A luxury travel guide to St. Barts 2021
Photo credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
Saint-Barthélemy – a French-speaking Caribbean island known as Saint-Barth, Saint-Barth or Saint-Barth – is the unmissable winter destination for the richest in the world, thanks to its white sand beaches, its sea of a sparkling blue and its luxury hotels. Its capital, Gustavia, surrounds a harbor filled with yachts teeming with Michelin-starred restaurants and designer boutiques. Although its borders have been closed to international travelers for some time, fully vaccinated Americans will no longer have a problem entering this Caribbean playground. Here, take a look at what jet-setters can hope for now that this idyllic island location has reopened.
Photo credit: St Barth Tourism Committee
EDEN ROCK ST. BARTH
Photo credit: Eden Rock
Perched on a rocky promontory in Saint-Jean bay, Eden Rock Saint-Barth is without a doubt one of the most iconic hotels in the Caribbean. At the epicenter of the island, the resort is still fresh from an extensive two-year renovation, as well as the addition of three new suites in 2020. During their stay, foodies can enjoy Jean’s exceptional culinary delights. -Georges Vongerichten at the Sand Bar or enjoy fabulous ice cream at the Eden Rock Beach Bar. Elsewhere on the property, a partnership with renowned local brand Ligne St Barth, a ‘yacht on land’ themed lounge and three low-key wellness cabins provide guests with an unforgettable Caribbean spa experience that includes onboard spa treatments sea and access to a new natural lagoon. oetkercollection.com/hotels/eden-rock-st-barths
CHEVAL BLANC ST-BARTH ISLE DE FRANCE
Photo credit: Cheval Blanc St-Barth Ile de France
Owned by LVMH Cheval Blanc St-Barth L’Isle de France is a glamorous oceanfront study, and the only property in the Caribbean with a Palace distinction. Indulge yourself at La Case, a Caribbean-inspired restaurant by Jean Imbert, and at the White Bar, a fabulous seaside haunt with sensational artisan cocktails where you can always wear the color of the season, to hell with the feast of Job. It’s barefoot luxury at its best, in a whole new way. chevalblanc.com/maison/st-barth-isle-de-france
Photo credit: Le Toiny
The only hotel on the wild and uninhabited Caribbean coast of St Barth, The Toiny ‘Its hilltop location above Anse de Toiny offers breathtaking panoramic views of the sea. New for the coming season, its Villa Nureyev – the former holiday retreat of legendary Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev – is now available for hire. The distinctive feature of the elegant four-bedroom remains an expansive ‘floating’ terrace, and this is just one of the places in the 3,000 square foot space where guests can enjoy breathtaking 180-degree views. ° on the Caribbean Sea. Other offers include a piano, a steam bath, a Jacuzzi, a hammam cabin and a massage area. The glamorous 22-bedroom property also features interiors reimagined by Lady Bee Osborn and an all-new Surf Shack experience led by a professional surfer. David Blanchard. letoiny.com
HOTEL BARRIÈRE LE CARL GUSTAF
Photo credit: Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf
This intimate and thoughtfully designed hotel – the only property on the island with panoramic views of Gustavia harbor – made its long-awaited debut last fall. Featuring an array of suites, lofts and villas, each with its own terrace and private plunge pool, this property offers an unprecedented lavish island experience. Between the centuries-old walls and terraces of The Carl Gustave, designers Gilles & Boissier have created a charming ambience, where filtered sunlight creates changing reflections of light and shadow. Spend the day at the Spa Diane Barrière which offers multisensory stimulation, tailor-made holistic treatments and tailor-made massages in a luxurious Zen-inspired setting; take a yoga class to the rhythm of the West Indies, or take advantage of the hotel’s aquabikes. Visitors can also participate in a Catamaran Day, where they will head to the island of their choice for the day with a picnic prepared by the chef Gil Dumoulin, or spend the day at the hotel’s private beach club, Shellona Restaurant, located on idyllic Shell Beach. hotelsbarriere.com/saint-barth/le-carl-gustaf.html
ROSEWOOD LE GUANAHANI ST. BARTH
Photo credit: Rosewood Le Guanahani Saint-Barth
The Guanahani, the island’s newest luxury hotel, conveniently located on a private 18-acre peninsula overlooking Marigot Bay and Grand Cul-de-Sac, officially opened this spring under the auspices of Rosewood. It has 66 suites and villas featuring vibrant design elements that embrace the property’s unique Caribbean allure. And because this is a Rosewood hotel, guests should expect more than the standard stay. This property, as the island’s only full-service resort, offers two private beaches, a floodlit tennis court with professionals available for lessons, and Clefs d’Or concierges – the gold standard. rosewoodhotels.com/fr/le-guanahani
HOTEL & SPA LE BARTHÉLEMY
Photo credit: Le Barthélemy Hôtel & Spa / Laurent Benoit
Located on a perfect crescent-shaped white sand beach along Saint-Barth’s famous Grand Cul de Sac, Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa envelops clients in its philosophy of human-centered couture hospitality. A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, this small but powerful property has just 44 rooms and suites. There is also a magnificent infinity pool by the sea and Le Spa du Barthélemy, a haven of peace focused on holistic well-being, with treatments from La Mer. In addition to having a nice name, its rooftop bar , Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, is a real hot spot that offers inventive and inspired cocktails. lebarthelemyhotel.com
WHERE TO DINNER
Photo credit: Amis Saint-Barth
To verify Fouquet’s Saint-Barth at the newly opened Hotel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf, which offers a menu by three-star chef Pierre Gagnaire who revisits the great Caribbean classics, scented with spices and local flavors, and offers a unique panoramic view of Gustavia, overlooking the Marina .
