On a recent Celebrity Cruise through the Eastern Caribbean, one of our stops was the lovely island of St. Barts. This French Leeward Islands outpost is world renowned, and for good reason. It has beautiful beaches, luxurious resorts, terrific food, a quaint port, world class shopping, and a consistently well-heeled crowd of beautiful people. After our ship anchored off dock (dinghies were used to come ashore) we had just 6 hours to explore the island. Based on my experience, here are some suggestions for getting the most out of half a day in St. Barts.
Start with sushi and rum punch at Nikki Beach’s Strand Restaurant & Champagne Bar – a serene setting that’s just a short walk from St. Jean Beach (one of the island’s most beautiful). Afterwards, take a taxi into the nearby town of Gustavia and walk the charming streets lined with European clothier shops and art galleries. Next, hike uphill to the Hotel Carl Gustaf for sunset drinks at the terrace restaurant and take in its breathtaking views of the harbor (pictured). Finally, for dinner, try either the Wall House in town for fine (but not too formal) French food, or The Rock at the Eden Rock Hotel.
If you feel like a spot on the beach instead (I won’t blame you!), then head back towards St. Jean Beach and snag a table on the sand at La Plage (in the Tom Beach Hotel). Often there is live music and a fashion show mixed in. While the food is likely better in town, the atmosphere cannot be beat (if the night’s warm, you can stroll right into the sea after dinner). Finally, if you have time, don’t miss late night drinks at the Yacht Club back in Gustavia town.