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Sky Editor Getaways: St. Barths

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Oyster Pond marina
Here, I relax on the dock at Oyster Pond marina in St. Maarten to wait for the ferry over to St. Barths. While you can fly from St. Maarten via puddle jumper, John gets a little queasy from the infamous, “adventurous” flight into St. Barths airport. Let’s just say that the flight isn’t for the faint of heart.
Rent a Home
Our villa with its sumptuous views onto the Anse des Flamands beach. There’s no better way to relax upon the island for an extended stay than to rent a home. We love the daily maid service, glorious pools and stellar vistas onto the island. Plus, you can cook at home, so we invite new friends over for at least one dinner party.
Le Gaïac at Hotel Le Toiny
A lengthy lunch at the Hotel Le Toiny’s Le Gaïac restaurant, one of the best eateries upon St. Barths. Situated at the far end of the isle, the hotel is a favorite retreat for celebrities looking to get away from the see-and-be-seen scene. Still, it is only a 15-minute drive from Le Toiny into the bustling town of Gustavia to browse the shops and charming byways.
Hotel St-Barth Isle de France
A panoramic view of Anse des Flamands beach from our villa. The hotel at the far end is the very swanky Hotel St-Barth Isle de France, a favorite of high-flying jet setters. We like to walk down to the hotel for the Thursday night fashion shows paired with a fabulous Champagne cocktail.
Gustavia's Bustling Harbor
The main town of Gustavia’s bustling harbor. There are always slews of giant yachts and sailboats moored along the main drag, and there’s no better eye candy than these cruise ship-sized behemoths. There are also wonderful stores in town—from Louis Vuitton to Vilebrequin and Christian Liaigre.
Relaxed Vibe
John sports jaunty Euro-looking sunglasses at a friend’s villa just across from the Hotel Le Toiny. “I love the relaxed vibe on the island,” says John. “I can be part of the scene or completely turn off, and that’s the magic. Plus, the restaurants are some of the best anywhere.”
Hotel La Banane
On Friday nights, the Nixons invariably head for the Hotel La Banane and its sundown cocktail party. We are crazy about this color-rich hotel in L’Orient and its fabulous décor. Plus, the owners, Jean-Marc and Benjamin, are simply dreamy and know how to create a relaxed, yet elegant party vibe.
A Night of Dancing
Lois and Jary—aka the parents—prepare to kick up their heels at La Banane. Spanish-born guitarist Soley performs at the Friday-night cocktail party at the hotel, and as the night goes on guests salsa under the stars as they sip cool cocktails.
New Friends
Here I am with Hotel La Banane co-owner Benjamin Fabbri and a new pal, Chic magazine’s Karine Bazin, at the hotel’s Friday-night cocktail soiree. A few minutes later, the DJ played Florence and the Machine’s “Dog Days are Over,” and Karine and I hit the dancefloor.
Maya's
One of the island’s see-and-be-seen restaurants is long-running Maya’s, perched upon the harbor just outside of Gustavia. If you want to see a celeb, this is the spot to go to. It may be a bit overpriced, but the grilled fish is stellar and the service is attentive. Best of all, you can dress up as much as you want or wear khakis and flip-flops.
Anse des Flamands beach
Here I am on a morning stroll along the Anse des Flamands beach en route back to the villa. I pack next to nothing on my St. Barths trips and spend the entire trip in either a bathing suit or my jaunty orange shorts.
Bon Appétit
Lunch upon an avocado-and-crab salad at the very posh Le Sereno, designed by French superstar interior designer Christian Liaigre. Sublime!
Le Sereno
Since John and I own an interior design firm, John Loecke Inc., we are always looking for fabulous “moments.” We are crazy about these scarlet-red doors that lead into the lobby at the Le Sereno. What a fabulous and arresting statement, n’est-ce pas?
The Hotel Christoper Pool
The Hotel Christopher has the most amazing pool! It seems to spill into the ocean and is the perfect spot to splash about in style. Lunch here is blissful, too: Kick off your shoes and sit by the sea as you savor fabulous gazpacho with a Parmesan cream and grilled mahi mahi with breadfruit chips.
Domaines Ott rosé
Endless glasses of Domaines Ott rosé wine fuels lengthy al fresco lunches. Frankly, dry rosé wine is my beverage of choice regardless of the season. “It’s summer somewhere,” I say. “So fill ‘er up.”
Colombier
A hike to the tucked-away beach at Colombier. Of course, I have to take a pause to check my BlackBerry. Sigh, I just can’t quite turn off totally.
Bar de l'Oubli
The fabulous Bar de l’Oubli (it’s appropriately named, let’s just say) in downtown Gustavia. After browsing around town, we meet up with my parents here for either a quick cappuccino or yet another glass of rosé. Plus, they play fabulous music—from Pink Martini to Adele.
Fabulous Yacht
A fabulous, submarine-like yacht anchored just outside of Gustavia’s busy harbor. This is the A, owned by Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko and designed by Philippe Starck.
Bonito
Lois and John get ready to hit the town for our farewell dinner at Bonito, a glorious eatery in Gustavia with stellar views over the harbor. Until next year, St. Barths!

Every year, the Nixon clan decamps from our various places of residence (my parents, Lois and Jary, from Tampa, Florida, and John and me from Brooklyn) and spends 10 amazing days on the island of St. Barths. We all fly into St. Maarten and then catch the ferry over to this glorious, wildly chic island with its French flair, exceptional beaches and wonderful restaurants. We usually spend a few nights in our favorite hotel upon the island, Hotel La Banane, and then rent a villa for the rest of our stay. Every day, we relax in the morning upon the beach at Saline before heading to an ocean-side eatery for lunch upon grilled fish paired with rosé wine (you cannot beat the Hotel Christopher for its relaxed luxe cooking and setting). Come sundown, we brave the vertiginous roads for dinner in the bustling harbor town of Gustavia (a must-visit is the sublime Bonito) and wander amongst the monster-sized yachts and browse the windows at Hermès (if only to salivate).
—Jason Oliver Nixon

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