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Though many travelers who visit St. Barts rent villas on the island, there are plenty of luxurious hotels that are as sophisticated as the clientele in this tony Caribbean locale. Most are boutique-style properties and very intimate — some are exclusive, others more trendy. Here are the five most luxurious places to stay in St. Barts:
1. Eden Rock. This intimate hotel is the oldest on the island, but is continually evolving and improving under the keen eye of the discriminating management. Perched on a promontory bluff overlooking bustling Baie de St. Jean, the unique rooms, suites and super-luxurious villas are all individually decorated. You are close to everything here, but the resort still feels exclusive and removed. Superstar chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is the genius behind the two popular restaurants.
2. Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France. Set on lovely Baie de Flamands, the LMVH imprimatur means loads of personal attention and creature comforts, too. The sprawling beach has lots of room to spread out, the Guerlain spa is the last word in pampering, and two great restaurants mean you never have to leave.
3. Le Guanahani. The island’s only full-service resort, Le Guanahani lies on a remote peninsula between two beautiful beaches, Marigot and Grand Cul de Sac. Candy-colored cottages dot the 16-acre property, and a fresh redecoration brings a high level of chic comfort to the accommodations, many of which have private pools and outdoor terraces overlooking the sea. There’s plenty to do here between unlimited watersports, tennis and the excellent spa.
4. Hôtel Le Toiny. Comprised of 15 exquisite villas, Hôtel Le Toiny is one of the island’s most chic retreats. This is a top choice for romantic getaways, and privacy is paramount. (Management won’t let on who is in residence, no matter how hard you try to find out.) Environmentalists will rejoice at the myriad green initiatives here, too.
5. Le Sereno. Parisian designer and tastemaker Christian Liaigre designed the white and ebony décor in the big, comfortable rooms that ooze peacefulness and restorative calm. Book a massage in a tented cabana and watch the frigate birds plunge to capture dinner from the reef. The bar is the perfect place to socialize before meals at the restaurant run by the Bonito team in Gustavia.