The Locals-Only Guide to St. Barths
Coined the chicest island in the Caribbean, St. Barths, more formally known as Saint Barthélemy, definitely tops the list as far as luxurious destinations go, combining its French pedigree with the pleasures of island life. The eight-mile isle is skirted by shallow reefs, capped with emerald hilltops, and lined with red-roofed buildings—a true slice of paradise for the traveler seeking to tune out the rest of the world. Just back from her weeklong holiday in St. Barths, our CEO and co-founder Katherine Power treats you to an inside look at where to stay, eat, and play on the island.
Scroll down to take a page from Power’s trip itinerary and get inspired to book a glamorous St. Barths trip of your own soon.
While St. Barths has its fair share of luxury resorts to choose from, if you’re looking to make the most of your time on the island, then you definitely should book a villa stay. Power did just that, treating her party to a gorgeous private villa managed by WIMCO, a truly incomparable resource for finding a home away from home on the island.
When you arrive, a WIMCO concierge greets you at the airport and organizes grocery deliveries, private chefs, boat charters, and activities at neighboring resorts. Marine, the Power party’s concierge (who was available around the clock to assist the group!) had a light Parisian breakfast of warm baguettes, flaky croissants, and mimosas from Maya’s To Go delivered to Villa Nahma. The perfect way to start their first morning in the Caribbean.
To ensure the first night on the island was a memorable one, Power enlisted a private chef to prepare a gorgeous four-course Caribbean dinner on the terrace for her party.
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Who: Baie de St. Jean
What: Devote a full day to St. Jean beach. Start with a fresh green juice at La Plage, then had down to the sand for a soak in the sun, icy cocktails, and if you're up for it, a round of snorkeling or stand-up paddle in the coral reef.
Where: St. Jean
For a post-layout lunch, make the short trek from the beach up to Sand Bar for midday cocktails, small bites, and pizzas while overlooking the turquoise ocean.
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Who: Baie de Flamands
What: Before lunch at La Case de l’Isle, Power visited the Cheval Blanc Spa, a must-do on the list. This sanctuary is nestled in the heart of tropical gardens and offers unique Guerlain treatments and massage experiences for a relaxing afternoon of pampering.
Where: Flamands Beach
Reserve your sun chairs and umbrellas at the hotel’s stylish private beach ahead of time for an uninterrupted day of lounging and refreshing soaks.
Seated behind Cheval Blanc’s private white-sand beach is the tented restaurant La Case de l’Isle, an ideal spot for a fresh lunch. Must-try plates include a cold chicken salad (a favorite of Power’s), delicious pesto quinoa, and glazed salmon.
Who: La Crêperie
What: With over 30 palatable selections of sweet and savory crepes, La Crêperie in Gustavia is an ideal stopover to set down your bags and relish in a quick snack. Frequented by a mix of locals and tourists, this street-side stand is guaranteed to give you a French fix without the fuss. Try the sugar crepe with ice cream and fresh fruit.
Who: Pharmacie de Gustavia
What: French pharmacies are travel destinations in their own right. Seated in the town of Gustavia, the capital of St. Barths, is the charming blue- and yellow-shuttered Pharmacie de Gustavia, which houses rows upon rows of French beauty products, elixirs, and essentials that you can’t find anywhere else. Consider it the crème de la crème of drugstores, only infinitely more perfect.
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Who: Rue du General de Gaulle
What: The island is no stranger to high-end shops like Louis Vuitton, Cartier, and Eres, but remember to explore the smaller island boutiques, too. Terra, Lolita Jaca, and Kiwi are shops lined with local charm and curiosities, and they’ll fill your bag with adorable, thrifty finds.
Have you been to St. Barths? Share your favorite places to visit in the comments below.
*Villa stay and hospitality services provided by WIMCO Villas.