Exclusive St. Barthelemy is a tiny island known for attracting the jet set crowd to enjoy trendy restaurants, electrifying hot spots and amazing beaches like Gouverneur, St. Jean and Saline. St. Barthelemy, affectionately known as St. Barts or "Saint Barths", is an island of magnificent private villas and amenities designed for the over-the-top rich and exceedingly famous. Expect to see sleek mega yachts, high end spas and exciting international events like the Bucket Regatta that draws sailing participants from all over the world. The island is a scuba divers delight with numerous dive sites in the warm blue waters surrounding the island. The restaurant scene is the definition of chic, and sizzling nightclub hotspots are the place to be after the sun goes down. Add to that the duty free boutique shopping in Gustavia, uncrowded beaches and spectacular views, and you have a perfect retreat for upscale vacationers who want to escape from the ordinary.
St Barts used to be part of the French commune that was formed together with Guadeloupe, another island that now makes up part of the French West Indies. St Barts seceded from Guadeloupe in 2003 and is now part of the COM, or overseas collectivity, of France. The French West Indies is made up of St Barts, St Martin, Guadeloupe, and Martinique. They’re all part of the Leeward Islands located in the northeastern part of the Caribbean.
You’ll find that the island is popular among A-listers. Everything about this island is top of the line, from the clear water to the soft white sand, the accommodations, restaurants and designer boutiques. You would be hard-pressed to not enjoy a vacation on St Barts.
If it’s your first time vacationing on St Barts, look into staying in a villa in St Jean. It’s a good central location that puts you conveniently close to a lot of what you’ll likely want to see and do during your stay. Many first-timers select a St Jean villa based on convenience. However, it should be noted that villa rates in the St Jean area can be higher due to the demand. Other popular first time locales are Pointe Milou and Flamands. Gustavia is not recommended unless you wish to have a pied e terre that puts you within walking distance to the shops and restaurants of Gustavia.
Things To Do On St Barts
St Barts has plenty to offer in terms of things to do. One of the best ways to spend a day on this island is, obviously, on the beach. By the beach is good too because there are tons of water sports to keep you busy. You’ll have all kinds of important decisions to make, like which beach to hit for the day, what treatments to get at the spa and which gourmet restaurant to eat at for dinner. Go shopping, take a hike, charter a boat or hang out in your St Barts vacation rental and take in the gorgeous views that are all around you on this island. It doesn’t matter what you choose to do, you won’t be disappointed.
Spend a Day at Nikki Beach
Nikki Beach is a beach club in St Jean where you can lay out on soft, cushy sun beds, enjoy some delicious cocktails and have a lunch that’s inspired by cuisine from all over the world. Visitors can spend the day indulging in the good stuff that life has to offer.
Charter a Private Boat
The island has a location that is gorgeous from the land, but even more incredible from the water. We recommend for anyone visiting St Barts to charter a private boat and get out on the water. You can find rental companies that provide sailboats, luxury yachts and more. Go out for the day or plan for a sunset cruise. You can take your St Barts vacation to the next level by experiencing the island paradise from the water. You’ll make memories you can’t get just laying around on the beach.
Spa Service at the Villa
To give yourself the ultimate relaxing vacation, book a spa service to come directly to your villa. No need to get out and about every day on your trip. Give yourself a little downtime and get refreshed before getting back out to explore the island. You can choose from a number of different treatments, such as massages, facials, other skin treatments and more. This is a great way to do something good for yourself while you’re on your St Barts trip.
The Bucket Regatta and Les Voiles de St Barts
The Bucket Regatta is an invitation-only regatta that lasts for three days and features some of the most incredible sailboats and catamarans you’ll ever see. The race starts off with a gathering of the boats at Gustavia’s harbor and some fun celebratory events on shore too. This event takes place in March so you’ll want to check it out if you’re around at that time.
