48 Hours at Le Toiny, Saint Barth
Slightly windy but stunning: our private flight over from already beautiful Anguilla to the island that turned out to be the most stunning of the West Indies. Approaching one of the shortest runways in the world wasn't as exciting as flying just a bit higher than the peak of the church of Gustavia. Well, all flights made their way to Saint Barths safely so it wouldn't be us ending somewhere in front of Nikki Beach - and even if, I guess there are worse places to pass away. Anyways, for all those that don't need this dose of adrenaline, there is a ferry three times a day from Saint Martin to the lively capital of Saint Barthelemy - a French island in the heart of the Caribbean, surrounded by many shades of blue and turquoise. Being not so impressed about flying private (these plans are insanely small), I have to admit it was of advantage when arriving at the cozy terminal that is able to host a maximum of 10 travelers at one moment.
When flying into Saint Barth, there is no way around checking-in at the Le Toiny. Le Toiny is one of the most exclusive hotels on the planet and more personal than any hotel on this pretty island can ever be. With 11 suites, Le Toiny is one of the smallest properties I have ever stayed and thus able to provide the best of all services. At least that's what I expected for Parisian Palace-like prices. As soon as we stepped out the terminal, Philip - Le Toiny's driver and bellmen in white, tough I would prefer guy for everything since he was always helping with any request - was whisking us to the white van while offering us a bottle of Evian to ensure a happy: "Bienvenue au Paradis". Happy Europeans on European territory finally! A stunning 25-minute drive along the different bays brought us to the secluded resort. I could't describe it any better than saying this place must have been a setup for a shooting for Architectural Digest or Wallpaper. All these light, white furniture reflected the style of the deep blue sea in small marine-themed details: lamps with white sand and a blue line in it, white sofas with blue cushions or white dining tables and chairs with blue glasses on top. Even the uniforms in total white were the perfect add-on to the blue and green of the outdoors that made their way indoors thanks to the open-air lobby and restaurant.
With an arrival at 8.30 am - gosh, I know this is not human at all - we were offered a mouth-watering breakfast along the best orange juice we had since Puerto Rico that already seemed a century ago. How can all these Caribbean islands so different? Probably it's thanks to their not-existing flight connections. We knew it was time to head to our very own Villa when Philip arrived back and drove us down and accompanied us for a brief room orientation. I fell totally in love with the interior design of the recently refurbished villa. The light white interior seemed just perfect for an island like Saint Barth. Not only does it express its elegance and lightness, it's also comfortable for the eyes and adjusts the hot outside temperatures - just like my new favorite Caribbean island. During a light breeze the white curtains began to fly turning the comfy sofa into a dreaming place with a snack bar which consisted of our wonderful welcome amenity including pastries and small hors d'oeuvres. A pretty sliding door enlarged our living room and offered a posh double bed making sure we get the right sleep along this amazing and flawless villa. If you would come to the crazy idea of not leaving the villa (how would you ever come to this plan after seeing these stunning pictures, right), Le Toiny made sure that you won't pass away from thirst or hunger. 6 full size bottles of waters in addition to a fully stocked minibar with plenty of my favorite drinks made up the shelf next to the writing desk. For the absolute Saint Barth holiday feeling, turn on the iPod that's provided by Le Toiny and listen to some cool lounge music while lounging on the vast but intimate terrace which is also home to the magnificent private pool. All currently operating 11 Villas offer their own plunge pool for your refreshment when beginning to sweat after half an hour in the sun - yes, Saint Barth can help you get tanned but you pay the price.
When the sun seems to pass away over the mountain, it's clearly time for a cocktail and a fancy night out at Nikki Beach or a chic place in town. Enjoying a last swim in the absolutely chic black tiled infinity pool of your villa before taking a shower with the gorgeous smelling Bamford toiletries (we are speaking of a hotel that really is worldclass) and getting ready in the huge bathroom with double vanities and a free standing tub that might be used after returning from your lobster menu. In case you are afraid of bringing your entire summer wardrobe, there is plenty of space in the huge walk-in wardrobe between the bed- and bathroom to store all your designer digs. For turn-down service they bring a bottle of Evian or sometimes an excellent drink with fresh fruits to ensure you have the most relaxing sleep one can have.
Always bear in mind to keep space for breakfast at Le Toiny so either schedule yourself a run around the property on do it like me, taking a swim in the private pool before proceeding to food heaven. Three homemade jams and a pure caramel creme that come along with handmade pastries make up the excellent preparation for the main highlight: the Eggs Benedict. Every morning you're staying at Le Toiny and don't have that dish is a lost morning. These Eggs Benedict are already worth a stay here. I often say a hotel is only as good as its employees, and Le Toiny is just a perfect example. The young guy who served us each morning was always friendly and smiling so that we were also happy and had a great start into the day. Another Wow Moment happened to me when the lovely lady from the front desk approached us while having Eggs Benedict and informed us that she called Le Guanahani (where we stayed afterwards) to arrange an early check-in and to plan our departure at Le Toiny plus the transfer. I admit, there was a time when I gave up believing that the over-the-top service in a hotel still exists. However that moment took my breath away and there it was: Hospitality at its best is still alive!
Even tough I have seen another hotel on Saint Barth and it would be unfair to say which one would be better, I have made my personal decision and since I love the design of Le Toiny and the service was just on par, I would most probably find myself on Honeymoon in this property rather than any other hotel in the Caribbean.
For all those who might come to the idea that the location is not par, I can assure that this is not an issue. The amazingly equipped villas will seem hard to leave and if you ever leave, you will just be heading for a dinner at the gorgeous restaurant or the chic and super cool beach club hiding from the crowds in Gustavia. Make sure to bring your most stylish outfits in order not to draw too much attention on you - linen goes well with your Tod's and it's time for the ladies to unpack the Louis Vuitton.
We were generously hosted by Hotel Le Toiny and the team of Victoria King PR. All above expresses our own opinion and has not been influenced.