When the Kardashian family decided to stay in St Barts in August 2015, the clan did it St Barts style: Instead of booking hotel rooms, they chose to rent a villa. I was on the island at the time and several of friends actually got to meet the Kardashians. So, yes, I knew where they would be staying. But the owner of the villa had asked me not to reveal where Kim Kardashian & Co were residing, before they had left.
Now, I can share with you this (small) secret: The luxury St Barts villa where the Kardashians were staying was La Banane.(Official website: www.labanane.com). In this blog post, I tell all you need to know about La Banane to look like a St Barthélémy insider and then I tell why people in St Barts did not really care that the Kardashians were on the island (Hint: No, they are not snobs!).
Kim Kardashian St Barts Villa: La Banane
La Banane used to be a small boutique hotel, but it was turned into a private luxury vacation rental two years ago. It’s very chic, with vintage furniture from Europe, a wonderful mural painting hand drawn by a French artiste, a lovely funny-shaped pool, and small but super cute bedrooms. It’s 1950’s tropical chic and villa La Banane is often chosen by international photographers to shoot fashion campaigns.
I have fond memories of having drinks at its bar (still there, but only accessible to villa guests) and being thrown fully-clothed into the swimming pool more than once. The parties at La Banane were very nice and the night ambiance there is still magic.
It is also very private,
as high walls and tall palm trees protect from onlookers. It is located in the Lorient area, right under the legendary Autour du Rocher
hotel / club (closed for 20 years, but could be re-opening soon) and close to David Letterman’s former St Barts villa
While La Banane conveys a magical atmosphere, it has two big drawbacks: no view at all (high walls) and no direct access to the Lorient beach. This is the reason why it was a bit difficult for the hotel to achieve total commercial success. On the other hand, if you are the head of a rich family (or a TV show producer), the total privacy from onlookers is a godsend.
Kim Kardashian’s St Barts Villa: Photos of villa La Banane
Villa La Banane
Location : Baie de Lorient, 97133, Saint-Barthélemy
Telephone :+590 590 52-0300
The Kardashians in St Barths: An Island Insider’s Perpective
The Kardashians stayed in St Barts for a week. If you know St Barts
well, you know that, basically, nobody really cared about them. No that islanders or visitors are snobs: It’s just that, well, this is what St Barts is supposed to be like. You are an American celebrity, you come to St Barths, you go to restaurants like L’Isola or le Ti St Barth and sit next to every body else, and that’s it. No crazy crowds shouting your name, no locals standing outside of your door for hours.
St Barts is small, so I had known for a few days that the Kardashians were coming. Then, I learnt where they were staying (La Banane). Actually, the CEO of Sibarth
, the vacation rental management company that was handling the Kardashians had also contacted me to know whether I could host one of Kim Kardahsian’s sisters at my villa BelAmour
. Sadly, I could not, as I already had guests coming to the villa. And people who have booked with me come first, even if the Kardashians (and the chance to be featured on TV) come knocking at my door.
Kim Kardashian is an Instagram phenomenon, so I knew that it would be easy to follow her whereabouts on the social network. My own account, SaintBarthCom
, is one of the most followed on the island, and I decided to repost a few photos of her and her entourage enjoying life in St Barths.
Whenever the Kardashians showed up in town (having dinner at restaurants like Le Bonito
or La Plage at St Jean’s Tom Beach
hotel), a few rate people snapped photos of them. But the « stolen » photos were pretty rare: as it was the end of the Summer season, the places were super full, and again, it was not very St Barts-like to appear to notice that a celebrity, be it Kim Kardashian, Rihanna or Leonardo DiCaprio, are in the room with you. The French invented the word « blasé » and are very good at looking the part!
On their first day, the Kardahsian sisters showed up in Gustavia, in Le Carré d’Or, at the busiest time of the day (around 6 PM). Some people did take a few photos and videos of Kim walking by Le Select, Le Bar de l’Oubli
and the Hermès store. But that’s it – Actually people recognized that her because there was a TV crew around them. Believe it or not, but not many local St Barts people know what Kim Kardashian looks like (Let alone her family!). It was more the TV cameras that stirred some interest.
Once, I parked along La Banane while the Kardashians were there, as I had to go the local Oasis supermarket in Lorient. Well, I did see two burly bodyguards who looked very bored, and that’s it. No bystanders crowding the door to the posh luxury retreat. What was funny to me is that La Banane (“the Kim Kardashian St Barts Villa”)is located right on a car park shared with this supermarket where construction builders hang out after work. Would a Kardashian or a Jenner walk into the « Marché de L’Oasis » and ask to buy a bottle of rosé? (Well, i guess their assistants and body guards did that kind of shopping for them).
Funny enough, I did see some negative comments about Kim Kardashian coming to our little island of Saint Barthélemy. These comments were posted below photos from my Instagram account. These were photos of Kim, Khloé, Kendall or their mom. I can understand why some people did not like the idea of the Kardashians « spoiling » the island by just being there. For some visitors, St Barths is a secret place, a private club, a happy few’s hideaway, so the intrusion of the Queen of Realtity TV, with her family and her TV crew, was not well received by a few of my Instagram followers.
In the end, Kim Kardashian was welcomed in St Barths and her entourage did not create any problem at all. Just like any celebrity, she enjoyed the privacy that the island offers year long.
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