Saint Barths Destination Guide

I’ve been all around the Caribbean and Saint Barths, for me, takes the cake. The amazing restaurants, the gorgeous shops, the best hotels, the cleanliness of the island— for those looking for an island escape where they can get out of the resort and really have the island as their playground; I can’t think of a better place than St. Barths.

We just wrapped up a 10 night stay on and around the island; 6 nights we sailed on a luxury 75′ Catamaran “Sur L’eau” and for the last four nights we rested on land. I also had the pleasure of visiting most of the best hotels on the island and dining at many of the favorite “hot spots”. I plan to write a separate post about our incredible experience on Sur L’eau, but I wanted to recap our trip on land for this St. Barths destination guide— St. Barths is truly a world class destination with so much to offer, however you decide to experience it!

Getting to St. Barths

A wise person once told me, “you can’t get to paradise on a 747”. This is definitely the truth with St. Barths!

There are four ways to arrive– via hopper flight from San Juan, St. Maarten, or Antigua or via ferry from St. Maarten. My favorite way is via the Tradewinds flight from San Juan. Tradewinds is an amazing airline to fly with and their planes are so nice and well appointed for the 45 minute flight! Pro Tip: Add the VIP service to your Tradewinds flight to make traveling through a breeze!

Where to Stay

Eden Rock- St Barths

Why Stay Here? Travelers looking to stay in the middle of all the action will love Eden Rock St. Barths. In the heart of St. Jean beach, this is a perfect choice for those wanting something “fun and lively” in the best location. I also can’t get enough of the red and white everything.

  • The Shameless Tourist Perks
    • Daily Full Breakfast for two people per bedroom, including buffets
    • Access to the best room booked in your particular category
    • One Category Room Upgrade at Time of Booking, based on availability
    • Complimentary High Speed Internet Access
    • Priority access to the hotel courtesy car
    • $100 USD Food and Beverage Credit once per stay for single night stay, $200 Credit for stays over 2 nights

Cheval Blanc

Why Stay Here? To me, Cheval Blanc is perfect for those wanting something distinctively French with understated elegance, in a superb location (right next to the action, but not quite in the heart of it), and someone who wants a beautiful, expansive beach to spend time on. Cheval Blanc is located on Flamands Beach, which is one of the largest beaches in St. Barths and is right next to St. Jean (where Eden Rock is located).

  • The Shameless Tourist Perks
    • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
    • Daily Full or A La Carte Breakfast for two guests per bedroom, served at the restaurant.
    • $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay
    • Early check-in / Late check-out, subject to availability
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Villa Marie

Why Stay Here? Design lovers will rejoice in this beautiful mix of plantation style architecture with fun patterns and eclectic accessories. Plus the views from this resort are simply the best. Perched on top of the hills above Colombier beach, don’t expect beach access from the resort directly, but coming mid-December 2020 guests will have access to Villa Marie’s all new beach club in the heart of St. Jean Beach.

  • The Shameless Tourist Perks:
    • Roundtrip Transfers
    • Daily Breakfast

Hotel Le Toiny

Why Stay Here? For those looking to be out of the hustle and bustle but still have access to some amazing on site restaurants and a beach club, Le Toiny is the perfect choice. Every room at this stunning hotel has its own private pool and with the hotel perched on the hillside, most of the rooms also have amazing views of the ocean. I would describe this as the most romantic choice on the island!

  • The Shameless Tourist Perks
    • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
    • Continental breakfast daily via room service
    • $100 USD Equivalent Food & Beverage credit, to be utilized during stay
    • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Le Barthelemy

Why Stay Here? For guests wanting a fun ambience, with a beautiful hotel infinity pool, rooftop bar, and one of the best spas on the island, Le Barthelemy might be for you!

  • The Shameless Tourist Perks
    • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
    • Complimentary Daily Buffet Breakfast for two guests per bedroom
    • $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay
    • Complimentary roundtrip private airport transfers
    • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Le Sereno

Why Stay Here? Guests looking for a vibe that isn’t quite as lively as Eden Rock but a little more lively than Le Toiny will love Le Sereno. From the gorgeous views from the restaurant and pool to the modern & clean decor of the rooms, its hard to think of a traveler who wouldn’t love this hotel. I also love this property for families with young children because the beach in this area is very shallow for quite a ways out. It’s also located on a Turtle Reserve, which makes for such fun while paddle boarding and kite surfing!

  • The Shameless Tourist Perks:
    • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
    • Daily full breakfast, for two guests per bedroom
    • $100 USD Equivalent Resort or Hotel credit, to be utilized during stay
    • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi

The Christopher

Why Stay Here? With amazing views and the largest pool on the island, the Christopher is a great fit for any St Barths Visitor. The staff here was some of the friendliest I encountered on the island. The beachfront spa is not to be missed– it is certainly my favorite spa in St Barths with Ocean sounds from every treatment room! It should be noted that there isn’t a beach to visit here per say, so be prepared to drive to one of the other amazing beaches on the island!

