Those seeking a restorative, sensous escape will discover true nirvana at the quietly elegant, aptly named Le Sereno, set on a beachy cove of turquoise sea, between the island's highest mountain and the foamy waves. Cutting-edge modern decor by superstar designer Christian Liagre provides the techno-necessities but still achieves a spare yet luxurious Zen-like calm. The suites are huge by St. Barth standards, and have spacious living areas and private sundecks. Large bathrooms,
some with "steeping tubs," have roomy showers and vessel sinks of solid black granite. Other perks include cloud-soft linens and robes from Porthault, Parisian Ex Voto toiletries, Internet, flat-screen TVs, and iPod docks. Smaller units are set in the garden, larger ones have amazing sea views, and the three-bedroom hilltop super-luxe villas will thrill even the most particular clientele. For privacy, choose units with higher numbers. Follow a short trail of bamboo and agave to some of the island's best spa treatments, featuring natural products by Ligne St. Barth, offered in a private open-air beachfront pavilion or right in your room. Bedlike poolside lounges for two set the romantic tone, but active types will adore being in the island's epicenter of water sports, with a great dive shop, water toys such as Jet Skis, and kitesurfing a few steps down the beach. is the quieter sister of the Gustavia favorite.