The Ultimate Insider’s Guide To St Barth 🌴
The beautiful island of St Barth is private and notable for its beaches of soft white sand, turquoise blue waters, luxury villas, yachts, and excellent gourmet restaurants. To get an insider’s look at this playground for the rich and famous, our travel tips, we have created THE Travel Guide For St Barth: where to stay, where to eat, what to do.
Courtesy of St Barth Tourisme
WHY ST BARTH?
St Barthelemy is an overseas territories of France and forms part of the Leeward Islands in the French West Indies located in north Guadeloupe. Back in the 1950’s, David Rockefeller is an American investment banker who first came to St Barthelemy. He fell in love with the island and in the late 50’s decided to build a beautiful architecturally-designed house overlooking the bay of Colombier, and one of the prettiest beaches on the island. He introduced many of his wealthy friends to the charms of St Barth.
Since the 1980’s the island has experienced an incredible growth. Turning the islands into the most go to Caribbean getaway holiday spot. Popular with many celebrities and stars, St Barth is also a fashionable retreat for sophisticated travelers.
HOW TO GO TO ST BARTH ?
Firstly, for travelers coming from the United States, you can land at Juliana International Airport in Sint Maarten. To transfer by air, you can reserve a charter or book a seat on St Barth Commuter or Winair, for a 15-minute flight. You can also make the transfer by private boat or a ferry: Voyager from the French side in Marigot. The Great Bay Express from the Dutch side in Philipsburg.
Secondly, you can also get to St Barth via San Juan (Puerto Rico) Tradewind Aviation is the airline that will fly you to St Barth aboard their Pilatus PC-12 aircraft. Tradewind serves St Barth from airports in San Juan (SJU), Antigua (ANU), and St Thomas (STT), which are conveniently accessible by airline or private jet.
For travelers coming from Europe, you can also transfer via Princess Juliana Airport in Sint Maarten or via Guadeloupe (a French island). Planes from Air Antilles Express or St Barth Commuter will take you directly to St Barth. The flight time is one hour from Guadeloupe.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GO TO ST BARTH?
Temperatures range from 77° to 80° F all year long. However, there are several seasons in St Barth: what is called the dry season from December through the end of May, and the rainy, or hurricane, season from June through November.
So, when is the best time to visit? To sum up, the best time of year is between December and April. Known as the high season, when the temperatures are the most pleasant, yet the prices are the highest at this time of year. The island fills with tourists, primarily from the United States, and the peak of the party season is between Christmas and New Year.
If you are seeking peace and quiet and want to benefit from lower prices, especially for accommodations, we suggest mid-April to mid-August. In the summer, the tourists are primarily European.
“Low season” rates run from mid-April to mid-December.
September-October is the height of the hurricane season, when many businesses are closed and basically only locals are on the island. But you can always visit at that time if you want to live like a local. At that time of year, the island’s nature is at its most glorious.
Most of the hotels and restaurants reopen between mid-October and late November. The festivities begin around Thanksgiving, once the hurricane season is over.
WHERE TO STAY IN ST BARTH?
It all depends what you are looking for and your budget. If you prefer a luxury hotel, Eden Rock, Cheval Blanc Isle de France, Le Toiny, Le Sereno, Le Barthelemy hotel, and others will fit the bill.
You can also rent a luxury villa, with an infinity pool, breathtaking views, and tropical gardens. Whether you are with your family or with friends, you are sure to find a villa that best suits your needs. But the real question is: where to rent? Once again, it depends on what you are looking for, so here’s some advice from insider.
For a central location: I recommend you rent a villa near St. Jean or Lorient. From there you can quickly get anyplace on the island. What’s cool if you are in Lorient, is that you can do your shopping, go to the beach, or eat at JoJo Burger, all on foot. A true St Barth neighborhood.
Villa Sandra & Jessica – Lorient Beach
In and around Gustavia: Rent an apartment or villa in Gustavia, the charming capital of St Barthélemy, just a short walk from luxury designers’ boutiques, local designer shops, restaurants, and nearby Shell Beach.
Villa Shell Beach à Gustavia
Not far from Gustavia, you have the neighborhoods of Lurin, Colombier, Flamands, Anse des Cayes, and Corossol. Each one has its own identity. Among our favorites is Flamands with its beautiful beach (one of the largest) and the hotel Cheval Blanc Isle de France, where one can enjoy a feet-in-the-sand lunch.
