Archive for June, 2015

A Note to share with our St. Barth Properties Friends

Friday, June 19th, 2015

An intimate wedding takes place in St. Barth and you know the bride!

I am sure that most of you know that we have two fantastic concierges to assist you with, among other things, your dinner reservations, on-island activities, in-villa massages, birthday and anniversary parties, as well as weddings in St. Barth. Julia Hurd assists you before you travel and Magda Votava continues that great service once you are on the island.

This time it was Magda‘s turn to arrange her own wedding! She is a pro by now, so she knew exactly what she needed to do. She wanted a very small, intimate wedding and it went flawlessly.

The beautiful bride is our fabulous St. Barth Properties Sotheby's International Realty on-island office Concierge, Magda Votava photo : François Vochelle

The beautiful bride is our fabulous St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty on-island office Concierge, Magda Votava
photo : François Vochelle

If you read one of my previous blogs about getting married in St. Barth, you know that all marriages in St. Barth, just like in France, must take place at the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) in this case, the Hôtel de la Collectivité d’Outremer as it is known in St. Barth.

Official wedding ceremonies in St. Barth always take place at the Hôtel de la Collectivité

Official wedding ceremonies in St. Barth always take place at the Hôtel de la Collectivité

So, on June 08, 2015 Magdalena Votava married Frédéric Borne, the Captain of a private yacht located in Gustavia Harbor. Magda’s beautiful daughter Valérie Votava and Fred’s handsome son, Ryan Borne were at their side.

Time for the Ring photo François Vochelle

Time for the Ring
photo François Vochelle

Valérie Votava, Magdalena Borne, Frédéric Borne, Ryan Borne photo credit : François Vochelle

Valérie Votava, Magdalena Borne, Frédéric Borne, Ryan Borne
photo credit : François Vochelle

I asked Magda if she would share their love story by answering some questions.

When, where and how did you and Fred meet?
“We met 6 years ago in France. Fred spent a couple of months there when he worked on a private boat in Cannes. We had a common friend on Facebook and that’s how we got to know each other. He came to see me when I was in Paris and that’s how it started. We never wanted to separate from that moment.”

What were your jobs at the time?
“I was a commercial assistant at Myllykoski (a huge paper manufacturer at that time in Europe). Fred worked as a yacht captain in Cannes.

When did you decide to come to SBH and why?
I made up my mind when Fred came to help me after an elbow surgery. It wasn’t easy for me to take care of the house and of Valérie who was little at that time (5 years old) and he came and did everything ☺. He was already in SBH, but flew to Paris to take care of me. When he asked me if I wanted to follow him, I didn’t hesitate a second.”

St. Barth is Synonymous with Love photo : François Vochelle

St. Barth is Synonymous with Love
photo : François Vochelle

Why did you choose to work at St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty?
“I found an ad in the Journal of St. Barth. SBP was looking for someone to replace a staff member for a couple of months. It corresponded with my profile and my knowledge, so I sent my CV. A week later, I was at SBP2 ☺. When Nadine came back, YOU decided you wanted to keep me ☺.”

Can you tell me a little bit about Ryan and Valérie?
“Ryan is 16 and he goes to school in Aix-en-Provence now (He was in SBH until September 2014, but, as you know, children in St. Barth can’t complete their studies here after ninth grade) so once Ryan finished, he decided to continue his studies in France. He wants to be a pilot in the army, just like his grandfather (Fred’s dad was a very famous fighter pilot). Recently, he passed an aeronautics exam and he scored 100%!!! Only 3 out of more than 600 candidates received the Committee’s Congratulations and he was one of them. We are very proud of him.

Valérie is 10 now and she will start secondary school in September. She’s very excited about this. She would like to be in the linguistic class and learn English and Spanish. She is already bilingual as she speaks Polish very well. She loves music, attends dance classes, and started piano lessons. She still doesn’t know what she wants to do in the future, but I keep telling her that she has a lot of time to make the final decision ☺.”

Mother and Daughter photo : François Vochelle

Mother and Daughter
photo : François Vochelle

Is there anything else you would like to include?
“Oh, I don’t know. If you want to write that Fred left France when he was 4 and then spent 20 years in Africa, as his dad was a fighter pilot there and then they all moved to St. Barth (23 years ago). He started to work as a captain almost 30 years ago (He was only 17).

I graduated for the University in my hometown, Lodz in Poland where I studied English and I obtained a Master’s Degree. I moved to France when I was 25 and obtained a Postgraduate Degree at Sorbonne University in Paris.

We both love traveling and photos (some of them, even Fred’s were used in our Live Your Dream catalogues).”

Congratulations to Magda and Fred Borne. May you live happily ever after!

