The Best Of St. Barth: A Guide To The Caribbean Playground Of The Rich & Famous

St Barts
Gustavia, Saint Barthelemy skyline and harbor

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone/

Saint Barthélemy — a French-speaking Caribbean island known as St. Barth, St. Barths or St. Barts — is the go-to wintertime destination for the world’s wealthiest, thanks to its white sand beaches, sparkling blue sea and luxury hotels. Its capital, Gustavia, encircles a yacht-filled harbor chock-full of Michelin-starred restaurants and designer shops. Although its borders had been closed to international travelers for some time, fully vaccinated Americans won’t have any problems entering this Caribbean playground any longer. Here, take a look at what jet-setters can look forward to now that this idyllic island locale has reopened.

St BartsPhoto Credit: St Barts Tourism Committee



Eden Rock
Eden Rock

Photo Credit: Eden Rock

Perched on a rocky promontory on St. Jean Bay, Eden Rock St. Barths is undoubtedly one of the most iconic hotels in the Caribbean. At the epicenter of the island, the resort is still fresh from an extensive two-year renovation, as well as the addition of three new suites in 2020. During their stay, foodies can enjoy the outstanding culinary delights of Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the Sand Bar or delight in fabulous frosés at the Eden Rock Beach Bar. Elsewhere on the property, a partnership with acclaimed local brand Ligne St Barth, a “yacht-on-land” themed lounge and three discreet wellness cabins offer guests an unforgettable Caribbean spa experience that includes beachside spa treatments and access to a new nature lagoon.


Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France
Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France

Photo Credit: Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France

The LVMH-owned Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France is a study in seaside glamour, and the only property in the Caribbean with a Palace distinction. Indulge at La Case, a Caribbean-inspired eatery by Jean Imbert, and White Bar, a fabulous seaside haunt with sensational craft cocktails where one can always wear the color of the season, Labor Day be damned. This is barefoot luxury at its best, in an entirely new way.


Le Toiny
Le Toiny

Photo Credit: Le Toiny

The only hotel on St Barth’s wild, uninhabited Caribbean coast, Le Toiny’s location atop the hillside above Anse de Toiny offers unobstructed panoramic views of the sea. New for the coming season, its Villa Nureyev — the former vacation hideaway of legendary Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev — is now available for rental. The elegant four-bedroom’s signature feature remains an expansive “floating” deck, and it’s just one of the spots in the 3,000-square-foot space where guests can enjoy unobstructed 180° views of the Caribbean Sea. Other offerings include a piano, a steam bath, Jacuzzi, hammam cabana and massage area. The glamorous 22-room property also features reimagined interiors by Lady Bee Osborn and a brand-new Surf Shack experience led by professional surfer David Blanchard. 


Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf
Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf

Photo Credit: Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf

This intimate and thoughtfully designed hotel — the sole property on the island boasting panoramic views of the port of Gustavia — made its highly anticipated debut last fall. Featuring an array of suite, loft and villa-style accommodations, each equipped with its own terrace and private plunge pool, this property offers an unparalleled lavish island experience. Within the century-old walls and terraces of Le Carl Gustaf, designers Gilles & Boissier have created a charming ambience, where filtered sunlight creates ever-changing reflections of light and shade. Spend the day at Spa Diane Barrière, which offers multi-sensory stimulation, bespoke holistic treatments and tailored massages in a luxurious, zen-inspired setting;take a yoga class to the rhythm of the West Indies, or enjoy the hotel’s aquabikes. Visitors can also partake of a Catamaran Day, where they will head to the island of their choice for the day with a picnic prepared by chef Gil Dumoulin, or spend the day at the hotel’s private beach club, Shellona Restaurant, located on the idyllic Shell Beach.


Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth
Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth

Photo Credit: Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth

Le Guanahani, the island’s newest luxury hotel, ideally situated on a private 18-acre peninsula overlooking Marigot Bay and Grand Cul-de-Sac, officially opened this spring under the Rosewood umbrella. It features 66 suites and villas featuring vibrant design elements that embrace the property’s unique Caribbean allure. And because it’s a Rosewood hotel, guests should expect more than the standard stay. This property, as the island’s only full-service resort, offers two private beaches, a floodlit tennis court with pros available for lessons and Clefs d’Or concierges — the gold standard.


Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa
Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa

Photo Credit: Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa/Laurent Benoit

Located on a perfect crescent-shaped white sand beach along St. Barths’ famed Grand Cul de Sac, Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa envelops guests in its philosophy of human-centered couture hospitality. A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, this small but mighty property has just 44 rooms and suites. There is also a glorious seaside infinity pool and Le Spa at Le Barthélemy, a peaceful haven aimed at holistic well-being, with skincare by La Mer. In addition to having a cool name, its rooftop bar, Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, is a total hot spot that serves up inventive, inspired cocktails.


