Far from the cliche of being the holiday destination for the rich and famous, St Barths is a preserved, simple and friendly.
Bungalows on the beach
I stayed at Les Îlets de la Plage, located on the far west side of St Jean white sandy beach, which is delightfully quiet despite the airport strip being right behind. The hotel comprises of spacious colourful and comfortable bungalows with fully equipped kitchen including a Nespresso machine and capsules. The staff is lively and helpful and it is a one minute walk to the turquoise blue water. For the cheapest rates, go the weeks before Christmas or after the Bucket regatta.
As an alternative, Hotel Le Village seems lovely and was recommended by a friend but you will have to walk a few streets before you get a toe into the water.
Eat and Drink
For a fresh juice or fresh salads, Kiki e Mo / Tom's juice bar is the ideal place with some good shopping right across the street.
For lunch, the must visit place is Tamarin close to Saline beach. It is wonderful with a lush garden, fresh cuisine, lovely staff and fun ambiance.
Do Brazil on Shell Beach is more hippy and casual. It serves more than decent food and you will not get tired of the view.
Before dinner, head to Bonito, the best bar on the island with the best view and elegant white decor. The restaurant offers tasty sophisticated dishes (especially the tiraditos) but is ridiculously expensive.
To meet regulars and its lovely owner, dine at Eddy's (French cuisine with Creole influences served in a cosy garden) where you will be welcomed as a friend, and hopefully offered a shot of one of their delicious 'rhum arrangés'.
A cheap and lovely option for dinner is L'Isoletta for good pizza 'al taglio' and Italian tapas.
The most stunning of all beaches to me is Colombier. If you don't reach it by boat, it is a lovely 15/20mn walk along the coast from the end of the road where you can park, after Flammand beach. Be sure to wear good shoes as it can get quite slippery and rocky. The beach and water are out of this world. Pure natural beauty.
Other beautiful and very enjoyable beaches are Flammand (treat yourself to a nice lunch at LVMH hotel ChevaBlanc), Gouverneur and Saint-Jean (for more fun and sophistication).
You will be more than happy with all the wonderful beaches on the island but if you need some action, go scuba diving with Plongee Caraibes. You will encounter see turtles and sharks if you are lucky enough.
There are also a few hidden natural pools on the island. Go with a local as they are hard to find and can be dangerous to reach. Enjoy!
Always ask the locals (I mean anyone working and living in St Barths) for recommendations. They are the friendliest I have ever seen when traveling.