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Why snazzy St. Barths should be in your sights right now

Nov. 22, 2021
5 min read
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St. Barthelemy (St. Barts/St. Barth/St. Barths) opened back up in June. Since then, this French-speaking Caribbean destination known for attracting the jet set has continued to update its safety protocols. They've done a good job at it. Unlike other Caribbean islands that have not fared well in controlling the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 1 travel health notice for St. Barths. That designation indicates a low level of COVID-19 transmission. So, if you're ready for beautiful beaches, red roof-dotted hillsides, high-end shopping and an overall ritzy vibe, St. Barths should be in your sights.

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St Barths Bucket Regattaon March 23rd, 2019 in St-Barthelemy, French Antillas.(Photo by Studio Borlenghi/ALeA/Getty Images)

What you need to know to visit St. Barths

As of October 2021, all travelers from the U.S.are required to have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours or an antigen test 48 hours prior to their flight to the island, according to the St. Barths Tourism Board.

This testing requirement also applies to travelers arriving at St. Barth from Saint Martin (SXM) and San Juan (SJU) airports. Those traveling from SXM will have to fill out a health authorization form and travelers from SJU will have to complete a travel declaration form.

Tourists from the U.S. and Canada over the age of 12-years old will need proof of vaccine at certain villas and hotels for their stay and unvaccinated children under the age of 12 are allowed to enter with a vaccinated adult.

Unvaccinated travelers from the U.S. and Canada are required to quarantine for seven days when they arrive and take a PCR test at the end of the isolation period. It is also recommended that they wear masks and avoid crowded areas.

Keep in mind that the CDC recommends against international travel until you are fully vaccinated, even if visiting a Level 1 country.

Related Coverage: A country-by-country reopening guide to the Caribbean

Getting there

Saint Barthelemy Airport (SBH) is the island's largest airport. Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) on the nearby island of St. Maarten is a close major airport with frequent connections to St. Barths.

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There are no direct flights to the island, making airfares a tad pricey from major U.S. cities. You'll find fares hovering well above the $1,000 mark round-trip from major U.S. cities. There are some deals to be had if you’re flexible with your dates, such as this economy flight at $762 round-trip on Delta and Winward Island Airways from New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in January.

(Screenshot Courtesy of United)

Available round-trip flights from American Airlines in mid-January from MIA will set you back about $1,478 for a main cabin seat.

(Screenshot Courtesy of American Airlines)

Related: Best times to visit the Caribbean

Where to stay

As befits an island known for attracting the well-heeled, there are a variety of luxury hotels to choose from on St. Barths. The exclusive Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France is located on Flamands Bay, and features 61 rooms, suites and villas. Owned by the swanky LVMH Group, the hotel is known for its architecture, as well as wellness, art and other specialized programming.

You can admire stunning ocean views at Le Sereno Hotel on Grand Cul-de-Sac beach as well as the luxurious Eden Rock hotel, which looks like it's floating on the water.

Le Toiny's 22 Villa Suites are an option for those looking for independent accommodations with the advantage of a beach club and restaurants. While the newly-opened Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth is a boutique property surrounded by lush greenery, a private lagoon and an acclaimed Rosewood Spa.

All the above-mentioned hotels are part of the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts Program (FHR). If you're an American Express card member with a Platinum or Centurion-branded card, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, you can book through the Amex FHR program.

Related: The hottest hotels in the Caribbean

There are also several boutique hotels as well as villas and apartments for travelers to choose from for their stay.

Bottom Line

If a chic, beautiful island destination is what you're looking for, St. Barths is the ne plus ultra The fact that the island has fared much better than its Caribbean counterparts in handling the pandemic is another reason to consider a trip.

Additional reporting by Liz Ramanand, Ana Figueroa

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

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2 - 10X points
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75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
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  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
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  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023