Finally, it’s in! So, we recently went to St. Barths for the first time and now fully understand it’s irresistible appeal. Well, there’s even more to love during the summer because it’s the time when St. Barths locals and privileged insiders shift from the VIP shuffle to a quieter, more intimate pace, what the real St. Barths is all about.
Low season (July and August) is when visiting St. Barths means relaxing at deserted beaches, getting ad-hoc reservations at the best restaurants, experiencing a range of cultural events and ultimately enjoying affordable luxury at the Caribbean’s most sought after destination.
St. Barts is one of the most varied and upscale islands in the Caribbean; with villas, hotels, spas, some of the best restaurants in the Caribbean, a wide choice of leisure activities and nautical sports, prestigious sailing regattas, a full calendar of cultural events, and the irresistible allure of great shopping. Frequented primarily by an upscale clientele, this French Caribbean island attracts discriminating travelers who favor an exclusive vacation spot.
St. Barts also has a strong artistic and cultural heritage, which is celebrated in the island’s many festivals. During the summer, there’s 10 days of live music with St. Barts Summer Sessions from August 5-16; and concerts of Caribbean music with St. Barts JAM Music Festival from August 15-18.
Check out Snow from St. Barts, a brand originally launched in 2007 and returning after two years in standby. The collection designed by Liliane Jossua aims at strong personalities who juggle chic with a scheduled life. Snow St Barth capsule collection is all about those made-in-France essential pieces, all in leather too. Until Christmas, deals may be few and far between, but when planing next year and thinking about summer, hotels on St. Barts also offer special packages. At Eden Rock, the Eden Bliss includes accommodations for 6 nights, lunch for 2 at the ‘Sand Bar with Jean-Georges’ on a day of your choice, dinner for 2 under the stars at ‘On The Rocks with Jean-Georges’ on your evening of choice and cocktail at sunset on your evening of choice.
Hotel Christopher offered a Gold package, which included 5 nights’ accommodations, room and buffet breakfast, welcome drink and minibar on arrival, and 150 € resort credit per day for food & beverage at Taïno and Mango.
Le Toiny is another gem which, this year, offered the Island Breeze package, where guests are invited to enjoy a three-, five- or seven-night stay in a One-Bedroom Villa Suite with newly renovated private pool and terrace, and sweeping ocean views. Guests will also enjoy a three-course dinner at the hotel’s beloved Restaurant Le Gaiac, two 60-minute spa treatments in Le Toiny’s Spa Cottage or the privacy of each guest’s own villa, and a Smart rental car to explore the island. Also included are daily full American breakfast, private round trip transfers, and a bottle of chilled Rosé and gourmet refreshments upon arrival.
The Hotel Carl Gustaf and Il de France also announced Summer packages. If villas are where you prefer to unwind this summer, most villas on St. Barts are rented weekly at 30-50% less than the weekly rate during high-season. Premium Island Vacations, SiBarth, and Villas Caribe are all viable options. Just be aware: it’s island time on St. Barth’s so if anything breaks, you may not get things fixed until you’re probably ready to leave. Trust me, I know.
Now for your list of places to go and things to do, here you go!
FAVE BAR: Do Brazil – sunset drinks for sure and on Sunday the best.
DIVE BAR: Le Select – Gustavia – fun, local, nothing special but good for a dinner if the bills from all these other places is getting too high. This is where Jimmy Buffet wrote “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” Do with that information what you will (eg. have a burger, since that’s all they have).
SLOW & LAZY SPA TIME: Le Sereno Spa and restaurant – great views from restaurant – Sereno is great and very chill.
CHAMPAGNE AND LUSH LUNCH: Nikki Beach – lunch – awesome and go for it on Saturday, DJs, tables in the sand, etc. Nikki Beach = Applebee’s of the international jet set.
THE BEST RELAXING EASY BEACH LUNCH: Les Plages – its on the beach by Eden Roc (and the airport to catch those flying planes). They usually have DJs, tables in sand, paninis and decently priced food and drink for being right on the water. It’s similar to Nikki Beach, but more casual and a warmer vibe.
SANDWICHES/PICNIC: Kiki et Mo‘s – cheap eats
NICE FANCY BEACH LUNCH: Ilse de France on Flamands Beach (my 2nd favorite on the island). Follow with with sunset drinks at Taiwana next door.
DINNER: Have a lovely dinner at Eddy‘s in Gustavia – they had a beautiful garden and authentic creole food. There’s also Bar Bat for sushi. The crepe and sandwich place places in Gustavia are good if you’re wandering around the shops. Have dinner one night at Eden Rock and make a reservation overlooking the water. It’s overpriced for the quality of food (like the majority of the island), but worth it.
Bonito is also a place to hang. Chill, without the pomp and circumstance, this cozy joint in Gustavia is the the place to be.
Saline: sublime, but can get a little windy
Gouverneur: much like Saline. Gorgeous, perfect waves, but sometimes a little windy too.
St. Jean/Tom Beach: This is where Les Plage, Nikki Beach, Eden Roc all sit. One of the most charming/beautiful beaches in the world and our group favorite (Flamands below a close 2nd)
Flamands: Where Iles de France is located, perfect to stay from lunch until drinks, then leave around 3pm to Les Plages or Shell Beach (where Do Brasil is located for sunset the sunset).
Columbier: Stunning, but a hike to get to. I didn’t go the day my friends went, but I was told to tell people that it’s a lovely hike too (that is, if you wanted to mildly torture them one hot afternoon).
For divers, check out this great scuba/snorkel operation in St. Barth:
And for those who want to get a crew together and have a home away from home, check out these websites for villa rentals in St. Barth: