My husband recently surprised me with a trip to St. Barth’s for my 30th birthday. Being a francophile who loves the beach, he figured St. Barth’s in the Caribbean would be the perfect place to celebrate. I always had envisioned the island being the one of the chicest places on earth – and it’s definitely chic – but I was surprised that much of the island was laid back and relaxed. We rented a villa, stopped at the grocery store for Camembert & rosé and packed a picnic for one of the 14 public beaches. Here are my personal rec’s for the island…
Villas are the way to go. Hotel prices are crazy expensive and most villa comes with a private pool and view.
Saline Beach – Isolated and undeveloped, this beach is great for swimming. Not uncommon to see nude sunbathers.
Gouverneur Beach – South coast beach with scenic cliffs. Another great option for swimming and snorkeling.
‘Washing Machine’ Hike – Near Toiny there’s a small parking lot and path leading to the beach. Take a right to walk along the rocky beach and follow the path up the cliffside. Keep an eye out for the mountain goats, enjoy the breathtaking views and you’ll soon descend into the natural pools known as the ‘washing machine’.
Anglican Church – Peak your head into this beautiful church in Gustavia. Founded in the 1850’s.
Cemetery – Stop at one of the many cemeteries on the side of the road and take note of the fake flowers on grave sites. Makes for beautiful photos!
L’Esprit Saline – My favorite meal of the trip! Tables are set in a romantic tropical garden.
Le Tamarin – Excellent food in an enchanting garden. The niçoise salad was perfect for lunch.
La Case de L’Isle – The restaurant at the Cheval Blanc hotel. Chic and romantic right on the beach.
Le Ti – Steakhouse/cabaret that gets rowdier as the night progresses. Super kitschy, but a St. Barth’s must. Enjoy your steak dinner with a pop-up fashion show, pole dancing and (potentially) dancers right on top of your table. Your order of Dom arrives with a sparkler attached so everyone knows what you ordered.
Do Brazil – Sunset drinks on Shell Beach.
Kiki-e Mo – Salads, sandwiches, coffee and juice.
Le Gaiac – Sunday brunch with a view at Hotel Le Toiny.
La Casa del Habano – Cuban cigars for the beach.
Hermès – Because you’re in St. Barth’s!
Calypso St. Barth – The flagship store in Gustavia. White, pastels, linen and metallic beachwear.
Lili Belle, Rose Indie, Terra St. Barths – 3 boutiques right off St. Jean Beach featuring high-end designers, jewelry, swimsuits and cover-ups.
American Gourmet – Beautifully packaged gourmet goods in Gustavia.
‘Washing Machine’ hike.
Rosé in hand on Plage Gouverneur.
Villas of St. Barth’s.
A St. Barth’s staple.
The ‘Washing Machine’.
Paris in the Caribbean.
Casa del Habano.
Hermès shop in Gustavia.
Mountain goat siting on our hike.
The Anglican Church in Gustavia.
The beachy colors of St. Barth’s.
Crystal turqouise waters.
Le Toiny brunch.
Do Brazil sunset cocktails.
Dangerously close planes landing on the island.
Yachts in the bay.
Departing view from the Sea Otter.