St Barth - 2.0


SBH Insider
This is a picture heavy post, hopefully nobody minds.

Despite the canceled flights and COVID restrictions of 2021, we enjoyed our time on the island so much that we decided to return in 2022. With everything planned well in advance for a July 4th arrival, we watched anxiously the last few months as the airline industry seemed to implode, especially on holiday weekends and the days preceding and following. As our departure day approached, we became less confident that we would not see a repeat of 2021.

Upon arrival at LAX, we were met with relatively few travelers and quickly made our way through security. Unlike 2021, we were able to check-in for our flight the day before, and did not have to present the EHAS form to American Airlines.

We soon boarded our flight to Miami, where we would connect through to St Maarten, then to St Barth via St Barth Commuter. Our flight out of Miami was ultimately delayed 2 hours, cutting our arrival at SXM close (glad I booked the 4pm flight and not the earlier one). As it turned out, there were at least 6 of us on the AA flight from Miami on the 4pm SBC flight to SBH, so I am guessing they would have held the plane since nearly 60% of their passengers would have been late. Upon arrival at SXM, we were greeted by staff from SBC, and escorted through the transit line, then to immigration, security and back into the terminal within 15 minutes, where we had a brief wait for a few passengers before we boarded.

By 4:30pm, we were landing at SBH, where we quickly disembarked, grabbed our luggage and picked up our rental car from Alamo. This was the second year we used Alamo, and the service was wonderful. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful, and I cannot recommend them enough.

Now off to Marche U for a few items, then make our way to Vitet to the villa.

View from the Villa
After unpacking, we rest for a brief period then freshen up and head to Eddy’s for dinner. This was our first dinner on the island last year, and seemed appropriate again for this year. We were surprised how much quieter the island was this year than last year in early July. Upon our arrival at 8:30pm, we were 1 of 4 parties in the restaurant. I don’t recall seeing another party arrive after us. Last year, the restaurant was probably 75% full the two times we dined there. I’m guessing it was busier last year since the island had really only opened a few weeks earlier so many more people make a trip before the heart of the hurricane season.

We would spend the next 10 days splitting our time between the pool at the villa, Saline Beach, Gouverneur Beach, and Colombier Beach. The weather this year was much better than last year. While there was more rain, the winds were much milder, with most days seeming to have breezes of 10-15, with a couple of days seeing higher gusts at times.


Gustavia Sunset

Gustavia Harbor

Gustavia Church

Our dining options for the week were varied, but we did repeat a couple.

Zion x3
Ti'corail x2
Nikki Beach x2
Le Papillon Ivre
Eddy's Ghetto
Le Repaire

Eddy's was exactly what we needed after the 15 hours of travel from the west coast. The food and ambiance immediately got us into the island vibe. The bottle of blanc and vanilla rum didn't hurt either.

Nikki Beach actually surprised us, the food was fabulous. We went not knowing what to expect, other than the electric atmosphere. We left after the first visit wanting to go back for the food, which we did the next week.

Ti'corail once again did not disappoint. The quality and freshness of the food served at this little beach side restaurant cannot be topped. Chef Yann was wonderful, extremely friendly and spends time talking with the guests.

Quarter has possibly the best cocktails on the island, with a large whisk(e)y selection. The food is great as well, and although the menu options were fewer than last year, our options were all excellent.

Le Papillon Ivre was another new restaurant for us on this visit, and is definitely one for future visits. It is a tapas style French restaurant. The house made foie gras and sea urchin were our favorite.

We really like Zion, between the food, ambiance and service, it was by far our favorite option. We fell in love with Zion on our first visit last year, and could not wait to dine there again this year. We did not dine at the Chef’s Table (which we will do upon our return) , however, on two of the visits we did choose the “Menu Carte Blanche” option, with 5 courses chosen by Chef Jean-Baptiste. Not knowing what was going to show up at the table for each round was quite exciting. Each course was a wonderful surprise.

Eddy’s Ghetto
Nikki Beach
Ti’corail (lunch)
Zion - Carte Blanche

We took this picture with the amazingly wonderful team at Zion on our last night on the island. The young waitress asked for a copy, which my wife shared via WhatsApp. To our surprise, upon our return home, we received a message from her asking if we made it home safely and without incident. The staff at Zion could not have been more welcoming during our three visits, but this message from her really touched us.

Au Revoir!

Beautiful! Enjoyed Chefs table two weeks ago at Zion. Look forward to the menu Carte Blanche. Eddie’s is our 1st and last night go to. Wonderful pics. Enjoy and see you on the beach