St.Barths is a beautiful breath taking island and is part of the French West Indies. There is a glamour, elegance and chic dynamic to the island which can be attributed to its inherent French flavour.
It has a reputation as one of the safest islands in the world due to virtually no crime rate and many of the world’s high net worth business men and women, celebrities, models, Hollywood elite and those in the know have homes there. Looking for something to get up to on your vacation? Here are some of the top activities in St Barts.
Glamorous Gustavia and Saint Jean
The capital of St. Barths is Gustavia, a very pretty harbour town with steep bay walls and attractive red roof top buildings. There is a boardwalk around the waterfront with boats and yachts moored in the bay. Lots of chic fashionable restaurants and bars are dotted around Gustavia and it has a luxury feel to the whole area. Two kilometres East of Gustavia is Saint Jean and the small airport lies at the end of Saint Jean, featuring the second shortest runway in the world. Saint Jean is home to the famous Eden Rock Hotel and the ‘On the Rocks’ restaurant which produces internationally inspired cuisines by world renowned Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Fine Dining Restaurants
There are over 80 restaurants in St. Barths and the food ranges from traditional French to the flavours of the West Indies. The Dining in St. Barths is considered to be some of the best in the world with provisions flown in from Paris daily and seafood caught in local waters. Eating in a St. Barths restaurant is akin to eating in some of the best Michelin star restaurants in New York, Paris, London and Tokyo. The demand is high and reservations are a must, particularly in the high season.
Top Restaurants on St. Barths include:
- On the Rocks
- Le Ti
- Nikki Beach
- Sand Bar
St. Barths is a fashion lover’s paradise with over 200 beautiful boutiques on the island as well as being duty free. Gustavia is home to many of these boutiques.
The Quai de la République street is right on the harbour and is home to the luxury designer brands including Hermes, Cartier, Chopard, Louis Vuitton and Bulgari. If you are used to shopping in Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendels and Barneys designer department stores in New York or the Louvre -Tuileries and Faubourg Saint-Honoré districts in Paris, the Quai de la Republique is for you.
Both the Rue du Roi Oscar II and Rue du Général de Gaulle are also great destination shopping streets in Gustavia. Other shopping areas include The La Savane Commercial Centre, just across the street from the airport and the village of Saint Jean which has some fantastic chic boutiques to explore.
Stores close for lunch from noon until 3 but they are open until 7 in the evening. If you are shopping on a Wednesday, the morning time is best as some stores close at lunch for the rest of the day.
St. Barths has 14 sandy white beaches overlooking clear glistening turquoise waters. If you are looking for a beach party lifestyle then Shell beach, which is a short walk from the capital Gustavia, is the scene of many weekend festivals. St Jean beach is also very popular. For unspoilt and secluded beaches the South coast beaches Saline and Gouveneur are perfect.
A unique day trip to the Northwest of St. Barths will bring you to Colombier beach. It can only be approached by a steep hiking path or a catamaran overland. This makes it much quieter and peaceful for swimming and snorkelling and it has views of the offshore island of Fourchue which has a protected cove. A lovely way to spend a day here is to take a gourmet picnic of chilled champagne and lobster and enjoy on the golden sands.
Gourmet lovers, glamorous party goers and fashion connoisseurs are not the only people who love St. Barths. The island offers multiple adventure activities from deep sea fishing to boat trips, hiking to horse-riding, scuba diving, snorkelling and a wide variety of water sports. After a day of adventure activities, the best way to relax is in one of the spas at the Guanahani Hotel or the Hotel St Barths Isle de France.