St. Barth, Caribbean
I want to go back as soon as the plane takes off. My bags are always packed.
- More about your oliver guide: Kate Ripple
- Trip type: Adult, Beach
- Activity level: easy
- Ideal length of trip: 7-10 DAYS (FROM WEST COAST), 4-5 DAYS (FROM EAST COAST)
to & from
From West Coast red eye flight via Charlotte…then onto St. Maarten…then puddle jumper on WinAir to SBH. REnt a jeep and explore!
Where to Stay
- Rent a villa and pretend you live there. We have used Wimco and loved our villas.
- There is not "bad side" of the island, go with the best villa available. You want a view and a pool.
Where to Eat and Drink
- Dinner at Maya's
- Dinner at Bonito
- Cocktails or boozy lunch at Eden Rock
- Indulge at the Boulangerie on way to Pointe Milou
- Casual burger at Le Select (Cheeseburger in Paradise)
- Post Saline Beach drink and turtle viewing at Le Tamarin
- Hire a caterer and stay in one night, we used CHEF XO.
- Lunch and Swimming at Cheval Blanc
- Lobster at La Langouste
What to Do
- Hike to Colombier
- Beach days at Isle de France and Saline
- Sunday afternoon party at Nikki Beach
- Sailboat trip with Miguel from Saint Barths Sailor
- Dress up in costume at Le Ti. A must.
- Dance on the tables at Bagatelle.
- SHOP in St. Jean (boutiques near Nikki Beach) and Gustavia (small chic boutiques).
- While the landing can cause your heart to skip, it's worth saving the time to fly vs. taking a ferry from St. Maarten.
- If you lose your US cell phone while on SBH, there is a mobile phone store in town. You can buy a new phone but they can only issue you only a local SBH phone number (unless you have your SIM card)!
- Less is more when it comes to packing. All you need are a few suits and cover-ups... and you'll want to shop!
- Learn some French before you go...you don't need to be fluent, but a little goes a long way. Locals are VERY friendly if you don't have an attitude!
Island is too small…skip nothing!
St. Barth, Caribbean - Suggestions from the Oliver Community
One of the first questions I am asked when returning home from St Barth is “how is the island doing? (Referring to the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma) The answer is “Fantastic”! The Island is lush and green with a renewed sense of excitement and energy. With the exception of a few of the big name hotels such as Eden Rock and Guananhani everything else including hot spots such as Le Ti, Maya’s and Le Select are open and ready for business.
My all-time favorite hotel Cheval Blanc Isle de France is more chic than ever! The main public areas by the pool and restaurant have been refurbished with breathtaking details and an elevated classic island aesthetic. The boutique is packed with gorgeous beach clothes including our new collection for Mer St Barth and the lunch time fashion shows are in full swing.
New on the scene is Pearl Beach Hotel on St Jean Beach. They offer a lively lunch on the beach and happy hour is a must at sunset! The jalapeño Margaritas are delicious! We love catching up with our island friends there after an afternoon of surfing with Nathan Pages. Nathan offers private surf lessons daily at St Jean Beach and other surf spots around the island.
Another great discovery we made after the hurricane when few places were open is Chez Rolande. Tucked away on a side street near Flamands Chez Rolande is a charming local spot that we had driven by hundreds of times but had actually never stopped at until last Spring as the island was quietly coming back. It’s super low key with delicious food. We love the authentic charm and friendly staff.
There is a different kind of charm to St Barth right now…a relaxed mood…more smiles…less crowded beaches, bars, everything. So before the crowds come roaring back my suggestion would be to hurry up and go!
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