You can really act the part on St Barth’s. With a jet-set scene and decidedly French feel, it’s like you’ve landed in swanky Saint Tropez – without the long-haul flight and jet lag. The island took a beating from Hurricane Irma, but is back and now better than ever with some of the best hotels, restaurants, and shopping in the Caribbean.
CTTW just returned from a scouting trip to get the lay of the land:
HOTEL LE TOINY has everything you need in one gorgeous hillside spot overlooking the sea. An intimate, somewhat secluded beach retreat with 22 suites (all with their own terraces and plunge pools), it is romantic but also lively. The Le Toiny Beach Club – some say the best on the island – and recently renovated restaurant give the public spaces a chic atmosphere a la modeof having your own private club on the French Riviera.
Bonita is famous for ceviche and cocktails. Get Joe the bartender to whip up a Gustavia Secret, which will surely get your attention. And when you’re ready for more, there’s Bagatelle for dinner and drinks just a few blocks away. Tamarin is another must-dine venue with tropical feel.
For more casual dining, there’s Fish Corner, a tiny venue off the main shopping area in Gustavia near Bijou de la Mer, and Yo Sushi Mania, a local secret near Le Toiny.
And for big-time fun, Le Ti St Barth is THE place to go. You can dress up in costume with friends and dance the tropical night away.
Gustavia is the area for shopping, although St. Jean is worth a look as well. CTTW favorites are Bijou del la Mer(for a splurge), Sunday, Poupette, 100%Capri, Lolita Jaca.
No two St. Barth’s beaches are exactly alike, so you’ll want to venture beyond your hotel beach to fully experience the island.
Gouveneur– The most incredible Rockefeller compound is located on this non-commercial beach. You can see it as you drive down the very steep hill to get to the beach.
Grand Saline – This is the biggest beach, but it is also non-commercial like Gouveneur. Great to go if you are having lunch at Tamarin.
St. Jean– This is a nice beach for lounging in the water because there aren’t many waves, and you can watch the planes land. It is perhaps the most popular beach due to its close proximity to hotels.
Shell Beach– Just like it sounds, this beach is famous for having thousands of small pink and yellow shells. While on Shell Beach, be sure to stop by Shellona to enjoy the sunset and a delicious meal and/or refreshing cocktail. It’s the closest beach to Gustavia. Rent a lounge chair on the beach for 50 euro and do a little shopping at Sunday my favorite shop on the island.
Colombier – It’s a bit of a hike (literally) to get to, but worth the trip. One of Rockefeller’s estates is nearby, and he may have owned the beach at one point.
Flamands– Enjoy a walk or swim here after lunching at Isle de France and Taiwana.
Grand Fond– For a walk on the wild side, try this windy beach near Le Toiny. You can’t swim here, but the hiking is good. It’s the most natural and mysterious beach on the island.
DO NOT MISS
Sundays at Nikki Beach Club… for a fun scene and the best people watching, next to the famed Eden Rock Resort, owned by Pippa Middleton’s in-laws. Closes at sundown.