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Location

Netherlands Antilles
17° 54' 1.8468" N, 62° 49' 14.1132" W

Quick Facts

  • The art of casually elegant tropical living with a French chic
  • Fourteen beautiful and often quiet white sand beaches beckon
  • The port of Gustavia is a must for its wonderfully trendy and chic boutiques
  • More serious and sensational restaurants than you will have time to discover
  • St. Martin and Anguilla are nearby for easy island daytripping

Description

St. Barths

St. Barths is a charming island of just eight square miles, set in the Leeward Islands. Steep hills divide it into several valleys that descend to an irregular shoreline that offers 14 beautiful white-sand beaches, many protected by offshore reefs.

The island offers a sense of gentility and tranquility spiced with the flavor of France and the exotic West Indies. The welcoming town of Gustavia wraps itself around a beautiful natural harbor and has bars, restaurants and designer boutiques. Water sports on St. Barths include snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, windsurfing, waterskiing and sailing. St. Barths is a gourmet destination, where the culinary traditions of France meet nouvelle and Creole influences.

While this small island has long been the playground of the rich and famous, St. Barths appeals to anyone who wants to soak in the unparalleled beauty from the luxurious comfort of a private villa.

Discovered in 1493 by Christopher Columbus—who named the island after his brother Bartolomeo—St. Barths has a long, colorful history. Having been ruled both by Sweden and France, the European influence is apparent in the architecture and style of St. Barths villas.

The French flair is also seen in the language, food and taste for the finer things in life.

Getting to St. Barths is an adventure in itself. The tiny airstrip is famous for its breathtaking landings. Flights arrive daily from nearby St. Maarten and there are also ferries available. From St. Barths villas guests can explore neighboring islands, if they desire. Yachts are available for day trips and small charter airlines let you island hop.

LaCURE St. Barths vacation rentals offer the best way to enjoy this paradise. The island boasts more than 400 private villas, most with their own swimming pools and panoramic views of the lush vegetation and sparkling sea. They feature sylish décor, modern amenities and staff who provide a superior level of service.

As a "duty-free" island, St. Barths provides some of the best shopping in the Caribbean. From haute couture clothing to fine wines and cigars, the finer things in life are available in deluxe shopping venues. The busy capital of Gustavia boasts boutiques that rival Fifth Avenue and Rodeo Drive, with merchandise from the world's most renowned designers. If shopping is your pleasure, then St. Barths is your paradise.

Get treated like royalty throughout your stay at LaCuree St. Barths luxury villas — you deserve the best.

Travel Guide

Destination – St. Barths

The French island of St. Barthelemy (or St. Barths, or St. Barts) is a tiny gem (total 8 square miles) nestled among the Leeward Islands that start east of Puerto Rico and reach south to Dominica. Pristine, picturesque beaches sprinkle the coast and the finest luxury hotels, gourmet dining and first rate service are the expected norm. Spoil yourself at chic designer boutiques and luxury shops in the island capital Gustavia; visit quaint inns in nearby villages or experience the untouched nature of St. Barths' protected flora and fauna. Local residents are sophisticated while remaining laidback and helpful.

Must Try Restaurants

St. Barths' cuisine is among the best in the Caribbean. The food ranges from imaginative to classic and favours French gastronomy. There are dozens of exceptional restaurants to enjoy and explore, as well as casual bistros and "take-away" for beach picnics. Here are three of St. Barths' "must-experience" dining destinations:

Le Ti is a funky cabaret/tavern/disco with a great bar and wine cellar. The food is extraordinary and includes local fresh grilled tuna, mahi-mahi red snapper and wahoo as well heavier fare like Angus beef filet Rossini with truffles. Located at Point Milou.

Bonito offers a spectacular, 180-degree view of Gustavia Harbour with a western exposure. Watch the yachts in the harbour while enjoying an afternoon cocktail or share an spectacular meal as the sun sets. The menu features 9 different ceviche and tiradito, sashimi dishes of South American cuisine as well imaginatively prepared local seafood, beef and duck.

Isle de France- La Casa d'Isle is the house restaurant of the five star hotel. Located on the Bay of Flamands, one of the world's most stunning beaches, the dining experience includes impressive views of the bay. A wide ranging menu includes grill-barbecued lamb chops, local yellow fin tuna and lobster and vegetable fritters. 

Delectable Local Cuisine

St. Barths like many Caribbean islands offers its own local version of accras, a kind of savoury fritter made with salt fish. The perfect snack. Also try the fish tartar made with mixed local, freshly caught fish, salmon, oysters or tuna. You can't go wrong with locally caught fresh fish. It's abundant and delicious 

Must See Local Attractions

The Piscines Naturelles (natural pools) are an off-the-beaten-path natural wonder. Rock formations protected from the ocean waves have formed tranquil natural pools and provide spectacular views for swimming or just exploring. Ask the locals how to get there. They're just a short hike (15 to 20 minutes) in Grand Ford.

Day Boat Rentals are a relaxing way to while away a warm afternoon and a great way to explore the island. Luxury motor yachts, catamarans and runabouts are available in Gustavia harbour for full or half day trips and if you're a little more adventurous, many boats rentals are available without a skipper.

