Doing St Barts in Style

Doing St Barts in Style

Our Caribbean insider Lacy Colley takes on the super chic island

Let’s go to St. Barts, darling! Even the sound of this French Caribbean island has a posh ring to it. Renowned as one of the most hyper-private and expensive islands in the world, a visit to St. Barts will give you a glimpse into a place where the glitterati frolic alongside the laid-back locals. With a French Riviera charm, think beautiful people, bikini-sized cuisine, and exotic Caribbean beaches that will satisfy the pleasure seeker in all of us.

Exploring this eight mile island is a cinch if you want to rent a ride, as there is not a stop light on the island. We plumped for the more luxurious option and hired a private driver (and his Porsche Cayenne). Our driver David dropped us at La Plage restaurant on St Jean beach for lunch. This spot is infamous for its bikini brunch and boasts a Latin-French fusion menu that will make your mouth water, while  your toes rest in the sand. The octopus carpaccio paired with a crisp rosé was the ultimate culinary perfection.

StB12_WPThe capital and port town, Gustavia, offers a few blocks of high-end shops such as Hermès and Longchamp, chic boutiques, galleries and quaint cafes ideal for the art of people watching. Strolling the streets you may catch inconspicuous-looking business tycoons tying up their lavish yachts and beach babes cruising around on vespas. A favorite discovery of ours was the yacht provisioning grocery store in Gustavia, American Gourmet. If you wish to stock up on snacks, this spot has stacked shelves of worldly essentials for any foodie’s cravings.

Another al fresco spot to flaunt your floppy hat for lunch or aperitif on St. Jean beach is the iconic Sand Bar at Eden Rock Resort. This nautical crab-red accented restaurant (the brainchild of the world-renowned Jean-Georges Vongerichten) is renowned for its ‘greenhouse to table’ lunch menu and wood fired pizzas. A strawberry royale pairs swell with the view from this grand bungalow perched on the rock.

Nikki_B23_WPTo keep the bubbles flowing, saunter next door to the notorious Nikki Beach and reserve a plush white bed and bottle service, perhaps a jeroboam of rosé or bottle of Cristal. This beach club is a hedonistic haven and sandy playground for the unfettered and bon vivants. The Nikki Beach brand and lifestyle is strategically placed around the world for the jet-set clientele and is frequented by VVIPs such as Bono and Jay Z. The staff, typically a young adonis or bikini model, will ensure you are in a celebration state-of-mind and never let you forget their signature portrait of paradise.

Lacyb_WPLet the hedonism continue the next day and head over to check-in at Hotel Guanahani’s Spa by Clarins. Enjoy a selection of world-class massages or plant-based facials followed by a trip to the steam room and dip in the pool. This elegant spa will leave you feeling strong and sophisticated after a day nestled in the ‘ultimate relaxation cabana’ offering a cool towel, cup of Lavazza or calming tea. Truly worth spending a full day in this serene spot to soothe the mind and body.

St. Barts is an unforgettable experience and truly a polished pearl of the Caribbean. We traveled with Tradewind, which offers private charters throughout the Caribbean.

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Lacy Colley Yamaoka