Your St. Barts Honeymoon Puts You in the Lap of Caribbean Luxury
Are you ready to join the list of celebrity jet setters who flock to St. Barts ? This French, Caribbean destination has pristine beaches, a tropical climate and great shopping for an island honeymoon vacation. Perhaps the Dominican Republic and St. Lucia are enticing, but not quite right. And you’re looking for a smaller island for your honeymoon with a slower pace. The charm of St. Barts may be calling your names and is ready to welcome you to paradise!
St. Barthélemy, or St. Barts for short, is a luxurious destination. It started to boom as a high-end tourism destination in the 1960s when famous people, the likes of the Rockefellers and Rothschilds, became frequent visitors. It’s been described as an unpretentious destination offering laid-back luxury. There’s no dress code and they pride themselves on their laissez-faire vibe.
St. Barts Geography
The island is made of volcanic material, as many of the islands in the Caribbean are. It’s just about eight square miles and is filled with beaches leading out to the Caribbean Sea, palm trees and plenty of coastline for ideal oceanfront views no matter where your villa is. It’s part of the French West Indies, or French Antilles.
The capital is Gustavia, which is on the western coast. It takes just about 30 minutes to drive around St. Barts, which makes it easy to explore by car if you’re travelers who want to see it all.
Cruise ships cannot dock at St. Barts because of its shallow reefs, which is partially what helps keep it an exclusive destination. However, its an ideal place for yachts to dock.
Weather to Expect for your St. Barts Honeymoon
It rarely rains in St. Barts and there’s rarely a day without sunshine. Temperatures are usually between 75 and 90 degrees, year round, day or night.
Travel Information for your St. Barts Honeymoon
Visa and Passport Requirements
Americans traveling to St. Barts from the United States need a valid passport. The island’s requirements are very similar to those needed to travel to France. This includes having one page of your passport available for an entry stamp, and that your passport is valid for six months at the time of your and your spouse’s entry.
You do not need a visa unless you plan on staying for more than 90 days.
You don’t need any special vaccines to travel here for your honeymoon.
The Best Way to Get to St. Barts
If you’re not traveling to St. Barts by private plane or yacht, the best way to get here involves a little bit of island hopping. Don’t be intimidated to get to this luxurious, laid back island though. It simply involves patience for connecting flights.
Visitors should look up flights to St. Barts Airport (SBH) via a layover in St. Martin at Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM). Alternatively, you can get to SBH via Pointe à Pitre airport in Guadeloupe (PTP). The reason most large commercial airplanes can’t land in St. Barts is because it has a very short runway at its small airport.
Sample flights from LA, NYC and Houston during the second week in April:
For LAX and the Houston area, prices are between $800 and $1,400 to get to SBH, depending on your chosen airline and time of day. Most routes include two layovers.
NYC to SBH: you can find a $700 flight with one stop that takes less than 7 hours total travel time. Otherwise, there are options that take longer and cost upwards of $1,000, with two stops.
Covid-19 and St. Barts Honeymoon
Visitors to St. Barts need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test from within 72 hours of arrival. Most of the shops and restaurants are open for business with social distancing practices in effect. A mask is required where social distancing is not possible. Visitors aren’t required to wear a mask on the beach.
Two Different Times of Year to Visit St. Barts
The most ideal time of year to visit St. Barts is April through June, before hurricane season, but after peak season. This means that you’ll potentially be able to take advantage of some great hotel, property and car rental rates.
Christmas through New Year’s Eve is the peak season for a trip here, as it’s an incredibly popular time of year to visit. This is why prices skyrocket in December. (It’s a big “see and be seen” time for visiting celebrities and socialites, especially.) If you wish to visit during this time, be sure to book your hotel well in advance, perhaps even over a year before your travel dates.
Currency, Language and Time Zone of St. Barts
It’s said that the island was named St. Barthélemy after Christopher Columbus’s younger brother. After his discovery of the Caribbean island, it was the French who settled it. Then, they offered it to Sweden in a trade, and finally the French got it back from the Swedes in the 19th century.
The Euro is the official currency of St. Barts because it’s a French territory. The official language is French, but you’ll find different dialects of it spoken on the west and east sides.
St. Barts’ time zone is in the Atlantic Standard Time Zone and they do not observe Daylight Savings Time.
LGBTQ+ friendly or not?
St. Barts is incredibly friendly to the LGBTQ+ community. Everyone is welcome everywhere.
Where to Stay on St. Barts
There are plenty of options for accommodations in St. Barts, from rental properties to hotels and resorts. The advantage of staying at a hotel or resort is that you’ll never have to leave – most of them have restaurants, spas and activities contained on their property.
A private rental villa, however, offers increased privacy. It’s advised you rent a car if you go this route.
This small island has less than three dozen hotels, with room counts ranging from a handful at some, to just under 60 at others. Small and intimate is the big thing here.
Most people choose to stick around their hotel resort for their trip so choose wisely, though it’s unlikely you could ever pick a bad hotel for your St. Barts honeymoon.
Top hotels include:
- Christopher Hotel: This is one of the premiere hotels in St. Barts, located in the north at Pointe Milou. Guests can expect a beautiful infinity pool as its outdoor centerpiece, which guides your attention to ocean views. They offer a package that includes airport transfers and a car rental during your stay and we love their commitment to sustainability.