Les Voiles de St Barts is a series of regattas that lasts five days in April. Sailors from all over the world make a point to get to St Barts for this huge event in the sailing world. The courses make for a great competition, but with a festive atmosphere.
Try Some Water Sports
You can try virtually any water sport you want to on your St Barts vacation. St Barts has it all including windsurfing, scuba diving, waterskiing, jet skis, flyboard, paddle boarding, kite surfing, kayaking, wakeboarding, Seabob and more. In the winter months especially, you can find some pretty good waves to surf also.
Le Ti St Barts
Have a night out at Le Ti St Barts and see a dinner cabaret show any night of the week. This is a Caribbean Tavern that features traditional charcoal BBQ cuisine. You can have some fun and some cocktails and dance on the table if you want to. Make an unforgettable night at Le Ti on your St Barts trip.
Take a Hike to Colombier Beach
If you want to make a day out of going to the beach, then hike to Colombier Beach and spend it there. You’ll want to get out early and hike up to the top of Colombier for some of the most incredible views on the island. Then head to the beach for some swimming and snorkeling, or just have a picnic on the sand and layout for a nap.
Shop the Day Away in Gustavia
St Barts caters to the rich and famous. You can spend a day—and a lot of money—shopping at the designer boutiques that line the streets of Gustavia. If you’re looking for chic, this is where you’ll find it. St Barts and fashion go hand-in-hand.
Roam Free at Saline Beach
This is, unofficially, St Bart's nude beach. Officially, nudism is prohibited on St Barts. But, if you’re feeling a little daring and just want to feel completely free, head to Saline Beach where the free spirits roam.
St Barts’ Best Restaurants
If you’re a foodie or just someone who likes to eat food that’s interesting and highly inspired, then your St Barts trip will deliver for you. This island is full of restaurants with executive chefs that cook with a passion that can be tasted in their dishes. There is a lot of French food and tons of seafood, but there are some other kinds of food you’ll find as well. Most of the restaurants have amazing views so your eyes can be satisfied along with your cravings. We provide a guide to the best St Barts restaurants but here are a few highlighted must try restaurants.
Bonito is located up on a hill above the harbor in Gustavia. It’s one of the most well-known restaurants in St Barts. The menu is full of fresh seafood and other cuisine that is French in its foundation but with touches of Caribbean and South American flair. This restaurant has amazing views, delicious food and cocktails, and a unique ceviche bar that you won’t find anywhere else.
If you’re heading to, or you’ve spent your day at Saline beach, you should stop in for lunch or have dinner at Le Tamarin. For lunch, you can have tasty sandwiches, burgers, and other grilled food. Dinner is more traditional French cuisine, such as veal roast and duck breast. Le Tamarin has an impressive wine list as well.
Eddy’s is located in Gustavia and has a tropical garden setting. You’ll dine, with gorgeous surroundings, on French cuisine that’s tweaked with Creole influences of the Caribbean. There’s lots of fresh seafood to choose from here, and the service is welcoming and friendly.
L’Espirit is close to Saline beach. The menu is rooted in French cuisine, but you’ll definitely find some interesting and unique food items here. You’ll get great service with tantalizingly delicious food in an atmosphere that includes a romantic terrace.
Add a little Greek to your St Barts vacation when you dine at Shellona. It’s located on the famous Shell Beach that’s known for the thousands and thousands of shells found there. There’s live music to enjoy while you dine right out on the sand facing the Caribbean Sea. You’ll find a menu full of Mediterranean cuisine that is sure to leave you more than satisfied.
Where To Stay On St Barts
There’s really nowhere on St Barts that isn’t worth staying at. The island is small and easy to circumnavigate. Unlike other islands, each area on the island has it's own unique strengths and attractions. No matter where you end up choosing to stay, you’ll be in an area that has something to offer. St Jean is a really good choice for those taking their first trips to St Barts because it’s very centrally located, making it very easy to get out and explore everything on the island. There are St Barts holiday rentals all over this island so you’re sure to find one that’s right for you wherever it is you want to stay. If you are someone who loves taking in amazing sunsets, Pointe Milou is the perfect setting for you. If you’re looking for somewhere that might give you a little bit more for your money, then check out Toiny and Lorient. These are both better for the more budget-minded travelers. Toiny has some incredible, majestic views that are naturally beautiful. You also get to experience the trade winds because of Toiny’s position on the island.
