St Barth, St Tropez on an Island
For years one of my favorite destinations has been St Tropez for its quaint village vibe, fashionable men donning crisp linen shirts, women in chic sundresses and the way the sun sets at 9 as if you’re part of the backdrop on a movie set. It’s blissfully perfect. (Most of Adam’s linen shirts were purchased in one of our trips to St Tropez.)
Fast forward — and enter — St Barth; elegant and stylish beachy chic meets laid back tropical island vibe. Having the opportunity to explore this magical island set in the French West Indies it seems St Tropez has met its match. With that said, the two are fairly similar, yet one on a continent the other on an island; both French and European, both elegant, beautiful and serene. St Tropez is nestled in a cove on the Mediterranean Sea while St Barth aka St. Barthelemy is in the Caribbean and lies between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea in the Lesser Antilles chain of islands.
Saint Barthélemy is an island that feels bigger than it actually is. The tiny island does not feel overcrowded with its hills and different landscapes while being home to 5-star hotels, luxury villas, gourmet restaurants with a dense concentration all in one place. This magic of Saint Barths is sometimes hard to convey to future guests who inquire about how far from my villas are from the actions. While the villas are peaceful and secluded, no point on the Island is more than 15-20 minutes away by car. (https://www.saintbarth.com/thibaults-insider-guide-to-st-barths/st-barts-island/)
Here are my
Top 10 Hotels
Top 3 Beach Clubs and
Top 5 Restaurants set in this blissful island paradise that feels more European than a Caribbean island.
St Barth, playground for the celebrity jet set & you — an international island paradise sprinkled with intriguing art, luxury villas, sparkling, sandy beaches, delicious restaurants, magnificent yachts, beautiful people and elegant boutiques. With the added benefits of safety & the ability to let your guard down, including clean streets, and kind, cheerful people. From the tourists to the shopkeepers and waitstaff it’s an international crowd occupying this tiny island just 11 miles long and 2.5 miles wide.
Top 10 Hotels, St Barths
If you should rent a villa, like we did, you might go for lunch, an afternoon aperitif, rent a sunbed and umbrella at one of the magnifique beach clubs, or go for dinner. The best of both worlds.
- Eden Rock – St Jean Bay. The most famous and historic hotel jets out from St Jean Beach in St Jean Bay. Glamorous Hollywood characters have frequented the island over the decades including Howard Hughes, Greta Garbo, Robert Mitchum, Gore Vidal, Baron Rothschild, David & Peggy Rockefeller, Princess Lee Radziwill… amongst numbers of other fine beautiful and talented men and women.
- Hotel Le Toiny – Perched on the hillside above Anse de Toiny on the wild eastern coast of St Barth. It’s as if you have stepped into a painting or grand picture window –into the unassuming boutique lobby looking out towards the sparkling swimming pool, surrounded by a cozy lounge set in neutral tones, and to the left, the elegant bar appointed with bright pink stools; the beauty magnified with sweeping views of the Caribbean Sea in the forefront. This jewel of a hotel serves guests in just 22 private villa suites and includes a beach club that is accessible only by hotel valet.
- Hotel Christopher — recently referred to as the Beverly Hills of St. Barth nestled at the secluded Pointe Milou has more of an urban chic meets elegant modern vibe with an infinity swimming pool overlooking the sea at eye level. The rocky shore is more to enjoy than to take a dip.
- Le Sereno – Pop of red comes to mind when I reminisce about this luxurious hotel. Understated elegance and contemporary design situated in the Grand Cul de Sac on a pristine private beach (one of few hotels with ideal beachfront location). The grand swimming pool lined with chaise lounges on either side looks right out into the blue sea.
