To say that the Caribbean is beautiful is an understatement. What’s new is that one of the islands is becoming more and more popular among the millionaires: Saint Barthélemy. Also known as St. Barth, it is one of the northern islands in the Antilles chain.
You’ll bump into several celebrities there. Just so you understand why I decided to talk about it: the model Kate Moss has gone topless on the beaches of St. Barth, the singer Beyoncé promoted big parties there and also Cristiano Ronaldo has spent New Year there once.
And these are just some examples of the many celebrities who have a residence and spend vacation scuba diving in clear waters. It’s a mix of the natural beauty of the Caribbean and European sophistication.
A bit of History
Getting to St. Barth is very quick: two hours if you’re flying from Miami. If you’re closer: 250 km from Porto Rico. And the European features carry meaning: the island was a Swedish colony for over 100 years, but today it’s a French territory.
The signs that the Swedes have been in the island are reflected in the local architecture. On the other hand, the language, the culture and the cuisine have French influence (I admit I was so dying to visit the place).
And the fact that St. Barth has become so popular among the celebrities can actually be explained: their development is quite recent. That’s why there aren’t many hotels, residents or public transportation on the island. And that’s exactly why the millionaires like to parade undisturbed there: it’s low-key.
But you can bet the island will remain this way, because the local authorities can see St. Barth is rather small and couldn’t envision too many tourists. Security – both personal and in terms of belongings – are imperative there. One more reason why the celebrities always pick the island (besides all the natural beauty, of course).
It’s important to know that their currency is Euro (due to the European influence) and that hotels are not the only options.. Which is great! Many visitors prefer to rent a house so they feel more comfortable to throw their own parties without any disturbance. Oh! And you don’t have to worry: you can find many realtor agencies there.
A great way to search for hotels (or houses) is online on Airbnb, Booking, or you can rummage through their official tourism website. Another very hot tip I can give you is to email whatever accommodation you choose.
This way you can talk to an attendant or even haggle a better rate. But keep this in mind: St. Barth is an expensive island, intended for select groups, so hotel and house rates tend to be higher than you’d usually pay in other places you travel to. But if you’re patient enough to dig for good deals, I’m sure you can find something more affordable.
I’ve done a little search myself. I’ve found some options, like the inn Auberge Petit Anse. And also some cheaper accommodation: Salines Garden, Auberge Terre-Neuve, Normandie Hotel and Le Village St. Jean.
tip: I also suggest renting a car. I mean, this is more than necessary. Because that’s how you can visit all the beaches on the island without having to be bound to one only place.
And just so you start getting familiar with the island, its capital is Gustavia. In Gustavia you’ll see huge yachts and the millionaires who own them. Just so you have an idea, the yachts are so big (they’re huge) that they can’t enter the port.
The Best Time to Go
Take this down: from December to April, since it’s drier and less likely to rain. You should also remember that the island is located in a hurricane area. They can happen between July and November.
And from September to mid-October that I totally recommend against setting foot on the island. As it’s very cold and rainy, several hotels and restaurants close down and will just reopen at the end of October or beginning of November.
All the beaches are wonderful, but I’ve selected five which are considered to be the best ones. Starting from Colombier. You will need to get a boat to get there or you can take a trail that lasts between 15 and 20 minutes.
If you decide to walk there, that is fine: the trail is safe, but the Colombier beach itself doesn’t have any kind of infrastructure like bars or restaurants. So pack some water and food before you go. Plus, finding a spot in the shade is not so easy. So if you intend to stay for a couple of hours or more, don’t forget to bring an umbrella.
Anse des Flamands is another beach you have to go to. There you’ll find a great structure to enjoy the sun and the clear water for hours and hours.
And very close to the airport is Baie de St. Jean: That’s where the famous beach club called Nikki Beach is (this is a must). On the beach you’ll find all kinds of commerce.
Anse du Gouverneur: this is another must-see, hands down. Wonderful beach, great infrastructure, including a parking area (which is very convenient since you’ll have rented a car).
And to finish our list, Anse de Saline. Forget any shopping or infrastructure of any kind. Here you’ll have to bring your own stuff in case you want to stay on the beach.
Dolce&Gabbana created an exclusive collection for the opening of their new boutique in St Barth. #DGLovesStBarth
Where to Eat
You’ll find many restaurants around St. Barth island. And the prices will range from expensive to reasonable (we can’t say they’re really “cheap”, right?).
A great pick is La Creperie. Located in Gustavia, the capital, the crapes are made with buckwheat flour, and they also make great snacks. In my research, I found that you can get dinner for two for around 60 euros.
You can also have lunch at Hotel Taiwana (on Anse des Flamands beach). The meal, which includes a starter, main course, dessert, a glass of wine and a bottle of water, goes for 40 euros.
So, are you even more excited to go to St. Barth? Well, what you waiting for? Start planning your next trip. Let me know what you think of St. Barth island.