Archive for December, 2013

The Ultimate St. Barth Christmas Gift to Put Under the Tree

Friday, December 20th, 2013

SURPRISE HER/HIM WITH A LAST MINUTE TRIP TO PARADISE

You’ve surfed the web, you’ve pounded the pavement but you just can’t seem to find the perfect gift to give to your loved one, friend(s) or family. This time of year can be quite stressful because you have so many things to do in such a short period of time. You are tired, you have worked hard at your job all year long, it’s cold outside for most of you and you are already tired of shoveling snow, scraping off your windshield and slipping on black ice. YOU DESERVE A VACATION IN ST. BARTH! So why not reserve a villa for a January getaway and surprise your significant other(s) by gift wrapping it and putting it under the tree?

Here I am in beautiful St. Barth looking out at the view as I type and thinking about all of you and how great it would be if you could join me down here. So I did a little research and came up with some nice options.

Would you like to stay directly on St. Jean Beach and have a swimming pool too? Villa Crystal Dream has a 7 night opening January 09-16, 2014! It has 3 bedrooms so you can surprise 5 people or just travel as a twosome and pay less money. (Choose your bedroom and the other two would just be locked off. You still get to use the whole rest of the house.)

Villa Crystal Dream

Villa Crystal Dream

Are you looking for a romantic gift for you and someone very special? Villa Blue Diamond is the perfect choice. It is brand new, has a gorgeous infinity pool, a fantastic view and every techno amenity you can imagine. It has availability January 05-18, 2014.

Villa Blue Diamond

Villa Blue Diamond

If Blue Diamond’s price is a stretch, we have Villa Diaco which sits on the highest peak of St. Barth. The view is incredible. You can reserve it between January 06 and 18, 2014.

Villa Diaco

Villa Diaco

The luxurious Villa Noé is a perfect villa for one or two couples. Listen to the sound of the surf or better yet go surfing! You can walk to the path that leads you down to that special spot where the serious surfers go. You may end up surfing with Jimmy Buffett! Villa Noé is available between Jan 03 and 17, 2014.

Villa Noé

Villa Noé

One or two couples could also enjoy the less expensive Villa Bet Yam with two equal king bedrooms and is even closer to the surfing area. It’s all yours between January 13 and 29, 2014.

Villa Bet Yam

Villa Bet Yam

Do you prefer to be closer to Gustavia and Gouverneur Beach? Book the luxurious Villa Mer Soleil between January 05 and 12, 2014 and make your dream come true. The sunsets from here are spectacular.

Villa Mer Soleil

Villa Mer Soleil

Do you want to splurge? Stay in the top-of-the line three bedroom Villa Méli Mélo between January 05 and 15, 2014 and enjoy sensational views of St Jean from the front and Saline from the back. St. Jean beach is a 2 minute drive away.

Villa Méli Mélo

Villa Méli Mélo

Both Villa Mer Soleil and Villa Méli Mélo are part of our Grand Cru collection offering you extra services. To gather more information on any of the above gift suggestions, please call -1-800-421-3396 or +1-508-528-7727 or email reservations@stbarth.com. If you decide you want to purchase your gift after hours or over the weekend, email me directly and I will do my best to start the reservation process for you.

See you next month!

November in St. Barth – Trip Report by Connie Walsh

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

I am happily back on St. Barth and am based here for at least the next 5 months (poor me). Last month I was also here doing some villa inspections, spending time with friends and hosting our 25th Anniversary party celebrating the silver anniversary of when I founded St. Barth Properties. My colleague Connie Walsh was with me and I am pleased to share her trip report with you as a Guest Blog.

Connie Walsh’s Trip Report November 2013

Connie Walsh

Connie Walsh

One of the things I love best about the island of St. Barth is the charming small-town ordinary-ness of its daily life. It both belies and yet compliments the TMZ-like Jay Z & Beyoncé-ness which reaches its star-studded zenith over the Christmas and New Year holidays. But even then, residents, which include many whose families have called St. Barth home for generations, are out and about, stopping in at the post office, buying a baguette or grabbing a burger in Gustavia’s Le Select. And if they meet Mariah Carey popping out of a shop, Dave Letterman jogging the hills or are seated next to Hollywood’s latest starlet in a restaurant, it’s all in a St. Barth day.

Come August and September, many of the hotels and some restaurants shutter for an annual closing period. It’s a quiet time and one that many vacationers love, for just that reason. Come October, everything begins re-opening up with great energy. Hotels sport a range of renovations, announce new chefs and menus and everyone, residents and visitors alike are excited to see what new bistros and boutiques the season will bring.

