Archive for the ‘Activities’ Category

St. Barth Properties US office Concierge, Julia Hurd’s Trip Report

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Did you ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes that makes your trip to St. Barth so remarkable?

Here is one of the reasons:

Bonjour Everyone,

Julia Hurd

Julia Hurd

I hope that you had a very enjoyable summer. Today’s blog was written by our fabulous Concierge Julia Hurd from our US office. If you have not already had the pleasure of working with Julia, you will be very impressed when you do. Julia helps all of our clients arrange any services they may wish her to organize for them…car rentals and dinner reservations, private chef and spa services, babysitters, birthday parties etc. Basically, everything on a person’s wish list will magically be set up and ready upon arrival.

In order for Julia to accomplish this feat, traveling to St. Barth to touch base with our St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty office’s Concierge, Magda Votava and meet all of our service partners is a must.

Enjoy,
Peg

Julia’s Trip Report

by Julia Hurd
US Concierge, St Barth Properties

Kathy Schlitzer, one of our St. Barth Villa Specialists, and I travel well together and this trip was no exception. We departed Boston, MA with JetBlue direct to St. Maarten. Once we arrived Easyway VIP Service was waiting for us to assist us through the St. Maarten airport to the Voyager Ferry.

Photo of Easyway VIP Agents in SXM

Easyway VIP Agents in SXM

Once we arrived into St. Barth we headed off to the Hotel Taïwana and we had the most beautiful two bedroom Jade Suite with a private pool. We settled in after a long day of travel and Sunday woke up and walked the beach of Flamands. The hotel is stunning and everyone there was so generous and kind. I wish I could have stayed longer.

Monday morning I went to our office in Gustavia to start my work week with Magda, our on island concierge. We speak daily and it is nice to see her in person. My first order of business is to collect updated information of the new and exciting things that the island has to offer, so we headed off to the Tourist Office in Gustavia.

SBP Office in Gustavia

SBP Office in Gustavia

The island of St. Barth has so much to offer, each time I visit, I learn something new.

I was excited to dine at some new restaurants on the island: Black Ginger, Ocean and of course my all time favorite Santa Fé.

Here is my Dover Sole that I enjoyed at Santa Fe

Here is my Dover Sole that I enjoyed at Santa Fé

I love fish, so I heard that the grocery store in Lorient called L’Oasis now has a Fish market for those guests that want to sleep in and not meet the local fisherman in Gustavia to see what the daily catch is. I took a ride to check it out. WOW if you want to stay in one night and cook, then I would suggest taking a look at their beautiful array of fish. They have many choices and all are packed on ice to stay fresh.

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I wanted to take a ride around the island to explore, so Magda and I decided to take a little excursion in Grand Fond; many clients enjoy hiking to see the Washing Machine. Make sure you wear sneakers; no flip flops for this hike.

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We also took the hike to Fort Karl, 63 steps up to the most spectacular view overlooking Gustavia harbor on one side and Shell Beach on the other.

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After that Magda and I hopped in the car to explore; we came across some new friends on the road. I also saw some ponies at the stables in Gouverneur.

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After our adventure I headed to the beautiful villa Méli Mélo where I would stay until I departed. This villa has the most stunning views from the front and the back. The front view overlooks St. Jean, the sea and the planes landing over the mountain; the villa was provided with binoculars, so I took advantage of using them. It was amazing to see the planes land and take off. The rear view looks out to the beautiful water at Saline Beach.

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I was lucky to be on the island for our last cocktail party of the season held at La Plage on St Jean Beach, I was happy to meet so many of our clients that I talk to and assist in planning their dream vacations on St. Barth. It was nice to spend time getting to know them better and in person. It just so happened to be Magda’s birthday, so Kathy and I invited her and her beautiful daughter Valérie to join us for dinner.

It was, as always, sad to leave, but I had to get home to make sure that I could share all my adventures and new knowledge of St. Barth with all of you. Call me anytime. I love my job!

A bientôt, St. Barth.

Enjoy Another Exhilarating Activity in St. Barth and Hike to Pointe à Toiny

Friday, April 25th, 2014

John Casey, the very skilled catamaran sailor who races in the St. Barth CataCup each year and is vying for a spot on the 2016 Olympic Team in Rio, read my blog about the hike to Washing Machine and the Natural Pools. He suggests another great trail for you to try and is sharing his enthusiasm for the hike to Pointe à Toiny in today’s guest blog.

A TYPICAL DAY ON A NOT SO TYPICAL ISLAND BY JOHN CASEY

A majority of my time in St. Barth is spent on the water racing by popular beaches and jagged points, but that’s only where the adventure begins. While I’m not sailing, I enjoy staying fit and doing activities far from everyday life. As soon as we drive east from Gustavia Harbor, the reality of being on a pristine island in seclusion really sets in.

