Travel Guide

Your Guide to The Perfect Long Weekend in St. Barth


ust like all of the best places on Earth, I can’t believe we’ve gone this long without visiting St. Barth. We’ve been to St. Martin, Anguilla, Bahamas, Puerto Rico and thoroughly loved those spots for their beaches, seclusion and relaxation. We had thought that when you visit a Caribbean island, it meant sacrificing amazing food and drink. On the contrary, St. Barth feels like the South of France and the Hamptons all rolled into one.

Amazing beaches, fantastic croissants, baguettes and all sorts of wine and cheese, plus nightlife, shopping and amazing hospitality. Everywhere we went, the people went above and beyond to make our stay amazing.

One of the reasons we never visited St. Barth is because there are no direct flights from New York. There are two ways for us to get there. On our trip we flew from Newark to St. Martin and then took a 15 minute flight to the island. The ride in is harrowing, as you literally fly straight into a mountain and then drop down all on a tiny 20 person plane.

The other, newer route, is to fly into San Juan and then take a private-type plane into St. Barth on Tradewind Airlines.

So before we get much further, let’s address the elephant in the room. How exactly do you say the name of this island? From what I’ve learned, “foreigners” (ie Americans) call it St. Barth’s or Saint Barths, while locals and the French call it, St. Barth, and since we always like to travel like a local, we’ll call it St. Barth and hope you do the same (plus you can add that little French accent when you say it, like I do when I say “qua-sant” (croissant).

Where to Stay in St. Barth

With this being our first time on the island we wanted to stay at a trusted, loved location that’s central to everything and that’s why we chose Villa Marie. It’s a boutique property with the other location being in St. Tropez. We were lucky enough to score a rate so we could write our review.

It’s situated atop one of the many hills near Colombier beach and has bungalows built all around the property with a pool in the center. The on-site restaurant is Francois Plantation run by chef Emmanuel Motte and the cuisine tasted just as amazing as we remember our trip to Provence.

While you’re there, here’s what you’ve got to try.

The omelette with cheese and ham, the fresh baked croissants, the gigantic cheese plate, the sole de-boned table side and the fresh burrata salad with tomatoes.

Breakfast is included as part of your stay so take advantage.

The wine list and cellar are massive and we got to try some spectacular Pinot Noirs and Bourdeaux.

The wine list and cellar are massive and we got to try some spectacular Pinot Noirs and Bourdeaux.

One experience I cannot speak more highly of is their on-site spa. Both wei and I got a massage, and it was so good that I wanted to immediately book another. Wei got herself a facial and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

If you book your stay with them, let them know we sent you and there may be something special in store for you (crosses fingers). Book with Villa Marie St. Barth.

Where to eat in St. Barth

L’Isoletta is the more casual wing of local Italian haunt L’isola and after a couple nights of multiple course meals we loved the simplicity of the dishes. Get the fresh mozzarella and tomato salad, the pork and beef meatballs and the pasta pomodoro. Wash it all down with a Moretti, an espresso and a parting shot of limoncello.

Le Tamarin offers French Caribbean cuisine in a beautiful outdoor setting. There’s a giant old knotted tree centering the property and tons of turtles swimming and scooting around. You’ll love the cocktails, the shrimp ravioli with octopus and the mahi mahi. For dessert grab the petite four and pair them with the infused rum shots.

Shellona feels plucked right out of Mykonos. It’s a three level beach restaurant and lounge situated on Shell Beach. Get there around 10am and reserve your lounge chair (ahead of time). Setup shop on your lounges and take in the sights. Billionaires park their boats in the harbor and the onsite boutique has their staff strutting on the sand to entice you to buy their line. Wei was definitely tempted but be prepared to spend, while beautiful, most pieces from the boutique were in the $400+ range.

When you book your chair, make a reservation for lunch around mid day so you can take a break from the beach and enjoy the amazing Greek fare. Get the mezze spreads, chicken kababs, Greek salad and say yes to the infused rum shots (this is becoming a theme).

Where to Party in St. Barth

Unlike other islands in the Caribbean, there’s a great nightlife scene and enough options for everyone to have a great night out.

Our favorite dive bar slash burger joint, Le Select, has a great outdoor seating area perfect for people watching and trying to spot a billionaire or celebrity. The spot has been there since 1949 and purportedly is the place behind Jimmy Buffet’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”

For debauchery and great people watching head to Bagatelle. The brunch spot that turns into a club at 11am in Meatpacking also has a location here in St. Barth. We got there around 9pm, in time to see middle aged parents with their tweens dining on pizzas and fries.

By 11pm, once the families had finished eating, the waiters pulled the chairs from the tables and everyone started dancing. Some people standing on chairs, others on tables, tons of fist pumping and beating up the beat. In the back area, a group of middle aged bros spent $20,000 on a magnum of Ace of Spades. Despite the conspicuous consumption and less than ideal crowd, the drinks were actually really good. I enjoyed my old fashioned and their take on a Manhattan. Go for amazing people watching and a night you won’t forget.

We couldn’t book a day bed at Nikki Beach for their Rose Friday event, and with the price tag rumored to be near $1000 just for the bed, we were glad we found Pearl Beach Hotel. Located just down the beach from the airport, Nikki Beach and the (opening soon) Eden Rock, it’s on a beautiful stretch of beach.

We didn’t have reservations but even arriving at 11am allowed us to score two chairs by the beach (which were free). We grabbed drinks and lunch at the restaurant inside and the staff couldn’t have been more courteous and helpful. For your ideal day, grab a chair early, order a bottle of Rose and watch the planes fly out of the airport.

Where to Shop in St. Barth

Everyone I went I saw Vilebrequin swimwear. The little turtle prints on the trunks matched all the turtles we encountered all over the island. Their shop is located on the main strip in Gustavia.

Other notable brands with locations on the island include Sunday St. Barth, Hermès, Louis Vuitton.

This was our first (of many) trip to St. Barth and we can’t wait to go back. We loved the hospitality, the beaches, the restaurants and the amazing people watching. Our only gripe was missing our connecting flight on the way home (make sure to book at least 2 hour layover on the way out of SBH airport) and also to find a shoulder season to visit as prices get crazy hectic in prime season. The shoulder season for St. Barth is November and April when prices are going to be the most affordable.

Andrew Wise

Published by
Andrew Wise

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