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Inside Two Major Hotel Renovations in St. Barth's

August 6, 2015 By: Joe Pike

The Serenity Suite is one of the two newest suites at Le Guanahani as part of an ongoing $46 million renovation project.

Travel Agent had the opportunity Wednesday afternoon to chat with Martein van Wagenberg, managing director of the Le Guanahani in St. Barth's, about the recent transformation of his hotel.

In March, Hotel Guanahani & Spa, the only full-service boutique hotel in St. Barth's, announced its debut as Le Guanahani following the completion of a four-year, $40-million renovation. But it turns out that wasn't the end of the makeover. 

There are a total of 67 rooms here, 27 of which are suites. Fifty-two rooms have been renovated, while the remaining will be finished from September to the end of October when the hotel closes for annual touch-ups, van Wagenberg says. 

Some of the rooms have been completely gutted, while others just needed a good refresh, says van Wagenberg. Most of the rooms were enlarged from the inside out. Outdoor terraces with views were turned into focal points for the rooms, and all rooms received new furnishings and accessories in bold, Caribbean colors. The entire renovation project, which also includes the renovation of the reception area and spa, is about $46 million, says van Wagenberg.

The spa renovations will be mostly cosmetic as there are no plans to add any treatment rooms to the existing eight that are currently in operation. The spa improvements will mainly focus on bringing the spa back to the style of the rest of the hotel, as it currently has an Asian feel to it, van Wagenberg says. The entire vision of the redo was designed to reflect the laid-back, French Creole vibe of the island.

The team of David Schwarz architects and Luis Pons D-LAB designers kept the French Colonial style intact, but took extensive measures to give the resort a fresh feel. The spa will also become more of a wellness area, as yoga, Pilates and mediation will all be available at the spa in the next two years, van Wagenberg says. It is a 4,800-square-foot space. Clients can purchase packages for three, five or seven days. 

The best rooms here are the eight Prestige Suites. These suites have views of the ocean and are located just above the spa. They are equipped with an outdoor, covered bathroom with shower, sitting area and king-sized bed. There is a 323-square-foot private terrace as well. Butler service is also included.

Visit Le Guanahani This Summer

Regarded as one of the most kid-friendly hotels on the island, and with water sports ranging from kite surfing to fly boarding and sea kayaking, there is something for every generation at Le Guanahani.

Families of all sizes looking to experience St. Barth's for an extra night can book the hotel's special suite offer. This offer gives families the opportunity to book suite accommodations for four nights, while only paying for three, all the while experiencing the hotel's amenities.

Le Guanahani offers a myriad of activities and amenities for families to engage and enjoy. The hotel boasts a choice of two pristine beaches, perfect for the use of complimentary, non-motorized water sports equipment for paddle boarding, windsurfing, snorkeling, canoeing, kayaking and pedal boating in crystal-blue waters. 

Additionally, the hotel has two flood-lit tennis courts. For adventurous fun further offshore, Le Guanahani can arrange kite surfing, jet skiing, deep-sea fishing and diving excursions, with departures available directly from the property. Boating excursions are provided from the beach on the resort's 42-foot Sacs speed boat, with picnic lunches available created by Chef Philippe Masseglia.

No Parents Allowed 

Children experience a taste of French culture and language with the Kids' Club at Le Guanahani, while parents enjoy personal downtime. The hotel offers two kids programs - a Kids' Club for its youngest visitors (ages 2-6) and a Junior's Club for the older kids (ages 6-12). Both programs are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. upon reservation and include activities spanning singing, painting seashells, exploring and discovering wildlife including sea turtles, and making jewelry for younger children, to snorkeling, canoeing, windsurfing, and volleyball for Junior Club members. The beachfront restaurant, Indigo, prepares daily lunch from the Kids' menu to satisfy cravings.

For the Fitness Enthusiast

In addition to the variety of wellness excursions offered at the hotel, health-conscious families can experience Le Guanahani's newly-announced partnership with ORAHE, a stand-up paddle boarding program combined with gymnastics, Pilates and yoga. 