My best day on the island was with my fiancée. Well, she’s my wife now. I think the trips to St. Barth helped seal the deal! We slept in, which is also easy to do on the island, and woke up with the trade winds blowing through Villa Les Mouettes one of St. Barth Properties delightful villas in Vitet.

Villa Les Mouettes

Villa Les Mouettes

With a good’s night sleep we decided to go on a hike. I’ve been to the island many times, but there was still a place I hadn’t been to yet, Pointe à Toiny. I realized I hadn’t been there because the hike to Grand Fond’s Washing Machine and Natural Pools that Peg describes is such a good one.

When we looked off of our porch that morning a quick shower passed through and greeted us with a rainbow.

A pretty rainbow appeared in  the view from our villa  Les Mouettes that morning

A pretty rainbow appeared in the view from our villa Les Mouettes that morning

We decided to go for a café au lait and some quick eats for the hike, so we stopped by Maya’s To Go. Carolina decided on Salmon and edamame salad. I had a very tasty quinoa-mandarin orange bowl.

Carolina holding the door open for me, so nice!

Carolina holding the door open for me, so nice!

I really looked forward to this hike. I’ve sailed around the island so many times and saw the cliffs of Toiny, but I always thought the windward side of the island wasn’t habitable. I did know it’s the most treacherous part of the island to sail by with its large waves and unforgiving rocks.

We snaked on winding roads from St. Jean to Hotel Le Toiny and pulled up the road leading to the hotel. It seems like there is nowhere to go after pulling in, but we drove straight by the hotel to a small gravel area on the right with room to park. From there we walked down a small grassy road toward Pointe à Toiny. The view kept getting better.

This hike is extra special since it’s on the windward side of the island. The breeze blows over Pt. Toiny making for a relaxing cool hike.

We begin not far from Hotel Le Toiny

We begin not far from Hotel Le Toiny

Pt. Toiny to some is easy rock climbing, but be careful because a majority of the rocks are loose and you can lose your footing easily.

Carolina gets daring on the rocks

Carolina gets daring on the rocks

Along the paths there are a few benches which give you a chance to enjoy the view. We took the opportunity to eat our Maya’s snacks and just soak in the beauty of the south side of the island.

We took time to enjoy the view as well as our snacks

We took time to enjoy the view as well as our snacks

After the hike we were famished again. On St. Barth I exercise more so I’m hungrier and anxious to eat the delicious varieties of gastronomique delights offered throughout the island. Tapas at Txerri Gorria were on the docket that night. I describe it as decadent. In the States I just don’t have the opportunity to enjoy perfectly tender thin sliced duck or foie gras with Himalayan sea salt, which were two of my favorites. The brie was creamy, the wine tasty and I even had a Jade organic beer.

Then there were four more days just as perfect. Thank you St. Barth!

Some St. Barth tidbits for April 2014. What’s up?

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Just a short note today to update you on the latest news around here…

Les Coulisses restaurant in Gustavia has closed. The harbor side restaurant formerly was the home of Harbour’s. Me Gusta has just moved there from St. Jean and offers tapas with a Portuguese flair. I am going to try it and report back.

Me Gusta restaurant is now located on the harbor

Me Gusta restaurant is now located on the harbor

Pipiri Palace is open for lunch now! You can get French delights such as Croque Monsieur or an omelette and they have a daily special “Formule” for only 16 euros.

In addition to dinner, try Pipiri Palace for lunch

In addition to dinner, try Pipiri Palace for lunch

Oasis grocery store in Lorient has extended its hours. It is now open from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm every single day including Christmas.

La Table de Jules (formerly K’fé Massai) in Lorient is closed for good. I wonder what will replace it? The sushi bar, Koya in the corner section of the restaurant is still open.

The Yacht Club nightclub in Gustavia is closed. (Carole of Le Ti St. Barth is the owner.) She has replaced it with The First Floor which is located upstairs above The Yacht Club. There is late night entertainment quite often. For you night owls, it is open Sunday-Thursday from 10:00 pm until 4:00 am and for you die-hards it stays open until 6:00 am on Fridays and Saturdays. Be aware that the venue has been enclosed to keep the noise from disturbing the neighbors and it can be very smoky. (I don’t understand why I see people smoking in some restaurants and night spots here because it is against the law in France but that is another story.)

Nightclub The First is on the First Floor (2nd floor to Americans)

Nightclub The First is on the First Floor (2nd floor to Americans)

R. Barth, the fancy rhum store has shuttered its doors. The entire contents of the shop including the very expensive old rum, other rums, furniture, a computer and glassware among other things will be auctioned off at 10:00 am April 23, 2014.

Au Revoir, R. St. Barth. We are sorry to see you go.

Au Revoir, R. St. Barth. We are sorry to see you go.

The Black Swan closed its Gustavia store but their larger boutique in St. Jean is open and still has a great selection of beachwear, t-shirts and casual clothing.

