Hotel Manapany is one of a kind. Born of a collaboration between Anne Jousse, president of hotel and resort group B Signature, and Francois Champsaur, a Paris-based interior architect, the hotel is the first eco-resort on Saint Barthelemy Island, commonly known as St Barts. The natural beauty of the site, with its breathtaking sea and beach panorama, informed the entire design of this 1.7-ha property.
Seeking the perfect balance between the surroundings and architecture, Francois, recognised as one of the best interior designers of his generation, connected the 43 cottages – each with a sundeck – to the surrounding landscape with wooden decks, pergolas and windows with shutters that gives “the feeling of being nestled among the trees while providing an exceptional view of the sea”, he says.
The hotel is located amid lush vegetation with small pathways that lead to the different public and private areas. Whether in their room, the lobby, bar or restaurant, guests are constantly reminded that they are living in harmony with nature. Even Manapany Spa – which uses organic skincare by Dr Hauschka – and the infinity pool are located on the beach, inviting guests to enjoy the landscape every second they are on the property.
The interior spaces are housed in sheds to echo the vernacular habitat. In all of them, Francois combined contemporary French touches and the tropical Caribbean spirit through the use of modernist colours and a mix of wood, stone and painted cement, creating both a chic and relaxing atmosphere.
While Francois designed most of the furniture, some handmade pieces were sourced in different countries. These include the straw lamps from Brazil and the plaids from an association of French designers and Mayan weavers called El Camino de Los Altos in Chiapas, Mexico. On the walls of the cottages, Marion Hanania drawings tell the story of St Barts and highlight the importance of respect for all types of life.
The hotel also has its own water treatment system, generates part of its electricity via solar panels and allows only electric cars on the property. It also favours natural products for cleaning and maintenance, and the organic fruits and vegetables used in its restaurant are grown on the property. With an atmosphere where design and comfort align with respect for the environment, Hotel Manapany gives luxury a new meaning.