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Thread: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

  1. #1
    dssguy99 is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Jan 2019 Posts: 8

    le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    I have been doing extensive research on a great place in St Barts. I have decided on Le Barthelemy. Has anyone stayed here? Would you recommend it? cntraveler.com rated it as the #1 hotel in the Caribbean and all reviews I have read have always been positive.

  2. #2
    abc is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jul 2003 Posts: 116

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    We are predominantly hotel people and have stayed at most of the hotels on the island. We have had dinner there on several occasions. Only negative about this hotel is its lack of "oceanfront" beach. Check out Cheval Blanc and Le Toiny for 2 established classy hotels

  3. #3
    dssguy99 is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Jan 2019 Posts: 8

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    I was also looking at Cheval Blanc at one point. So this was one of your favorites too? What made it stand out compared to the other hotels?

  4. #4
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 4,980

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Quote Originally Posted by abc View Post
    . . . Only negative about [Hotel le Barthélemy] is its lack of "oceanfront" beach. Check out Cheval Blanc and Le Toiny for 2 established classy hotels
    1. It appears that you’re saying that le Barthélemy’s location on a bay (Grand Cul de Sac) is not oceanfront, whereas Flamands (Cheval Blanc) & Anse Toiny (Le Toiny) are oceanfront. Interesting distinction . . . I’ve never distinguished SBH waterfront locations this way.
    2. I would note that Grand Cul de Sac is swim-able, whereas Anse Toiny is considered to be quite dangerous as a swimming venue (despite being frequented by experienced surfers). GCS also has other water sports available.
    3. I’ve never stayed at le Barthélemy, but have used the spa . . . spent time at the pool . . . hung-out at the “rooftop” bar . . . and eaten there many times (inside & out). It’s a lovely spot (as are Cheval Blanc & Le Toiny).

  5. #5
    dssguy99 is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Jan 2019 Posts: 8

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Quote Originally Posted by cec1 View Post
    1. It appears that you’re saying that le Barthélemy’s location on a bay (Grand Cul de Sac) is not oceanfront, whereas Flamands (Cheval Blanc) & Anse Toiny (Le Toiny) are oceanfront. Interesting distinction . . . I’ve never distinguished SBH waterfront locations this way.
    2. I would note that Grand Cul de Sac is swim-able, whereas Anse Toiny is considered to be quite dangerous as a swimming venue (despite being frequented by experienced surfers). GCS also has other water sports available.
    3. I’ve never stayed at le Barthélemy, but have used the spa . . . spent time at the pool . . . hung-out at the “rooftop” bar . . . and eaten there many times (inside & out). It’s a lovely spot (as are Cheval Blanc & Le Toiny).
    Cec1 - You seem to be very knowledgeable about St Barts! Thank you for being here! Can you make me a few recommendations on amazing hotels? My wife and I will be there for 4 days in April. We want to be at a place that's small and quiet, has great food and great ambiance, friendly staff. 4 week later we are going to Beaches Turks and Caicos with our kids so we want to have a rather quiet/romantic 4 days in April! Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

    Tim

  6. #6
    elgreaux is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Saint Barth Posts: 10,146

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    For small, quiet, great food, and ambiance for 4 romantic days in April, I'd go for Le Toiny...

  7. #7
    dssguy99 is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Jan 2019 Posts: 8

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Quote Originally Posted by elgreaux View Post
    For small, quiet, great food, and ambiance for 4 romantic days in April, I'd go for Le Toiny...
    I did check Le Toiny, unfortunately they have no rooms in April when we were looking to go

  8. #8
    Bart -my real name- is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Alexandria, VA Posts: 5,247

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Quote Originally Posted by dssguy99 View Post
    I was also looking at Cheval Blanc at one point. So this was one of your favorites too? What made it stand out compared to the other hotels?
    There was A LOT of construction noise right at the hotel in December, FYI.

  9. #9
    dssguy99 is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Jan 2019 Posts: 8

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Actually I was just looking at pictures on tripadvisor of the water. I am not seeing any of people swimming in the ocean there. Is there something with that beach? It looks nice in the pictures.

  10. #10
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,527

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    I don’t know why Cheval Blanc is out of the running. Great hotel, nice beach. Don’t forget a lot of hotels are still not open since Irma.


    Andy

  11. #11
    elgreaux is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Saint Barth Posts: 10,146

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    The water at Flamands can get rough, my grandchildren called it the "clobber zone" when they were little...

    Le Barthelemy is on a lagoon, water shallow quite a ways out, lots of nautical activities... including swimming

    Le Toiny, a no-swim zone, they added a pool near the beach for swimming...

