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Thread: Long Overdue Trip Report

  1. #1

    Long Overdue Trip Report

    Hello! I finally got around to covering my trip report from our honeymoon in 2021. Thanks to you all, it was the most magical trip. I cannot thank you all enough for your advice and coverage of the island!!!

    https://chateauandcuisine.com/st-bar...ymoon-edition/

  2. #2
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 30,031

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    Delightful. Wishing you many years of sharing fabulous trips and adventures. You sure got off to a glorious start.

    I hope a return visit is in your travel plans. So many changes since you were here.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  3. #3
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 8,113

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    WOW! A great narrative, with photos! You hit so many places and savored everyone. What a memorable honeymoon! Come back soon!

  4. #4
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 45,937

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    Wonderful report. Thanks for sharing


    Andy

  5. #5
    marybeth is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2004 Pittsburgh, PA Posts: 3,768

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    I noticed a lot of "ahhhh, St Barth" quotes in this report

  6. #6

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    We're already planning/saving for our next trip back! It will forever be the most memorable destination.

  7. #7

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    Quote Originally Posted by marybeth View Post
    I noticed a lot of "ahhhh, St Barth" quotes in this report
    LOL I just had to! There is no other way to describe the emotion.

  8. #8
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 30,031

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    I had my map bracelet bought at Les Artisans engraved with that very quote.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  9. #9
    dadto6 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2013 Northern Virginia Posts: 2,331

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    Better late than never! Wishing you both a life-long, loving marriage with many trips back to Paradise.

  10. #10
    noel is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2003 St. Louis, MO Posts: 2,408

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    Wonderful trip report! Congratulations on your wedding too!
    I also liked your report on Charleston. Our son went to College of Charleston and graduated in 2007. The Peninsula Grill was one of our favorites.

  11. #11

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    Quote Originally Posted by noel View Post
    Wonderful trip report! Congratulations on your wedding too!
    I also liked your report on Charleston. Our son went to College of Charleston and graduated in 2007. The Peninsula Grill was one of our favorites.
    Thank you so much! No way, what a beautiful campus. Peninsula Grill is another one of our favorites! I can't believe I forgot to mention it. Their coconut cake is to die for.

  12. #12
    GMP62 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2015 Martinsville, NJ Posts: 2,438

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    What a fabulous honeymoon!! Congrats to you both. You did it up right and your trip report was wonderful. You Utilized every moment you had in a great way! Felt like I was right by your side when I was reading it. Now, you start plotting and planning for your next trip! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us all. Storm.

  13. #13
    Dennis is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Apr 2004 Austin, TX Posts: 10,362

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    Superb report. Many of us discovered St Barth’s on our honeymoon.

    best of luck!

  14. #14
    lvbookworm is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2019 Las Vegas, NV Posts: 412

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    Thanks for this wonderful report! We, too, have had that “gotta bail” moment when attempting to converse in french. Lol! But you always have to try, right?! It’s great that you had such a special experience together as newlyweds. Now…start planning that return trip!

  15. #15

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    I was looking forward to reading your report but could not find it on your blog.

