Archive for October, 2014

The 2014 St. Barth CataCup is a must see event!

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Our very own John Casey continues to work his way towards realizing his dream of racing in the 2016 Olympics

St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty is pleased to once again be sponsoring John Casey in the 2014 St. Barth CataCup’s very exciting catamaran race November 20-23, 2014. An avid fan of regatta, aspiring American Olympian John Casey is joining the competition for the 6th time. Casey, who is training in the Nacra 17 event with teammate Sarah Newberry, hopes to take advantage of the St. Barth Cata Cup to have fun and to work on his racing skills with a view to the Olympics. In the St. Barth race, his partner is Colin Page. They will be staying in our lovely two bedroom Villa A Bientôt located in Toiny.

Villa A Bientôt

Villa A Bientôt

“The St. Barth regatta is the one event I need,” declares Casey. “It isn’t just the perfect sailing and surroundings, it’s all the friends that I’ve made over the years. It’s a high-level competition but relaxed and easy. Olympic training and racing is very structured and in a word, ‘work.’ But the CataCup is a place to put your training to the test in a very fluid manner because there are many obstacles to endure and angles to sail to win. Nothing about the CataCup is straightforward on and off the water. You never know what is going to happen next!”

John Casey

John Casey continues his preparation for the 2016 Olympics by participating in the St. Barth CataCup. Go John!

It will also be an opportunity for Casey to pit himself against new Nacra 17 World Champion Billy Besson from France, who will be taking part in the regatta for the first time.

“Our event sparks wild enthusiasm among racers all over the world,” explained Vincent Jordil, creator of the St. Barth Cata Cup. “Obviously, John’s participation raises the level of competition. Although our event is intended to be a friendly competition, the fact remains that the sailors like to take part in a high-caliber race.”

It’s not too late to reserve your hotel or villa for the event. Just contact me or reservations@stbarth.com.

Getting to St. Barth

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

How do I get to St. Barth? What are my travel options?

You are a first timer (soon to be hooked on St. Barth and become a repeat guest). You say, “How do I get to St. Barth?” It’s fairly easy and worth the extra effort. You will agree with me once you are there. Even if you are a repeat client I think you will find this latest information useful.

The Experience

St. Barth’s oh-so-short runway has achieved a certain notoriety over the years but that’s part of the fun. Close your eyes for the landing if you’re a scaredy cat but if you at least take a peek we promise it will be a collectible travel experience; exciting, fun – and very safe. The 19-seater STOL (short takeoff and landing) Twin Otter is the largest plane that lands here and is one of the reasons this beautiful island remains unspoiled. You’ll never see a 747 bringing in the crowds.

Landing in St. Barth

Landing in St. Barth

You fly in over those gorgeous turquoise waters and then over that well-documented hill. You have arrived. Say Bonjour to the folks on St. Jean Beach as you step off the plane.

International Air

From the USA, the gateways to St. Barts are via St. Maarten (airport code: SXM) and San Juan (SJU). A connection can also be made from St. Thomas (STT). American Airlines (Now merged with the former US Airways), Delta, United, Spirit, Air Tran and Jet Blue fly to St. Maarten and San Juan. Air France flies from Paris to SXM and British Airways flies from the UK to Antigua (ANU) a few days a week.

Flight Connections

Via San Juan: The easiest way to connect to St Barth (SBH) is directly from San Juan (SJU) on Tradewind Aviation. (We are more than pleased to make these arrangements for you). The carrier offers scheduled service that is sold by the seat ($402 to $640 each way depending on the travel dates). Tradewind departs San Juan 3 times a day (early morning, early afternoon and late afternoon). Departures from St. Barth are in the morning, midafternoon and late afternoon. Slight changes occur depending on the time of year and the amount of daylight because St Barth’s airport Gustav III closes at dusk. Tradewind also offers private charters (up to 8 passengers from $3950 to $4950 each way to/from SJU).

Piliatus Landing

Piliatus Landing

In addition, Tradewind offers service from St. Thomas (STT) and Antigua (ANU). Tradewind’s planes are the beautiful Pilatus with two pilots, very comfortable leather seats, air conditioning, drinks and snacks. The flight takes about 55 minutes (gate to gate is about 1 hour and 10 minutes). The trip is shorter from St. Thomas.

