Information Provided by Les Ilets de la Plage Resort
Located in the French West Indies, Saint Barths (its full name is St. Barthélemy, and sometimes spelled St. Barths or St. Barts), is an idyllic, remote Caribbean island. Encompassing just eight square miles, the island is an eclectic fusion of French, Spanish, Scandinavian and other cultures who settled here over the past several centuries. Long known for its down-to-earth and welcoming ambiance, the island is also a very affordable travel option for people from all over the world.
Whether planning your first vacation on Saint Barths, or returning a second or third time, following are 10 Insider Tips to make your island visit the trip of a lifetime.
- Why Saint Barths?
Fabulous beaches, nearly perfect weather, and a steady parade of yachts and sailboats are just the beginning of what St. Barths has to offer. This remote Caribbean island has all the glamour of St. Tropez without all the pretentiousness that accompanies typical celebrity hotspots, of which there are many who vacation here. Despite this, the vibe is nothing but chill and the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
- Fly into Saint Maarten for easy transportation to Saint Barths.
Although there are no direct flights to the island, there are numerous ways to get here by flying through Guadeloupe, Antigua, Puerto Rico, and St. Maarten, the latter offering flights, ferry rides, and private charter boat options.
- Take advantage of great deals during the summer months.
Like many Caribbean islands, Saint Barths has its busy peak and off season periods which command high and more affordable rates, respectively. Surprisingly, the summer months, on the other hand, are quieter and less crowded, making this time of year a great time to plan a visit.
- All of the beaches are public, free and rarely crowded.
Whether you venture to Flamands Beach for the best surfing and body boarding; Grand Cul-de-Sac, popular with families with small children for its calm, shallow water; or St. Jean Beach, the island’s most popular beach and perfect for snorkeling, shopping and waterfront dining, you’ll fine ambiances that are for the most part secluded, remote, and frequented by locals.
- Low-key lunches are a true highlight of Saint Barths.
“Island Time” is a real thing, and one of the highlights of a Saint Barths holiday is spending long, lazy, rosé-fueled lunches with your feet in the sand. Pick your own lobster direct from the tank, perfectly grilled and delivered to your beachside table at La Langouste on Flamands Beach. Or, opt for the comfy loungers clustered beneath palapas for a relaxed day at Shellona on Shell Beach. With over 80 restaurants on the island, the options are endless. ‘
- No need for fancy dress clothes.
Despite its posh reputation, casual resort wear is the norm in Saint Barths. Nevertheless, should you desire to dress to the nines, do so and strut your stuff at Bonito St. Barth, the popular Latin-French fusion restaurant. For a special occasion, Villa Marie has a distinctly romantic vibe.
- There’s no public transportation, so a rental car is a must.
Taxis are easy to come by but they can be expensive, with fares rising significantly after 8 p.m. and reservations required in advance for rides after midnight. For most people, a rental car is essential, then you can come and go as you please, and most accommodation concierges can arrange to have a car delivered to your door.
- Travel medical insurance is a good idea.
Even though the chances of having a medical emergency while on vacation are small for most people, securing travel medical insurance is a good idea. Should an issue arrive while in Saint Barths modern health care is available, but the hospital is small and only offers basic care and limited emergency services. That means you may need to be taken to another island better equipped to handle emergencies—and that can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Better safe than sorry is a good travel mantra.
Photo Credit: Geráld Tessier
- Les Ilets de la Plage is a great choice for travelers who seek privacy, but also want the amenities of a resort hotel.
You just can’t beat the privacy and seclusion of a private villa, and Les Ilets de la Plage has stunning beach side and garden villas that offer the utmost in privacy with luxe accommodations and all the amenities you’d expect from a hotel. Their attractive one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas are perfect for a relaxing family holiday, girls’ getaway, or romantic couples’ retreat. Amenities include private beach access, a private pool with a sun deck and cabanas, and full concierge services (with fresh croissants delivered to your door each morning!), childcare, grocery shopping and more.
- There is life away from the beach.
It may be hard to pull yourself away from enjoying the incredible views, soaking up the sun, or sipping a fruity island drink from your new favorite, comfortable, seaside spot. But if you do, you’ll find plenty to do in Saint Barths. The shopping and spa services here are world-class, watersports like bodyboarding, snorkeling, scuba diving, kitesurfing and more are plentiful, and if you like fishing, the Atlantic waters are filled with marlin, Mahi Mahi, wahoo, and bonito.
About Les Ilets de la Plage
Les Ilets de la Plage is a quiet, understated resort with 11 villas that are simple, but elegantly decorated and very comfortable. All villas have full kitchen facilities, air conditioning in the bedrooms, satellite TV, Wi-Fi throughout, daily maid service and daily delivery of fresh breads and pastries right to the door. It’s the best of both worlds – the privacy of your own villa with hotel services, concierge and facilities on hand. The beach cabana by the central pool has complimentary coffee and tea available all morning and cocktails in the evenings. Les Ilets de la Plage is great for families too, as some villas have multiple bedrooms and different configurations, and there is a wealth of activities. For more information, visit www.lesilets.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.