St. Barth in Summer

A sybaritic guide to wining and dining and clubbing in St. Barth

In the summer season St. Barth goes on sale.
Why? Because the international set, who graces the place during high season and can spend $20,000 a night for an Eden Rock villa to party over the New Year, are now in their designated summer haunts, villas in St. Tropez or their yachts in Santorini.

Prices for everything drop markedly. Yet the island is still the same stunningly, beautiful paradise with turquoise waters and white beaches along undulating coves, pink-roofed houses and ubiquitous frangipani and hibiscus. Of course, in summer you’ll miss the sight of Eclipse, Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich’s 557 foot yacht.

My mailbox is so full St. Barth summer deals that I just might forgo one week in the Hamptons to make a quick flight to the Caribbean. The mighty Eden Rock, where you must compete for a coveted villa in season, is pushing alluring “packages” including dinners at their Jean-Georges Restaurant, a car and a kayak. Le Sereno hotel at the other side of the island and the swanky Hotel Le Toiny are also offering romantic packages with spa treatments and rosé upon arrival.

Here are the top events of this summer:
•    July 12-14: St. Barth JAM Music Festival
•    July 14: Bastille Day fireworks and dancing on the dock in Gustavia.
•    August 3-4: Windward Fete with fishing tournament, regattas, music, volleyball, and dancing in the Village of Lorient.
•    Aug 5—15: St. Barths Summer Sessions with 10 days of live music
•    Aug 3-15:  St. Barth Tennis Open is the sports event of the summer
•    August 24: St. Barthélemy Saint’s Day with regattas, games, fireworks and dancing on the dock at Quai Général de Gaulle in Gustavia.

At the beginning of last season, I flew to the island and partied like it was 1999 (a lyric still heard at the time-warp disco, Le Ti). Here’s the tally of my nonstop eating, drinking and clubbing over one glorious weekend in St. Barth. It’s a cheat sheet of what one can do in summer at a fraction of the price.

Between all the dining (mahi mahi and rock lobster) and drinking (Provence rosé and endless flutes of champagne), I managed to slip in some sunning and swimming at the Shell Beach and Eden Rock Beach (the beach where a puddle-jumper plane flies directly overhead). I indulged in a Ligne St. Barth spa treatment with coconut oil and fresh coconut sprinkled all over me. Lovely! Here’s a glimpse of the fun starting at Le Sereno Hotel located in the Grand Cul de Sac, where I stayed in a villa overlooking the emerald sea.

Friday arrival:
*A Taittinger Champagne toast and dinner at Le Sereno with the Marseilles-born chef’s authentic Bouillabaisse and Chateau Leobe Provence Rose.


*Lunch at brand new Sand Bar by Jean-Georges (at the Eden Rock hotel), a glamorous beachside, jet-settie place where we indulged in truffle pizza and Chateau Minuity Rosé.

*Mid-afternoon “pirate theme” party at Nikki Beach with magnums of Domaines Ott Provence rosé, revelers doing pyramids on the beach and sexy handsome Thomas, the “it” boy of St. Barths featured on Housewives of New York, parading his perfect physique.
*Tasting dinner at Le Bonito—ceviche and Peruvian cuisine and suckling pig with wine pairing including with top Chablis and Burgundy. The dazzling selections by sommelier Reynald Belkacem included: Chablis Domaine William Fevre; Chile’s Casablanca Cariblanco, Kingston Family; Burgundy’s Cote de Nuit, Chateau de Mercey 2010; Muscat de Rivesaltes, Domaine des Frere Parce.

*Dancing at Le Ti, with famous Regine-type owner, Carole Gruson, leading the cabaret. Le Ti is a time warp to the 80’s with Donna Summer tracks still the star attraction. Magnums of rose on every table or Champagne, which came with pageantry with costumed staff dancing the bottles through the room with sparklers.

*Brunch at Le Toiny Hotel with an array of sea creatures and Bloody Mary’s and more rose.

*Drinks at Shell Beach with Carib band playing and Carib Beer (Victoria Secret photo shoot with top models going on).

*Dinner at Le Wall House for aged strip steak and Right Bank Bordeaux (St. Emilion Grand Cru, Lacoste Borie).

Whether in January or in July, St. Barth offers a  marvelous taste of the high life.