Saint Barths Getaway

Whether you’re planning your first vacation on Saint Barths or returning a second or third time to this idyllic Caribbean island, these insider tips can help you have the perfect getaway.

These helpful tips have been compiled by Laurie Smith, Managing Director of Les Ilets de la Plage.

  1. Why Saint Barths?
Saint Barths Les Ilets de la Plage.

Beach Villa
Gérald Tessier

This remote Caribbean island has all the glamour of St. Tropez without all the pretentiousness that accompanies typical celebrity hotspots. It’s totally down-to-earth and accessible to anyone who wants a relaxing beach escape. Don’t be scared off by all the celebrity sightings—St. Barths is an utterly laid-back, hidden gem of an island, perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life (that’s probably why the celebrities like it so much!). It’s got fabulous beaches, nearly perfect weather, and a steady parade of yachts and sailboats to entertain your eyes as you soak up the sun. Whatever you’re looking for in your next beach holiday, you’ll find it in St. Barths.

  1. Take advantage of great deals during the summer months.

One of the many surprising facts about St. Barths is that it’s actually an amazing year-round destination. High season runs from December through April—and if you’re planning to visit during peak months, you’ll need to plan months and months in advance, and it will cost you twice as much as the off-season. The summer months, on the other hand, are quieter, less crowded, but still utterly beguiling—and you can get a deal on a villa with much less notice. If you’re into last-minute getaways, you’ll love summer in St. Barths.

Saint Barths Les Ilets de la Plage.

Garden Villa
Gérald Tessier

  1. All of the beaches are public, free and rarely crowded.

While it’s true you’ll find the occasional Caribbean resort-style, hotel-studded beach on St. Barths, most of them are secluded, remote, and frequented by locals. And all of them have that gorgeous, powdery white sand that feels so wonderful between your toes. (Except Shell Beach… the clue is in the name!) The most popular beach is St. Jean Beach, conveniently located near waterfront restaurants and shops—and perfect for snorkeling. Flamands Beach is the place to surf and bodyboard, while Grand Cul-de-Sac has calm, shallow water, a win for families with small children.

  1. Low-key lunches are a true highlight of Saint Barths.

One of the highlights of a St. Barths holiday is spending long, lazy, rosé-fueled lunches with your feet in the sand. Shellona on Shell Beach has a rustic deserted-island ambiance and comfy loungers clustered beneath palapas—a wonderful way to while away an afternoon. La Langouste on Flamands Beach has lovely lobster (as you’d guess from the name)—choose your own from the tank and it’s delivered perfectly grilled to your beachside table. It’s located in the pool courtyard of Hôtel Baie des Anges—cool off with a dip between courses!

Saint Barths  Les Ilets de la Plage.

View from a Beach Villa bedroom window.
Photo: Pierre Carreau

  1. There’s no public transportation, so a rental car is a must.

Taxis are easy to come by, but they can be expensive. Fares jump after 8 pm and you need to arrange taxis in advance if you need a ride after midnight. For most people, a rental car is essential, then you can come and go as you please. It is much better value to hire a rental car and it’s easy to arrange one for yourself. If your concierge handles it for you, the agency can deliver it to your door—it really couldn’t be simpler.

  1. There is life away from the beach.

No one would blame you if you never wanted to leave your comfortable spot next to the sea, soaking up sun, sipping fruity island drinks, and enjoying the incredible views. But if you do want a bit of activity and adventure to round out your day, there’s plenty to do in St. Barths. The waters off St. Barths are ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving, and there are great spots for kitesurfing, bodyboarding, and all sorts of watersports. And if you like fishing, the Atlantic waters are filled with mahi mahi, bonito, wahoo, and marlin. Looking for a little retail therapy or some pampering? This is an island that draws the rich and famous—the shopping and spa services are world class.

Saint Barths  Les Ilets de la Plage

Les Ilets de la Plage
Photo: Pierre Carreau

Les Ilets de la Plage

For those looking for an affordable way to vacation on the beautiful of St Barths, look no further than the intimate, family-owned beach resort of Les Ilets de la Plage. This hidden gem offers 12 private villas with direct access to the white sand beach and azure sea. All  One, two and three-bedroom villas have full kitchen facilities, air conditioning in the bedrooms, satellite TV, Wi-Fi throughout, a daily maid service and a daily delivery of fresh breads and pastries right to the door. Secluded yet central, Les Ilets has been a well-kept secret for years, combining the privacy and serenity of a villa with a hotel concierge service at an affordable price. For more information, visit www.lesilets.com or email info@lesilets.com.

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