When I had decided to travel to the tiny, chic French Caribbean island of St. Bart’s I instantly knew exactly which hotel I wanted to stay at. I had long read about Eden Rock – St. Barth’s, the luxurious popular hotspot in St. Jean where the tastemakers and celebrities flocked to while escaping the hustle and bustle of life in the public eye.
I had heard that the service was incomparable and the food unlike anywhere else, I wanted to see for myself what the hype was all about. There are some hotels that you can’t help but wonder, “is it that worth it”, and Eden Rock was one of them so I decided to test it out ya know, so you wouldn’t have to.
Booking a room at the Eden Rock can be done through their website, or through your favourite online travel agency. I booked the very last room that the property had available through Expedia, so that should tell you how popular this hotel was at the time bae and I decided to visit. Even though June is considered the slow season, I had no options, so I can’t say that choosing a room was a hard decision. I won’t lie, I was a little on the fence about Eden Rock for a few reasons. Before my in-depth hotel search, I didn’t realise the property was so small and compact and that there was no pool on property. Yes, there are private villas with pools attached, but there is no pool available for the general hotel users, aka the non-villa renting people like me. But, we decided to just go for it!
As St. Bart’s is a tiny island, commercial airplanes are not allowed to fly into the island. The runway is the shortest in the Caribbean and I may add the scariest. You have to be a super skilled pilot with experience to land on that runway.
Fun fact: Eden Rock was founded by Rémy de Haenen, the first man to land a plane on the island of Saint Barthélemy. Leading up to our visit, we were contacted by the hotel to find out details about our arrival; they wanted to know how we planned to get to St. Bart’s, flight from St. Maarten or ferry. We had the option of having them taking care of our flight or ferry transfers or doing it ourselves. Points for service. We decided to simply do it ourselves and advised the time we would be on the island.
Always take the scenic route, is a mantra I love to live by, so we decided to take a ferry from St. Maarten to St. Barths. It is a beautiful and short 40-minute transfer that I highly recommend if you have some extra time and not one that gets sea-sick.
When we arrived at the ferry terminal, we were greeted by our hotel representative who would then transport us to our hotel to check-in. It’s such added value, not having to find your own way to the hotel. Major points! We were given warm towels and water and then briefed about the property and given a little bit about the history of the island of St. Bart’s. The driver’s French accent was very thick and at times, I couldn’t keep up with what he was saying, but it was super cute.
The drive from Gustavia the ‘downtown’ area to St. Jean was a short and scenic one, 5-7 minutes at best. As we pulled into the hotel, immediately I realised how the hotel received its name, it is literally built on a rock.
CHECK – IN
Initially, our stay in St. Barth’s at the Eden Rock was set for three nights, due to missed connections and flights, our stay was shortened. We got to the island a day later than expected and while I was a bit disappointed, things always seem to work out for the best. During the very casual check-in experience, we were given an upgraded room! Add some more major points! The check-in process consists of being treated to a beautiful beach-front view complete with complimentary cocktails, champagne and speciality hors d’oeuvres. After soaking in some sun and drinks, we were taken to our room by guest services, who were very attentive. Immediately you could tell that the service was impeccable, everyone knew you by your surname, but it wasn’t an overbearing type of service. I should also mention that guest services/concierge had the flyest uniforms I’ve seen at a hotel in a long time. I’m so used to seeing the frumpy khaki pants and lame island floral shirts, Eden Rock would hands down bring home the awards for Best Dressed resort any day.
Our upgraded home away from home was the Flamboyant. The room/cottage (still not certain what it was), was located a stone’s throw away from both restaurants on property and the beach. To be honest, nothing’s really far on the property. It was nestled in its own little corner. My first impression while entering the room was, this. is. nice. It was a modern yet island styled dig that was equal parts charming and all parts luxurious.
We were greeted with a personalised welcome card, wine, chocolate and fruit. Our chic guest rep showed us around the room just to ensure we knew where all of the goodies were stowed. There was the bedroom , sitting area, the bathroom, which was separate from the shower area and lots of storage space if you are one of these unpacking types. There were complimentary branded beach bags, flip flops, bedroom slippers, robes and converters. Yes, I knew St. Bart’s was a French speaking country but I did not anticipate that they would even adopt down to the power plugs. Thankfully these little details were not forgotten by the hotel. Our cottage/room had a beautiful sitting area right outside of our door adorned with a French style table and chairs and if you wanted to catch a tan, there were also lounge chairs and beach towels.
So how does an Eden Rock room stack up to any other room? Honestly, luxury and comfort mean something different to everyone. What I look for in a room wouldn’t necessarily be what you look for in a room. But, for me, there was nothing lacking, it was beautiful, had lots of natural light (great for photos) and above all comfortable and had lots of added value. Any hotel that gives me a 100 + euro bottle of avocado oil that makes my hair silky soft can take my money any day. The toiletries were not lacking honey!
Each night turn-down service was offered and that came with even more goodies; we were left special energy shots served in tiny glass bottles. I passed but heard it was ‘different’.
Yes, there is also free Wifi!
