In this month's edition of Travel Over the Rainbow, we head to the French Caribbean Island to explore the beautiful St. Barthélemy or St. Barts.
If you are looking for luxury, you found the right island. As you are exploring, you'll discover superyachts, all-night parties, epic Eurocentric gourmet restaurants, and endless luxury shopping from Hermès and Cartier. If you go at the right time, you may even spot a celebrity escaping the cold winter for a warm escape in the Caribbean.
Getting to St. Barts is not an easy trip, but that plays into the luxurious feel of the island and its exclusivity. With several flights from the mainland US, it is well worth the journey. The runway at the airport is one of the shortest allowable, and during landing, you will glide right between two mountains to land a stone's throw away from the beach. You'll find yourself with at least one connection because the runway at St. Barts is only large enough to handle small passenger planes and private jets.
Before Christopher Columbus's arrival and naming, the island was inhabited by various groups, including Amerindians, the Caribbean, Arawaks, or Tainos. Columbus named the island after his brother. Over the next several decades, the native groups waged war against the colonizers but could not withstand the modern weapons of the colonizers. The French colonized the island but suffered attacks from pirates, natural disasters, and wars with other countries. It wasn't until 1878 that the island became entirely under French control.
Bringing ourselves to the present, the best way to start a luxury vacation is on the beach, and there are plenty of unique opportunities to do that in St. Barts. The most famous and action-filled beach is St. Jean Beach. Its beautiful water is steps away from the heart of St. Barts.
The favorite beach of the locals is Marigot Beach. You won't see many water sports here because of the marine sanctuary to protect sea turtles and conchs. One that is even more off the beaten path that a pair of sandals won't be able to get you to is Colombier beach. It is a gorgeous 20-minute hike to this breathtaking site. Be sure to pack a lunch and have a romantic picnic, unbothered by anyone.
There is more to the island than just the fantastic beaches, and the shops are one of a kind. The luxury shops in Gustavia are just the tip of the iceberg, with luxury brands mixed in with local art throughout the island. Be sure to check out locally-owned Le Pasha; they specialize in swimsuits, underwear, and perfume.
When you've had your fill of the beach and shopping, get a nap in before you head out for the local nightlife. You can party in the early morning hours.
The LGBTQ community on St. Barts is touted as "The Most Gay-Friendly Caribbean Island." The unofficial gay beach of St. Barts is Saline Beach, a clothing-optional beach. After your day on the beach, one of my favorite bars is La Cantina, a gay-owned bar on the port of Gustavia.
Are you ready to spend your vacation in the lap of luxury, soaking up the sun and making the most of island life? Schedule a consultation with me, and I'll take care of all the details for you. We'll chat about what's most important for your vacation, and I'll give you the best options and take care of all the hassle of making the vacation a reality.
Rainbow Getaways proudly help travelers of the LGBTQ community (and our allies) research, plan, and book incredible vacations where you feel confident and comfortable enjoying and exploring your destination. We plan each vacation to meet your specific needs, so you'll have an experience just as unique as yours.
If you haven't already, be sure to request your free copy of The Ultimate LGBTQ Guide to the Caribbean at the bottom of the page.