts and hedge funder Phil Falcone owns a luscious villa.
However, many of the delicious restaurants are closed during the summer and early fall months.
Hedge Funders and financiers who like to party, will be able to blow off some steam and spend some spare change at the fine restaurants and clubs. Le Ti is one of the popular destinations on the island, because it's a restaurant that transforms into a wild dance party after dark. The establishment is decorated like it's from Moulin Rouge, and throws one of the few public parties on the island, but be ready to foot a fat bill.
Another super exclusive night club on the island is Casa Nikki. At Casa Nikki, high rollers can drop $50,000 on a giant bottle of Champagne and use it to spray the audience and get their privileged guests tipsy. P. Diddy frequents Casa Nikki and often spends tens of thousands on bottle service.