Archive for March, 2011

Condé Nast Traveler Award and Special Offer

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

The Bucket weekend is over and it was a great success. The weather was exceptional and the addition of the vintage World War II air show over Shell Beach was a sight to behold. Nautor Swans’ 100S model sailing yacht VIRAGO won the overall prize.

Air show over Shell Beach March 26, 2011

Air show over Shell Beach March 26, 2011

Sailing yacht Virago wins Class and Overall at St-Barths Bucket 2011

Sailing yacht Virago wins Class and Overall at St Barths Bucket 2011

Be sure to mark your calendars to be here next year. It will be held March 22-25, 2012 and you should book early. Many of our villas are situated on the hillsides affording views of the sailing yachts as they race by.

Have you received or purchased the April issue of Condé Nast Traveler magazine, yet? I just found out that I won Condé Nast Traveler’s Villa Rental Specialist Award again this year! Wendy Perrin created the list 6 years ago and I have been honored to have made the list every year (Wendy says it is harder to stay on the list than to get on the list in the first place). Only 44 agents worldwide made the list and I was named as the best for St. Barth! Merci beaucoup, Wendy!

2011 Villa Rental Specialist Medallion

2011 Villa Rental Specialist Medallion


In celebration of receiving this prestigious award, we are pleased to join in Condé Nast’s truth.travel promotion by offering a 10% reduction on the weekly rate at select villas. Bookings must be made between March 29 and April 30, 2011 for a 7 night minimum stay commencing March 29, 2011 and ending no later than November 15, 2011. You must mention the Condé Nast Villa Rental Specialist award and their site, truth.travel to your Villa Rental Specialist in order to receive this special price. Please call 1-800-421-3396 or email reservations@stbarth.com. (This offer is valid for new bookings only.)

Condé Nast Traveler April 2011

Condé Nast Traveler April 2011

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“There’s nothing like the privacy and luxury of a rental villa. But to get it right, you’ve got to know who to call. Herewith, the world’s 44 top villa rental specialists, painstakingly vetted by Consumer News Director Wendy Perrin and team. These people can make your vacation dreams come true, whether in a Paris pied-à-terre, in a hilltop hacienda in Spain, or on a private island off Sri Lanka. Go on, live a little!

Six years of putting villa rental agents through their paces—renting from them, accompanying them on villa inspections, interviewing them, hearing feedback from readers—have produced this list of the experts best qualified to match you with the right property. The agents on these pages have visited every home they represent (all handpicked for their authentic sense of place), have slept in many of them, and re-inspect them at least annually. They have cultivated local connections and use these on behalf of Condé Nast Traveler readers. Getting on this list requires filling out a 47-question application and sending documents that include sample house books, sample driving directions, checklists used to evaluate properties, and at least one client reference. Staying on this list is even tougher: It requires proving user-friendliness, conscientiousness, and honesty time and again…”
Wendy Perrin

The 2011 St. Barth Bucket

Friday, March 25th, 2011

I am back in Beautiful St. Barth after traveling from Hong Kong to JFK (15 hours) then a 9 hour layover in New York followed by a flight from JFK to San Juan and then Tradewind from San Juan to St. Barth. The island is really hopping because The Bucket weekend officially began last night.

I went for my morning walk around Gustavia and the harbor was bustling with activity. Most of the island came down to watch the boats as they set out for their first race which takes them counter-clockwise around St. Barth. These sailing yachts are gorgeous and it is a sight to behold as they race by with colorful sails.

Leaving the dock

Leaving the dock

Leaving the harbor

Leaving the harbor

One by one the harbormaster sets the boats free and they head out of the harbor, turn left toward Shell Beach and wait for the First Gun at 11:00am signaling it is time to begin.

The race begins by Shell Beach

The race begins by Shell Beach

Racing by Villa Everest on March 25, 2011

Racing by Villa Everest on March 25, 2011

They should all be back in time to see the air show that is taking place over Shell Beach each day. Then it is party time. The Bucket Bar opens at 6:30; the daily awards are given at 7:00 and then Solely (the singer) will perform live on the dockside stage. More fun to follow Saturday and Sunday when the top prizes will be awarded.

I hope that most of you are on-island to join in on the festivities. If not, maybe next year…

Australia in the rainy season

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Did you know that Australia has a rainy season? Well, I knew that this time of year is cyclone season by past experience because Steve and I were stuck on Bedarra Island in the Great Barrier Reef for three days due to one passing through nine years ago.

So, it rained a bit in Sydney and it poured in Brisbane; our excursion to Whitsunday Island in the Great Barrier Reef was canceled due to rain and rough water as was our visit to the rainforest via locomotive just outside of Cairns because they had such heavy rains the night before that it was too dangerous to attempt the trip. In fact the main highway was closed due to flooding and we found ourselves stuck in a huge traffic jam which took an hour and forty five minutes to travel 10 miles but the highlight of traveling so slowly was that we were able to see some wallabies jumping through the fields.

Our new grandchild - Brisbane

Our new grandchild - Brisbane

Wallaby

Wallaby

Rainy Darwin

Rainy Darwin

Going further north we visited Thursday Island and our guide happened to mention that it was getting close to the end of the monsoon season which lasts six months and would continue at least until the end of April. Thursday Island was named by Captain Bligh as he passed through the Torres Strait (and he also named Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday Islands after the day of the week he spotted them). Thursday Island was a strategic area during World War One and Two because it is located across from New Guinea which had been conquered by the Japanese.