I’ve been traveling to St.Barth in November for a number of years now with the St. Barth Properties (SBP) team for the pre-season inspection trip. I find the enthusiasm as tangible as the whiff of the scent of fresh paint. This year I added in some vacation time. Joining SBP’s president, my client and friend Peg Walsh. Together with our husbands and other friends, we shared the delightful Villa Nirvana. It was perfect for 3 couples, like many villas in the portfolio, its en suite bedrooms are privately situated and the poolside outdoor living spaces are designed to gather and socialize and take in a spectacular view. And we did.

Villa Nirvana

Villa Nirvana

My husband and I loved the Lurin location in part due to its proximity to Gouverneur Beach, one of our favorites. We could jump in the car and head down for a morning swim and be back in no time for a 2nd helping of French pastries. (Our St. Barth guilty pleasure.) The week went by all too quickly, a shopping trip combined with burgers, ice cold Caribs, and people-watching at the legendary Le Select; picnic lunches and swimming at St. Jean Beach where, end of day, we’d stroll down to La Plage’s Pink Parrot bar for a late-afternoon glass of rosé and a lovely day at the Christopher. The Pt. Milou hotel offers Day Passes and 80 euros per person will reserve you a plush poolside sunbed, umbrella and towel. The seafront pool here is the island’s largest and just gorgeous. A welcome cocktail and lunch at the feet-in-the-sand Mango is included. Spa aficionados can upgrade the Pass to include treatments at the hotel’s Spa Sisley. Check-in the with SBP’s concierge team to reserve the Pass.

Christopher pool

Christopher pool

The gang at the Christopher

The gang at the Christopher

And now on to the restaurant round-up. Our tradition is to have our first night on-the-island dinner at Andy’s Hideaway. The beloved old shanty with a view of the parking lots has been spiffed up. Brightly painted, plus new chairs and tables give it a contemporary look. Dare we say très chic? The thin crust pizza is still fabulous and the vanilla rhum, yummy. Andy belted out Sweet Caroline as he is wont to do and the crowd joined in. In short, it’s as much fun as ever.

Santa Fe has long been on my must-dine list (I always finish with the old-school Peach Melba.) and I’ve now added Le Carre Lounge. I love the way owner Franck Mathevet describes the preparations of each dish, with fingers aflutter like he is actually feeling the ingredients and I love everything on the menu starting with the truffle oil popcorn. Recommendations: the Gnocchi Maison “al pesto” and the crispy chicken rolls with ginger and lime.

Le Carre Lounge

Le Carre Lounge

We dined at Hotel Le Toiny‘s Relais Chateau restaurant Le Gaïac where on Tuesday nights they offer their popular 3 course pre-fixe Fish Market. The Mahi-Mahi was delish and I was blown away by my dessert of chocolate ganache served with a crispy biscuit, banana foam and avocado sorbet. (No, really.)

The Mahi-Mahi at Le Toiny's Le Gaïac

The Mahi-Mahi at Le Toiny’s Le Gaïac

We lunched at the Sereno and the Guanahani hotels. Le Sereno is boasting a new concept and menu and we devoured a starter of eggplant chips with tzatziki sauce and a salad of assorted melon tossed with arugula and dressed with a balsamic reduction – cool and refreshing. My favorite starter of this trip was the Guanahani’s Indigo resto’s Wahoo ceviche sprinkled with coconut.

This year, SBP upgraded their annual Beachside Bash in honor of their Silver Anniversary and everyone gathered at the Hotel Taïwana’s newly-christened restaurant Casa Flamands for an elegant buffet supper. With that as a “taste” we are looking forward to more.

My favorite of the new eateries is Gustavia’s just-opened Thai restaurant Black Ginger. The décor of the bi-level edifice is dramatic with a bold red and black color scheme. Head up to the 2nd floor and dine under the stars. Dishes are authentically prepared and we love that they incorporate the local fish. The black pepper Mahi-Mahi was a huge hit with our crowd and I loved my chicken curry in coconut milk. Newly opened on the harbor, Les Coulisses is casual, fun and a great stop for lighter fare. They serve tapas and very good pizza.

Black Ginger

Black Ginger restaurant

Our last day on St. Barth was a busy one and we planned to fit in lunch at a little restaurant that we heard was a favorite of locals, Le Jardin. Housed in a garden pavilion and tucked away in the shopping plaza across from the airport, it was simple, bright, airy and absolutely charming. I was delighted to see gazpacho on the menu and it was perfectly chilled and seasoned. However, I did have my eye on the two-fisted juicy burgers that were served up to the guys at the table beside us. Next time. We slowed down, ordered a glass of rosé and “hung out with the locals”. Put it on your list. It’s open for breakfast if you fly in early and it works well for a pre-departure cocktail. And who knows the crowd that day might include a celeb like Mick Jagger or a “special” local like Jimmy Buffett. But in St. Barth. everyone feels, well, special. Enjoy!