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St. Barths, also known as Saint Barthélemy, is hands-down one of the most gorgeous islands in the Caribbean. It is lauded as “the“ destination for global elites, otherwise known as the billionaire’s playground. An idyllic destination to unplug and recharge, the Island brims with gourmet restaurants and luxury boutiques. This French island, consistently topping destination wish lists, is actually a volcanic rock just eight miles square and is home to 9,000 residents. The lovely atoll has retained its character and charm with Creole-style cottages and mountainous landscapes that hug bright white sand beaches. St. Barths satiates the ultimate tropical paradise fantasy, offering no shortage of reasons for visitation, from NYE celebrations, family reunions, honeymoons, conferences and more. Guests may heighten their dream vacations by staying at one of St. Barthelemy’s luxury villa rentals. These exquisitely-appointed properties are the height of elegance.
The dedicated LVH team ensures all guests receive the ultimate in service and satisfaction during their stays. LVH can arrange for private chefs, private jets, exotic cars, luxury yachts, and anything else you might require to make your vacation stay truly remarkable. Choose a one-on-one session with a certified yoga or pilates instructor, time with a private tennis pro to up your game, or complete pampering sessions with a massage therapist, hair stylist or barber, nail technician, and makeup artist.
Luxury home rentals, with full services and support, can be arranged to accommodate groups of varying sizes and are ideal for lavish events. A wide roster of specially curated properties makes up the lists of the world’s most exquisite vacation estates. No matter what your chosen destination, when you are seeking the best homes, you have the most elite selection from which to choose when booking your stay with LVH.
North, south, east or west, no matter in which direction one faces in St. Barths, beauty abounds. Here are 17 of the loveliest areas on the island:
The beach at Anse des Cayes is tucked away in its own little enclave. This particular beach is perfect for surfing since the wind can create awesome swells and ideal conditions to ride the waves. The northeast end of the beach is swimmable. Not many people frequent this area, so it’s perfect for relaxing, watching the waves and surfers.
Camaruche is between Lorient and Pointe Milou, high up and with great views. It’s near all the great shops in Lorient, Saint Jean and Gustavia. When on a luxury vacation, it’s wonderful to have the best of both worlds: spectacular scenery, serenity and yet close to shopping, activities, restaurants and nightlife. This is what staying at Villa Castle Rock offers. That and a fragrant tropical garden, and all the luxurious amenities a villa should extend.
Colombier is one of the hardest to get to beaches on the island, but certainly worth the effort! The beautiful beach, only accessible by hike or by boat, is listed as a natural marine reserve. Wild and unspoiled, it’s the place to swim with fish in crystal clear turquoise waters, whether snorkeling, learning how to scuba dive or just looking to escape the crowds for an afternoon. A large plot of land was purchased here by the Rockefellers in the 1960s. They built an awe-inspiring villa which has, since then, been sold. Guests who choose to stay at the alluring Villa The View will enjoy the unobstructed views of this captivating, secluded beach.
The dozens of colorful fishing boats (called dories) in the waters of Corossol turn the sea into a rainbow. The water is easily accessible, clear, calm, blue and sparkling. There is a small church and a quaint shell museum in the village. The homes are authentic creole island abodes. Villa Utopic adds glamor to the area. This grandiose retreat has stunning views of Corossol and Gustavia Harbor; a sublime place to call home while in St. Barths.
Flamands is the largest beach on St. Barths and a favorite of the locals. Long, meandering walks on the beach, lost in thought, cares carried away by the balmy breezes are part of the appeal of Flamands since its shores are so lengthy. The ocean in this location is terrific for body boarding or skim boarding and best left to good swimmers since the waves can get pretty large. If you’re looking to experience an exceptional stay in St. Barths you might wish to stay at Villa Wake Up in Flamands. Its premium, elevated location offers breathtaking views of St. Barths and the water.
This unspoiled stretch of beach is picture perfect with its white sand cove and azure water lapping the shore. Interested in finding some buried treasure? Rumor has it that Captain Monbars, known as The Exterminator, buried his stolen treasure in a hidden cave on this beach, but alas, no one has found it yet! The beach provides a nice surf and the snorkeling by the rocks is terrific. When you choose to stay at Villa Maison Blanc Bleu in Gouverneur you will be away from it all for those much-needed down times, but close to chic boutiques and world-class restaurants.
Swimming is not recommended at Grand Fond because of the rocky foray into the ocean. However, the locals know of a secret natural pool at Grand Fond. This pool is on a flat plane, so you can easily walk in and out for a dip. There are points where you will have to use your hands for support, and if you have a fear of heights, this might not be the best activity. Otherwise, getting to this secret gem is well worth it.
