Note from the Editor: It’s the season of love and romance! Today we look for romance on one of the most romantic islands we know, St. Barts. Thibault Masson of the villa BelAmour and the travel blog www.saintbarth.com shares with us what Valentine’s Day, or any day of romance, would look like on St. Barts.
Have you ever thought of St. Barts as a romantic Caribbean destination? True, the tiny island of Saint Barthelemy is the the playground of the rich and famous – especially between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. But the rest of the year, it is just a fabulous place where a couple can celebrate their love in style. Uncover what Valentine’s Day can be like in St Barts, from morning to evening. As a long-time lover and now a resident of St Barts, I am happy to share with you a taste of yet another perfect February 14th on my island.
The first thing to know about the place is that St Barts is a villa island, not a hotel island. This is something really important for couples wishing to spend Valentine’s Day here. You may think that the first thing to do when searching for an accommodation would be to look for a nice hotel. But you would be in for some disappointment, especially if you had not planned your romantic getaway at least 6 months in advance. Why? Because there are only a few and small hotels on the island. The biggest one has 75 bedrooms. Actually, 80% of the tourists staying in St. Barts opt for a villa rental, as it is the only option left. It is even more complicated for a couple to find the ideal place, as there are not that many charming 1-bedroom villas. Most houses have at least 2 to 3 bedrooms as they cater to families or groups of friends.
How do I know this? Because these facts pushed me to dream and build BelAmour, a romantic and luxurious designer villa for 1 couple. I am in love with St. Barts and I open my villa to lovers who want to rekindle their passion. This designer 1-bedroom home is perched atop a cliff-edge.
Here’s what Valentine’s Day looks like at BelAmour:
7AM: This is an early start, but the sun is up and you want to enjoy to the fullest the most romantic day of the year. You get up light-footed, while your spouse is still stirring in the bed. You walk to the curtains, open them and soak in the fantastic view over Baie de St. Jean and all the Western tip of the island. In the far back, you can see hilly St. Martin and flat Anguilla.
7:30 AM: After sipping an espresso at the villa, both of you drive down to the beach of Saline. On your way, you stop at the local patisserie to grab yummy croissants. Mornings on a French tropical island alway start well with croissants in hand!
7:45 AM: You park the car, there are only 3 other vehicles here. You walk up the sand dune and enjoy the view on Saline: no building on the beach, no fancy bar, no noise. Just one person swimming and two other walking on the white sand. You go the left side of the beach and get naked. Yes, you can skinny dip here, this is officially OK. The 2 of you playfully swim in the waves – Now this is a great Valentine’s Day just starting out!
9 AM: You are now back at villa BelAmour. The shower is large for 2 and also has an amazing view on the sea. How about asking your husband for a nice massage after this early swim?
11 AM: You are sitting in the comfy sofa of the living-room, half reading, half dreaming. You look at the lovely and colorful mural in the patio, painted by French designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. The painting is aptly named “L’Amour a Saint Barth”.
1PM: After a 10-minute drive, you have arrived to La Gloriette, a wonderful, simple restaurant set right by the lagoon of Grand Cul-de-Sac. Feet in the sand and hand in hand, you sit at your table and order accras (fritters) as aperitif.
4PM: After a long siesta, you decide to dress up a bit to head Gustavia, the capital town of St Barts. Your husband surprises you with a very nice black pearl necklace from Les Bijoux de la Mer, while you get him a chic watch from the Hermes boutique right on the port.
5:30 PM: Back at the villa, you enjoy the pool, while your husband is preparing your favourite cocktail. At sunset time, the views on the sea and on the island are supremely romantic.
7PM: You are heading to the Eden Rock – St Barths, the legendary luxury hotel where you have booked a table for 2. The food by Jean-Georges is amazing, the atmosphere is serene, the service is discreet and efficient. You kiss for a quick second, but the two of you know that it is meant to last for a lifetime.
9:30 PM: You leave the car at your St. Barts home, BelAmour, and walk to the famous Ti St Barth to dance on the tables like there is no tomorrow.
11:59 PM: Back from Le Ti, you jump into the pool of the villa. Your private party is just starting.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
– Thibault Masson
Thibault Masson shares more tips for a romantic stay in St. Barts on his travel blog www.saintbarth.com. He lives on the island and welcomes guests in his two villas, Domingue and BelAmour. Contact him now to get your St. Barts dream started.