Archive for August, 2010

A visit to Corossol

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Julie and I stopped by Villa Habitation St. Louis to revisit and say “Bonjour” to the owner who was vacationing at his villa with his family (good thing I speak “un peu de français” because the owner does not speak English).

Villa Habitation St. Louis

Villa Habitation St. Louis

Did you know that August is THE month when the French take their month-long (plus) vacations? Paris pretty much shuts down for all of August, thus the exodus.

We toured the property and peeked at the living room and kitchen, the nicely decorated three king bedrooms and their en suite baths and the outdoor living spaces. Three generations were enjoying the pool and we were very tempted to join them.

I remarked that the previous times I had visited Habitation St. Louis I had seen a couple of visiting iguanas lounging by the pool…very smart of them, if you ask me.

There is a studio villa next door which we call Petit St Louis. It has its own pool, king bedroom, kitchenette and outdoor terrace; it can be rented separately or in conjunction with the main house if you need 4 bedrooms.

The owner was dying to show us the path to Corossol Beach and its quaint fishing village; so we followed him down past the outdoor shower and suddenly, there we were looking at Corossol’s beautiful blue water inlet.

Corossol Beach Before Resanding

Corossol Beach Before Resanding

I was enthralled because at that very moment I saw that the beach was being re-sanded. A gentleman was hard at work utilizing a big hose that was full of sand and spreading its contents along the areas that had eroded over several years. (Another gentleman was acting as a sidewalk superintendent while holding a Heineken and watching his buddy hard at work…not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Corossol Beach Resanding in Progress

Corossol Beach Resanding in Progress

Corossol Beach resanded

Corossol Beach Resanded

The villa owner pointed to a statue overlooking the village and the beach. He explained that it was a statue of St. Louis the patron saint of Corossol, thus the reason behind the names of the two villas.

If you happen to be in St Barth in late August, you can celebrate St. Barth Day commemorating the island’s patron saint, Bartholomew on the 24th and then move on to the Feast of St. Louis in Corossol on the 25th where you can enjoy all sorts of activities, tournaments, regattas, games, raffles, dance performances and music.

Corossol Patron Saint St. Louis Statue

Corossol Patron Saint St. Louis Statue

Corossol is a piece of what St Barth used to be like before it was discovered by tourists. The men went fishing and the ladies stayed in their “case” (small house) where they weaved straw hats, purses, bread baskets etc.

Should you wish to purchase some lovely island-made souvenirs to give to friends and family who were not lucky enough to have traveled to St. Barth with you, these shy ladies will come out of their modest homes and sell them to you. They may be wearing traditional garb and a starched white bonnet called a “quichenotte” (which means “kiss me not”).

Quichenotte

Quichenotte

While you are there, plan to stop by the Inter-Oceans Museum to see the amazing sea shell collection and talk to Ingenu Magras who has collected them from all over the world.

Côté Port Restaurant

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

After traveling most of the day, I usually book a table at a casual restaurant where I thoroughly enjoy taking a deep breath and letting my senses soak in the wonderful atmosphere that being back in St Barth exudes. The feeling is a head-to-toe sensation that at that special moment all is well with the world. This also works at your villa. Sit in a chaise lounge on the terrace while sipping an after dinner drink and gaze out at the stars (with no pollution in the environment) – priceless.

So, for our first evening Julie and I tried Hervé Chovet’s new restaurant Côté Port. Located on the harbor in what was once the space occupied by the very popular La Saladerie (followed by a renovated space briefly occupied by La Cuisine), Hervé opened this seaside bistro in mid July 2010.

Côté Port - Aug 2010

Côté Port - Aug 2010

Hervé’s success goes back to the days when the St Barth Beach Hotel was open and he ran the fabulous beachfront restaurant Le Rivage which was renowned for its huge salads and varied menu. Unfortunately the hotel was sold and torn down as was Le Rivage. Undaunted, Hervé moved on and opened O’Corner which was a huge success. He sold that restaurant and it is now an Italian restaurant called L’Isola. Hervé also ran the fabulous K’fé Massai until Mick Proust took over at the helm and he was also at Le Tamarin.

Herve Chovet - Côté Port

Hervé Chovet - Côté Port

Yes, the salads are just as big (and as good) as those at Le Rivage. The Rocket Salad (16 euros) with shaved parmesan, green apple and walnut oil vinaigrette is wonderful as is the Gazpacho Andalou (12 euros). The Fricassée de Gambas (shrimp) with curry sauce, crunchy vegetables and white rice (25 euros) is fabulous and the Gambas and Lobster Tagliatelles “Rivage Style” is outstanding. My iPhone camera was not cooperating that night, so next time I dine at Côté Port I will try to take some photos of the dishes that are served there. (If any of you have taken photos, would you like to share them with us?)

