It was worthy of repeat visits.

Overall Impression It was a rainy and overcast St. Barth’s day when my husband and I drove across the island to visit the Spa at Hotel Saint Barth Isle de France. After a delightful lunch at a nearby beachside restaurant recommended by Fiona, the spa manager, it was time for a relaxing treatment. We found the busy hotel and spa tucked away in a quiet corner of Flamands Bay . Right away, I liked the look and style of the small spa which boasted of its “customer centered holistic approach.” After leaving our car in a diminutive parking lot, we walked to the spa entrance. Inside, I was greeted warmly and given a short questionnaire to complete. Soon after, a lively British therapist with a bright smile walked me over to the Garden Pavilion for the fully clothed Thai massage. I applied a liberal second dose (we had sprayed ourselves before leaving) of mosquito repellant, lay on the floor mat and she began. An hour and a half later, found me sitting in a cushy chair at the spa reception eating fruit sorbet and feeling “noodly” though awake.

Since the weather had been unkind I decided to return the following morning to sample other spa treatments. A young and quiet French therapist administered the Equabalance Facial and Shiatswe massage, a signature massage of the Spa. In the treatment room, the crisp and warm sheets felt kind on my skin. The subtle scent of essential oils in the air and the serene quiet helped me unwind. The facial was soothing and felt good on my sun exposed skin. The massage, immediately after the facial and in the same treatment room, was gentle and relaxing. I nearly fell asleep at the end. This time, the therapist brought a tray with water, small slices of fruit and a sweet fruit sorbet, which I consumed while propped up on the heated treatment bed.

Because I was able to schedule appointments on short notice I half expected the spa to be vacant. Instead, a steady flow of customers from the hotel and beyond walked in or called for treatments in the brief time I spent in the reception area. Apparently, 40 percent of the spa’s customers are island residents and guests from other facilities. Not surprising, I thought in the wake of my treatments.

I appreciated the peaceful yet sophisticated ambiance, friendly and guest centered attitude of the staff, spotlessly clean rooms, well administered treatments and cozy feel of The Spa at Hotel Saint Barth Isle de France. It was worthy of repeat visits.

General Manager Fionna Hoey

Handicapped Access Entering and getting around the spa and its facilities required guests to have a minimum of mobility due to steps in entryways and stairs leading downstairs.

Location on the garden grounds of the Hotel Saint Barth Isle de France

Number Of Staff Six therapists and a spa manager

Owned Charlie Ver Nicoll

Size F our treatment rooms in about 1,500 square feet of air conditioned space

Staff Therapists were European, British, French, and Irish and able trained in most of the treatments which provided good scheduling options to guests at the time of booking. The therapist who performed the Thai massage was trained in Thailand and goes back every year to refresh her skills and study more.

Treatments Available Facials for men and women; eucalyptus, gingerlily, yuan zhi (a Chinese her oil) or grapeseed body wraps; nail grooming for hands and feet; leg, hand or foot therapies. Massages included Thai, Reiki, warming eucalyptus, crystal , European or Shiatswe. New treatments planned for Fall 2005 included a Four Hand Massage (two therapists), Men’s Facial, deep tissue and pregnancy massages. The spa was also considering spa packages.

Year Opened-Renovated 2002

Common Areas Spa guests were invited to enjoy the hotel swimming pools, beach and common areas. The spa itself was small and had limited space to linger though there were plans for expansion in the works.

Food And Restaurants Spa guests could sup at the hotel restaurant. After each treatment we were presented with a small platter with a glass of water, fruit slices and a fruit sorbet.

Facilities Spa guests were invited to take advantage of a fitness room with a treadmill, elliptical machine, stationary bicycle, universal machine, free weights, the hotel ’s beach and two swimming pools areas, a searil (aromatherapy steam room large enough for couples) and an outdoor Garden Pavilion.

Pool there were two hotel swimming pools , one beach side and another quieter one garden side

Lockers And Bathrooms The small bathroom I visited upstairs consisted of a sink and separate W.C. It was attractively appointed.

Other The spa was open seven days a week and holidays. They offered in-home treatments for visitors staying in rental properties (as we were). The summer rates, 30 percent off the high season rates, were noteworthy. The spa housed the largest collection of Molton Brown products I had seen anywhere.

Cleanliness Excellent

Date Of Review May 2005

Number Of Treatments Three

Reviewers Article and Photos by Elena del Valle

Treatments Experienced The Thai massage, held outdoors in the attractive Garden Pavilion, focused on unblocking energy points by pressing down on them (with light, medium or deep pressure), pushing and pulling limbs in different directions. The therapist used arms, feet, limbs and her body in general to accomplish the ample variety of stretches and stimulate flexibility. Although it was relaxing immediately after the hour and a half long treatment, I felt slightly sore the next day.

I liked the 55-minute Equabalance facial with Egyptian jasmine’s reliance on skin massage and lotions for cleansing. It was just what my face needed, to be treated with care. First the therapist applied fruit and flower extracts, then an olive and citrus enzyme polish and finally a clay mask. A gentle neck and scalp massage was just what the doctor ordered.

My mild mannered and unassuming therapist gave an impressive Shiatswe body massage with grapeseed. The 55-minute treatment was a combination of Swedish, reiki, reflexology and shiatsu techniques. At first it felt as though she was hardly pressing at all, slowly I began to feel more relaxed and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Pluses that added to the pampered feel included large clean smelling plush towels, a heated blanket to lie on, aromatherapy scents, and a delicate floating flower decoration.

Would You Return? Yes

Contact Information

  • Address:
    • Baie de Flamands
    • P.O. Box 612Y 97098
    • Saint-Barthélemy Cedex
    • French West Indies
  • Phone:
    • +590 27 61 81
  • Fax:
    • +590 27 86 83
  • Website:
  • Email: