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St-Barth

Known for its white sand beaches and tropical climate, this island in the French West Indies was discovered in 1493 by Christopher Columbus, who named it after his brother, Bartholomew. Visitors to the island are immediately entranced by its European charm and French and Swedish influences.

Photo R. Luhrs
Gorski
Gorski
Photo Olivier Fly

Of special note is the sophisticated French culture and cuisine—no wonder it has become a favourite destination of celebrities and the well-to-do. Although the most popular time to go is between November and June, December to April are the busiest months for those seeking respite from the winter’s cold. The airport’s very short runway means only small prop planes can land, so most people take a 15-minute flight from the island of Saint Martin, or a one-hour flight from Pointe-à- Pitre airport in Guadeloupe. Since taxi fares are very high, tourists are advised to rent a car. You can drive the entire perimeter of the island in about an hour. Taking a spin in a Mini Moke (a compact open-air sport utility vehicle) is part of the adventure! Fun fact: the island boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the world.

Photo Olivier Fly

I had the great pleasure of staying at the Cheval Blanc St-Barth, the only property in the Caribbean to have been awarded the prestigious “Palace” distinction, meaning the hotel proudly embodies French standards of excellence. It is a magical place to recharge your batteries, where everything is geared to complement the experience. Upon our arrival, we could see the luxuriant gardens designed by Madison Cox, which feature over 100 flower and plant species. Each of the 61 rooms, suites, and villas has been beautifully decorated by renowned French designer Jacques Grange, with a blend of elements to evoke an emotion, a memory, or a new discovery. Thoughtful, personalized touches surprised and delighted us throughout our stay, while the dedicated, friendly staff enhanced the warm atmosphere. Families and children are welcome, with the hotel providing a variety of customized experiences for both young and old: photo shoots to capture the moment, hunting for treasure on the ocean floor, exploring Colombier beach—accessible only by boat (or a challenging hike)—swimming with gentle sea turtles in crystal blue water, and the list goes on.

Exclusive experiences at Cheval Blanc
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Exclusive experiences at Cheval Blanc (Photo Olivier Fly)

In the morning, we would enjoy a delicious breakfast on our terrace, overlooking the private pool juxtaposed against the white sand beach. After lying in the sun and playing in the waves, we would continue the fun with lunch at La Cabane, our feet in the sand as we listened to a well-curated playlist, or else take a picnic and go exploring. At the spa, we enjoyed a relaxing experience as skilled professionals pampered us with their therapeutic touch.

In the evening, dinner was at La Case, run by Chef Jean Imbert, which offers contemporary cuisine inspired by local resources and a variety of absolutely divine desserts. Without a doubt, the team at the Cheval Blanc St-Barth knows how to create unique and unforgettable moments, an experience beyond all expectations!

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Exclusive experiences at Cheval Blanc (Photo D. Coriat)
Exclusive experiences at Cheval Blanc (Photo Carla Segues)
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Four-bedroom villa at Christopher hotel (Photo Hugo Allard)

We continued our stay with a tour of Gustavia’s fabulous shops, followed by a meal at the Eden Rock resort. Everywhere we went, the service was warm and attentive. We then stayed at the charming, intimate Hotel Christopher. Though not located right on the beach, it boasts a magnificent infinity pool overlooking the ocean. The 42 rooms and suites are spacious and comfortable, all with breathtaking views of the ever-present sea. It is known for its spectacular sunsets. There are also three four-bedroom villas, with a new five-bedroom villa planned for the end of the year.

To boost your well-being, you can try the Sisley Spa, the island’s top-rated hotel spa since 2020. When it is time to eat, the Rivyera, under Arnaud Faye, a two-star chef and Meilleur Ouvrier de France, offers a delicious gourmet experience as you savour cuisine inspired by the French Riviera overlooking the endless blue ocean. Although families are welcome, the mood is serene and conducive to romance; the staff are discrete, professional, and friendly.

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The Rivyera’s chef Arnaud Faye
Hotel Christopher relaxation space
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Rivyera (Photo Emily Lab)

Recommendations from our friends at Arthur Majordome
Fine dining is everywhere, so you will eat well on St. Bart’s. Some of our favourite restaurants are Bonito and Black Ginger in Gustavia, Shellona on Shell Beach, and the Sand Bar at Eden Rock. For beaches, we like St. Jean, Colombier, Gouverneur, Flamands, and Shell Beach. Party spots include Nikki Beach Sundays at noon and the restaurant Bagatelle on the weekends, starting Thursday evening. St. Bart’s welcomes you to get away from it all and enjoy yourself. A magic place to make memories.

Cover photo: Cheval Blanc destination (Photo Romain Réglade Olivier Fly) 

chevalblanc.com, hotelchristopher.com and arthurmajordome.com

Photo Olivier Fly (Cheval Blanc)
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