The island of Saint Barthelemy or “St. Barths” as it is near-universally is the jewel in the French Caribbean crown. When the islands were first colonized St. Barths was not seen as a winner – islands such as Trinidad, Barbados and Antigua were key for commerce and sugar and spice production.
However, as the economies of the islands migrated towards an emphasis on tourism, given the idyllic environment St. Barths has carved out a niche as a social epicenter and the North American outpost for fans of the South of France culture. Every New Year’s Eve it is reckoned some 40% of the world’s Super Yachts congregate to witness the fireworks and party ahead of the New Year’s Day race known as the St. Barths Bucket. Between November and April here is a short guide as to where to eat, sleep and play:
Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France
One of the biggest changes on the island in recent years is the change in ownership of the Hotel Isle de France by LVMH who have reopened the property as its third hotel alongside its sisters in Courcheval, France and the Maldives. Now renamed the Cheval Blanc the property is even more luxurious in nature. Try the Lobster Fricasse Flambe at al-fresco restaurant La Case de L’Isle.
Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France • Baie de Flamands • 97133
(+590) 590 27 61 81 | www.stbarthisledefrance.chevalblanc.com
Eden Rock was the first hotel to be built on the island of St. Barth. Constructed in 1950, famous Caribbean aviator and adventurer, Remy de Haenen used the hotel as a destination for his well-known friends such as the Rockefellers, Howard Hughes and Greta Garbo. After a few decades of gentle neglect, Eden Rock was acquired by David and Jane Matthews in 1995.
Eden Rock possesses some of the most extravagant villas on the island. From the Rockstar villa that has a recording studio as well as two separate cabins. The villa has often been described as “a hundred million dollar yacht on land” at an enormous 16,000-square-feet. Other villas include the Nina with its own private art gallery and the two floored Orchid beach house with a rooftop terrace providing one of a kind view of the bay. All villas are private and include their own pool or spa pool, kitchen and plenty of space for relaxation. Guests who may not need room to house twelve people can choose from one of the hotel’s eight different suites. At Eden Rock, luxury is provided in all shapes and sizes.
Eden Rock St. Barths • Relais & Chateaux • St Jean Bay
+(590) 590 29 79 99 | www.edenrockhotel.com
Dine with your feet in the sand at La Plage, located at the Tom Beach Hotel. An Island icon, Thierry de Bradereau, created a stylish restaurant with romantic appeal that truly makes guest feel like they are dining in paradise. Serving fine cuisine with Caribbean influences and French technique, items like grilled lobster and tuna tataki take guests on an exotic culinary experience. Open for lunch and dinner, the nightlife at La Plage includes fashion shows, live bands, DJs and themed parties.
Tom Beach Hotel • Plage de St. Jean • 97133
(+590) 590 275 313 | From US: 011 590 590 275 313 | www.st-barths.com/tom-beach-hotel
Le Taiwana is known as the billionaire’s headquarters during Christmas and New Year’s offering visitors the best of the best. Recent ownership changes place Emmanuel Aim to ensure Taiwana remainsvone of the best spots on the beach to eat. The restaurant offers guests exquisite and original Caribbean cuisine and the restaurant’s open décor gives natives and guests of the hotel prime views of the Flamands Beach, which boasts the clearest waters in St. Barth’s. The lunch menu contains fresh seafood dishes such as grilled shrimp, langoustines, Brazilian lobster and fresh salads topped with the daily catch as well as their signature demi poulet grille, a half grilled chicken. The preferred spot for locals and tourist alike all enjoy a venue that transforms from a beach eatery during the day to a completely different restaurant at night. In the evening, enjoy the conversion into PaCri, where owner Pascal Ramette provides a delicious Italian menu and lively nightlife environment.
Le Taiwana • Flamands, 97133
(+590) 590 29 80 08 | www.hoteltaiwana.com
Le-Ti St. Barths
Revelers dancing on tables and a cabaret act after a sumptuous dinner might seem old fashioned but Le-ti St. Barths keeps the concept vivid, fresh and exciting. Chef Pascal Giglio has the charcoal grill creating the signature 30 or 60 day Angus Prime Rib and Big Tuna Tataki coming alongside the signature Lobster Royal Tartare Style and Truffle sauce Spaghetti. DJ Franck N has played since Le-Ti opened and knows how to turn diners into revelers.
Le-Ti St. Barths • Pointe Milou • 97133
(+590) 590 511 580 | www.tistbarth.com
Fabrizio Bianconi, partner in Santa Monica restaurant Via Veneto brings his skills and the essence of Italian cuisine to St. Barths. The dining room is elegant and designed to make diners feel they are part of one big party. Must-experience dishes include the Wild Boar Risotto, veal chop in sage-butter sauce and Lobster & spaghetti
L’Isola • Rue du Roi Oscar II • Gustavia
(+590) 590 51 00 05 | www.lisolastbarth.com
The cult restaurant on the waterfront in island Capital, Gustavia is the tale of what happens when a French woman from Martinque (Maya) meets a man (Randy) from Pennsylvania and live on a sailboat for several years. Maya’s has a daily menu taking advantage of produce and ingredients and for over 30 years has ensured a seemingly never-ending series of visitors returning for more.
Maya’s St. Barth • Plage de Public • Gustavia
(+590) 590 27 75 73 | www.mayas-stbarth.com
Restaurant at Hotel Le Toiny St. Barth
This luxury hotel comprising only 14 luxury villas on 42 acres at the opposite end of the island from the Capital, Gustavia was renovated in the past year by new owners Charlie and Mandie Vere Nicoll. The Le Toiny Restaurant is a completed new space offering Mediterranean influenced contemporary cuisine – somewhere to sate your appetite whilst figuring out how to access the new Toiny Beach Club.
Hotel Le Toiny St. Barth • Anse de Toiny • 97133
(+590) 590 27 88 88 | www.letoiny.com