Hotel Check: Hotel Manapany St. Barth
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS This waterfront property has undergone a full transformation bringing it to the highest standards of luxury. Its new focus as an eco-friendly property is yet another feather in its cap.
PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room on the random dates we checked start at $640
CONTACT Hotel Manapany, B Signature Hotels & Resorts, Anse de Cayes, St. Barth, French West Indies, 97133 Phone +33-5-9027-6655, www.hotelmanapany-stbarth.com
WHERE IS IT The resort is located on a private beach about a five-minute drive from St. Barth airport. Guests can also take a ferry or plane from nearby St. Maarten or San Juan. The popular shopping and dining spots of Gustavia are also a short drive away.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? St. Barth has a distinctive French flair that sets it apart from many other Caribbean islands. This feeling continues at the resort, which is simply chic in every way from the hand-picked décor to the young staff wearing casual designer attire. The hotel produces its own solar energy and water, uses only electric vehicles (non-electric cars are not allowed past the entryway), and avoids any harsh chemicals in its cleaning and maintenance program.
ROOM FACILITIES Guest rooms continue the elegant casual theme of the public areas with hardwood floors, framed art pieces, and linen-draped four-poster beds. The bright colors represent the island’s lush vegetation, and the rooms come with desks featuring both European and American power outlets.
The furniture is all handmade with tropical wood (the attention to detail is extraordinary, even the new do not disturb signs are being made from bamboo or teak wood). The eight villas located along the beachfront are favorites of many guests who like to walk from the comfort of their room to the sandy beach. The rest of the rooms and suites climb the hillside (golf carts are available for those that don’t want to walk). From this perch are some of the most amazing beach and island views from the furnished balconies. Bathrooms are bright with white-washed walls, rainfall showers (some rooms also have tubs), spacious vanities, and towels made from bamboo fiber. The Ocean Prestige suite boasts its own whirlpool, and several of the rooms and suites can connect. Some of the rooms have small second bedrooms and bathrooms that are perfect for families.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS The main restaurant features both indoor air conditioned space and outdoor, toes-in-the-sand seating. Umbrellas provide shade, and guests can also dine by the pool or on the beach.
An inventive menu uses ingredients from the resort’s own gardens. Organic and local items fill the menu with an emphasis on reducing the hotel’s environmental footprint. Expect tasty burrata salads, freshly caught lobster and fish, and decadent viennoiserie made by the hotel’s own pastry chef. A mixologist designs the tasty cocktails, and an extensive wine and beer list adds to the bar menu. Once a week, the hotel hosts a beach barbecue with live music that is a guest favorite.
LEISURE FACILITIES There are two pools: one is beachfront and an adults-only infinity option is at the spa. Both are ringed with cushioned lounge chairs and umbrellas. There is a state-of-the-art fitness center, but a jog on the beach is just as rewarding. Additionally, fitness classes (core training, cardio, yoga and pilates) are offered on the spa deck throughout the week, and the option of having a personal session at the spa, or on your own terrace with a personal trainer is always a possibility. The spa uses all-natural products for its massage and beauty treatments. The game room features activities like table tennis and video games.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Free wireless Internet is available throughout the hotel, and small groups can convene in the bar or lounge areas. The staff is happy to loan out adaptors or print boarding passes for guests.
VERDICT This haute island retreat has stunning surroundings, epic views, delicious cuisine, and poised service that will make any vacation to this lovely island one to remember. Name recognition, beach towel and drink service, herb-infused glass bottles of water (with herbs such as lemongrass from the hotel’s own garden) at turndown service are all examples of what a five-star experience should be.
(Pictures by Hotel Manapany St. Barth
By Ramsey Qubein
Ramsey is a regular contributor to Business Traveler across all print, digital, web and social channels. He travels more than 400,000 miles a year criss-crossing the globe to report on hotels, airlines, loyalty programs, and all things travel.