Eden Rock – St.-Jean’s Bay, St Barthélemy, Lesser Antilles (French West Indies)
An Unmatched Setting, Part Villa Life, Part Island Lore
Jutting dramatically from a quartzite promontory between two perfect white-sand beaches and surrounded on three sides by water, this much-photographed, castlelike landmark was built as the home of onetime St. Barts mayor Rémy de Haenen. The first pilot to land on the island (in 1947) and father of the islands tourism industry, he found this spot, recognized it as a piece of paradise, and named his house accordingly. Many of Eden Rock’s nine tasteful guest rooms seem to be suspended over St.-Jean’s Bay – St. Barts’s best swimming beach – with the sound of crashing waves serving as background music, and behemoth mosquito-net-swathed four-poster beds standing so high you’ll need a stepstool to jump aboard. The atmospheric terrace bar/restaurant has long been a legendary rendezvous for whiling away the late-afternoon hours before an artful and ambitious meal at the hotel’s stylish Eden Beach Restaurant.