  16. #16

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle Dean View Post
    I was looking forward to reading your report but could not find it on your blog.
    Sorry about that! I've moved blog locations. Here is my report:
    When my husband and I got engaged, the biggest question was not the ceremony location or my dress designer, but where would we honeymoon. We are both foodies with a love for travel and wanted to pick a destination that was unique and special, while also offering adventure and romanticism.
    I had been to St. Barths (or Barts, depending on who you talk to) once before with my family and absolutely fell in love with this little 8 square mile island rich with history and charm. Now, you have probably heard of St. Barths before with the connotation as the playground for the rich and famous, but it is truly so much more than this. Backing up about 30 years, my parents and two other couples were introduced to this island for the first time before it had lavish restaurants and famous influencers. They too were bitten by the St. Barths bug and went back 3 or 4 times after that. I grew up seeing photos of them (some photos not so suitable for children) drinking bottles of rosé on little slivers of beach surrounded by lush, green mountains and knew instantly, I've got to go there for my honeymoon one day.
    If you ask my husband, he will tell you that I enjoy planning a trip more than the actual trip itself. I start creating our itinerary months ahead of time scouring the internet on blogs, forums (shoutout to sbhonline.com!), tripadvisor, and facebook groups finding all of the best spots to drink, dine, and explore. With this trip being our honeymoon, I wanted to plan a week that offered a mix of relaxation and adventure and as it turns out, St. Barths is naturally this perfect combination. So, lets dive right into our trip report--
    Day 1:
    Travel day -- now, as you will learn one of the reason why St. Barths has received the reputation it does is because of the difficulty to even get here since there are no direct flights from the states. We chose to fly from Miami to St. Martin (SXM) and then take the St. Barth Commuter flight into St. Barths. There are two different puddle jumper companies from St. Martin to St. Barths, but St. Barths Commuter was cheaper and ended up being the best flying experience we have ever had. It felt like VIP service. They grabbed us from the looooong customs line, picked up our luggage for us, and took us straight through their our own customs and onto the plane. It was seamless! Then it was onto the puddle jumper to land on one of the world's shortest runways (highly recommend getting a drink at the SXM airport if you are a nervous flyer like me). However, the pilots do this trip back and forth all day everyday so you're in very safe hands. The views are INSANE and it's a fun ride so keep your eyes open and your camera on!
    We were met at the airport by our 'Happy Villa' concierge where he assisted us in picking up our rental car and escorted us to our humble chateau for the week. We rented a red mini cooper convertible through Gumb's Rentals (because what else would you rent on your honeymoon?!) and after a quick demo on the sunroof, we were quickly on our way through the steep, winding hills of lovely St. Barths. We stayed in a one-bedroom villa at the top of Lurin, and I highly, highly recommend this area if it's your first time on the island. The location is right above Gustavia (where most of the restaurants are), and you have easy driving access to the beaches. If you stay in one of the other areas like Flamands and you do not know the roads, the drives at night after dinner could be a little dicey.
    We settled into our villa with a bottle of champagne and cheeseboard courtesy of Happy Villa and a beautiful sunset overlooking the Gustavia harbor.
    Day 2:
    Ahhhh, St. Barths. There is truly no better feeling than waking up in paradise. Our first day was a Sunday which means two things on the island, Saline Sunday and Nicki Beach. We started our morning ritual with croissants and espresso at the Cafe Gloriette in Gustavia and then headed to Saline Beach. Sundays at Saline are typically designated for the locals to do as the French do and be 'in the nude'. We spent the morning soaking in the rays before our 3:30pm reservation at Nicki Beach (highly recommend this seating if you want more of the party scene). While this isn't the most traditional way to start a honeymoon, well, here we are. We ordered a sushi boat and a magnum of rosé, made several friends that were staying at Eden Rock for a wedding, enjoyed the incredible DJ, and danced the evening away.
    Day 3:
    (Mostly) Villa Day
    Thankfully, we were back in our villa by sunset the night before so our hangover wasn't too bad this morning. Once again, started our morning with croissants and espresso at Cafe Gloriette. I tried my hand at french when ordering and the owner started speaking it back to me so I had to bail. Guess my accent was decent, ha!
    We enjoyed our croissants back at the villa with our new turtle friend and watched the yachts come into the harbor. Ahhhhh, St. Barths.
    After an afternoon enjoying our villa pool with, you guessed it, a bottle of rosé, we headed to the our lunch reservations at Santa Fe for one of the best meals of our trip. Sitting atop Lurin with beautiful views of the ocean, Santa Fe somehow felt like you were eating lunch in your local neighborhood restaurant. It was authentic and comfortable with the most incredible food we had all week. We started our meal with Persillade d’escargots and local tuna tataki with ginger viniagrette and citrusy quinoa taboule. For our entrees I had the Salade de langouste, prawns, and 'exotic' spring rolls while my husband had the roasted mahi mahi with a sweet potato puree and vanilla fumet. We ended our meal with two scoops of their homemade strawberry and mango sorbet *Chef's kiss*

    We headed back to the villa with bellies full and changed into our swimsuits to explore another beach. After driving around the island, we stumbled upon Flamands and set up camp for the rest of the afternoon. After such a big lunch, we weren't entirely hungry for dinner but could not pass up burgers and a coke at Jojo burger (accompanied by our new friend).


    Day 4:

    If I could pick one day as my favorite, this day would be it. We woke up with our usual espresso and croissant, and then packed our cooler (shoutout to IceMule Coolers) with rosé and a baguette for our day at Columbier Beach. After an eventful hike in full of incredible sights and lots of goats, we made it to paradise where we were greeted with a cove of yachts and the most beautiful turquoise water.

    We truly had the most incredible day here, but alas, all good things must come to an end.


    Mid afternoon we packed up our bags and made the trek back to the car. Once we arrived back at our villa, we immediately jumped in our pool once and enjoyed a 5pm cocktail hour of rosé and cheese.
    Ahhhh, St Barths.
    We got ready for the evening and headed to Eden Rock's Remy Bar for pre-dinner cocktail. What a beautiful spot! If we had unlimited funds, I would have come here every night for a drink. From the bartenders and their immaculate service to the interiors and views, it was a truly one of a kind experience. I had the most delicious espresso martini made even better by the glass it was served in.