Gustavia is St. Barths’ main town on the west end of the island and hard to miss when some of the world’s most spectacular yachts are moored in its quay. Here you will find ancient forts, and dwellings as colorful as their inhabitants. There are many quaint streets lined with exclusive shops carrying designers like Bulgari, Chanel, Hermes, Vuitton, and Graff. It’s a shopper’s paradise by day and a partier’s haven when the sun goes down. When you want to be close to all the action, choose to stay at Villa Axel Rocks in Gustavia. With its astounding ocean views, closeness to Shell Beach and a few minutes’ drive from the airport, this villa is a convenient and contemporary vacation home for the luxury traveler.
One of the oldest villages in St. Barths, Lorient, located on the northern part of the island, boasts a pristine sand beach surrounding the deep blue waters of the Caribbean. For those looking to learn how to ride the waves, there is a small beach hut on one end where you can get lessons and rent boards. On the other end, the water is calm for swimming, snorkeling, and stand-up paddle boarding. Lorient is the site of the island’s first French settlement. Visitors are drawn to the 19th century Catholic church, historic bell tower, and Ligne Saint Barth, a famous luxury soap, shampoo, and perfume manufacturer. Setting down vacation roots is easy when staying right on the beach at the dazzling Villa La Plage.
Lurin is in close proximity to the remarkable Shell Beach. This is an exclusive and private area, yet minutes to the shops and restaurants of Gustavia. The grace and glamor of Villa Legends B in Lurin is befitting of the luxury traveler. This lovely retreat is also just a stone’s throw away from beautiful Gouverneur beach, the unspoiled beach of Saline, and the lively bay of Saint Jean.
The locals love Marigot Beach with its coconut grove, terrific swimming in tepid waters, snorkeling and heavenly white sand. Very often, the sea turtles will make friends with the swimmers and hang out for a while. Marigot is home to Villa Jade perched atop a hillside above Marigot beach. This villa has a decided Asian-inspired décor. Its eight bedrooms provide room for 16 guests. All this and close to beach restaurants, water activities and a host of other attractions.
Petit Cul de Sac is a magnificent, protected lagoon and is always calm enough to enjoy a refreshing swim. Visitors who want to feel like they’re on their own private beach must head to this spot. Turtles are usually swimming or soaking up the sun on the rocks on the left side of the cove. Petit means small in French and this lovely piece of paradise is true to its name. It’s not the largest beach on the island, but one of the most lovely and secluded. Villa Casa del Mar Is one of the most exclusive St. Barthelemy villa rentals. This striking clifftop property is actually made up of two independent homes with their own pools and gardens in the upscale and cloistered Domaine du Levant on the hill of Petit Cul de Sac offering unparalleled seascapes.
Pointe Milou is in the northeastern part of the island. The spot is nice and breezy in all seasons. The hills here are lovely and well forested and the optimal location for Villa La Danse des Etoiles with its views of the pristine waters of the Caribbean. Swim in the villa’s beautiful heated infinity pool or head over to Anse de Lorient, a closeby family-friendly beach.
Saint Jean has the second largest shopping area on the island. The area is also well-known for its many fine restaurants, pretty hidden villas and hotels. For a more personal, fulfilling St. Barts luxury holiday, stay at the exquisite Villa Neo in the heights of Saint Jean with stunning views of the rolling hills and the majestic sea. Saint Jean also has some of the best beaches in St. Barths, especially for water sports like parasailing, and sea bobbing. A sea bob is a blend between a jet ski and an underwater scooter and is a popular water activity in St. Barths.
With its peaceful, unspoiled landscape and just enough remoteness, Saline beach is one of St. Barths’ most relaxing beaches and is considered by many to be the most stunning on the island. The water is choppier here so you will see bodyboarders testing their skills. Saline sand dunes give the beach a very private, secluded feeling. In fact, this spot is very popular with nudists. The ideal place to stay for luxury travelers wishing to be close to this seclusion while in their vacation home, is Villa Dunes set right in the Saline’s nature reserve.
The beauty of this natural, undeveloped landscape is rough and rugged. The Toiny area, on the southeast side of the island, is an incredible place to visit for those into hiking. Rock climbing is required to get down to and back up out of the tidal pool. It’s recommended to keep shoes on if going for a swim in the pool since sea urchins and sharp rocks can cause injury.
