One of our favorite hotels in the world is Eden Rock on St. Bart’s, which reopened last November. Today, we are sharing exclusive photos of its newly renovated Villa Rockstar. Among the highlights: two new ground-floor bedrooms for a total of six altogether; a new 20-meter-long private pool with hammocks; a reimagined entertainment area with a bar and piano; and an indoor/outdoor kitchen and dining area. Plus, the recording studio is gone (even musicians don’t want to work on vacation, I guess?), and there is a new well-being area with fitness equipment, spa treatment room, hammam, and sauna. Of course, the villa includes the services of a private butler and chef.
Eden Rock, part of the Oetker Collection, has one of the most dramatic locations of any hotel in the world: It’s perched on a rock jutting out from a sandy beach, surrounded by turquoise blue water, just 10 minutes from the island’s airport, which is known for its unforgettable—sometimes stomach-turning—landings. In 2017, Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded, hit the Caribbean, destroying countless homes and buildings and leaving many hotels inoperable. Some luxury properties, including Eden Rock, chose to undergo larger- scale renovations since they had to close for restoration anyway.
I spoke with general manager Fabrice Moizan, a friend to many in the travel industry, who has spearheaded the renovation effort over the last two years. “Above all, we want it to feel like a home, not a hotel. We will make sure our guests are welcomed as friends and relatives would be,” he says. To that end, public spaces were improved and designed to feel more like a home than before, inspired by the current owners, the Matthews family, who made Eden Rock their home 25 years ago.
Why is St. Bart’s so beloved? It’s one of those places like Aspen, a destination that promises a better way of life, not just a place to visit.
St. Bart’s is unique on Earth. This is the only place in the world offering French art de vivre with 360 sunny days per year. The recipe for success is fine gastronomy, exclusive events, exquisite scenery, and pervasive sun. Smiles are everywhere.
Tell us what guests can’t miss at the new Eden Rock.
The Eden Spa. This is the first time the hotel will have a dedicated spa. We’re partnering with local brand Ligne St. Barth, but also Esthederm and Hydrafacial for unique treatments. It’s nestled inside the very “Rock” itself, so it’s a genuine cocoon and feels like a yacht on land. We designed it to be an incredible sensory journey from the first moment you step into the spa.
The new Rémy Bar. This is the heart of the hotel, inspired by its first owner, the intrepid adventurer Rémy de Haenen. It’s all about balancing between detox and retox here, with fun cocktails, but also divine juices and smoothies by chef Jean-Georges.
The Eden Being boutique. It was successful before the renovations, but we doubled the size. Our discerning guests are hard to surprise, and we have really surpassed ourselves by creating surprising collaborations, exclusive apparel, and objects that can only be found at the hotel. We carefully selected each brand for those who could offer something extra to our international clients.
The new beach experience. It’s a whole new pampering experience at the beach, including the new Beach Bar with a frosé [frozen rosé] trolley, and a well-being experience at the Spa Cabana.
What are the must-try food items on the menu?
For breakfast, the Nutella doughnuts are deliciously regressive. Sharing is essential to our DNA, so try a truffle pizza by maestro chef Jean-Georges for the whole table at the Sand Bar. Plus, try the lobster salad with chic champagne dressing to be genuinely immersed in the Caribbean.
You are known for incredible villas and suites. What stands out after the renovation?
Our very special Villa Nina and Villa Rockstar have been entirely redone and rethought. Villa Nina has three suites and an unmissable location right on the beach. Villa Rockstar is a jewel of luxury and privacy, with six suites, a private fitness center and spa, plus a 20-meter pool. Both have 24-hour butler and chef service.
For suites, the Diamond Suite Waterlily has wonderful views and sundrenched interiors. And the new signature Captains Suite is built like a wooden boat cabin and offers nice views from its private pool.
What does your perfect day on St. Bart’s look like?
Truly, working at Eden Rock is my treat, but when I take a day off—it happens once in awhile—I like to start my day early in the morning with a coffee in hand, staring at the sea before the sun rises. Then I unwind by hiking to stunning Colombier before the sun gets too hot, followed by a swim in the sea, and the hike back home. The very best place for a long lunch is Shellona restaurant in Shell Beach, a hip place with great music and a nice atmosphere. I’d eat there before heading home for a deep nap in my hammock, and then welcoming friends at home where we’d prepare dinner together.
If it’s not Eden Rock and St. Bart’s, where do you love to stay?
I would say the exclusive La Mamounia in Marrakech. It’s a peaceful oasis, where the calm of the hotel complements the voluptuousness of the destination. I have so many memories engraved in my mind from the hotel—the stunning colors when the sun rises or sets on the distant Atlas Mountains, the large terraces overlooking the park, the decor by inimitable designer Jacques Garcia, the delightful smell of the city’s spices. It’s a retreat where you do feel at home in a charming, busy city.