Most guides will describe St. Barthelemy as a quiet place to go and unwind, enjoy amazing French cuisine, and watch the stars. This is one of the ways to experience St Barth, however, there is also a St Barth which could have you dancing on the tables prior to making it out to the clubs for a night of energizing fun.
I, too, enjoy the beauty of the island, the seas of multiple shades of blue and green, the pristine beaches and the incredible food. But I also enjoy the nightlife, the people watching and participating in the frenzied dancing and party atmosphere that can go on into the wee hours of the night.
The island exudes a sense of excitement whether arriving by high speed ferry or a twin engine prop. Approaching this tiny jewel of an island is a thrill in itself. And no matter how many times I have flown in, I still hold my breath as we make the approach, until we safely come to a stop just a few feet from the beach.
St. Barth is a very small island – just over 8 square miles with approximately 7000 residents. There are no large resorts, no casinos, no all-inclusives and no golf courses. What you can expect to find there are beautiful beaches and breathtaking views. There is also an abundance of excellent restaurants and a wide range of first class shopping from designers such as Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton, to small boutiques and specialty stores. The official language is French, though most speak English, and the official currency is the Euro, though the dollar is accepted everywhere. The island’s weather is spectacular year round, with consistent temperatures ranging between 76 and 82 degrees and a water temperature of about 75 degrees. December through May is considered the dry season, while June through November is considered the more humid season. However, it is my experience that rain showers or clear skies can occur at any time during the year. In general, rainstorms pass quickly and there is sun shine on most days.
St Barth has many sides… nonchalant, happy, calm, exciting, energizing, luxurious and warm. It is private and open at the same time. Celebrities are everywhere – from all over the world – in film, television, music, fashion and the arts. It is not uncommon to be dining next to Giorgio Armani, sunning next to Uma Thurman, shopping with Naomi Campbell, or dancing next to Diddy. The yachts are huge, the parties are grand, and the music is energizing. A typical day may start with a homemade breakfast crepe and fresh squeezed orange juice at Le Creperie in Gustavia or a croissant and coffee from one of the patisseries located throughout the island. Spend the day at one of the pristine beaches, such as Gouverneur or Grande Saline, with a picnic lunch from La Rotisserie. Or lunch at one of the beachside restaurant such as La Plage, Le Rivage or Club Lafayette. Nikki Beach always offers a good time for the mid day meal, with music, sun and fashion shows. After the beach – a cocktail is a must at one of the many beach bars. To enjoy the sunset, Do Brazil may be one of your choices for the perfect après beach cocktail. Or the lovely refurbished Carl Gustoff hotel. If moving to the sound of a great DJ is your idea of fun, then you may want to squeeze your way into Nikki Beach or La Plage, especially on Sunday.
Interested in water sports? Rent a couple of jet skis and tour the island from Mat Nautic. Charter a catamaran and snorkel, swim and enjoy lunch at the beautiful Colombier beach. Wind or Kite surf at Grand Cul de Sac or Tom Beach. Take a hike to the pools in Toiny or Grand Fond. Surf at Pointe Milou or Lorient. And if you are feeling adventurous, hike to the caves!
There are many options for dinner, and rarely will you be disappointed. Romantic dinners at Eden Roc, great value and fine dining at the Wall House, K'fe Massai, and the lively, Le Ti St Barth, are just a few of the choices. At Le Ti St Barth, you may find yourself dancing on the tables at the end of your meal, encouraged by the owner – Carole, the manager, Lawrence, or any of the lovely cabaret dancers and models. And new to the island, is the Champagne and Lounge Bar called The Strand. Fabulous views of the Harbour, great staff, fine dining and a DJ that rocks the house. Located right next door to Casa Nikki, it is the perfect location for either dinner and a drink, or just an after dinner drink to pave the way for a night on the town. Which leads you to dancing at Casa Nikki, Yacht Club, Bubbles or The Feeling (located in Lurin) All offer great music and energy, whether you like the small, intimate feel of Bubbles - with live music on occasion, the open air style of Yacht Club located on the Harbor, the chic, white decor and lounge like feel in the different rooms of Casa Nikki, or the house music and huge garden area of Feeling.
Home to your villa, or fine hotel, and then start the day again. Whether relaxing, or dancing the night away, St Barth offers her hospitality to everyone, making it an enjoyable holiday for all.