Thanks to nearly 45 years of experience in the Caribbean, Inspiring Travel Company is renowned as the experts in these stunning isles. We regularly send our team to the Caribbean to garner greater first-hand insight, and ensure our knowledge is up-to-date and the best in the business. Recently, Travel Specialist Kevin Partridge ventured to St Barths. Here’s what he thought…
After a timely and comfortable Virgin Atlantic flight from London Gatwick to Antigua, we excitedly boarded our Tradewind Aviation flight to St Barths, with a flying time of just 40 minutes. It was an unforgettable experience landing at the airport famous for its steep descent and short runway leading out to the ocean.
Another short transfer took us to the wonderful Le Guanahani resort, set to be our home for the next four nights. We were greeted with a cool cocktail whilst we settled into our impressive surroundings; Le Guanahani is set on a 16 acre private peninsula overlooking two fabulous beaches, from which you can enjoy a vast range of watersports.
I was lucky enough to be staying in the ‘Serenity Suite’, a beautiful two-bedroom, split-level suite with a terrace and private pool overlooking the ocean. Offering a great choice of accommodation, the hotel features several room and suite categories including ‘La Vila’, a 3 Bedroom Villa perfect for families or larger parties.
After an ultra-comfortable night’s sleep, breakfast was served ‘al fresco’ at Indigo Restaurant, where there was a choice of fresh fruits, cereals, pastries and freshly cooked options including delicious omelettes. After breakfast, we headed out for some snorkelling with masks and fins provided complimentary by the hotel. Swimming just 20 metres from shore, we encountered charming sea turtles; swimming alongside them was a truly amazing experience.
After an enjoyable and thorough tour of Le Guanahani, we were then transferred to the luxury Cheval Blanc resort where we enjoyed a wonderful lunch at La Cabane De L’Isle, a beachfront cabana restaurant.
Following lunch, we were whisked off on a tour of the island, stopping for drinks at Hotel Le Toiny before heading back to Le Guanahani for an Asian-themed dinner. Everything I sampled was truly delicious!
Day three began with another exquisite breakfast and some more snorkelling, after which we set off for lunch at Eden Rock, the ultimate place to ‘see and be seen’ in St Barths. Widely regarded as one of the finest boutique hotels in the Caribbean, Eden Rock is set on a beautiful stretch of beach which extends down towards the island’s unique airport.
For a truly memorable experience, book a stay in Villa Rockstar where you can lay down a few tracks in the Villa’s own recording studio. The mixing desk was originally owned by John Lennon and was used to record ‘Imagine’!
Next, we enjoyed lunch at the Sand Bar, set right on the beach and overlooking stunning Caribbean Sea views. Following lunch, we returned to Le Guanahani where we enjoyed more beachfront dining with a delicious barbecue dinner on the sand.
Before it even began, day four was set to be one of the most memorable days of the trip. After breakfast, we were driven to the marina in the capital, Gustavia, from which we set sail on a luxury catamaran and headed out onto the Caribbean Sea. We cruised the coastline stopping at various points of interest, flying fish skimming the water as we sailed along.
At lunch time we anchored at beautiful Colombier Beach; only accessible by foot or from the water, the cove is completely tranquil and unspoilt. From here, the captain suggested a glorious snorkelling spot that did not disappoint, as we caught glimpses of stingrays, nurse sharks and various other colourful fish. After lunch, we headed back to base and enjoyed dinner at the tropical Bartolomeo restaurant on our final evening at Le Guanahani.
Day five came and, sadly, so did our time to leave Le Guanahani and St Barths, and head home with Virgin Atlantic. I have visited the Caribbean many times but nothing prepared me for how wonderfully different St Barths would be. You would be forgiven for thinking you were in the south of France due to the French names, restaurants and architecture which make this Caribbean island so unique.