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November 23, 2020

St. Barthélemy (St. Barts) Island Guide

If you cannot decide whether you would like to vacation in Paris or the tropics, then St.  Barthélemy (St. Barts) might be the perfect destination. This French speaking island in the  Lesser Antilles is the place to be if you are into luxurious leisure with a European feel, and the  dining and shopping are superb. From the capital of Gustavia to the remote beaches, this  island provides an array of refined activities in an alluring locale. 

pearl hotel st barts

While ashore in Gustavia, a stroll down the Quai de la République is the island version of  browsing Paris’ Rue Saint Honoré. Here you can shop for haute couture, upscale knockoffs, or  locally crafted merchandise. Nestled among designers such as Cartier and Louis Vuitton, are  boutiques such as Lolita Jaca which combines elegance and leisure in their unique designs. If  you are looking for unique jewelry to commemorate your voyage, Mignot is a must stop and  they are especially noted for their pearl jewelry. If sightseeing is on the agenda, Fort Gustav  and the intimate Wall House Museum are a couple of options.  

gustavia st barts shops

If after your tour of Gustavia you have developed an appetite, there are many cafes and bistros  to pop into for a bite to eat. Crêperie St Barth is a notable option with excellent food and  amazing service. If you are ready to transition to a more island vibe, Le Select is an upscale  “dive-bar” that was the inspiration for Jimmy Buffet’s song Cheeseburger in Paradise and  should not be missed.  

le select snack bar st barts

If shopping is not your thing, Gustavia has many other offerings including the Baie de St-Jean,  a bucolic slice of beach known for windsurfing, snorkeling, or people watching. For an upbeat  and upscale waterfront experience, Nikki Beach is a storied beach club where you can lounge  in luxury while savoring a glass of champagne, a classic cocktail, or a more creative mixture such as the Kitty at the Cocobongo. 

caribbean fine dining

Since this French Leeward Island is known for its fine dining, dinner ashore while in Gustavia  would definitely be in order. Some notable establishments that require planning for and making  reservations are Bonito, a “cosy chic” French South American fusion restaurant; L’Isola, a  fashionable Italian eatery; Orega, a gourmet Japanese restaurant with glowing reviews and  French influences; and Tamarin, a blend of local, French, and International cuisines with a  number of vegetarian and vegan options in a lush garden setting. After dinner, if you would like  to sample the nightlife on St. Barts, again multiple options abound. Bar de L’Oubli is a local  favorite with a casual feel and an extensive drink menu and Le Ti St-Barth is a nightclub that  must be experienced. Beginning every evening with a burlesque show, this colorful and vibrant  establishment is a place to shelve your inhibitions and if you happen to be there when the  moon is full, the Full Moon party is outrageous.  

full moon party st barts

Among the more than fifteen beaches on St. Barts, there are options to suit multiple  preferences. If you are looking for a beach that combines a celebratory atmosphere with a  dazzling sandy shore, Shell Beach provides a protected cove for swimming, sunbathing and  shelling, and on Sundays visitors and locals gather for an all day beach party. There are also  locales that showcase a more relaxed side to this genteel island paradise. Pick up a mooring  ball in remote Anse de Colombier and snorkel surrounded by turtles and tropical fish; or head  to shore and sunbathe or hike over to the bay of Flamands; or take the dinghy and explore the  dive sites amidst the rocks. Likewise, Anse des Flamands, just three miles north of Gustavia is  a quieter shoreline also with hiking trails but offers more amenities. After sipping a glass of  wine in the sun, take a walk from the beach to the dormant volcano believed to have formed  St. Barts. Another option is Anse de Grand Saline along the southern coastline, which is a more  secluded and clothing optional beach.

st barts beach

St. Barts, an island collectivity of France, is only eight square miles in area but is packed full of  activities and sites that keeps visitors enthralled whether you are here for a few hours or a few  days. Laid-back or raucous, glamorous or refined you can stay as busy or as relaxed as you  desire in this luxurious playground of yachts and celebrities between the Atlantic Ocean and  the clear blue Caribbean Sea.