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“Heaven on Earth!”

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Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 April 2009

It was our third visit to the Isle de France and we were greeted warmly at reception, given a cool towel and a glass of champagne to unwind. We had been promptly met at the airport and upon arrival our bags were whisked to our garden bungalow. (#33) This room is very large and well appointed. Beautifully decorated and serene. There is a spacious bathroom and a covered patio area with a table for room service, plus a small seating area. There is a private pool shared by 3 other bungalows and comfortable loungers
Crystal and Jerome were welcoming and helpful. Lunches at the hotel were some of the best to be had. The breakfast buffet is plentiful and really there is no need to order off the menu. I also enjoyed the spa and had a wonderful treatment. It is expensive, but well worth the price for a special treat. The sorbet selection given to clients at the end is such a nice touch.
There is a new Italian restaurant on the island (Isola) that rivals some of the finest meals I've had in Italy. I highly recommend it.
Our vacation was idyllic. The beach and water were sublime. It's truly heaven on earth.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Auntbunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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232 - 238 of 382 reviews

Reviewed 26 February 2009

We were on a cruise and had a day in St. Barth's. When the ship docked, we went across the street to a little shop called "The Consierge". The young lady there was delightful and suggested that
we go to the Isle de France for the day. She assured us that we could use the beach and pool, so we were all set. We took a cab and when we arrived, the view was spectacular and everything we were looking for.
We were greeted, on the beach, by a chair attendent, who asked us
if we would be having lunch with them. We asked him to make us a
reservation for 12:30 PM and he proceeded to set up our chairs.
We wasted no time getting into the water, which was on the rough side, that day. Long story short, I was knocked over by a wave and tossed around. My leg hit a small rough rock and was very badly cut.
The staff came running and I was helped to my chair, while an ambulance was called. Needless to say, this was not what we had on the agenda...lol. The mgrs. could not have been more attentive or
concerned. Several tourists stopped by to assure me that the care would be exceptional, at the hospital. I'm figureing, that if it is good enough for Angelina and Brad, I'll be fine. The ambulance attendants were lovely and very calming. The hospital, was like nothing, I've seen, in the last 30 years. The waiting room was an outdoor deck, with plastic pvc chairs. It was, however, overlooking the water.
I was taken right into the ER and a quick assesment was made by
2 nurses and a doctor. Didn't need a medical degree, to know that stitches were in the offing.....30 plus stitches.
All of this was done in less than an hour and the cost, was a mere
$105 US. They called us a cab and we went directly to the pharmacy and then to lunch, in town, despite my husband's protests. All this trauma makes a girl hungry.
In spite of all this, I would rush back to this hotel, for no other reason, than they were so very compassionate and concerned.
I know this is a bit of an "odd" review, but they deserve kudos.
My leg healed perfectly ( barely a scar) and I bet lunch at the hotel would have been more expensive.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank tomsriver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2008

Had a great time at Isle de France. The hotel has a great location on a wonderful beach. We had a nice room with a view of the beach (and sunsets) from our own patio. The staff was very friendly and we found the location to be exclusive and tucked away into a wonderful little hidden part of the island.

I would stay here again. The hotel has views of St Marteen in the distance and some fascinating little deserted islands just off the shore. The restaurant was very good and has an upscale feel.

The surf at the beach can be a bit rough at times.

The spa was world class, and the gardens are filled with wonderful tropical specimen plants and palm trees.

