Officially known as Saint Barthélemy, the French Caribbean Island south-east of Saint Martin has officially reopened its borders to travelers on June 9, 2021. More widely known as St. Barth or just St. Barts, the island has a reputation as a luxurious location with French flair that includes art galleries and shops from Chanel to Cartier, but this island is also Eco-conscious and a great surfing spot. The capital of Gustavia is a quaint town steeped in historic brick colonial building structures with bobbing yachts in the picturesque harbor along with sophisticated dining and nightlife. Here are 5 top resorts for an idyllic turquoise blue warm water getaway this summer.
Above: Mixology Classes at Hotel Manapany
Hotel Manapany for Eco Luxury
Hotel Manapany is nestled on a private palm-fringed beach at Anse des Cayes, a quiet and serene residential piece of the island brimming with tropical flowers on the lush north coast of St. Barth.
Manapany is a 5-star property operated with complete respect for and protection of the natural environment. Electricity is partially produced by solar panels plus the resort uses its own water and only electric cars are allowed to get around the grounds. In addition, no chemicals are used in cleaning and maintenance and all the towels are made from bamboo, with only natural fibers. The hotel’s own vegetable garden and orchard – with citrus, mango, passion fruit, banana and coconut trees – provides fresh, organic ingredients for the healthy cuisine in the restaurant, while other food products are mostly locally sourced. For treatments and services at the spa, only organic products from Dr. Hauschka are used.
Above: Beachside Lounging at Hotel Manapany
The 43 private villas and suites are spacious and exquisitely decorated with natural woods, artisanal furnishings, sundecks and unobstructed views of the sea and surrounding gardens. Eight rooms are situated directly on the beach, so that guests may open their doors each morning to the sounds of the waves as they step out with their toes in the sand and grab a surfboard as this is one of the best areas on the island for the sport.
Anne Jousse, CEO of B. Signature Resorts who owns the property and several others in France, was responsible for an entire renovated just a few years ago from the ground up. “I am thrilled that the island is back open to tourists and look forward to welcoming our guests again. Our team welcomes them as family in their home away from home and has been working hard to be ready for this moment. We have a lot of new offerings at the hotel from surfing lessons, to wellness retreats and even mixology classes at the bar,” she said.
Above: Villa Nureev at Le Toiny
Le Toiny for Seclusion
Located on the opposite, more remote end of the island, perched high on a hill, Le Toiny is a fantastic spot for Sunday brunch and offers expansive mountain and water views of the French West Indies.
The hotel has seen its share of famous faces and long-term guests over the years from the entertainment world and one of them was Rudolph Nureyev. The dream of the classic ballet dancer from Russia was to “dance above the waves.” A well-kept secret back in the day, the world-renowned artist once owned a villa on the edge of St. Barts, just steps from the Le Toiny resort. Now, you can rent this secluded spot on your next visit to the island.
The exclusive four-bedroom Villa Nureyev is perfect for an island escape. The 8000 sq feet home has a private pool, Jacuzzi, massage cabin and hammam. While its completely secluded, guests can still take advantage of all the amenities of the Relais & Chateaux owned hotel including meals in the restaurant and concierge services. And, this part of the island is also known for world-class surfing should you have your longboard with you.
Above: Eden Rock pool view
Eden Rock for Gastronomy
The sister property of the famous South of France Hotel du cap-Eden-Roc is perched on a rocky cliff on St Jean Bay and surrounded by white sandy beaches.
Eden Rock – St Barths, is part of the prestigious Oetker Collection which is located in the epicenter of the island. The resort had an extensive two-year renovation following the impact of Hurricane Irma in late 2017, which includes the rooms and three signature suites and other common areas.
Owner, Jane Matthews expanded her art collection on the property and worked with the design group, which includes the legendary Martin Brudnizki Design Studio London (who also just designed The Pendry in West Hollywood) and Architectonik St Barths.
Above: Sand Bar by Jean-Georges
The Sand Bar menu is in the hands of Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, inspired by his ABC concepts in New York’s which showcase healthy eating. The Rémy Salon and Bar is named after Eden Rock’s original owner, paying tribute to his pioneering spirit. The sun deck of the Eden Rock Beach Bar is the perfect spot for an afternoon frosé.
Eden Being Boutique is a great spot to shop for cool, local finds – think coverups and sandals. Be sure to visit the new Eden Spa on the top of ‘The Rock’ with treatments by acclaimed local artisanal brand Ligne St Barth, who create natural products using frangipani flower, sugar cane and mango butter. Three beach cabanas are also available for the ‘Sun Spa’ by Esthederm treatments for before and after sun exposure.
Above: Hotel Cheval Blanc Ocean Room
Cheval Blanc Hotel St Barth for Design
Formerly the Isle de France, Cheval Blanc (now overseen by LVMH Hotel Management) is located in Flamands Bay on floral, tropical grounds, with meticulous design details and a private beach where no one will dare attempt approaching you to sell something – except maybe a fruity cocktail.
The 61 cottage-style structures are set amid fragrant, overgrown foliage and gardens with pathways that lead to several swimming pools and an open-air lobby. For the pristine interiors, crisp white linens are mixed with boldly patterned cushions, rattan furniture and modern art work. The look simultaneously fresh, clean, chic and invitingly cozy.
As for the cuisine, French gastronomic fare, such as foie gras, mixes with lighter, locally inspired fresh fish dishes like grilled lobster or snapper for a relaxed lunch at La Cabane or the flagship La Case. The White Bar surrounds the pool and the Maison hosts events with champagne houses and art exhibitions. The two boutiques offer the latest creations from local and international designers, and a poolside fashion show every Tuesday evening. The Cheval Blanc Spa uses Guerlain rituals exclusively in its garden pavilion, hammam and 4 treatment rooms plus seasonal yoga events can be found on the beach.
Above: Rosewood Le Guanahani entrance
Rosewood Le Guanahani for the Beaches
Originally opened in 1986 as Le Guanahani, the Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth will debut in Fall 2021 with a complete renovation of the 66 guestrooms, suites and villas – many with private pools. The property is uniquely situated over eighteen lush and secluded acres on a private peninsula overlooking two stunning beaches, Marigot Bay and Grand Cul-de-Sacsuites.
As the only full-service resort on the island of St. Barth, the property will further extend a range of amenities and experiences including a new beachfront dining concept and pool, a Rosewood Explorers children’s club, Sense, A Rosewood Spa®, a fitness center and tennis court and a selection of dedicated event spaces, as well as myriad watersports, hiking and sea and town excursions encouraging exploration of all St. Barth has to offer. The property still retains a few large Butler Suites equipped with 24-hour services, private pools, in-room hammams and balneotherapy bathtubs.