Corossol, an authentic fishing village is a few minutes from Gustavia by car. Also you can stay in Colombier with its great beach accessible only by foot or boat (more on this later in the article under what to do in St Barth).
Villa Sasha – Corossol
Saline and its magnificent beach is still completely preserved. The real luxury is to have it totally to yourself. In Grand Fond and Toiny, for those who like to surf and enjoy nature, I will suggest several good hikes in that area (read further).
Villa Apiano – Grand Fond
If you are looking for a villa for your future vacations in St Barth, please contact our staff who
will be happy to work with you to find that rare pearl: firstname.lastname@example.org.
THINGS TO DO
One more idyllic than the next, the beaches remain one of the principal activities on the island.
The beach in Colombier, a sparking jewel of the Caribbean, is accessible only on foot or by boat. To walk there, you have two options, one from the lookout point in Colombier then down to the beach on a small path through the vegetation, or from the far end of Flamands (park after the Auberge de la Petite Anse). From there, it’s a 20-minute walk before getting to the beach but either way, you are guaranteed a breathtaking view.
We also like the beach in Gouverneur, a small crystal-clear bay, perfect for a picnic. The beach in St Jean has postcard-pretty views, with the legendary Eden Rock Hotel and Nikki Beach on the Pelican side.
On the airport side, you can watch the planes take off against a backdrop of the turquoise sea. For surfers,
Lorient and Toiny are the best spots to ride the waves.
Hiking and swimming in the natural pools in Grand Fond, requires just a short walk to this beautiful site. Don’t forget to wear sneakers for a walk through some rocks and to protect your feet from sea urchins in the pools.
Petit Cul de Sac also has another private pool. To get there, walk from the end of the beach following the path along the coast before swinging over to the other side. To climb down the rocks here you will also need that pair of sneakers. Do not attempt this adventure when the sea is too rough.
ARCHITECTURE & SHOPPING IN GUSTAVIA
Explore Gustavia, the capital St Barthelemy, which unfolds in a U shape around the port. You can wander through the many boutiques and art galleries, find a place to eat, make reservations for a nautical sport with a local company, or enjoy the nightlife. Among the many things to do;
- Walk to the ruins of Fort Gustave or Fort Karl
- Visit the Wall House Museum
- Visit the Vieux Clocher Bell Tower (the oldest building in Gustavia)
WHERE TO GET A DRINK OR TO EAT?
Nikki Beach: The legendary beach club, Nikki Beach, is not to be missed on Sunday. Endless bottles of champagne, sushi boats, and a DJ create a party that lasts all day.
Le Toiny Beach Club: Spend the day at Le Toiny’s Beach Club. A moment of pure relaxation in a hidden paradise. Try the delicious menu featuring grilled fish and meat, with your feet in the sand under the shade of a thatched roof.
Fish Corner: Here, everything is fresh and we adore that. Located in the heart of Gustavia, Fish Corner is open for lunch, and dinner only on the weekend. The ideal place to stop while shopping.
Courtesy of Fish Corner
Shellona Beach Club: Located on Shell Beach, where you can enjoy lunch with your toes in the sand and be transported to the Mediterranean with the cuisine by Greek chef Yanis Kioroglou. Their motto: Sharing is caring!
Le Select: One of the most popular spots on the island. Nothing chic about it, just a great place to drink a rum punch or a beer at a wooden table with plastic chairs. The soul of St Barth lives here.
ADRESSES FOR DINNER
Fouquet’s St Barth, the restaurant at the Carl Gustav Hotel perched above Gustavia, provides exceptional views of the illuminated Port of Gustavia.
Courtesy of Fouquet’s St Barth
Enjoy a delicious culinary experience with chef Jean-Claude Dufour, in the tropical setting of L’Esprit in Saline. Step out of the ordinary with an evening at La Case, the signature restaurant at the Hotel Cheval Blanc Isle de France, where the menu was created by chef Jean Imbert.
Are you looking for a more romantic dinner? Make a reservation at Isola in Gustavia, where the accent is on upscale Italian cuisine in a softly lit setting. For a more festive evening, Bonito and Bagatelle are the places to go.
All you have to do now is pack your bag for a five stars trip!
For more information, feel free to contact
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Credits photos : Remax – Elodie Ghezzi