Island hop and spend a weekend in Saint-Barth? Why not? It was that simple. From how to get there to where to stay, savour and splurge, Wanderlista founder Andria Mitsakos shares her latest last-minute trip to the chic island and insights for when you go to Saint-Barth.
Every flight deserves the highest quality aircraft, crew and service, and Tradewind provides just that. Headquartered in Oxford Connecticut with operational bases at Westchester County Airport in New York and San Juan International Airport in Puerto Rico, Tradewind operates both on-demand private charter and scheduled shuttle service throughout the U.S. and Caribbean (in the Caribbean, flights are operated between San Juan, St. Barths, Anguilla, Nevis, Antigua and St. Thomas). So while I was in San Juan, I met up with David Zipkin, a founding member of Tradewind, and truly had one of the best travel experiences hopping over to St. Barths from my starting point at the airlines' VIP lounge in San Juan to smooth landing on one of the world's most challenging runways. Merci, David! Fly Tradewind to St. Barths.
Nestled in a chic, tropical setting that effortlessly creates a backdrop for traveler’s snaps and stories, Maison et Hôtels Sibuet Group’s Hotel Villa Marie Saint-Barth is exclusive by nature set high on a hill above Colombier on St. Barthélemy overlooking Flamands Beach. The boutique hotel is recognized for its emblematic colonial spirit subtly depicted in each of its 18 vibrant bungalows and villas that elegantly differ from each other and for that overall French art de vivre merging the feeling of wanderlust and island life. I recently stayed in the Hibiscus, a bright and colorful bungalow with accents decked in shades of pink bougainvillea, bamboo furnishings, Syrian-style marquetry desk, and other wonders made and discovered in the world including Tunisia, Java, Jaipur and France to name a few. With a king size bed, a living area, full bathroom with shower and bath, and an expansive terrace overlooking the blue horizon of the Caribbean Sea, this gypset gem designed by Maisons & Hotels owner Jocelyn Sibuet, felt like I was staying in a good friend’s home. Villa Marie reopens March 2nd. saint-barth.villamarie.fr
Once upon a time, there was a small boutique hotel with a colonial spirit named "François Plantation" with a renowned restaurant considered as the epicurean institution on the island. Today, paying homage to its roots, Villa Marie kept the name of the restaurant François Plantation and continues its gastronomic fame of elegant French cuisine in a chic, colonial atmosphere. Inspired by the best of heirloom Caribbean recipes mixed with classic French cuisine, you'll find yourself transported on an epicurean voyage to the heart of Provence in St. Barths thanks to Chef Emmanuel Motte.
As the chic laidback headquarters for lunch or dinner poolside or in one of the garden alcoves for more of an intimate setting, Francois Plantation sets the tone for a perfect combination of island living and degustation. From lobster flambéed with aged rum to the sweeter notes of divine Caribbean chocolate in all its forms, and of course, rosé and Champagne all day, be prepared for a delightful culinary experience. Open Wednesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner, Colombier Beach Trail, Gustavia, For reservations, call +590 (0)5 90 77 5306 or online.
The 50 shades of gold. The Wanderlista Anemoi mini-pouch is perfect for sorting out your foreign currency or credit cards for when you're on the go to grab une coupe de Champagne. Photo by @wanderlista at @villamariehotels Saint-Barth #FrancoisPlantation
So I’m stranded on a desert island (kind of), and could only take one beauty product with me. This is it. Pure Altitude's Elixir à la Racine de Maca for the reparative glow. Ultra nourishing, this oil-based elixir soothes damaged skin, bringing it all the essential nutritious elements it needs. Its nutritious and moisturizing elements revitalize and bring freshness, suppleness and vitality to tired and stressed skin. This is the SOS product for skin in distress. Grab one at the Spa Pure Altitude while staying at Villa Marie, or any of Maisons & Hotels properties or you can bring a bit of spa at home. Shop their products online at shop.pure-altitude.com.
Photo by Travel + Leisure
We all know that St. Barths doesn't shy away from catering to its sophisticated shoppers who revel in its some 200 shops and boutiques, but Gustavia, the island’s capital, is the place to go. You’ll find everything from luxury designer labels to one-of-a-kind jewelry, but definitely one of my favorite first stops is Clic, an expertly curated, travel inspired concept store founded by former stylist, and principal source for lifestyle and decor, Christiane Celle. Here, you'll find an impressive collection of contemporary photography, coffee table books, resort wear and accessories. And, it's always lovely to see Alexia, the store manager. Shop at Clic, Rue de la Republique – Gustavia, 590 590 29 70 17, open daily from 8am-1pm, 4pm-7pm.
BEFORE YOU GO ESSENTIALS