The patron saint of luxury must be St. Barthelemy. This tiny crooked smile of an island in the Caribbean is casual opulence at its best. Boasting 22 beaches on its 21 square miles, it stuffs its busy downtown streets with the worlds finest haute couture shops, outstanding restaurants, and chic diversions. Berths in its harbour are among the most sought after in the world, especially during the winter holiday season, finding bow after bow of beautiful yachts lined up in Gustavia Harbor.
A global hot spot, St. Barth caters to creature comforts like no other Caribbean island, yet, it remains calm and collected, with rarely a ruffled feather or rough edge causing friction among either residents or guests. It only makes sense. What is there to complain about in a sublime paradise like this one?
Spending the holidays in St. Barthelemy is an exquisite treat. Spending the holidays on board your own private yacht charter in St. Barth is truly over the top. There is simply no comparison if you are looking for an alternative to the Mediterranean in the winter season. Heavily influenced by France, inhabited by a fun-loving, easy-going crowd, and loaded with Euros, St. Barthelemy is exotic, charming, and romantic. Cuisine, wine, style, and attitude all embrace a level of chic that sets the bar high. Yet, the island remains rather casual, in business, social, and cultural genres, with good manners ruling the day.
Cruising around the island simply never gets boring. The people, the beaches, the villas, the ultraclear water, and the long list of water sports keep the island interesting. The social scene keeps it intriguing. One may see the same quiet, elegant folks that were enjoying a low key chaise lounge beach day at Eden Roc or Le Toiny, dancing table tops at Le Ti, Baz Bar, or Nikki Beach at night. No surprise, also, to find that the faces behind the shades are famous, as St. Barth draws a recognized crowd, especially during the highest season of the year.
While the island is always buzzing with life, the Christmas season charges it with incredible energy, capturing every soul with its charming vibe. Three humble churches hold Christmas services for full to overflowing crowds. It is a tourist destination, so the ensuing holiday meals simply require reservations, but only for timing. The cuisine can be approached with abandon, knowing that just about everywhere on the island is good if not great. Competition works beautifully to keep nearly every restaurant up to snuff. A common custom provides a shot of Rhum Vanille for dining guests at places like Do Brazil, keeping everyone smiling, even while paying the heavenly bill.
Important to arrive in style, it is also imperative to remain understated, although that’s truly hard to do. St. Barth sightings find loads of gorgeous jewelry, elegant clothing, and a unique style of putting it all together. With the sophistication that is France and the comfort that is the Caribbean, St. Bartians take pride in their unique style, so pay attention. Adopting local flourish can go a long way toward cementing friendly relations. Winding through the side streets and alleys in the capital of Gustavia provides ample reward for savvy shoppers in all categories. Shops near Eden Rock in St. Jean provide more casual treasures.
For food and wine at a private table on board the yacht, know that there are two well-stocked wine shops in Gustavia, as well as gourmet grocers and fresh fish options. Nice for a private night in, dinner on board is a popular choice should the crush on land simply become too much.
Anyone who’s anyone is here for that fever pitch between Christmas and New Year’s. The parties are simply beyond comprehension, the food and drink divine, and the guest list enviable. If rubbing shoulders with this elegant crowd sounds inviting, contact Steve@thebestofyachting.com to book your dream yacht for this outstanding holiday, and keep current with news and views within the yachting lifestyle at The Best of Yachting.
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