Kim Nase is a Health & Beauty contributing editor for LaFleur Magazine. Inspiring women to live passionately.

CHEVAL BLANC


In the middle of the Caribbean Sea lies the small French island of Saint Barthélemy. This balmy volcanic island, commonly known as St. Barts, provides safe haven for the wealthy and well-known. A vacation in St. Barts isn't about glitz and glam. Rather, it is a place to relax and unwind. Worries are forgotten under the Caribbean blue sky, and stresses float away on the warm waves of the sea.

Situated directly on Flanands beach is Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France. Located on the East side of St. Barts, this iconic hotel is a testament to the exclusivity and privacy that St. Barts is known for. When you walk in to Cheval Blanc you feel as though you are entering a cloud that has gently landed at the edge of the ocean. The white walls and linens make the striking scenery surrounding the property burst forth in a rich display of color. The blues of the Caribbean sea and sky appear even more vivid, and the white sand beach seems softer and more pillowy against the blush pink accents of the hotel.

While the property is truly breathtaking, it is the staff's attention to detail that make the experience unparalleled. Boasting 40 rooms, suites, and Villas, Cheval Blanc makes an ideal vacation spot for anyone. Couples, families, and those vacationing with friends can partake in the tasteful luxury that the hotel has to offer.



THE ROMANTIC

Whisk that special someone away to enjoy a much needed retreat in the Junior Beach Suite. The suite is modern and sleek, and boasts a kitchen, as well as a spacious bathroom complete with a walk in shower and a soaking tub. Cozy up in plush white robes on your private terrace and enjoy sweeping views of the bay, or take a dip in your own infinity pool.

Spend the afternoon getting pampered at the Cheval Blanc Spa located in the Maison's tropical garden. If you are in search of a more creative itinerary let the Alchemists help plan a picnic on a private island. Enjoy a vintage champagne tasting around the pool featuring Prestigious Champagne Houses, or take in one of the many photography and art exhibitions that are continually being staged at the Maison.

End the day by savoring a romantic dinner at the La Case De L'Isle, one of the islands most sought after restaurants. Located on the property La Case De L'Isle features local inspired French cuisine. Enjoy one of 150 French wines and champagnes offered while taking in the view. Looking for something a little more private? The hotel offers Carte Blanche service that can be customized to fit your palate.




FAMILY FUN

Vacationing with your family doesn't have to be stressful. A stay in the Fisherman's Cottage makes it easy to spread out and enjoy each other in paradise. Featuring two bedrooms and en suite bathrooms, the Fisherman's Cottage makes a great choice for families. It boasts an outdoor patio and fully equipped kitchen making it easier to travel with children.

Cheval Blanc offers several amenities for children, including their own robes, slippers, flip flops, and a soft stuffed toy horse that awaits them in the room. Beach toys and towels are provided as well as a Bugaboo Chameleon parasol making it easy to tote little ones around the island. A Badou baby cot complete with Badou linens is available for infants, as well as a changing station complete with Mustela baby care products.

For a laid back dejeuner visit Cheval Blanc's La Cabane De L'Isle. Situated directly on the beach, La Cabane De L'Isle is the perfect choice for those wishing to dine with their toes in the sand. Lunch is offered daily under this tented retreat, as well as refreshing cocktails server from the La Cabane De L'Isle Bar. Both restaurants are child friendly and offer children's menus. Little ones can be seated in rattan high chairs complete with hand sewn Badou bibs.

After lunch be sure to sign up for one of the several family friendly itineraries offered at the hotel. Go on a snorkel adventure where you can explore beautiful reefs teeming with sea life. St. Barts hosts a vast population of rays, sea turtles. Also available is a snorkel adventure where you can swim and interact with a mermaid. If playing in the water isn't your thing, Cheval Blanc also hosts a 2 hour painting lesson with a resident artist. End each adventure with a delicious snack prepared by Chef Yann Vinsot. Prefer to spend some alone time in the water without the babes in tow? On site babysitting is offered by qualified staff.



GIRLFRIEND GETAWAY

A week away in the Caribbean is an ideal way to spend quality times for those friends you call nearest and dearest. Escape the trappings of the day to day hustle by unwinding in Cheval Blanc's Garden Bungalow. With the ability to sleep 4-6 people, this charming bungalow is the perfect place to host your friends. Decorated in the style of the French West Indies, features include a walk in shower and soaking tub that overlook a hidden garden, as well as a spacious terrace.

If "Nous allons faire du shopping" is your party's mantra, then you have come to the right island. St. Barts is known to have the best shopping in the Caribbean. You won't have to leave the property to find incredible fashion as Cheval Blanc features its own infamous shop called Boutique. An institution on the island, Boutique showcases local and international designers, as well as more notable brands such as Pucci. Fashion shows revealing the latest trends are held Tuesday evenings at the White Bar, and will have you thinking "Je Veux!"

In case your group is more adventurous several Island excursions are at your fingertips. The Cheval Blanc Alchemists would be more than happy to help set up a fun day of surf, diving with turtles, or chartering a private yacht around the island. If you prefer to stay on the land or in the air, atv's on the beach or a helicopter tour of the island may satiate your taste for adventure.

While St. Barts is not known for it's nightlife you can still enjoy your evening sipping cocktails by the poolside while you watch the last rays of daylight dissipate on the water. You may even strike up a conversation with vacationing celebrity while you and your girlfriends embrace the festive ambiance of Cheval Blanc.

Cheval Blanc is a rare gem in that it is tasteful and luxurious, yet remains unpretentious. The staff ensures that no need or desire goes unattended. It has the right mixture of style and ease, French finery and West Indie leisure.




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