St. Barts Villas and the Hotel Guanahani
by Anne Marie Caye and Matt Roche
...And a Wedding
As is custom in France and her territories, Marie and David Greaux were married officially at the Mayor's office and then before the Church the following day. The Greaux family - err, rather clan, was all there. The family just seems to go on forever. The Greauxs are a handsome lot and David Greaux is a fine example of that family trait. David Greaux and his brother Frankie own the New Born restaurant in Anse de Cayes, which serves freshly caught, local seafood. Our darling Marie wore a beautiful dress and carried a bouquet of tropical flowers. The weather was cooperating, the bride was timely, and the air, filled with joy. I do not speak French so I often rely on the adage, “Communication is 20% words and 80% tone. To me the tone of this celebration was wondrous and I could see nearly everyone reflecting on his or her own good fortune. The wedding reception was held at the Hotel Guanahani. It was the perfect venue for such an occasion. There was a firm breeze keeping everyone as cool as could be given the July heat and the neckties and jackets that were prevalent. Champagne flowed freely and there was plenty of singing and dancing until the wee hours of the night. On behalf of everyone at Wimco, I wish David and Marie health, happiness, and prosperity for the rest of their lives.
For our third night, we moved to the newly renovated La Banane Hotel. La Banane is an interesting design mix of Grace Leo's Montalembert, The Delano in South Beach and a touch of Mies van der Rhoe. What it lacks in a view and a beachfront, La Banane makes up with very comfortable and contemporary rooms. This hotel is very chic in an architectural way and very easy on the eyes. A canopy of tall healthy palm trees provides shade to the bungalows and pools. If you are the St. Barts visitor that prefers venturing out daily the new La Banane is a terrific choice.
After our Saturday morning dives we had lunch at the Sand Bar Restaurant, located at the Eden Rock Hotel. You have to respect a place that does not rest on their view, or their reputation. For lunch, I had the cold, half langouste with curry and lime mayonnaise and Anne-Marie had the Snapper Tartare. The wine list had one of my favorites, Domaine Ott's Rosé. An incredible view and fabulous food is assured at the Sand Bar Restaurant at the Eden Rock Hotel.
With a "ti punch" in hand, feeling refreshed, showered and changed we played few games of Backgammon on the large over stuffed couches overlooking the pool at La Banane. That night we dined at La Mandala in Gustavia. The service at La Mandala was very efficient and the food is a marriage of Thai and French. A wonderful view of the harbor was made even better with the gentle breeze that caressed us while we dined. If you want to be seated on the terrace, it's wise to make reservations.
Sunday we made the short ten-minute drive over the hills and through the pond to Saline Beach. The weather that day made you think that this was a summer vacation worth repeating. We opted for the easier on the skin, morning sun and decided to depart for lunch at the Hotel Isle de France by one o’clock. If you wish to dine on the terrace on the weekend, as everyone does, it's best to make reservations – even in summer. Anne-Marie chose the Ceviche of Yellow Fin Tuna and I had the Wahoo Tartare with coconut milk and massalé. To accompany our fish selections we chose a bottle of Domaine Ott, Blanc de Blanc. After espresso and dessert, we asked the hostess if we could rent a chair on the beach to lazily nap in the afternoon sun. She was more than happy to oblige our wishes.
After returning to New York’s Kennedy airport in a chilly downpour, Anne-Marie and I decided that a summer retreat to St. Barts was certainly worth endorsing. Au revoir, St. Barts.