With boutique hotels, mega yachts, luxury-label shopping and plenty of private villas, Saint Barthelemy — casually known as St. Barts — feels more Parisian than provincial. It’s no surprise — being a former French protectorate, it’s a natural escape for French citizens who can work or visit here easily while not having to exchange their Euros for a local currency.

You’ll find designer shops in the main shopping district of Gustavia, art galleries in St. Jean and delicious French-influenced seafood all over the island.

The island has more than 20 beautiful beaches, each of which has its own personality. Many have beach clubs such as Nikki Beach, where you’ll be treated to top-notch service and great views (and likely celebrity sightings).

Be prepared to shell out for almost anything you do here — St. Barts is not inexpensive, nor is it the place to try to save your money. Best to settle in with a bottle of cold Chablis at one of the beautiful beaches and join the well-heeled in soaking in the good life.