Archive for August, 2011

Quick Trip to St Barth Part 2: Summer Sessions, the “New” La Route des Boucaniers plus the just opened V Lounge

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

I forgot to tell you that I had a business (and pleasure) lunch with Pascale Minarro the Directrice of our St Barth office and Magdalena Votava, our Concierge. Paula joined us at the newly reopened La Route des Boucaniers harbor side restaurant that is now owned by Xavier Pignet of Dõ Brazil. I had been dying to try it and I am so glad that we did. The menu is varied and they offer lunch specials every day. Prices range from 10 to 20 euros each. (The dinner menu is different and very good, too.) The restaurant is completely remodeled; the bar was moved and the dining areas are more open so you feel more al fresco and can enjoy the view. We each tried a different item. I had the Langouste Salad and it was quite good. Paula and Magda indulged in the dessert—Yummy!

Pascale,-Magda,-Paula-and-Peg-about-to-have-lunch-at-La-Route-des-Boucaniers

Pascale, Magda, Paula and Peg about to have lunch at La Route des Boucaniers

Dessert--Anyone

Dessert anyone?

The-New-Bar-at-La-Route-des-Boucaniers

The New Bar at La Route des Boucaniers

Saturday afternoon I took a few hours off and went to St. Jean Beach with Paula. The water was divine. I noticed some camera equipment on the beach (This is fairly common but more so on Shell Beach). It turns out that Victoria’s Secret was doing a photo shoot featuring one of their top models, Candice Swanepoel. She really is stunning and we watched the entourage for a while. It’s quite a production just to get one shot. If you happen to read one of their next catalogues and you see her picture, try to notice if you recognize the beach in the photo.

Victoria's-Secret-Candice-Swanepoel-on-St.Jean-Beach

Victoria's Secret Candice Swanepoel on St. Jean Beach

Saturday night was the Summer Sessions concert on the quai so we decided to go down to Gustavia early because DJ Alex Merrell was spinning at the new V Lounge. The what? The V Lounge aka the Voyageur Lounge… It is a gorgeous very elegant lounge for us “grownups” who can’t stay up until the night clubs get going at midnight and close at 4:00 am. It is luxuriously furnished with white sofas inside and tables are located on the outside deck. The view of the harbor from here is outstanding. The bar is beautiful too. The V Lounge is located above the Yacht Club and La Marine in Gustavia and the fact that it opens at 7:00 pm is really great. People can go there for an apéritif then continue on to dinner or stop by for a digestif after dinner. If you are looking for a great place to enjoy drinks and a light supper the V Lounge offers a wonderful selection of tapas. Open from Tuesday to Sunday 7:00 pm to 1:00am and they accept reservations. I think you are going to love this place.

The-new-V-Lounge

The new V Lounge

Paula and I had decided that we were going to hire a taxi to pick us up at Villa Everest. Our island office concierge, Magdalena Votava hired Karine Greaux who dropped us off at the V Lounge. Karine told me to call her 15 minutes before were ready to go home. So we were on foot and left the V Lounge to dine at the Wall House. The food was great per usual and we spent time talking to co-owner Julien Tatin. Julien and his co-owner dad, Bernard love St Barth Properties and our clients, so if you want to have lunch or dinner there, you can reserve a table before you travel or call Magda when you are on the island. She will make the reservation for you and you will receive a 10% discount off of the entire bill! Now that is a great deal.

After dinner we walked over to the other side of the harbor to enjoy the music. Lots of people were there and the entertainment was great. Then I called Karine and she took us back to the villa.

Saturday-Night-Concert-on-the-Quai

Saturday Night Concert on the Quai

More to come in my next blog…

Another Quick Trip to St Barts

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

I was able to squeeze in a quick trip back to St. Barth because I wanted to check out the Summer Sessions music festival, I had some villas to inspect and I needed to attend several meetings.

I was traveling alone this time so I asked my girlfriend Paula if she would like to keep me company. She said “Sure” in a St. Barth minute!

The day of arrival, I had already taken advantage of our shopping service and ordered some goodies for the fridge (I highly recommend the homemade chicken salad) so we were all set when we arrived at Villa Everest. As soon as we walked in and Paula saw the view, she thought she had died and gone to heaven.

Villa Everest

Villa Everest

I had a full day of appointments the next day and I am happy to say that I was very pleased with my inspections. As a result we have some new two bedroom two bath luxury apartment options for those of you who love to be in Gustavia. One Villa Mahi is located on the water with a lovely view of the boats and the other Villa Wahoo is located in a brand new building one street above. Its view of the harbor is wonderful too. (The furniture has yet to arrive, so I’ll let you know when pictures are up on our website www.stbarth.com). Guests can walk everywhere. Both are on the La Pointe side of the harbor and will be available for rent in time for Thanksgiving. Don’t miss out as we are taking bookings now. Contact reservations@stbarth.com.

Villa Mahi

Villa Mahi

Then it was off to Camaruche to visit Villa Eclipse, a 6 bedroom hillside beauty with a lovely view and a magnificent pool (heated in the winter). The bedrooms which are different sizes are scattered about and if you love to cook, the kitchen is to-die-for. The outdoor spaces offer shady places to relax and dine, and sunny areas to work on that tan. If you want to have a panoramic view and see the sunset, you can hike up to the viewing platform located on the top of the property. I did my tour with the villa’s gracious owner and he told me he is redecorating some of the indoor areas and assured me all would be finished by November. Please contact reservations@stbarth.com to book.

