For the Shopaholic- Gustavia, St. Barts
You Can Take It with You
The Caribbean port is brimming with boutiques, stylish wares and beachsides
St. Barts may seem a little far for a shopping trip, but a stroll though the island’s breezy and fashionable port town of Gustavia will likely make every mall you’ve ever visited seem sterile and dull. The waterfront street is dotted with familiar names like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Cartier, Bulgari, and Hermès, but the charming side streets full of local boutiques brimming with gorgeous designer wares and jewels are what make this a fashion paradise. And as you shop under the Caribbean sun, wandering by oversize yachts and dodging colorful Vespas driven by bikini-clad locals, you’ll understand why St. Barts has become the Caribbean’s top spot for the rich and famous.
Each of the Hotel Carl Gustaf's fourteen rooms features a private plunge pool. Unwind here after a long day shopping in the fashionable port town of Gustavia.
For the easiest access to downtown Gustavia, stay at the Hotel Carl Gustaf (from $988 per night, hotelcarlgustaf.com), an elegant hotel overlooking the port and azure sea beyond. This luxurious fourteen-room hotel features plunge pools and balconies with each suite and boasts the intimate Victoria’s Restaurant, which offers impeccably plated French dishes and one of the island’s best views. But most importantly, it’s a quick walk down cobblestone roads by tropical flowers and whitewashed island homes to the nearby shops. On Gustavia’s busy streets, shoppers can meander in and out of shops like Lolita Jaca (lolitajaca.com), a small boutique filled with brightly colored sundresses, and Pain De Sucre (store.paindesucre.com), the perfect place to find a sleek designer swim suit.
When you’re planning your tropical shopping trip, keep in mind that St. Barts is part of the French West Indies, and in true French form the shops are closed during the middle of the day and on Sundays. You also may find it helpful to brush up on your s’il vous plaits and mercis before your trip. While most shopkeepers speak English, French is the local language and the Euro is the currency.