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ADDICTED TO PARADISE: 48 HOURS IN ST BARTHS

March 4, 2014 by @VanessaRivers

Saint Barthélemy, abbreviated in english as St. Barts or St. Barths, a small volcanic island located 22 miles southeast of St Martin, is one of four territories among the Leeward Islands in the northeastern Caribbean, that comprise the French West Indies. Visiting this alluring destination has been a dream of mine for many years, and last month I was lucky enough to take a short birthday trip there with my boyfriend. We flew into St Maarten from Miami, late on a Saturday night, spent Sunday in St Maarten with our friend Rachel (click here to read the story), then flew to St. Barths on Monday, where we spent two blissful days and nights at TomBeach Hotel on Baie de Saint Jean. It was a brief island hopping excursion, but one of the best trips of my life. I highly recommend going to both islands, but be sure to save up some serious cash and bring your balls; St. Barths is very expensive, and the landing in the tiny puddle jumper plane is not for wussies.

48 HOURS IN ST BARTHS
Most people suggested we stay at the famous Eden Rock Hotel, but the high season rates convinced me to search for a better option which led us to the lovely TomBeach Hotel. Located on St. Jean Bay, just a short walk down from Eden Rock and the infamous Nikki Beach, this hip boutique hotel provides fun dining on the sand at La Plage Restaurant, and an intimate setting of just 12 rooms, with Sea View Rooms that boast glorious views of the bay. I’m an avid surfer and their happened to be a swell, so our helpful hotel staff set up a rental car, showed us where to rent surfboards, and how to get to the best surf spot on the island. We drove to Gustavia and explored the city, had lunch at Dò Brazil on Shell Beach, surfed Toiny, swam in the warm, crystal blue waters of St. Jean Bay and had amazing dinners at Bonito and Le Ti. With a gorgeous coastline, pristine ocean, luxurious accommodations and killer dinning, St. Barths will have you Addicted to Paradise the moment your feet hit the soft, white sand.

See the website for the latest offers and rates at TomBeach Hotel.

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WHERE TO STAY
TomBeach Hotel: Chic, boutique hotel in the perfect location, with a fab staff.
Emeraude Plage: Next to TomBeach Hotel on St Jean Bay – hidden gem in terms of price and location.
Eden Rock Hotel: “The” hip spot to stay in St. Barths if you want to see and be seen.
Le Sereno: Off the beaten path, located on a private beach, perfect if you seek luxury + privacy.

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BEACH PLEASE
St Jean Beach: St Jean Bay (separated by Eden Rock) is a beautiful stretch of white sand and bright blue water, scattered with several of the best beachside restaurants on the island; Nikki Beach, La Plage & Sand Bar at Eden Rock. Tan, Swim, paddle board, kite surf or just enjoy a stroll along the water’s edge.
Shell Beach: Gorgeous, secluded beach covered with seashells. Do lunch at Dò Brazil followed by tanning, swimming and relaxing.
Toiny Beach: Beautiful surf beach (great left!), but the current is very strong, so swimming here is not encouraged.

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WHERE TO SHOP
I’m not into shopping (gasp!), but there are fantastic shops in Gustavia (click here for specifics), as well as a few cute boutiques in St Jean Village (small shopping area up behind Nikki Beach).

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WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
La Plage: Yummy breakfast (*free for TomBeach Hotel guests), fantastic lunch, dinner, fresh juices and great cocktails. And you can’t beat the dinning experience, sitting right at the water’s edge.
Nikki Beach: This famous beach club is the perfect lounge, lunch spot, to eat sushi and other fresh seafood offerings, sip Rosè and feel like rock star.
On the Rocks: On Eden Rock in St Jean Bay. Didn’t have time to dine here so it’s on my list for the next trip!
Dò Brazil: Lunch here is a must! Walking distance from Gustavia with exceptional food and delicious cocktails, right on Shell Beach.
Bonito: The reviews made me think twice about dinner here but our friend said it was fab and I have to agree. Fantastic food and  great service in a beautiful, romantic, yet laid back atmosphere. Perfect date night spot.
Le Ti: If you don’t like wild and crazy this is NOT for you. Cabaret, overly expensive cocktails and delicious food in an extravagant setting (in the middle of nowhere!). I loved the plush red velvet everywhere, disco balls, cabaret performers in wacky outfits and that by the end of dinner everyone was up dancing. My kind of place!

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St. Barths Eco Bikini by  SUMMERLOVE SWIMWEAR

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