I am due in just a few weeks with our first baby! For the past 9 months, my husband and I have been madly preparing–everything from painting the nursery to dealing with a plethora of new emotions (mainly mine!). So, a few months back, we decided that one of the best things we could do for our marriage and our adjustment was to get away and spend some time together! Our last vacation before kids dominate the scene for the next 20 years-whew. So, we found ourselves on the picture perfect Caribbean island
of St. Barth’s, at a stunning property-Hotel St. Barth Isle de France. A luxury beach vacation
experience to say the least!
We flew into St. Martin and caught a ferry into St. Barth’s on Thursday afternoon. The ferry is not for those with weak stomachs! After 45 minutes of a wild roller coaster ride, we arrived on St. Barth’s and met our driver who took us to the hotel. Hotel St. Barth Isle De France is truly stunning. The decor is clean and simple, mostly white, and our room was appointed in a similar fashion. We had a beach room on the upper level (which I would recommend, the upper level afforded more privacy) that looked over the pool and out towards the ocean. It was a perfect fit for us, but the other rooms on property were worth a look! We took a tour soon after we arrived while sipping on (virgin-or at least mine was) fruity drinks. All of the accomodations are picturesque, although those with beach views (as opposed to garden rooms) are certainly more desirable. The 4 new beach suites are heavenly! Extremely private and luxurious and situated right on the sand, each suite has a private plunge pool and deck overlooking the ocean.
After taking in the resort–one quaint restaurant and pool, a Molton Brown spa, a fitness room(very small and no windows), we settled into our accomodations for the next few days.
Although the resort was perfect for relaxation, it was quickly apparent that we would want to rent a car to see the island, visit other beaches, and escape the steep prices of food at the resort restaurant. (A fair warning–St. Barths does not have agriculture, so all the food on the island is imported and almost everything is extremely expensive!) So, we made the proper arrangements before getting in a little beach time and then cleaning up for a delicious dinner downstairs.
Friday morning we slept in and enjoyed one of my favorite parts about Isle de France–breakfast on our porch. You could not have a more picturesque view while enjoying fabulous French pastries and coffee for breakfast–excellent way to begin our day. We took advantage of the beach for a bit before heading out to explore. The beach on the resort is private and relaxing, but it is located on the Atlantic side of the island, making the winds and waves pretty extreme–you will bake before you know it!
Here is the view from our porch:
Our rental car, a smart car, was perfect for moving around the hilly island. We found the main town of Gustavia-a haven for luxury shopping!!!!- and stopped to pick up some items at the grocery for a picnic lunch. This turned out to be our favorite routine over the next few days, and far more affordable! The food at the local grocery was delicious–we chose fresh cheese, breads and fruits and were off to another beach on the island. We discovered a beach on the far end of the island that is only accesible by foot. We parked the car and enjoyed a little hike to a secluded section of calm and pristine beach–a little slice of heaven. This was our favorite spot on Saturday and Sunday as well!
We hit up the town of Gustavia for dinner that night–Le Select–a burger bar that is supposedly the spot that Jimmy Buffet sings about in his song “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” Its not hard to see why! Maybe it was just pregnancy, but it was one of the best burgers Ive ever had! After some window shopping and enjoying the town, we headed back to crash for the night in our luxurious bed.
Saturday and Sunday included more of the same–Seeing the island in our funny looking smart car, spending time on our favorite stretch of beach and finding new spots to eat on the island. We also took time to tour Eden Rock, in St. Jean. An absolutely incredible property–it is set out over a huge rock (Eden rock) on a beautiful bay. I was blown away by everything about the property, and it seems quite the happening place, within walking distance of a number of restaurants in St. Jean and a incorporates a bit more of the tourist culture. Equally as luxurious, but not as private a feel as our spot at Hotel St. Barth Isle de France. One thing worth noting, though, was their new Rock Star Villa, designed for just that, rock stars. It is $20,000 per night in peak season and includes a room designed as a recording studio, beautiful accomodations for the entire entourage, and enough space to host a party like you would only see on lifestyles of the rich and famous. Just imagine entire rooms and bathrooms covered in mother of pearl and white gold–but somehow not tacky in the least. If you go, you need to try to take a peak–that is, if there isn’t a special guest staying there!
We made sure to get in some good time on our own beach on the last day and sample more delicious fruity drinks (my husband drank while I only sampled :(. And we completed our time with another fantastic dinner in the Isle de France restaurant. Delicious!
Monday morning, we were back on the ferry, a bit calmer this time, and on to St. Martin to catch our flight. Our time was relaxing and provided exactly what we needed–time together, away from the stresses of every day life and the soon to come baby. I am so thankful that we did this, especially as I quickly approach my due date. We took the time and set aside the money to invest in our relationship, and that is so hard to do with all the demands of home, and it is only going to get harder! I hope that we can always take this kind of time away-life is too important not to invest quality time in such rich shared experiences.