Today I am writing to you from St. Barth again. (ST. BARTH 2011) This was where I began my hunt for Dezignlicious last year, and I am here again basking in the warm sun and feeling totally decadent…St. Barth does that to you. However, I just came from one of the most chic/ current hotels on the island and I could not wait to tell you about it. The decor is just sooooo cool!

HOTEL LA BANANE….leave it to the French to name a hotel THE BANANA, but you have to admit it sounds a bit sexy in French, no?… is a secret petite hotel get-away on this island that is far, far from the proverbial ‘maddening crowd.’ Its decor rings of mid-century modern all mixed up with hot 1950’s design.

The hotel was successfully re-designed by its present owner, Jean-Marc Israel and his partner, Benjamin Fabbri several years ago. It has a retro feeling reminding you of another era, when the movie stars and the rich and famous of a time gone by enjoyed the luxury of this beautiful island in private.You can just imagine them lounging around the pool drinking champagne and partaking of the luscious surroundings with out a care in the world. Ah, the good life….

Truth be told though, the vibe here many years ago was totally French bijou- campy, with dancing girls balancing on the tiny floating stage in the pool the ‘entertainment quotidien.’ The makeover by Israel and Fabbri, into a little design treat/retreat, however, is 100% successful. The hotel is a touch of “paradis vintage,” according to AD magazine in France, being filled with antique furnishings signed by Charlotte Perriand and Jean Royère or Serge Mouille. And then there are the wonderful pieces designed by Pierre Jeanneret which dominate the public spaces. These were originally designed by Jeanneret to be used in a grand project in Chanigarh, India, which his cousin, Le Corbusier had accepted from Jawaharlal Nehru..now that’s a great provenance!

GREAT TIP #1 If you are lucky enough to go to St. Barth and rent one of the charming bungalows at LA BANANE check out the action on Thursday night at the Chandi Bar where everyone comes to listen to talented musicians serenade the crowd! Also, take in Cyprien Chabert’s clever graffito behind the bar. Rumor has it he did it all free hand out of black magic marker!

GREAT TIP #2 I spoke with Benjamin Fabbri, and starting in the spring you will be able to rent out the entire hotel as a private villa. As Benjamin said to me, for those seeking a unique spot in the world where the endless sunshine, serenity and discretion make crossing the ocean worthwhile, LA BANANE is theirs for the taking. Sounds perfectly marvelous to me!

And if you want to get a preview of the chic French ambiance you are going to be treated to, just go directly to their websites www.labanane.com …”Love is in the air…

But, sshhh…let’s keep this charming place our little secret.