This quintessential island resort has relaunched under the Rosewood flag following a four year redesign. We stepped onto the island to see what happens when French elegance meets Caribbean exuberance…
Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth, one of the island’s most highly anticipated havens of laidback luxury, has relaunched, joining Rosewood Hotels & Resorts’ iconic Caribbean collection. Seen as the ultimate expression of French joie de vivre, infused with the lively and vibrant character of the Caribbean, the resort has been an icon of hospitality since it originally opened in 1986, remaining one of the world’s most discerning island escapes up until its closure in 2017. Having since undergone a comprehensive reimagination that preserves its unique spirit, while infusing contemporary amenities and design details, as well as Rosewood’s illustrious style of service and guiding A Sense of Place philosophy, the property is poised to reaffirm itself as the destination of choice for new and legacy guests alike.
Now, as it reopens with new amenities and experiences ranging from the innovative culinary concept Beach House St. Barth, to the immersive and educational children’s club Rosewood Explorers, to the locally inspired Sense, A Rosewood Spa, the property embarks on its next chapter, encouraging a refreshed appetite among guests to explore all St. Barth has to offer.
“It’s an honour to officially unveil Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth, a beacon of refined yet relaxed beach living that undoubtedly ushers in a new era of luxury to the island,” said Martein van Wagenberg, Managing Director of Rosewood Le Guanahani. “Years in the making, the refreshed resort reflects the very best in design, service and setting, which together create an idyllic environment that is both aspirational and familiar. We’re thrilled to welcome guests at long last to experience the indescribable energy and allure of the property and the island at large.”
The island of St. Barth has long been considered one of the most coveted vacation destinations among the world’s most chic and affluent travellers. Influenced by its deeply layered history, St Barth’s predominantly French culture informs every detail of the island experience, from the local language, to its world-class restaurants and shops, to the sophisticated yet vibrant energy that runs through it all. Named in tribute to the island’s culture – “guanahani” means “welcome” in the destination’s native Arawak language – the Rosewood Le Guanahani has been a mainstay of local hospitality since it opened almost 40 years ago.
Drawing inspiration from its pristine setting, rich with French flair and the festive spirit of the Caribbean, the architecture and design of Rosewood Le Guanahani was taken on by David M Schwartz Architects and Luis Pons Design Lab. From the accommodations to the dining areas to the spa, each space has been carefully conceived to immerse guests in the local culture and style while simultaneously making them feel as if they are at home. The abundant natural beauty of the island is highlighted through smart design details that subtly direct attention to the surrounding environment, and indigenous crafts and artisanship are incorporated at every turn. Vibrant design hues of turquoise, inspired by the island’s waters; yellow, reflecting the tropical sun; and, lavender as a nod to the South of France, add pops of colour and character throughout the property. The palette is complemented by refined and modern interiors filled with natural sunlight along with exclusive furnishings designed by Luis Pons. Guestrooms, for example, feature pieces reminiscent of the vintage luggage chests used by explorers on their journeys.
In keeping with Rosewood’s guiding A Sense of Place philosophy, wherein the local sensibilities of the destination inspire the resort’s many offerings, Rosewood Le Guanahani’s 66 expertly appointed accommodations reflect the unique history, heritage and style of the French Caribbean. Designed as residential, freestanding spaces showcasing colourful exteriors with either ocean or garden views, the 29 guestrooms, 27 suites and ten signature suites provide the utmost in privacy to facilitate total relaxation.
In addition to a refreshed sense of style and inspired enhancements, each guestroom, suite and signature suite features its own private outdoor space ranging from covered verandas, open-air sun decks and dedicated dining alcoves. Twenty further offer all new private swimming pools, creating an entirely private oasis. New developments also include a selection of the resort’s signature suites. Ranging from one to three bedrooms, these special suites are ideal for families and groups of friends, special occasions or simply a more elevated stay. Highlights are the Marechal Suite, situated at the heart of the resort and overlooking the Anse Marechal and Grand Cul-de-Sac lagoons; the Bougainvillea Suite, offering plentiful outdoor gathering spaces including a wet bar, private outdoor pool and covered terrace, all nestled in an enchanting garden oasis; and the Lagoon Suite, with direct access to the beach just yards away.
Serving as the social hub of the resort and heart of Rosewood Le Guanahani’s new culinary concept is Beach House St. Barth, a brand new facility that invites travellers on an immersive, multi-sensory journey that draws inspiration from the island’s French and Caribbean influences. Helmed by Executive Chef Riccardo Schievano and Beverage Manager Bob Louison, Beach House and its accompanying Bar Mélangé showcase local and regional traditions in food and beverage to foster a deepened connection with the destination’s distinctive heritage. Occupying a newly built, open-air enclave, Beach House delivers an array of unique dining experiences, each of which offers breathtaking views of the neighbouring Grand Cul-de-Sac and Marechal lagoons to further connect travellers with the enviable island locale. Taking inspiration from the way in which one would dine when visiting the private home of a friend or family member, Beach House is comprised of separate spaces that welcome guests for the different mealtimes, dependent on the time of day. Ranging from an ocean facing restaurant to a sophisticated cocktail lounge, each area emanates the new luxury resort’s French-Caribbean spirit through thoughtful design details, such as hand-painted wall coverings, woven panels, sheer draperies, mahogany wood and marbled stone. Guests are also offered a range of private dining options, from a carefully curated picnic lunch to a family-style supper on the beach.
In keeping with the rest of the resort, the unique identity of St. Barth informs the holistic experience on offer at Rosewood Le Guanahani’s new Sense, A Rosewood Spa which is the largest dedicated wellness facility on the island. Located between the beach and the hillside, the new Sense Spa further incorporates the island ethos and, natural surroundings in its design for a uniquely immersive journey from start to finish. Its treatments and therapies has been thoughtfully designed to celebrate the island’s rich bounties and highlight the property’s overall commitment to living in harmony with its environment. The Sense Spa allows guests nurture the mind, body and soul and thereby achieve an elevated level of wellness from every angle.
A full-service resort, Rosewood Le Guanahani offers an unparalleled selection of guest activities, amenities and services rooted in the signature spirit of the destination. Guests may spend the day swimming or sunbathing at the resort’s main pool or fully serviced beach, which comes complete with food and beverage offerings from the Beach House. Complimentary non-motorized watersports on property include kayaking, paddle-boarding and snorkelling, while land lovers can enjoy a nature hike across the resort’s gorgeous grounds. For beyond-the-resort island exploration, the property’s dedicated Clefs d’Or Concierge is on offer to provide expert assistance in planning meaningful and immersive adventures. Younger guests are invited to embark on their own adventures at Rosewood Explorers, the resort’s forward-thinking children’s club concept that combines entertainment with education for an impactful experience. Housed in an indoor-outdoor space set directly adjacent to the beach, and featuring a custom mosaic mural by local artist Veronique Vandernoot, the program offers a variety of locally inspired activities that aim to cultivate children’s creativity, cultural appreciation and social responsibility through adventure. Highlights include cooking and gardening classes, arts and crafts sessions and lessons on the local wildlife.
The ultimate setting for unforgettable events and meetings, Rosewood Le Guanahani offers a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces for both small and large groups to come together. Set against coconut groves and ocean waves, the property’s two beaches present the perfect place for a one-of-a-kind celebration. With a dedicated events team available to facilitate tailor-made experiences, ensuring memories that will last a lifetime.
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts manage a portfolio of 27 luxury hotels, resorts and residences in 16 countries, with 25 new properties under development. Each Rosewood property embraces the brand’s A Sense of Place philosophy to reflect the individual location’s history, culture and sensibilities.
Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts /Jacob Termanson