As I write on a rainy October day with winter looming, let’s talk beaches. Not just any beach, but the 22 carpets of white sand that comprise the grande dame of the Caribbean: St. Barth’s. I started my summer with a trip there, and it was fantastic! This French-influenced island of 9,000 residents is so exotic and so upscale that you feel as if you are half a world, rather than 1,500 miles, from Richmond. The EURO is their currency of choice. Need I say more?
One of the premier properties on the island is Isle de France, which became Cheval Blanc Isle de France after an acquisition in 2013 by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury products group. This hotel is perfection. Classic French cuisine with local ingredients and an incredible wine experience with a Parisian sommelier await in the dining room. While the spa and yoga pavillion tend to mind, body, and spirit, the exceptional staff takes care of every practical need. A torn strap on my luggage, unbeknownst to me, was noticed, mended, and returned by day’s end. What service!
Le Toiny, a tranquil hideaway a bit off the beaten path, is another, equally good option with villas rather than rooms. The secluded location affords incredible views and private pools. And the food!…Fish Night is a favorite when guests can choose their favorite catch of the day, the actual fish, which is then prepared to their liking and served. Complimentary Virtuoso breakfasts and weekly brunch ensure that no one goes hungry, and an excellent nearby hiking trail prevents weight gain.
For families, Guanahani keeps the kids busy with a full slate of activities, while mom and dad enjoy some R & R. Adults who prefer the hustle and bustle of Niki Beach and Tom’s Beach with close proximity to bars and restaurants should check out Eden Rock.
It may be raining in Richmond, but I can feel the sun all the way from St. Barth’s.
Caroline Travels the World…And So Can You.