Feature Friday: Villa la Banane, St. Barthélemy, Caribbean

Tucked in the heart of a coconut grove on the Caribbean Island of Saint Barthélemy, Villa la Banane is a mid-century lovers tropical delight. In the 1970's La Banane was built by French entertainment impresario and artistic director, Jean-Marie Rivière, who used to perform his cabaret show 'La Banane' on an island in the middle of the villa's pool. Current owners Jean Marc Israël and Benjamin Fabbri have restored and reinvented the charm and vintage glamour that once surrounded the villas. Israël is a vintage furniture collector and Fabbri is a former marketing director for Dior; the two know fabulous design and have a huge passion for 1950s interior design.  The property has 8 private bungalows, each with their own lush garden and two pools where guests can lounge and soak up the sun.  
Vibrant splashes of color such as raspberry red and canary yellow liven up the white bungalows and wooden terraces, providing a colorful backdrop to showcase their impressive collection.

Each of the 8 bungalows are named after famous 1950s artists, designers and craftsman. Designers such as Serge Mouille, Jean Royère Juliette Derel have pieces showcased in each of the Bungalows, creating authentic vintage designed rooms. Their most famous pieces of furniture are from Swiss architect, Pierre Jeanneret. This collection was originally crafted for administrative buildings in Chandrigarh, the capital of Punjab, a planned city by Jeanneret's cousin and modern architecture pioneer, Le Corbusier.
Israël and Fabbri have made sure that their love for 1950s design and furniture is reflected in the overall design of the villas but that it also reflects an honest representation of the villa's location. Fabbri said: “The object was to tell a story, not just show the artwork. We immersed ourselves in the fundamental ideas of the 1950s, but also in the spirit of the Caribbean that comes with the location.”
The bungalows certainly are well balanced between displaying famed modern furniture pieces and providing an easy breezy tropical vibe.
The bungalows bathrooms are bright and airy. Large windows allow light to flood in, creating an almost outdoor feel.
The bar and library follow the same theme as the rooms – white mixed with occasional bright colors – and throughout, indoor spaces open out seamlessly onto the villa’s shady garden.

Lorient Beach, still undiscovered by most tourists, is just 50 meters away, but with in-room massages on offer and inviting swimming pools glistening, guests are often tempted to stay right where they are.
If you have an appreciation for mid-century design and enjoy tropical breezes, lounging at the pool and reading in your own private tropical garden, Villa la Banane is a dream getaway. 

Source: Design Hotels & The Hotels of St. Barth