An Insider's Guide To St. Barth's
Rediscover the shimmering French paradise of a little island called St. Barth's.
What to see
Colombier beach. Only accessible by boat or by trail, this magical hidden beach is well worth the effort to swim in turquoise waters and spot tropical fish. There are two trails: one that is seaside with many, many stairs or cliffside and steep. If you’re afraid of heights, opt for climbing the stairs or for the boat (re: sailing options or boat rentals).
Sunset Sail or Afternoon Snorkel. The best way to see as many of the beaches as possible is always by boat, Jicky Marine and Saint Barth Catamaran offer various options from half day to full day with catering, snorkeling and by sunset.
Gouverneur Beach. As we shared above, getting around the island is not easy, and this beach is no exception. The brave are rewarded with the bluest waters, soft sand, and very lush greens. An escape from the noise and glitter. Bring what you need for the day as there are no vendors, restaurants, or lifeguards. After the narrow and windy drive, you’ll find parking relatively easy. Tip: pack towels, snorkel gear, and a picnic lunch.
Spa Sisley at the Christopher Hotel One of the most spectacular spas on earth. The treatment rooms overlook the ocean, making for natural wave music throughout your massage. Outdoor ocean view showers are game changers. Tip: Book just before sunset for a real treat.
Where to eat and drink
A trip to St. Barths is not complete without a dinner overlooking the town of Gustavia at Bonito. Perfect for celebrations or just a wonderful dinner out. Freshly inspired cocktails pair well with the Peruvian-influenced menu. The atmosphere is elegant but lively. Tiraditos and ceviches are the highlights of the starters and their Mahi Mahi is of the best on the island.
Lil Rock is more laid back, this gypset-style beach restaurant just down from Eden Rock has the best fish Colombo on the island. Eat with your feet in the sand and enjoy all the action St. Jean Bay has to offer. Bring a towel and take a dip in between courses.
La Case celebrated chef Jean Imbert offers elevated cuisine at this fine dining seaside restaurant. Steps from Flamands beach, feast on local ingredients prepared in the most exquisite fashion. The Caribbean brunch is so incredible with fruits, salads, and charcuterie on the table.
For indulging in your sweeter side, Margaux will make you anything your heart desires. Her pastry skills rival some of Paris' best. From Saint Honore to cheesecake to succès praline, these French delicacies are true art – Une Part De Gateau.
Where to stay
The stunning hotel, idyllically located in St. Jean Bay, the Eden Rock St Barths, has been welcoming guests since the 1950s. The property has a true sense of place. Many of the great stars have called these rooms home before St. Barth’s was on the global map. While the property has elegantly evolved over the years, its sense of style and simplistic approach remain constant. It’s 37 unique rooms and suites offer varying amenities - private pools, beautiful vistas, and 360 views. Rock rooms are situated in the renowned rock for which the property is named and have you living on the Bay’s waters.
Five different categories of suites offer competitive selection and prove to be a good reason for returning. Each one is individually designed, thus no two are alike. A magical hideaway, the Legacy Suite De Haenen is named after the island’s first aviator. An expansive living room is flanked by a wrap around terrace. Even the rosy marble bathroom offers a beach view; a private jacuzzi tucked under the windows offers nightly stargazing. Two bedrooms perched at the top of the rock and three terraces offer 360-degree views of St. Jean and its’ bay. If traveling with a group, family or looking for more private space, their larger villas allow you extended space with all the amenities the hotel offers.
Where to shop
- All the expected luxury names can be found on the island (primarily in Gustavia), but for the specialty and only-found-in-St. Barth stores, check out Mademoiselle Hortense, Montaigne Market, and Clic (which doubles as an art gallery). Most of the hotels on the island also offer great boutiques, like Larusmiani at the Le Sereno or the Hotel Le Toiny Boutique. Don’t leave the island without a sweatshirt from Free in St. Barth.
How to get there
They say the best places in the world are the hardest to get to.. this island is no exception. You'll get there with planes, boats, cars, or Mokes.
There are two ways to get to St. Barths: By Air: 15m – 1.2hr, depending on your stopover. By Sea: 45-75m, depending on boat sizeю
For the fastest arrival, hop a flight or helicopter from one of the neighboring islands to the tiny Gustav III airport (WinAir, St. Barths Commuter, and Trade Winds have daily flights from St. Martin, Puerto Rico, Antigua, Guadeloupe, and Martinique). Keep in mind the last flight lands at sundown.
The St. Martin ferry runs multiple times a day. Take the mid-day route for the smoothest sailing, otherwise be prepared for stomach flops. Chartering a private boat (or yacht) is an option, but the smaller the boat, the choppier the waters.
Unless you plan on not leaving your hotel, you'll need a car or a driver to venture around. Why not make like the locals and rent a cruiser, or better yet, a mini Moke or Scooter. The smaller the vehicle, the easier the navigation.
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