It’s been 2 months since our trip to Le Guanahani, St. Barth’s, and I have to say, that trip really made such an impact on my children. They talk about it constantly, and still try to use some of the French words and phrases they picked up, while on the trip.
Siella and Gemma have now actually turned our travel into a game. While hanging in the playroom, they pretend to be tiny travelers, toting their mini suitcases and babies, of course. Siella will scream at the top of her lungs- next stop is St. Barth’s. On the heels of this memorable excursion, I’m so glad we have instilled a passion for travel with them, at such an early age.
About three days into our trip, Le Guanahani arranged a private tour of the island. Our journey across St Barth’s turned out to be extremely informative, because our driver shared his knowledge about areas close to the hotel and all the way on the other side of the eight square mile paradise. Jason and I were completely blown away by the landscape. When traveling we are accustomed to the hotel property having well manicured grounds, but in St Barth’s, this meticulous care and beauty can be felt island wide, in almost every building and every road. Even their cemeteries were beach white, draped with lovely pink flowers, out of respect for those who have passed on.
One of our favorite attractions was in Gustavia, the main town and capital of the island, which bears its name from King Gustav III of Sweden. A short drive up to the Gustavia Lighthouse grounds provides a stunning lookout point, where we enjoyed our surroundings and the breathtaking views of the Caribbean waters. Another must see for tourists is the airport, located in St. Jean, the island’s second largest city. Tourists gather on the hill top, with hopes to catch a glimpse of the small planes making their picture perfect landings, on one of the world’s shortest runways. The mountain tops mixed with the luscious greens and turquoise waters make quite an impressive backdrop for the airport.
Another highlight of our tour was a visit to Shell Beach. We only stayed here a short period because we had many other things to see, but since the kids were in awe, we decided to go back the following day ourselves. We arrived early in a car that we rented right at the hotel. The kids went wild when they set sight on the sand, consisting of millions of beautiful washed up sea shells. Ryder and Jason snorkeled, discovering all kinds of amazing sea creatures. We spent an entire day at Shell Beach and we even caught a glimpse of the sunset before heading back to the hotel.
While most of our meals took place in Le Guanahani, we did venture out a few nights, for some local cuisine. Le Tamarin, built around a 100-year-old tamarind tree, is an open-air restaurant located near Grande Saline Beach. In the lively teak-and-bamboo dining area, we enjoyed their French-Caribbean dishes. The kids were kept busy in their oversized playhouse, which was filled with all kinds of toys.
We loved venturing out for local jaunts in St. Barth’s like having ice cream in town, but we always looked forward to getting back to the hotel. From the moment we stepped foot back on the property, we were greeted by the super friendly staff, as they inquired about our day. The kids even had little inside jokes and special moments with some of the staff as well. Every morning, they would walk up to the lobster tank, and our waiter would take one out for them to pet and hold.
Since our trip home, I feel like I’ve re-told our story over and over because I feel like everyone needs to experience this type of beauty and culture. Le Guanahani made our trip extraordinary, and we will keep the memories made there forever. I am already starting to make plans to return and experience it over again, as it’s now become one of my most beloved places on earth.