St. Barths, the most elite and expensive Caribbean island, is a get away for the rich and famous from around the world. With 22 postcard-perfect beaches, world class shopping, and excellent restaurants it’s understandable why the world’s most beautiful people would want to unwind here. The week between Christmas- New Years is infamous in St. Barths for its flashy parties that celebrities from all over the world attend. St. Barths is much quieter during other weeks of the year and a truly amazing place for a vacation. Today’s post is going to talk about some of my favorite things to do on this famous French island.
How Do I Get There?
Getting to St Barths isn’t easy if you don’t have a private yacht, since there aren’t any commercial airlines that fly directly to the island. That being said, it isn’t that hard to reach St. Barths either. JetBlue, Continental, Delta, American and United offer direct flights to neighboring St. Maarten.
From St. Maarten there are two ways to reach St. Barths; you can take a ferry ride, or 15-minute flight on a small plane to reach the island. The small plane is obviously an easier and quicker way to reach the island since you are already at the airport. Tickets can be purchased from Winair or St. Barth Commuter if you would like to take the small plane.
If you aren’t great on small planes take a ferry. There are a few different ferries that will take you to St. Barths. For the fastest ferry ride, book the Voyager, which leaves from Oyster Bay. If you choose to go to Oyster Bay the cab ride is about 30 minutes long from the airport and costs around $20. Then, the boat ride lasts about 45 minutes. It is quite beautiful to see the island as you come in from the sea. Tickets for the Voyager can be purchased online.
Is it REALLY that expensive?
Well, the short answer is yes. On our way from the airport in St. Maarten our driver said, “Why are you going to St. Barths? A cheeseburger there is 36 dollars!” And well, he was right. My cheeseburger WAS 36 dollars BUT it had truffles on it! In all seriousness though, I don’t want to lie to you. St. Barths isn’t a cheap vacation so if you were looking for that I would choose another Caribbean island. If you still want to go, budget accordingly. It’s worth it!
What should I wear?
Dressed up before dinner at La Guerite! (Dress: Thakoon)
St. Barths isn’t a typical Caribbean Island, this is an island to see and be seen, so pack some of your favorite dress clothes. While St. Barths is casual during the day, at night people dress to impress. For instance, you aren’t going to be able to get into the restaurants and clubs in cut off shorts and tank tops. I personally loved this because, “HELLO, cute vacation photos!”
How do I get around?
In St. Barths having a car is very helpful, and I recommend renting one for at least part of your stay, so you can explore Gustavia and some of the island’s beautiful beaches. There are drivers for hire, but they can be pretty pricey. For instance we paid 40 bucks for a 5-minute ride one night. If you plan to drink ask your hotel to set-up a car service for you in advance. If you aren’t drive yourself. It’s pretty easy to get around.
Where should I stay?
Truthfully, there are a lot of great hotels in St. Barths, such as Eden Rock and Hotel Christopher, but today I want to rave about the Tom Beach Hotel. We just stayed at Tom Beach last week and we absolutely loved it.
The room was comfortable, the service was impeccable, and it’s located on St Jean Beach, so it is right in the middle of everything! The bar is also fabulous and has the best drinks in town thanks to the bartender, Alexi, who became a fast friend! I’m not exaggerating when I say he can make ANYTHING!
Where Should I Dine?
Location: La Pointe, Gustavia 97133 Saint-Barthélémy
Hours: 7pm-2am Daily
Why to Go: You may have heard of La Guérite since it is well known all over the world for its Cannes location, which has been open since 1935. In 2015, La Guérite decide to open a location in St. Barths in the Gustavia Harbor. Chef, Yiannis Kioroglou, now serves delightful Mediterranean cuisine in this trendy restaurant that is surrounded by yachts and other fishing boats. This is a restaurant for sharing so split a few starters with your group before your main course. The mussels, burrata and artichoke salad were some of our favorites!
Location: Route De Saline, 97133 St. Barthelemy, French West Indies
Hours: 11am-12am on most days. The restaurant closes for lunch on Mondays & Tuesdays.
Why to Go:
Let Tamarin is literally the perfect restaurant in St. Barths! The restaurant and gardens are beautiful and the food is delicious. The French couple that runs the restaurant, Paco & Julie, make every guest feel right at home. Everything our group had was delightful! The steak for 2 is huge and can be shared for 4! This is a must visit in St. Barths and busy on most nights so make a reservation in advance. I cannot wait to go back and try their Sunday Brunch!
Location: Plage de Public, St. Barth, Gustavia 97133
Hours: Dinner is served starting at 7pm Monday-Saturday. Maya’s is closed on Sundays.