The hotel has partnered with French wellness sensation and former supermodel Estelle Lefébure to offer wellness retreats based on her exclusive ORAHE method. ORAHE is a "raison d'être" that encompasses beauty, sports and culinary experiences based on the belief that a healthy, happy life can be achieved with three principles: eat, move, be. Guests can enjoy the program in three and five day increments, in addition to a special nutritious diet prepared by Chef Philippe Masseglia, along with specially created spa treatments at the Spa by Clarins.

Summer at the Spa

Families can relax and rejuvenate at the spa featuring balneotherapy or water therapy, hydrojet, steam baths, a tea pavilion and an extensive menu of treatments. The spa also offers special children treatments for junior guests.

Summer Suite Offer

Families can extend their island getaway with the "Stay 4 Nights, Pay for 3" package from Le Guanahani, offering an extra complimentary evening when booking suite accommodations. The offer is valid from now through August 27 and from October 29 to December 18. It includes daily full breakfast buffet at Indigo and round-trip transfers from St. Barth's airport.

Hotel Le Toiny's Renovation Includes New Beach Club, Redesigned Rooms

Le Guanahani isn't the only luxury hotel in St. Barth's undergoing a makeover. Hotel Le Toiny is currently closed for renovations and will reopen with completed enhancements on November 1.

Hotel Le Toiny, a Relais & Chateaux boutique hotel on St. Barth's southeastern side, announced Wednesday that it will undergo a full-scale renovation this summer including the addition of a new beach club, a redesign of all accommodations, and updates to the hotel’s public spaces. The hotel’s gourmet restaurant will also be refreshed.
Overseen by celebrated interior designer Lady Bee Osborn, the 2015 Hotel Le Toiny renovation will update the property’s current French-inspired accommodations and public spaces to a clean “coastal chic” aesthetic. The calm palette will feature neutral tones and fine natural materials inspired by the island, including petrified wood, mother-of-pearl, soft fabrics and sun-bleached teak. The design will be accented with crisp pops of blue in bold patterns, in a nod to the hotel’s secluded location overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

Each of the hotel’s 15 villa-style accommodations will be updated to a chic color palette of sandy beige, bright white, warm brown and driftwood gray, reminiscent of St. Barth's beaches. Bleached wood-inspired floors, fine Belgian linens, textured accessories and handmade furnishings will round out the comfortable spaces. Striking blue accent pieces will tie the design together for a breezy look that is stylish yet unfussy. 
The clean, cool aesthetic will continue throughout the hotel’s refreshed public spaces, including its restaurant, the lobby, library and open-air bar, which will be inlaid with gleaming oyster shells and feature coral-hued seating. An outdoor champagne sitting area, ideal for pre-dinner apéritifs, will be added to the restaurant’s reception area.

The renovation will also mark the addition of the highly-anticipated Toiny Beach Club. Open to guests and non-guests and accessible via private beach path or hotel shuttle, the secluded beachfront venue will offer wine, cocktails and cuisine from the hotel’s renowned restaurant.
The Toiny Beach Club will be incorporated around two historic cottages, constructed by the island’s pioneering Ledee family in the late 18th century. The outdoor space will also feature an open-air amphitheater, coconut grove, tamarind field, garden, orchard and pineapple trees. Sand will also be added to soften the beach club’s setting without interrupting Toiny Bay’s rugged shores.
Visit and Keep visiting for all your latest Caribbean news and be sure to follow Travel Agent's Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike.

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About the Author

Joe Pike
Joe Pike is Travel Agent's senior editor covering the Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda; Hawaii; Central & South America. Previously, Pike was a newspaper reporter for The Asbury Park...

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By Joe Pike | August 6, 2015
Travel Agent chatted Wednesday with Martein van Wagenberg, managing director of the Le Guanahani hotel in St. Barth's, about the recent transformation of his hotel. Here's an inside look.