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The Best Caribbean Hotels 2011


<p>It comes as no surprise that this French West Indies island, with its white-sand beaches, over-the-top villas, and celebrity devotees, should be home to one of the Caribbean’s most stylishly revamped hotels. Once owned by the late cabaret impresario Jean-Marie Rivière, La Banane was long known for its campy vibe (showgirls and drag queens provided nightly entertainment). Then, two years ago, dynamic new French owner Jean-Marc Israel and manager Benjamin Fabbri set about creating a Midcentury Modern–inspired hideaway. A two-tiered pool gives way to nine white bungalows with pastel-colored walls, custom-designed geometric tiles, and furniture made by Swiss-born architect Pierre Jeanneret for his cousin Le Corbusier. As if the design weren’t enough reason to stay, La Banane’s ace in the hole is the lively Chandi’ Bar, where crowds gather on Thursday evenings to dance to live flamenco music. <em>Doubles from $595.</em></p>
<p><strong>T+L Tip:</strong> For sunset cocktails and ceviche, head to the recently opened Le Bonito restaurant. <em>Rue Lubin Brin; 590-590/279-696; dinner for two $150.</em></p>

Courtesy La Banane

La Banane, St. Bart’s

It comes as no surprise that this French West Indies island, with its white-sand beaches, over-the-top villas, and celebrity devotees, should be home to one of the Caribbean’s most stylishly revamped hotels. Once owned by the late cabaret impresario Jean-Marie Rivière, La Banane was long known for its campy vibe (showgirls and drag queens provided nightly entertainment). Then, two years ago, dynamic new French owner Jean-Marc Israel and manager Benjamin Fabbri set about creating a Midcentury Modern–inspired hideaway. A two-tiered pool gives way to nine white bungalows with pastel-colored walls, custom-designed geometric tiles, and furniture made by Swiss-born architect Pierre Jeanneret for his cousin Le Corbusier. As if the design weren’t enough reason to stay, La Banane’s ace in the hole is the lively Chandi’ Bar, where crowds gather on Thursday evenings to dance to live flamenco music. Doubles from $595.

T+L Tip: For sunset cocktails and ceviche, head to the recently opened Le Bonito restaurant. Rue Lubin Brin; 590-590/279-696; dinner for two $150.

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