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In the Caribbean, Saba is known as the "Unspoiled Queen."

Vogue Discovers Saba

Count Vogue as the latest to discover what makes Saba a Caribbean paradise.

In A Guide to Saba: The Caribbean’s Best-Kept Secret, Vogue declares Saba “one of the last unspoiled havens in the Caribbean…a treasured secret with pristine beauty and incredibly jovial locals.”

Saba is unlikely to become a tourist hot spot. In many maps, its five square miles are barely a dot if shown at all. That was just fine with Vogue which found that what Saba lacks in size, it more than makes up for in quality and diversity. Saba’s tiny local population (it recently nudged just over 2000) encompasses some 54 nationalities—a “diverse and accepting community that resides in whimsical chockablock cottages.”

Noting that you won’t find a “a Cabo Wabo, a Señor Frog’s, or even a branded hotel with white sand beaches” Vogue loved the ambience of the Queen’s Gardens Hotel (the photo above is from the pool of this inn--you can see the medical school in the distance) and Saba’s lively restaurant scene, including the complex cuisine at Brigadoon and steak night at the Swinging Doors.

And of course Vogue loved the waters off Saba—a marine playground offering some of the finest diving in the world and more than 150 species of fish, turtles, sharks and coral. And yes, who needs white sand beaches—Vogue still found plenty of swimming in the bays off the island’s volcanic rocks.

The article has beautiful photographs. Check it out at A Guide to Saba: The Caribbean’s Best-Kept Secret

Photos: Courtesy of The Queen’s Gardens Resort and Spa / Cees Timmers

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Celebrating and Protecting Saba's Spiny Lobsters

 

Saba is known for good eating—for such a small island there are an unusual number of interesting restaurants and many of the inns on the island are considered culinary destinations.  

And there is also a legendary local seafood specialty—the Caribbean Spiny Lobster (Panulirus argus).

These denizens of the deep aren’t exactly what most people think of when they hear lobster—the spiny varieties from Saba don't have the big claws that Woody Allen made famous in the kitchen scene in Annie Hall.  But there is plenty of succulent lobster inside those hard shells—pound-for-pound more than their clawed counterparts—that is delicious grilled, steamed, roasted, eaten on its own, in salads, etc.

Next week, Saba will be honoring its spiny lobsters with a three-day culinary event—the annual Saba Lobster Fest (November 4th, 5th & 6th). Fabulous lobster-inspired lunch and dinner specials will be offered at participating restaurants all across the island.

Most if not all of these lobsters will have been caught locally in the famous Saba Bank—a 60-mile long stretch of submerged atoll (the third largest of its kind in the world) a few miles off the coast. It's a place particularly rich in biodiversity: sea turtles, migratory Humpback Whales, thousands of seabirds, previously unknown examples of marine algae, critically endangered Staghorn Coral and hundreds of other sea creatures, including lots of spiny lobsters.

In 2012, the Saba Bank was designated a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), which has led to extensive conservation efforts including steps to prevent over fishing.  While catches of spiny lobsters have in fact gotten smaller in recent years, according to an article posted by the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, a number of regulations have been put into effect that show promise in stabilizing the population--such as bans on catching lobsters that are too small or are carrying eggs.

Conservationists are watching closely to see if this will enable long-term, sustainable harvesting of one of the Caribbean’s best known delicacies. Let's hope for the best and a safe, sound way to enjoy future Lobster Fests.

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Saba Makes the Smithsonian

 

If you are considering medical school in the Caribbean—or just a fabulous trip—check out the gorgeous account of Saba in Smithsonian.com (@SmithsonianMag)

Calling it The Best Caribbean Island You’ve Never Heard Of, this mouth-watering article extols Saba’s natural beauty, from the lush, 5,000-foot high rain forest to the waters around the island with their remarkable formations, the legacy of Saba’s volcanic origins.

The absence of a large-scale beach culture keeps the aquatic environment pristine (and jealously protected by local conservation groups), home to shallow patch reefs, deep-water seamounts, and plenty of underwater action—Hawksbill turtles, dolphins, lobsters, stingrays and scores of bright tropical fish. All of which makes Saba one of the top destinations in the world for scuba divers.

If the natural beauty of the island is breathtaking, its man-made diversions are no less enticing. Saba is part of the Netherlands, and that lineage is reflected in the local architecture of white-washed exteriors, red zinc roofs and green shutters, outlined in decorative Caribbean gingerbread trim.

The article gives a shout out to Saba University School of Medicine, noting its beneficial impact on local healthcare and the economy. But the main focus is on how spectacular it is to spend time on Saba.

Smithsonian calls it “the low-key, more sustainable version of the Caribbean—a place where polluting superyachts and mass resorts that harm the environment will hopefully never moor.”

Just don’t tell anyone.

Photo Credit: DND PR

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Saba “One of the 5 Most Beautiful Caribbean Islands:” Conde Nast Traveler:

If you know Saba, you know what happens: you are enjoying an evening out at one of Saba’s many charming restaurants. Or perhaps just relaxing and watching one of the beautiful Saba sunsets. And suddenly you see someone who seems, well, vaguely familiar and you realize you just saw them on TV, in a film, on Broadway…on stage at a rock concert. Yes, Saba is a destination for people who really want do want to get away from it all. Will it always stay that way?  Yes—because of the nature of the island. There is simply not enough room for a big resort, or a golf course or a runway capable of handling a 747. None of that is going to change. But it won’t keep Saba from being noticed.  In fact, Conde Nast Traveler: recently declared Saba “One of the 5 Most Beautiful Caribbean Islands.”

Conde Nast loved Saba's unspoiled and undeveloped environment…from the jagged silhouette of Mt. Scenery (Saba’s highest point) to the diverse and colorful coral reefs. Plus, some of the friendliest locals you're likely to encounter. See the article and pictures at http://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2016-03-02/most-beautiful-islands-in-the-caribbean/3

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