Even St. Barts is feeling the recessionary chill. In the past, high-season hotel rooms on the French West Indies island could cost more than $1,000 per night, required ten-day minimum stays, and had to be booked about a year in advance. This year, even the exclusive Isle de France hotel has been soliciting guests. “We’ve been going there for years, and there was never an opening,” says one Upper East Sider. “You were afraid to not go one year because you would never get your room back. This year, they called us and asked if we had any friends who might want a room.” Another New Yorker got a call from the Christopher Hotel offering rooms for 99 euros; the Carl Gustaf is offering a 30 percent discount starting in January. Travel agents are shocked. “I always thought that getting a deal in St. Barts during high season would be like scoring Giants tickets on the 50-yard line,” says Michael Holtz, who owns Smart Flyer.
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