If you’re looking for a dreamy escape with crystal clear waters, breathtaking views and some of the worlds most beautiful beaches, you can’t go wrong with the Caribbean…. almost any island in the Caribbean. While I have fallen in love with many, I am especially drawn to islands like St. Martin and St. Bart’s, with their bit of French flavor – my version of paradise.
When satisfying our craving for Parisian-inspired island paradise, we typically find our toes in the sand of St. Martin’s more affordable beaches, but our recent visit to St. Bart’s went above and beyond any previous expectations of paradise.
St. Bart’s is known as one of the Caribbean’s most elite, most expensive islands, and it certainly lives up to its reputation. The only way to St. Bart’s is via St. Martin, and this goes for every thing sold… resulting in premium costs at restaurants, bars, and stores. We took a puddle jumper from St. Martin, enjoying an incredibly scenic approach, with gingerbread house-like houses and the yacht-filled Gustavia harbor providing a jaw-dropping welcome.
Being neither rich nor famous, we spent a surreal week in St. Bart’s, lucky to be shown the best of the island by a good friend who knows it well. Our villa was an incredible estate, set atop the most terrifyingly steep driveway I’ve ever seen. The island roads are generally challenging, with beautiful views from dramatic, cliff-side drives. Villa Amancaya sits atop one of the highest cliffs, with incredible panoramas of the Caribbean from every area. I enjoy open air properties; there’s nothing better than relaxing on a couch overlooking the sea, a slight ocean breeze touching your cheeks. When I’m in paradise I want to breathe it in!
Fact: St. Bart’s has an elite vibe that kinda makes you wanna just lay around, sipping champagne and taking in the luxurious scenery. It’s the island where you might spot a celebrity rolling into super swanky Nikki Beach (the place to see and be seen), but are guaranteed to see Entourage-esque antics a la Vinny Chase. I’ve certainly enjoyed taking in the scene. There’s nothing quite like sipping overpriced cocktails while watching a group of bronzed Eastern European men having push-up contests to impress the ladies.
The celebrity life aside, St. Bart’s is also full of adventure! A place where you can hike to remote beaches and find rocky cliffs to climb. It’s also an easy day trip from St. Martin – a short flight or ferry from Marigot to Gustavia – and I highly recommend adding a visit to your bucket-list. It’s easy to fall in love with the lifestyle on this little island. St. Bart’s is paradise, and while in paradise I recommend that you indulge in the following heavenly experiences!
Eat at Le Select
The inspiration for Jimmy Buffet’s ‘Cheeseburger In Paradise”. Enough said.. how do you pass up such a place? This little dive bar in the middle of Gustavia is always packed. It’s nice to have a reasonably priced alternative to the other, more glamorous, options available. The cheeseburger is decent… it hits the spot. The experience is to have a cheeseburger in paradise, not a paradise cheeseburger.
Make a Reservation at Le Ti
It’s time for a sexy party! It’s impossible not to have a memorable night at Let Ti. You are served good food (I had the best seared foi gras of my life here) but you’re not here for the food. As dinner progresses, the cabaret show gains momentum, until you’re dancing on the table yourself! Or at least you should be…
Hike to Colombier Beach
This beach is the most difficult to access, the most remote and, in my opinion, the most beautiful. A visit is a legit fairy-tale experience. We hiked for about 20 minutes over dramatic cliffs through fields of butterflies. When we arrived at the beach, we had the turquoise water and rock climbing all to ourselves.
Watch Sunset at Shell Beach
No bare feet! Shell beach is filled with colorful shells, creating a glistening beach that is uniquely beautiful. There is one beach-side restaurant, Do Brazil, a popular spot for lunch or sunset cocktails complete with live music.
Sunbathe Nude on Saline Beach
One of the more popular nude beaches on the island, Saline is a short, 10 minute hike over a sand dune. It’s a quiet and peaceful spot to enjoy the beauty around you comfortably in your birthday suit 🙂
Road Trip to Gouverneur Beach
It’s a long, windy drive to access this beauty, but you are rewarded for your journey. Gouverneur is not as remote as Colombier, but off-the-beaten-path enough to enjoy some privacy. Be on the lookout for flying fish!
Snorkel on Marigot Beach
Set in a nature reserve, surrounded by coconut trees, with tranquil waters perfect for swimming. Need I say more? Come on in, the water’s fine as hell.
St. Bart’s is a secluded island adventure with a taste of luxury, but it’s one of those places that can be whatever you want it to be. Whether you’re looking to take a dip into lifestyles of the rich and famous, or escape for secluded island adventures. St. Bart’s provides whatever your heart desires – the definition of paradise.