Archive for June, 2017

A Client Captures the Magic of St. Barth on Video

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Bonjour! Today’s blog features a video beautifully created by one of our clients, Bob Grummel. Bob and his wife were in St. Barth last month and he spent a lot of the time using a DSLR camera to get the gorgeous shots that you see here. He did an excellent job of capturing what St. Barth is all about and why I fell in love with the island when I first arrived in 1986. Bob also fell in love with St. Barth when he and his wife first visited the island in 2008. I hope you enjoy the video as much as I did.

Happy viewing,

Peg

Julia’s Trip report May 2017

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

Today’s guest blog is written by our fabulous St. Barth Properties USA office’s Concierge, Julia Hurd, who has been with us for over 10 years and just returned from her annual trip to the island. Many of you use her services to enhance your St. Barth vacation and can’t say enough about how wonderful she is.

Best Job in the World!

In the 10 years, I have been with St. Barth Properties, I have always traveled with a coworker, this year I arrived alone for the first time. After I arrived at beautiful villa Ylang-Ylang, located in Flamands it was time for a long-awaited swim and a cold drink. The villa is perfect for 2 couples has everything one would need for a relaxing vacation. Beautiful breezes. Close to Flamands beach; it’s about a 3 minute drive.

I was off to the St. Barth Properties office, located in Gustavia on Monday morning to meet our new staff. After 7 years, we said goodbye to Magda Borne who has been a wonderful concierge and welcomed Aurélie Janvier who assumed the concierge position. My task for the week was to show her the ropes and let her know what a great job being a concierge is.

We started off by spending some time getting to know one another and what better place to do so but at the Beach Club restaurant at Hotel Le Toiny. They drove us down the hillside and we sat under a shade tree and had a wonderful lunch.

Dining under a shade tree at the Beach Club restaurant

The view from the Beach Club restaurant

The next day I wanted to check out some new places to watch a sunset. I had read on line about a spot behind the hospital that was recently built. Wow, it is a beautiful park; you can bring a bottle of Champagne or wine and sit and enjoy the view or wait until sunset. I loved this location as it was peaceful and you have many places to sit and enjoy a quiet conversation. Plenty of parking as well.

The new park behind the hospital is a great location to view the sunset

The park has plenty of parking

I also wanted to see the beautiful Catholic church in Lorient; so, both Aurélie and I took a walk and it was stunning.

The Catholic church in Lorient

Above the front door of the Catholic church

We decided to take advantage of our St. Barth Properties exclusive 5 Star Beach Access perk and spend a day at the Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa, so we arrived and toured the beautiful spa; should you book a spa appointment you will save 10% but it must be booked through St. Barth Properties. We enjoyed a refreshing cocktail on the beach before having our lunch and watched the wind surfers; the breeze was so enjoyable and they all seemed to be having a fun time. You can enjoy the non-motorized watersports, too. It is all a part of our SBP VIP package.

A cocktail on the beach at Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa

The chicken club sandwich for me and ceviche for Aurélie were so yummy. The hotel is stunning and the pool has music that plays while you are underwater.

My chicken club sandwich at Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa

Aurélie had ceviche for lunch at Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa

Aurélie tried the Crêpes Suzette for dessert at Le Barthélemy

As the US concierge, my job requires me to dine at the new restaurants, check out new hot spots so, with that, I was happy to take on the task.

Since David took over Santa Fe he has been receiving fantastic reviews. I enjoyed a wonderful dinner with Allegra Pawlowski, our new St. Barth Properties Villa Specialist, along with her mother, Lee, and her best friend Marta. What a great night we had! I love the Dover Sole, so that is what I had. After dinner, we enjoyed the best rum and I asked David if he sold any bottles; he said, yes and his wife Hayate paints the bottles that the rum comes in. How beautiful. Well I, of course, had to bring one home with me. They even bubble wrapped it for me to place in my luggage. Before we had dinner at Santa Fe, we stopped in at Shellona (formerly Dõ Brazil) on Shell Beach for a glass of rosé.

Sharing a glass of rosé at Shellona at with Allegra Pawlowski, her mother, Lee, and her best friend Marta

The Dover Sole at Santa Fe

The bottles of rum at Santa Fe are hand-painted by the owner’s wife, Hayate

I also enjoyed a fun evening with Anne Laure and Allegra at Bo Kào; wow, the bartender Eddie made the most amazing cocktails. Of course, it is always better to bring someone like Anne Laure who is his friend; so, make sure you stop by and say hi and stay for one of Eddie’s refreshing cocktails. The dinner was amazing as well. Lots of variety of Asian infused plates. I had the shrimp and noodles.

I love to walk at night around Gustavia and watch the beautiful sunset.

Sunset in Gustavia harbor

I had many appointments meeting new people and catching up with ones that I have known for years; it is always great to visit the island and be grateful for having such a wonderful job.

I look forward to working with all of our delightful clients to help plan their perfect dream vacation.

Julia Hurd (left) and Allegra Pawlowski (right)

Just back from St. Barth June 2017

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

A whirlwind trip full of new St Barth information that I gathered for our next Live Your Dream catalogue.