    The Christopher: no beach, nice pool with ocean and sunset views

    Le Sereno (open) and Guanahani (not open) and Les Ondines (open) all on the same lagoon as Le Barthelemy

    Eden Rock (not open) and Pearl Beach (open) in St Jean - a very popular beach for swimming...

  12. #12
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 4,980

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    That’s a very tough question, Tim! Let me first offer a disclaimer by saying that I am at least acquainted, and in some cases friendly, with owners / managers of most of the island’s “amazing” hotels, of which I would count seven that now are open. In this universe, I’m looking at places that offer fine dining, excellent personal service, lovely design & decor in guest rooms & public spaces, attractive settings & views, friendly pool and bar spaces . . . and, more broadly, what generally would be considered “luxury.” Not all have direct sea access. It’s a very competitive field . . . and next year will be even more so with re-opening of three more such premium places: The iconic Eden Rock Hotel, Le Guanahani (largest hotel on the Island, I believe . . . though maybe not after completion of unification of Cheval Blanc & Taiwana), & the Carl Gustaf (being nearly totally re-built by the renowned French operator of 5 Star resorts in Europe, Groupe Barriere).

    Nonetheless, seizing on your criteria of small & quiet, great food & ambiance, and friendly staff, I would say that my recommendation would be for either “Villa Marie” or “Le Sereno.” Each offers, in my opinion, refined service and style in a setting of intimacy, calm, & beauty that I like . . . as well as great food. Other places, of course, are beautiful & great, as well. You won’t go wrong in choosing any of the island’s fine high-end hotels.

  13. #13
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,527

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Good reviews Ellen. We stayed at the far end of Flamands once. You pick and choose your wave.


    Andy

  14. #14
    Tiffany is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2014 Virginia Beach, VA Posts: 573

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Villa Marie is also quiet and intimate, but has panoramic views of the island...not on the beach. If you haven’t been to the island before, you may want to explore the different beaches anyway as they each have their own character and beauty. My favorite ones, Gouveneur and Saline, don’t have hotels on them. Flamands is too rough for me and Grand Cul de Sac has a lot of seaweed on the bottom...I don’t like stepping on it.

    If you want to stay put at a hotel with a “swimming beach,” I would opt for Pearl Beach at this time since it’s on St. Jean. It’s not exactly quiet though because the restaurant can attract a crowd at times.

    Have a a great trip.

  15. #15
    dssguy99 is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Jan 2019 Posts: 8

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Thank you all! It seems like Villa Marie is a recommended one. I was looking at Villa Marie (although I havent looked into it much yet), but this isnt on the beach? It must have beach access I would think. Le Serano was another I looked at but didnt have rooms the 4 nights we were looking.

  16. #16
    dadto6 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2013 Northern Virginia Posts: 1,654

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Manapany is newly restored, romantic and private with a stupendous breakfast buffet.

  17. #17

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    I think you should try Le Barthelemy. It isn't as well known as some of the others mentioned here as it was only open for a year before Irma, but it is just absolutely stunning. I haven't stayed there but have visited four times for breakfasts/lunches and days at the pool/beach. The pool is one of the most beautiful on the island. And the food and service are terrific. I haven't been to their new roof-top bar but that's an added bonus.

  18. #18
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 7,639

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    We have only stayed at Isle de France (pre Cheval Blanc) twice and all other times at a Villa. You have received excellent recommendations for virtually every top hotel on the island. Each one is different and unique. The beach at Flamands (Cheval Blanc) is very nice but not swimmable due to the undertow. Toiny is not a great beach but a very cozy hotel. Probably the most swimmable hotel area is Le Barthelemy and the snorkeling there on the reef can be fun with sea turtles and tropical fish. The swimming pools at all of the hotels are very nice. Manypany is very nice as is Villa Marie. Hotels don't have beach privileges as all beaches are public. Generally you can rent chaises at most of the hotels and some serve food to the chaises. Bon Voyage and please post about your island visit.

  19. #19
    FamilyTraveler is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Nov 2017 Westchester, NY Posts: 58

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    I’m a big fan of Cheval Blanc. We thoroughly enjoyed our time staying there and would again in a heartbeat. Agree with others regarding the waves, they can be rough at times. Just go out beyond where the waves break.

    We have not stayed at Le Barthélemy but plan to visit for lunch this Feb. We have stayed at Guanahani which is on the same beach and as others have mentioned, the sea is full of sea grass, not ideal for swimming.

    Stayed in Manapany as well years ago. The recent updates look spectacular. The beach there is not swimmable.

