Gustavia

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Get to know Gustavia

Gustavia is the capital of St. Barth and the most commercial part of the island. During the high season, especially New Year’s Eve, everyone comes out to see the superyachts in the harbor and maybe even be invited aboard for the all-night parties. For those staying on land, there’s plenty of chic shopping, whether it’s at Hermès and Cartier or at the local boutiques. Best of all, it’s all duty-free. Gourmands have plenty of choice in Gustavia, with lots of restaurants, cafes, and markets lining the cobblestone streets. There’s also Le Select, the oldest bar in St. Barth. Opened in 1949 by Marius Stakelborough, Le Select is an island institution. It’s much more than a dive bar and burger joint and more like the island’s unofficial hangout—including regular concerts by Jimmy Buffett. Stakelborough died in 2020, but the good times and cheeseburgers in paradise live on.

Living in St. Barth

St. Barthélemy, or St. Barth, is a small island of volcanic rock, just eight square miles big, in the Caribbean. But this tiny island, with its 14 public beaches, is one of the world’s most luxurious getaways that also manages to feel completely down to earth. An overseas collectivity of France, St. Barth was sparsely populated and rarely visited by outsiders until the 1950s. In the mid-1950s, David Rockefeller, who had spied St. Barth from his sailboat, bought and built his clifftop estate. In 1953, Rémy de Haenen, a Dutch-French adventurer, opened the Eden Rock hotel, and with that, the island was off to the races. In a place where no building is higher than a palm tree and the celebrities blend into the sea, St. Barth has managed to remain unspoiled and genuine. It’s an island where superyachts dock but also where giant turtles swim in secret swimming holes and goats rule the cliffs, all part of the magic of St. Barth.