    After drinks, we headed to our 8pm reservation at Tamarin. Just when I thought the evening couldn't get any better, I was greeted by the most magical dinner venue tucked away in a tropical garden. My only complaint was the mosquitoes, but once I sat down I couldn't help but be enamored by everything else surrounding me. We started off our meal with the burrata of my dreams. For entrees, I had the yellowfin tuna 'ceviche style' with cucumber, avocado, Granny Smith apples and a lemon condiment while my husband picked the roasted mahi mahi with bok choy, smoked eggplant, orange, and ‘passionately’ pepper biscuit. Both were divine. Our dinner experience was complete with two scoops of raspberry sorbet.

    If you make it to St. Barths, Tamarin is a *MUST DO*.

    Day 5:
    When I was planning our trip, I knew I wanted to book a spa day. When reading the forums on sbhonline, I found that several of the resorts in St. Barths offer 'day passes' where you pay an upfront amount which typically includes a spa service, lunch, and use of their hotel amenities. After researching and contacting quite a few of the hotels, I found that Le Barthelemy was the best 'bang for our buck.' They offered us 175€/ person- 3 course lunch + beach chairs + 50min massage -- SOLD.
    We arrived at the hotel in Grand Cul De Sac and were immediately greeted by the concierge where we were taken back to their spa. We elected for a couple's massage and it was incredible. After the massage, we utilized their pool where we were treated like one of the guests. It was top notch service. At around lunch time, we were asked if we were ready for our meal at Amis and we were escorted to a beautiful spot on the beach for our 3 course meal. Amis' cuisine is French mediterranean, and they definitely hit the mark. The setting is sophisticated, yet comfortable. We started our meal with burrata, of course, and the fish carpaccio. For entrees, my husband had the Confit Mahi-mahi, with curry sauce, and charcoal baked sweet potatoes and I had the chicken with hazelnut, crust from Piedmont, parmesan gnocchis and herbs ricotta. I know, I know who gets chicken at the beach, but it was truly the best I've ever had.

    After very full bellies, we headed back to the pool where we relaxed for the remainder of the day.
    We didn't have dinner plans for the evening, so we decided to walk around the Gustavia harbor and see what came to us. We stumbled upon Black Ginger and it ended up being one of our favorite meals. They were able to seat us right away and the service was impeccable. Black Ginger is 100% Thai food and embellishes a cool, modern feel. We started with their crab spring rolls and then each shared the fresh mahi-mahi and the crying tiger (grilled beef fillet). They were both exquis!
    Side note: One thing about St. Barths is it's a very tiny island. You quickly realize this when you start to run into the same people at every meal. When we sat down at Black Ginger, we were seated next to a couple that were also on their honeymoon and we had previously dined with at Tamarin. Something about always being surrounded by 'familiar' faces makes the island that much more special!
    Day 6:
    Our 'vibe' day. Today, we decided to venture to another beautiful beach known as Shell Beach. It has coined the name 'shell beach' because of the millions of crushed shells that line the shoreline in replacement of sand. Located in it's own little cove in the heart of Gustavia, Shell Beach is truly a hidden gem. It is also home to my favorite restaurant on the island - Shellona. We spent the morning hours sunbathing on the rocks and then walked up to Shellona for lunch.

    This restaurant is a VIBE. With a dj playing house music,
    rosé flowing, and beautiful people surrounding you, the atmosphere really can't get much better. We started our meal off rosé piscine, which we learned is the only way to drink Rosé in French culture -- it quite literally means rosé in a swimming pool, also known as rosé on ice where they bring out your bottle of rosé with a bucket of ice and little tongs where you can add ice cubes to your glass. The cutest thing ever! We then had the best appetizer of my life -- feta cheese wrapped in phyllo pastry drizzled in honey. It's making my mouth water just thinking about it. Side note -- my husband and I tried to recreate this at home and it turned out pretty good! Linking the recipe here:
    We were then presented with Lobster Pasta special. Typically, we are not huge pasta fans, let alone pasta at lunch, but the offer was too good to pass up and we sure are glad we didn't. This turned out to be one of the best entrees we had on the island. The presentation alone was spectacular, but the buttery lobster with the spaghetti was absolutely exquis!

    After lunch, we headed back to the villa to relax by the pool before our dinner at Orega. But of course, dinner is not complete without pre-dinner cocktails. We decided to check out the Le Carl Gustaf Hotel right down the street from our villa - and let me tell you, this hotel is a VIBE. To set the scene, we were sitting at a table on the ledge overlooking downtown Gustavia, the most beautiful sunset all week in view, a DJ playing house music with the distant sound of cocktails shaking at the bar. It was truly the most surreal setting.