- Le Barthélemy Hotel and Spa situated on the Grand Cul de Sac — LBHT has been voted #1 Resort on St Barth and #2 in the Caribbean and Top 15 Resorts in the World. Self described as a “hotel that embraces its chic Parisian pedigree while reveling in its relaxed St. Barts setting. It is perfection without the unnecessary pretense.” Personal Note: Hotel boutique shopping is where I happen upon my best finds. I hit the jackpot at the La Barthélemy Hotel’s boutique. I even went back twice.
As my Blog is getting too long I am shortening my comments. But should you like my take on anything mentioned in this Blog or the following 5 hotels and resorts, please feel free to reach out.
- Cheval Blanc – Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France echoes French refinement in a glamorous ambience located on the north west coast of the island with a private beach. One of two resorts we didn’t preview or enjoy.
- Rosewood Le Guanahani – Le Guanahani, the finest boutique of the island, nestled on a private 18-acre peninsula between Marigot Bay and Grand Cul-de-Sac on the island of St. Barth, Le Guanahani offers access to two pristine white-sand beaches where guests are invited to relax in the sun or indulge in water-based sports. We enjoyed our daily glass or two of rose with tuna tartare, my favorite afternoon snack. Even though the winds picked up, we simply ducked for cover under the beautiful wooden bar with other guests and watched as a perfect rainbow arched high in the sky over the Caribbean Sea as if it were planned just for us.
- Hotel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf, situated in the town of Gustavia high atop the hill overlooking Shell Beach –where we enjoyed lunch and a swim until sundown. The magnificent view from the hotel restaurant, Le Fouquet’s Brasserie made for a perfect evening cocktail after our long day.
- Manapany – 5 Star Luxury Eco-Resort Boutique Hotel is set amongst a jungle of palms, coconut trees and lush greenery and is located on Anse des Cayes Beach along the Atlantic Ocean.
- Hôtel Villa Marie – Tropical Chic Boutique Hotel with a colonial spirit vibe, bohemian style and bungalows and villas in turquoise, pink, bougainvillea, sky blue and canary yellow overlooking the magnificent Flamands Bay.
Top 3 Beach Clubs
And a single word (vibe) to describe each
- Nikki Beach -Exhilarating
- GypSea Beach – Bohemian
- Shellona Beach Club – Magical
Top 5 Spots to Sip, Socialize & Enjoy the magnificent Views — for a cocktail, aperitif or full dinner and/or after dinner drink —although there are many more.
Each of these 5 stunning spots have a unique quality that stands out in my mind and takes me back.
Bonito — Our first stop at sunset on day one. The view overlooking the town of Gustavia, the sparkling lights and luxury mega yachts simply took my breath away.
Eden Rock – St Jean Bay — Centrally located in the heart of St Barth boutiques and beach clubs; and a stone’s throw from the airport.
Le Tamarin – Tropical garden setting nestled amongst a lush garden paradise. We arrived for Garden Hour, their version of Happy Hour and stayed for dinner. Magnifique!
Guanahani – a Rosewood Hotel, so excellent service is guaranteed and the furnishings and interiors are nothing short of luxurious. Situated on a beautiful expansive beach. Take Note; not all resorts have access to a beach. So if beach access is important you’ll want to check that out before you book.
Shell Beach 🏝 from the beach, the restaurant above or the bar set in the sand Shell Beach is nestled in a protective cove, and is magical spot is not to be missed. We began our afternoon at Shellona, a delicious Greek restaurant set above the beach, then swam in the sea through sunset while our friends lounged on beach mattresses sipping cocktails and chatting with new acquaintances.
St Barth did not disappoint and we cannot wait to return!
For more information or my personal take please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Happy Travels and a very Happy New Year!
Snaps from our amazing villa! See you next year St Barth.
On the way to St Barth we actually missed our flight out after much planning, and even arriving to the airport 2 hours early! Photo left — we were so excited and perhaps too relaxed. After a second attempt the next night, two more martini’s, a red eye flight to JFK from SFO, a connection to St Marten and a puddle jumper to St Barth – and 2 covid tests later, we made it!