When you decide to hit the shops in St. Barth’s there are two ways to go about it. You can head to the high-end stores that make up a majority of downtown Gustavia or you can try to explore fashion and style in St. Barth’s by visiting the local merchants and getting a better understanding of their fashion sense. Regardless of the one you want to do (or if you do both!) you’ll get your mind off other things and relax as the sea breezes and beautiful scenery follows you from shop to shop.
St. Barth’s is a duty free port and if you are going shopping, you’ll be delighted at the range and quality of the stores in Gustavia. There are elegant storefronts with marvellously creative displays and a clear appreciation for the finer things in life. Choose a day to wander through all the shops Gustavia has to offer like Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Chopard, Stuart Weitzman, Cartier, and more. High fashion and no taxes? Sounds like a winning combination to us.
Note: stores often close from 1:30-3:30, so plan accordingly.
Psst, want to know the best place to shop for St. Barth’s fashion and style? Get in on the secret and visit Saint Barth Caravan. It’s a favourite haunt for locals, and is tucked in Gustavia just next to Le Select. Here, the shop owners are committed to staying true to St. Barth’s fashion and this quirky, cool, attractive store will have you browsing instantly. Local artisans sell their goods here, including adorable handmade fabric dolls by local artist Paloma y Sacha.
The style in St. Barth’s is effortlessly elegant with a decidedly gypsy flair. Everything is whimsical, everything is casual and yet somehow perfectly chic. This sense of style is absolutely everywhere in St. Barth’s and if you’re lucky, you can learn to effectively imitate it. Ironic screen t-shirts squeeze next to brightly coloured swimsuits and a bookcase is expertly filled with St. Barth’s memorabilia, jewellery and more. Men and women alike will find at least a handful of things they can’t live without and with your purchase here you are supporting a local business, local artisans and you’ll be taking a true piece of St. Barth’s fashion back with you.
When you think of swaying palm trees, gentle breezes, clear warm waters you can’t help but feel yourself relax a little, right? Well, imagine being there in person, and then adding a pampering spa treatment to your holiday. As a part of St. Barth’s culture, pampering and health and skin care are all massively important. Locals are attentive to their health and there are professionals and businesses all over the island that offer services and treatments to make you melt. Every resort will have recommendations for where to go and what to do, and you really can’t go wrong making an appointment with any of them. However, if you’d like the full St. Barth’s experience there is only one place to go.
Le Sereno is in Grand Cul de Sac and when you enter the hotel and spa, you’ll be welcomed into a chic and well-maintained space where the rich and famous play behind closed gates. Palm trees dot the scene and bring a decidedly casual vibe to the otherwise luxurious setting. The menu of spa services reads something like a menu from a five-star restaurant and the shop is fully stocked with Ligne St. Barth skincare products. Le Sereno has the best options for out-of-this-world spa treatments. With sinfully unreal procedures that take place in beautiful spots, choosing just one treatment is impossible. Instead opt for two (or 10).
The St. Barth’s Chillout is a unique and intensely relaxing body treatment that uses clam shells with self-heating properties and cold pressed avocado oil to gently release tension, soothe stress and stimulate tissue metabolism all while moisturizing and nourishing your skin with precious minerals and vitamins. Quick and able hands will let you let all your worries go and will spoil you on a whole new level. You’ll wish for more time as the hour draws to a close.
Ligne St. Barth is a locally-owned, operated and produced skin care line that is made from the materials, ingredients flavours naturally found on the island. While it’s created locally, the brand has earned legions of fans all around the world. The company is committed to creating high-quality, soothing and natural products and they succeed with flying colours. The company has stores in Lorient and in Gustavia where you can buy the products used in your facials or massages or more. They make for great souvenirs or just an extra treat for yourself!
There are a lot of perspectives you can get on St. Barth’s: your first sighting from the airplane as you descend into the tiny airport, what you see as you drive the narrow roads, or what you’ve read about in magazines. The best way to see St. Barth’s is from the water though. Specifically, seeing St. Barth’s from the deck of a sailboat or catamaran as you cruise around the island and see the bright-coloured houses and shining red-roofs of Gustavia’s neighbourhood. Nothing beats that point of view, that freedom and that kind of relaxation. Luckily, Jicky Marine, located in the heart of Gustavia’s harbor, specializes in just those kind of experiences.
With a variety of options, Jicky Marine can make your dream experience become reality. With their fleet of boats, sailboats, jet skis and a brand new catamaran, the possibilities are endless. Try renting the Catamaran with your closest friends for an afternoon cruise around the island and see the small neighbourhoods that hug the sides of the island or go on a deep sea fishing tour with their able and knowledgeable guides. Perhaps your best option is the sunset cruise though. With full drinks, complimentary champagne and snacks, you’ll be treated to a new kind of relaxation.
This two hour tour takes your group out of Gustavia harbour and around the surrounding waters as the sun begins to set and the sky becomes shot with unbelievable colours. Watch for the sun to dip below the horizon as you recline with a glass of champagne. The captains and staff are incredibly friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable and they will make sure your every need is taken care of. Relaxation in its purest form, a trip with Jicky Marine will make your stress melt away and just leave happiness. You’ll get a unique and amazing point of view and perspective on St. Barth’s and what the island is all about.
While you are treating yourself to the relaxing and fun activities all over St. Barth’s don’t forget to treat yourself to travel insurance. When you travel abroad all manner of things can pop up unexpectedly and with a travel insurance policy in your back pocket, you can be prepared to handle them.
Images courtesy of Hannah Bryan