Inside the reopening of one of the most luxurious hotels in St. Barths
With winter on the horizon (and already here in some parts of North America), many travelers are already looking to book trips to warmer weather destinations. Among the most popular spots during the holidays is the Caribbean.
And amid anticipation of a busier high season than usual after the pandemic lockdown, Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa on St. Barths has just reopened after a two-month closure, upgrading this five-star hotel to the next level of luxury.
Nestled on the Grand Cul de Sac bay, the 44-room hotel (plus two villas that can host up to 12 people each) features an open-air design across most of the property with beachfront dining, a seaside pool, and a rooftop bar.
The centerpiece of the reopening is the hotel’s new flagship restaurant, Amis St. Barth. Led by master French chef Vincent Gomis with his sous-chefs Marie Cécile Gomis and Mathieu Oysellet, the menu is Mediterranean at its core but is infused with influences of different Francophone regions around the world.
Among the dishes on the menu include cod poached in coconut milk with grilled sweet potato and curry sauce with local fruits; grilled octopus with chickpea salad and fresh herbs; duck breast with jerk spices and mango chutney; and broccoli pesto pasta with lemon confit and pistachio. (The restaurant is also accommodating to all dietary restrictions and allergies and can prepare bespoke dishes accordingly.)
With a host musical duo (Fabian & Lauren, who perform acoustic guitar and vocals as well as DJ sets) and an abundant amount of seating for groups of all sizes (from couples to families to groups of friends traveling together), the new restaurant’s ambiance is meant to evoke elegance with comfort, bringing back socialization and relaxed conversations over a good meal after pandemic lockdowns and quarantine periods.
The restaurant also serves a full breakfast, with a buffet bar and dishes made-to-order, from omelets to avocado toast.
For extra special occasions, Amis offers a unique spin on the chef’s table—with a table for two to four guests located in the kitchen itself. Essentially a live cooking show, the menu is tailor-made to the guests’ appetites, and they can ask questions and converse with the chef and sous-chefs about the meal, preparation, ingredients, and more.
Reservations are required in advance, and guests do not need to be staying at the hotel to dine at Amis.
Another cornerstone of the resort is the holistic spa, with skin care by French luxury brand La Mer. This might be the ultimate destination for beauty brand lovers and skin care obsessives. Not only are the spa’s facial treatments personalized to the guest but they also include a pure concentration of La Mer’s Miracle Broth, a proprietary elixir that includes sea kelp, among other natural extracts, exclusive to the brand.
Guests can also book appointments at the spa for massages (including an “after-sun special” with a shea butter body wrap to nurture that sun-kissed or perhaps sunburned skin) as well as manicures and pedicures.
All travelers ages 10 and older must show a negative COVID-19 antigen test administered within 48 hours of arrival in St. Barths or a negative PCR test administered within 72 hours of arrival. Some carriers have resumed flights from the U.S. to the island, but among the easier connection points is San Juan. Tradewind Aviation offers daily flights between San Juan and St. Barths, and passengers staying in San Juan less than 24 hours are exempt from testing requirements and pre-arrival declaration forms for Puerto Rico.
An alternative route would to be fly into St. Maarten, which has a larger runway welcoming jets from airlines such as KLM. Visitors can then take a ferry from either the Dutch side or the French side of St. Maarten to Gustavia, the largest town on St. Barths—and also the most chic with outposts of high-end labels like Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Rolex.
Note that St. Barths is an overseas territory of France, so proof of vaccination and/or the Pass Sanitaire (Green Pass) is required for admittance to most indoor venues like restaurants, bars, and movie theaters.
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