- Eden Rock: A hotel founded in 1950, right on St. Jean Bay. Famous Chef Jean-Georges is involved in all culinary aspects of the resort, including at its two restaurants. They have an onsite spa.
- Hotel Le Toiny: A hotel set in the hillside right by the beach, Anse de Toiny, they have 22 suites for guests with views of the ocean and two signature restaurants, Jarad and The Beach Club. Be sure to visit their Serenity Spa.
- Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa: This hotel overlooks Flamands Beach on the north side of St. Barts. They have a variety of accommodations to book, from jungle rooms to suites right on the beach. Dine Al Fresco at their waterfront restaurant or closer to the main area of the hotel at Aux Amis. They have an onsite spa as well.
- Villa Marie: This hotel, in the hills of Colombier, has been deemed a “tropical chic” hotel. Enjoy their Bohemian Beach Club, called “Gyp-Sea,” during your honeymoon, dine on French or Caribbean cuisine and book a treatment at their spa.
- Le Carl Gustaf: This hotel has great views of the beach from its 23 spacious bungalows and suites, which also include private plunge pools. They have two onsite restaurants and one bar, and a Spa for all visitors to enjoy enhanced relaxation. They’re located at the capital, Gustavia, which means you can walk to additional bars, restaurants and shops from the hotel.
- Le Sereno St. Barts: A hotel located on the Grand Cul de Sac. Treat yourself to some self-care at their Valmont spa. Their restaurant, Le Sereno Al Mare, has an open-air concept with spectacular views out to the Caribbean.
Villas are available to rent for anywhere from $800 to $23,000 a night, on Air BnB and VRBO. Most of the properties offer beach or ocean views, and infinity pools for guests.
There are also a variety of apartments to rent on VRBO for a few hundred dollars a night, some of which don’t include a pool or immediate access to the beach, and some that do. The good news a beach is never far in St. Barts.
Things to Do at St. Barts for your Honeymoon
St. Barts has great restaurants, many public beaches suitable for swimming, and world class cuisine. It’s not known for night life like its nearby destinations, like St. Martin or Martinique, though there are things to do at night, of course.
Relax at a Spa
St. Barthélemy is known for its luxurious resorts, and with that come equally luxurious spas. And you should definitely indulge and treat yourselves to multiple spa treatments during your honeymoon.
The Christopher Hotel offers a signature hot shell massage, or you can try a Hydra Facial at Eden Rock.
Enjoy the Beaches
St. Barts is also known for its beaches. Some of the best to visit include:
- Grand Cul de Sac, on the northeast side of the island
- Anse des Cayes, towards the northwest
- Flamands Beach, on the north end
- Anse de Grand Saline, on the south end
- Gouverneur Saint Barthélemy, on the south end
- Baie de St-Jean, or Bay of St. John, in the central north (often compared to the French Riviera)
There’s world class dining in St Barts and its’ one of the draws to vacation here.
Dine at Your Hotel
Most resorts have a couple restaurants to choose from. And given the caliber of tourism at St. Barts, you can bet that the chef standards and corresponding cuisine are high. Consider making reservations, not just your own hotel but nearby hotels as well. You may as well take advantage of the small, manageable size of where you’re honeymooning.
Enjoy a picnic on the beach. (How romantic is that?) The best part is you don’t have to worry about making the food – simply order a picnic or pick up treats. Here’s three picnic ideas:
- Book a picnic through a concierge service on Gouverneur Beach, for €55 per person, including food, wine and water. They take care of the setup of two chairs and an umbrella as well.
- Use your hotel’s services. For instance, a picnic is an option at Le Carl Gustaf, where its just walking distance from the hotel to Shell Beach. Enjoy the shore as you toast to your marriage on a picnic blanket in the sand.
- Grab a picnic from the popular deli, Kiki-é MO and head to one of the beach destinations nearby, including Nikki Beach or St. Jean, both just steps away. (The deli/restaurant is just across from Eden Rock hotel and prices are very affordable.)
You won’t have trouble finding designer boutiques if you need retail therapy on St. Barts. (And it’s tax-free!) Head to Gustavia or St. Jean, where you’ll find hundreds of boutiques. There’s no need to choose to explore one or the other either, since they’re only a five minute drive from each other.
Visit a Fort
Forts were built on many Caribbean islands as a means of defense in the 18th and 19th centuries. Visit Fort Karl in Gustavia, which dates back to Swedish control. Now, it’s a picture-worthy “lookout” area for tourists to enjoy, in a Nature Preserve of St. Barts. You won’t find the ruins of a huge fort in tact; rather, you’ll find some stones and evidence of a fort mostly overrun by nature, with a panoramic view of Shell Beach to the southeast and Gustavia harbor to the northwest.
Fort Gustav is a short distance away from Fort Karl. Ruins mostly remain here as well but there’s a small lighthouse that is a great picture spot for your honeymoon memories.
Partake in Water Sports
If you want a change of pace from relaxing on a beautiful beach and drinking delicious cocktails by the pool on your trip, leave the shore and head into the Caribbean’s azure waters. You can go kite surfing, snorkel, stand up paddle boarding, scuba dive, go jet skiing, or book time for a private boat ride.
Take advantage of the ferries that travel between St. Martin and St. Barts and explore another island for the day. The ferry runs multiple times everyday, and only takes about 45 minutes to reach your destination.
Don’t forget to register for your honeymoon on Honeyfund!
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