Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa
Happening, waterfront, contemporary
Temporarily closed Baie de Grand Cul de Sac 844-553-2278 www.lebarthelemyhotel.com
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At a Glance
One of the island’s buzziest luxury hotel options, this full-scale resort and spa, situated on the Grand Cul de Sac, will appeal to those looking for a beach and pool scene with extensive waterfront activities.
- The stylish contemporary ocean suites with terraces and plunge pools
- The wow factor that comes when the scrim-like screen of your terrace ocean suite opens at the press of a button to reveal the full view (downside: you may need to use it to keep the mosquitoes away)
- The pretty infinity pool, with a view of the cove and kitesurfers flying along the waterfront
- The oversize showers and abundant (if slightly masculine) Hermes bath products
This five-star luxury resort opened in mid-2016, just months before Hurricane Irma devastated the island, and has been up and running since late October 2018. Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa is situated on a quiet cove on the Grand Cul de Sac, on the island’s northeastern side, just down the beach from Le Sereno and a 15 to 20-minute drive from Gustavia. The vibe, like the staff, is youthful and busy. Most of the property’s 44 rooms and suites (plus two villas) offer sea views, and some have easy beach access through a low gate to the pool and beach beyond. Room choices will depend on where guests want to be—away from the pool and the beach bar scene or in the thick of it. Ground-level ocean suites have private gardens, terraces and plunge pools, but while convenient to the beach and pool, are not especially private. The nicest rooms are the suites at the opposite end from Le Sereno. Suites on the first floor, further from the pool and the WTF Rooftop Bar are preferable. The resort is an appealing choice for families with kids eight and up and those looking for a true beach resort experience. Connecting suites are an option for families.
The décor at Le Barthelemy is contemporary but classic, with a crisp white-on-white design scheme and hints of sea tones in the throw pillows and hanging French glass sculptures. Dark wood louvered shutters can be opened from the bathroom so you can enjoy the view from there as well. There are ample Hermes products to use in the oversize shower. The infinity pool is right on the water next to the narrow crescent beach, and there is lots of kite- and windsurfing and boating going on (though swimmers beware: the water in the cove is only waist deep).
Le Barthelemy’s restaurant, Aux Amis, has a nice open-air vibe for dinner or lunch (despite the aggressively 80s soundtrack at dinner—think Michael McDonald “Ride like the wind” dance edition). The breakfast is abundant (and included). WTF (Whiskey Foxtrot Tango), the rooftop bar, promises a scene on weekends, so rooms nearby are likely to be noisier. Aux Amis Plage serves lunch and drinks on the beach. The spa has a hammam and a sauna and offers hydrotherapy. The subterranean waiting area gets its natural light from a glass sunroof and has a unique French glass installation that incorporates a water feature; treatment rooms have constellation-like ceiling lights that fluctuate during a treatment. A small 24-hour fitness center and beach yoga are available for those looking to keep up their exercise regimen. Rest assured, a beach boutique is coming soon to satisfy your caftan and beach accessories fix. The staff is well turned out in chic French dresses and sporty uniforms and are generally helpful and attentive. Valet parking can get congested as the resort fills up. There are definitely weddings happening here. On Indagare’s recent visit, you could watch the vacation transformation of wedding guests arriving for the long weekend and settling in at tables for lunch by the beach, as they shed their winter layers and began to soak up the warm sun—and the rum punch.
Who Should Stay
This buzzy full-scale resort is best for families, active couples or friends looking for a bustling scene and an active waterfront, which includes windsurfing and kite surfing, sailing, jet skiing or boating.
- Jen Barr