A trip to St. Barth is always a good idea. The sun, the sea, the inimitable French style—this island is one of the most coveted vacation spots in the world. Plus, there’s always something novel to explore. Here are a few new reasons why you might want to pop down now, in case you don’t have enough already.
The newest property from boutique hotel masters Maisons and Hôtels Sibuet, Villa Marie made its debut in December 2016. Set atop a hill in Colombier overlooking Flamands Bay, the 18-room property is designed in tropical colonial style, with colorful accents and a high-design meets plantation vibe. The property is lush and beautiful, covered in local floral that delivers a very private, almost hidden feel. Each room is decorated in a different color scheme and features impeccable bathrooms with soaking tubs. If you’re looking for a quiet, under-the-radar retreat with charm in spades, this is your spot.
Perched on the windward side of the island in Grand Cul de Sac, Le Barthélemy’s sprawling 46-room property makes it one of the largest on the island. Clean lines and a minimalist aesthetic deliver contemporary beach chic at its finest. Rooms are handsomely outfitted with natural materials and high-tech touches: ambient lighting, safes with computer plugs inside, and drop down screens that add privacy to outdoor terraces without ruining the view. Head to the spa for a decadent La Mer facial and then grab a lounger somewhere between the pool and the ocean—the perfect place to take it all in.
While not a new property, Le Guanahani is coming off of a $40 million renovation. Located on a private peninsula, this property is tucked away in its own little world but leaves nothing to be desired with a beautiful Clarins spa, formal and beachfront restaurants, mojito bar, gym, tennis courts and a Kid’s Club. Rooms are housed in colorful cottages and feature spacious layouts, cheery interiors and private terraces. With so much to offer, you might not ever want to venture outside.
Housed inside Villa Marie, you’ll find this old school dining establishment and much-anticipated opening (in its former life, the restaurant was considered the best on the island). Several years later and with the same chef at the helm, Francois Plantation is slated to follow in its predecessor’s footsteps. From the second you arrive, it’s evident that this will be more than just a meal—it’s an experience. The evening starts with cocktails and delicate hors d’oeuvres, followed by a high-class French feast (the bouillabaisse and foie gras really shine here) paired with delicious wine from their winery in Provence. Everything is so well thought through that you’ll want to stay all night, and luckily you can hop over to the Pineapple Lounge for a cigar and one of their many rums to end the evening on a high note.
Quickly becoming a favorite of locals and visitors alike, Orega offers a unique addition to the island’s food scene with its French-Japanese fusion. The space is intimate and cozy (with a cool retractable roof for stargazing), the presentation artistic and beautiful, and the food marked by refreshing combinations like rack of lamb in a shizo spirulina crust and the wagyu beef roll with asparagus, chives and bok choy. This is one place where you definitely can’t skip dessert. Opt for the chocolate bomb—you’re sure to see it at the table next to you, and it can’t be missed.
Set on Shell Beach, which stakes claim to some of the most beautiful sunset viewing on the island, this oceanfront restaurant is equal parts sun, sand and scene. Well-executed Greek cuisine from the team behind La Guérite, a beautiful open-air environment, great music and an almost painfully cool crowd make this the place to be seen (and enjoy a nice, leisurely afternoon) from lunch to early evening cocktails.
Dolce & Gabbana and Prada
Two of our favorite Italian icons have landed on the island, and they are everything we’d hope they’d be. Housed in beautiful storefronts in Gustavia, each boutique features the season’s collection along with a selection of pieces designed for and sold exclusively in St. Barth.
And after you’ve bought (or browsed) to your heart’s content, head to the hidden garden and have an aperitivo at the outdoor Dolce & Gabbana Martini Bar.
If you’re looking for some stylish swim gear to help you look the part, make sure to pop into MACKEENE. The French brand focuses on men’s beachwear that is both functional and chic; unique colors and luxury styling come together with comfortable, water-repelling fabrics and a special patented magnetic snap closure. You can also find a carefully curated selection of glasses, bags and books.
While it’s pretty well known that Tradewind is by far the most luxurious way to get to St. Barth (think pristine Pilatuses, impeccable gate-to-gate service and the perks of flying private without the price tag), they’ve recently launched a unique flight from St. Barth to Nevis, which makes it possible to visit another nearby island. For just $150 each way you can fly over to Nevis on Wednesday morning, spend the day exploring the island and then hop on back to St. Barth in the late afternoon, just in time for a pre-dinner glass of rosé. How’s that for the best of both worlds?
Bianca is a freelance writer who covers travel, wellness, fashion and food. She’s a big fan of meditation, swimming in the ocean and drinking tea. Follow her on Instagram: @biancagrace