You slip out of the gin-clear waters of Saint-Jean Bay, towel off and pull on a shirt and sandals. A few minutes later (after dodging some Mini Coopers), you step inside the Casa del Habano and inhale the aroma of fine Cuban cigars.
Perhaps a Bolivar Belicoso Fino?
A Partagás Serie E No. 2?
Whatever you choose, grab a handful, for here cigars are welcome just about everywhere.
I’ve been to Saint Barths a handful of times, and on every visit, I come to this shop at least once as it’s the best cigar shop on the island. It opened in 1994, making it one of the world's older Casas del Habano. Owner Sandrine Lassalle has been here since 1995, and bought the store in 2007.
Cigar prices are low here.
Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2s are about $15, Belicoso Finos maybe $16, Monte 2s $20.
Owning a cigar store loaded with Cuban cigars sometimes makes it hard to choose what to puff. “I smoke more aged San Cristobals or H. Upmann Connossieur As or Magnum 46s,” Lassalle says. But when something new comes in she finds it impossible to resist.
“When I open a box, when I smell it, I say ‘I must have it,’” she says.