Côté Port Menu

Côté Port Menu

St Barth is for Lovers

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Towards the end of our flight from Boston to St Maarten via JFK on JetBlue, I glanced over at the couple sitting across the aisle from Julie and me and saw that they were studying my 9 pages of Helpful Hints. Many clients refer to the HH as their “bible” because I have so much information in there so as to help them get the most out of their St Barth Vacation.

I introduced myself to them and we chatted a bit. Brian and Sara are from New York and were going to be staying at Villa Enfin which is a fabulous villa boasting views in two directions. Believe it or not, they had only booked their vacation with Kathy Schlitzer, one of our St Barth Specialists the day before!

Villa Enfin photo by Brian and Sara

Brian and Sara snorkeling off Colombier

Brian and Sara snorkeling off Colombier

They were so in love and so happy. Upon their return Kathy sent them a note asking them how they enjoyed their time in St Barth. Brian replied, “Back in NYC. We got engaged there. We had a blast!! Enfin was a homerun! Thanks Kathy.”

I had goose bumps and Peg being Peg, I was so curious that I was dying to know how and where Brian popped the question. Here is the story from Sara:

”Brian proposed on Wed. Aug 4th, the second night after we arrived. I was so surprised! I honestly had no clue. I thought that the day he would propose to me, he would act different and totally give it away. Anyway, we hung out at our Villa all day, listening to music, tanning, and swimming. Around 5, we went into Gustavia to shop (he bought me a very cute outfit at Poupette St Barth), and have dinner at Le Bistro on the water. After dinner, we went back to the Villa for a glass of wine out on our back porch (which had a gorgeous view). We talked for a while, and then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! Of course I said yes. It was such a romantic, perfect moment. A moment that every person in love understands. We then switched from drinking wine to rum…ha ha. The whole rest of the week was wonderful…We were able to celebrate and enjoy our time alone before returning to the craziness in NYC with friends and family.”

Villa Enfin back terrace where Brian proposed to Sara

Brian and Sara - What a beautiful ring!

Is that romantic or what? The wedding date is set for September 24, 2011.

Congratulations Brian and Sara!

(Speaking of rum, I will need to fill you in on that delicious tidbit but will save it for a future blog.)

Villa Marrakesh

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Julie and I visited many villas on August 04, 2010. We were dying to see the transformation of Villa Marrakesh and it was even better than we expected. The very colorful look had been replaced by a modern look with neutral décor.

Villa Marrakesh before

Villa Marrakesh before

We loved the comfy new chairs as well as the attractive dining table. The air conditioned king en suite bedrooms which are located on either side of the open living area and plunge pool were as nice as ever.

Villa Marrakesh after

Villa Marrakesh after

Villa Marrakesh’s kitchen was designed for the gourmet cook and the best part is that it too is air conditioned!

The view from here is outstanding and extends across Lorient all the way to St Jean, Anse des Cayes and St Maarten. Guests enjoy watching the sun as it sets behind the hills across the way. The added convenience of being able to take a two minute walk to the Hotel Christopher for lunch at the outdoor Mango restaurant or dinner at Taïno is a real plus for our guests who stay here. Why not try it?

Villa Marrakesh view

Villa Marrakesh view

If you are looking to purchase something in paradise, Villa Marrakesh is listed for sale with St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty at a very attractive price: 1,870,000 euros. It boasts an excellent rental history.

Salon Christophe

Friday, August 13th, 2010

After we finished with the bride and the event planners, Julie and I treated ourselves to some personal time and rushed off to our 5:30 hair appointments at Salon Christophe in St Jean. As mentioned in a previous blog, I adore my stylist Marco who is co-owner of the salon.

Marco and Peg Aug 05 2010

Marco and Peg Aug 05 2010

During that time, I take business trips to the island where I continue to inspect villas and hotels with one of my USA staff members and take the time to interact with the on-island staff at St Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty.

I do my best to schedule these mini-trips around my hair appointments with Marco. Julie had an appointment with Julien and wanted him to “do something” with her hair. She was thrilled with the results. Now she is hooked too.

Julie and Julien Aug 05 2010

Julie and Julien Aug 05 2010

P.S. Marco called my “do” the Marilyn Monroe look in honor of the anniversary of her August 05, 1962 death. (My hair is so fine, it lasted about two hours.)

Villa Wästra

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Wondering where Julie and I stayed during our short whirlwind trip to St Barth August 06-09, 2010?

I mentioned in a previous blog post that I inspect properties before I will agree to represent them, so I took this opportunity to try out a potential new listing to be added to our villa portfolio.

The owner of Villa Wästra was kind enough to let us stay there. What a perfect spot for us! We were located just above the harbor and could walk to everything including my office.

Villa Wästra pool

Villa Wästra pool

The villa is really a penthouse apartment with chic décor, two king bedrooms, a comfortable living room, nice dining area, a divine kitchen, awesome rain head showers and an outside terrace that is mostly covered. The overflow pool is a delight. The villa is fully air conditioned, too. Even though we were in “town”, when we were inside we could not hear any type of noise and concluded that it was soundproofed…perfect!

