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Banks and Exchange Services
Legal tender is the euro, but U.S. dollars are widely accepted. ATMs are common and dispense only euros.
Voltage is 220 AC/60 cycles, as in Europe. You'll need a converter and perhaps a transformer for electronic devices. Most hotels have converters available for guests' use.
Air Ambulance (545-4744. www.melmikaviation.com.)
Ambulance and Fire (18 or 590/27-66-13.)
Hospital Emergency (590/27-60-35.)
Police (11 or 0590/27-11-70.)
Most restaurants on the island now offer free Wi-Fi for customers, and there is also a free hot spot at the port area.
Centre Alizes. Centre Alizes offers Internet service, fax, and secretarial services. They also rent phones. Rue de la République, Gustavia. 0590/29-89-89.
French, but English is widely spoken.
Mail is slow and can take up to three weeks to arrive. The main post office is in Gustavia, but smaller post offices are in St-Jean and Lorient. DHL, FedEx, and UPS all provide service to the island.
All visitors must carry a valid passport and have a return or ongoing ticket. A visa is not necessary if for stays of up to a month. Passports must be valid for at least three months from the date of entry to the territory of St. Barthélemy.
Many hotels will provide or rent you a cell phone to use during your stay. Some U.S. cell companies work in St. Barth. The country code for St. Barth is 590. Thus, to call St. Barth from the United States, dial 011 + 590 + 590 and the local six-digit number. Some cell phones use the prefix 690. For calls on St. Barth, you must dial 0590 plus the six-digit local number.
There's relatively little crime on St. Barth. Visitors can travel anywhere on the island with confidence. Most hotel rooms have safes for your valuables. As anywhere, don't tempt loss by leaving cameras, laptops, or jewelry out in plain sight in your hotel room or villa or in your car. Don't walk barefoot at night. There are venomous centipedes that can inflict a remarkably painful sting.
Taxes and Service Charges
The island charges a $5 departure tax when your next stop is another French island, $10 to anywhere else payable in cash only (dollars or euros). Some hotels add a 10% service charge. Sometimes it is included in the room rate, so check. There is a 5% room tax on hotels and villa rentals.
Restaurants include a 15% service charge in their published prices, but it's common French practice to leave 5% to 10% more in cash, even if you have paid by credit card. Most taxi drivers don't expect a tip.
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