Steve and Peg on Thursday Island

Steve and Peg on Thursday Island

I learned some other interesting facts. Salt water crocodiles (and stinger jellyfish) are everywhere in tropical Australia and people are forbidden to swim in the sea unless there is a specific roped-off area that is designated as being safe for swimming. After learning this, we thought that we should see the crocs and we decided to do that while we were in Darwin (where it was also pouring). The Northern Territory is well populated with them so we were able to see quite a few and watch them jump out of the water. They are quite intimidating.

Crocodile lurking in Cairns

Crocodile lurking in Cairns

Crocodile Jumping in Darwin

Crocodile Jumping in Darwin

Guess what?

St Barth has no rainy season, no crocodiles nor stinger jellyfish and you can swim from its gorgeous beaches! (Not that there’s anything wrong with Australia.)

Peg Loves St. Barth and Loves to Travel, Too

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Samuel Johnson said it all in this quote, “When you are tired of travel, you are tired of life.”

It goes without saying that my very favorite destination in the world is the tiny, sophisticated, unique and wonderful island of St. Barth. However, I do love to travel. If I did not, I never would have discovered St. Barts the way I did in 1986.

My travels have made me a five million miler with American Airlines. So, if you don’t mind, I may be blogging from different areas of the world.

Our adventure began when we left St Barth on Tradewind Aviation to San Juan. The Franklin Smyth’s were on board with us for that leg. We then parted company as they headed back to Boston and we continued on our journey by flying first to Miami, then to LAX and finally reaching our destination 31 hours later (losing both a day and lots of sleep).

Tyler and Mimi leaving St Barth via Tradewind

Tommy-Jr-and-GrandDoc-on-Tradewind

Tommy Jr and GrandDoc on Tradewind

We began in Sydney and strolled along Circular Quay to the very impressive Sydney Opera House where I had prebooked a tour. This magnificent piece of architecture was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on October 20th, 1973 and our guide showed us all of the various venues. I had also prebooked an event so we were able to attend a wonderful play in the Drama Theater that evening.

Sydney-Opera-House-from-the-water

Sydney Opera House from the water

We toured The Rocks, Sydney’s birthplace, on foot and learned how Sydney grew from a fledgling outpost full of notorious prisoners who were sent to Australia by Great Britain and turned into the thriving metropolis it is today. We walked past old pubs, terraced homes, sandstone cottages and sites of crime and punishment.

We are both afraid of heights so we marveled at the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and looked on in awe as we witnessed people who were brave enough to walk across the very top (and spend $200 each for the privilege).

Sydney is a wonderful city.

Sydney-Harbour-Bridge-from-the-water

Sydney Harbour Bridge from the water

St. Barth Bucket

Friday, March 4th, 2011

The Island Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Bucket Regattas
March 24-27, 2011

If you haven’t yet finalized your trip to St. Barth, why not come down for “The Bucket”? It’s a great time to visit.

St. Barth’s Bucket has a lively history dating back to 1986 in Nantucket, where the Bucket was born, just for bragging rights, and has evolved over the years with some owners recruiting professional sailboat racers for their crews. Stateside, the regatta is now held in Newport, Rhode Island, long known for its strong nautical traditions. The first St. Barth Bucket race was launched in 1995. St. Barth provides a beautiful and glamorous venue for these yachts to sail to peak performance. And there’s been lots of fun, what with Champagne and canapés along the way.

This three-day, invitation-only race around St. Barth created for the world’s biggest and best super yachts will be held the weekend of March 24-27, 2011. The race is much anticipated. Run by owners for owners of mega-yacht sailboats (i.e., over 100 ft. [34m]), it’s a magnificent spectacle to behold. An article in Forbes magazine once described the race as a “gathering of swells,” and indeed it is. There is as much focus on winning the party as the race!

2010 St Barth's Bucket race

2010 St Barth's Bucket race

The festivities begin with a skippers’ meeting followed by a welcome party on the Quai Général de Gaulle. The first day begins with a get-acquainted counterclockwise sail around the island – for the captains to ready themselves. The second day is a tacking duel where all sprint toward the finish. On Saturday, the finale is a clockwise dash around the island.

The awards include a Swiss Cowbell – a congeniality award – and the coveted Escargot Trophy for last place. The winner will have the honor of having their name engraved on the Bucket itself, rumored to have started its life in France as a spittoon, and receive the St. Barth Medal. A party for all is held on the Quai Général de Gaulle in Gustavia.

Maltese Falcon

Maltese Falcon

The St. Barth Bucket has become a celebration for the entire island, and 2011 will be even more special. You should come! An insider’s tip: some of the best viewing spots include the hills of Lurin and Pointe Milou. Be sure to join the party on the quai on Saturday night and the awards ceremony on Sunday evening. You never know whom you will see there! There is a commemorative book in the works which will feature gorgeous pictures taken of the event over the years.

Happy Anniversary to the Bucket Regattas!

Here is the preliminary schedule. To reserve your villa or hotel accommodation for this fun event, please call -1-800-421-3396 or email info@stbarth.com.