At Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf St Barth is an extraordinary place that goes by the name Shellona. Some might consider it just a beach at first glance, but it’s far more than this. It is a place designed to excite the senses, and for this feature, we will look at what it has to offer.
Shell Beach is undoubtedly one of the most stunning beaches on St Barths and a jewel of the Caribbean. It is unlike others as it is comprised of thousands upon thousands of shells, which creates an enchanting carpet of powdery mother of pearl, hence its name.
This unique and extraordinary setting is the Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf’s private beach. Shellona was the name given to it for two reasons. You’ve no doubt guessed the first reason; the other is its association with the Chelonia Mydas, the green sea turtle, which is one of the most beautiful, rarest and largest sea turtles in the French West Indies. The hotel has adopted the turtle as its totem, and the Island’s extraordinary inhabitants never failed to rally to its cause.
Shellona is somewhat of a people magnet, thanks to its incredible position. Those setting foot on it are constantly amazed by its seashells, which provide a splendid holiday souvenir, and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean that lap upon it never fail to delight.
The art of being happy!
At Shellona, the Italian word “Far Niente”, which in English translates to the sweetness of doing nothing, doesn’t exist here. Even when you try to do nothing, you’re still doing something, whether it’s breathing in the sea air, recovering from your gentle exertions, exploring the beach, or just appreciating this stunning setting.
Nothing here is run of the mill, and everything becomes an experience. Simple things such as enjoying a detox juice or lemonade that combines the tangy flavour of raspberry with the almost childlike freshness of watermelon as you gaze out over the sea will invigorate the senses.
Sound plays an important part in the Shellona experience, and it isn’t only the relaxing sounds of the waves. Talented DJs from around the world, inspired by the latest trends in Ibiza or Mykonos, play music endowing this piece of paradise with its very own lounge vibe with a distinctively Mediterranean flavour.
If you’re the type of person who enjoys being one with nature, pop on a mask and snorkel and journey into an incredible underwater world. Just a few strokes from the shore, guests can experience a multitude of multicoloured fish and some spectacular underwater flora.
Shellona is not just a beach – it is also a restaurant frequented by the Island’s gourmet guests, who flock here to savour the best grilled and marinated fish and seafood alongside plates of mezze and grilled meats. As Chef Yiannis Kiorroglou hails from Greece, there will be a somewhat biased yet delicious emphasis on flavours from the islands of the Cyclades.
Over the course of his career, Chef Yiannis, who recently celebrated his fortieth birthday, has become familiar with the terroirs of France, Italy and Spain, where he opened himself up to more cosmopolitan influences. A few of his specialities bear witness to this, including the Burratina (a cheese delicacy) with courgette pesto and tomatoes with basil; his tuna tatami; and his entraña steak cooked on the robata grill and accompanied by a chimichurri sauce – a dish that is worthy of the finest Argentinian restaurants.
It is no secret that it is his homeland that provides him with the majority of his recipes. His dishes are healthy and simple, yet refined and with pronounced flavours. Examples of this include his grilled octopus with capers and olive oil; feta, black sesame and honey in filo pastry; a trio of Melitzana (eggplant), houmous and tzatziki; beef or chicken kalamakos; and pastrami-flavoured king prawns.
Chef Yiannis’ creates a feast of dishes that resonate with the story of Greek mythology and, in particular, Chelone. The only way you’ll know just how good his dishes are, is by booking into the Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf St Barth, trying them for yourself and of course, experiencing Shellona.
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