At a Glance
The minimalist suites at this intimate hotel are a favorite with design aficionados and beach lovers.
- Spacious Grand Suite Plages accomodations with outdoor terraces overlooking the sea
- Every variety of watersports offered on the lagoon
- Those who fall in love with the surroundings can order the Christian Liaigre furnishings at his boutique in Gustavia
Aside from the villas at Le Sereno, much of the resort has gotten a full post-Irma makeover. Now 39 rooms, mostly rebuilt from scratch, are larger and feature dark wood detail work, modern bathrooms, Italian tiles and stylish touches everywhere. While (happily) the chef remains, the open-air Restaurant Le Sereno has also been redesigned and the bar relocated closer to the pool. Two family suites with private pools have been added and the spa and fitness areas are also brand-new and enhanced. The three 7,000-square-foot four-bedroom villas are the top options here. They have been updated and the terraces and pools (which are heated) have lovely views of the Grand Cul de Sac.
Le Sereno’s 39 suites and villas front one of the island’s most serene beach fronts; thanks to a coral reef that protects it, the water is as placid as a lagoon. The property also has one of the island’s most striking designs. From the minute guests pass through the simple reception house, they’re struck by the stunning contrast between the clean, angular lines of the white-painted wood villas and the lush tropical gardens, which were one of the last projects of the late Chilean landscape designer Fernando Tabora. The owners, who bought the property in 2002, wanted to bring the laid-back luxury of South American retreats to the island—a style that they describe “as easy as breathing.” French designer Christian Liaigre, who’s perhaps best known for his interiors at the Mercer hotel in New York, designed all the rooms and furnishings. Stained-oak canopy beds draped with mosquito netting sit on dark tropical-wood floors. Walls and linens are stark white, which emphasize both the natural-wood furniture and the exquisite views. Liaigre specified that all shapes in the room be rectangular or square, so there are no rounded edges, except in his classic twig chairs. Other signature Liaigre touches are the sleek X-benches and Bauhaus-inspired sofas. The latest tech amenities can be expected from plasma-screen TVs and Wi-Fi to iPod docking stations. There’s a spare elegance to the rooms, which resemble more modern Caribbean retreats, such as Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos. Liaigre has said that St. Barth’s “is an island for lazing about,” and Le Sereno invites you to do just that. Not surprisingly, the hotel has found a following among fashion and media types and hipster families.
Liagre also designed the hotel’s three villas, each with 7,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space overlooking Grand Cul-de-Sac beach. Constructed as three- or four-bedroom villas (the library can be converted into the fourth sleeping area), the homes emulate the hotel’s minimalist lines, with design-conscious furnishings, floor-to-ceiling windows and an open, loft-like floorplan. Each of the three master suites has a private entrance and bath, giving plenty of privacy to couples traveling together or space for families with older kids to spread out. Given the layout, though, young families may want to bed smaller children in the library, which is closer to the first master suite, or plan to travel with a nanny. (There is plenty of room for an extra rollaway in the spacious bedrooms.) Guests in the villas have access to the hotel’s amenities and to a 24-hour butler who can arrange anything from relaxing massages by the pool to a swinging dinner party for ten. The gorgeous views from the villas’ hillside location also provide the perfect spot for sunset cocktails before heading to dinner.
Who Should Stay
Design aficionados and beach lovers will adore this serene, Christian Liaigre–designed beachfront hotel.
Written by Melissa Biggs Bradley