St. Barth's Travel Guide: Where to Stay, Dine, and Play - Full-Time Travel

St. Barth’s Travel Guide: Where to Stay, Dine, and Play

St. Barths Travel Guide: Where to Stay, Dine, and Play

FTT's resident travel advisor, Chelsea Martin, shares her finds from a recent trip to the island

St. Barths is one of those destinations that has always had an allure to it to me. Growing up in California, the Caribbean was not a common vacation destination for my family. When I moved to Texas right after college, I was suddenly closer to the Caribbean (yay, no red eyes from California just to get there!) and thought, “What have I been missing all these years?!” The turquoise blue waters, various islands each with their own unique identities and offerings… I can’t get enough! St. Barths takes the cake though, with its Caribbean blue waters & landscape coupled with French hotels, service and design.

Ever since my trip I have been asked “what was your favorite hotel?” I don’t have an answer to this question, as they are all so different, and there is truly something for everyone! Below I am breaking down the different hotels I either stayed in or toured (next trip I need to go to Hotel Christopher!) Contact me to discuss in depth YOUR travel style and what you are looking for, and we can pick the perfect hotel for you! 

Where to Stay on St. Barths


34 rooms & suites / villa rentals available throughout the island; on St. Jean Beach

Perfect For: Couples or groups of friends who want to see and be seen, to be close to all of the action, don’t require a pool (there is none), and likes all things glam (not my favorite for families unless you rent a villa, which are all around the island managed by Eden Rock)

Highlights: Location in the heart of the action near Nikki Beach, shops & on St. Jean Beach; Jean-Georges restaurant; iconic history

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • American breakfast daily for up to two in room guests per bedroom served in restaurant
  • Complimentary Eden Rock Beach Set, per room, including a branded Beach Bag and flip flops
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

61 rooms/suites/villas; on Flamands Beach

Perfect For: Couples looking for ultimate luxury on the best beach (in my opinion)

Highlights: Guerlain Spa; the 5-bedroom Villa de France; only property in the Caribbean with Palace distinction; Flamands beach location

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Full Buffet Breakfast daily for up to 2 guests per bedroom, served at the restaurant.
  • $100 USD equivalent Spa Services credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

46 rooms/suites/villas; on Grand Cul de Sac

Perfect For: Travelers looking for a beachfront, hip hotel with all of the modern amenities in a relaxed setting

Highlights: Interior designed by Sybille de Margerie, cuisine by Michelin-starred French chef Guy Martin, La Mer Spa, beachfront location on a crescent bay; Ocean Lux Piscine Privee rooms with private plunge pool & walkout access to pool and beach area

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Daily Buffet Breakfast for two per bedroom
  • $100 USD equivalent Resort/Hotel credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Complimentary roundtrip private airport transfers
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

22 rooms/suites/villas; on Anse Toiny

Perfect For: Travelers looking for a luxe, coastal chic retreat away from the craziness

Highlights: Secluded & serene location; Le Toiny Beach Club with full beach service; spacious Signature Suites; mix of hillside views & beachfront amenities; plunge pools in every suite

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Continental breakfast daily, for up to two in room guests per bedroom, via room service
  • $100 USD Equivalent Food & Beverage credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

39 rooms/suites/villas; on Grand Cul de Sac

Perfect For: Travelers looking to be away from the crowds, but still with a trendy, modern vibe

Highlights: Trendy/laidback luxury without the crowd; snorkeling & swimming with turtles right in front of the hotel; suites perched right above the beach for optimal views & privacy

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests per bedroom
  • $100 USD Equivalent Resort/Hotel credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

43 rooms & suites; Anse des Cayes location

Perfect For: Travelers looking for unpretentious, eco-chic luxury

Highlights: Walkout straight onto the beach from the Beach Suites; secluded beach location; eco-chic design; gorgeous outdoor main Manapany restaurant (dine with your toes in the sand!); seaside spa with 100% organic & natural products

Included Amenities:

  • American breakfast
  • Airport transfers with e-car
  • Yoga & pilates classes
  • High – speed internet and wifi

18 rooms & suites; located in the hills above Colombier

Perfect For: Design-lovers looking for a hillside boutique retreat with stunning views

Highlights: Hillside views; tropical chic design; boutique/does not feel crowded; family-run (I met a couple of them, and they are lovely!); incredible food at the restaurant; the two bedroom Villa Colombier

Included Amenities:

  • Roundtrip airport/dock transfers
  • Daily breakfast
  • Complimentary WiFi

Where to Dine & Drink on St. Barth's

  • Black Ginger: (dinner) Get your Thai fix at this great restaurant in Gustavia.
  • Bonito: (dinner) Great vibes & views (get here before dark and sit outside). Innovative cocktails and LOVED the ceviche!
  • Francois Plantation at Villa Marie: (lunch or dinner) We had an incredible, fresh lunch poolside here but I have heard that dinner is equally as divine.
  • L’Isola: (dinner) If you’re looking for good Italian food, head here!
  • Le Ti: (dinner or nightlife) I personally did not go here but have heard that the food is average, but you go for the scene and nightlife.
  • Le Toiny Beach Club: (lunch) Dine with your toes in the sand in a fun ambience. I loved the Lobster Salad paired with a glass of rose of course!
  • Maya’s: (lunch) Grab delicious healthy food to-go for the beach!
  • Nikki Beach: (brunch/lunch) The best day party, and the food was actually great. Get a sushi boat!
  • Sand Bar at Eden Rock: (dinner) Jean-Georges meets Caribbean cuisine – need I say more?
  • Tamarin: (dinner) Completely different from all of the other restaurants! Chic, garden atmosphere with incredible cuisine. Start with a cocktail in the garden area, then sit for dinner and don’t miss the Truffle Pappardelle or Mahi Mahi.


What to See & Do on St. Barth's

  • Beach Picnic: Many of the hotels can set up a luxury beach picnic or equip you with all of the necessities for a luxe beach day that I think encapsulates what St. Barth’s is all about!
  • Colombier Beach: This beach can only be accessed on foot or by boat, but the snorkeling and swimming are well worth the hike!
  • Gouverneur Beach: Arguably the best beach if you’re looking for a low-key, relaxing vibe. Further away from everything with no nearby bars and restaurants, so pack for a full day!
  • Nightlife: A staple of St. Barth’s, hit hotspots such as Le Ti or Bagatelle.
  • Petit Cul De Sac: Embark on a 20 minute hike to reach one of St. Barth’s most secluded and mysterious beaches.
  • Rent a Car: Renting a car is a must on this 25 sq km island if you want to explore all that it has to offer and its over 22 different public beaches.
  • Shell Beach: Visit the beach covered in thousands of shells.
  • Shopping: In a place as fab as St. Barth’s, you must get some shopping in! Head to Gustavia to check out both luxury and local shops alike.
  • Surfing: Caroline’s brother discovered an impressive surf culture while they were there
  • Yacht Day: Rent a yacht for the day to truly explore and see St. Barth’s.

This St. Barth's travel guide was originally published on the blog Passport to Friday

All photos are courtesy of Chelsea Martin

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