The luxe resort boasts of two restaurants on property, ‘Sand Bar’ a casual and relaxed restaurant facing the most beautiful white sand beach and the world famous ‘On The Rocks’ fine dining restaurant nestled literally on Top of The Rock, both of which are restaurants are helmed by acclaimed French Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. We ate at both restaurants during our stay but to be completely honest, I enjoyed the casual dining option most. The food at the Sand Bar was absolutely phenomenal!
Oh, we also got a free dinner courtesy of the hotel and we were free to order whatever we wanted with the exception of the thousand dollar caviar and drinks. We decided on an assortment of dishes, we had calamari, watermelon goat cheese salad, shrimp and salmon. As it was after sunset, and it is right on the beach, the ambience was priceless, just like the service.
The Sand Bar also serves as the breakfast buffet, which was complimentary. There are a wide range of options, cold or hot cereals, salmon and cream cheese, bagels, yogurt, cheese, french bread fruits, sausage, breakfast potatoes and so much more. You also have the option to have something made which I think may be a little extra. Can’t go wrong with free breakfast though.
On to the finer things in life. Fine dining. I am not a major fan of fine dining. It’s honestly not enough food for me and most times I find it utterly ridiculous at how much real ‘fine dining’ costs. But, we went for it, just for the experience. First off one of the best things about eating at ‘On The Rock’, was the location. A restaurant built on a rock overlooking the St. Jean’s Bay, the views are just insane.
If you wish, you can grab a drink outside at the Rock Bar. Drinks are quite a pocket pincher but they’re good. This is also one of the best places on property to watch the sunsets. You won’t regret it. There is a DJ that spins quite an eclectic mix.
But back to fine dining. It’s was a great experience, but would I do it again? Probably not. The food was good but not the best I’ve ever had and the portions were what you would find when dining at a place like this. I ordered the lobster which was decent but it wasn’t the best I had ever had. I must admit though, I ate quite a bit of bread because the French sure know how to make bread. The service, like every place on property was impeccable, but I could’ve done with another night on the beach at the Sand Bar.
WHAT – TO – DO
One of my initial concerns about the Eden Rock was the lack of a pool, but that concern melted away when I saw the stunning white sand beach that the hotel sat on. I am a beach snob. Being from The Bahamas, it’s very hard to impress me with a beach, but this beach was on par with beaches in my country. It was quiet and semi-private. The beach is lined with beach chairs and umbrellas but you have to reserve your spot, which is as simple as going to the beach bar and saying you want one and which room you are staying in. For the remainder of your stay, that’s your spot to return to. The beach has a server so you don’t need to worry about anything. You can order your drinks, food or get beach accessories delivered to you. This is what you do while at the Eden Rock; you beach, swim out to one of two tanning beds and tan. I spent an entire day relaxing and shooting the breeze and sipping on the beach. I will warn you that this is a French island and topless sunning is the order of the day. Don’t be surprised when you see some boobs swinging.
If you want to get away from the beach exploring the island is a great option.
Eden Rock is conveniently located near the shopping district in St. Jean. There are posh boutiques in walking distance that sell everything from chic island wear to high fashion and jewellery, but remember, take all of your money! You’re going to need it. Also, I can’t tell you how ahead of the game Eden Rock is. We did not have to rent a car to explore the island because it was included in our package. What hotel have you ever been at, where you have the use of a car, fo free?! There were cute economical smart cars and if you wanted to upgrade to a fancier option like a Wrangler or a Range Rover you had the option to for a small cost. There is also no need to worry about parking as there is a valet service.
If you want to venture off property for a bite to eat, listen to some music or simply people watch, walk next door to the ultra luxurious beach bar Nikki Beach which has the most delicious food! Try the lobster salad and the calamari.
Although compact, the resort does have a fitness centre that is available to all guests, they provide massages on the beach, but there is no spa on property, but they work with one that is off property. There is also a small boutique shop where you can pick up some fun resort wear pieces like swimsuits, hat, sandals, or some jewellery.
IS EDEN ROCK THE RIGHT HOTEL FOR YOU?
I loved everything about the Eden Rock. But, let me make this clear, this hotel is not for everyone. If you and your significant other are looking for a quiet and private getaway, this hotel is perfect for a baecation. If you are on a budget, this may not be the right hotel for you. St. Bart’s has far more reasonable hotels that you can consider for a getaway. If you love all things fancy and luxurious, this is the right place for you, but if you are looking for a resort that has endless activities, it’s a no. If you want a beach front hotel, it’s perfect. If you are travelling with a large group, there are lots of family style villas with pools that you can rent. If you love good service and above and beyond attention to detail, you have a winner.
Eden Rock is hands down, the best hotel I’ve stayed in. This #treatyoself resort is one of those hotels that you have to try at least once; it lives up to the hype and I do not regret dropping some major $$$ to experience it. From check in to check out, the service level was above and beyond. The food was as expected, delicious, the room was comfortable and chic and the experience overall a valuable one. I loved it and that’s really all I can say. I really, really loved it and I’m daydreaming about my next visit.
LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!