Stayed: May 2008
Thank tomdenverDenverCO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HSBIDF, Directeur général at Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France, responded to this reviewResponded 18 February 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you so much for your very nice comment!
We were truly delighted to read how much you enjoyed your accommodation as well as the location of the hotel. Kindly know that your appreciation means a lot to us.
We will be very pleased to welcoming you again at the Hotel St Barth Isle de France.
Yours sincerely,

Christelle Hilpron, Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2008

Our honeymoon - the most important vacation so far in my life. So I picked the most upscale resort (so I was thought) on the island. And it really disappointed me. The following is a recap of our experience:
1) The manager is not friendly; I had a very strong feeling it is because we do not speak French - or maybe because it was our first time at the resort. I noticed alot of "welcome backs" to other guests and "how was your time with your daughter in England" etc., comments. So I thought that I would just ignore the fact that the air of indifference and chilliness was just something to deal with. I have been to Paris so I get it. I will not be an ugly American.
2) We were brought to our room that shared a pool with a few other rooms. It was a 'garden/pool view.' It was big and light and airy. That is where the goodness ends.
3) The walls are paper thin. So thin that the vents are not covered at all in the bathroom from one room to another. That is, you are sharing the ducts with the person in the room next to you and can hear them: cough, talk, listen to music and snore. The thought of having any sort of privacy went right out the window after walking into our room. All this for over $500 a night. Hmmm. SO we put up with it for one night. One night of being up all night listening to the woman next door talking on her cell phone to dear friends all over the world. And then she coughed alot. We think she was dying (quite seriously)
4) Depression sets in - my husband and I are barely able to talk as we need to whisper lest the woman next door hear our every word. She keeps her doors open to the pool and lies on the bed all day and all night. She is too sick to leave except once out to dinner at the hotel.
5) We tell the manager about our plight. We are so freaked out by the experience we ask if she can be moved. I say she is clearly dying per the woman's death rattle. The manager would not comment about the lack of privacy.
6) We are told there is nothing they can do about this. They are booked and that is the way it is. I fall to pieces and tell her then we need to move and please call someone else and get them to move and I will pay ANYTHING to make my week bearable
7) After much discussion, we are moved into a garden bungalow for a large increase in price. I am now satisfied with the accomodations. We can talk above a whisper.
8) The beach is nice, the restaurant is very expensive, but I can deal with anything except rude management.
9) DO NOT get any room but a bungalow. All other rooms share paper thin walls. It was horrible. I will never go back. I will, though, go back to Casa Que Canta, the best resort I have been to in a few years. Go there instead for the most romantic and private time of your life.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
11  Thank meowlover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HSBIDF, Director at Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France, responded to this reviewResponded 10 August 2012

Dear Madam,

I so sorry to hear of the inconveniences you experienced during your honeymoon at the St Barth Isle de France. Please be assured that we are always happy to see all our guests, new and old alike and I’m sorry if you didn’t get that feeling.
I also understand that privacy is important for all guests and especially when you are on honeymoon. Whilst we will always try and accommodate guest’s requests for a room move, it isn’t always possible as we are a small boutique hotel with only a few rooms in each room category. However, I am happy that we were able to finally find a solution for you.

With best regards

Christelle Hilpron, Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2007

So many beautiful choices of hotels, Villas and places to stay on St. Barts and so many varied reviews. After checking reviews, I decided to stay at the Hotel St-Barth Isle De France from Oct. 16th to Oct. 21st. This was our third (2nd Hotel stay) trip to St. Barths.

We flew from Upstate NY to St. Martin then took Win Air without delay or problems to St. Barths and was met by the hotel driver. Who handled our bags and was very friendly and informative about the Island. Win Air was great all around.

Hotel:

The front desk staff was wonderful; upon arrival we were offered a beverage of choice, while the hotel driver brought our bags to our Room #23 Garden View with a private Pool. The staff reviewed our SPA package and other details, then we were given a tour of the property on our way to our Room. The staff was Great and always very helpful always willing to provide, directions, restaurant suggestions, and great service especially Patrick in the Restaurant who was always cheerful.

Breakfast buffet of fruits cereals, cheese, Juice was included in our package, eggs etc. were extra. 9.00 Eur. as well as an evening cocktail.

Very nice Spa, I had a great massage and my wife had a wonderful facial. The spa was top notch and ended your treatment with various sorbets and water which was a great end of service touch!