    The cocktail menu at Bar Fouquet's is divine. From your 'Le Carl Vintages' (traditional cocktails) to the 'Le Carl Specials', you will be sure to find something that tickles your fancy. I had the most beautiful gin drink that changed colors as the bartender poured it - presentation 11/10!

    Next up was our dinner at Orega, a Japanese French fusion restaurant in the heart of Gustavia. We had high expectations for the tasting menu here, and it lived up to every one of them. The ambiance alone speaks for itself. It's a very 'cool' vibe with beautiful wait-staff and hip decor. Each dish on the tasting menu was truly a work of art. Orega is a foodie's paradise!


    Day 7:

    Our last day in paradise. We started the morning with none other than croissants and espresso at Cafe Gloriette to fuel up for our hike to the natural ponds. Let me tell you, this hike is not for the faint of heart. I'm scared of heights and crab crawled more than half of the hike, but the views alone were worth it. Pro tip - ask locals the best natural pond to go to because I'm pretty sure we did not end up at the right one. Nonetheless, it was still beautiful and a great hike to start our morning.

    We then spent the afternoon at the new hangout spot on St. Jean beach, the Gyp Sea Beach Club. Gyp Sea was it's own little oasis on the other side of Eden Rock. The food is an interesting concept offering it's own take on BBQ. I'll admit, I was hesitant at first, but it was incredible. The star of the show was their watermelon and feta starter that we have since tried to recreate at home more than once. Gyp Sea was definitely a 'trendier' spot and a fun place to hang out for the afternoon.

    We then decided to walk over to Lil Rock Beach Club because we had heard great things and my husband was adamant on renting a sea bob. We spent the rest of the afternoon here drinking frozen drinks and people watching.
    The day went all too quickly as it was already time to head back to the villa and get ready for our last dinner on the island. Pre-dinner we snuck in one more espresso martini at Eden Rock and then headed to Bonito. Talk about a breathtaking view -- I had seen plenty of pictures of this beautiful venue, but somehow they do not do it justice. The restaurant sits on the edge of a cliff overlooking the water. We were lucky enough to score a seat on the edge where we were surrounded by beautiful views in every direction. The cocktails at Bonito are one-of-a-kind. I'm talking drinks out of baby bathtubs and smoking treasure chests type of extra. But, they were also some of the best cocktails we had on the island. We started our meal with the tasting of ceviches and tiraditos and they were all très délicieux.

    For entrees, we had the curry mahi mahi and the grilled wagyu flank steak -- both were incredible, however, the star of the show was the dessert which was this French toast like cake with a side of pistachio sorbet. I wish I could have bottled up the sorbet and taken it home with me, it was that good.

    We had high hopes to go out to Bagatelle for our last night, but we were both in a food coma and elected to head back to the villa for a night swim and good night's sleep.
    Au revoir, St. Barths. Merci for the honeymoon of a lifetime.
    Last edited by JEK; 11-30-2022 at 03:42 PM. Reason: Used superpowers to change flowers to wine!

  17. #17
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 30,031

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    So many new venues and sadly closed ones as well


    When we’re you here for this magical honeymoon in paradise?

    Could not agree more more, ahhh St Barths!
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  18. #18
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 56,750

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    Quote Originally Posted by amyb View Post
    So many new venues and sadly closed ones as well


    When we’re you here for this magical honeymoon in paradise?

    Could not agree more more, ahhh St Barths!
    First post says 2021!
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  19. #19
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 30,031

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    Quote Originally Posted by JEK View Post
    First post says 2021!
    I failed to go back that far. Thanks John.

    OREGA is closed this season. I was not remembering that Cafe Gloriette was operating last year, 2021.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  20. #20

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    Thanks Carfell for reposting your trip report. It was amazing! I felt like I was right there!

  21. #21
    Cwater is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2016 Long Island Posts: 1,331

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    Amazing read! Sitting here in LI waiting for my boiler to be fixed. Rather be in paradise. However, living vicariously through your post.

  22. #22
    NancySC is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2017 Posts: 1,482

    Re: Long Overdue Trip Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Carfell36 View Post
    Thank you so much! No way, what a beautiful campus. Peninsula Grill is another one of our favorites! I can't believe I forgot to mention it. Their coconut cake is to die for.
    And for a price, you can order the whole cake to be sent to your home address. Truly wonderful restaurant & that cake ! We also like the Oak Steakhouse.

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