December 22, 2004 - #34
Little by little, since early December, the island has been putting its best foot forward for the holiday season. The vegetation is green and abundant thanks to recent rains. Bougainvilliers, oleanders and hibiscus are covered with flowers. Garlands of multi-colored lights have been strung on the balustrades and windows of houses, while the facades of boutiques and restaurants have been decorated. Cartier has installed its traditional illuminated Christmas tree in the entry to the store. Bulgari is preparing an exceptional soiree on December 28 with a black and white theme to show off its latest collection of diamond jewelry. 800 guests are expected, all dressed in black and white, of course.
Those who are behind schedule are working day and night to be ready for the festivities.
The Italian couturier Max Mara has opened a stylish shop next door to the jewelry store, Diamond Genesis. The Iguana, Mario’s former sushi bar in the Carré d’Or, has been replaced by Le Square, a new hot spot with caviar and Italian food that opened last Saturday. Another new restaurant is La Vela, that opened its doors a month ago, next door to BAZ Bar, and whose menu is primarily Italian as well. On Sunday night, Le Yacht Club, Carole Gruson’s discotheque, opened a casual cafe with a light menu for club goers who need a quick snack late at night. The only boutique that is still under construction during the holiday season is Victoire, which will open its doors in 2005.
Le Guanahani and the Eden Rock are both ready to welcome guests. In Grand Cul-de-Sac, Le Guanahani has several new luxury suites, as well as a new spa in a superb space dedicated to body and soul. As for the Eden Rock, this member of Relais et Château now has two restaurants, On-The-Rocks, upstairs, and The Sand Bar, right on the beach in Saint Jean. At the entry to the property there is a new boutique and art gallery.
Holiday festivities are also underway in the island’s neighborhoods. Evenings of “Chanté Nwel,” or the singing of traditional Christmas carols, attract large audiences as amateur musicians bring out their accordions, maracas, triangles, drums, and guitars to accompany the singers. The Chorale des Bons Chœurs and the choirs of the Anglican and Catholic churches joined forces for an evening of ecumenical singing organized by Father Numa and Reverend Vere Nicoll on Sunday, December 19 at the church in Lorient.
Work on the Quai Général de Gaulle stopped on December 15 so that the large mega-yachts could tie up to the main dock as of the next day. Fences were put in place to hide the ongoing construction of the new harbor master’s office. The docks by the Tourist Office are already full as well and there are only a few berths left at the Wall House. The main dock will be decorated and a bandstand will be built so that the festivities on December 31 can take place as usual.
Happy holidays and see you next year!