Archive for January, 2013

A day at Hôtel Le Toiny – St. Barth

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Lucky you! You’ve just checked into one of the oh-so-secluded one bedroom villa suites at the gorgeous 5 star Hotel Le Toiny. These free-standing romantic little cottages offer a chic and comfortable separate living area, a compact kitchenette and a luxurious en suite bedroom graced with a draped 4 poster bed. Just outside your door? A lovely terrace with your own private pool and breathtaking ocean views. Close your gate and put up the red mailbox flag so all will know to “Do Not Disturb.” Le Toiny is all about the privacy.

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Bonjour! It’s Sunday morning. Your terrace is the perfect place to start your day with a breakfast of fresh fruit and French pastries that will provide sustenance for you to explore the Pointe of Toiny via a two-mile walking path. Your sound track will be the Caribbean surf. If you finish up early you may have time for a yoga lesson on the beach and even a swim in your private pool. Au naturel

Brunch time! The hotel’s restaurant Le Gaïac is famous for its Sunday Brunch so block off at least two hours and enjoy the food – and the view. It’s an experience. The buffet is beautiful and bountiful. Eggs are cooked to order and a chef mans the grill. May we suggest a bottle of Rosé? Esprit de Sainte-Marguerite Château Sainte-Marguerite (2010).

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Relax a bit before visiting Toiny’s Serenity Spa Cottage for one of their special treatments. We recommend booking the St. Barth Chill – the island’s version of a hot stone massage. Think sea shells and Ligne St Barth exotic oils. Gentlemen might also enjoy an old-school shave on the Cottage’s porch.

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Not that you ever have to leave the hotel on your perfect Sunday but you might be tempted to shop a bit at the boutiques in St. Jean and continue on to Gustavia to enjoy a sunset cocktail at Shell Beach’s Dð Brazil.

End your day with a very private dinner pour deux on your terrace (or elsewhere on the hotel’s property). Chef Stéphane Mazières is the only chef in the Caribbean to have been awarded “GRAND CHEF RELAIS & CHATEAUX.” He will be pleased to meet with you and to create your personal menu and advise you on the wine.

Time to put up that red flag.

Bonne nuit

Visit http://www.stbarth.com/hotels/LeToiny/home.htm for more information and for reservations please contact letoiny@stbarth.com.

Good news for Flamands Beach Lovers – Villa La Sirène

Friday, January 18th, 2013

A few days ago a phone call brought me to beautiful Flamands Beach because a villa owner wanted to list his villa with St. Barth Properties. I always inspect a villa before agreeing to add it to our portfolio (and my staff always makes their own inspections when they are here, too). I had visited this particular house a year ago and told the owners what they needed to do to prepare it for seasonal rental. So off I went with notebook in hand. Directrice Pascale Minarro was with me and as soon as we approached the villa we were psyched. We have so many requests for a villa on the beach. I was pleased and impressed with the results of their efforts. I saw a refurbished beach house that would be perfect for clients who are looking for a casual beachfront villa.

Flamands Beach

Flamands Beach

Villa La Sirène

Villa La Sirène

I love the way they redid the living room; they added a sectional sofa and there’s a mirror on the wall which means that you can actually see the view when you are facing it; the kitchen has all the bells and whistles including a Nespresso machine; the air-conditioned master bedroom has a king bed and there’s a second king bedroom with AC off of the living room. Both bedrooms share a bath.

Villa La Sirène Living Room

Villa La Sirène Living Room

The outdoor dining terrace has folding glass doors so you can dine outside and enjoy the view even if it is a bit windy. The swimming pool is delightful so you will have to decide if you want to sit poolside or go down to the beach and lounge amongst the palm trees before taking a dip in the sea. If you don’t feel like leaving the beach, you can walk to the Hotel St. Barth isle de France and/or the Hotel Taïwana for a delicious lunch or dinner.

Villa La Sirène Dining Room

Villa La Sirène Dining Room

Generally I am the person who decides what to name our villas. I noticed that the owners have a mermaid at one end of the pool and a statue of a mermaid on the dining terrace so I decided to name it Villa La Sirène. If you would like to vacation at Villa La Sirène, call us at 1-800-421-3396 or + 1-508-528-7789. You can also email reservations@stbarth.com. See you on the beach!

New Year’s, Jimmy Buffett, Condé Summit, Café Victoire

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Bonne Année!

St. Barth was really hopping over the holiday period. The weather was fantastic.  Gustavia was bustling as usual on New Year’s Eve and the myriad of yachts both on the quai and moored off the harbor sounded their horns as the fireworks display began at the stroke of midnight.  Many of our clients had such a fantastic holiday that they have already rebooked their villa for next year.

Bonne Année!

Bonne Année!

I met some of you at our weekly cocktail party at Bonito restaurant and it was fun to see the “regulars” who come every year as well as meet first timers who have also fallen in love with St. Barth. I look forward to seeing those of you who will be here over the next few months at our cocktail party too. (Tuesday evenings from 6:30-7:30 p.m.)  As usual Jimmy Buffett was here. I happened to be at the Baz Bar one evening when he stopped by, picked up a guitar and began singing for us!

Jimmy Buffett entertains us at the Baz Bar

Jimmy Buffett entertains us at the Baz Bar

I left the island for a few days to attend Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s Specialist Summit in Grand Cayman.  I am very fortunate and honored to have been chosen to receive the Villa Rental Specialist award for St. Barth since the award’s inception in 2006.  Director of Consumer News and Digital Community Editor Wendy Perrin carefully vets the top Travel Consultants and Villa Rental Specialists each year and the magazine hosts this conference for the winners.  It can be just as difficult to stay on The List as it is to make it in the first place so I am indeed thrilled to be on it.

Villa Specialists Marilyn Pulito St Martin, Julie Byrd Cabo, Conde Nast Editor Wendy Perrin, Peg Walsh St Barth, Gail Boisclair Paris Apartments at the Summit in Grand Cayman

Villa Specialists Marilyn Pulito St Martin, Julie Byrd Cabo, Conde Nast Editor Wendy Perrin, Peg Walsh St Barth, Gail Boisclair Paris Apartments at the Summit in Grand Cayman

I am happy to be back in St. Barth and pleased to let you know that the fabulous Café Victoire on rue Général Charles de Gaulle in Gustavia has reopened! Owner Bertrand Larregain and his chef Simon are back at the helm and they have created some wonderful dishes.  The prices are refreshingly reasonable.  We love the sidewalk café ambiance. It is so French. Do try it. Open every day but Sunday for lunch and dinner with the exception of Saturday lunch.

Café Victoire rue Général de Gaulle Gustavia

Café Victoire rue Général de Gaulle Gustavia

Carré d'agneau jus romarin (rack of lamb)

Carré d’agneau jus romarin (rack of lamb)

Risotto St. Jacques (Scallops)

Risotto St. Jacques (Scallops)

I am trying out a few new places and inspecting some new villa listings. Stay tuned…