Archive for December, 2012

Guest Blog – Kathy Schlitzer Trip Report

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

I am in transit to St. Barth and am delighted to share Kathy Schlitzer’s trip report with you in this Guest Blog. Kathy is one of our very experienced and talented St. Barth Specialists. Rest assured that Kathy will be pleased to lend her expertise when helping you plan your trip so that you, too can Live Your Dream® in beautiful St. Barth.

St. Barth
November 9 – 16, 2012 Trip Report

Kathy Schlitzer
St Barth Specialist

Kathy Schlitzer

Kathy Schlitzer

Our November trips to St Barth are always exciting. The island is coming alive for the season, and there are new shops, restaurants, villas, and newly refurbished hotels to experience. Not to mention the annual St Barth Properties November BASH, held this year on November 10, and our Beaujolais Nouveau party on November 14. A great week to be in St Barth!

For this trip I decided to try the new Tradewind Aviation flight from St Thomas to St Barth. I flew direct from Boston to St Thomas on JetBlue then easily made the connection on Tradewind to St Barth. It worked perfectly and because the St Thomas airport is so small I breezed through the airport with time for a stop in the bar for a snack. Tradewind flies directly to St Barth from San Juan, Antigua, and St Thomas.

On arrival in St Barth my Gumbs car was waiting and I headed to my first accommodation, two nights at the Hotel Christopher. After settling in a was off to La Plage at the Tom Beach Hotel to join my colleagues for great food, music, and entertainment (pole dancing and fire juggling!) Always a nice way to spend a first night in St Barth.

The Christopher hotel’s new manager Sebastien Maingourd was pleased to show me further room refurbishment that had taken place since my last visit. My Ocean Terrace room was very comfortable and I slept well. At breakfast the next morning I watched an aqua biking class in the pool, had I not had appointments I would have joined in, it looked like fun. The manager joined me for coffee and I learned that the restaurant is featuring a new chef from Brazil who promises to shake up the menu with a Brazilian twist. Later I toured the new Sisley brand spa and the gym, no time for a treatment or workout today. C’est dommage. All in all I was pleased with the Christopher and look forward to recommending it to clients for the coming season. HINT: If you’re looking for a great place to have a cocktail and watch the sunset, the Christopher is the place to go. Stay for dinner at their restaurant Taïno then go up to Le Ti St Barth for the cabaret!

I spent the rest of the day looking at villas, notably Lys Blanc in Lurin. All I can say is what a view! This villa is newly renovated, comfortable, and very convenient to Gustavia, St Jean, and both Gouverneur and Saline beaches. The layout is good for kids too.

Villa Lys Blanc

Villa Lys Blanc

Villa Blue Diamond is under construction but even looking over an empty pool I was blown away by the view. Blue Diamond will be ready in mid January and will be spectacular. We have preliminary pictures on the website with more to come.

Villa Blue Diamond

Villa Blue Diamond

Villa Lilu is a two bedroom in Petite Saline. The view is beautiful with lush greenery and ocean views in a wide arc. The owner has designed the house for comfort and style. She mixed old and new successfully and result is brilliant.

Villa Lilu

Villa Lilu

Casa del Mar is a villa we represented in the past but a new owner has shaken it up – a lot! Massive work indoors and out has resulted in a truly spectacular result. While I was there the workers were everywhere, as well as piles of material and tons of shrubbery waiting to be planted. The owner showed me multiple new outdoor spaces for drinks and dining, as well as large Jacuzzi overlooking spectacular views. We’ll have pictures of the end product soon. Watch for them.

Villa Casa del Mar

Villa Casa del Mar

I don’t have space to mention all the villas I saw but special mention must be made of my other accommodations.

Two nights in Villa Nirvana was a treat. I’ve stayed at this villa in the past and I’ve never been disappointed. Clean and comfortable with an amazing sunset view, the owner has added everything to make her guests feel like home away from home. Two nights wasn’t enough.

Villa Nirvana

Villa Nirvana

Two nights in a Garden Bungalow at the Hotel Isle de France was a treat. After a great sleep I was treated to a massage at the spa by one of their highly trained therapists and it made for a wonderful start to my day. Later I had drinks by the beach and watched the weekly fashion show. Even if you aren’t staying at the Isle de France, don’t miss eating at their restaurant La Case de l’Isle right on Flamands Beach – dinner, or a long lunch on the beach, I opted for both!

My last night was spent in one of the newly renovated suites at the Hotel Carl Gustaf. Over the summer everything was refreshed and renewed with new furniture, linens and accessories to complete the transformation. By that time I needed a good sleep to get ready for a day of travel and that’s just what I got. A lovely breakfast overlooking the harbor and I was off the airport after another successful working (wink,wink) trip to paradise.

