When asked how I would describe the island of St Barths, all nine by four kilometers of it, there is so much to tell, I am not even sure there is enough room on this page.
It is indeed a little more expensive than perhaps some of the four main islands in the Caribbean, and an extra hop in a plane, but I can assure you it is definitely worth it!
Beach at the Guanahani
Having landed in Antigua Airport with Virgin Atlantic, we were fast tracked through customs as we were flying with Tradewind Aviation, the new faster way to get to the destination! Our hold luggage was stored for us at the Tradewind Aviation desk, so we popped to the quirky Antiguan Banana Lounge, where we tried their famous pizza and naughty chips! There was free Wi-Fi so the wait for the plane whizzed by! This little wait is important should the BA or Virgin plane be delayed at all; there is enough time to catch the flight, as they don’t tend to have planes land in the dark in St Barths, only for emergencies. There are about 100 planes which land there every day. The landing and views are spectacular!
Flight into St Baths
Landed in Antigua Airport!!
It is a luscious green island with beautiful homes, villas and hotels. I must admit this is a little strange to witness as there are no run down or shanty houses at all as you will see on other islands, it feels rather surreal! The cost of living on St Barths is rather high. There are only 9,000 people on the island, yet about 200,000 a year fly in for their vacations.Tourism in St Barths is relatively new – the first plane landed on the island in 1946, and electricity didn’t arrive until 1963. At first there was just a grass runway, and then in 1965 they built the sweet little airport. It is lovely and you almost feel like you are in a hotel reception!Tour Guide Helene Bernier’s family settled here from France in 1648 and she is the twelfth generation! She knows everything about the island and can take you to see all of the sites including many beautiful beaches! My top four favorite beaches would have to be Gouvereur, Saline and the beaches of the hotels Eden Rock and Isle De France!
Eden Rock Beach
Should you want to enjoy a boat trip in the beautiful turquoise seas and snorkeling then I’d recommend the superb boat trip with Blue Escape to Colombier Beach where I saw so many turtles, some barracuda, the skinny trumpet fish and the parrot fish. There are some great Dive sites, but exploring a wreck a real must. Another beach to snorkel from is Petit Cul-De-Sac, which is a protected bay, so no boats are allowed in and fishing is not permitted either, therefore the snorkeling there is incredible. You will spot Lobsters, Sharks, Rays and many different varieties of fish! You can access the beach by car; it is more of a rugged natural beach, yet sandy. I hear Daniel Craig has been spotted there, so surely he knows a good beach when he sees one!
I’d suggest hiring a car in St Barths as this is far cheaper than taxis which start at €25 before you depart! From anywhere on the island you can get to any other part in less than 20 minutes. Many guests choose to hire a larger car such as a 4×4 Jeep, but as the roads tend to be narrow and in some places steep, I’d recommend a smaller car such as a Mini for example, even a convertible should you like to go in style! All hotels have parking as most guests rent a car.
Many years ago they used to export salt from the island, I am sure you will see some of the salt ponds that they still have dotted around. Locals grow their own fruit and vegetables on the island, but nothing is exported any more as it is a little expensive. You will spot cashew nut trees on the island and beautiful colorful flower bushes lining some of the roads and of course coconut trees.
I stayed in three hotels in St Barths, Le Toiny, Hotel Guanahani & Spa and Hotel Christopher, each so special in their own way! I also visited Eden Rock, Isle De France and La Sereno as well as four beautiful villas.
For all of the food lovers I’d highly recommend Bonito. This restaurant is sublime and the food well worth Michelin stars in my opinion! The service and cocktails are also superb. Bonito has a very stylish décor with a chic beach house feel to it.
Meal at Bonito
At Le Toiny, I will never forget the superb breakfast I had on my terrace overlooking my pool and the sea, whilst sipping excellent coffee and eating fruit salad! Deciding on what to select from the fantastic breakfast menu was the only hard part! The rooms at Le Toiny are so chic and decorated in lovely pastel colors all complimenting one another.
Incredible Breakfast on my Balcony at Le Toiny
Hotel Guanahani & Spa is without a doubt is great for families. They have a kids club from 2-12 years and accommodation perfect for guests and their little ones! I was lucky enough to be placed in an Ocean View suite, there are many with private pools. Whilst sitting on my huge balcony looking out to sea, I could hear the roaring of the waves, what a beautiful sound. It is rather noisy yet therapeutic at the same time!
Hotel Christopher was without a doubt the most friendly of hotels, the service is superb, as is the pool and the cocktails! If you want a picnic they take you to Gouverneur Beach where you can relax and have someone pour you champagne and kindly give you a lobster salad and a club sandwich, followed by fruit kebabs and home-made scrummy macaroons! A real must for St Barths! There were very envious people sun bathing around us.
Gouverneur Beach where we had our Champagne lobster picnic