Oh, St. Barths….j’adore. I don’t know how else to say it. The moment I stepped foot off the plane, I fell in love.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This may be the longest post ever. If you want to skip the review, scroll down to see some pretty cool pictures. Merci!
So, WHY did we choose St. Barths? The hubs and I were wanting to take an anniversary trip. I begged to go to Greece, and he countered with Miami. Sweet. I abso LOVE Miami, but I am there every month for work. I wanted to go somewhere away from it all. I mentioned Mexico, Sedona, The Hamptons…you name it. The hubs is a MAJOR foodie and wino…tasting menus and wine pairings are his M.O. So, I continued my search for the perfect destination: food, wine, sunshine, and an amazing scene. That’s when I discovered St. Barths. JACKPOT. It’s funny…when I asked one of my friends about St. Barths, he replied “oh yeah, that’s your wheelhouse.”
For MONTHS, I had researched and researched and researched. And with every article St. Barths got more and more fabulous. The food, the wine, the culture, the people…it was right up our alley. I never would have thought in a million years that it would be so breathtakingly gorgeous and hip at the same time. The cool thing about St.Barths is that there are 22 beaches. Rarely do you hang out at the same beach the whole time. Each day, there is a different beach where the cool kids hang out. For example, Saturday, it was St. Jean at the La Plage Bikini Brunch. Sunday Funday was at Nikki Beach (yes, THAT Nikki Beach), also on St. Jean. EVERY beach has something different that it offers.
WHERE TO STAY: Le Sereno. Period. End of story. Drop the microphone. This was SUCH a hip hotel. With its modern decor, ultra-fabulous pool, and no shortage of gorgeous people, we loved it there. Being a family-owned resort, the attention to detail was perfect. It was a little off the beaten path, but this gave us the opportunity to explore the rest of the island, even though it was hard to leave the AMAZING pool. The beach was calm and the perfect place for water sports. To top it off, the bartender by the pool made THE BEST margarita I’ve ever had: tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice, Cointreau, and wasabi. Fresh, no mix…just perfection. The restaurant there is also wonderful, offering local fish and gourmet options. You don’t want to miss this hotel!!
FOOD: Ok, when can you go on vacation, eat and drink your way through St. Barths, AND lose 5 lbs? The food in St. Barths is PHENOMENAL. It is all extremely fresh or flown in daily. There is no gluten, or crap in the food that makes you feel bad. It was the perfect mix between fine dining and gastronomic. My favs in order: 1) Le Espirit. This is as close to farm to table as you are going to get. Simple. creative. no fuss. The food was executed flawlessly, and the service was on point. We ate there TWICE. 2) Le Gaiac. The views, the food, and the attention to detail is what comes to mind here. It’s one of the most gorgeous restaurants I have ever been to, and they nailed each and every dish. 3) Bonito. This is the night the hubs fell in love with St. Barths and wanted to extend our stay. This night was a BLAST. The view, the cocktails, the food, and the music. See my post “Love at First Site.” 4) Nikki Beach. Sounds crazy, I know. But we had one of the most delicious local, whole fish I’ve ever had. Topped off with the perfect bottle of French white wine, a daybed 3 ft from the water, people dancing on tables…this was an experience I will never forget! 5) Sand Bar at Eden Rock. Food was phenomenal…probably the BEST tuna tartare of the whole trip. Make sure you eat here for lunch. 6) Le Sereno. Even if you do not stay at the hotel, make sure you eat at the restaurant. It’s VERY good!
THINGS TO DO:
1) Nikki Beach. Sunday is the best day to go. The food and atmosphere are top notch, and the beach is absolutely gorg. Rent a daybed and watch the rich and famous disembark from their yachts onto the white sandy beaches. With the perfect beach water sports, St. Jean beach is ideal for both families and couples.
2) I Love Friday Nights party @ La Plage. aka the perfect beach bar. Imagine live music, a kick ass DJ, and a fire show…on the beach with amazing craft cocktails.
3) Le Ti. No description needed. Trust me, go one night after dinner to get “Le Ti’d”. Sorry, I don’t have a picture from this night…probably best.
4) Shell Beach/Do Brazil. This serene beach is covered in sea shells. Go right before sunset and grab a cocktail at Do Brazil, right on the beach. GORG!
5) Rent a boat to explore the island. Ok, this was an adventure in itself. My precious hubby, who has never driven a boat, decided he was going to be our captain. After a 5 minute presentation on the lay of the land, how to drive the boat, and how to work the radio, we were on our way. Wow. That was probably one of the most terrifying moments of my life. The waves were absolutely HUGE. You can just imagine me screaming every time the boat hit a 6 ft wave (not exaggerating). The 10 minutes of hell, I mean boat ride, seemed like an eternity. Then, we FINALLY reached the first beach. My job was to get the anchor out. UM, I could not get the anchor out. Probably because I was still trembling from earlier. Next thing I know, we had beached the damn boat. As we sat there in the boat, on the beach, beautiful French women walked around, topless. All I wanted to do was go to this secluded beach and layout topless. At that point, I had to call the marina. Once they came and rescued us, they sent us on our way again. At that point, we were pros! We made our way to the next beach: Columbier. The water was much smoother, and we enjoyed the ride. There we tied up and watched the yachts roll in. Luckily, we had packed plenty of wine. This beach is normally only accessible via a hike. Honestly this adventure is not meant for boating amateurs (ahem like us), but it was so worth it. Do it. do it. do it. You only live once, right?
