It’s no secret that Saint Barthelemy, or St. Barths, also called St. Barts, has a reputation as the go-to destination for the rich and the famous.
A recent study found the average daily accommodation is $1,700 per person, the average meal costs $58, and the standard transportation cost is $24 per day, making St. Barts the most expensive vacation destination in the world.
In the midst of its fine dining and high-class restaurants, beautiful beaches filled with luxury yachts and water sports, it’s an island where some of your favorite Black celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Diddy, Drake, and Porsha and Simon Guobadia can escape hectic schedules, titles, and fan-crazed crowds to enjoy what vacations are about.
Its relatively small size and population, combined with the fact that it’s not easily accessible are some factors that allow visitors to experience a sense of exclusivity.
St. Barts is the perfect destination for people who want a laid-back vacation, breathtaking views, and world-class cuisine without much hustle and bustle, and you don’t have to be part of the top the one percent in the world to enjoy such a privilege. Here’s how to do it.
A ferry takes you to St. Barts from Saint Martin in 45 minutes. There are flights from nearby islands, including Guadeloupe and Puerto Rico, but the most popular and scenic route is taking a small plane from Saint Martin. The 12-minute plane ride is its own adventure as you descend over majestic mountains and beautiful blue waters onto the island.
Charter flights from Anguilla, Antigua, St. Kitts, Nevis, Tortola, The Grenadines, and other Caribbean islands are also available during the high season.
Rest and Wellness Begin Where You Stay
There are more than two dozen hotels and resorts on the island, but the best options for a relaxing stay allow you to have everything you need – from quality food, amenities, and spas available at your fingertips.
Villa Marie is a piece of paradise located above Colombier Beach.
The hotel features chic and bohemian tropical decor that invites guests to unwind and relax from the moment they walk inside. Bungalows include an outdoor walk-in shower and bath, and a terrace overlooking lush gardens and the Caribbean Sea. Villa Marie also has dedicated wellness areas on site. There’s a yoga section for guests to set up a mat on small platforms in the heart of the hotel’s tropical garden and a fitness room filled with treadmills and free weights inside. If you like your wellness in treatment form, the day spa package available also includes a 50-minute massage or facial scrub, in addition to free access to recreation facilities, and a lunch by the pool.
Hotel Manapany is a gem in St. Barts and an accommodation that embodies the spirit of rest and wellness. Rejuvenation is a way of life here. Guests who book with the hotel receive complimentary yoga or Pilates classes. It stands out because it’s a five-star eco-friendly hotel and spa that has figured out unique ways to reduce its carbon footprint without impacting luxury for guests. Rooms include a sundeck to start your morning meditating with views of the Caribbean Sea before heading to the water for a workout.
There are well-being and spa treatments for everyone. The Time for Me facial is a special option for busy people. The spa’s mom-to-be massages help re-energize, relax, and create a space for moms to unwind during a hectic time. And the Lomi Lomi massage originates from Hawaii and is a treatment that allows you to harmonize the body and mind.
Le Barthélemy is a stunning hotel that exudes elegance. Travelers will have the best of both worlds for leisure and wellness activities. Its location is hard to beat as it’s just steps away from St. Barts’ clear blue water. The property’s infinity pool overlooks Grande Cul de Sac’s Beach, and some rooms have a private heated plunge pool.
For wellness, Le Barthélemy is home to one of the best spas on the island in the Le Spa at Le Barthélemy. Known as a holistic haven, it’s an intimate wellness retreat where you can experience services such as detoxifying facials, a Thalion Marine magnesium body wrap to destress, and deep tissue massages. After your spa day, you can unwind further with live music at its restaurant Amis at St. Barts or at its Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot (W.T.F.) rooftop bar.
Beach Clubs to Visit
St. Barts has some incredible beach clubs, but most require a reservation with the hotel it’s connected to, like the popular Eden Rock known as a favorite resort among celebrities.
Gyp Sea Beach Club offers a day pass to experience Saint-Jean Beach. It’s an idyllic location that offers an elevated beach experience. You can relax on the beach chairs under an umbrella or vibe in the stylish restaurant just steps away from the sand as it overlooks the water. Day passes also allow travelers to book water activities for snorkeling and sea bobbing.
Le Barthélemy Ami also offers a day pass option to experience cocktails, lunch, and relaxation with your feet in the sand. A live DJ sets the mood Friday through Sunday at the beach club from 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm.
Fine Dining in St. Barts
Don’t leave St. Barts without experiencing the gem Bonito. It’s a high-end restaurant known worldwide, so make a reservation ahead of your trip because it fills up fast. There’s nowhere like Bonito on the island. The powerful flavors and spices you taste in your cocktails, bread, ceviches, and other menu items are likely from its garden. Bonito is leading the way with its farm-to-table experience because not many restaurants on the island have a garden just yet.
The cocktails are fun and witty, including The Sex in the Bath, which is made with vodka, passion fruit juice, vanilla cordial, and pineapple foam and served in a small bathtub with a rubber duck inside.
For authentic Italian cuisine, head to Le Sereno Restaurant. Not only does it have good food, but it also has a reputation for being one of the most beautiful waterfront restaurants in the Caribbean. It’s an authentic Italian open-air restaurant where you are steps away from Grand Cul de Sac Beach. You get breathtaking views with knowledgeable and attentive service during your fine dining experience. The saffron risotto and grilled mahi-mahi are some of the most popular dishes on the menu and for good reason.
There’s plenty to see and do in St. Barts, but these are just a few great places to start when planning your own getaway to the Caribbean island. Happy travels! Or better yet, bon voyage!