Hotel Review: Hotel Christopher St-Barth

Hotel Christopher St-Barth Pool Deck

Introduction

  • Dates of hotel stay: 4 nights – December 2-6, 2020
  • Where: Saint Barthélemy
  • Paid stay / points: Paid

It’s an annual tradition to take a trip to celebrate my dear friend’s birthday. Last year we went to Florence, Italy, but due to COVID-19 we decided to stay closer to home this year. I’ve been to St-Barth several times, but this is the first time I decided to splurge and stay in a hotel. I used my Citi Prestige 4th night free benefit to offset the cost of this 5-star property.

COVID-19 Entry Requirements / Tips – Effective February 3, 2021 the borders to St-Barth are closed. For more information on COVID-19 and St-Barth please visit the CDC’s website. When I traveled to St-Barth in December 2020, the entry requirements were as follows:

Connecting Passengers via Sint Maarten (SXM):

Prior to Arrival to St Barths from Saint Martin:

  1. Negative RT-PCR test carried out 72 hours before the flight
  2. Health Declaration Form to be completed on : https://stmaartenehas.com/application-form/

Prior to Departure from St Barths to Saint Martin: 

  1. Health Declaration Form : https://stmaartenehas.com/application-form/
  2. Effective January 26, 2021, all air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States 

Hotel Christopher St-Barth – Three Things I Love and Three Things to Consider

What I love:

  • Beautiful infinity pool, one of the largest on the island
  • Wonderful rain shower with excellent water pressure
  • Well maintained tropical gardens

Things to consider:

  • Hotel Christopher is not a beach resort. I knew this going in and made sure to schedule a day trip to Saline Beach
  • Food and beverage at the Mango Restaurant and Bar is expensive and substandard
  • Poor service: failure to immediately acknowledge pest control issues, long wait times a the front desk, long wait times for food and beverage

Location

St-Barth is only accessible by boat or prop plane. I usually fly into Saint Martin and then connect via St-Barth Commuter or Winair. This was the first trip I booked with St-Barth Commuter and I was pleasantly surprised with the level of service. Upon landing there was an agent waiting for me with a sign that had my name on it. She walked me to the transfer line and I was on my way.

Pro-Tip: When arriving to St. Martin on an international flight hang a left when you get in the terminal. If you go right you’ll have to go through immigration, which isn’t required for connecting flights.

St-Barth Commuter operates the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan propeller aircraft. The arrival descent into St Barts is very steep over a hilltop and the runway is only 2,133 feet long. Compare this with 4,423 feet at JFK. It’s thrilling!

SBH Landing
SBH Landing

Hotel Christopher offers free airport transportation, which can be arranged by e-mailing reception@hotelchristopher.com. The hotel is located on the promontory of Pointe Milou, only a short 13-minute ride from the airport.

Map from the airport to Hotel Christopher
Map from the airport to Hotel Christopher

Lobby / Check-in

The first thing that struck me when arriving was the beautiful lush gardens. While taking in the view I was greeted by a friendly check-in agent who offered me a seat outside of the lobby to complete check-in formalities. She offered me a welcome rum punch, which I gladly accepted. Note that this was probably the best cocktail I had during my stay.

Room Details

I booked an Ocean Terrace room. The room is on the small side coming in at 327 square feet, but was a perfect size since I was traveling solo. The king sized bed was harder than I prefer and the pillows were a bit too soft. Giraffes love firm pillows!

King sized bed
King sized bed

The Ocean Terrace room features a 40 inch flat screen TV and Bose sound dock. Hotel Christopher offers a complimentary non-alcoholic welcome minibar, tea facilities and a Nespresso machine. The hotel should really provide bottled water for the Nespresso machine. After you go through your “welcome” bottles of water you’ll need to order more from the bar, which isn’t ideal when you want a quick coffee in the morning. The room also loses points for not having a proper chair at the work desk. If you’re like a lot of giraffes work doesn’t stop while you’re on vacation and sitting on a backless stool during a Zoom call is a recipe for back pain.

Desk area and TV

The bathroom is adequately sized with dual sinks, a large rain shower and bath amenities by Sisley. One thing that stood out to me were the bath towels, they were rough! I expect 5-star resorts to have soft, fluffy and luxurious bath towels.

The view from the room was lovely. The Ocean Terrace rooms look out to the infinity pool and ocean.

Pro Tip: Bring MAXI DEET insect repellant if you plan on enjoying some reading or a cocktail at sunset on your terrace. The mosquitos in St-Barths are vicious, but with the proper precautions you’ll be fine.

View from the terrace
View from the terrace

Speaking of critters I found several cockroaches running around my room on my second day. This is a resort on a tropical island so some bugs can be expected, but the hotel’s response or lack thereof is what made this standout. I reported the incident in-person to the front desk and showed the front desk agent the photo below. They said housekeeping would spray pesticide when they serviced my room. Call me a high maintenance giraffe, but my expectations were for someone to come immediately.

Cockroaches!
Cockroaches!

Fitness Center

The fitness center is small, but well equipped for a small resort. The views from the cardio machines are amazing. You can fully open the glass sliding doors and get some fresh air while on the treadmill.

Pool

The best feature of the hotel is the large infinity pool. I would grab a lounger in the front row along the water and listen to the waves crash along the shore while soaking in some sun. Vitamin D is important!

Service at the pool was terrible. Drink orders took at least 20-minutes when they actually arrived. On several occasions I had to go up to the bar to ask about my order. This was the case whether I was ordering an Aperol Spritz or a Diet Coke. The hotel was well under capacity so the poor service was inexplicable.

Hotel Christopher Infinity Pool
Hotel Christopher Infinity Pool

Food

Breakfast is served daily at Mango Restaurant. The food is served à la carte because of COVID-19. I don’t know how they managed to screw up breakfast food, but everything I ordered from the menu was bland. The poor service from the pool carried over to the restaurant. I had to flag down servers to get coffee or to have my order taken. Breakfast was included in my room rate, but on my first day I ordered avocado toast, which to my surprise came with an up-charge. When you’re paying over 600 Euro a night the avocado should be free.

Avocado Toast
Avocado Toast

Overall Verdict

First Class Giraffe Not Impressed

I was pretty disappointed by Hotel Christopher. It had great bones as you say, but the service was atrocious. When you’re paying for a 5-star hotel in St-Barth you should have high expectations and the Hotel Christopher fails to deliver. To its credit, I’ve heard from friends who have stayed here during non-COVID times and they had a different far more positive experience so maybe I’ll give it another try in the future.

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