St Barths is known for its gastronomy, with a unique combination of Caribbean influences and fine French cuisine. Famous chefs, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten — who owns a villa on the island — present tasting menus at top-tier restaurants and participate in the annual Gourmet Festival.
The island also has an array of local Creole dishes, and is particularly rich in tropical fruit like bananas, pineapples, papayas, mangoes and passion fruits – all of which are incorporated into many dishes on the island. Seafood is a staple of the cuisine, and fresh local spiny lobster can be had for a song at the daily seafood market in Gustavia.
One of the main things to do in St Barths is to simply relax on one of the islands’ beautiful beaches. These are some of the most exclusive and sought-after locations in the Caribbean, with white powder-sand and clear blue waters. The best beach for this is Saline Beach, which is secluded and away from the crowds and bars.
Besides relaxing, St Barths is a great place to shop, especially for luxury goods and jewelry. There are many upscale boutiques in the capital, Sainte-Maxime, as well as high-end designer stores throughout the island. And for something a little less pricey, there are plenty of duty-free shops.
There are a lot of other things to do in St Barths as well, from visiting historic landmarks and taking part in local events, to immersing yourself in the culture of the island. St Barths has a very vibrant culture, with plenty of traditions and customs that you can explore through food and other experiences.
You can find a number of top-tier hotels on the island, but if you want to stay somewhere that really stands out, check out Rosewood Le Guanahani. This luxury resort is a true gem, with just 66 rooms and suites and an intimate feel that feels more like a private little secluded nook than a big-name hotel.
If you want to treat yourself to some spa time, head to the on-site Pure Altitude Spa. The facility offers everything from an intensive detoxifying scrub to a soothing coconut body wrap. The spa’s treatments are based on natural ingredients and will help to relieve any aches and pains from your long day in the sun.
St Barths is a very safe destination, with no real crime or problems on the island. You’ll never have to worry about being hassled by hawkers or fast-food vendors, and you won’t have to deal with the timeshare salesmen that are so prevalent in other Caribbean destinations. It’s also a very celebrity-friendly island, and it’s not uncommon to see a film star or fashion icon strolling down the streets.