What to do in and around the Le Guanahani, St. Barthelemy

Luxury mega-yachts, stylish celebrities, and a fashionably French approach give St. Barthelemy its posh personality and chic charm. From boutique hotels and renowned restaurants to tranquil beaches, centuries-old sites, and trendy shops, this exclusive island destination offers a wealth of leisure activities in its classy coordinates.

D209, 97133, St Barthélemy
Le Guanahani suffered major damage during Hurricane Irma and plans to reopen in late 2019.

Le Guanahani sits on an 18-acre peninsula on the northeastern tip of St. Barths between Marigot Bay and Grand Cul-de-Sac Bay. A recent $40 million property-wide upgrade features the work of Venezuelan designer Luis Pons, with decorative accents suggesting French and Creole influences. The resort has a private and residential feel.

Guests stay in luxurious cottages, many with private pools. Cottages are decorated in a timeless explorer style and blend seamlessly with the surrounding tropical landscape of hibiscus and coconut trees. The look is fresh, the atmosphere is private, and the interiors carry the landscape into the rooms. Colors reflect the rainbow of shades found in an island sunset. Sliding-glass doors and walls open completely to the balmy Caribbean breezes, so guests can fall asleep to the smell of salt air and crashing ocean waves.
Saint Barthélémy 97133
The Caribbean is a destination for all types of travelers—scuba divers, sailors, sunbathers—but when you want a dash of European party to season your vacation, head to St. Barth’s, often called the St. Tropez of the Caribbean. Around St. Barth’s the language is French, the currency is Euro, and the elixir of choice is pink. And nowhere does it flow more freely than at Nikki Beach, a club/restaurant on St Jean Beach where I found myself “stranded” when a friend’s flight was delayed. I blame this day on the rosé. After all, St. Tropez is in Provence, the world’s largest producer of the pink wine. And much like her sister beach club in France, Nikki Beach St. Barth’s uncorks the party at 11am and is packed in by noon with jet-setters. Bikini clad guests sun-tanned on the croissant-shaped beach and six pack abs strutted from the turquoise waters à la a James Bond film. Star sightings, I hear, are de rigueur but my eyes were on this group of about 10 men and women from New York. The magnums of rosé, hoisted on shoulders like summoned heros, arrived at their table every 15 minutes, and by 2pm, so had I. By 3pm we were ON the table. The thumping music from the DJ had us leaping to our feet at every song, and to quench our thirst—more rosé. The joie de vivre was as intoxicating as the wine. By 7pm, closing time at Nikki Beach, I was back in my hotel room, sleeping off the sun and my first day in St. Barth’s. I blame the rosé. No, actually, I thank the rosé.
Anse de Toiny
Dinner at Le Toiny Restaurant is a full frontal assault on the senses; as if the spectacular ocean-side setting were not enough, the culinary witch doctors at Le Toiny, led by executive chef Jean-Christophe Gille, whip whimsical French classics into contemporary Caribbean masterpieces with just the right amount of gusto. Le Toiny is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and features the Tuesday Fish Market, and the Sunday “Brunch du Toiny.”
Fort Gustave is a great place to view the distinctive red rooftops, blue water, and boat traffic of Gustavia Harbor. In this scenic harbor fishing boats mingle among luxury yachts and sailboats. The fort was built in 1787 when the island was under Swedish control and named for King Gustav III of Sweden. Gustavia remains the capital of St. Barths and the main port on the island. Here you can also see the remains of stone ramparts, cannons, and a powder house. The Gustavia Lighthouse was built in 1961 and is still actively guiding sailors!
Plage de Lorient, St Barthélemy
Backed by the green of mountains flecked by red rooftops, Lorient Beach is an unspoiled stretch of white sand and beautiful blue water. Favored by locals, fishermen, and visitors, this north coast beach has excellent surfing at one end and calm water for swimming, snorkeling, and stand-up paddle boarding at the other end. The nearby village of Lorient, the site of the island’s first French settlement, is rich in culture. Here visitors are drawn to the 19th century Catholic church, historic bell tower, and Ligne Saint Barth—a famous luxury soap, shampoo, and perfume manufacturer.
St Barthélemy
From elegant beachfront dining to laid-back lunches and romantic sunset-studded dinners, this is a great St. Barths beach bar and restaurant. Located right on the sand of Shell Beach, Do Brazil features a menu of appetizers, burgers, and entrées. Popular dishes include the tomato gazpacho, mahi-mahi burgers, and seared tuna steak with braised shiitake and miso sauce. With choices like banana panacotta and cheesecake trilogy, dessert might just be the best treat of the day. Not in the mood for food? Do Brazil has a full menu of mimosas, margaritas, pina coladas, and specialty drinks to sip from a palm-shaded lounge chair.
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