The island of St. Barts, also called Saint Barthélemy, offers visitors a wealth of breathtaking vistas and picturesque beaches in addition to some of the Caribbean’s top restaurants. The island’s history dates back to Christopher Columbus who discovered it and named it after his brother, Bartolomeo. One of the northern islands in the Lesser Antilles archipelago and located 14 miles southeast of St. Martin, St. Barts is the perfect Caribbean getaway, far from the hustle and bustle of typical island escapes.
For a luxurious place to lay your head, look no further than Hotel Carl Gustaf, which offers a variety of suites and will meet your every possible whim with exceptional care. Opt for the Royal Suite, a four-bedroom, 2,600-square foot rooftop escape where you can savor every indulgence while taking in a spectacular, panoramic view of Gustavia Harbor. Treat yourself to a dip in the pool and enjoy the privacy offered by the beautiful walled garden terrace. Victoria’s Restaurant, onsite, promises some of the most delectable gourmet meals on the entire island while also boasting an expansive wine cellar and a collection of “Old Rums” from around the Caribbean. Visit www.hotelcarlgustaf.com for more information.
Explore the vibrant life below the ocean’s surface on a snorkeling or scuba diving excursion. St. Barts is located on a coral plate, offering opportunities to see reefs, caves and even shipwrecks just off the coast. Some of the most popular snorkeling destinations around the island include Colombier Beach, Lorient Beach and an underwater nature preserve near Forchue Island. Plongée Caraïbes offers guests a closer look into these intriguing waters, either by snorkeling or scuba diving. With the largest dive boat on the island, a 48-foot catamaran and a maximum of only 13 divers at a time, Plongée Caraïbes ensures you’re able to comfortably enjoy the entire experience from start to finish. Find rates and more information at www.plongee-caraibes.com.
If you’d prefer to stay on shore, take some time to visit the shops in either Gustavia or St. Jean, the two main shopping locations on the island (with more intimate, less touristy shops in St. Jean). You can browse high-end Parisian boutiques or check out the local island shops that sell handmade island merchandise.
Anytime between December and June is perfect to visit St. Barts; the weather is warm, and the average temperature of 80 degrees is complemented by gentle breezes. July through November can bring the threat of hurricanes. The euro is the official currency, but U.S. dollars and both Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted on the island. For getting around, car rentals, taxis and shuttle are all available. French is the official language, but English is widely spoken and understood.
Visit www.st-barths.com or www.sbhonline.com for help in planning your St. Barts adventure.