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Boutique Spa by Carita - Spa Review

A Luxury Spa at the Carl Gustaf Hotel in St. Barth's

By Irvina Lew

Enjoy a full body massage at the Boutique Spa by Carita in St. Barths

On the oh-so-French island of St. Barth's, the 14-suite Carl Gustaf Hotel reopened at the end of 2008 after a multi-million dollar refurbishment. We visited, in 2009, to experience its brand new addition: The Boutique Spa by Carita, the Caribbean's first Carita Spa. After landing in St. Maarten, we boarded a small plane for the ten minute flight to St. Barth's and a three minute drive up the hill to this member of Preferred Boutique Hotels.

In the spa reception area, the smartly-styled, 2150-square-foot, duplex facility has a small vitrine stocked with Carita products. (The Carita sisters' products enhance beauties worldwide, including Catherine Deneuve and Paloma Picasso.) The spa also stocks our long-favorite, Decleor cleansing milk, which was actually priced lower than it is in the states.

Beyond the entry, there’s a state-of-the-art fitness area with glass walls that provide natural light and a view of the newly constructed waterfall and outdoor resistance/whirlpool. (Some guests prefer their workout "au style St. Barth's." Instead of watching plasma screens in the spa or taking the hotel transport to the nearest beach, they trek down the hotel's 70 step staircase (between levels or luxurious, hillside suites) to the road leading to the beach; then, they walk back!)


A HydroZone area hot tub at the Boutique Spa by CaritaNatural wood and stone finishes inside the spa

On this main spa level, there's also a changing room and the unique "HydroZone," an area with amenities that include a double Hammam (a steam room) and an Essential Oils Shower which combines pulsating jets of water and aromatherapy products. We experimented in the unique Pebble-stone Foot Bath, where we walked atop a smooth stone passageway where jets with hot and cold water sprayed from its half-walls to increase circulation. For the brave, the Ice Fountain is available, which lowers the body temperature and increases blood circulation after hot sessions in the Jacuzzi or in the steam-room.

Glass doors in the HydroZone open out to the resistance-current whirlpool where we waited for our outdoor massage. We exercised, then, lounged in the pool absolutely mesmerized by the waterfall and the flowering garden around it. From the chaise longue, we enjoyed a vista along the verdant hillside down to the Caribbean. The chaises are placed near a half wall—on the beach side of the terrace—which is perched above the outdoor terrace of one of the two grand treatment suites, on the lower level. That's where we received individualized massages and where other guests relish a complete menu of pampering beauty and body services including manicures, pedicures, foot massages, body waxing and traditional skin care.

After our massage, we climbed the steps up to the Missoni-enhanced Carl Gustaf lounge for a "coupe" of Champagne and the highlight of every late afternoon: the sunset that appears through huge window walls as it descends beyond the megayachts in the azure-shaded Gustavia Harbor.



Boutique Spa by Carita at the Carl Gustaf Hotel
Rue des Normands
Gustavia 97099, Saint Barthelemy
www.hotelcarlgustaf.com





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