This world-class hotel meets and exceeds all the international standards for luxury and service and tops all the glossy travel mags “Best” lists. As one of the exceptional Maisons in the Cheval Blanc collection, Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France – St-Barthélemy, Caribbean showcases the savoir faire of the LVMH Group (Louis Vuitton, Moët, Hennessy) and in keeping with their brand identity.

Anchored on gorgeous Flamands Beach, it is sexy and elegant and exudes the island’s signature ambience of casual sophistication. The brilliantly whitewashed main building, set just above the beach, houses nine rooms and three suites. It is here we see that iconic and frequently photographed breezeway framing an amazing snapshot of the azure sea. It’s breathtaking. We recommend the second floor accommodations for those who would rather see than be seen, but if you prefer the latter, the ground level will put you and your chaise lounge in the midst of all the action: the shimmering pool, the White Bar and the beachside restaurant, La Case de l’Isle – and all those beautiful people clinking glasses under beach umbrellas. It’s all so St. Barth. A tiny chic boutique offers teeny-tiny bikinis, pareos and movie star-worthy sunglasses.

As you would expect, the appointments are luxurious – 4-poster beds, lovely linens, French fabrics and fine art. The marble baths are sumptuous and sensuous.

The hotel’s sparkling jewels are four lavishly large Beach Suites, and the pièce de résistance is the pair of exquisite (3 bedroom) villas – the Flamands Villas. Both the Suites and Villas are just steps – across that sugar-sand beach – from the sea and boast a panorama of Flamand’s brilliant blue waters. Some of the accommodations include being looked after by a Majordome, Cheval’s dedicated butler.

“Across the way” – the hotel is divided by a sliver of a road that turns into a cul-de-sac – there are loads of room and suite options, including bungalow-style villas. Nestled among the bougainvillea and banana plants, they are deliciously private, and several have their own pools. A Cheval Blanc Spa is nestled in the lush gardens and their gym is outfitted with the latest Technogym equipment.

St-Barthélemy, Caribbean

With such a dreamlike setting, St-Barth is, unsurprisingly, a destination of choice for the rich, famous and beautiful for its laid-back tempo, luxurious small-scale hotels, designer-label boutiques and outstanding restaurants. But although St-Barth is undeniably an expensive destination, all beaches are accessible, public and free, and activities from surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing, to sailing, diving and snorkeling are all possible here. If you visit outside of high season, you can score fantastic accommodation deals.


CARIBBEAN

A Caribbean Mosaic

The Caribbean is a joyous mosaic of islands beckoning paradise-hunters, an explosion of color, fringed by beaches and soaked in rum. It’s a lively and intoxicating profusion of people and places spread over 7000 islands (fewer than 10% are inhabited). But, for all they share, there’s also much that makes them different. Can there be a greater contrast than between bustling Barbados and its neighbor, the seemingly unchanged-since-colonial-times St Vincent? Revolutionary Cuba and its next-door banking capital, the Caymans? Or between booming British-oriented St Kitts and its sleepy, Dutch-affiliated neighbor Sint Eustatius, just across a narrow channel?

Island Colors

Azure seas, white beaches, green forests so vivid they actually hurt the eyes – there is nothing subtle about the landscapes of the Caribbean. Swim below the waters for a color chart of darting fish and corals. Feel the sand between your toes at any one of a thousand picture-perfect beaches. Hike into emerald wilderness and spot the accents of red orchids and yellow parrots. Outdoor-adventure enthusiasts make a beeline for unspoilt islands such as nature-lovers’ Dominica and St Lucia’s iconic lush Piton mountains, which send out a siren call to climbers.

Sunlit Culture

The tropical sunlight is infectious. Like birds shedding dull adolescent plumage, visitors leave their wardrobes of gray and black behind when they step off the plane and don the Caribbean palette. Even the food is colorful, with rainbows of produce brightening up the local markets. You’ll also see every hue at intense, costume-filled festivities like Carnival, celebrated throughout the region but particularly in Trinidad. Glorious crumbling Cuba, reggae-rolling Jamaica and Vodou-loving Haiti top the wish lists for travelers seeking unique cultural experiences and Unesco heritage havens.

Tropical Adventures

You can find any kind of island adventure here. With so many islands, beaches, cultures, flavors and waves to choose from, how could this not be vacation paradise? You can do nothing on the sand, party at a resort, explore a new community, hop between islands, discover wonders under the water or catch a perfect wave above, revel in a centuries-old culture (and sway to some of the world’s greatest music while you’re at it), and then run off to find your inner pirate… Just about anything is possible in the Caribbean.

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