St. Barths Online


Oct 17, 2005

Seasonal Update - Fall 2005

Another lively hurricane season is about to end, and St-Barths has once again been spared from the unbridled fury of Mother Nature.

Frequent and substantial rain during the past few months has turned dry and rocky St-Barth into a lush tropical island. The municipal road cleaning guys are having a hard time keeping encroaching plant life from smothering the roads.

Add traffic jams created by road repair (which hopefully should end when the season starts) and you start to think that a shuttle service might be a good idea for the island. In fact, someone has turned the idea into reallity, and by mid-December, you will discover St-Barth Shuttle, with its fleet of 4 AC minibuses going back and forth on the island's roads. The service will start with two routes (one to Flammands and back, and one to Lorient and Cul de Sac) which will depart from Gustavia. The round trip ticket costs 10 Euros.

Since its acquisition by the Matthews family, each year Eden Rock Hotel has offered new improvements and changes, and this year is no exception. Eden Rock Hotel will reopen on the 10th of December 2005 with eight new suites all newly constructed and positioned right on the beach. The one, two and three, bedroom villas are available for "Fractional Ownership" from the Eden Rock Owner Society (E.R.O.S.).

A new Lounge Bar at Guanahani Resort: the Bar'tô is open daily from 7 Pm till 1 AM. Next to the Barthloméo Restaurant, this cosy air-conditioned lounge bar welcomes hotel guests or anyone who is looking for a before or after diner drink in a cosy and elegant atmosphere. DJ Jacques Dumas takes care of the musical program, and his wife, a multi-lingual former model, Alex, is managing the place. Live music will appear from time to time during the season, and tasting sampler from Bartholoméo will awaken appetite.

New ceramic tile roofs are covering Emeraude Plage Hotel bungalows ..... Amazing how a new roof can change the look and feel of a place. One could describe it as Mediterranean feel , but Genevieve Nouy, the manager, will be happy to tell you all about the tile roof tradition in Guadeloupe.

The Berets have left François Plantation Hotel. The new owner, Englishman Robert Eden, an expert in both wines and gourmet food, has said: "It will be a unique experience combining a world class quality service in a beautiful and relaxed atmosphere". François Plantation Restaurant has reopened under the stewardship of Frank Renimel, Michelin Star Head Chef of Relais de Pigasse in South West of France, who proposes an innovative Mediterranean inspired cuisine. An extensive wine list specialising in organic French wines and a carefully selected water list completes your experience in the art of fine dining. The new team will also be offering wine tasting, water tasting and cooking classes to enhance the gastronomic experience.

The new team leading Carl Gustaf Hotel, Mr Olivier Robert and Mr Hervé Rotter, has been mandated by the owner to bring the hotel up to a European norm of quality with the uninspired title of ISO 9001 & 9002. They will manage the Hotel until their mission is completed.

Le Sereno Hotel, which has been closed for 2 years, is reopening in the beginning of December. It has been partly rebuilt, fully renovated and redesigned, and is positioning itself among the ultra-luxury hotels on the island. Suites and villas along the beach, as well as the beach front pool area, reflect the elegant taste of well-known French designer Christian Liaigre, who was an essential asset in the design team. Beachfront "Restaurant des Pêcheurs", will be serving seafood and grilled specialties in a casual setting.

Another nice spot for lunch or take-out sandwiches is Le Jardin, located in the middle of the shopping center across from the airport. New Owner, Zabu, is someone many will recognize from her work with Maya's to Go. She's completely renovated the place. A bright and cheerful setting for casual lunches, with native-born beauty Alice schlepping the plates to and from the kitchen.

La Vela Restaurant, right on Gustavia harbour, is now open for lunch during the winter season. A new chef imported directly from Tuscany, who struggles with any language other than Italian, is in the kitchen.

We has also heard many good things about Café Victoire, in Gustavia. the new Tapas place created by the former Tapas Chef of Eden Rock. Only a few tables and no reservations, so get there early.

La Marine is still chugging along with its traditional Thursday Night Mussels, but is now run by the notorious Carole Gruson of Ti St-Barth and The Yacht Club fame. The decoration has dramatically improved with a Yacht Club feeling. A beautiful spot right on the edge of the water. The menu features a variety of seafood.

La Crèperie in Gustavia, our local ice-cream parlour and crepe restaurant, has acquired the space next door and is doubling in size. It should reopen soon with a window for ice cream on the sidewalk.

A new Italian restaurant has appeared. Called PaCri from the name of the owners, Pascal and Christine. It is located in quiet Saline where Le Gommier used to be. Christine is Italian, and is mistress of the kitchen. When you call for a reservation, you'll be greeted in Italian.

And what about shops? You'll have to take a few shopping days to find out, there are so many of them. Some shops have changed locations, others are gone, some new ones have appeared, and all of them are packed with new stuff. There would be too much to say to put it here, and it would take all the fun out of finding those treasures for yourself.


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