St Barts is a tropical island like no other. Even though it is located in the heart of the Caribbean, it not your typical Caribbean Island. The best way I can describe this beautiful piece of paradise is to get you to imagine the chicness and glamour of the South of France and then put that in the middle of the stunning natural beauty of the Caribbean with its pristine crystal-clear turquoise waters, tropical warmth, and volcanic mountains.
St Barts is one of the smallest Caribbean Islands. It is a tiny 9.7 square miles or 25 square kilometres in size, and you can drive around the perimeter of the whole island in about an hour. But for such a tiny island, it packs more than its punch when it comes to luxury villas, hotels, restaurants, bars and shops. I would go so far as to say that there are more luxury villa rentals in St Barts for its size than any other Caribbean Island. With a daily flight from Paris landing on nearby St Maarten, you are assured of the most wonderful French-inspired cuisine. The island is also famous for shopping, watersports and nightlife. If you have never been to St Bart’s before here are some of our top tips.
- When selecting where to stay, don’t get hung up on looking for a villa or hotel on the beach. Most first-time visitors ask to be on the beach, but once you arrive, you discover that the hillside properties have the most incredible views and that you will not want to spend all your time on the island on just one beach. There are so many beautiful beaches to choose from, and most people visit a different beach each day.
- If you are travelling in high season, make sure you get as much as possible organized in advance. Restaurants can get very busy, and there is a high demand for car rentals. Book with a company that offers a complimentary concierge service and can book at the Best Restaurants in St Barts for you. Also, check that you will have on island concierge for any last-minute adjustments and changes. These two things will ensure that all you have to do is relax when you arrive in paradise
- The shopping in St Barts is unreal so if you are a lover of fashion, make sure you have a little bit of extra room in your suitcase for any of the new goodies you might purchase and want to bring home with you.
- The local currency in St Barts is the Euro. Everywhere on the island accepts the US dollar but you will get better value on your exchange if you buy euro in advance.
- St Barts is very French in every aspect even when it comes to their voltage and power plugs. The standard voltage is 220 V, and the power plugs are the European style two pin round type. If you are travelling from the United States, make sure to bring a couple of adapters with you.
- All visitors to St Barts must take either a boat or a very small aircraft from one of the surrounding islands. If you are not afraid of flying, I highly recommend going this way. It is just 6 minutes from St Maarten, and the flight in is breathtaking. The boats take less than an hour, but it can be very rough, and of course, you miss the spectacular arrival on the second shortest runway in the world. You can also fly to St Barts from San Juan in Puerto Rico and Antigua. The flying time in both cases is well under an hour.
- High season in St Barts is between November and the end of April. If you like to experience the island when it is buzzing and fun, this is the time to go. The temperatures are also less humid in the winter months. However, if you like the idea of a quieter St Barts and also like the idea of getting some great value, then go sometime between May and the end of July. The accommodation prices are more or less half during this time. September and the first half of October are best avoided as this is the main hurricane season and most of the island’s restaurants, hotels and shops are closed.
- Last but not least, plan your trip to St Barts as much in advance as possible. All the best accommodation options get booked six months to a year in advance. If you are going on vacation to this beautiful island, you will most definitely want to get the best villa or hotel for you. Exceptional villas offer a great service where they help to work out exactly what you are looking for and will then match your requirements and dreams to the perfect villa or vacation rental. All their properties are inspected and vetted in advance. They are real experts in the Caribbean and in St Barts.