September 11 2011
In the firmament of cool Caribbean hotels, Eden Rock-St Barths holds a certain pride of place – characterised by something indefinably but charmingly old-fashioned (and something very definably luxurious) merging delightfully with a rock-star theme that weaves its way through elements of décor, service and attitude.
Now, just in time for the winter 2011-12 season, British owners David and Jane Matthews are harnessing their 16-odd years of residency connections and island expertise to launch a portfolio of blue-chip villas with local estate agent-developer Christian Wattiau, whose Sibarth Real Estate is one of the island’s best for sales and rentals. Eden Rock Villa Rentals (www.edenrockhotel.com, villas from $35,000 per week) comprises 40 properties that vary in style, size and location to please any discerning taste – from a six-bedroom, white-on-white entertaining palace on Flamands Beach to a three-building compound with roof terraces and a plunge pool cut into the cliff it stands on, in St Jean, close to the hotel itself.
But – and here’s the winning selling point – even those most distant from the Eden Rock still benefit from a long roster of hotel services, from private airport transfers to chefs to prepare dinner, or a therapist for an alfresco massage by your pool. (Daily housekeeping is, of course, a given.) And for those who simply can’t go without having all the hotel amenities close to hand, there are two villas on its premises: the flamboyant Rockstar – from €15,000 a night, with its own spa, gym, garage (stocked with cars, natch), pool, recording studio, where John Lennon himself laid down tracks and tinkered with EQs; and the slightly more staid Villa Nina (from €7,000 a night, with its own art gallery).