St. Barth's

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Hôtel Le Toiny

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Secluded, romantic, villas

Anse de Toiny 590-590-278-888 www.letoiny.com

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At a Glance

This famous honeymoon retreat, an intimate hotel at the far southeastern end of St. Barth’s, has just gotten a post-Irma mini makeover and offers an ideal, private setting for a romantic getaway.

Indagare Loves

  • Ultra-chic villa suites with utter privacy and seclusion
  • The hotel’s laid-back Le Toiny Beach Club, which now has a brand-new pool, restaurant and bar, plus a boutique with boho-cool coverups, hats, sandals and fun jewelry, located inside an original 18th-century cottage.
  • Proximity to the island’s best surfing and the exceptional views from most suites out to Anse de Toiny
  • The in-suite iPod playlists, which include everything from Charlotte Gainsbourg to Kygo, along with the in-house DJ who spins background tunes at dinner.

Review

Following a restoration after Hurricane Irma in 2017, Hôtel Le Toiny has added eight new villa suites, for a total of 22, along with one two-bedroom Villa Suite, all strategically located across the hillside along one of the most rugged and beautiful coastlines on St. Barth’s. Its private location (and prime views) have helped earned the property—which has just celebrated its 25th year—a reputation as the perfect romantic hideaway. Seven new Spirit Suites feature well-appointed living areas, mini-kitchens and separate bedrooms, terraces and private pools. Three of these villas are spread over two floors. There are also four one-bedroom villas and a two-story, 2,000 square foot two-bedroom option. The Reverend Charlie and Mandie Vere Nicoll, the British visionaries behind Isle de France (now LVMH’s Cheval Blanc) who bought Le Toiny with several investors in 2015, have ensured that the hotel is even more polished than before and retains its distinctive clubhouse atmosphere. (You may spot Mandie at the beach with her long-haired dachshund Gladys.)

Renovations in 2016 and recent refurbishments, following Irma, by English interior designer Bee Osborn, have incorporated flawless white and taupe upholstery, sun-bleached woods and pale blue pops of color. Bathrooms have dual Duravit sinks and deep Victoria & Albert soaking tubs. Floor-to-ceiling white linen curtains add to the drama and allow guests to truly escape the world if they choose. The main attraction for most couples is the incredible privacy of the villas, which face the sea and sky, so you feel sufficiently secluded. Each villa has a private terrace with a pool and stunning views down the hill to the sea. A petit déjeuner (or anything you desire), along with an abridged version of the New York Times, is delivered daily, whenever you like.

And while the main house has an infinity pool area, a spa and an appealing eponymous restaurant and bar, overlooking Toiny Bay, most guests prefer to hide out in their villas, where everything from masseuses, trainers and chefs can be arranged so you don’t have to leave your hillside haven—and many honeymooners don’t, for up to a week. This is where George Stephanopoulos and Ali Wentworth spent their honeymoon, and where celebrities including Brad Pitt and Kate Moss (not together) have been rumored to hide out. It may be one of the best places in the Caribbean for a lost weekend,  but if you aren’t wild about who you are with, you may feel that the island’s other distractions (restaurants and shopping) are a little too far away. You can also opt for a hike among the pathways around the property. One such walk takes you to the “Washing Machine,” named after the foaming effect of the sea after it crashes into the rocks, or walk to where the natural water pools are deep enough for a dip.

Among the best additions to the property are the sophisticated Le Toiny Restaurant, overlooking the infinity pool, Le Toiny Beach Club and its new boutique. The ride down to the beach takes five to ten minutes and feels like a beach safari, as you bounce along the rocky road and watch your progress from the open Land Rover Defender. The vibe may remind you a little of St. Tropez. It is also the perfect spot for a wedding, and the property is often taken over for private events. On Indagare’s recent visit, a wedding and reception were being set up in the main building and down at the beach. Musicians were slated to perform from a platform in the middle of the infinity pool off the terrace, with synchronized swimmers on either side. A firepit and torches were being readied to light up the night all around the pool’s exterior. It is not hard to imagine wedding guests filling the terrace or enjoying the seaside view from the platform, down below, on the beach, installed just for the event. For hotel guests, music often sets the mood here. A DJ plays a chill background soundtrack at dinner and laidback tunes (a slow version of “Message in a Bottle,” “Girl from Ipanema”) are flowing all day long at the beach, by the pool—island life, encapsulated.

Who Should Stay

This hideaway draws VIPs and celebrities who like the secluded location of the luxe villas. Keep in mind that with privacy also comes a remote location and a longer drive on the windy, narrow roads back to St. Jean and Gustavia. Those who want easy access to shops, restaurants and other beaches may want to stay elsewhere. Or leave this to the end to cap off your island escape.

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