Monday, July 24, 2017

The Jefferson Lane Guide to St. Barths



St. Barths is the French Riviera of the Caribbean. It's serene, clean and the beaches are just as beautiful as the people on the island. My husband and I recently visited St. Barths for the first leg of our honeymoon and I was blown away. Even though we were there during "off-season",  the weather was spectacular and you could get reservations with ease. Although I'm no seasoned traveler, I would have to say that St. Barths is a destination that you must put on your bucket list. It's totally worth the nail bitter landing in St. Jean and the high-priced cocktails. I promise that you will love it!


STAY
Regardless of where you stay, it's guaranteed to have top-notch service and spectacular views. You honestly can't go wrong.
1. Hotel Cristopher - This is where we stayed!! Hotel Cristopher has the best spa on the island (Sisley Spa), and we sure did indulge. From couples massages to Japanese baths, you could say we were truly in paradise.
2. Cheval Blanc
3. Eden Rock
4. Le Sereno

EAT
1. Bistrot Bagatelle - All I can say is, you better get the white pizza with the black truffles for your starter. We were so in love with it that we actually went back a second time and ordered it as our main entree.
2. Bonito St. Barth - Wow. If you are a cocktail connoisseur,  you will actually fall in love with Bonito. There are cocktails in miniature baths with rubber duckies and crystal globes...need I say more? Most importantly, the seafood is exquisite. From the scallops to the Bonito tuna tacos, the South American cuisine and French flair will certainly impress you and leave you wanting to go back for more.
3. L'Isola - If you need an Italian fix, you have to go here!
4. On the Rocks - You are literally in a tower up "On the Rocks" of Eden Rock and overlooking St. Jean Beach. The food is to die for, but make sure you save room for the sorbet and coconut ice cream. Also, when you make a reservation, request that they seat you on the ledge. It has the best view. :)
5. Bo Kao - Talk about trendy and delicious. Bo Kao is an amazing little restaurant and bar tucked away in the courtyard beside Hermes and Calypso St. Barths. According to seasoned St. Barths aficionados and locals, Bo Kao has the best bartender on the island, which totally makes sense. All of their cocktails are artfully prepared and completely worth the price tag. My favorite drink was the "Gin & Juice."
6. Shellona - Located right on Shell Beach, this is a fantastic lunch and dinner spot. When I say right on the beach, I mean RIGHT. ON. SHELL. BEACH., sand and all. The ambiance is great!
7. Le Select - If you are looking for a cheap and quick American burger, there is no better place than Le Select. This local spot is best known as the dive that inspired Jimmy Buffet's Cheeseburger in Paradise.

DO
1. Reserve a table at Nikki Beach on Sunday - On Sundays, Nikki Beach is out of control. It's fabulous people watching with sparklers, cigars, yachts, and magnum champagne and rosé bottles everywhere. You obviously go there to be seen and dance on tables. Make sure you rest up beforehand.
2. Hike to Colombier Beach - A hidden gem. This beach is absolutely breathtaking. It's about a 45 minute hike down to the beach, but boy was it worth it. There aren't any restaurants or bathrooms, so you better make sure to pack a picnic lunch and handle your business beforehand. Otherwise, it's a hell of a hot hike back up.
3. Book a sunset catamaran cruise - This was my absolute favorite activity!
4. Rent a car - Trust me, you will want to do this. Our hotel package at Hotel Christopher came with a car rental for the week and it was so nice to be able to explore the island at our leisure. Plus, taking cabs everywhere adds up quickly. It cost 30/35 euros per way every time we wanted to leave the hotel to go to St. Jean or Gustavia.
5. Stroll around the shops in Gustavia
6. Swim with sea turtles