Amis St. Barth
Amis. St. Barth

Photo Credit: Amis St. Barth

Check out Fouquet’s Saint-Barth at the newly opened Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf, which features a menu by three-Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire that revisits the great classics of the Caribbean, scented with spices and local flavors, and boasts a unique panoramic view of Gustavia, overlooking the Marina.

At Gyp Sea Saint Barths, within the all-new “Bohemian Beach Club” on St. Jean beach, the oceanfront restaurant has a barbeque-centered menu including local delicacies like avocado salad, Jamaican-style jerk chicken, freshly caught fish and rock lobsters on the grill, smoked rib of beef and burnt vegetables with za’atar spices, aioli and lemon confit.

Located on the port of Gustavia, La Petite Plage features fare courtesy of Eric Frechon, one of France’s most decorated chefs. The menu here focuses on Mediterranean dishes with a splash of Caribbean spice.

Nikki Beach
Nikki Beach

Photo Credit: Artman Agency

Nikki Beach is definitely the place to play in the Caribbean. The OG luxury beach club concept — a favorite among celebrities — combines elements of music, dining, entertainment, fashion, film and art into one oceanfront location. Here in St. Barth, that means simple luxury with plush, all-white sun beds, chic drapery and the brand’s trademark teepees throughout.

The Sin Garden is an ode to decadence. The recently opened pastry spot focuses on the combined passions of owners Marine Urbain and Djordje Varda, who seamlessly blend their love of art and sweets in one sinfully good eatery.

The late, great French chef Joël Robuchon, who received more Michelin stars than any chef in the world, may be gone, but he is certainly not forgotten. His legacy lives on and then some at the new L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Restaurant in a space that spans nearly 9,149 square feet and multiple levels. The eatery, which opened this spring in Gustavia, houses a 50-seat open-counter restaurant, a pastry shop and a tearoom, as well as a bakery and an on-site caterer. On its first floor, there’s an impressively large terrace that provides panoramic ocean views of Gustavia Harbor.

Bagatelle St. Barths
Lemongrass sea bream ceviche marinated in almond milk at Bagatelle St Barths

Photo Credit: Bagatelle St. Barths

Bagatelle is having a big birthday — its 10th, in fact! To mark the momentous occasion, renowned French designer Sam Baron breathed new life into the iconic restaurant that fuses the flavors of French Mediterranean cuisine with local Caribbean influence. Under Baron’s direction, Bagatelle has been transformed into something new. The revamped restaurant comprises a multitude of spaces that merge interior and exterior, including a central bar, main dining area and deck terrace all based around a palette of soft pale hues, natural materials and accents of gold inspired by the glimmering beach setting.

Amis St. Barth, a new restaurant at Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa, has been designed to evoke and amplify sparkling conversations and a familial sensibility with sophisticated elegance. The Mediterranean and Provence coasts are the core influences for this elegant concept, which uses natural materials such as rattan, terracotta, wood and stone, complemented by candles and homespun pottery throughout. Live music provides a lively pulse throughout the night.

Le Papillon Ivre (The Drunk Butterfly), a secret wine bar and bistro in St. Jean, serves up some of the finest French dishes in a truly mesmerizing, romantic setting. Try delightfully decadent dishes like eggs cocotte with truffle cream or the cauliflower baked in edible gold while enjoying a bottle of 1989 Chateau Cheval Blanc for a truly amazing evening off the beaten path.


Sisley Spa
Sisley Spa

Photo Credit: Laurent Benoit/Hotel Christopher

There’s a treasure trove of bespoke beauty treatments on St. Barth, but our three favorites remain the same. Head to the Cheval Blanc Spa for the only Guerlain treatments in the Caribbean;Sisley Spa at Hotel Christopher has received the repeated distinction of the Caribbean’s best spa for a reason (and that reason may well be its totally original hot-shell massage, a must-try); and the Eden Spa at Eden Rock, which has its own medical spa that specializes in anti-aging and cosmetic medicine. Treatments include the likes of Exilis Ultra 360, which tightens skin, and leg slimming with Lymphastim.


St. Barts
Gustavia downtown

Photo Credit: Guirec Pouliquen/St Barts Tourism Committee

St. Barth is all about upscale island life, so while you may see diamonds, pearls and lots of Louis Vuitton, Hermès and Chanel (which also have boutiques here), be sure to check out local favorites like Poupette and Lignes, both of which showcase light, airy, elegant island dresses. Caribbean artist Jacob Scott’s twisted black coral bracelets at Mandarine are a must for on-island accessorizing, as are the espadrilles, sandals and thongs at Metis in Gustavia. In St. Jean, make sure to seek out the terry djellabas from Valérie Barkowski at Mia Zia.

St Barts
Sunset on St. Barts over Shell beach

Photo Credit: St Barts Tourism Committee