Crystal – GM came by and greeted guests in the morning checking to make sure we were enjoying our stay which I thought was a very nice touch

Room was great #23, two double beds put together to make a King – Private pool with a garden view. Large Refrigerator – full kitchen and seating area outside. Provided daily was water, free coffee, Tea. Bring or get cream if you use it. Soda, juices were in refrigerator. Always waiting for us after Turn-Down service was a Nightly treat/surprise consisting of: cookies, cake or Molton Brown. I would recommend a room with Private Pool – Garden view especially in the busy season vs. Beach or near the hotel pool.

We traveled to the various beaches on the Island – see below but Flamands where the hotel was located was a Great Beach with a friendly and helpful beach staff providing towels, Mask, Fins & Snorkel and plenty of Beach chairs available.

Notes/thoughts -

We saw the Hot Tub Garden View Room, very nice but preferred the pool with our Garden room vs. Hot Tub.

Bring an alarm clock. Not much else needed, Ladies leave your blow dryer home, as my wife used the hotels and had no issues.

Main House – Pool rooms (beach view) off the deck were nice but in busy season I would not want to be near the main pool & restaurant.

They also had larger pools with rooms that appeared to have two or three units – great for a family gathering.

We have been to the Caribbean (Anguilla) in October and had a great time with great weather and this trip in October was no different, to be on the Island, weather was perfect, roads & hotel were not crowded but some restaurants were not open yet. However there were plenty of great restaurants to enjoy.

Pass the hotel towards Colombier on the road and head to the Look Out – great view and great picture taking area.

Beaches:

Flamands – as mentioned became one of our favorites – great waves. Hotel services.

Gouveneur – Beautiful Clothing Optional Beach, from the parking area not a bad walk. No services bring water etc.

Grande Saline - Beautiful Clothing Optional Beach, easy walk from the parking lot, some rocks, but nothing drastic. No services bring water etc.

Restaurant List:

Since it was off season a lot of the restaurants, we had planned to go based on our previous stay & visit to the Island were closed.

Those on the list consisted of: noted lunch or dinner but all are open for both and the service at all the places was very good.

La Langouste – by hotel on Flamands beach – great spiny lobster (Closed for season)

Maya’s – was closed for the season

Chez Andy’s The Hideaway – St. Jean – Great for lunch – local place, Nice Creole shrimp and flank steak.

O’Corner – Gustavia – Great local place next to the Vietnamese Restaurant – (Dinner) Go with the medium to small sizes depending on how hungry you are, their portions were generous. Great Filet Beef and Grouper – Desert Chocolate Sorbet & Orange yum yum. Local place appeared to be a nice local place where everyone knew each other.

Wall House – Gustavia – (Dinner) Really nice restaurant – MonkFish dish was great and their Lobster & pasta in a crock was fantastic. Skipped desert but great looking cart on wheels.

L’Bouchon – Oasis Shopping Center - L’Orient – (Lunch) Great local place in a shopping center. Sandwiches were great can not go wrong here. Reasonable prices.

Wishing Well – Flamards just pass Isle De France hotel on right – (Lunch) Chez Rolande was a very nice & friendly lady who makes a mean PUNCH - WOW – Great LOBSTER FRITTERS WITH HER OWN SPECIAL SAUCE, Fish sandwich was the best choice with French Fries and Smoked Chicken sandwich was good. Prices were reasonable.

Eden Rock Hotel Restaurant – St. Jean - Great food with a great view (Dinner) Share your starter, they are large portions worth the price and it is expensive. Lobster Roll starter was great and their Scallop & Ravioli (28 Euro each) was also a great starter. Get the Lobster Tail it is worth every Euro of the 66 Euro price. See picture. The Dory Fish dish at 42 Euro was also great.

Carl Gustaf – Gustavia – Great Atmosphere and view of the Harbour – Sam was a Great Waiter - Food was ok. Pork dish over cooked, my opinion and another couples that ate dinner same night, spouse enjoyed her sea scallops, desert was their Chocolate assortment.

Isle De France hotel restaurant – Breakfast & lunch were good and we had a nice dinner on our first evening, which was included in our package and a nice touch as we were tired from our travel and did not really want to go out far to eat. Service here all around was excellent.