    If staying put in the hotel is the plan, I’d go with Cheval Blanc or Tom Beach. Otherwise stay wherever and rent a car. The best beaches on the island do not have hotels (or any other services). Bring your lunch and a bottle of Rose. Enjoy your trip!

  20. #20
    Tiffany is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2014 Virginia Beach, VA Posts: 573

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Quote Originally Posted by dssguy99 View Post
    Thank you all! It seems like Villa Marie is a recommended one. I was looking at Villa Marie (although I havent looked into it much yet), but this isnt on the beach? It must have beach access I would think. Le Serano was another I looked at but didnt have rooms the 4 nights we were looking.
    It’s in the hills of Columbier. You can park at any hotel...such as Cheval Blanc, Manapany, Le Barthelemy, etc...and have lunch and use their beach chairs. Some places charge you for the use of the chairs, but some don’t if you eat there.

  21. #21
    cassidain is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Ailleurs Posts: 6,152

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiffany View Post
    You can park at any hotel...such as Cheval Blanc, Manapany, Le Barthelemy, etc...and have lunch and use their beach chairs. Some places charge you for the use of the chairs, but some don’t if you eat there.
    based on my experience and some recent posts, I'm not certain that's quite accurate ? I believe that some hotels at some times reserve their transats for hotel guests ? others with more up to date information will, I'm sure, weigh in . . .
    Fils du Sud - Ministre de la Santé

    If I can't wear my Havaianas, I ain't goin'...ÀMHA

  22. #22
    Reed is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Nantucket - St. Barth's Posts: 1,081

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Perhaps share your budget. Are you comfortable with over 600 per night or would you prefer to spend less than that?
    "Like" Us on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/nantucketcatering

  23. #23
    Bart -my real name- is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Alexandria, VA Posts: 5,247

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Quote Originally Posted by stbartshopper View Post
    The beach at Flamands (Cheval Blanc) is very nice but not swimmable due to the undertow. .
    To quote Dwight Shrute: FALSE!

    Flamands is a fantastic beach, and is often nearly completely empty. Especially on the end opposite the hotels.

    The surf can be strong here, and it can also be fairly tranquil depending on the wind. Calling the beach unswimmable is a huge, huge overstatement. The Outer Banks of North Carolina regularly have bigger waves, and rougher surf than Flamands.

  24. #24
    Bart -my real name- is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Alexandria, VA Posts: 5,247

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Quote Originally Posted by dssguy99 View Post
    Thank you all! It seems like Villa Marie is a recommended one. I was looking at Villa Marie (although I havent looked into it much yet), but this isnt on the beach? It must have beach access I would think. .
    This hotel is probably the furthest away from a beach that you can get on St. Barts while staying in a hotel!

    Beach access requires a car, or a very long, very steep hike.

  25. #25
    Tiffany is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2014 Virginia Beach, VA Posts: 573

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Quote Originally Posted by cassidain View Post
    based on my experience and some recent posts, I'm not certain that's quite accurate ? I believe that some hotels at some times reserve their transats for hotel guests ? others with more up to date information will, I'm sure, weigh in . . .
    True, can't speak for Cheval Blanc because it had just reopened when were there in December. But during that week, we were able to eat and use chairs at Pearl Beach and Le Barthelemy. And Manapany was advertising Day Passes in Le News. The Christopher usually offers that option too.

  26. #26
    Bart -my real name- is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Alexandria, VA Posts: 5,247

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiffany View Post
    Villa Marie is also quiet and intimate, but has panoramic views of the island...
    Is this accurate? I’ve only been there once just to look around, but my memory put it in the middle of a tropical jungle. Did I miss the part of the resort with sweeping views?

  27. #27
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,527

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Bart -my real name- View Post
    Is this accurate? I’ve only been there once just to look around, but my memory put it in the middle of a tropical jungle. Did I miss the part of the resort with sweeping views?
    You would be correct and you have to cross the street to see the water from 100 feet up.


    Andy

  28. #28
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 4,980

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Bart -my real name- View Post
    Is this accurate? I’ve only been there once just to look around, but my memory put it in the middle of a tropical jungle. Did I miss the part of the resort with sweeping views?
    A number of the villas have big water views.

  29. #29
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,527

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    Quote Originally Posted by cec1 View Post
    A number of the villas have big water views.
    You mean across the water. My villa In the St Jean hills had big water views but they were 1/4 mile away.


    Andy

  30. #30
    cassidain is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Ailleurs Posts: 6,152

    Re: le barthélemy thoughts for trip

    I love big water views.
    Fils du Sud - Ministre de la Santé

    If I can't wear my Havaianas, I ain't goin'...ÀMHA

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