This was our 23rd year on St Barths, where, virtually every year since 1992, we have previously taken an annual fortnight's vacation at Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France, situated on the beautiful beach of Baie des Flamands. New owners there saw our rates rise by 54% from last year, so, despite the staff and management at Isle de France remaining utterly charming and friendly, chose this year to stay at the newly refurbished and rather lovely Taiwana Hotel next door, where we were afforded a wonderful welcome and made to feel very much at home. Indeed, as we began our first ever stay at the uniquely designed Taiwana, we had the same sensation of our first moments at Isle de France 23 years ago, one of finding a place where we knew we could be happy and when, then as now, we looked at each other and said "this is for us". And so it proved. Firstly the management, Claire, Felipe and Octavio were a joy, making us feel as though this was our home, and deserve enormous credit for the hotel's recent transformation, whilst the staff are brilliant – nothing is too much, nothing too small – and the whole experience was a true pleasure. Food and the restaurant and bar were all excellent. The hotel is bedecked with palms, banana trees and full walls of flowers, bursting with tropical colours and planted in moss banks cleverly suspended around the open areas - the effect is lovely. Taiwana also has a relaxing and generally quiet pool just steps from the stunning sandy beach of Flamands. Our room, which was pure understated luxury, had a gorgeous view from its terrace and our every need was cared for. Minor criticisms are not worth mentioning – this was altogether, a therapeutic, joyful and entirely civilised experience, which we hope to repeat many, more times over the forthcoming years. Taiwana really is paradise on a paradise island. Highly recommended.