Shopping:

We did our shopping in St. Jean – Past Eden Rock from Airport - vs. Gustavia.

Black Swan Boutique - always good for a great local T- Shirt – stores in both St. Jean & Gustavia.

Pholy Serigraphie – Same shopping Center area as Black Swan - Very nice store and great local shirts, I purchased a Chez Andy Hideaway shirt, my size was not available so the owner made a custom shirt for me. PS If you are reading this I did get my shirt and thank you for going out of your way to get it to me.

Temptation - Same shopping Center (Villa Creole) as Black Swan - Great store for the ladies, very nice clothes and nice owner or manager, very helpful and friendly.

Isle De France hotel Boutique – Beautiful ladies outfits and clothes – friendly shop clerk.

Overall a great trip and we would recommend St. Barths to anyone, Euro to US $ is hurting the Island a little but it is well worth going. Feel free to e-mail with questions.

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
16  Thank scubasam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2007

We are both in our 30's and were celebrating a Birthday and our Anniversary. We had gone to Monaco and Cannes last year so were expecting a chic French Island.

I will break down each section with hit or miss:

Hotel:

Hit - Its amazing to stay in a 30 room or less hotel. Everything is kept very clean and the grounds are beautiful. The BEACH IS UNBEATABLE - We saw the other ones on the island and none came close. 1.5 miles of perfect sand and water temperature you could not even get that perfect in a bathtub. There is never a time more than 30 people are on the beach.

Room:

Hit - The room is very large and is secluded (Try for #16) if you do Garden Bungalow. The housekeeping is flawless and you won't even know when they come.

Miss: Some details for a "top 5 in the caribbean" were overlooked. We actually had no lotion or conditioner in our room for 2 days. We called and they finally gave us some lotion. Also, the blinds had rust on them and the tiles had some yellow spotting. The TV is super small (expected for euro rooms) and the bed was of course 2 full beds put together. The conditioner came on our last day after we had asked 3 times for it. We ended up buying some at the spa and complained later. They said "our shipment had not come in" - They did take it off our bill. However, that is unacceptable for this type of resort.

Service:

Hit - You do get champagne on arrival and someone to show you your room.

Miss - I had told them at least 4-5 times before we came its our Anniversary and Birthday. We stayed one night in NYC before we left and the Sofitel gave us Champagne on the house. This place did not even give us a letter saying anything or did not once recognize what we were there for...

There is no concierge and the staff at the front desk does not help much. You will have to research your own restaurants and things to do. Also, we were looking forward to great service at a small hotel, but only 50% of the time on the beach you could find someone to help set up the chairs/umbrellas. I've stayed at 500 room hotels who paid more attention to guests.

Also, the drinks at the Beach were average at best. To charge 15 Euros a drink and not have it be great is ridiculous. Never ever do you feel that the service is "four seasons esq."

Restaurant:

Hit/Miss - The food is very good, but the prices are aweful. Remember we went to Monte-Carlo last year and know what to expect. Prices here were double - Club Sandwich (35 US dollars for lunch, salads starting at 30 US dollars). C'mon and diet coke for 10 bucks at the beach!!!!!!!!!!!! You felt as if they were just making fun of you for paying so much.

Also, the service and presentation does not match. In French Riveria, if you got a 20 dollar club it looked like the eiffel tower... here it was OK. Remember they received a perfect score from Conde Naste on Food. So, I would suggest eat here for dinner once and then hit the island.

Overall: St. Barths is NOT French Riveria. Mostly, New Yorkers who like to make a ton of noise and dress like they are at the Jersey Shore. Every night we dressed up to go out and people looked at us like aliens.

If you are looking for a fantastic beach and don't care about much else - Stay here. The island is beautiful, but you have to have a car to go anywhere. The cab is 50 US dollars round trip - C'mon for going less than 2 miles.

NO "true" luxury status here. I know its the Caribbean, but we expected 1/2 French Riveria and 1/2 caribbean.

