St. Barthelemy is Back!

St. Barth’s is a little slice of magic in the Caribbean; a beautiful island known for its pristine beaches, incredible hotels and world class restaurants. French and Creole culture, as well as remote access, help add to its incredible charm. From the moment you land at the airport, you will feel immediately transported into an upscale French Caribbean oasis.

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After the devastating Hurricane Irma ripped through the island in September 2017, with winds reaching over 199 miles per hour, the island experienced a level of destruction it had never seen before. What would destroy most has only made St. Barth’s even stronger, and while the hurricane temporarily shattered the island, it also represented a turning point and new beginning for re-development.  

After a season of rebuilding, the island is more beautiful than ever. Nature has bounced back in her own natural rhythm, and the heart of St. Barth’s is beating again. St. Barth’s is back and stronger than ever before, a testament to the resilience and strength of the incredible community.

Best Time to Visit:

December through June is the best time to visit St. Barths, with December being the busiest month of the year. Diamante recommends booking your hotel or villa a year to 6 months in advance to get your preferred dates and accommodations this time of the year. Try to avoid the rainy season (September - November) as shops and restaurants tend to close during these wet months.

Logistics/ Getting There:

You can fly to St. Barth’s either on a private charter or through Tradewinds or Winair, both with flights from San Juan, Puerto Rico, or St. Maarten. Once you land, your Diamante concierge can arrange private transportation to your selected hotel or villa.

Accomodations:

Cheval Blanc: a gorgeous newly renovated hotel on its own private stretch of white sand, Saline beach, tucked remotely away in lush gardens and landscaping. Recently acquired by LVMH, this hotel is the ultimate combination of luxury and simplicity, with a stunning infinity pool and gourmet restaurant overlooking the ocean that can’t be beat.

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Hotel Le Toiny : known for its seclusion and luxurious simplicity.  The hurricane actually worked in their favor, where the white sand was blown in their direction to create a beautiful new stretch of beach for hotel guests to enjoy.  Le Toiny is also equipped with several of their own Defender caravans that drive guests down to the beach club, the perfect mode of transport that allows you to take in the exquisite view of the island.

The Christopher: a dream location with the most beautiful views and perfect for sunset cocktails. They have the most incredible spa on the island, where guests have their own private en suite massages overlooking the ocean.

Hotel Manypany: An eco-conscious/ environmentally friendly dream oasis, located directly down the hillside at Anse des Cayes, and directly on the beach.

Eden Roc (opening late 2019): The ultimate hotel to stay on the island, located on top of an actual giant rock, and surrounded by a bay of perfect turquoise water.  When the hotel re-opens again at the end of the year, it will have many new features, such as suites on top of the rock, a new gourmet restaurant, wooden walkways throughout the property, and built in kitchens in the newly renovated villas. Eden Roc also offers their own private villa rentals, each with their own beautiful and individual charm, all with the incredible amenities of the hotel while feeling like you are in the luxurious privacy of your own home.

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Restaurants:

Bonito: A truly special seafood spot with a breathtaking view. Delicious cocktails and drool-worthy fare, in a setting to match. Don’t miss the delicious ceviches and fresh fish.

Nikki Beach: Make sure to stop by for drinks and lunch, or bring your costume on Sunday for the best daytime party! Dance with your feet in the sand and a drink in your hand. Make reservations or come early if you want to get a table!

L'Isoletta: This is the perfect casual pizzeria that everyone wishes they had around the corner from them. Their relaxing, low key vibe is perfect after a long day at the beach when you are wanting to grab dinner with sand still in your toes.

Victoria’s: a newly renovated restaurant in the port, perfect for healthy breakfast, delicious avocado toast and fresh juices, or great for an afternoon cocktail and watch the boats sail into port as the sun sets.

 
Victoria’s

Victoria’s

 

Beaches:

Gouvener, Saline, and Colombier are the 3 most pristine and untouched beaches, with long, remote stretches of white sand. Shell Beach is ideal to watch the sunset and St. Jean is the perfect location to spend the afternoon watching the planes fly by.

Saline Beach

Saline Beach

Activities:

Surfing, kite surfing, swimming and yoga are plentiful. Also be sure to check out all of the shops in  town for unique treasures and finds to bring home as mementos of your magical time on the island.

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An amazing way to see the island is from the water also, and we highly recommend renting a sailboat, catamaran, or speedboat for the day with St. Barth Sailor to explore different beaches for snorkeling and lunch, or enjoy a sunset cruise with champagne in hand.

