Ready to be a celebrity? St. Barts, the tropical playground of the rich and famous, is becoming more accessible to the rest of us all the time. This pristine island full of luxury villas, gourmet restaurants, massive yachts, nude beaches, and top class shopping is a magnet for many, but has generally been considered out of reach. While still a luxury destination, it is now more open than ever to people that aren’t movie stars or Grammy winners. With that in mind, here are our top 5 activities for a holiday in paradise:
1. Celebrity sightings
You’ll be in good company on St. Barts, that’s for sure. Pick any A-List celebrity, and they’ve likely jetted there to get a little sun within the last year. Whether it’s always been your dream to see Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have dinner at another table in the same restaurant, or to get Puff Daddy’s autograph on a nude beach, or to see Martha Stewart sprucing up her yacht, you’ve found the right place. There are so many famous people in such a small area (St. Barts is only eight square miles) that it’s hard to not run into someone you’ve seen on TV before lunch.
2. Shopping in markets, shopping in designer stores
So much to buy, so little time. Here you have a choice—go into the local markets, full of Caribbean handicrafts and French artisan imports, or go into the boutiques in Gustavia for surprisingly good deals on Prada, Armani, La Perla, Hermes and much more. In the former, you’ll find great souvenirs and beautiful art produced by local and international craftsmen, and remember your trip forever with the things you bring home. If you choose the latter, you’ll fit in better with the high society crowd. If you go for both, you’ll leave broke but happy.
No, seriously. This is how you should be spending your time. Step 1: Book St. Barts vacation villas online. Step 2: Be fabulous. There is no Step 3. Renting a villa is the “in” thing to do, and booking in advance is essential to get a good deal, especially in the winter months. These luxurious accommodations can be seaside, hilltop, or in town, but all are magnificent. While St. Barts definitely caters to wealthier visitors, following our advice can get you some good deals and make a visit here much more palatable.
4. Beach time!
As you might expect, the beaches on St. Barts are exceptional. Expect white sand, beautiful water, epic sunsets, and so on. There are over 20 beaches, offering snorkeling, jetskiing, windsurfing, and more. There is exceptional diving at Colombier Beach, Lorrient Beach, and Petit de Anse. Clothing is optional, and becomes more and more optional the further south you go on the island. If you leave Saline beach with tan lines, you’re doing it wrong.
Prepare yourself—the food here is truly wonderful. French cuisine served on a tropical island tops just about anything else in the world. Seafood is obviously featured heavily, but you can find any other dish imported daily from the US or France. Some of the most famous restaurants are L’Orchidee, Le Tamarin, Le Repaire, and Le Boubou’s. Did we mention that things are pretty French here? All of these places serve amazing food in sumptuous settings.
If you think your pocketbook can handle it, St. Barts is a wonderful destination. Plan you trip and book your accommodation in advance, and then relax in one of the most beautiful places on earth.