The Caribbean Island of St. Barths
One of my favorite Caribbean destinations, is the striking island of St. Barths. A swift scenic flight from neighboring St. Maarten whisks you through a picturesque gateway, framing glimpses of the surprisingly diverse terrain. The island’s quaint size (only 9.5 square miles) is brimming with an abundance of hills, valleys, boulders, cliffs, coves, sandy dunes and lush fields. Gently ending the brief ride, the propeller plane gracefully rests amid two lush mountains for an unconventional landing and an astonishing view. Similarly, peering from atop Morne du Vitet, the highest peak on the island, is an absolutely breathtaking experience. From such heights, the land’s profile almost gives way to complete panoramic view of the magnificent ocean and on a clear day you can see the adjacent isles of St. Maarten and Anguilla with ease. There are so many options to explore the natural surroundings including snorkeling the unspoiled coves. These intricate caverns are so plentiful, that you can easily locate an entire setting where you can be alone. Beautiful wild beaches with no disruptions expect lightly lapping crystal clear water, captivating white sand, and aromatic vegetation – all void of any modern services. Just you and nature.
Contrasting independent island nations, St. Barths culture is strongly influenced by virtue of being a French Territory, explaining how the area so closely reflects the essence of the South of France. Mingling European flair with the scenic surroundings of the Caribbean, creates a unique canvas of experiences, flavors and personalities. More than 70 cafes, bistros, bars as well as decadent dining and exclusive supper clubs are strategically woven throughout the land’s 22 beaches and varying terrain, generating an adventure that can never be described as monotonous. Each day of your visit, you can reserve a seat at a new restaurant - cuisine ranging from French to Japanese to Italian as well as unique fusions and pairings. Through the ease of exploring St. Barths dining scene, I have claimed many favorites and expect to find many more.
St. Barths is also famed as an island of villas, as they have been built on the tops of mountains, inserted in cliff sides, perched above the shore, and lined at the water’s edge. The structures themselves are gorgeous escapes, framing fantastic views of the Caribbean Sea and interestingly, the types of villa locations are so diverse that, “if you can name it, they have most likely built it”. This is largely due to the varying nature of St. Barths geographic regions. Traveling in any direction whether East, West, North or South, will bring you to a section of the island that is defined by its own distinct island vibe. On one side you could join thrill-seekers and go kite-surfing while on another end, you may see people relaxing in tranquility and floating in crystal clear waters.
If you are traveling with a family and desire to have a villa along with the convenience of hotel service, then Eden Rock is the perfect hotel for you. There are two beachfront villas on Eden Rock’s property: one is smaller – 2 bedrooms and the other is 4 bedrooms. You are provided with a superb butler as well as a full host of impeccable hotel services, enabling you to enjoy your coveted family gathering at a customized level of privacy. This unique accommodation type easily crowns St. Barths as the ultimate paradise.
Originally, the Eden Rock Hotel was masterfully carved into a monolithic stone about 65 years ago. It debuted with a very limited selection of rooms and suites – all beautifully balanced against the massive rocky backdrop. Though it remains to be a hotel of modest size, Eden Rock has expanded its offerings from the original secluded cliff side to extend along the nearby shore. One of the qualities that I absolutely love about this property, is its beach. It is a perfected tropical sandy setting and in my opinion, it’s impressive because of its extreme tranquility. The water is crystal clear and so calm that it’s almost unbelievable - perfect for those traveling with children or who seek the serenity of the sea. Though it has been said that the property is not for children, I have stayed there many times and I feel it can easily accommodate kids as well as anyone who craves an island escape.
One of my favorite recommendations is to rent a Mini-Cooper and explore every inch of St. Barths that you can – it is so much fun. An adventurous approach to discovering the beauty of the isle can be easily combined with the elite services available. There is an extensive list of world-class facilities and activities offered including spa treatments, boutique shopping in Gustavia, yacht rentals and so much more. St. Barths harbors an experience that can be finely-tuned, appealing to any discerning taste.