There are no words to describe the sunset from the top of Vitet. Actually, descriptives of any kind don’t do the area any justice. Vitet is up high and the views are heavenly. Many locals live in the area and the views of the Grand Cul De Sac are breathtaking. Vacationers wanting to settle down and spend their “at home” time in a more remote area, then Villa Belle Etoile is the luxury, gated accommodation to book.
The St. Barths’ dining scene is superb. These six are some of the best on the island:
Bagatelle is just pure elegance. In the heart of Gustavia, it pairs heavenly French fare with a selection of the finest wines and champagnes on the island. Cocktails are delicious, and strong. Bagatelle is the “in” place to watch the big boats and enjoy the fine cuisine like truffle pizza, duck breast and local fish. The party heats up and the champagne starts flowing after 11 p.m.
Located on a hill overlooking Gustavia’s harbor, Bonito is one of the island’s most famous restaurants, praised by lovers of fine cuisine all over the world. Delicate forms and colors adorn this traditional and spacious colonial restaurant, with an open kitchen and a modern twist on exotic flavors. Perfect for those seeking a romantic gastronomic dinner, Bonito serves fresh, local seafood prepared in a myriad of ways. The spiny lobster risotto is a gastronomic pleasure and the homemade ice creams are pure decadence.
This elegant restaurant has some of the most stunning gardens on the island. Located in Saline, Le Tamarin is the ideal spot for a first drink, but also for a night out for dinner in its hut or main dining room. Le Tamarin is the place to be for those who want to be seen tasting delicious cuisine like sautéed king prawns, rice tagliatelle, wok-sautéed vegetables in a curry-coconut sauce.
L’Esprit is one of St. Barths’ most well-known eateries. The divine garden setting sets the tone for the delectable food to come. The most chic on the island lunch at L’Esprit in the high season. The cuisine puts a fresh spin on traditional French fare. The delicately flavored food is otherworldly: Start with mushroom ravioli, duck spring rolls, or sea scallop sashimi, and move on to full-bodied mains like a classic filet de boeuf and finish with homemade ice cream or sorbet. Once you have visited L’Esprit, you are sure to make it one of your go-to places.
L’Isoletta treats its guests to the most divine pizza at any hour of the day and into the late evening. Sit comfortably at one of the tables on the covered terrace and enjoy a true Roman-style pie. Try the pizza that bears the restaurant’s name, L’Isoletta: Cream cheese, arugula, cherry tomatoes, with a balsamic reduction. The freshest ingredients come right from Italy and are also used to make L’Isoletta’s lasagna and eggplant parmesan. Traditional Italian desserts are made daily.
Orega’s Franco-Japanese fusion fare continues to please even the most discerning diners. Smack in the center of Gustavia, Orega isn’t just a meal, it’s an experience. Lovers of fine food will not only get a feast for their palates, but one for their eyes as well. These dishes are beautifully plated. Order the confit duck or mahi mahi, or enjoy the Omakase tasting menu composed of seven or nine dishes paired with just the right Sake combination to accentuate this food adventure. But save room for the chocolate bomb to end a splendid meal.
There may be times when a little break from all the sun is warranted. These five venues could provide that diversion:
The Eden Fine Art Gallery opened its seventh gallery location on the island. Eden, an international distributor of exclusive and contemporary art by selected artists, aims to create a modern, dynamic, and open space in each gallery, allowing artists and visitors to have the full and very unique experience of the art collection. Permanent exhibitions make way for temporary exhibits, pop ups and artists' live performances.
Inter Oceans Museum has more than 9,000 seashells and an intriguing collection of sand samples from around the world. If you’re a fan of shells and shelling, a visit to this museum is a must. See shark jaws and giant conches, as the owner happily shows visitors his oceanic items, relaying interesting anecdotes and facts about them.
To get a glimpse into the history of this small Caribbean island, travelers must make the jaunt to the Musee Municipal de St. Barthelemy. The museum also contains the most comprehensive collection of sociological, ethnic, economic, geological and zoological information on the entire island. Visitors interested in culture will learn about St. Barths’ highly interesting past, from the early days of colonization to today's tourism.
This gallery was established in 2011 with the aim of showcasing painting, photography, and sculpture by established and emerging artists. Since its inception, Space Gallery has built an impressive roster of artists, curated international exhibitions, participated in major art fairs including the Venice Biennale, and organized museum exhibitions. Today, the gallery also has a location in New York City and regularly exhibits in Monaco and Miami. Modern art collectors should consider giving this gallery a visit.
