ST. BARTH, FRENCH WEST INDIES
“Last time I stayed on the island, a few friends had asked why I didn't stay at Guanahani. Now I know why... first of all, it is the only real resort on St. Barth – here are the basic greats to spend your days: a long private stretch of beach, plenty of water toys, a gem of a techno gym looking onto the sea, a stunning and impressive spa with private and quiet adult pool, a huge pool for laps and splashing about, a kids club, beach bar, two restaurants, two lit tennis courts, two boutiques and super pretty rooms, suites and mini-villas from which to chose. Bright pretty colors pop against white frames and colonial style backdrops; most everywhere you look is the turquoise sea. The combo of the resort being all it is, with great food, so much to do and on St. Barth, makes it one of my new favorite places to stay – worldwide. Run, don’t walk to book!”
(Date Experienced: February 2012)
A 4-7 day beachy holiday on one of the most charming, chic islands in the world on a 16 acre property.
The kiddies, as a couple, with a group of friends, as a mini company offsite, multi-generational trip – you name it. Really there is something for everyone to be very happy and well-entertained.
Being envious of the kite-surfers whizzing past whilst sipping fresh juices after a morning workout. “Why can’t we do that?”, we asked ourselves...
Best time to go
St. Barth tends not to be humid – it does tend to be very crowded on kids school holidays and over Christmas – New Years + August it is rather zoo-like. Be clever: have the resort more to yourselves and the island free of traffic! Good times to visit: October up till Christmas; mid-January through May. Even Summer can be fun – but hot hot hot.
Many of the lovely staff are not English speakers. Some don’t understand it at all. Be clear and smile, they are trained to please! There are plenty of family easy suites with spacious living rooms and terraces – wonderful options with the kids.
Many rooms and suites have been upgraded. Request one of these. 68 cottage-bungalows, 33 rooms, 35 suites, 14 of which with a private pool. The newly re-decorated 2 bedroom bungalows are super stylish, large scale, plush and have water views on more than 2 sides.
Service & vibe
Laid-back, chic, European (very French), sporty & kid friendly – but in no means teeming with children. Service is very good.
Having breakfast (a gorgeous, varied buffet spread of high quality yummies and omelet/crepe maker on site) in front of the classic old-fashioned pool looking into the beach palms swaying next to the sea: hard to beat. Indigo is where you breakfast and lunch (or opt to eat at the beach tables under canopies; Bartolomeo is more of a gastro-chi chi affair.
Price per night
From €350 and up, season depending
To Do & See
Salines – a stunning beach – is the best first-day locale to get into the speed of the island. Walk the port town of Gustavia as a happy shopper (one of my personal favorite places to shop anywhere in the world), have a drink at another fab hotel (such as Le Toiny with pretty views), take a drive/buzz around in your rented Mini-Cooper... see/be seen at one of the buzzy beach clubs or afternoon lunch hotspots.
Sport & Activity
At Guanahani there is most any sport one wants to do on the island, making it perfect for fit/active types. Take a kayak, a paddle board or windsurf out on the sea, play tennis solo or with their wonderful coach, take a great workout and/or hire their private yoga/pilates trainer. The more you do, the more you can enjoy all the yummy food & drink on the island!
Spa & Grooming
A treat – it’s not limited to the treatment – the surroundings are stunningly serene and upscale – you’ll want to hang out and chill. Teak, mahogany and lava stone are the main materials that draw you in; the outdoor shower and adult-only pool make it possible to spend an entire afternoon here, then go right to dinner with your shoulders relaxed, face glowing and sporting that new suntan.
Somewhat new to the island and my personal favorite on the island: Bonito in Gustavia (ceviche is amazing here). New this Winter: Meat & Potatoes next to L’Espirit de Saline. The upscale, romantic atmosphere of L’Isola (in Gustavia) ranks high on my list and Le Tamarin’s garden style dining is lovely – if there are winds – for a sans-mosquitos type of experience.
Walk the handful of charming, long streets of Gustavia (port town) that are packed with great after cool after hip after unique shop. Also, several cute shops you’ll discover whilst driving around. Many of the hotel shops have all kinds of goodies. The best ones are the boutiques of The Eden Rock, Guanahani, Isle de France – just a start.
The hotel driver picks guests up at the airport; car rental can be arranged via the hotel concierge whereby the car is left at reception for you at whatever day/ time you specify.