St Jean Beach
The St Jean Beach is the most popular one on the island. The water has a bright turquoise color that is unforgettable, and there is soft, white sand that is perfect for sinking your feet into. The waters are calm and great for swimming in. It’s also a nice place for a boat ride.
This beach has plenty of space for all who want to visit. It’s long and deep and usually safe for swimmers. There are a couple of places nearby that are great for grabbing some food. Visit during the winter months and there can be some pretty good waves for surfing.
You’ll have to drive a little bit to get to this beach, but once you’re there you’ll be glad you left your St Barts Villa behind to spend the day at Gouverneur. Tucked away at the back of the beautiful Gouverneur bay, this beach offers lots of privacy in a gorgeous setting. You’ll feel like you’re on a remote island that’s out away from it all.
Saline beach has a reputation for being the place where some people let it all hang out on their St Barts trip. Nudism is actually prohibited on St Barts, but if you’re going to find it anywhere on the island, Saline beach is it.
Grand Cul de Sac
As you can imagine from the name, this beach is in a bay. The water in the bay is very shallow so the waters are warmer here than at the other beaches. The waters are calm here too with the protection that is provided by the bay, so it’s a great place for taking children to. No picnic is needed because there are several restaurants for finding something to eat. If you’re looking for something active to do on the water, there’s a windsurfing rental station at Grand Cul de Sac.
St Barts Beach Guide
St Barts Vacation Planning Tips
St Barts is known for being a spectacular vacation destination, but one that comes with a pretty high price tag. The truth is, though, that there are some St Barts Villas that are priced very reasonably. You just need to look in the right parts of the island. For instance, villa Bikini and villa Nita tend to offer one of the best luxury values. With the proper planning beforehand, anyone can find the perfect place to stay on St Barts.
When to Travel to St Barts
You can visit St Barts for most of the year. It’s a destination that’s up and running for about 10 months of the year. Plan your trip anywhere from November through the middle of August. In September, the restaurants all shut down.
St Barts Weather
The usual, when it comes to weather in St Barts, is clear blue skies that might have some pretty, white puffy clouds to gaze at now and then. There’s usually a warm breeze blowing through your hair too. Every once in a while there will be a rogue rain shower, but these don’t last very long. Over the summer and leading into fall, there is always the chance of a tropical storm or hurricane, hence the restaurant closings come September. There isn’t much of a temperature range in St Barts. The highs are usually in the mid to upper 80s and the lows are in the lower to mid-70s.
View St Barts Weather Forecast
How to Get to St Barts
Travelers to St Barts reach the island via two ways, either by ferry from St Martin or a small airplane connecting from St Martin or San Juan. Isle Blue can assist with St Barts ferry ticketing as well as transfers from the airport to the ferry terminals.
There are three primary airlines servicing St Barts. The three companies are Winair, St Barths Commuter and Tradewind. Tradewind Aviation is known for it's upscale planes. They offer daily flights from San Juan and are available for private charter.
Flights by Winair and St Barths Commuter offer flights every thirty minutes from Princess Juliana Airport on St Maarten (airport code SXM). The planes will only fly during daylight hours.
How to Get to St Barts
When you book one of our St Barts vacation rentals, you also get the benefit of our concierge services. These services are designed to make sure your St Barts vacation isn’t just a trip, it’s the trip of a lifetime. Our concierge is a complimentary service reserved for our guests.
Concierge services include:
VIP Arrival Services
St Barts Rental Cars
Activities and Excursions