THE PRIVATE CHEFS OF ST. BARTH

My week in St. Barth was full of appointments and new experiences, even for a veteran like me who has been going there for 31 years. Connie Walsh who works with me (no, we are not related) and I had a mission: Obtain as much new and interesting material as possible for our next Live Your Dream catalogue. Although it will be unveiled at our Beachside Bash on December 02, 2017, we needed lots of lead time in order to meet the deadlines for publication.

We began by acting like a client to see what it is like to stay at the new 5 star Villa Marie Saint Barth. Tucked away on the Colombier hillside where the former François Plantation hotel used to be, we were charmed by our suites. Like all of the suites, Connie’s Family Suite and my Prestige Bungalow were decorated differently, which is a nice touch. My suite had a king bedroom, spacious living room with sliders leading out to a big deck furnished for outdoor living and sunning. Connie’s was similar but had a small child’s room with bunk beds and small 2nd bath. The view over Flamands was stunning. The en suite baths had both a shower and a clawfoot bathtub. We enjoyed our first night’s dinner in their gourmet restaurant, aptly named François Plantation. It was pricey but delicious. Breakfast is served by the swimming pool and is included in the very reasonably priced rate at this Sibuet boutique hotel.

Villa Marie St Barth has a view over Flamands

Our next stay was at the 5 star Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa which sits directly on Grand Cul de Sac beach. Our Ocean Luxe Suites were on the 2nd story and gorgeous. The en suite bathroom has louvred doors over the sink, so I always had a sea view even when I was brushing my teeth! A comfortable sitting area is at the foot of the king bed and sliders open to the covered balcony where I could sit at a table for 2 or on a comfy chair. To me, the pièce de résistance is the amazing automatic screen that is invisible to the eye. Just click a button to open it to the breezes or leave it down. The colorful water view is the same. I was up early one morning as were the kite surfers playing with the wind over the lagoon. We enjoyed dinner at their Aux Amis beachfront gourmet restaurant. During the day, it is more casual and this is where we had breakfast (included) and lunch. Another day we decide to have lunch at the Le Turquoise bar and restaurant near the pool.

Le Barthélemy Hotel & Sp sits directly on Grand Cul de Sac beach

Don’t get the idea that we just lounged around all day. Unlike you who are on vacation to relax, we had plenty of work to accomplish on this trip. We interviewed the private chefs with whom we collaborate and book for you when you want to just chillout at your villa. For starters, we interviewed Pascal Preynat of PASCAL COOK. His favorite cuisine is Provençale. We learned that he makes his own Foie Gras. We loved it! If you are lucky enough to spend the holidays in St. Barth with us, you will receive this as a gift from St. Barth Properties.

We interviewed Pascal Cook in the conference room at our new waterfront St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty office.

Homemade Foie Gras by Pascal Cook

Then there was Philippe Masseglia, the former Executive Chef of 22 years at Le Guanahani who created his new services as a private chef under the name, Food Square. From tataki to tangine to pasta puttanesca, Philippe has clients’ cravings covered. Italian food is one of his passions, but he recognizes that many people today prefer to eat lighter, healthier fare. Clients love him so much they often ask him to go with them when they travel elsewhere. He happily obliges.

We interviewed FOOD SQUARE owner Philippe Massegilia at Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa on a French holiday when nobody else would work. Philippe was happy to work that day. Merci beaucoup, Philippe.

Another chef with whom we often work is CHEF XO. Christophe Moreau loves interacting with the clients, he answers questions and lets them get involved if they wish – chopping vegetables and stirring bowls and pots. Christophe is often the chef that we use for Our Drive Dine & Relax package. Our clients always rave about the meal that he prepared for their complimentary candlelight dinner.

CHEF XO, Christophe Moreau, loves cooking for you in your villa.

On our last evening, LOLO’S PRIVATE CATERING wanted to cook for us! By this time, Connie and I had moved to Villa Sur Le Port in Gustavia. The owner had kindly offered us two complimentary nights, so that we could experience a stay there. If you do not mind a short but steep walk down a hill, it’s a perfect villa for Gustavia lovers. It even comes with a parking space! Lolo (Laurence Philippot) walked in at about 5:30 with loads of food and equipment for the job at hand. We sat at the bar and watched her do her magic while we interviewed her. She told us that the Lacanche stove at the villas was “The Rolls Royce” of ranges and she thoroughly loved using it. As we have new staff at our St. Barth offices, they needed to sample her cooking, too. Her culinary repertoire encompasses Indian and Asian cuisine and some of her special dishes offer creative innovative fusion. We have vegan clients who book her year after year, as well.

Lolo’s Private Catering cooked for us at Villa Sur Le Port on our last night.

Speaking of having new staff at our rental and sales offices, I was very happy to meet Laura Commaret on her very first day with our St. Barth Properties – St. Barth villa rental office. Laura and Anne Laure Amy are sharing the front desk and reservation duties now that Magda has left and Aurélie Janvier has assumed the Concierge position. Aurélie has lots of innovative ideas to enhance your St. Barth experience with us. Laura comes to us from Le Sereno hotel where she handled reservations at both their St. Barth and Lake Como hotels and interacted with the hotel guests. By the end of the week, she had fully adapted to her position and told me that she loves her new job! Welcome Laura.

Here I am with our newest St. Barth Properties – St. Barth rental offce staff member Laura Commaret

I do have lots of other news but will save it for future blogs, so that you are not on overload.