St. Barth – the tiny, Caribbean island, where Smart cars zip along windy roads, locals tout fresh baguettes under one arm and yippy small dogs under the other, and flashing green-cross signs signal pharmacy – could easily be Paris. But the endless blue-green waters and towering palms remind, that ’no, we’re not in Paris.’ Although the lifestyle – with its endless flow of wine, topless beaches, chic fashion, and hip nightlife – is certainly reflective.
Yes, of all the Caribbean isles, St. Barth remains the ‘it’ place to stay among A-listers. During high-season, especially, when celebs descend here – in their mega yachts, some renting private, secluded villas, while others seek out the stylishly suave and equally private Hotel Le Toiny.
Years ago, on my very first visit to St. Barth, and long before my current association with Hotel Le Toiny, I was told about a “magical, secluded, hotel on the other side of the island, where actor Brad Pitt likes to hang. The hotel doesn’t sit directly on a beach,” I was told. “But oh, it offers stunning sea views.”
My source was spot-on. From the moment I saw my draped-in-white, filmy-canopied bed, spectacular sea view and private plunge pool (every villa has one), I was captivated. The in-room (or on-terrace) spa treatments using beautifully crafted products hand-made on the island, by St Barth Ligne, and dinners worthy of any Michelin-star Parisian restaurant at the newly renovated Le Gaiac Restaurant tops off the experience.
I’m talking over-the-top specialties like a 77-lb wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, sculpted into serving bowls for spaghetti and black truffle entrees served in Le Gaiac, newly renovated and reopened this past year.