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September 15, 2012

This Winter Season, Warm Up at St. Barths’ Top Luxury Picks

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Royal Suite at Hotel Carl GustafVilla Naturelle 2St. Barths, French West Indies – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

Planning to drop by the Caribbean’s hottest hot spot this winter season (and why wouldn’t you be)? There are several new and improved sights you’ll be seeing as the island spruces up for the VIPs who favor this glamorous, French-flavored destination.

The Hotel Carl Gustaf has long been one of the island’s most convenient luxury properties, walking distance to downtown Gustavia and its port as well as to lively Shell Beach and the popular Dõ Brazil beach bar and excellent Bonito restaurant. The interiors of the hotel’s 14 cottages and villas will see a thorough revamping for the winter, moving from a traditional colonial feel to a more cutting-edge design vibe (the four-bedroom Royal Suite, brand new in 2008, goes for about $3,573 a night).

On the more remote side of the island, the elegant Hôtel Le Toiny is renovating its popular Restaurant Le Gaiac—helmed by Grand Chef Stéphane Mazieres and famous for its legendary and sumptuous Sunday brunch—to the tune of $1 million. You may want to reserve the three-bedroom, $4,081-a-night La Villa accommodation to sleep off your overindulgence.

For private villa fans, there are several new additions for the winter season, but Villa Naturelle 2, available through Sotheby’s in St. Barths and up the hill from glorious Gouverneur Beach, is a real standout. The simple Grecian-style architecture frames a panoramic view of the island’s hills and valleys as well as the vivid blue of the St. Jean waterfront. Its four bedrooms, each in a separate bungalow, open-air kitchen and one of the largest private pools on the island can all be yours for about $35,000 a week.

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