Virtuoso Life - May/June 2017 - 59
entire eight-square-mile island in under an
hour. Every day, staff at Le Sereno, the hotel where my husband and I were staying,
packed our convertible Mini Cooper rental
with a cooler, beach chairs, umbrellas, and
towels, and sent us on our way. With the
wind in our hair and Europop on the radio,
we followed winding, narrow roads past
arid scrub and sandy beaches, a roller coaster of a ride that rewards with hilltop views.
While dining may take a back seat at other
Caribbean destinations, here we planned
our schedule by our meals and never had a
bad one. By day, we browsed boutiques in the
main port town of Gustavia, beach-hopped
(bathing suits optional), and lingered over
long lunches in the sand with bottles of rosé,
Saint Bart's libation of choice. At night, we
dined by candlelight at open-air restaurants and then danced into the wee hours
at sultry clubs.
A word of warning: Prepare for sticker
shock, even in the off-season - it takes a few
days to embrace 25-euro cocktails. (Tip:
Stretch those euros by picking up sandwiches
from one of Saint Bart's many boulangeries
and picnicking on the beach.)
Dining options abound, from newcomers such as Shellona on famed Shell Beach
to longtime classics like Le Select, with its
cheeseburger in paradise. Here are just a few
of our favorites.
A day at the beach
at Le Guanahani.
Joie de Vivre
This opulent waterfront venue doubles as a
bacchanal, often hosting late-night dance
parties. Donning powdered wigs and elaborate eighteenth-century costumes for
one evening's theme, attentive waitstaff
served bouillabaisse, seared scallops, and
marinated veal chops with lemon confit
and gamely amped up the energy for a fun
night ahead. Rue Samuel Fahlberg, Gustavia;
Haute Beach House
Even on a weeknight, a lively crowd
packs this hilltop restaurant overlooking
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