Whether you’re looking to soak up some sun on famous St. Jean beach, play a leisurely game of tennis, or pack your day with shopping and a boat ride around this spectacular Caribbean island, St. Barths offers something for every type of traveler. For those who love to be social, the chic island is renowned for all-day parties that continue late into the night. Here, we’ve rounded up our favorite places to stay, dine, drink and dance if you’re lucky enough to visit this spectacular (and very fun!) paradise.
Where to Stay in St. Barths
Cheval Blanc: LVMH’s timeless Flamands Beach hotel exudes all of the glamour of the French Riviera, but with a distinctive Caribbean twist. 61-rooms, suites and expansive oceanfront villas are bright and airy with pops of turquoise echoing the natural palette outside. We love the tranquil Cheval Blanc spa and the fabulous La Case restaurant.
Eden Rock : The it-crowd has been sipping rosé at this glamorous resort ever since French Caribbean adventurer Rémy de Haenen welcomed famous guests like Lee Radziwill and Greta Garbo to his Eden Rock home in the 1950s. The boutique hotel features only 37 rooms, suites and villas each with its own library and beautiful views.
Le Carl Gustaf: Perched above the magnificent bay and a stone’s throw from Shell Beach, Le Carl Gustaf’s 21 rooms and suites each offer spectacular views over the island. The spaces are bright and airy, with floor-to-ceiling windows that allow the island’s natural beauty to shine through. Greek chef Yiannis Kioroglou’s Shellona restaurant is the perfect spot for enjoying mezze like octopus croquettes with black aioli and charcoal-cooked sea bass.
Where to Eat in St. Barths
Kinugawa: Head here for a Saint Tropez-like scene and inventive Japanese food with a French twist. The first Caribbean outpost of Paris-based Blackcode Group, this lively restaurant is helmed by the former executive chef of Nobu New York. We love their yuzu-infused cocktails, ceviche with miso sweet potato, and melt-in-your-mouth wagyu beef.
L’Isola: We adore the cozy, candlelit ambiance and incredible Italian food at this island hotspot. Order a bottle from their impressive wine list and pair it with one of their famous fresh pastas or risottos (don’t miss the saffron risotto with langoustine, shrimp and asparagus). Many of the ingredients are imported directly from Italy, meaning each dish is crafted from the freshest, highest-quality tomatoes, burratas and more.
Bonito: Designed to look like your chicest friend’s beach house, Bonito is a laid-back environment for high-end food with a fantastic view. While outdoors is the place to be for a spectacular seaside vista, indoors offers a glimpse of the action beside their open kitchen, which churns out bright Peruvian ceviches, vibrant and precisely-plated tiraditos and charcoal-grilled meats. Later at night, DJs turn the refined restaurant into an upscale cocktail bar.
La Petite Plage: A perfect example of barefoot luxury, diners and dancers can relax with their feet in the sand as they enjoy Mediterranean-inspired dishes whipped up by Michelin star chef, Eric Frechon. As the dinner crowd thins out late night, live music kicks in and then later, DJs take over for a night of dancing by the sea.
Where to Go Out in St. Barths
Remy Bar at Eden Rock: Remy Bar is one of the chicest places to pop in for a cocktail, with a long list of expertly-crafted drinks to choose from. On offer: A variety of spritzes (including rosemary-infused twists on the classic Aperol Spritz), a bespoke Bloody Mary menu and a bevy of fresh juices for those seeking a beverage without the buzz.
Bagatelle: The New York-based French restaurant is a veritable nightlife institution. As the night goes on, the fine-dining establishment goes from churning out truffle pizza and mahi mahi ceviche to spraying Champagne and dancing to the DJ. It’s always a rather epic party and not to be missed if you’re looking for a proper night out.
Nikki Beach: A-list hotspot Nikki Beach is a must-visit for a day of celebrating. Daybeds fringe on the clear blue water and white sand of St. Jean beach. Beyond its ideal location, Nikki Beach is famous for its festive atmosphere, particularly on Sundays — be sure to reserve a table as it’s one of the best known beach clubs on the island.
NAO Beach Club: Another of St. Jean’s most beloved beach clubs, NAO is the ultimate destination for beachside revelry. With DJ sets every day, the party is never-ending and attracts a well-heeled clientele who are looking to unwind with a cocktail in hand. There’s a caviar menu for those looking for something delicious, or try their Instagram-famous sea bass sashimi.
What to Do in St. Barths
Hiking: One of our favorite hikes is around Colombier Beach, which can be reached by two trails. The upper is the more strenuous of the two and is a dreamy spot to set up for a sunset swim.
Natural Pools: Head to Grand Fond Beach and walk 15 minutes along slightly rocky terrain until you arrive at these tranquil pools. Petit Cul de Sac is another access point, albeit one for more experienced hikers. The trek is steep, and rough waves can block the path on bad weather days. But if the conditions are good, the gorgeous pools are more than worth the trip.
Water Activities: For those just looking to take in the clear blue water from a different vantage point, kayaking or paddleboarding are low-key options for getting out there. For the more adventurous, there’s everything from scuba diving through the coral reefs to jet-skiing, deep sea fishing and more. For bookings, you can book through the island’s official watersports provider.
Where to Shop in St. Barths
Lili Belle: A quick jaunt from Nikki Beach, Lila Belle is one of the island’s chicest shopping destinations. Parisian owner Virginie has a keen eye for pieces that are both fashionable and timeless. Stop by for cool beachwear from brands like Isabel Marant Étoile and Antik Batik. Think gauzy dresses, oversized straw beach bags and earth-toned crochet dresses that you’ll want to wear out of the store.
Eden Rock Boutique: Perhaps the best hotel boutique on the island, Eden Rock’s boutique offers a well-curated selection of kaftans organized by color, plus flattering swimsuits, sunhats, and evening gowns. Basically all of the essentials for days spent by the water and nights out. We love that they spotlight local designers as well, including bags designed by Alexandra de Haenen, the granddaughter of Eden Rock founder Rémy de Haenen.
Boutiques in Gustavia
There’s no shortage of fabulous boutiques in Gustavia, from high-end shops like Hermes to lesser known spots that feature one-of-a-kind pieces crafted by local designers. Some of our favorites include Lolita Jaca for tunic dresses, Delfina for swimwear and Ligne St. Barths for locally-made cosmetics. Clic, founded by Calypso’s Christiane Celle, is also a must visit for framed photographs, homegoods and other special items.