What We Love
- Daily American buffet breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate
- Nearly every cottage has a sea view
- Free airport transfers, non-motorized water sports and kids club
- Barefoot-chic ambiance and a trendy, French-powered feel
What To Know
- Some cottages have steep or long walks to the beach
- Gustavia, the island’s jazzy capital city, is 15 minutes away; most guests will want to rent a car
- Though it’s the largest resort on St. Bart’s, Le Guanahani feels intimate
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Beachfront hideaway on St. Bart’s, where Provence meets the Caribbean, with two pools, two restaurants and a spa
Taking the stylish spirit of French-infused St. Bart’s up a notch, Le Guanahani occupies a 16-acre peninsula awash in fragrant bougainvillea, frangipani and hibiscus. Two distinctive, powdery beaches front the property. One is on a tranquil, turquoise lagoon and invites windsurfers, snorkelers and sailboats; the other is unbridled and turbulent. Sherbet-colored cottages with white gingerbread trim punctuate the precipitous hillside gardens, which tumble down to the waters. The sound of French being spoken, the smell of croissants baking and the likelihood of champagne at every meal add to the cosmopolitan allure.
Bed and Bath
Le Guanahani’s 67 cottages dot the sprawling grounds and vary in size and color, from lime-green to lilac to yellow. Fourteen of them offer large private pools; most have decks with rocking chairs and ocean views. Wicker, hardwood floors, sumptuous linens and pops of color (fuchsia, teal, tangerine, magenta) make up the interiors, which have a sleek, modern colonial vibe. The large marble bathrooms feature separate tubs and showers and Clarins amenities.
Two restaurants, Indigo and Bartolomeo, showcase the skills of French-trained chefs, who receive fresh, French-made and foraged supplies daily thanks to Air France’s direct flights. Popular with locals, the restaurants attract a chichi crowd and have a St.-Tropez-in-the-Caribbean buzz — especially at night. The Spa by Clarins, an indoor/outdoor sanctuary, evokes dreamy Indonesia with dark woods and natural stone. Book one of the treatments, which focus on anti-aging and beauty, or unwind with one of the massages, which range in style from Thai to Hawaiian. Rounding out the hotel’s amenities are two swimming pools and a palapa beach bar. (Try the Fruit Julep, made from raspberry Stolichnaya, strawberry pulp, apple juice, mint and passion fruit juice.)
In the Area
A billionaire playground, hilly, lush St. Bart’s is a nine-square-mile island ringed by hidden beaches and crystalline reefs. Superyachts anchor in the harbor, and luxurious villas rise like castles from the slopes. Here, water sports and beach games go without saying. Discover Colombier Beach (accessible only by boat from Gustavia), where the calm waters are a snorkeler’s Shangri-La. If you’re looking to go for a dip sans swimsuit, hike over the rocky outcrop to famous Saline Beach; this popular nude beach is one of St. Bart’s most famous see-and-be-seen locales. The island’s restaurants concentrate on French food, from foie gras to escargot, but lobster and champagne prevail; we recommend nabbing a table at airy Bonito or Bagatelle.
How to Get There
Had a great room, very private on the far side of the resort overlooking a small bay. The view was gorgeous. Lunch at the beach restaurant was good, as was the beach, but small, windy beach. Good service at the beach tiki hut and while on the beach. We only ate dinner there once, but it was good. We consulted the concierge about a driver, and met David (an independent contractor), and he made our vacation. He was from France and had attended the same college in the US my father-in-law and others in the family have attended, so we had a lot to talk about. He had a Porche SUV and took us to all our lunch and evening dates. My mobility was stunted due to a knee injury, and he would drive as far into the resort as he could to pick us up. Fair warning, from our room, it was a long walk with many hills to get around the resort, and due to my injury, this was difficult.
This is not your typical hotel. The rooms are all Cottage style with modern bathrooms. They all have private terraces with beautiful views. Sometimes you feel like you are here by yourselves. The food at the restaurant at the hotel is very good, breakfast, lunch and dinner if you choose to stay there. You definitely want to travel into the Harbor area of the Island. So much to see with great shopping, restaurants, beaches and hotels to dine at.
We decided on St Barths for a group trip and we all stayed at this fantastic resort. Each couple had a detached villa and they where able to accommodate all 18 of us. The beach is beautiful and the bar and beach service was excellent. The staff was very friendly and eager to please. The included breakfast was just right. The concierge assisted me in setting up all dinner reservations and reserved a Mercedes bus that fit all of us. The one night my wife and I didn't make it out we had an excellent room service meal.
I really wish the best for the staff and resort for a speedy recovery from that recent hurricane.
My wife and I have visited St. Barts a half-dozen times, but each time we stayed in a private villa, primarily for the privacy but also to control costs. This time was our 40th wedding anniversary trip, and I decided to surprise my wife with a four-day stay at Hotel Le Guanahani, followed by a week in a villa -- sort of the best of both worlds. We were surprised by how much we enjoyed the hotel portion of our trip. Three reasons: (1) the staff -- without exception they were friendly without being familiar, cheerful without being artificial, and eager to help without being obsequious. It's clear that the management spends significant time in selecting, training and recognizing these fine young people. (2) the facility -- the rooms and most/all of the facility have recently been renovated, and it shows. The bedrooms were comfortable, stylish, quietly air-conditioned and offered very good privacy. The resort is quite large in area, and it is beautifully landscaped, with boardwalks meandering among tropical flowers, plants and trees. (And it has two tennis courts, both in good condition.) (3) The food -- wonderful! We had a sumptuous breakfast overlooking the pool and beach every morning, we had a delicious barbecue one evening at Indigo, the beach restaurant, and for our anniversary dinner we had freshly caught local bream at Bartolomeo, which was excellent. We really enjoyed not having to cook or drive to a restaurant for every meal -- everything was right there at the hotel. The only real downside was the seaweed covering most of the lagoon in front of the hotel and drifting in from the sea. This was a problem all over the island while we were there. The staff labored valiantly to remove it, with some success, but the beach couldn't compare with others on the island such as St. Jean, Flamands, Gouverneur and Salines. The second beach at the hotel was actually nicer, in our opinion, than the main hotel beach -- while much of the second beach was rocky, there was a sandy entrance to the water and good swimming and snorkeling outside the line of rocks bordering the beach. And there were almost no other people on it. All in all a delightful stay. I suspect that we will return for another four-day stay as part of our next visit.
Le Guanahani is definitely the best place to stay in Saint Barth, either on your own or with family and friends. Great staff, always helpful and available. Best spot for lunch in summer, with your feet in the sand, always windy with a nice breeze when it's so hot everywhere else on the island!