St. Barths is one of the most gorgeous Caribbean islands. While its official title is Collectivite territoriale de Saint-Barthelemy, the French, British, and Americans have created tweaks on nicknames for the island. US visitors prefer St. Barts, while those from France prefer St. Barth, and the British prefer St. Barths.
This French West Indies atoll has retained its character and charm with Creole-style cottages and mountainous landscapes hugging 22 white sand beaches. St. Barths is a magnet for the rich, particularly between Christmas and New Year's, when billionaires bring their superyachts into the port of the capital, Gustavia. Locals try to identify which boat belongs to whom, adding to the allure of this citrus-scented playground, which, despite its exclusiveness, doesn't feel pretentious.
If shopping is a part of your DNA, there is nowhere quite like St. Barths where you’ll see the world’s best and most exclusive designer brands. For the most part, the cuisine is an eclectic mix of French, Caribbean, and Japanese. If you want to escape the 21st century for a while, feel lighter in spirit, and start to see things more intuitively, put a big checkmark next to St. Barths on your list of must-visit places.
For the Love of Beaches
No matter what water sport you love or if you prefer lounging on the sand, St. Barths is a beach lover’s paradise. Upscale and luxurious or calm and secluded, each beach imparts a distinct character for any occasion or preference. Here are three you should definitely check out.
Petit Cul de Sac and Grand Cul de Sac Beaches
Petit Cul de Sac is a magnificent, protected lagoon and is always calm enough to enjoy a refreshing swim. Turtles are usually swimming or soaking up the sun on the rocks on the left side of the cove. “Petit” means small in French, and this lovely piece of paradise is true to its name. It’s not the largest beach on the island, but one of the most delightful and secluded. On the other hand, Grand Cul de Sac Beach is a terrific spot to learn to kitesurf. It’s a lovely lagoon with calm, shallow water, which is ideal for children. If your stomach starts to grumble, grab something to eat with your toes in the sand at either O’Corail or La Gloriette.
Flamands is the largest beach on St. Barths and a favorite of the locals. Long, meandering walks on the beach, lost in thought, cares carried away by the balmy breezes are part of the appeal of Flamands since its shores are so lengthy. The ocean in this location is terrific for body boarding or skim boarding and is best left to good swimmers since the waves can get pretty hefty.
With its peaceful, unspoiled landscape and just enough remoteness, Saline beach is one of St. Barths’ most relaxing beaches and considered by many to be the most stunning on the island. The water is choppier here, so you’ll see bodyboarders testing their skills. Saline dunes give the beach a very private, secluded feeling. This spot is very popular for nude sunbathing.
St. Barths’ moniker of being the best elite destination in the Caribbean is thanks partly to its wonderful shopping experiences. The brands and quality here are luxurious, upscale, and tailored toward the affluent crowd vacationing in St. Barths. You’ll find lavish boutiques, high-end shops, and exclusive stores, and you’re most sure to find what you’re looking for – from luxury fashion, fancy footwear, quality jewelry, tropical beachwear, and more. Forbes Magazine named St. Barths as one of the top 10 shopping destinations in the world.
Snag stylish swimwear and striped beach blankets at Kiwi St. Barth in St. Jean, then head to La Casa del Habano for a Panama hat. Voila, St. Barth is a favorite boutique of sailor-meets-preppy ensembles: linen dresses, crisp white beach bags with rope handles, trousers in bright colors. Stop by Calypso St. Barth for something fancy for dancing the night away. Visit high-end resort wear boutiques along the streets of Gustavia, with designers like Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Roberto Cavalli offering exclusives to St. Barths’ collections.
If you’re more about “the scene” when you go on vacation, St. Barths is definitely for you. It has some of the best restaurants in the Caribbean. It’s a French island with little indigenous food culture, so many ingredients are brought in from Europe. Some of the best restaurants are found on the site at upscale hotels or resorts, where the brand of Caribbean cuisine combines Creole flavors, exotic local fruits, fresh seafood, and traditional French cooking techniques. Here are two to try:
Black Ginger | Thai
Right in the heart of Gustavia, Black Ginger serves a 100% authentic and refined Thai cuisine created by a trio of Thai chefs. The eatery’s unique interior courtyard opens onto the starry sky, matched only by its contemporary design combining a palette of red and black colors, lighted domes spreading a soft, attractive cast. You should try the Massaman curry with coconut milk and peanuts.
Bonito | French
Located on a hill overlooking Gustavia’s harbor, Bonito is one of the island’s most famous restaurants, praised by lovers of fine cuisine worldwide. Delicate forms and colors adorn this traditional and spacious colonial restaurant, with an open kitchen and a modern twist on exotic flavors. Perfect for those seeking a romantic dinner, Bonito serves fresh, local seafood prepared in many ways. Order the salmon tiradito, and you’ll dream about it long after you leave. The spiny lobster risotto is a gastronomic pleasure, and the homemade ice creams are pure decadence.
St. Barths has a wide selection of clubs and lounges where you can choose to either dance the night away or relax in a sophisticated setting on a plush banquette hugged by posh pillows whiling the hours away with good company and delicious beverages. Whatever your inclination for the evening, you’re sure to find the ideal venue on this exclusive island. Check out these two:
Ooh, la la! Head on over to Le Ti for a little Moulin Rouge entertainment. Burlesque dancers and exemplary table service kicks this little Creole cottage in the hills up a notch. The vibe here is fashionable, posh with a touch of sexy. This raucous, kitschy nightclub is a rite of passage for first-timers to the island.
Live bands and fresh sushi in a colorful, breeze-filled wharf-side tavern on the Gustavia waterfront. What could be better? At the legendary Baz Bar, the music kicks in around 9 pm nightly, and folks like Jimmy Buffett have been known to show up and sit in with the band. Guests can dine outside on the harbor deck or at the polished teak bar inside, where strands of sparkling lights adorn the wooden walls.
There is no doubt St. Barths is a favorite getaway for luxury travelers and rightly so. It’s secluded and offers a plethora of the finer things in life. LVH will build you the most amazing St. Barths getaway imaginable. Not only will you be staying in an elite, private home with untold amenities, full services and 24/7 support; we will also fashion a bespoke itinerary for you reflecting what you want your dream vacation to be. At LVH our primary concern is your happiness every moment you spend with us! We invite you to reach out to an LVH client relations team member who will begin the planning process for your enchanting vacation to luxurious St. Barths!