The French-speaking Caribbean island has long been popular with the rich and famous. Celebrities who have holidayed here most recently include Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Spencer Matthews and Vogue Williams, Amy Schumer, Sir Paul McCartney and Lionel Ritchie. St Barths – or St Barts as it’s also known – is short for Saint Barthélemy and caters to those with very large holiday budgets. Most of the hotels on the island fall under the banner of ‘luxury’. But these are the resorts we believe to be the very best of the best.
Hotel Christopher Saint-Barth
This clifftop hotel’s pool is the biggest on the island — the fresh-water infinity swimming pool area overlooks the ocean from its beautiful perch, incorporating teak loungers and a relaxed restaurant and cocktail bar, Mango. Christo is the main eatery, serving an opulent morning buffet and chic, upscale dinners, where seafood takes centre stage. The French influence is strong at Hotel Christopher; its spa is by Sisley and there’s more than a hint of Parisian style in the decor. There are 42 bedrooms in total and the resort welcomes both children and small pets, along with adult guests.
A mere five-minute transfer from the airport, Hotel Manapany is found at Anse de Cayes, an area underpopulated with hotels. It occupies four acres and is committed to sustainability, as evidenced by the resort’s use of electric vehicles, solar energy, natural fibres and organic produce. There are two pools (one for adult-only use), a spa with Dr Hauschka treatments, a library, a games room and a boutique selling designer apparel. Guests can partake in complimentary yoga and pilates classes and soak in the serenity of its peaceful gardens, home to resident tortoises. It has one restaurant, serving healthy, nutritious fare, with lots of vegan options and a bar, with its own take on a martini. Manapany in St Bart’s is a place of true relaxation.
Le Sereno Hotel
36 suites and three villas are available at Le Sereno, a hotel built beside a magical coral reef cove, with a long freshwater pool set vertically toward the sea. Spa Le Sereno provides treatments in outdoor pavilions facing directly out to the ocean, or in a couples’ suite with outdoor showers. The alfresco restaurant serves French-Caribbean fusion cuisine beside the sea (chairs and tables by designers Christian Liaigre and Patricia Urquiola are right on the sand), with a sophisticated covered bar area beside it. And the five-star service ensures your every whim is catered for.
Hôtel Villa Marie Saint-Barth
There’s a colourful luxe boho style to the hillside Hôtel Villa Marie. Lemony yellow is a frequent hue found throughout the property, elsewhere there are accents of palm-covered feature wallpaper, oranges, blues, and furnishings from Jaipur, Indonesia, Peru, Pakistan and Tunisia. However, the food at the hotel’s restaurant, François Plantation, is very much in a southern French vein, although it’s decorated in more of a vintage Caribbean style. It also has a spa, a fitness suite and just 18 guestrooms, all equipped with Nespresso machines and Pure Altitude toiletries.
Rosewood Le Guanahani St Barth
After a period of closure for extensive renovations, Rosewood Le Guanahani reopened in the autumn of 2021, as a full-service resort. It’s extensive, with 16 acres of land, yet accommodates just 66 guest groups in individual bungalows, ensuring a sense of space and privacy. Perfect for families, it has an Explorers kids’ club, designed to both educate and entertain, with many activities based around creativity and engaging with nature. Adults can take part in watersports, play tennis and book signature restorative treatments at the brand new Sense, A Rosewood Spa. Its refurb also included the addition of a Beach House restaurant, serving eclectic Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.