Saint Barthelemy, commonly known as St. Barts, has been associated with luxury. Between the French Caribbean island’s tropical beaches, high-end restaurants, designer shops, it’s the ideal place for relaxation. While it’s known for being expensive, if you plan carefully and early, it won’t be that much pricier than other Caribbean isles. Here’s what you need to know for your St. Barts getaway.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit St. Barts is from April to June. This is when it will be more affordable as it’s right after winter which is super expensive and right before the fall, which is prone to storms. Temperatures are between the low 70s and low 90s all year, but there’s more rain from September to November.
How to Get Around
To explore all the beaches and trails on the island, you’ll need to rent a car. There are tons of car rental agencies at the airport and all you need is a valid foreign driver’s licence.
Where to Stay
Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France
Between the gorgeous views of northern St. Barts’ Flamands Beach and the marble foyers and white-washed walls, Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France is the very definition of luxury. This 5-star hotel features rooms with bathrooms with rain showers and private terraces that overlook the ocean. Other amenities include the Cheval Blanc Spa and the La Case or La Cabane restaurant.
Eden Rock – St Barths
Eden Rock is the first hotel to open on St. Barts and it’s been around for 60 years. Over the years, Greta Garbo and Howard Hughes stayed at the 5-star hotel. If you book a villa, you’ll have a private art gallery or a recording studio. The hotel, which sits on St. Jean Bay, has a spa and three bars.
Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa
This new 5-star hotel has been open since 2016 and it sits on the beach overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The rooms feature lake, garden, or ocean views. Amenities at the hotel include a fitness center, a spa, a nail salon, two restaurants, a bar, and a yoga studio.
What to Do
Baie de St-Jean
You don’t want to miss the breathtaking aquamarine water at Baie de St-Jean or the Bay of St. Jean. This beach is ideal for sunbathing, windsurfing, or snorkeling and it also has cute boutiques and bistros.
Anse des Flamands
If you’re looking for a quieter beach than Baie de St-Jean, Anse des Flamands is the one for you. The beach even offers a little palm-shame, a rarity on St. Barts’ beaches, and there are tons of restaurants nearby. For a nice hike, go from the beach to a nearby dormant volcano that some people believe formed St. Barts.
St. Barts capital Gustavia, which is shaped like a horseshoe, has Fort Gustav and Wall House Museum. The harbor town is great for shopping and dining. If you’re looking to do some serious shopping, head to Quai de la République. The true magic of the town happens at night when the nightlife takes over. You may even run into celebrities vacationing at popular spots including Le Select and Yacht Club.
What to Eat
For the best food on the island, head to the upscale hotels and resorts. You’ll find Caribbean cuisine combined with Creole flavors, traditional French cooking, fresh seafood, and local fruits. Some of the best are On the Rocks at Eden Rock and Jarad at Le Toiny at Hotel Le Toiny. Other restaurants worth mentioning are Maya’s in Gustavia and Le Tamarin near Grande Saline Beach.