Why to Go: Maya and her husband Randy met in St. Barths in the 1970’s and lived on a sailboat for 8 years before opening this restaurant in 1984. Now, Maya’s is a St. Barths institution and has been called one of the best restaurants in the Caribbean. Maya’s is a wonderful place to relax after a day at the beach. With a menu that changes daily, and the fact Maya herself greets you, you won’t want to miss dining at Maya’s! Many locals dine at Maya’s so make sure you have a reservation!
What Should I do during the day?
Anse de Grande Saline (Saline Beach)Location: Southern Coast on St. Barths. You can drive here by taking D209 east from Baie de St-Jean or following Rue Lubin Brin from Gustavia.Why to Go: Saline Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in St. Barths. To get there you will need a car and then be ready to do a short 10-minute hike to the beach. Basically, park your car in the lot and then you will see a sign for Saline Beach. Walk past the sign, under the trees and over the sandy hill. The walk is worth it because this beach has soft, white-sand, crystal clear blue water and a view without a building in sight. That being said, there is no shade on this beach and nowhere to buy food or water so pack a picnic. (We bought amazing meats and cheeses at a grocery store in town!)
While swimming at Saline Beach we noticed that the current here is stronger than some of the other beaches we went to, so be cautious. Finally, don’t be surprised if you see nude sunbathers. While, this isn’t technically allowed in St. Barths, those wishing to avoid tan lines hang out on the right side of Saline! This beach is worth the hike. Don’t forget your sunblock!
St. Jean Beach
Location: St. Jean, just type it into your navi. It will come up!
Why to Go: This is my favorite beach in St. Barths! The aquamarine water is stunningly beautiful and is quite calm thanks to a reef. Windsurfing, snorkeling and swimming are popular at St.-Jean Beach. It is also a fun beach for people watching since there are bars and restaurants along the shore. If you aren’t staying on St. Jean you can rent chairs at Eden Rock or the Tom Beach Hotel.
Perhaps what makes St. Jean Beach so unique is it is located next to the airport, so you can watch small planes take off and land while you relax. I’m seriously missing this place right now!
Shop in Gustavia!
Location: Centre Commercial Cour Vendome, Rue de la République, Gustavia, 97133
Why to Go: St. Barths is my new favorite place to shop. There are not only tons of amazing boutiques, but you can also buy fine French goods for lower prices. In addition to the shopping, Gustavia is a lovely town with many fantastic cafes and restaurants. If you need a break from the sun this is a wonderful way to spend the afternoon!
Where are the best parties?
Bikini Brunch at La Plage
Location: La Plage at the Tom Beach Hotel, Baie de St Jean
Hours: Saturdays from 12pm- until the party stops! The 2pm seating is probably best if you are looking for the party vibe!
Why to Go: I LOVED BIKINI BRUNCH AT LA PLAGE! It was one of my favorite things we did in St. Barths! (And not just because everything is Pink!)Bikini Brunch is a sceney party on St. Jean Beach. Envision a beach party, with tons of beautiful people, where Rose’ and champagne flow freely while you are surrounded by hot pink flamingos and gorgeous models doing fashion shows. La Plage gives all of their guests temporary flamingo tattoos so that adds to the fun party vibe! The food is actually good too! I highly recommend the truffle burger, lobster burger or Tuna Tartare. I mean you need to eat something to soak up all of that Rose’! 😉
Location: Centre Vaval, St Jean 97133
Hours: No one really goes until 11pm…it is technically open earlier but it gets really fun around 1am.
Why to Go: Because every single local we met told us to go to Modjo! Our bartender from our hotel, the fabulous Alexi, took our group one night and it did not disappoint. This is a packed dance club with amazing music, so it’s the perfect place to party! The locals are so friendly in St. Barths and you will have an amazing time! Tip: Buy a table so you have somewhere to sit and people watch. If you get a local to help you negotiate the table price it is much cheaper!
Location: Pointe Milou, Pointe Milou 97133
Hours: Tuesday- Sunday from 7:30pm-3:00am during high season.
Why to Go:
This is arguably the hottest spot in St. Barths and in my opinion it should be a requirement to go to Le Ti at least once during your visit.
I mean there’s a reason celebrities like Leonardo Di Caprio and Pippa Middleton hang out here! I mean watch this….
Le Ti is unlike anything I have ever experienced before, and I went to college in Miami! We were there for the Cabaret show, which is very entertaining and fun. Check it out.
After the show, Le Ti turns into a full-blown club and provides many different costumes for guests to wear. (I may have ended up dressed as a pirate dancing on a table with a dinosaur.) Anything can happen at Le Ti!!!
Disclaimer: I had to fly back to LA on Sunday so I was not able to attend Nikki Beach for their huge Sunday party. I have heard it’s amazing. I mean if it’s like any of the other Nikki Beach parties I have been too how could it not be??? So, check that out too if you are in town on a Sunday!
I leave you with this photo from the Tom Beach Hotel because it perfectly sums up how I feel about St. Barths. Addicted!
Have fun in St. Barths!
Lindsay & Christopher