Read our pocket guide to Saint Barthélemy
Saint Barthélemy: A pocket guide
St. Barth is a luxury lover’s paradise, striking a perfect balance between high-end opulence and laid-back living. St Barth has a wealth of pristine beaches, and all are open to the public. St. Jean Beach, which has been dubbed “the world’s sexiest,” is always host to lots of beautiful people, sunning, lingering over seaside lunches, and enjoying water sports. For something quieter, visit one of the island’s several undeveloped beaches. There’s a three-way tie for the best: Saline, Gouverneur, and Colombier, which is so deliciously remote it can be reached only by a hike or boat.
The island is known for its glamorous guests, and shopping opportunities reflect their lifestyle, with designer boutiques including Bulgari, Cartier, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, and Longchamp. Indulge in a pre- or post-shopping lunch at Le Carré, which is surrounded by luxury boutiques in Gustavia’s Carré d’Or, then treat yourself to a private massage back at the villa.
Dining opportunities on St. Barth are enviable, and some of the best food in the Caribbean can be found in its bars and restaurants. For a glitzy Sunday brunch, go poolside at Hotel Le Toiny’s Le Gaïac. It offers a sumptuous buffet, five-star service, and a killer view. The island’s French influence is on full display at La Case de l’Isle, from Cheval Blanc, which also presents a daily lunchtime fashion show. For a casual beachside lunch, visit La Gloriette. After the meal, artisanal flavored rums are offered—you can pick up a bottle of the good stuff at their little shop as you leave.
For a special evening out, options are limitless; fish lovers should visit L’Esprit, and carnivores will enjoy the chateaubriand for two at M&P—you pick your sides and choose four sauces from a lengthy list. Taïno at the Christopher Hotel offers poolside dining at its finest For something a little more rock-and-roll, Le Ti is a bordello-like supper club with a rollicking floor show and lots of glitterati, making it a fun night out. For dinner with a view, book a table at Bonito restaurant and admire the sunset with a glass of Sancerre in hand. Alternatively, for an evening to remember, hire a private chef to prepare and serve a gourmet dinner in your villa and dine under the stars.
If you prefer something a little more down-to-earth, Le Select café is a must. This iconic scruffy little bar and burger shack (old wooden tables, plastic chairs, and great sight lines for people watching) served its first Ti Punch in 1949. Locals love it as much as visitors, who go for the scene more than the burgers. The beers are ice cold and fun’s aplenty.
St. Barth is home to some of the most spectacular luxury villas in the world, and our UltraVilla experts have handpicked the very best for you to enjoy. New to the St. Barth scene are some exclusive villas of charm and authenticity, so check in with UltraVilla as we uncover more of these gems.