AT Gyp Mer Saint Barth, within the brand new ‘Bohemian Beach Club’ on St. John’s Beach, the beachfront restaurant offers a barbecue-focused menu featuring local specialties such as avocado salad, Jamaican jerk chicken, freshly caught fish and lobsters on the grill, smoked beef ribs and burnt vegetables with za’atar spices, aioli and candied lemon.
Located on the port of Gustavia, The Little Beach offers rates courtesy of Eric Frechon, one of the most successful chefs in France. The menu here focuses on Mediterranean dishes with a touch of Caribbean spice.
Photo credit: Agence Artman
Nikki Beach is definitely the place to play in the Caribbean. The OG luxury beach club concept – a favorite among celebrities – combines elements of music, dining, entertainment, fashion, film and art in one beachfront location. Here in St. Barth, that means simple luxury with all-white lounge chairs, chic drapes, and signature teepees throughout.
The garden of sin is an ode to decadence. The newly opened pastry shop focuses on the combined passions of owners Marine Urbain and Djordje Varda, who harmoniously blend their love of art and sweets in one fine restaurant.
The late great French chef Joel Robuchon, who has received more Michelin stars than any chef in the world, may be gone, but he’s certainly not forgotten. His legacy lives on, then some to the news Restaurant L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in a space that spans nearly 9,149 square feet and over several levels. The restaurant, which opened this spring in Gustavia, houses a 50-seat open restaurant, a pastry shop and tea room, as well as an on-site bakery and caterer. On the first floor there is an impressive terrace which offers a panoramic view of the ocean and the port of Gustavia.
Photo credit: Bagatelle Saint-Barth
Trifle celebrates its birthday – its 10th, in fact! To mark this momentous occasion, acclaimed French designer Sam Baron breathed new life into the iconic restaurant that fuses the flavors of French Mediterranean cuisine with local Caribbean influence. Under Baron’s leadership, Bagatelle evolved into something new. The renovated restaurant features a host of spaces that merge indoor and outdoor, including a central bar, main dining room, and deck terrace, all based on a palette of soft pale hues, natural materials and gold accents inspired by the sparkling beach frame.
Friends Saint-Barth, a new restaurant at Barthélemy Hotel & Spa, has been designed to evoke and amplify sparkling conversations and family sensibility with sophisticated elegance. The Mediterranean and Provençal coasts are the main influences of this elegant concept, which uses natural materials such as rattan, terracotta, wood and stone, complemented by candles and handcrafted pottery. Live music provides a lively boost throughout the night.
The Drunk Butterfly (The Drunk Butterfly), a wine bar and secret bistro in Saint-Jean, serves some of the best French dishes in a truly fascinating romantic setting. Try deliciously decadent dishes like casserole eggs with truffle cream or cauliflower baked in edible gold while enjoying a bottle of Château Cheval Blanc 1989 for a truly incredible evening off the beaten track.
Where to relax
Photo credit: Laurent Benoit / Hotel Christopher
There is a treasure trove of bespoke beauty treatments in St. Barts, but our three favorites remain the same. Head to the Spa Cheval Blanc for Guerlain Caribbean treatments only; Sisley Spa at the Christopher Hotel has received repeated accolades for the best spa in the Caribbean for a reason (and that reason just might be its totally original hot-shell massage, a must); and the Eden Spa at Eden Rock, which has its own medical spa specializing in anti-aging and cosmetic medicine. Treatments include Exilis Ultra 360, which tightens the skin, and slimming legs with Lymphastim.
WHERE TO BUY
Photo credit: Guirec Pouliquen / St Barth Tourism Committee
St. Barts is upscale island living, so while you can see diamonds, pearls, and lots of Louis Vuitton, Hermès and Chanel (which also have shops here), be sure to check out local favorites like Baby doll and Lines, both of which feature light, airy and elegant island dresses. caribbean artist Jacob ScottThe twisted black coral bracelets from Mandarine are a must for accessorizing on the island, as are the espadrilles, sandals and flip flops from Mandarine. Metis in Gustavia. In Saint-Jean, be sure to look for sponge djellabas from Valerie BarkowskI at Mia Zia.
Photo credit: St Barth Tourism Committee