By Alexander Britell
On an island where luxury is standard, it isn’t always easy to stand out.
But that’s what makes the newest hotel in St Barth just so exciting.
This is the Manapany Hotel, a 43-room-and-suite luxury resort that is the hottest new hotel to debut on the tiny French Caribbean island in years.
It’s the brainchild of France-based boutique hotel collection B Signature Hotels and Resorts, which transformed what was one of the island’s older properties into a stunning hotel that oozes personality and French Caribbean cool.
The latter is particularly important — this is a hotel that’s clearly making an effort to be an authentically French Caribbean, and it pulls it off, from an impressive menu of rhum agricole from Martinique and Guadeloupe to thatched-roof palapas for the beachfront bungalows.
This is a French hotel with a Caribbean soul.
But there’s more — the Manapany is a full-fledged eco-hotel, from an all-electric fleet of on-property vehicles to solar-powered water heating to environmentally-friendly toiletries.
The rooms are terrific, whether you’re staying in one of the beachfront bungalows on the spectacular Anse des Cayes or the hillside rooms that offer some of the most striking vistas in St Barth.
They’re filled with delightful little touches — the modern-style rotary phones, the clever corner lighting, the ultra-fast Wi-Fi. (The built-in screen mirroring was another nice innovation — allowing you to watch any videos on your phone or computer on the room’s large-screen televisions).
The dining offerings range from a cocktail-forward bar (make sure you try of the signature drinks like the “Back to the Roots.”) to the the eponymous restaurant, where Chef Edouard Fabius serves up a fresh, original menu of French and Creole concepts, with some great local seafood.
And then there is the spa — which has its own adults-only pool perched just above the beach and treatment rooms with the soundtrack of the waves, that’s instantly one of the best spas in the Caribbean region. Yes, it’s that good.
It all adds up to a hotel that has the luxury one expects in St Barth — but with a fun, cool, light-hearted personality that’s a welcome change for the island.
In short, it’s the hottest new hotel in St Barth — and the best place to stay in St Barth right now.
For more, visit the Manapany.
HOW TO GET HERE: The best way to arrive in St Barth is by flying to San Juan then hopping on the outstanding Tradewind Aviation, which operates multiple flights daily. Anse des Cayes beach is just a five-minute drive from St Barth’s Gustaf III Airport.