Recommended For:

Couples celebrating a tropical honeymoon, romantic anniversary, or those just looking to decompress from life. Diamante also recommends St. Barths for groups and families. Grab a few of your best friends or family members and hit the island’s beautiful white sand beaches or rent a private yacht for the day to explore hidden beaches. St. Barths is also great for those looking for a unique location to celebrate a luxury bachelor or bachelorette party.

An Unexpected Caribbean Getaway: Curacao

With winter upon us, you may be thinking longingly of the far-off warmth of spring and summer. If so, now is time to start planning a deep-winter tropical getaway.!

If you are looking for something new and off the beaten path, we have the perfect locale for just that: Curacao!

Curacao is a Dutch colonial island located between Aruba and Bonaire in the Southern Caribbean.  Willemstad, the colorful capital, is famous for its bright buildings that line the waterfront. The island’s pristine diving, gorgeous white sand beaches, and stunning nature are all attractions to the small number of tourists that pass through each winter.

Keep reading to learn about the best places to stay, food to eat, and things to do!

Willemstad, Curacao

Willemstad, Curacao

Accommodations: If you want to enjoy the culture and metropolitan vibes of the capital city Willemstad and be in the heart of it all, we recommend staying at BijBlauw Hotel. BijBlauw is situated beachfront in trendy Pietermaai, the historic cultural heart of Willemstad.  Walk to hip bars and restaurants, shop at well curated boutiques and check out some of the historic attractions nearby.  

If you are looking for a more relaxed destination, head to Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort.  Situated on 2,000 acres just south of Willemstad, Santa Barbara is a destination in itself.  Relax on their private white sand beach or poolside. Indulge in recreation on the golf course, tennis courts or biking and hiking trails.  Santa Barbara is also a water-sports heaven with diving, fishing and other activities available.

Restaurants:  The food is Curacao does not disappoint! Our favorite spots in Willemstad are The Gouverneur and Fort Nassau.  The Gouverneur is a stunning spot located right along the water. The food is phenomenal. We highly recommend getting the Cuban Banana soup; it is out of this world! Fort Nassau is an old fort transformed into a gorgeous restaurant overlooking the famous bridge and the city. We suggest getting the steak or lamb chops. In Westpunt, Sol Food is a big hit. This tiny restaurant, with only 8 tables so you need a reservation in advance, is situated on the patio off of the owner’s home. It is only opened on the weekends and serves up delicious pizza and other grub. The highlight though is the scrumptious peanut butter brownie dessert. Jaanchies is another hot local spot in Westpunt. There are no printed menus, rather, Jaanchie himself comes up and tells you what they are serving today and takes your order.  It is mainly fish and meat stews along with some sides. He will offer you a taste of the Iguana stew and you should try it. Travel is all about stepping out of your comfort zones, isn’t it?

Beaches:  Our absolute favorite beach is Playa Knip, in Westpunt. Although it takes about an hour to get here from Willemstad area, it is totally worth it to view the crystal clear water, beautiful reef, and white sand. It is hard to contain oneself from running straight in the water!

Another great beach in the Westpunt area is a Daaibooi because it is quiet and peaceful, with no loud music or kids running around.  Mambo is the most popular beach in Curacao, complete with beach bars, shopping, and events.  Tip - Sit near Lions Dive Resort for a more peaceful part of the beach. Jan Thiel is our favorite beach located in a central part of the island. Every Saturday night they have a party with music. Entrance is free, but you will most likely spend some money at the bar.  Dancing the night away on the sand is a perfect Curacao experience.

Activities:  Curacao is known for its pristine scuba diving spots.  We recommend diving at Playa Grandi (also a wonderful place to snorkel) where you are almost guaranteed to see a few turtles!

Other nice spots to dive are Alice in Wonderland at Playa Kalki and at Playa Porto Marie, all in Westpunt. For snorkeling, Tug Boat is a fun spot to check out a shipwreck up close. Speaking of shipwrecks, there is a massive ship at Jan Thiel beach you can snorkel/dive. We also recommend kayaking to the Blue Cave in Westpunt, where you can snorkel. Another unique activity in Westpunt is to see Watamula. This is an impressive, large, eroded hole above the ocean that the waves will crash through. Just don’t fall in! Klein Curacao, the tiny, uninhabited island located about 26 miles from the main island, is a day trip not to be missed. This little island boasts stunningly crystal clear water, an abandoned lighthouse, and a shipwreck to be explored.  However, be warned that the journey to Klein is often very rough so if you get seasick, be prepared with medicine, or perhaps forgo this option.

Curacao is truly a hidden gem in the Caribbean. If you are seeking sunshine, adventure, and delicious food, this is the place for you.