After experiencing the long-term devastation caused by Hurricane Irma on several other Caribbean islands, I wasn’t sure what to expect when our tiny plane touched down on St. Barths. But then our smiling driver whisked us away, and the island’s magic, style, and mystique washed over us as soon as we saw the impossibly blue water of the Grand Cul de Sac through the chic and welcoming red doors of Le Sereno.

But there was no guarantee of Le Sereno’s happy return after Irma ripped through in September 2017. In fact, the hotel suffered substantial damage that forced its closure, and reconstruction took over a year. I was one of the lucky ones who visited shortly after it reopened.

I saw for myself that this boutique, family-owned beachfront hotel has not only retained the charm and spirit of the original but is back and beter than ever with lots of enhancements too.

Our large beachfront suite’s white walls, dark floors, and tasteful décor contrasted perfectly the blue Grand Cul de Sac and green palm trees shading our private outdoor terrace. The four-poster bed and sofa made it hard to leave the suite in the morning. And the large bathroom’s granite sink, deep soaking tub, separate shower, and quality bath products were high-end spa quality.

If a variety of waterfront suites and garden bungalows are not enough, Le Sereno also has several large private villas available. Each is perched up the hill from the main hotel and offers panoramic views of the Grand Cul de Sac. These four-bedroom villas feature private gardens, pools, expansive decks, and 7,000 square feet of living space coupled with Le Sereno’s trademark five-star service and amenities.

Meanwhile the pool and restaurant fit into the beachfront location perfectly. The lagoon is safe, shallow, and home to several sea turtles. The pool deck has everything you need—chairs, umbrellas, towels, and helpful waiters—while you do absolutely nothing in the Caribbean sun. And Executive Chef Alex Simone’s dishes complement the views and open-air vibe of the rebuilt restaurant.

I’m never happy when the time comes to leave a place like this. I couldn’t help but smile as I saw an excited bride was going over logistics with her wedding planner during my breakfast of ultra-buttery pastries on our last morning there. It was the best evidence that Le Sereno and St. Barth are back.
We can’t wait to go back either!