Travel Journal: Hedge in St. Barth's

St. Barthélemy, is a tiny French island in the Caribbean known for its unspoiled natural beauty and elegance. We were lucky enough to travel there this winter and it is truly magic. Covered in lush green hills, surrounded by turquoise waters and pristine white-sand beaches, it is a breathtakingly beautiful destination. St. Barths is home to many luxurious resorts and is an epicurean's dream with weeks full of elegant five-star meals to be had. High-end designer boutiques and a vibrant nightlife make it THE spot for the rich and famous, which could be a deterrant, unless you know how to navigate around it. If you want to be seen, you can be seen, but you can also disappear into the shallow coves and swim with the mellow sea turtles like we did. Much of the island is protected as a nature reserve and despite its reputation as a luxury destination, St. Barths has managed to maintain its natural beauty. Below are our favorite spots from the trip as well as recommendations we gathered from friends and family we wanted to share with you.

To StayThere are a ton of magical hotels to choose from in St. Barth's; our favorites are below. Lots of our friends rent homes for their families which might be better if you are going annually but for the first time, stay at one of these chic spots!

Photos of Le Sereno.
Le Sereno
This chic hotel is right on the grand cove with shallow waters full of sea turtles. This is where we stayed. It is owned by friendly Italians, with elegant, relaxed vibes and incredible food. The plush, private cabins have with little yards just 10 feet from the beach and has a pool. The concierge was very helpful and we highly recommend it.
Photos of Rosewood Hotel.
Rosewood Hotel
**The only hotel with a tennis court with a turf surface. You can hire a pro to play, but this is not necessarily a tennis & golf studded have to hunt for what you love!
Photos of Eden Roc.
Eden Roc
Super sceney, go for lunch (or go to be seen and get a photo op...) Great swimming cove with calm waters and fun water activities like water scooters for kids (and men who still think they are kids). Swing chairs, good food and killer shopping in the hotel boutique. Lots of independence for teens, shopping/cafes in walking distance, although busy streets.
Cheval Blanc
Cheval Blanc
This hotel is elegant, cozy and secluded. Nice calm swimming cove, chic pools and a nice beach restaurant in the sand under umbrellas.
Photos of Le Toiny.
Le Toiny
Toiny is farther out on a point, away from main town but we love the quiet hipster vibes. This hotel's beach is removed and down the hill from pool and rooms. Our favorite part is the Defender ride that runs constantly to beach/main hotel. We vote best 'hotel' beach in St. Barths.
To Eat

The entire island of St. Barth's is full of culinary delights. I've honestly never eaten that many gourmet meals in a row anywhere else in my life, including Paris, London and the Italian coast. They have a food festival if you are a foodie!

Photo of Bonito.

We vote this the best restaurant in St. Barth’s. Go for sunset and sit by the window or eat at the bar, so chic. It becomes more of a “scene” as the night goes on. Ask for a table with a sunset view if you go on the early side. Make your reservation asap!
Photos of Al Mare.
Al Mare
Le Sereno hotel restaurant
Go for lunch and stay by the pool or beach for day. They lend snorkels so you can swim with the sea turtles, it's dreamy. This is where we stayed. All of our meals especially dinner were incredible and it never seemed very crowded, maybe it's still a secret!
Photos of Le Tamarin.
Le Tamarin
At this chic restaurant and outdoor lounge it feels like you’re in the rainforest or a secret garden. All the tables are nestled into different tiered spaces and the music is cool.
Le Santa Fe

This was recommended to us as an off the beaten path, Watch the yachts go by on this deck with incredible views and cuisine. It apparently has the best lobster on the island but alas we did not get there as we ran out of time; bit came highly recommended.

Photos of The Christopher Hotel. Meagan in Capelet.
The Christopher Hotel
Reserve lounge chairs at the pool for after lunch.
Would also be fun for cocktail hour best sunset view!
Eden Roc Hotel
le Barthelemy (Amis)
Bakery & Coffee
Cokola Vany
I’ve never been but it’s supposed to be great.


This is a fun spot for yummy takeout or casual dining.
Black Ginger
All the locals we met on the island recommend this spot for takeout.
Nikki Beach
This is a very trendy spot and definitely a scene which can be so fun for people watching; be sure to reserve beach loungers. It's our best friend's favorite spot for sushi. We hear Sunday is the big party day avoid or attend at your own peril.


U Express Oasis
A French grocery store for cheese, bottled water, fresh produce and much more.

Late Night

Night life at Le Ti.


This is a cabaret for late nights with dancing on tables. Our friend Lindsey wore the Willa Tutu for the occasion the last time she was there!

Photo of Le Petite Plage.

DJ and live music. It turns into a scene as the night goes on we hear.

Photo of Bagatelle.


