When travelers with deep pockets seek out a Caribbean beach resort, their needs are extravagant and over-the-top. The resorts we’ve featured in this piece cater to just that clientele, creating the utmost in luxury lifestyle with the sun and sand thrown in.
True luxe properties know that there is no such thing as going too far to please, and in order to keep the high level of standards necessary to classify themselves as uber properties, many of the Caribbean’s best continue to add to and enhance their offerings each year.
French West Indies
It’s all about the celebrity status at Eden Rock-St. Barths—even the villas are an ode to Hollywood with names like Howard Hughes and Greta Garbo. This family-owned property most definitely offers up an uber-cool vibe, embracing three creative areas—music, art and food—in a way that goes beyond the ordinary, all coupled with matchless accommodations.
For the very pampered soul, there’s the truly over-the-top 16,000-sq.-ft. Villa Rockstar, where guests with very deep pockets will find two trendy cabins for teenagers or staff; four master suites; fully equipped gym; walled garden for privacy; custom made, Italian-style kitchen seating 12 guests; the Glen Affric whiskey bar, boasting 40 different whiskeys; a pool, spa pool, sun decks and comfy loungers, not to mention a pool table and sports area. The best part, however? The state-of-the-art music recording studio and screening room, complete with a selection of instruments, microphones and recording equipment, including the actual recording console used by John Lennon to record “Imagine.” So, you guessed it, guests can record their own souvenir soundtrack during time spent in the Caribbean.
For the more visually stimulated guest, the Nina Villa offers lots of the Rockstar’s special touches, but rather than a recording studio, guests get a private art gallery with rotating international artists, including lithographs by the likes of Miro and Matisse. And of course, villas offer 24-hour butler and personal staff throughout a guest’s stay, not to mention some of the most beautiful views in the world.
If clients are looking for something a little less, shall we say, over the top, the resort offers up 40 individual rooms, suites, cottages and villas, all with flat-screen TVs, DVD players, complimentary high-speed Internet, Bvlgari amenities and numerous extras.
Foodies, too, will be able to have their cake and eat it too, as the resort has a new relationship with celebrity chef Jean-George Vongerichten. He worked with Eden Rock’s executive chef Anne-Cecile Degenne to create new menus that launched in December at Eden Rock’s two restaurants: On the Rocks, surrounded by the ocean and featuring a look-see kitchen; and the casual Sand Bar, where guests have their “toes in the water.” They feature, as the property explains, “Asian and French cooking techniques with an international twist.”
Activities beyond these creative outlets include spa services en-suite, fully equipped gym and a host of watersports, including scuba diving, fishing and boat trips.
Starting rates for Garden Cottages (lowest room category) are 505 euro per night (approximately $646). That includes airport transfers and daily breakfast. Kayaks, paddleboards and snorkeling equipment, access to the onsite gym and WiFi are also offered complimentary.
Also in the French West Indies, on St. Martin, you’ll find La Samanna, part of the venerable Orient-Express hotels collection. The big news from this high-end property is that out of the 83 rooms, 30 are being totally gutted and redone and 20 are receiving a new design and furniture package. The first phase was finished in November 2011 and the second phase is planned to be completed by the end of 2012.
The beachfront property sits on 55 acres and is residential in nature, evoking a French spirit with a Caribbean soul, says Darrick Eman, director of sales and marketing. “It appeals to a discriminating, international clientele seeking seclusion, relaxation, fine dining and attentive personalized service,” he adds.
Guests can opt for either traditional guestrooms, 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom suites or even 3-bedroom villas, featuring over 4,600 sq. ft. of exclusive space, private wraparound infinity pools, generous living quarters, breathtaking ocean views, master bedrooms with alcoves and oversized private terraces.
Adding to the allure is the property’s extensive wine cellar and cuisine, with provisions flown in from France daily. There are five restaurants and bars ready to wine and dine your clients, including Le Reserve, which offers alfresco fine dining and incorporates local ingredients into its offerings. The recently expanded La Cave Wine and Cheese Cellar, meanwhile, is the ideal spot for private dinners surrounded by the resort’s 12,000-bottle wine collection.