6) Hike to the secret pools. Ah-may-zing. If you are interested in this, email me. Top secret stuff here.
7) MEET AMAZING PEOPLE!! This is so crucial. We met an awesome couple from Destin. It’s funny because we saw them the day before at La Plage, looking oh so fabulous. I thought FOR SURE they were from Paris. The next day, they saw me at Nikki Beach. Once they heard my southern accent, they struck up a conversation. They actually thought we were French as well. Merci! We were fortunate enough to meet their friends from Brussels and spent the day at their TO-DIE for villa with some of the most spectacular views. We also met a hilarious lady from London, who we saw night after night. It was so nice to see familiar faces all over the island. So, branch out and be social!
8) To see the MOST beautiful sunset in the world, hike up to the fort in Gustavia. Take a bottle of champagne and enjoy one of the most romantic experiences of your life.
9) SHOPPING!!!! Imagine: Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and boutique after boutique. Hit up downtown Gustavia, and you will be in heaven!!!
1) This place is expensive. Get ready to spend some $$$ and don’t stress about it. Save up prior…it’s so worth it.
2) If you can afford it, NYE is THE time to visit. Talk about see and be seen. However, if you are looking for a smaller crowd, August was perfect. Every year, they hold a music festival called St. Barth Summer Sessions. This music festival is LEGIT. Every night there is live music. If you are lucky enough to hang with some of the bands, it makes your experience that much cooler. Shout out to the gorg Sophia Urista and her lovely lady Essence, as well as the guys from the Matt O’Ree Band. Bomb.com…check em out. And to the keyboardist from Bon Jovi…you totes rocked it.
3) Rent a car. I hope you are not scared of winding roads around mountains with no guard rails. Seriously though, you will want a car. This allows you to explore the island and see everything this magical place has to offer.
4) Spend AT LEAST a week there. We were supposed to stay in St. Barths Friday-Tuesday. On Sunday, we decided to stay until Thursday night. This was still not enough time.
5) Fly through San Juan, especially if you are a Delta person. We overnighted in San Juan and enjoyed some fab meals! We took a quick 1 hour flight via Tradewinds (click for link) to St. Barths early the next morning. They have a Tradewinds-only boarding area outside of security. No lines, no wait, and your own personal concierge to help you get settled. Once boarding the plane, they offer drinks and snacks and make sure you are comfortable. And this plane is no puddle-jumper…it truly is a first-class experience. On our way back to Puerto Rico, one of the crew members personally walked us from the plane to the ground transportation area. These people REALLY take care of you!
I realize this may be the longest blog post in the history of the world, but I want to make sure visitors to St. Barths know exactly what to expect. If you have any questions, please feel free to find me on Facebook (link above) or email me. I would LOVE to help you plan your trip. There truly is only one word to describe St. Barths: MAGICAL. Enjoy the pictures below…so sad to say it, but…Auvoir!
Our first view of the resort. Le Sereno.
The BEST tuna Tartare I have ever eaten. Sand Bar @ Eden Rock.
The night the hubs fell in love with St. Barths. Bonito.
The Gustavia harbor.
St. Tropez Party. Nikki Beach
SWIMSUIT TOP L’Space • SWIMSUIT BOTTOMS Mara Hoffman • HAT Janessa Leone
The GORG Sophia Urista and Matt O’Ree Band. La Plage.
The secret pools.
TOP Mara Hoffman • BOTTOMS L*Space • SUNNIES Jimmy Choo Ives
How the French lay out: accessory-free. So, I joined them. When in St. Barths…
TOP L*Space • EARRINGS Deepa Gurnani • BRACELETS Vita Fede, Gorjana
OBSESSED with color.
JUMPER Mara Hoffman • SHOES Marc Jacobs
SUNNIES Fendi Pequin Cat-Eyes • HEADBAND Flash Tats
HAT Janessa Leone Gloria • SUNNIES Jimmy Choo Ives • TOP Alexis
Fringe. Ombre. Humidity.
Super glam hotel entrance @ Le Sereno
TOP Alexis (similar HERE) • SKIRT Alexis (sold out) • SHOES Christian Louboutin (sold out)
Our room @ Le Sereno
HAT Janessa Leone Gloria • TOP Mara • BOTTOMS L*Space
Cheers to the PERFECT trip.
Sums it up PERFECTLY.