Gustavia shopping is very nice and do spend a couple days there.

Restaurants we liked: Eden Rock, La Langouste (casual), Chez Andy (best pizza-casual), Vietnam-Casual, O'corner(gustavia), Do Brazil, and....

CARL GUSTAF (go for sunset around 5pm - DONT MISS THAT)

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
13  Thank MonteChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2007

My husband and I knew from the beginning when we were looking for honeymoon destinations that we wanted to stay somewhere unforgettable. After many other considerations we finally decided on St. Barths. It is an amazing island and Isle de France is an unforgettable place. The title of the resort fits the island perfectly as you do not at all feel like you are in the Caribbean but more like the south of France. It was everything we were expecting it to be and some that we weren’t but all in a positive manner.

Service- We arrived at the airport with our luggage already in the van and Pierre was a gentleman. We were greeted at the resort by several staff members and were served with champagne and cool wash cloths upon checking in. We were then escorted to our garden bungalow and the room just blew us away. It was decorated beautifully with several flower arrangements and petals everywhere. Appetizers, chocolates, and soft drinks in the room were complimentary. Each night during turn down service we were left with brownies, fudge, candies, or cookies by our bed. The room service and cleanliness of the room & resort were top notch.

Food- The breakfast is amazing and the view each morning overlooking the beach is relaxing. Having breakfast each morning was one of our favorite memories. If you are in Gustavia, the Blue Coconut Bar is wonderful. It is a fun restaurant with great service and amazing fire roasted pizza. It was a fun place for us as there was a younger feel to the crowd here vs. the hotel restaurant where we felt out of place due to our younger age.

Spa- Our spa experiences were extremely relaxing. We received massages as part of our package and were treated to coconut sorbet at the end which tasted absolutely divine. The only problem was that it was not served at the hotel restaurant.

Beach- The hotel sits on Flammands beach which was absolutely amazing. The view from the beach chairs is stunning and the sand and water were perfect. The water was warm, relaxing, and the perfect turquoise color. My husband did some snorkeling right along the beach area. It wasn’t the best location on the island for snorkeling but he did see fish and coral. The beach staff and service were extremely friendly and helpful. They, along with the restaurant manager, helped to arrange a private picnic for us on the beach at sunset.

Island- We rented a car for only two days. We highly recommend a car for the entire length of your stay unless you are satisfied with the hotel restaurant and beach. The food is excellent but there is so much more to offer. Taxi/shuttle service is expensive so you may as well just rent the car. This way you can see all the beauty of the island.
Shell Beach is a must see in Gustavia. The beach is filled with HUGE piles of sea shells.
The food on the island is amazing but expensive (like most everything in St. Barths but worth the money).

Overall we had an amazing, relaxing time in St. Barths. If you are looking for a classy, friendly, and romantic place to vacation or honeymoon, St. Barths and the Isle de France are definitely the way to go.

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank dgheidij
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France

Address: Baie des Flamands, Anse des Flamands 97133, St. Barthelemy (Formerly Hotel St Barth Isle de France)
Region: Caribbean > St. Barthelemy > Anse des Flamands
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Anse des Flamands
Price Range: £449 - £4,846 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France 5*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on the Flamands Bay, widely regarded as the island's finest, the iconic Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France is home to 40 beautifully appointed rooms, suites and villas, with panoramic beach views or nestled in the lush gardens. Savor an exquisite locally-inspired French cuisine created by Chef Yann Vinsot at La Case de l'Isle restaurant overlooking the pool and the ocean or at La Cabane de l'Isle for a feet-in-the-sand lunch or a private dinner. The Cheval Blanc Spa and its Pavilion hidden in the tropical vegetation, offer Guerlain rituals, in exclusivity in the Caribbean. Enjoy a highly personalized service, exclusive events organized with the most prestigious champagne houses, tailor-made experiences imagined by a passionate team. The Concept Store proposes you latest creation of local and international designers and fashion show every Tuesday night around the pool. ... more   less 
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