This is a chain of chic restaurants in the most incredible spots in the world. We did not get there, but it came highly recommended by the coolest of our friends.

Photos of Petite Cove.


You can find any type of beach that suits your fancy here! Some have waves for surfing, some are quiet with no current for young kids to swim safely. Others are a scene with the fanciest of folk and some are private and topless. Here is a list of our favorites below.

Rockefeller Beach
This is a very special beach. You have to either hike or boat to get to it. (pack lightly but bring lots of water). It’s a must see. The hike is 20 min. with steep stairs at points and a heart pounder on way back up. We saw goat families and turtles crossing our paths. There are incredible views from up there.
Petite Cul De sac
This is a fabulous spot for lunch. You can also bring wine and cheese and sit up on the rocks to watch the sunset.
Stunning beach. It feels very natural and untouched.
Similar feeling as Gouverneur but even more natural/untouched.
Grand cul de sac 
This is a super fun beach where you can rent kayaks and visit with the turtles. You could pop over to the le Barthelemy for a bite to eat or a cocktail and then swim home! The restaurant at le Barthelemy (Amis) is also great for dinner.
To Play

There are lots of activities to be found, but you do have to hunt them down. You can go snorkeling or scuba diving to explore the island’s vibrant coral reefs and swim with sea turtles, or take a sunset sail to see the island from a different perspective. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also go hiking or horseback riding to discover the island’s lush interior. If you love tennis and desperate to play on your vacation like we are, you can find it! It's just not a thing here. Neither is golf. We carved it out and hunted it down.

Photos of tennis courts.

Hire a pro
Patrick with Sport services
Souen Thimon was my pro and was a wonderful supportive teacher.
We played at the court by airport which is shockingly not noisy. It’s not public although it feels that way; it has a hard court. You need a code to get in with a pro.
Surfing in St Barth’s can be decent. There are 10 bays for catching point breaks. Le Toiny has surf boards you can rent.
It’s very hilly, and views are stunning! Hike to secluded Rockefeller Beach, which is a bit more remote and offers stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.
Scuba & Snorkel

Most hotels on beaches have these on offer if you reserve a beach chair for the day.

Horseback Riding 
If you’re looking for a more cardio, there are definitely gyms and classes for all!
To Shop
Mostly in Gustavia, the luxury boutiqes here rival that of any top cool city! Even the touristy shops are chic. There are a few other shops by the airport and near Nikki Beach. The hotel boutiques are ALL worth going to; offering original brands and unique pieces.
Try to check out the local pharmacies; we always love to see what a foreign pharmacy has to offer!
Photo of Gustavia.
Cool sweatshirts, tees, hats. Surfer, Lower East side NYC vibe.
Les Canabiers
Fresh poplin dresses in many styles/colors, bikinis, linen shirts for men and women and kids.
Le Bazaar
Eclectic, chic original pieces and accessories for women
Free In St Barth
The place for a been-there-bought-the-T-shirt souvenir that’s not cheesy. This beach-shack-style shop even has its own surf team.

St Barth Stock Exchange Consignment
Off the beaten path by marina, worth a gander

Pati de St Barth


Rene Derhy
Piles of Espadrilles, flip flops, sun hats and beach coverups in this closet sized shop by the airport
Cheval Blanc Hotel Boutique
Luxurious bikinis and bags in the boutique at this LVMH-owned Cheval Blanc Hotel. Chic, beachy jewelry by local designers that are not to too exorbitantly priced.
Ligne St Barth Cosmetics
Eden Being


Les Petits Carreaux Ceramics
Baya St Barth

To Travel

There are two ways to arrive in this most prestigious town.
1. San Juan to St. Barth
This was our choice. Fly into San Juan and 2nd flight into St. Barth. San Juan is not a pleasant airport so we hired a guide to escort us which we highly recommend. It's posh but worth the non-stress! Then you take a 1 hour flight on a small plane (not a puddle jumper) to St. Barth’s. San Juan is a US airport so you do customs in St. Barth. This way the lack of customs is helpful becuase you are doing it at a small airport.

2. St. Maarten to St. Barth
Fly into St. Maarten which is not a nice airport; worse than San Juan. Then take a puddle jumper (15 min) or ferry. A huge airport with tons of international flights. You can spend 2-3 hours getting through customs. We also hear there is a higher chance of flight cancellations due to the smaller plane for a shorter flight if that gets cancelled from bad weather the ferry ride will not be fun.
Photos of car rentals.
Car Rentals
It’s a thing. You need a cool car. Try a Moke or a defender or a VW convertible or a Mini! We had a KIA and it was everything we needed but it was not on brand. Hertz, Enterprise, National, Budget, Alamo all there. Maurice, Gumbs, Turbe, Soleil Caraibe, Top Loc, Sixt all rent cars.

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