Hotel Barriere Le Carl Gustaf

Why Stay Here? Located just above the popular Shellona Beach Club, this hotel is perfect for guests looking to be walking distance from all of the best restaurants and shopping in St Barths (this is the closest hotel to the main town of Gustavia) but still be surrounded by 5 star luxury. The beach here has one of the prettiest sunsets on the island and the sand is more “shells” giving it the name “Shell Beach”. I also loved the room design as well as the fine dining restaurant option, Fouquet’s.

Hotel Manapany

Why Stay Here? This hotel is perfect for travelers who like to be surrounded by an environment that resembles nature. The price point of the Manapany is also a little more “wallet friendly” than most of the island’s other 5-star options without sacrificing room design or common spaces. Also, any of my surfing aficionados will love that you can surf and take surf lessons right off the beach at this great hotel!

Where to Dine

Bonito St Barths- for the best fine dining in the Caribbean, this is a restaurant you cannot miss. My favorite dishes are the Ceviche Bonito and the Mahi Mahi!

Le Tamarin- the gardens alone are a reason to visit this popular St Barths dining location. This is a great choice for families looking for a nice dining experience where the kids will be happy too. With lots of room to run and play (quietly) and a small kids room with toys and fun, everyone will be happy dining at Le Tamarin.

Black Ginger- for those who love Thai food, this is a gem on the island!

L’isoletta and L’isola- travelers looking to have a taste of Italy on St Barths will love these pair of restaurants! L’isoletta is a very moderately priced casual pizzeria owned by the famous L’isola, their fine dining sister restaurant.

Fish Corner– if you like ceviche, try Fish Corner for a casual lunch!

Bagatelle – For those looking for a lively night, look no further than Bagatelle.

Beach Bars/Restaurants:

Nikki Beach- perfect to see and be seen and for the travelers that want to have a little more party in their beach club atmosphere

Shellona Restaurant- I loved the ambience here. It is a bit more quiet than Nikki Beach but still has a fun vibe with beautiful sunset views.

The Beach Club at Le Toiny- for a more sophisticated and quiet beach club vibe

GypSea– The New Beach Club by Villa Marie, located right next door to Nikki Beach with a more “hippy” vibe than it’s modern neighbor!

La Cabane at Cheval Blanc– For Great Tequila Cocktails and a beautiful beach with a more mellow ambience, La Cabane is a great option!

Al Mare at Le Sereno- If you are looking for the ultimate in a very relaxed ambience with little to no crowds but excellent scenery and food, Al Mare is a perfect place. Make sure to swim with the Turtles post lunch!

What to Do

Shopping- the shopping on St Barths is the best in the Caribbean. Some of my favorite stores included Terra (for fun bright colored dresses and cover ups!), Pati de St Barths (for high quality souvenirs), Linge St Barth (for locally made perfumes), and KIWI St Barths (for moderately priced swimwear and cover ups).

Surfing- there is some good surfing on this island and some great instructors if you are looking to learn!

Kite Surfing, Paddle boarding, Snorkeling

Beach Hop! There are 14 beaches on the island and they all offer something unique. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Colombier- this is a hike to/boat to only beach and it is worth the trouble of getting to. The hike begins at Flamands beach and takes about 25 minutes. Easy hike, but I recommend wearing good shoes!
  • Flamands Beach- one of the largest and most expansive beaches on the island. Cheval Blanc is located on this beach if you want a refreshment!
  • St Jean Beach- this is the most “happening” beach on the island. Nikki Beach and Eden Rock are located on this famous beach, so you will not run out of things to do here. You can also spend hours watching the planes take off and land from the sand– it is an incredible thing to watch!
  • Lorient Beach- is perfect for surfers!
  • Grand Cul de Sac- this is a very unique beach– it is the windiest part of the island, so great kite surfing, but it is also a Turtle Reserve so guests looking to spot some wildlife will love this beach! I also love this beach for families as the water is quite shallow! (Visit Le Sereno or Le Barthelemy here!)
  • Toiny- another great surfing spot or a great beach to visit the Beach Club at Le Toiny and just enjoy the afternoon!
  • Gouvernor and Saline- these two beaches are local favorites. Choose between Saline which is a much larger beach with two sides– one better for families and the other for adults; or Gouvenor which is a bit more quiet but has very easy parking access- a rare find on this small island!
  • Shell Beach- located right in downtown Gustavia, Shell beach is fun for families looking to collect seashells or for guests looking to enjoy one of the best beach clubs (Shellona) on the island!

I’m headed back to St. Barths in January and would love to hear from you if there are any other favorites I missed on our last trip— what is your favorite thing to do on St. Barths?