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Perched on a slope high above Gustavia, Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustav is the top luxury property on St. Barth today. One of the most special and luxurious offspring in the Groupe Barrière family, this property stands out as the diamond in a well-built crown of other luxury hotels that dot the globe in the collection. A newer addition, being added to the group in 2020, the hotel made a splash and positioned itself as one of the best on an island famous for its white sand beaches, azure waters, phenomenal culinary scene and celebrity devotees. Le Carl Gustav, as those in-the-know affectionately call it, was built with no expense spared and no detail overlooked - and this is evident from the moment you walk through the doors and onto the veranda with a welcome glass of champagne.

I was a guest a Le Carl Gustav, invited a few times for both site inspections as a travel planner, as well as a media guest. From my very first visit, I have been in awe at not only the rooms, decor, service and cuisine; but at the laid-back, easy attitude that seems to permeate every space of the hotel. The spaces, both public and private, are done in a French-Caribbean design with the use of creamy whites, warm textures and soft pinks, blues, and greens. The signature red of the group's famed Fouquet's restaurant is integrated as well, but, overall, you feel very much that you are in the Caribbean.

The hotel is built in tiers down the slope, beginning with lobby at street level at the top. Walking-in you are greeted immediately by a warm, "Bonjour, bienvenue", and escorted to a private sitting area on the terrace with sweeping views over the breathtaking Gustavia harbour. In an instant, passports are collected and all your pre-arrival details verified - so the entire process takes less that ten minutes to check-in.

A welcome cocktail or glass of champagne is offered and soon you find yourself at the front door of your home-away-from-home for the next several days. Walking through the entryway in your room, suite, bungalow suite or villa is enough to stop you in your tracks. Typically, rooms have a cozy and inviting sitting area adorned with wooden furniture, soft pale and pastel fabrics, mini-bar and beverage station as well as sliding glass doors leading out to a terrace.

Some suites are equipped with a personal plunge pool (and in-water exercise bike) as well. Through another entryway you'll find the most heavenly bed with matching linens, sumptuous sheets, pillows and side tables with every electrical/charging outlet you can imagine. Again, details! It's clear no stone was left unturned when thinking about guest comfort here.

Bathrooms in the rooms and suites are large with walk-in marble showers, double sinks, huge mirrors, heated floors and even toilets that offer a bidet for that extra little feeling of cleanliness. The rooms are run and operated off an iPad and you can do everything here from closing your blinds to ordering special pillows, cocktails and room service. It's all very technologically advanced and easy for guests to locate and request what they want. I used the iPad every morning to order a stunning french breakfast which comes with homemade pastries, juice, fruit, yogurt and a selection of hot dishes.

My recommendation is to opt for the French toast which is decadent and probably one of the best I've ever had. The mini bar in the room is perfect for making cocktails of any kind, grabbing a quick glass of wine or filling your water glass. It's refilled daily and only offers the most premium spirits, wine and water for guests.

Le Carl Gustav is special in that it feels as if you have the entire place to yourself. The rooms and suites are all shrouded in lush palms and flowers, so you don't have to worry about neighbors when you're relaxing outside near your private plunge pool. The steps that lead from the lower street and up to the rooms are lined with palms as well and the entire place feels like a little paradise garden in the middle of town. The location of Le Carl Gustav is perfect as you can walk throughout Gustavia to the many restaurants, bars, shops and beaches with nearly no effort at all. Popping-down to a Greek lunch at Shellona on the famed Shell Beach is a must, or, simply sipping a glass of rosé at Arawak between boutique visits. Le Carl Gustav will valet your vehicle for when you need it to explore the island, but operating by foot is one of the unique features this hotel has to offer.

While staying at Le Carl Gustav you must eat one night at the iconic Fouquet's on property. The stunning sunset views over gustavia cannot be matched and this Caribbean outpost of the famous Parisian eatery and hotel offers a fine dining experience you won't regret. The signature cocktails are all delicious and dishes like the Sole Meunière, Angus Beef Filet or the Linguine Carbonara will impress even the most jaded of foodies.

The hotel's spa, Spa Diane Barrière, is perfect for a massage or facial. The therapists are all expertly trained and use only the best in skincare products. In fact, my very favorite skincare line, Biologique-Recherche, is the line of choice for the spa and the therapists are trained in the signature lifting and remodeling facials - to help keep your sun-kissed skin tight, fresh and revitalized.

Spending time at Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustav is the perfect getaway from your daily hustle and bustle. But, it's not just perfect as an island retreat, but in the details and those details are what differentiate it from the other hotels on the island.

In a place where 5-star is the standard, how does an entity truly stand out? Le Carl Gustav has found the recipe to do just that and that is why those who experience it come back for more, and more, and more. There truly isn't a better address on the island.