Cheval Blanc St. Barth Isle de France
Looking at portraits of young, tanned and lovely people in the 50s having fun and living their summer love story or dancing at a chic party on the beach of Saint-Tropez, who cannot help closing the eyes and feel teleported to such a romantic, luxurious, laid-back life even if only for a moment? That’s what Bee Osborn (@osborninteriors) envisioned and, thanks to LVMH’s savoir faire, Cheval Blanc St. Barths at Isle de France is now a reality.
Surrounded by warm, turquoise waters, and covered in lush tropical vegetation, the tiny Caribbean island of St. Barts has some of the best white sand beaches in the Antilles.
Given the island’s stunning beauty and balmy climate, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that, St.Barths was selected by French luxury group “Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton” (LVMH) as the location of the magnificent Cheval Blanc St.Barths Isle de France.
This small, delightful retreat has been designed to meet the demanding quality standards of LVMH. The leading French luxury house has also imprinted its sense of style on every corner of this property. In 2014, Cheval Blanc St.Barths Isle de France became the latest addition to the Cheval Blanc collection of high end hotels, that already included properties in Courchevel and the Maldives.
The resort is also home to the only Guerlain Spa in the Caribbean, and can presume of often being the only one to have in it's boutique, some of Guerlain's exclusive products. While gastronomy is the responsibility of Chef Yann Vinsot, a talented young chef that mixes skillfully French and Caribbean haute-cuisine.
The French touch
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Cheval Blanc St.Barths Isle de France embodies the essence of St.Barths: casual sophistication in harmony with a privileged natural environment.
Landing in St.Barths is like stepping into a secluded little oasis that combines the best of European elegance with the exuberant nature of a tropical paradise.
Perhaps the beauty of this island has had something to do with the frequency with which it has changed hands throughout its history...English, Spanish, Swedish, French, all vied for its control at some time or another, that is, until France, finally acquired it from Sweden in 1878.
This rich colonial history is reflected in the island’s heritage: while St.Barths has an unmistakably French feel, the islanders remain extremely proud of their Scandinavian past. This fact has its reflection in place names, such as that of the island’s capital, Gustavia or the three old Swedish forts that guard the entrance of the island’s main harbour, Fort Karl, Fort Gustav and Fort Oskar, but also in the widespread display of the Swedish flag throughout the island. A fixture that adds to St.Barths’ unique character.
It is when it comes to gastronomy that St.Barths’ links to France acquire a particular significance.
At Cheval Blanc St.Barths Isle de France, “Case de l’Isle”, the resort’s signature restaurant, is led by Yann Vinsot. Originary from Brittany, and trained with renowned French chefs Marc Meneau and Antoine Westermann, Vinsot has been experimenting with a blend of French and Caribbean culinary traditions. Light dishes making use of the island’s local ingredients, including locally caught lobsters, mahi-mahi fish and other seafood, are among his most celebrated specialities.
And nothing like a cellar with a collection of over 200 of the best French wines to complement Yann Vinsot’s creations!
For a more casual meal, there is also the Cabane de l’Isle, a beach terrace where you will be able to dine, literally, with your feet on the sand. This space can be used, as well, as a venue for parties and celebrations.
The pool-side White Bar completes the resort’s gastronomic offering. This is the perfect spot to relax while enjoying a glass of wine, a freshly squeezed juice, or, in the evening, order some treat from its impressive cocktail list. White Bar also doubles as a venue for a weekly fashion that features some of the collections available at the hotel’s boutique.
And, adding to your options, you can also get your meal served whenever and wherever you request, the hotel’s staff will take care of it, from a private breakfast in your villa to a romantic dinner on the beach.
The resort’s Guerlain Spa, located within the resort’s tropical gardens, is one of a kind.
Designed by French architect Patrick Ribes, the Guerlain spa at Cheval Blanc St.Barths Isle de France was built along soft lines and making extensive use of natural materials, in order to induce the maximum atmosphere of serenity and relaxation.
One of the spa’s highlights, in addition to its four different treatment rooms and a complete hammam, is the outdoors pavilion. Here where guests are able to enjoy massages in the open, caressed by the Caribbean breeze and surrounded by the relaxing greenery that envelops the resort’s grounds.
