Gustavia, St.Barths—Reported by Coleman Bentley for Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine
Because an island just won’t fit under the tree, St. Barths has recently become the must-visit holiday party for the world’s elite. Yachts dot the green-blue harbor, private jets touch down on tiny landing strips, and everywhere you turn there’s another face you just might recognize. This is the holidays at their glitziest, for the most glamorous. If Santa weren’t so busy, even he would show up.
It is hardly a surprise that this speck of a Caribbean island has become such a luxury lifestyle hotbed, however. Though less populated than many quaint French villages, St. Barths is bursting with villas, hotels, spas, restaurants, and recreation options, drawing winter-escapists from around the globe. You needn’t worry though; there is more than enough celebratory attitude to go around. So grab your sunscreen and champagne and join St. Barths for some, or all, of the following holiday coronations.
Christmas kicks off December 12 with the beginning of “The Colors of Christmas in St. Barths,” an annual two-and-half week competition that challenges business owners in Gustavia and St. Jean to create the best storefront window decorations. Determined by a panel of 10 judges, first, second and third place winners are announced in style with a December 30 cocktail party on Quai Général de Gaulle in Gustavia. While taking in the always light and lavish window displays, however, don’t forget to swing by the Port of Gustavia for the St. Barths Christmas Village, open December 12-23. Organized by the St. Barths Tourism Committee, Christmas Village brings a taste of the North Pole to the tropics with a European-style market brimming with seasonal flair and shopping options.
Come the turn of the New Year, St. Barths packs up the red and green and rolls out the glitz, glamour, and confetti for the annual New Year’s Eve Regatta. Beginning December 31st at 10am, the Regatta has become a destination event for yacht-owners around the globe, who pack the harbors to enjoy fun, friendly, nautical competition. After the yachts are moored, head over to Quai Général de Gaulle in Gustavia for live music, dancing, and a fireworks display sure to light up the entire Caribbean.
St. Barths’ Holiday Season finally culminates on January 8, with the St. Barths Music Festival, a three week display of live music and dancing from some of the world’s most prominent classical, opera, ballet, and jazz talents. Echoing through the beautiful churches of Gustavia and Lorient, the event is sure to provide the perfect encore for the holidays.