Presenting: Madame et Monsieur Frédéric Borne photo : François Vochelle

Presenting: Madame et Monsieur Frédéric Borne
photo : François Vochelle

Eddy, Nils Dufau, Vice-President of the Hôtel de la Collectivité who performed the wedding ceremony, Magda, Fred, Ryan, Joel, Valérie and Sandrine photo : François Vochelle

Eddy, Nils Dufau, Vice-President of the Collectivité d’Outremer who performed the wedding ceremony, Magda, Fred, Ryan, Joel, Valérie and Sandrine
photo : François Vochelle

Introducing Villa Brume de Mer, an Exclusive New St. Barth Properties Listing

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

As you might remember, Steve and I left St. Barth last month after spending 6 marvelous (and warm) months on the island so that we could attend our grandson Tyler Smyth’s graduation from Xavarian Brothers High School. Tyler is the son of my son and SBP VP, Tom Smyth.

We live on Cape Cod in the summer. Returning to the northeast was a bit of a shocker as it was really chilly and, so far, it has not warmed up.

I was delighted to have to return to St. Barth to work. Connie Walsh (no relation) who works with us accompanied me because this is the time of year that we need to gather information for the new edition of our Live Your Dream catalogue and Connie helps me write the content. We had lots of interviews to do. As it turns out, I also had new villas to inspect, so the week was quite hectic but profitable because most of what I saw, I liked. I thought you would enjoy staying in anyone of them, depending on your needs and budget so we are adding them to our portfolio. I will be presenting them to you in future blogs but the villa I am featuring today is Villa Brume de Mer.

Villa Brume de Mer Pool

Villa Brume de Mer Pool

Connie and I were fortunate to be able to spend 3 nights in this brand new two bedroom villa that is located just past the far end of Flamands Beach, a favorite of so many. It’s a classic wide Caribbean beach with sugar white sand and some surf. You can walk to it easily from Brume de Mer. It takes about 3 minutes. Stroll to the other end where you will find the five star hotels, Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France and the Taïwana. Stop info a drink or perhaps a leisurely lunch or gourmet dinner. If you enjoy Creole food and fresh Caribbean Lobster (Langouste) enjoy lunch or dinner at the casual, reasonably priced La Langouste restaurant.

Villa Brume de Mer Living

Villa Brume de Mer Living

Brume de Mer sits on a bluff overlooking the Baie de Flamands; we loved listening to the sound of the surf while we were sitting in the outdoor living area and typing away on our laptops. As the sun was setting, I turned on the pool light and was dazzled by the ever-changing colors we saw.

Villa Brume de Mer at Sunset

Villa Brume de Mer at Sunset with the pool in green

We watched the solar heated pool at Brume de Mer change colors under the full moon while we were there. This blue one is my favorite.

We watched the solar heated pool at Brume de Mer change colors under the full moon while we were there. This blue one is my favorite.

The air-conditioned living area, dining area, and kitchen are glass enclosed with sliders that open if you prefer to have breezes instead of using the AC. My bedroom, located on the main level has a king bed that can be converted to twins which is ideal if you are vacationing with your children. The bathroom has two doors. It is en suite if you access it through the bedroom and walk-in closet or it can serve as a guest bath if you access it from the kitchen area. It has double sinks and a delightful rain head shower.

Villa Brume de Mer Bedroom 1

Villa Brume de Mer Bedroom on the main level can be converted to a king bed

Villa Brume de Mer Bathroom 1

Villa Brume de Mer Bathroom 1

Connie stayed in the upstairs bedroom. It features a king bedroom with a loveseat and an outdoor balcony that looks out to the sea. It too has a walk-in closet and two accesses to its en suite bathroom.

Villa Brume de Mer Bedroom 2

Villa Brume de Mer Bedroom is upstairs with a king bed and a balcony

Villa Brume de Mer Bathroom 2

Villa Brume de Mer Bathroom 2

The terrace also features an outdoor dining area under the same gazebo as the living area and a Jacuzzi is at-the-ready when you feel like experiencing pure relaxation. Did I mention that the swimming pool is solar heated? – Delightful

Villa Brume de Mer Jacuzzi

Villa Brume de Mer Jacuzzi

Here is what the first guests had to say about their stay, “…We had a great time and the villa Brume de Mer was fantastic. We can’t wait to go back there. Our worries are it will become so popular we will have trouble booking it. The setting can’t be beat. Waking in the morning and looking out on the ocean that appeared to be at your feet crashing into the rocks was an experience we had not had in the 12 years we have been going to St Barth. And in all those years we never went to La Langouste. We’ll we went twice it was that good. My wife said the Dover Sole was better than Eden Rock’s. And being able to walk there along the beach from the villa made it all the better. We are so glad Villa Wide View was unavailable because we would not have experienced Brume De Mer. After all the apprehension Deb had, she just loves this villa. Had everything we want in a villa, a pool that is actually heated, a separate Jacuzzi, great sound system, quiet, walking distance to the beach and to Colombier, I could go on and on. The owner was great as was our housekeeper. Thanks for recommending this place. We will be coming back.”
Bruce W
Fogesville, PA

I wish that we could have spent much more time enjoying the villa but we were on a working trip and running around the island like crazy. I do know that you will love it. The villa is exclusively listed with St. Barth Properties, so if you would like to experience Villa Brume de Mer, just contact me at pegwalsh@stbarth.com, mention that you read this blog and I will pay the 5% island tax for you.

Don’t forget to tell me how much you enjoyed you stay!

See you in St. Barth.