This charming, mountainous little island just south of St. Martin has got a reputation as a sandbox for the rich, famous and super trendy. Just meandering through the cobbled streets, you're sure to bump into a movie star along the way. It is to be expected, then, that St. Bart's is not for travellers on a budget. The island is dotted with flashy, yet boutique resorts, the food is deliciously decadent, and the locals are typically, oh so Francais. Beyond the glitz and glamour though you'll find St. Barths is a mesmerizing island, with far more than just celebs and expensive fois gras.
Restaurant Le Sereno - $$$
Located on the gorgeous, jade-green bay at Grand Cul-de-Sac, this spot has one of the best views on the island. The serene bay has glowing waters peppered with sailboats and surrounded by sprawling green hills. The open-air restaurant invites the sounds of nature into the resort and you instantly feel at ease. In addition to the bohemian, tranquil atmosphere, you'll find some of the most delicious, European cuisine at Le Sereno. Incredible pastas and perfectly seasoned fish, complemented by an extensive wine list, are the reason to come to this serene hotel in St. Barths.
Eddy's - $$
The location is what makes Eddy's restaurant a real gem. As you enter, you'll feel like you're walking through an enchanted garden in the Caribbean. Once seated, you'll be handed a very impressive wine list and a menu that will make the decision-making process a tough one. The food here is sublime and won't empty your pockets. Make sure you try the green papaya salad, tuna platter and for dessert, the notorious chocolate egg roll.
Orega - $
Nothing in St. Barth's can really be "cheap," but Orega offers an inexpensive menu, without having to compromise quality. The dishes you'll find here are Japanese inspired, and if you're a seafood-lover, you might want to frequent this spot a few times. The staff puts extra attention on service. In fact, the owner is known to make his way around the tables to ensure you're properly taken care of. Order some sushi rolls, or be a bit more adventurous and try the fois gras and eggplant with some sake.
Le Sereno - $$$
As the name implies, this resort is all about serenity. the rooms are impeccably laid out and designed to make the guests feel at peace. Even the materials are carefully selected and crafted so that you'll feel absolute tranquility. Treat yourself to a well deserved massage overlooking the bay, or just unwind by the pool, which sits right next to the beach. You can even swim with sea turtles and really connect with nature. You'll pay a bit more than other options on the island, but it's worth it. You'll have access to all of the resorts water sports, in case you feel like getting out on the water and having some fun. If you really ant to feel refreshed after your vacation, Le Sereno is the spot to make it happen.
Christopher St. Barth - $$
There are a few things that really sell this hotel as a premier option when staying in St. Barths. The impeccable service and the property itself. You'll find yourself spending an entire day lounging by the pristine pool and be perfectly content. The ocean view from the area is astounding, with a bar and restaurant close by. You'll have access to a spa, which is wonderful if you are taking a vacation from hard work back in the real world. You can expect the service at Christopher to make a true difference on your trip. If you can afford it, book an Ocean Deluxe Terrace room for great views and a bit of privacy.
Hotel Le Village - $
The views at Le Village are what might first attract you to this quaint little resort. The rooms sit on top of the hills, which give guests an amazing view from the property. Take a short walk down and you'll find yourself on a stretch of beach with warm, white sands. A dip in the sea is a great way to cool off and really take in the sights from the water. Breakfast is served hot every morning and the staff will make sure you have everything you need. This is a small, private hotel, meaning you will probably get a chance to meet the owners, who are more than happy to help plan your itinerary.
Aside from spending your days eating French- Caribbean food and taking in the amenities that your gorgeous hotel has to offer, St. Barth's is really about the brilliant beaches. The most interesting one by far is Shell Beach. Right next to the famous Do Brazil restaurant, this beach smells wonderful and is visually sensational as well. Rugged cliffs jet out from both sides of this beach, which is made from millions of tiny shells. This makes the beach a great spot for photos, and is also a perfect place to cool off with an afternoon dip in the sea.
St. Jean Beach
If the reason for your trip to St. Barth's is to get some much needed R&R, you'll need to spend some time on St. Jean Beach. Broken up into two beaches, with Eden Rock hotel in between, whichever section you choose to spend your day, you won't be disappointed. The water here is warm, calm and crystal clear. With water sports available, you can get active, or you could just relax on one of the Caribbean's finest shorelines. Just soak up the sun, marvel at the beauty of the island, and nap away your day.
The narrow, steep streets in St. Barth's can be somewhat difficult to navigate if you have never visited before, but if you're an experienced driver, this is part of the appeal. The roads are winding, and twist through sharp bends across the hillsides. Rent yourself a Mini Cooper, a moped or another small vehicle and just cruise around this small island taking in the panoramic views. Stop off at the top of the hill by the airport runway and wait for a tiny plane to zip over the top of your car. Find an interesting looking restaurant and have lunch outdoors by the beach.
Whether you're a novice diver, or have a thousand dives under your belt, there is something for everyone in St. Barth's. Select your tour operator based on your skill level and how much attention you'll need. There will most likely be snacks and water on board, so you'll be ready to spend a whole afternoon on the water. In St. Barths you'll probably see turtles, rays, eels, reef fish and possibly even some sharks.