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St. Barth’ glittering shores are forever alluring, and many hotels have sprung-up over the years, some independent, and some with large hotel groups behind them. It’s rare in this paradise for a hotel property, especially in a very enviable location, to be continually owned and operated privately and quietly by a family. But, this is the case with the ever-so-comfortable, and effortlessly chic, Le Village

Atop a hill in beautiful St. Jean, in the heart of it all, the owner Ms. Catherine Charneau presides over the property that her father founded when the island first began to make way for visitors traveling here for the peace, quiet, and natural beauty. As she told me, “There wasn’t even electricity then!” Just a five minute jaunt from the airport and within walking distance to places like Nikki Beach, and luxury boutiques dotting the road, Le Village offers 25 cottages that are large, comfortable, and casual - truly spots that make you feel at home on the island. Driving up to reception you can easily and quickly check-in with the welcoming staff, and then head right over to your home away from home.

I stayed at Le Village for one evening. I travel to the island often and knew of the hotel for years, but had never stayed here, so I was excited. I was welcomed warmly by a lovely woman at the front desk and explained everything from breakfast, to the gym facilities, to the pool area, and spa. Le Village serves a light breakfast in the morning and offers an ample gym, as well as a wonderful infinity edge pool. I was led to my cottage and, as the door swung open, was immediately impressed. 

There are various categories of cottages here, some larger than others, and some that even offer private jacuzzis. Mine was beautiful. An open floor plan with a bed, half bathroom, large bathroom, two-sided open shower, and huge terrace/kitchen setup outdoors where I could easily prepare snacks, a meal, or even host a little wine night should I feel up to it. The entire vibe was cozy, comfortable and felt more like my own little private villa on the island than it did a hotel room. My immediate thought was that I wanted to extend my stay. After being shown my room, I quickly unpacked and got settled before heading to the pool to take my first dip on the island.

Ms. Charneau is very involved with the property and you will see her around if you stay here. This is such a plus because she knows St. Barth better than anyone. She used to work with the island’s department of tourism and, as I mentioned before, is part of one of the pioneering families of modern-day St. Barth. She is kind and always willing to give her advice on local happenings, places to eat, or the hotel history. I learned that everyone from well-known French chefs to celebrities have stayed at Le Village, and the hotel even has a collection of books in the reception area that amass memories and the history of this place. It’s all very special. 

I enjoyed my evening at Le Village very much. I enjoyed a glass of rosé and baguette and brie at sunset before preparing for dinner. And, a light breakfast of pastries and fruit before departing. I slept well. I felt at home. And, I realized that this is a place that attracts repeat guests over and over. Those who come here are not necessarily in St. Barth for the glitz, but for what the original travelers came here for; peace, quiet, discretion, and the ability to stay and be unbothered. I can’t wait until my next stay at Le Village.