4 June, 2022
7 pools with breathtaking views in St Barts
24 April, 2022
28 December, 2022
Describing somewhere as one of the most beautiful destinations in the world is a high accolade indeed; however, when it comes to the French Caribbean island of St Barts (St Barthélémy) this is not an exaggeration by any means. First time visitors are sure to be blown away by the sheer natural beauty of this tiny isle. Towering green-clad mountains rise out of the cerulean ocean, whilst silky white sand beaches line the shore. Combine the stunning scenery with the island’s excellent restaurants, elegant bars, boutique shops and exclusive yet laidback lifestyle and it’s little wonder this tiny patch of paradise has become a popular high society haunt over the last couple of decades.
With just one small regional airport on the island, visitors can arrive for a vacation in St Barts via private jet, the puddle jumper service or boat enjoying a spectacular aerial or sea-level view of the island en route to your villa. Whether you’re itching to get out exploring or can’t wait to admire the landscape further from the comfort of your sun lounger, you’ll find adventures and relaxation aplenty on this magnificent isle.
Nature lovers will relish the opportunity to explore the incredible landscape. From surfing, kayaking and snorkelling to sailing, cliff jumping and hiking (and everything in between), activities abound on St Barts. Charter your own catamaran and set off to sail the seven seas or else mask up and embark on a scuba expedition, exploring the colour-filled coral reefs below the waves. Simply speak to your onefinestay concierge and they can organise a personally tailored itinerary for you, featuring plenty of travel tips to help you make the most of your St Barts vacation.
First thing’s first: a healthy dose of vitamin sea. With around 20 beaches on the island of St Barthélémy, you’ve got plenty of spots to choose from. The options range from glamorous stretches of sand, lined with sophisticated sun worshippers, to remote lagoons with nothing but the sea breeze leisurely passing you by.
Those wanting to soak up some glitz and glamour should head to Nikki Beach. This gorgeous stretch of coast is renowned for its powdery sands, pristine shores, and its world-famous beach club - often frequented by well-known stars in the balmy summer months. Prefer things a little quieter? Seclusion-seekers will love Colombier beach, only accessible by boat or a rugged 30-minute hike.
For groups with younger children, the soft sand and gentle waves of the beach at Lorient make it the perfect family-friendly option. This reef-protected beach is an excellent choice for those planning on enjoying a spot of swimming and snorkelling; there’s a whole world to be discovered beneath the crystalline waves. Near the end of the beach are a series of natural pools - ideal for babies and toddlers to splash about safely.
Come evening, the various camps of beachgoers congregate together on Shell Beach to enjoy some of the best sunset views on the island. Nestled beneath Gustavia’s rocky cliffs, this lovely bay earned its namesake from the thousands of tiny shells scattered amid its soft, white sands. The waters here are particularly calm, making it a safe swimming spot.
If you wish to escape the crowds, then a short climb up to Fort Karl will reward the adventurous with magnificent sunset views and fewer people to rub shoulders with. Dating all the way back to 1789, this formidable fortress was used to protect the town of Gustavia - nowadays, it’s one of the most scenic spots to soak up the island’s spectacular sea views.
Despite being a tiny island, St Barts certainly packs a punch in the culture department. Occupied over the centuries by an ever-changing list of nationalities, including the French and the Dutch, St Barts has kept the best parts of each culture for its own, blending them with the laid-back atmosphere and joie de vivre for which the Caribbean is famed.
This rich and complex heritage is visually represented by the colonial-style mansions, cliff-top forts, Scandi-style clock towers and various museums which can be found scattered over the isle. Sites such as the Wall House, Fort Karl and Fort Gustave hark back to the Swedish occupation of the island, whilst in the little fishing village of Corossol, you’ll be able to hear the older inhabitants speaking in an old Norman dialect.
The hub of the island is its port capital, Gustavia. Named by the Swedes in 1784, in honour of their king at the time, and declared a ‘free port’ the same year, this bustling town has long been a duty-free haven. Nowadays the harbour is thronged with gleaming yachts, sophisticated restaurants, elegant hotels, buzzing bars, designer boutiques and luxury stores - the ideal spot for a bit of shopping, should you be in need of some retail therapy.
St Barts' rich and complex history definitely translates into its cuisine, making it somewhat of a foodie hotspot in the Caribbean. Gourmands flock to the endless restaurants, which range from haute cuisine hotspots to local snack bars, to enjoy a delicious array of French, West Indian, Italian, Creole and Asian flavours. In fact, with so many restaurants and cuisines to choose from, tourists are truly spoilt for choice.
If it was left up to us, then we would make tracks for Bonito. Combining effortless French chic with a healthy dose of laidback Caribbean attitude and an unexpected Peruvian twist, this has to be one of our favourite dinner spots on the island. Make sure you get there for sunset so you can sip on expertly crafted cocktails whilst you enjoy the show. When the food arrives, you’ll be able to enjoy it overlooking the twinkling lights of Gustavia's harbour.
Another incredible French fusion restaurant is Tamarin, also in Gustavia. Set in a relaxed, palm-fringed garden, here you’ll enjoy a winning blend of balmy evening weather, delicious food and a convivial atmosphere. What’s more, Tamarin is a great dinner option for any families, boasting a dedicated children’s play area and toy café, friendly staff and a children’s menu that even the fussiest of eaters will enjoy.
Finally, if we were to pick a spot for understated drinks on the beach then Shellona would be it. Laze on a sun lounger or plump cushion and enjoy an expertly blended pina colada, or two - you are on vacation after all!
Whether you’re after relaxation, adventure or pure foodie indulgence, here at onefinestay we know exactly what it takes to make your getaway special. With our incredible range of exclusive concierge services, you’ll have a host of sumptuous experiences at your very fingertips. Relax with your very own in-home spa experience, feast in the comfort of your home with your own personal chef or explore the oceans in style in a gleaming private yacht. What’s more, it can all be booked pre-stay, meaning all you have to do when you get there is relax. Pure bliss.
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