Budget accommodations are not a thing on St. Barts. The French-Caribbean island knows only luxury—the chic, born-with-it variety—so, when a new hotel opens, rest assured it will be fabulously on-brand. Perched like an eagle’s nest on a steep hillside, the five-star Hotel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf, which debuted last fall, is built around a nearly 200-year-old plantation house that looks out over the superyacht-filled marina of the red-roofed capital, Gustavia. Here are five reasons—not that you needed convincing—to book a stay now.
Let There Be Light
After Hurricane Irma struck in 2017, France’s prestigious Barrière Group, whose portfolio includes Le Majestic in Cannes and Le Normandy in Deauville, rebuilt the beloved Le Carl Gustaf hotel from top to bottom. Acclaimed Parisian design duo Dorothée Boissier and Patrick Gilles adapted the group’s lavish style to the island’s natural beauty. Inspired by the chiaroscuro of Creole homes, they use custom-made furnishings, roofs, and pergolas to play with light and shade, to dramatic effect.
The 21-key property offers a variety of bungalows, suites, and cottages, as well as a stunning five-bedroom villa perfect for families or larger groups. All accommodations feature private terraces, and many have their own plunge pools.
Rally and Refresh
Want to keep up your exercise routine? There’s a fitness center and a yoga studio, or you can have an aqua bike placed in your plunge pool for the most laid-back workout on the planet. If you overdo it anyway, book a treatment at the on-site Diane Barrière Spa, which uses Biologique Recherche skincare products.
The views may keep you planted on your terrace, but if you venture off property, Le Carl Gustaf is within walking distance of couture shops (Prada, Cartier, Dolce & Gabbana) and restaurants such as Bonito, Eddy’s Ghetto, and Le Select, which some claim inspired Jimmy Buffett’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” If that bite has you feeling like an old-time sailor, ask the hotel concierge to book you a day on the water with a local catamaran captain.
Barrière enlisted the legendary Parisian brasserie Fouquet’s to open its first Caribbean outpost. Chef Pierre Gagnaire’s menu pairs French technique with island flavors—try the green curry risotto, served with freshwater prawns flambéed with rum, or the conch fricassee with ginger-miso soup bouillon. Just down the hill, on the resort’s white-sand beach, Greek restaurant and beach club Shellona elevates casual dishes such as fish carpaccio and feta in filo and honey. Sip a flute of Champagne as the sun sets, to the tune of a Euro-dance soundtrack, for the perfect ending to your French-Caribbean idyll.
From $973, hotelsbarriere.com