December 15 2010
Few places with Caribbean co-ordinates can compete with St-Barth for sheer scale of glamour. Its powdery beaches, jungly bays and charming capital, Gustavia, are where New York’s power-flaunters and the Euro jet set mingle and do the big deals in their Vilebrequin and Missoni.
This season they’ve a clutch of new options for where to stay: starting with Hotel St-Barth Isle de France (www.isle-de-france.com, from £2,230 per night), where two new state-of-the-art beach suites have been constructed flush at the edge of the gorgeous Baie des Flamands beach, on the island’s north-west coast, around which the hotel is built. Each measuring 1,500 square feet, they all boast parquet floors, indoor and outdoor showers and huge stone bath tubs, and private plunge pools. The Thai massage, administered in outdoor pavilions shaded by palms and frangipani, is as dreamy as ever.
Meanwhile to the south-east is Casa Linda, a lovely new-to-the-UK-market rental from SJ Villas (pictured; www.sjvillas.co.uk, from $12,500 a week). This lateral three-bedroom house is all understated good taste, with airy living rooms, polished stone floors and a wide teak terrace with one of St-Barth’s biggest pools (turn on those floodlights at night to make it one of the island’s sexiest as well).