St. Barths Travel Guide
Today, I am excited to write about one of my favorite places in the whole world: St. Barths. I have had the fortune to visit St. Barths three times - I've always returned every 4 years - and though it has changed over time, the feeling, the experience, the "everything" hasn't changed all that much. My Travel Guide to St Barths, just like the ones I've done for Ibiza and Mykonos will include a great hotel, places to wine and dine, and of course shopping and partying! So if you're thinking of going, have been and want to see what I have to say or would like to daydream about an escape, read on:
Where to Stay in St Barths
This time we stayed at the beautiful Tom Beach Hotel, located in St Jean and what an amazing choice it was. First of all, you know what they say "location, location, location!" and there are few better places to stay than St. Jean. The area is near the airport and next to one of the most beautiful beaches on the whole island, also named St. Jean beach. More on this beach in a bit. But one of the beauties of the location is that you are within 5-10 min. of every inch of the island as it is centrally located. Want to go downtown to Gustavia? Less than 5 minutes. Want to go to Colombier beach or Flamands? A little bit over 5 minutes. Saline or even the natural pools are mere minutes away. Now, the island is not huge, mind you, but being centrally located helps! Plus, you can walk out and stroll down St. Jean where you'll find boutiques and restaurants as well.
The hotel, as with all St Barths hotels is not big and features perfectly-sized rooms - ours even had an elevated ocean view! Aside from the usual amenities inside the room, the bathrooms were very nice and the balcony we had allows you to tan or just relax outside in privacy if you so desired.
Walking out onto the beach, you pass La Plage, their restaurant and where breakfast is served daily. The hotel offers complimentary Continental Breakfast, or you can choose a la carte for a cost. La Plage hosts several special nights - Lobster night, live music night, etc. But it is best known for its Saturday Bikini brunch, which features a DJ, music, drinks and a lot fun. A tiki bar tends to all your needs - alcohol or otherwise - and you can grab a chair and sit right on St Jean. The hotel also has one of the two Wildside St Barths stores, so shopping is never too far!
Overall, the service was great throughout and I am very happy to have had stayed here and hope to return once more soon!
St Barth's Beaches
Let's be honest about something: No matter what beach you choose to go to, it's going to be beautiful, secluded and peaceful with turquoise water and white sand. But let me give you my top 3 beaches of the island that you've seen in all the pictures from this past trip and saw on Snapchat if you followed along.
St. Jean Beach
I mentioned it before but let's go into a bit of detail. The beach is located at the end of the airport's runway and is the home of Tom Beach hotel and a few others. Aside from seeing the planes take off and land (and these are small propeller planes, not jumbo jets), the beach is quiet, has minimal waves and allows for great water sports if you're in the mood. In particular, I recommend Paddle Boarding! I don't know what it is in particular about this beach that I love - it's just beautiful, and convenient.
I've mentioned this beach in past posts, as the one that can only be accessed by either sea or a 30 min hike down a hill - talk about secluded! One of the reasons I love this beach is because there usually are no more than a handful of people on this beautiful beach. You have nobody near you so it's almost like your private beach. Do keep in mind it's a nudist beach but you can keep your bathing suit on if you want - I do! Because of the fact that it is so secluded, there's no bathroom, charging station, bar, food or anything of the sort nearby so bring in the drinks and food you'll need along with towels and a hat.
Located only 5 minute drive from St Jean, Saline is another one of my favorite beaches in St Barths. It's bigger than Colombier and St Jean, and even though more people go to it, you still don't have anybody near you anyway because of its size. The waves at Salines are usually a bit rougher - I remember my husband lost his sunglasses once because a big wave hit his face. Like you saw on this bathing suit pic, Salines has beautiful natural pools that not everyone knows about. Once you walk up, turn right and go all the way to the rocks. Salines is also a nudist beach, though optional as always and also has no bar, bathroom or food, so bring your own snacks. We usually bring a bag of ice, a champagne bottle, some snacks and portable speakers for the iPod!
Where to Shop in St Barths
The main town in St Barths is Gustavia and it houses most of the shops on the island. Be sure to take at least a morning or afternoon to walk around town as you'll find lots of fun surprises. From iconic Hermes and Louis Vuitton to the local like Wildside St Barths and Poupette St Barths. There are many fun shops to lose yourself in.
If you're by St Jean, the area also has some good boutiques, so be sure to walk around.
Where to Eat in St Barths
It's very hard to NOT find something good to eat in St Barths. This last time, I went to Le Tamarin which is located on a garden and has a beautiful setting. Last time, I had the chance to also go to Bonito, which I recommend as well as it has a beautiful view overlooking Gustavia harbor. A few of the places to party also have great dinners so... let's jump to that section:
Where to Party in St Barths
The parties in St Barth depend a bit on the day of the week. There are certain places that you know you have to go on a specific day.
Tuesday nights for example belong to Le Ti St Barths, a great steak dinner that also features a cabaret show of sorts with fun music and the party goes on till late.
If you're in town on a Saturday night (during the day you went to La Plage for Bikini brunch, right?), buckle up and go to Bagatelle. Like its counterparts in New York, Miami and St Tropez, Bagatelle features great dining along with an amazing party. Most go here till about 2-3am and then continue on to the after parties. Expect to see Superman and other super heroes as they bring bottles to the tables. It gets busy so if you want dinner, be sure to make a reservation in advance. If not, just stop by the bar after 11 or so.
It's Sunday now, you've had a long Saturday but it's not time to rest yet because one of the best parties on the island kicks off Sunday afternoon at Nikki Beach, located in St Jean. Come here for a late lunch and stay till the evening dancing on tables or the beach. If you're not into the lunch, just stop by, get a drink and dance on the sand for a few hours.
For the after parties that get going at 3am of sorts, I'm going to have to tell you to ask locals next time you go. Why? Because the cool place changes frequently, and the one I went to last- Yacht Club- was closing soon for good, apparently. So by the time you read this and go, it's likely closed.
If you have any questions about St Barths, where to go, where to stay and what to do, feel free to send me an email. I always enjoy giving recommendations to places on this beautiful island.
As always, thank you for reading!