24 Hours at Le Guanahani, St Barth
When it comes to luxury hotels, Saint Barth is in no shortage, however there comes the fact that all five star hotels are completely different. With 67 rooms and suites spread over one of the biggest grounds on the island, Le Guanahani is the biggest of all seven and one of the two members of the Leading Hotels of the World. Perfectly located on a prestigious spot on the north-east coast of Saint Barth, this luxury hotel is definitely a great choice when travelling with the kids or if looking for something more lively. This place is nothing but cozy and intimate - after all that makes Le Guanahani so special on this petit island. All rooms are actually bungalows and suites make up a villa situated all over the big garden below the lobby building. At the bottom of the villas and bungalows lies the Indigo beach restaurant on the main outdoor pool with the two beaches - one each side. It's actually a quite cool resort layout making it all compact and easy accessible.
Having switched the hotel, I personally kind of thought my expectations were hardly to be exceeded, but I was more than wrong one more time. As soon as we stopped in front of the entrance, the guy from the front desk was already waiting for us holding the check-in papers so that we can immediately have a seat on the terrace and do the check-in while sipping a glass of Perrier-Jouet and listening to the singing birds that chased the blue sky right atop the most shallow water I have seen. He was genuine and took time plus helped us familiarize with the entire property by showing us a map. We proceeded with a quick tour until we reached our Oceanfront One Bedroom Suite overlooking the bay that seemed to be the best snorkling spot on the dazzling French island with sea turtles, rays and further out the Atlantic - occasional nurse sharks. I liked our suite a lot also because the entire side of the suite had glass walls reflecting the turqoise sea like a painting. While we had a vast terrace with two sunbeds and a dining table for four with the most magnificent view from Le Guanahani, we actually never used it which simply was due to the fact that there was so much to see and do around the resort.
Above all these reasons was the stunning long beach with the super chic yellow striped towels on the comfy beach chairs facing the light blue bay. As soon as we stepped in the sand off the path, a young guy was already on our site with four towels to prepare our two lounge chairs in the first row. I couldn't linger any longer than half an hour until I needed to dip into the water with the snorkeling gear provided by the watersports center. I couldn't believe my eyes as suddenly a sea turtle popped up next to me. It felt so majestic and elegant, I reallt couldn't believe my eyes but I was snorkeling further and was rewarded with a breathtaking shallow water that turned from green to dark blue in seconds. Honestly, this was the best snorkeling spot I have ever seen in front of a resort. Later on, I laid back on the chair and ordered a signature cocktail which came along with two complimentary bottles of chilled Evian. Nice touch!
Before I could even realize that this place was actually real, the sunset was on and it was time to get ready for a chic dinner at the hotel's signature restaurant Batrolomeo. Shortly diving into the spacious shower to refresh with the lovely Clarins toiletries (I love this little French touch) before changing my Bluemint for a blue linen shirt and beige trousers - a classy choice, just like Le Guanahani. That evening we had the honor to have dinner with Martein, the General Manager and Caribbean expert (since he worked for Rosewood and other Caribbean resorts before). An exclusive journey through the home country of head chef NAME began: perfectly cooked musroom risotto as a starter followed by a typical Italian Ossombuco with saffron risotto. Well some might say we must be in love with risotto, tough after travelling for 6 weeks in Middle America, chances are low to get a true Italian one so we took this unique opportunity. Our dinner was accompanied by an excellent Rose that lightly reminded us of Saint Barth being French even tough we escaped to our favorite country for a few moments.
Le Guanahani being a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, we don't need to mention the flawless turn-down service and perfect sleep, do we? Well if I could choose the best thing about our chic suite, I would for sure pick the view above the vast terrace. Only imagine getting up to such a view makes me wanna be there now. I can't tell why I chose to have breakfast at Indigo when you can savour the perfect breakfasts feeling en-suite. Most probably because the service was so kind and the choice extensive. I appreciated the different juices as well as the location - sitting on the pool, listening to the breaking waves while sipping your Cappuccino. The worst thing of our stay in Saint Barth was now unavoidable and we couldn't do anything about it. With our shuttle scheduled at 10 am, the bill settled and the luggage picked-up we left Le Guanahani with a little regret that we didn't stayed one more night. I guess you can't have everything in life but I would definitely leave out Nevis for Saint Barth next time and stay the more two nights here. It's really hard to decide where to stay on Saint Barth, however Le Guanahani fits the tastes of all luxury travelers and even tough it's the biggest property on the island, you simply don't feel it.