The beaches on St. Barths are stunning. Uncrowded, open to the public, with spectacular stretches of pristine, powdery, white sand, you'll find them dotted around the coast. Grand Cul de Sac, St. Jean and Flamands beaches have all the amenities including hotels, restaurants and water sports. The beaches at Marigot, Lorient and Petit Cul de Sac are more secluded and the perfect spots for a quiet, restorative day at the beach.

The Best Watersports, Tennis, Golf and Spas

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
Because St. Barths is situated on a coral plate, there is a lot to explore underwater: reefs, caves, canyons even several shipwrecks in the area. Some of the best places to snorkel around St. Barths are Lorient Beach, where sightings of sea turtles are common; Columbier Beach on the right side of the beach (facing the ocean); Petit de Anse where stone steps lead down into the water and parrot fish and turtles are seen. The best snorkeling area, however, is not on St. Barths itself but on Forchue Island. Take a half day boat trip with one of the islands dive companies to the underwater nature preserve. If you scuba, there are some excellent dives just a short boat ride away. Charter a dive company to guide you and explore the spectacularly colorful coral reefs where sea turtles, barracudas, angel fish, eels, tarpoon fish and spiny lobsters abound. And if you've never dived before, guided dives are available with a diving professional - highly recommended.

Surfing and Windsurfing
St. Barths also offers a wide range of excellent surfing for both novice and experts. Gentler surf can be found at Anse de Lezards, Flamands, Anse de Cayes and Lorient. The beaches at Point Milou, Toiny and La Tortue offer more challenging surf and are better left to experts. Rental boards are available at various sports shops. The winds on St. Barths blow moderately most of the time and are gentle enough that amateur windsurfers can develop their technique. Beach clubs at St. Jean and in Grand Cul de Sac offer rentals on their windsurfing equipment as well as expert help for beginners.

Golf
There are no golf courses on St. Barths, however, a challenging Greg Norman designed course on nearby Antigua is accessible by private boat or plane charter.

Tennis
St. Barths has long been a vacation destination for pro tennis stars and there are both private and public tennis courts on the island. Many of the resorts on St. Barths have their own courts and generally retain a pro for their guests. As well, a private Club du Flamboyant with two synthetic clay courts offers rentals and full service including tennis lessons with their resident pros.

Spas
Spas have recently become among the most popular activities on St. Barths catering to individual guest's relaxation and well-being with high end facilities and professional staff. Ghuhani Spa at Grand Cul-de-Sac is the largest spa on the island with 11 treatment rooms. The Wellness Suite has a 180 degree view of the ocean and islands and includes after-hours access. The Spa at Isle de France on Flamands Beach is a sleek and modern facility and features Thai massage for loosening tight muscles and regaining flexibility. Carl Gustav's Boutique Spa is perched high above Gustavia providing spectacular views of the ocean. The spa offers two treatment rooms with private outdoor areas and Jacuzzi tubs where guests can get gentle exercise swimming against the current.

The Best Time to Visit St. Barths

St. Barths has a remarkably stable and temperate climate with temperatures varying by only 5 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. The most popular time is high season in November through May when the weather is driest. Christmas and New Years are in high demand and heavily booked. May and June is the shoulder season, but rates are considerably lower and the weather is perfect. The summer and fall is considered storm and hurricane season and although the risk of experiencing a bad storm is low, travel insurance is considered prudent.

Local Shopping and Crafts St. Barths is well-known for its designer boutiques featuring the most prestigious labels from haut couture to ready-to-wear as well as leading handbag, footwear, jewelry and watchmakers. Collections by rising young designers are also represented as is the latest in interior design. Gustavia, St. Jean and La Savanne across from the airport are the prime shopping locations to indulge.

Local hand-made crafts including latanier palm straw baskets, bags and hats, sandals and shell jewelry are abundant at local markets as are locally produced skin-care products made from island plants.

Fresh-caught fish for home preparation can be sourced at the waterfront fish market in Gustavia and Lorien where local fishermen bring in their days catch for purchase.

Two large supermarkets on the island offer fresh fish, shellfish, fruit and vegetables. Le Ti-Marche in Lorien has a wide array of local products including fresh vegetables and fruit from Guadaloupe.

Bring the Family

St. Barths is renowned as a luxurious, romantic, couple's getaway and it meets every expectation. However, families are welcome and, although there are no theme parks for children on the island, it still provides plenty of wholesome family activities to enjoy. Beaches are abundant and free for swimming, exploring or collecting shells (Shell Beach near Gustavia is perfect for expanding a shell collection). If the kids are at loose ends, try the "Yellow Submarine" underwater tour available near the ferry dock in Gustavia. Also, hiking at Pointe Toiny is very popular with families and horseback riding is available at Ranch des Flamands. 

Among the many 5 star restaurants are less expensive, more casual places to eat that are child-friendly and offer "take away" for picnics.

Older children will be entertained with the many opportunities for water sports including windsurfing, surfing and snorkeling.

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