Although St. Barts is only a little over 8 square miles, its different areas have distinct personalities and cater to certain crowds. As you travel more and more, you come to learn what you value most in a vacation. Perhaps it is having an authentic experience and you enjoy getting to know the culture and people of your destination. Maybe what excites you is experiencing the shopping and dining aspects of a location, or you may enjoy natural beauty and wish to spend time outdoors appreciating the unique landscape. Maybe you crave the escape from your everyday life and you prefer the opportunity to relax and unwind. When traveling to a new destination it can be difficult to ascertain which neighborhoods or areas you will enjoy the most. Luckily the travel experts at Time & Place are here to help you find which area of this island paradise has the perfect luxury rental villa that matches your vacation dreams.

* St Jean: A wonderful starting point at the beginning of your trip, it features shopping and dining opportunities as well as the iconic Nikki Beach. If you don’t know Nikki Beach, it’s simply one of the mot exclusive beach clubs in the world. With water sports galore, St Jean is an excellent destination for those who like to take on active pursuits. Further inland youll find the sports complex with tennis courts, volleyball, a skate park and playground.

* Gustavia: With the only non-commercial port on the island, Gustavia is where youll find the amazing yachts and sailboats the Caribbean is famous for. The streets that line the port are home to top-notch restaurants, fine boutiques and duty-free shopping, making Gustavia a wonderful place for those that enjoy indulging in the finer things while traveling. The architecture in this area is interesting as well, and will appeal to those interested in the cultural influences behind St Barts colorful history. Also part of Gustavia is Shell Beach, ideal for children and those who prefer gentle waters over rough waves.

* Colombier: Located on the northernmost part of this island, Colombier is for those that will appreciate St Barts in its purest form. Free from bustling tourist crowds, Colombier perches atop the bay and offers simply spectacular views of the sea as well as the island itself. Below the village you will find a protected beach that is markedly less crowded than the other hot spots, as this area is only accessible by water or on foot from Flamands. If you crave peace and quiet and the restorative feelings that tranquility inspires, as well as astonishing beauty, Colombier is a must.

* Flamands: Just east of Colombier (and the trailhead to access Colombier) is Flamands, an area that combines luxury villas and gourmet restaurants with the homes of locals and a more authentic St Barts lifestyle. Locals mingle with travelers at a yearly festival with games and contests that culminates with a lively dance. If youd like to see what life would be like as a permanent resident of St Barts, this is the place for you.

* Lorient: Island life tends to be low key no matter where you are, but it is even more apparent in Lorient. The beach here is a surfer hangout and lacks the luster of the high-end boutiques and restaurants, but makes up for it in its quaint beauty. The local primary school is located here and youll share this beach with schoolchildren and their parents after the bell rings. Youll find fishermen and other locals catching up in the shady spots and discover a very authentic and relaxed part of St Barts. If the glitz of the port has lost some shimmer, Lorient offers a more laid-back approach to beach life.

* Grand-Fond and Toiny: To experience St Barts as it once was, this area of the island will be appreciated by those who enjoy adventure and exploration, as well as a natural habitat and untouched landscape. The winds here whip the natural grasses into a frenzy and create crashing waves in the sea. Wandering this part of the coastline you may come across a few cows and goats, reminding you of early life on the island. The tide pools along the beach are worth investigating and be sure to keep an eye out for whales if its migrating season. This southeastern area of St Barts is a welcome escape for those that welcome the raw and unpolished side of things.

Who knew St. Barts could offer so much to so many with such a small footprint? We encourage you to experience all facets of this wonderful and charming island. Contact Time & Place to make room in your heart for St Barts with your ideal island luxury rental villa.

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