In the Value Season their St. Barth Premium Scheduled Service from San Juan continues with more limited operations. Check with us as to the schedules. Tradewind’s counter in SJU is located in the Jet Blue terminal A and the airline offers a lounge area where you can wait comfortably until departure time. (Recommended airline connection times: 90 minutes in San Juan, 60 minutes in St Thomas)

VIP Service is available in San Juan and includes an escort and baggage transfer from the commercial airline to your Tradewind flight. Contact our concierge, juliahurd@stbarth.com for your Tradewind flights.

Via Sint Maarten: Many people connect to St Barth (SBH) through Sint Maarten (SXM). Jet Blue flies nonstop to St. Maarten daily from JFK and on Saturdays from Boston (in high season). Jet Blue also seasonally flies from San Juan to St Maarten.

Winair is the major inter-island carrier. The 12-15 minute flight costs about $156-$293 round trip per person (depending on availability). Allow 1½ to 2 hours to make the connection to St Barts. On the return, be sure to allow at least 2 hours in St. Maarten in order to make your connection home.

Winair landing

Winair Landing

Luggage: Winair Passengers with a through international joint fare E-ticket (a single ticket with one PNR code that includes the airline that is connecting to or from Winair) are considered to be “Interline Passengers” and can check their luggage all the way to their final destination as long as the required minimum connecting time between the 2 airlines is respected. These airlines include: United, Delta Air Lines, Air Caraïbes, Insel Air, Air France, Corsair, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Dutch Antilles Express and Copa. Frequent flyer tickets do not apply to this service. Luggage limit is 23 kg/50 lbs. per passenger, so pack lightly. Winair is charging $25.00 for the first additional checked bag and $50 for a 3rd.

St. Barth Commuter offers several scheduled flights to/from Juliana Airport (SXM) on the Dutch side and a few others to/from the French side L’Espérance Airport (SFG) which is further away and requires a taxi ride in traffic. The tickets are 70 euros each way from either airport. We often arrange a private charter for our guests on St. Barth Commuter from SXM. The price is 900€ each way November 15 – March 15 and 800€ each way March 16 – November 14; the plane holds up to 7 passengers. An extra 100€ is charged each way per additional passenger – up to 9 passengers maximum (the capacity of the aircraft). For private charter arrangements contact juliahurd@stbarth.com. We continue to recommend that each passenger has a carry-on bag with enough clothing and supplies to get through at least 1 day as luggage has been known to arrive after its owners and sometimes not until the next day.

St. Barth Commuter landing

St. Barth Commuter Landing

Helicopter Transfers: A twin engine, AS355N helicopter can be arranged from Sint Maarten to St. Barth; one way cost is 1600 euros. The helicopter holds 5 passengers and 1 pilot. Baggage limitations are: 2 big suitcases 78x53x34 + 2 medium 68x45x30 + 1 carry-on size bag 52x34x24 with the possibility to fit additional backpacks. For 4 passengers, they can fit an additional big bag in front next to pilot. If you are one of our St. Barth Properties clients and want to learn more and reserve seats, please email our concierge juliahurd@stbarth.com or call Julia at + 1-508-570-4129 to make the arrangements.

Helicopter Transfers

Helicopter Transfers

Note: The airport in St. Barth closes at dusk

Ferry Connections

The Voyager is a slow Ferry (75-90 minutes from Marigot and 40 Minutes from Oyster Pond). Schedules are subject to change. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE SEAS BETWEEN ST. MAARTEN AND ST. BARTH CAN BE ROUGH. IF YOU ARE PRONE TO MOTION SICKNESS, WE RECOMMEND YOU AVOID THIS MANNER OF ARRIVAL. Website and phone number: (dialing from the U.S.) Voyager, Marigot Bay/Oyster Pond 011 590 590 87 10 68 (St. Martin)

Voyager Ferry

Voyager Ferry

The Great Bay Express is a faster ferry that travels from Bobby’s Marina in Dutch St Maarten to Gustavia in St. Barth. Crossing time is approximately 40 minutes.

Private boat transfers can also be arranged. Contact juliahurd@stbarth.com

We at St. Barth Properties take care of our clients from the planning stage of their dream vacation, all the way through to their departure from St Barth. Leaving paradise is a sad occasion but I am sure that by that time, you will be addicted as we all are, and return again and again. We will happily repeat the process.