Among sweeping beaches and verdant hills, you will find St. Barth today to be much the same as you remember from seasons past.
In the year since Hurricane Irma passed over the Caribbean, St. Barth has almost entirely recovered. Where structures, roads, and landscapes were affected, the people of the island immediately came together to clear the debris and rebuild.
Beaches like Colombier, Gouverneur, and St. Jean were rejuvenated within weeks of the storm, with many shorelines having gained sand in the aftermath, and a beach restoration program was implemented to stabilize the dunes at Saline. By early 2018, most restaurants and shops in Gustavia had reopened their doors. And as we prepare for a new season this fall, the luxury resorts of St. Barth are setting dates to unveil completely revitalized properties amid the island’s lush new palms and native flora.
At Le Guanahani, our beachfront piece of paradise sustained heavy damage during the hurricane, with much flooding in the beach area of the resort. Spanning across a peninsula, the beach was actually hit twice during the storm.
The journey of rebuilding is underway, and we are taking time to ensure that our vision both restores and enhances the property’s original facilities, including providing protection against future weather. Because we are located in a nature preserve, our efforts are taking a little more time as we want to protect the environment for sea turtles, birds, and other species.
“The hotel will be better than ever before,” says Managing Director Martein van Wagenberg of the ongoing work. “People will recognize the unique sensibility, signature vibrant colors, and spirit of Le Guanahani, as those will remain the same.”
When Le Guanahani reopens in late 2019, guests can expect additional beachfront suites and a dynamic new restaurant concept. All resort updates are being carefully thought out by the same architects and interior designers who gave Le Guanahani an iconic fresh look in 2016. Throughout it all, we promise that our barefoot, beach-chic luxury will remain intact.
“We will have a large number of the staff coming back,” says Mr. van Wagenberg. “Many of them have been able to gain experiences elsewhere, so when guests return, we will have added new skillsets while maintaining the same friendliness and recognition.”
As we strive to bring back the Le Guanahani that you know and love, we thank you for your continued support and patience. We look forward to welcoming you back in 2019.