SBH Trip Report November 2012

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Bonjour Everyone,

I’ve just returned from Cannes where I attended the ILTM (International Luxury Travel Mart). I met with many travel agents from all over the world in order to tell them how wonderful St. Barth is. I am off to St. Barth next week and I can’t wait to get there.

Sunset view from my room at the Majestic Hotel in Cannes

Sunset view from my room at the Majestic Hotel in Cannes

I have asked colleague Connie Walsh who traveled with me to St. Barth last month, to write a guest blog describing her trip.

Enjoy!

SBH Trip Report November 2012

By Connie Walsh

Connie Walsh

Connie Walsh

We had a smooth late afternoon landing, courtesy of Tradewind Aviation, and in no time we were settled in at Villa Everestand enjoying some wine and cheese. (I highly recommend pre-arrival villa provisioning!) Dinner at Andy’s Hideaway is our first tradition and as always it was rollicking fun with locals and vacationers who have it on their gotta-go list. I adore their thin crust pizza – and their house-made vanilla rhum.

Villa Everest

Villa Everest

Our schedule was chock a block with villa and hotel inspections and, trying new-this-season restaurants and the company’s annual Beachside Bash. The venue was again Shell Beach’s Dõ Brazil where songstress Christine Gordon had the crowd up dancing.  The Champagne corks were popping and everyone enjoyed a buffet with samples of new menu items. My favs were the Mahi-Mahi sliders and the ribs.

New restos on the scene include La Tables de Jules in Lorient offering dinner staring at 29 euros for 2 courses  and a very cool – and cozy – sushi bar corner and in the heart of Gustavia, island restaurateur Franck Mathevet formerly of the Wall House has brought his culinary magic to the covered courtyard of Rue du Port. He has named it Le Carré and everyone in our group loved it…from the first kernel of truffle oil popcorn to the last spoonful of sorbet. Tucked between Hermes and Cartier the sidewalk café ambiance is tres chic.

There’s a brand new chef at Le Sereno, Jean Louis Brocardi and we were delighted to meet with him when we dined there one evening.  He is just as charming and engaging as he is talented and we had quite a feast!  Could one have too much freshly caught mahi-mahi?  We think not.  He presented us with a gorgeous appetizer platter of tuna prepared in different – and delicious ways.

We visited Hotel Le Toiny’s poolside Le Gaïac – for a “working lunch.” The pool itself has had a do-over in lava stone and the restaurant is resplendent with a new classic decor. We also lunched at Santa Fe, feet-in-the-sand Gloriette (fab chicken curry and rice) and of course, stopped for a cheeseburger in paradise at Le Select.

Armed with a list of villas newly added to the portfolios we were pleased with what we saw. Here’s a sample:

Villa Imagine – 3 bedrooms:  A beautiful Marigot location! A domed skylight floods the living area with light and a classic picture window frames the view. I loved the comfy contemporary furnishings and the artful combination of chic industrial and whimsical accessories. A striking extra long pool sparkles in the sun all day.

Villa Imagine

Villa Imagine

Villa A – 3 bedrooms:  A formal French maison, its grand salon must be seen to be believed and it opens to an expansive pool terrace facing the sea. Villa A features a huge eat-in kitchen with every culinary amenity and would be a WOW setting for a wedding or event.

Villa A Grand Salon

Villa A Grand Salon

Naturelle 34 bedrooms:  Worthy of an Architectural Digest layout, and like its two “sister villas”, the name comes from its gorgeous but natural tropical landscaping. A sprawling main-level deck features an extra long infinity edge (and heated) pool. The views are spectacular! Two en suite bedrooms are on opposite ends of the villa and the other two, also en suite, are situated just down the hill in a bi level pavilion. Each has its own plunge pool. A spacious open air mini-gym is just one of many special features.

Villa Naturelle 3

Villa Naturelle 3

And for honeymooners – Ti Acerola. This very private mini-compound’s main pavilion has a kitchen, dining area, bedroom and bath. The 2nd pavilion houses a cozy air-conditioned living room. Both are adjacent to a delightful pool. And what a view!

Villa Ti Acerola

Villa Ti Acerola

Our hotel inspections included the Carl Gustaf.  The suites’ plunge pools have been retiled in sparkling white and new contemporary furnishings and décor give the living rooms and the bedrooms a fresh new airy – and 5 star look. The Hotel Saint-Barth Hotel Isle de France is boasting new white marble flooring in it iconic breezeway.  We toured the newly refurbished rooms as suites on the beach as we; as the garden bungalows and they are gorgeous. We checked in at the Hotel Taïwana and its new top-level bedroom suites are nearing completion.

It was a busy and productive trip with a nice Sunday break in the middle. We began with a breakfast of ham and cheese croissants  at La Petite Colombe and a morning swim at Gouverneur Beach; and then on to St. Jean Beach for a picnic lunch – and some great people watching. Parfait.