Once a year, on the 31st December an abundance of the world’s most magnificent yachts and their owners and charterers descend on the tiny Caribbean island of St Barts for one of the world’s most glamorous New Year’s Eve celebrations. With the last firework and the last musical beat resounding across the island, party-goers are already in anticipation for what next year has to offer.
There must be reason why a plethora of A-listers including Leonardo DiCaprio, Rihanna and Jay-Z make St Barts their exclusive haunt for the holiday season and why you should too - and we think we have the answer.
Discovered by the Rockefeller and Rothschild families centuries ago when the land was once cheap, the island became the ideal spot to build multi-million dollar estates, after which it soon acquired the title as the ‘St. Moritz of the Caribbean.' Being a small island free of security worries with extremely friendly locals who respect the anonymity of the island's inhabitants, this Caribbean gem has rightfully become the chosen New Year’s Eve party location. Lacking bustling nosey tourists and paparazzi, the A-list can truly relax and unwind to the chilled St Barts vibe.
The place to be moored on your charter yacht is Port de Plaisance in Port of Gustavia. The harbour becomes packed at New Year, and with only 60 berths available, with the rest at anchor, you need to be quick in order to obtain yourself such a prestigious spot. Gustavia’s promenade is packed with designer boutiques and dazzling jewellery shops making her ideal for any last-minute, or additional, New Year’s Eve shopping.
it’s not the nightlife or celebrities that draw people to St. Barts at New Year's, it’s the luxury of privacy and relaxation
What’s more, every year on the 31st December the New Year’s Eve Regatta takes place around St Barts showcasing the most beautiful sailing vessels present on the island around festive season. The just-for-fun regatta is a magical event that gets islanders and A-listers to sit back with a cocktail or glass of champagne and immerse themselves in what is only the beginning of the celebrations.
Starting off the evening celebrations with a bite to eat is ideally suited to St Barts, with a plethora of gourmet-quality, French-inspired restaurants available to the glitzy elite. Diners can choose from French-chic for something with a more sophisticated and cosy ambiance for a chance to charge the batteries before experiencing New Year’s Eve St Barts such as Bonito, or Bagatelle both of which overlook the ritzy Gustavia.
For something with a little more buzz why not try Do Brazil by the water’s edge for exquisite fresh fish washed down the perfect sunset drinks. Eden Rocks Sand Bar at St Jean does not only offer an elegant and creative menu with a spectacular setting, but after dinner the restaurant transforms into one of the evenings most exclusive party venues, so just enjoy and wait for the party to come to you.
It is well-known that if you know a friend of a friend of a friend this is an acceptable way to get an invite to the most impressive parties on the island. With celebrations and huge firework displays happening across the island in ultra-luxe hotels, water-front beach bars and on-board superyachts, you’ll be spoilt for choice on where to see into the New Year. Nikki Beach, La Plage and Le Yacht Club are some of the most esteemed after-midnight venues and where you’ll find unforgettable entertainment and the evenings most fervent partiers.
many stayed on Roman Abramovich's 536ft super-yacht Eclipse while other guests are believed to have stayed on smaller 377ft yacht Luna
Be sure to get the Captain of your yacht charter to call ahead to Le Yacht Club as this white draped, harbour-view location is a private members club. Equally, why not hop on-board one of the many shuttle buses that come ashore from the impressive superyachts at anchor to pick up party-goers and bring them on board for more champagne and a chance to mingle with stars. Billionaire Roman Abramovich, who bought David Rockefeller’s £58 million island villa, annually throws the most impressive after parties and is known to have previously hired the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Black Eyed Peas. So grand that anyone who is anyone can be a part of Abramovich’s St Barts revelry.
After a truly memorable night New Year’s Day will be a time for recovery and whether that’s lounging on your charter yacht in the Jacuzzi or on the sunbeds, or whether it’s on-shore, St Bart’s is peppered with stunning secluded beaches to moor along. In addition, with spas such as La Cabane De L’Isle nestled across the island providing relaxing treatments and delicious cuisine, your road to recovery will be extremely comfortable and ultimately, hassle-free.
It is not hard to see why St Barts possesses so much appeal for the glitterati and their superyachts, and why it has become the place to be at New Year’s for many on a luxury yacht charter. This formally quiet island is brimming with chic-ness where the glitzy nightlife and the glamourous day times are the envy of New Year’s Eve parties worldwide. There is a unique ambiance across the island and wherever you choose to celebrate on St Barts there is a common ‘no expenses spared’ theme. So prepare to let your hair down sampling fine dining and sipping champagne and make spending New Year’s Eve on St Barts on a yacht charter your one esssential indulgence of the year. Forget about any regrets, you’ll already be booking to come back for next year’s festivities.