Here every treatment is personal and exclusive, every guest is welcomed by one of Guerlain’s Beauty Coaches, that perform a comprehensive assessment and skin analysis in order to advice on the best customized treatment.
Among the facial and body treatments offered by the Guerlain spa offers rituals that have been specially designed for Cheval Blanc St.Barths Isle de France, such as“St-Barth Solar Escape”, a face and body treatment that uses Terracotta, delivering a layer of moisture to make your skin glow, and “Sun Energy”, a skin regenerating and reoxygenation treatment that uses hot and cold touches to stimulate circulation.
As if this was not enough, the resort has also its very own signature fragrance, “Tropical Chic”, devised by Guerlain’s perfumer master Thierry Wasser and available only at the spa, as well as at Guerlain’s flagship store, in Paris.
A feature of all three Cheval Blanc resorts, “Alchemists”, are staff devoted to assisting guests in the organization of their vacation.
“Alchemists” help you make the most our of your stay, from guiding you through a private shopping escapade to Gustavia, to organizing a romantic private sunset or embarking on a sailing cruise around the island.
Being in such a privileged location, with direct access to the pristine waters of Anse des Flamands, Cheval Blanc Isle de France lends itself well to the practice of all sorts of water sports. You name it: scuba diving, water-skiing, windsurf. Complimentary snorkeling equipment is also available.
If you prefer to stay on dry ground there are also plenty of options to choose from: tennis, yoga, volleyball, archery...or hiking along the island trails that lead to, otherwise inaccessible deserted beaches, such as Colombier.
A team of instructors that can guide you through, either by advising on how to improve the technique or helping you learn a new sport that you fancy.
Cheval Blanc is also a family friendly place, with plenty of activities available for the youngest ones. For example, artist-in-residence, award-winning Kate Kova, whose works have been exhibited at numerous galleries throughout the Americas, can help your children develop their creative talents, while plenty of outdoors activities will keep them entertained throughout the stay.
Even if most most high end brands have stores on St.Barts, you do not need to go all the way to Gustavia in order to enjoy a shopping vacation.
Cheval Blanc St.Barths Isle de France has its own Concept Store, offering designer and casual chic clothing lines. Here you can find brands such as Pucci, José Balensi, Helen Kaminski or Lenny.
Once a week, a fashion show is held pool-side at the White Bar, featuring the collections in store.
Cheval Blanc St.Barths Isle de France has forty rooms and suites, tastefully integrated in the surrounding territory.
There are three types of accommodation available, the three-room and most exclusive Flamands Villas, with direct access to the beach, the two-level Suites Plage, also by the sea, and the Suites Tropical, scattered over the resort’s tropical gardens and ideal for groups of friends or families traveling together.
What you will love
- Atmosphere of casual sophistication, designed by LVMH
- Top French cuisine with a Caribbean touch
- Guerlain Spa with a range of exclusive treatments
Located right next to the beach, the 400 m2 Flamands Villa is divided into 3 bright and spacious rooms, each with a large marble bathroom, with all sort of amenities.
Add to this a spacious living area with its very own home cinema and private fitness room. There is also a fully equipped kitchen.
The terrace has a direct private access to the beach, but if you prefer to bath in a more private setting, you can also enjoy your own private infinity pool, that opens up towards the turquoise waters of the Caribbean.
A private butler is available to assist you with anything you might need during your stay.
This two-level suite is located right next to Flamands beach.
On the ground floor you will find a double bedroom with its own marble bathroom, as well as a fully equipped kitchen and a large living room that gives access to the terrace. The suite boasts also a private outdoors jacuzzi pool.
The upper floor is occupied by the main bedroom, and its king-size bed, as well as a sumptuous marble bathroom. The terrace comes with spectacular views over Flamands bay.
A private butler is available to assist with any request you might have.
The "Suite Tropical" has two double bedrooms, an independent living room, two marble bathrooms and a big terrace equipped with an outdoor kitchen and a private pool.
Photos from Cheval Blanc St. Barth Isle de France