Creativecommons.org/ Stefan Krasowski
The Caribbean Islands are warm and inviting, drawing thousands of visitors each year. Some are attracted to the laid-back lifestyle, while others are looking for an elegant holiday full of pampering and luxury. Saint Barthelemy, affectionately known as St Barths, is one of the most exclusive islands and a haven for celebrities. If you want to feel like a millionaire, St Barths has exactly what you need.
It’s huge and beautiful and as close to a palace as most of us are likely to get. It’s also possibly the best place to stay while in the Caribbean. Every room is unique with a texture and colour palette found only in that spot. Not only do you get to stay in an amazing room, the hotel provides a team of butlers from The International Butler Academy to help you with the annoying tasks of travel, such as unpacking and hanging your clothing. Book well ahead if you’d like a suite that includes use of a vehicle and a private art gallery.
Cheval Blanc St Barth Isle de France
Fabulous is a bit of an understatement when it comes to describing this hotel, which is easily the second finest on St Barths. The colonial mansion is extremely private, set directly on Flamands Beach and decorated to match the white sands of the beach. The mansion and the rooms are gleaming white and highlighted with touches of colour, but nothing can detract from the brilliant blue of the Caribbean Sea that dominates the senses. If your private yacht isn’t carrying a vehicle – or you arrived by ferry – the hotel will provide transportation to their property. During your stay, don’t hesitate to ask for a picnic on a remote island or a private dinner cruise if the fancy strikes you.
Hotel Le Toiny
This sophisticated little hotel has 14 cottages, each with a private pool, terrace, parking and views of the sea. Breakfast is served on the terrace at the time of your choosing and if you wish you will never see another person during your stay. Even the bill is settled in the car on the way back to the airport, so you need never walk into the main part of the hotel. The Toiny takes pride in offering a completely intimate experience for its guests without losing the luxury that visitors to St Barths have come to enjoy. Even the beach is private and is reached by walking secluded trails from the hotel.
With 36 suites, Le Sereno is one of the larger small hotels on the island. Inspired by a renowned French designer, the hotel is elegant and serene from the light fixtures down to the furniture. Book one of the three villas on the water and watch the sunrise from the terrace before taking a dip in your private pool. The bathroom walls open up to allow you to soak in the tub and enjoy the view at the same time. They’ll even loan you an ipad if you’ve left your electronics at home.
This is a tropical garden on the beach decorated with muted whites and blues to bring the feeling of the ocean shore into your room. Most of the suites have a private terrace, pool and a view of the beach - all done in simple elegance. You can spend an entire day at the main hotel pool enjoying poolside service and amazing views before heading back to your private Jacuzzi and 24 hour room service. Finish the day by getting a mani and pedi by your pool as you watch the sun set over the Caribbean.
Hotel Guanahani & Spa
On the less-crowded eastern part of the island, the hotel & spa is a mix of garden paradise and rugged terrain. The cottages are done in a Creole style to reflect the culture of the West Indies and are decorated with woods and cottons to fit in with the surrounds. Choose a suite on the bay and enjoy your own private beach or opt for a cottage in the garden surrounded by palms and hyacinths. Don’t miss a session at the spa and treat yourself to a honey massage while listening to the breeze rustling the palms.
A short distance from the beach and completely surrounded by tropical gardens, Salines is refined and relaxed – the perfect place to re-energize and rediscover yourself. The five cottages each reflect a different continent, celebrating the most beautiful surfing areas in the world. Yes, the owners are avid surfers and their love of the ocean is reflected throughout the hotel. With the Grand Saline Bay just a short distance away and only five cottages, the hotel is both private and well suited for enjoying the water.
Hotel Christopher St Barths
Easy French elegance is the theme of this hotel, which is situated right on the beach. The rooms are everything you’d expect – panoramic ocean views, private Jacuzzis, turn down service – but what you want is the Ecoute Ton Coeur villa that the hotel recently acquired. The front opens onto the beach and has stunning sunsets while the back is surrounded by lush gardens and has comfortable day beds on the deck surrounding the pool. You even get a private entrance to the main hotel, should you wish to enjoy the spa services there.