Visit Wall House Museum for a glimpse into St. Barths’ history. The museum presents a limited number of artifacts and pictorials on the history of the island. On the outside, guests can view old canons, a fireplace, and the thick wall of the original building. Modest and brief, a short stop in the museum provides a non-beach vacation activity.
The lounge and live music scenes have exploded in St. Barths. These four bear checking out:
Live bands and fresh sushi in a colorful, breeze-filled wharf-side tavern on the Gustavia waterfront. What could be better? At the legendary Baz Bar, the music kicks in around 9 nightly, and folks like Jimmy Buffett have been known to show up and sit in with the band. Guests can dine outside on the harbor deck or at the polished teak bar inside, where strands of sparkling lights adorn the wooden walls.
Off the regular tourist grid in St. Jean one can find Le Papillion Ivre. There is a wine library here that entices wine connoisseurs from the world over. Everything oozes classic French flair. The restaurant comes highly recommended as well. Wine is enjoyed in the classic French style: easily, slowly and with good friends or that special someone.
Ooh la la! Head on over to Le Ti for a little Moulin Rouge entertainment. Burlesque dancers and fine table service kick Le Ti up a notch, especially in the Creole cottage in the hills. The vibe here is fashionable, posh with a touch of sexy.
Sundays rock at this world-renowned beach club. Everyone who's anyone is at Nikki’s on Sundays. Visitors would be well-advised to reserve a table because of its incredible popularity. The party goes from day well into the night at this beach dig.
This small island has much more to offer besides glorious beaches (which is reason enough to make the trek). These four events are particularly enjoyable:
Carnaval is the period between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday marking the beginning of the 40 days of abstinence of Lent. St Barts Carnaval celebrations include a children’s costume parade, a pajama parade, a Mardi Gras parade in Gustavia, and ends with the burning of (Vaval) the king of Carnaval at Shell Beach on Ash Wednesday.
A three-day invitational regatta with 48 of the most impressive mega-yachts in the world, all at least 100 feet long, including many classic wooden racing boats. You can view many of the participating boats in Gustavia harbor after 5 p.m. most days.
Vacation lover and a gourmand? Consider a fall trip to St. Barts to experience the celebrated St. Barth Gourmet Festival. Celebrated guest chefs from around the world team up with local restaurants for fabulous tasting menus, cook-offs, and friendly competitions.
Since 1985, St. Barths has hosted a performing arts festival unlike any other in the world. Each January the island stages more than a dozen nights of the finest live music and dance performances in an informal setting. Audiences are treated to intimate concerts by some of the world’s most prominent classical, opera, ballet, and jazz stars. These performers have the level of artistry that one would normally have to attend Carnegie Hall in New York or the Opera Garnier in Paris to experience. But they’re offered in St. Barths with the added magic of island breezes, stained with the fragrance of flowering hibiscus.
There is never a reason to be bored in St. Barths. There are so many things to experience and activities to become immersed in. Take a look at these four:
Who wants to go to school on vacation? No one, unless it's a kitesurfing school. Private, one-on-one kitesurfing lessons for beginners are offered in various locations on the island, however, one of the most well-known schools is run by former kitesurfing pro Rodolphe MacKeene. Learn the basics and advance to freestyle jumps with newfound “flying” skills. Get started in the Grand Cul de Sac marine reserve. Closed off from the ocean by a coral reef, it has warm, shallow water, making it a naturally formed wading pool and ideal for learning this new, adventurous skill.
Since the creation of its Marine Nature Reserve in St. Barths in the mid-90s, the waters surrounding the island shelter corals, Humpback whales, turtles, sponges, parrot fish and other species under their waves in a peaceful seabed of rare beauty. See this incredible ecosystem first-hand with an unforgettable dive experience.
Couples who want some serious privacy for a romantic picnic must visit this remote beach, which hides at the bottom of a steep, cacti-lined hike down from the main road along St. Barths’ northwest tip. The rock formations, calm waters and stunning views at Colombier Beach are what the island is known for. If you are boating, the natural gulf along the beach is a perfect place to dock.
Sail the seas around St. Barths in a luxury catamaran or yacht. Gorgeous catamarans incorporating a variety of wood, leather and hull linings combined with sailing-inspired architecture, have travelers sailing in style and total serenity. These vessels can hold 16 people and sleep six. Yachts may be more appealing to some. Luxury yacht charter in St. Barths is easy to arrange. All types of yachts are available including crewed luxury yachts, superyachts, both motor and sail. St. Barths is a luxury mega yacht playground attracting some of the world's biggest and best luxury charter yachts.