Saint Barthélemy is the stomping ground of well-heeled travelers from around the world. The European influences and distinctive flair attract adoring fans to the laid-back island time after time. Three design-focused hotels have opened recently, each one with its own aesthetic, which make a winter weekend trip a must do.
Barthelemy Hotel & Spa
The newly-opened Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa (the first new freestanding luxury hotel to be built in the town in years) overlooks the white-sand beach of Grand Cul de Sac on a nature preserve. The 46-room property was designed by Sybille de Margerie, who was inspired by the sea for her white and blue color palette, bathed in light. “Our location is our inspiration, and we have taken tremendous care to pay homage to our spectacular setting,” says general manager Marc Dobbels. “We are embracing elegance in a refreshed way, reimagining service standards for a modern traveler. It’s about simplicity and a genuineness that is informed by the natural, laid-back beauty of our surroundings.”
Villa Marie St. Barth
French designer Jocelyne Sibuet has entered the Caribbean market with Villa Marie Saint-Barth, which is the family-run Maison et Hôtels Sibuet group’s ninth hotel and the brand’s first island property. The old François Plantation hotel has been overhauled for the new property’s 21 hillside bungalows and three villas overlooking Flamands Beach. Pierre Frey palm-printed textiles, polished woods, and antique rattan furniture from Tunisia, Indonesia, and France give some Caribbean flair to its colonial plantation spirit. Each of the colorful suites are designed in a distinct manner, but all offer hand-carved teak and mahogany four-poster canopy beads, claw-foot tubs, custom and vintage furniture and verandas with private terraces surrounded by lush gardens and greenery. Sibuet sourced furniture and objects on travels to India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, and Tunisia with her daughter, Marie. A yellow-and-white themed pool area and spa, library with plush canvas-covered sofas and low-slung vintage plantation armchairs, and a restaurant round out the offerings.
Tropical Hotel Saint Barth
Tropical Hotel Saint Barth is a boutique hotel in the heart of St. Jean that’s under new ownership from a French hotel group. The 22 renovated rooms, which face the sea and garden, showcase a contemporary, bohemian style and now feature “Rock the Kasbah” furnishings by Philippe Xerri. Its mostly-white palette features an artful mix of custom furniture alongside eclectic local pieces and consists of natural materials like wood, cotton, and linen in the rooms and common spaces. A branch of NYC’s beloved Maman cafe and bakery now offers salads, tapas, smoothies, pastries, and cocktails.