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stbart BIG Eden Rock Hotel

The Island of Luxury

Ready for the most relaxing vacation of your life? Hop a flight to Saint Barthélemy (St. Barts, for short), a 9.5-square-mile, French-speaking island in the West Indies. Pampering is serious business here, so high-end dining, gorgeous boutique hotels and celeb spotting on the beach are the only items on your to-do list.

Where to Stay

Your oceanside villa awaits

Hôtel Le Sereno

It’s called “Le Sereno” for a reason--tucked away in a cove between the turquoise ocean and the Morne du Vitet (the highest mountain in St. Barts), this oasis is dedicated to serenity and relaxation. Each of the hotel’s 36 rooms are gorgeous, but we’re partial to the four-bedroom villas with staggeringly beautiful ocean views.

Grand Cul de Sac BP 19

Where to Eat

rocks On the Rocks

On the Rocks

Perched above Hotel Eden Rock on St. Jean Beach, legendary chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s fine-dining restaurant is worth the splurge for the view alone. Oh, and then there’s the local fish ceviche with lime, mango and coriander…

Hotel Eden Rock, Baie de Saint Jean

dobrazil1 Do Brazil

Do Brazil

Go swimming at picturesque Shell Beach (but bring sandals, they’re not kidding about the shells), then grab a snack at this casual lunch joint with breathtaking ocean views.

Shell Beach, Gustavia

bonito Bonito

Bonito

Chef Laurent Cantineaux, formerly of Daniel in NYC, is bringing high-end French cuisine with a Mediterranean twist to this beachy Gustavia spot. Start with the tropical salmon ceviche, then try the olive-crusted rack of lamb.

Rue Lubin Brin, Gustavia

What to Do

This week’s goal: Relax

salinebeach Jay Colbath/Flickr

Spot celebs at Saline Beach

Head to one of St. Barts’ most popular beaches, and if you’re lucky, you could see vacationing celebs like Olivia Palermo, Demi Moore and Steve Martin. (And don’t forget to hit up a less traveled spot, too, like Colombier Beach.)

gustavia Andries3/Flickr

Go exploring in Gustavia

This St. Barts port town is packed with high-end shopping--tiny boutiques dot the side streets, while the main drag is reserved for name brands like Cartier and Hermès.

spa Le Guanahani St. Barth

Unwind at Le Guanahani

There’s nothing more relaxing than getting a massage--oh, except getting one right next to the ocean in your own private cabana.

Grand Cul-de-Sac, D209, 97133

What to Skip

Don’t do anything dangerous

skipit Robert Cocozza/Getty Images

The runway at St. Jean Beach

St. Barts is home to the shortest runway in the world, and a tourist was recently grazed by a plane as it soared overhead. Swimming or standing directly underneath the planes at St. Jean Beach might make a great photo op, but it’s definitely not worth the risk.

What to Pack

swimsuit Net-A-Porter

Bold-print swimsuit

Make a statement on the shores of the French Caribbean in a trendy cutout one-piece.

Mara Hoffman ($240)

maxi Persuit of Shoes

Breezy maxi dress

You’ll be eating your fair share of fancy meals, so pack a versatile maxi dress you can wear both shopping and to dinner.

Privacy Please ($238)

hat This Time Tomorrow

Structured Straw Hat

That West Indies sun can be scorching. Bring a chic hat with a structured brim to protect your face.

Sole Society ($30)