Villa Wästra - view from pool to villa

Villa Wästra - view from pool to villa

Bienvenue, Villa Wästra! We are happy to have invited you to join our St Barth Properties collection. Our clients will love you.

Villa Wästra at Sunset

Villa Wästra at Sunset

PaCri restaurant

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

While Julie and I were waiting for our St Barth Commuter flight from Sint Maarten to St Barth, we decided to have a beer at the bar and bumped into Katja, a friend of mine who lives in St Barth and designs jewelry. She was with Nicole an artist who was on her way to the art gallery at Eden Rock where she will be exhibiting for the next two weeks. I bought them a glass of wine and we made plans to go to dinner with both of them and another friend Natalie who works at Eden Rock the following night. My office made a reservation at PaCri for the five of us because Julie had never dined there and she wanted to try it. Many clients had raved about it.

Pacri Aug 05, 2010 L to R (Bob) Katja Julie Peg Natalie and Nicole

PaCri Aug 05, 2010
L to R (Bob) Katja Julie Peg Natalie and Nicole

We were not disappointed. Some of our selections included Caprese Bufalta, Autentica Burrata (remember, this is an ITALIAN restaurant on a FRENCH island so you need to translate as best you can).

I loved the Eggplant Parmigiana. The two bottles of Real Martin rosé wine went along perfectly with our meals and certainly made it easy for us to have great conversations. We thoroughly enjoyed our girls night out (well, Bob is a boy but who’s counting?)

Try it! It is on the road to Saline Beach.

Bonjour from sunny St. Barth

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Bonjour from sunny St. Barth! I emphasize “sunny” because we were all told that Colin would bring us a rainy day to make a soggy introduction to all of our venue visits with the bride. Well who trusts the weather forecasters anyway? Au revoir Colin! Hate to see you passed us by.

Sunny Day in St. Barth

August 5, 2010

Among other places we visited we went to Villa L’Estancia which is gorgeous and has lots of outdoor spaces for the wedding and reception.

Villa L'Estancia

Villa L'Estancia

We stopped in at Ligne St Barth to show the bride some options for favors to give to the guests.

Ligne St. Barth

Ligne St. Barth

This afternoon we are showing more options. They need lots of space for 150 guests. The designer is with us and has to visualize how he can manage a sitdown dinner for that many. So we shall see…

Oh and by the way did you know that I try to see my hairdresser whenever I am here? Marco is my man for that so Julie and I were able to squeeze in hair appointments at 5:30.

Then off to Harbour Saladerie for dinner.

Le Sereno Hotel – free night until Aug 31, 2010

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

I had a terrific lunch earlier this year with Javier Vila the GM of Le Sereno, the hip hotel on Grand Cul de Sac Beach. The restaurant, Des Pechêurs (Fisherman) is aptly named as it is renowned for its delicious and very fresh fish selections. We both opted for a salad of fresh greens with thinly sliced parmesan cheese followed by my choice of Sole (meunière-style) while Javier chose the Mahi Mahi (grilled). The setting is truly amazing…tables overlook the beach and beautiful breezes from the turquoise lagoon keep diners coming back.

Le Sereno

Le Sereno's Restaurant des Pêcheurs


We talked a little business of course and I was pleased to learn that St. Barth Properties is the hotel’s top booking agency. So, being a business woman, I took the opportunity to ask for a perk for our wonderful clients and…Voilà!

Exclusively for you!

Book 7 Nights through St. Barth Properties and enjoy a complimentary lunch or dinner – menu Découverte – for two at Restaurant des Pêcheurs (excluding alcoholic beverages)

“Stay Another Day”- get one night free. Book 5 nights through St. Barth Properties and get a 6th night free! (Blackout and annual closed period excluded.)

VALID UNTIL August 31, 2010 so hurry on this one Call: 1-866-617-4578 or email: Lesereno@stbarth.com.

Another Quick Trip to St. Barth

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Yes, I was just in St. Barth and came back to Cape Cod July 15 but I need to go back tomorrow with Julie Nally who is one of our fabulous St. Barth Specialists so that we can meet with a very well known Event Planner from New York City whose client wants to get married in St. Barth. We will be showing the planner and the bride some beautiful venues where she can hold her April 2011 wedding and reception. Did you know that we do events too?

We have lots of other stuff to do such as looking at some potential villas to add to our portfolio and we need to inspect a refurbishment at another villa.

Villa Bleu Turquoise was just finished (they are still waiting for the beds to arrive from France). It is right above Villa Bleu Outremer giving us a nice 7 bedroom option right above Gouverneur Beach!

Bleu Turquoise

Villa Bleu Turquoise

Gouverneur Beach

Gouverneur Beach

We are in the midst of creating our next Live Your Dream® catalogue and I need to scrutinize the progress with our on-island team. The format for 2011 is a bit different. I think you’ll love it.

We’ll lunch at the Sand Bar at Eden Rock which is always a treat. I can’t wait to try the new restaurant Coté Port.

We’ll report back. Stay tuned…