Villa Eclipse pool

Villa Eclipse pool

That evening we had reserved seats at the bar at the very charming hotel La Banane because we wanted to see Tom Howie and DJ Jimmy Vallance perform. If you have never been to La Banane, be sure to visit it and/or consider a stay at this intimate hotel. It is tucked away amidst lush tropical gardens, has 2 pools and is close to Lorient Beach.

Tom-Howie-Duo-with-DJ-Jimmy-Vallance-At-La-Banane

Tom Howie Duo with DJ Jimmy Vallance At La Banane

We met some really nice people and enjoyed the music immensely.

Peg-with-Hotel-La-Banane's-Manager-Benjamin-Fabbri

Peg with Hotel La Banane's Manager Benjamin Fabbri

Peg-with-Aymeric-Bourdin,-Hotel-Tom-Beach's--Assistant-Manager-and-Paula-at-La-Banane

Peg with Aymeric Bourdin, Hotel Tom Beach's Assistant Manager and Paula at La Banane

Friday found me visiting the very elegant one bedroom Villa Genia. The location is right near the hotel Guanahani’s entrance and guests can walk to two beaches (Grand Cul de Sac and Anse Marechal) or enjoy a drink at the hotel’s beach bar and dine at their restaurants. Formally furnished the villa features a king en suite bedroom and there are multiple places to sit as well as to dine. The pool and deck are delightful and there’s lots of privacy (parking too!)

Villa Genia bedroom

Villa Genia bedroom

The afternoon brought me to the newly refurbished Villa Ti Moun. OMG!

The view! I could not take my eyes off of it. Everywhere I looked was as gorgeous as the next….the entire harbor and its signature red roofs, St. Maarten, Saba, Statia and way over to the right the Baie de St. Jean with an occasional plane ascending into the sky. Oh and the sunsets all year long!

Sunset from Villa Ti Moun

Sunset from Villa Ti Moun

Yes, a villa does come with this view. Ti Moun has a just refurbished large nicely furnished living room and a new modern kitchen with a breakfast bar. Two en suite bedrooms with great views are on either side of the villa and the covered terrace features a comfortable outdoor living area and a couple of options for outdoor dining. Don’t miss out on this one!

More about this trip to come in my next blog…

Are You Thinking of Renting a Villa in the Caribbean?

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Caribbean Travel and Life’ Magazine’s
August/September 2011 Issue Features a Big Spread:

Villa Vacations Made Simple

Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine’s August/September issue features an extensive article on villa vacations and answers many questions people may have if they have never rented a villa before.

I am pleased as Ti Punch that one of our villas (Villa Palm Beach on Lorient Bay) is pictured on the cover!

CTLcover

Caribbean Travel and Life cover featuring Villa Palm Beach

***READ PDF OF ARTICLE***

Turn to page 54 to see a different angle and then page 56 to see the pool at Villa K. Page 57 shows the manager of Villa Gem-Palm Springs serving continental breakfast. It is included with the villa rental because Gem-Palm Springs is one of the villas in our Grand Cru Collection. I am proud to say that on page 58, in addition to the picture of the awesome rain shower at Villa Palm Beach, there is a “From the Expert” sidebar that features quotes from, guess who? Me! There are other quotes from several of my colleagues who rent villas on their own special island. (Yes, I admit I am very prejudiced towards St. Barth. Who wouldn’t be?)

Villa K, page 56

Villa K, page 56
Zach Stovall, photographer

Page 58: Rain shower at Villa Palm Beach and “From the Expert” sidebar

Page 58: Rain shower at Villa Palm Beach and “From the Expert” sidebar

The article demonstrates just how many different services villa guests can choose to have in the privacy of their own home. Turn to page 59…Yoga and/or Pilates anyone? Perhaps a massage? (Page 65) Try it poolside at Villa Gem-Palm Springs. See one of the villa’s fabulous 4 bedrooms on page 60 and drool at the boulangerie’s baguettes and pastries on page 61. Another one of our Grand Cru villas, Mer Soleil scored a double page (62-63) and you can see why.

Villa Mer Soleil

Villa Mer Soleil pages 62-63
Zach Stovall, photographer

Then we have a very handsome young man sitting at the bar at Villa Gem-Palm Springs on page 64. He is Jean-Claude Dufour and an outstanding chef whom we often hire for our guests who choose to dine in. He created a menu for our staff’s dinner party at Gem Palm Springs (What a view!). I hope that you can get a copy at your local newsstand or grocery store and that you do try a villa vacation next time.

Visit the Caribbean Travel and Life website or subscribe to the magazine.

page 64

Jean-Claude Dufour on page 64

Photographs by Zach Stovall, photographer

Pipiri Palace – Au Revoir Pierrot

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

It is with great sadness that I must tell you that Pierrot (aka Pierre) the owner of one of my favorite restaurants, Pipiri Palace, has passed on after a short illness. Pierrot’s personality and amazing mustache made La Palace a very special place and he will be sorrowfully missed. Please join me in sending our heartfelt condolences to Regine and their daughters.

L-to-R Gilles, Clémentine and Pierre

L-to-R Gilles, Clémentine and Pierre

Pipiri--sign1

Pipiri Palace sign

Rest in Peace, Pierre. You are sorely missed.

Memorial-Service-on-Shell-Beach-(Photo-Courtesy-of-Antoine-Heckley)

Memorial Service on Shell Beach
Photo Courtesy of Antoine Heckley

Adieu-Pierre-(Photo-courtesy-of-Antoine-Heckly)

Adieu Pierre
Photo courtesy of Antoine Heckly