Is Saint X an Actual Island? Is Indigo Bay a Real Resort?

Hulu’s ‘Saint X’ is a murder mystery thriller that goes back and forth in time to tell the story of a girl, Claire, who becomes obsessed with solving the mystery of her sister’s murder after crossing paths with a man who was briefly suspected of the crime. The show goes deep into the psyche of Claire while exploring the narrative from the point of view of several characters to show us different versions of Alison, making the audience and Claire wonder who she really was.

One half of the story takes place in New York, twenty years after the crime, where Claire grapples with the loss she never found closure for. The other half takes place on Saint X, the island where Claire and her family spent one week and had their lives changed after the tragic turn of events.  SPOILERS AHEAD

Saint X is Not a Real Island

No, Saint X is not a real island. It is a fictional place created by Alexis Schaitkin in her novel ‘Saint X,’ on which the Hulu series is based. Schaitkin revealed that the island and the fictional resort of Indigo Bay had been “the initial spark” that led her to explore Claire and Alison’s story. She wanted to explore a setting where people from different social and economic classes interact, sharing the same space. “A luxury resort is such fertile ground for exploring those dynamics. You have foreign guests and local employees sharing a confined space and interacting in ways that are often quite intimate; there are complicated dynamics and tensions just beneath the beautiful, serene surface,” she said.

When she started writing the novel, Schaitkin was interested in exploring not just the lives of the tourists but also the background of the island locals. While Alison’s death affects her family, the author wanted to show how it rippled into the lives of those around her that week. “The classic way of framing this is to say that these characters are from ‘different worlds,’ but they’re not; they’re from the same world, and that’s so much of what I wanted to explore in the book. The way these lives, which on the surface might seem to have nothing to do with each other, are inextricably bound up in each other,” the author added.

With a murder mystery set on the island, Schaitkin knew that setting the story in a real place could be a bad decision. In the story, Alison’s death threatens to impact the island’s economy, where tourism is the primary source of income. Schaitkin didn’t want to bad-mouth an island, so she decided to keep it a fictional place. It allowed her to create places of her own, naming the streets, restaurants, and hotels there. She also sees the X in Saint X as “X marks the spot” concerning the central murder mystery that drives the story.

Despite its fictional nature, Schaitkin wanted to make Saint X “specific and authentic without borrowing too directly from the real Caribbean islands in the region.” She put several months of research into this, reading books about the Caribbean islands and the Caribbean community in New York. She also invested time in their language usage, their food, music, and drinks to make Saint X “its own unique place, but also accurate.”

The research also included Schaitkin’s trip to Anguilla. “While I was there, I did a lot of wandering and recording notes on my phone. A lot of sitting at Crocus Bay beach and just observing people hanging out and swimming with their families. I also conducted interviews, some quite casual, some more formal, hour-long recorded interviews. Mostly I just asked people to share their own stories: What did they do for fun with their friends growing up? How has the island changed?” she said.

The interview with the locals allowed her to see what life would have been like for characters like Clive and Edwin before the resort came around. “In interviews with people in Anguilla, I learned that the first resorts there didn’t open until they were adolescents. As children, their houses didn’t have electricity. The island transformed completely in the span of two or three decades. I decided to bring that arc to Saint X,” the author revealed. Considering this, we can say that while Saint X is not a real place, the author and the creators of the show have made it as realistic as possible.

Read More: Is Alison Thomas Based on a Real Murder Victim? What Happened to Her?