Les Soldes: French law dictates when the shops are allowed to have their Soldes (sales) in various areas. In France, for example, there is a period in January when this is allowed to take place but of course at that time of the year St. Barth is in the midst of High Season so full price, it is. People love the shopping here; many say the designer boutiques offer much better pricing than they can get at home.

Don't miss out on Les Soldes

Don’t miss out on Les Soldes

The dates for Les Soldes in 2014 were just announced. You will find a lot of items on sale with the exception of the Nouvelle Collections.

Mark your calendars and get ready to shop ‘til you drop May 03-June 06 and October 11-November 14, 2014.

If you haven’t booked your hotel or villa yet just email me or contact reservations@stbarth.com (1-800-421-3396) and we will begin the process to get you here ASAP.

Enjoy!

The shopping in St. Barth is a must-do

The shopping in St. Barth is a must-do

Hike to the Washing Machine and Natural Pools in Grand Fond

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Steve and I made it back to St. Barth from our trip to Australia where we celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary. The trip from here takes 32 hours. We did not have time to deal with jet lag on the way back because my daughter Kim, grandson Matt along with his Fairfield University roommate Andrew were to arrive two days later for spring break.

Lunch at Le Select with Steve, Matt, Andrew and Kim. It is a must do for anyone vacationing on St. Barth.

Lunch at Le Select with Steve, Matt, Andrew and Kim. It is a must do for anyone vacationing on St. Barth.

We needed a larger villa so I rented the beautiful 3 bedroom Villa Lilu. I fell in love with the villa on my very first inspection so I was thrilled to be able to stay there. It is gorgeous.

Villa Lilu living area

Villa Lilu living area

Everyone wanted to do and see as much as they could while also trying to stay fit so several hikes were put on the agenda. If you are looking for something a bit unusual to do while you are vacationing in St. Barth, set aside a morning or late afternoon to hike to the Natural Pools and Washing Machine located in the unblemished area of Grand Fond.

Drive to Toiny along the main road which eventually leads to Grand Fond, an area of St. Barts that many people say reminds them of Brittany. There are spots where you can park your car above the rocky beach to take photos and listen to the surf crash onto the shore but do not swim there; the current is very dangerous. After your photo op, go a little further and when the road starts to curve, you will see a parking area with enough room for four cars to park.

Parking area by the path that goes to the shore

Parking area by the path that goes to the shore

The path leading to the beach and the trail is on the left.

Take this path to the left of the parking area to get to the shoreline leading to the Natural Pools and Washing Machine

Take this path to the left of the parking area to get to the shoreline leading to the Natural Pools and Washing Machine

When you arrive at the rocky beach which is NOT a swimming beach, turn right and off you go!

Head to the right to access the trail

Head to the right to access the trail

Climb up a few rocks to get to the goat path. (Sneakers or good walking shoes are recommended). The path is easy to follow but it is narrow so you need to walk in single file.

Along the trail the surf crashes against the rocks

Along the trail the surf crashes against the rocks

You will come across a spectacular view of a beach that lies in between where the rocks meet the sea. This spot is known as the “Washing Machine.” The beach was so named because at certain times of the year, the water crashes over the beach and swirls around it mimicking the action of a washing machine. Many people think the Washing Machine is in another area but my expert is Pascale Minarro who works in my St. Barth Office and has lived here for more than 30 years. Pascale walks along the trail every weekend and attests to the fact that this small beach is the authentic Washing Machine.

This photo was taken March 25, 2014 by my grandson Matt Pellegri. It was a beautiful spring day. In the winter months the water can be rough and in the summer months there are swells where expert body surfers enjoy practicing their sport.

Washing Machine

Washing Machine

Matt, advises, “Wear a hat and sunglasses because there is only one spot with shade along the way.” As you continue on the path Matt goes on to say, “It is likely you will see some goats grazing on the mountain along the trail.”

You may need to share the path with Mother Nature

You may need to share the path with Mother Nature

About 25 minutes into your hike, you will be exhilarated by the sight of the natural pools and want to take a dip, so be sure to wear a bathing suit.

The Natural Pools in Grand Fond are formed as a result of the surf crashing over the rocks and trapping the water

Discover The Natural Pools in Grand Fond

Matt wisely states, “Be careful on the climb down as it is a little steep and be extra cautious of the small sea urchins that line the pools.”

The water in the Natural Pools is crystal clear

The water in the Natural Pools is crystal clear

The crystal clear water in the Natural Pools is created by the surf pounding against the high rocks and trapping some of the water that splashes over them.

The contrast between the blue color of the Caribbean Sea against the greenish hue of the natural pools is stunning

The contrast between the blue color of the Caribbean Sea against the greenish hue of the natural pools is stunning

Checklist for your backpack:

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Swim shoes

Enjoy the hike!

Escape the Winter! Come to St. Barth!

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Bonjour from sunny St. Barth.

I just looked at the outdoor camera showing our house in South Yarmouth Cape Cod and all I see is snow, snow and more snow. I feel so fortunate to be here right now. Are you ready to join me? The weather is 82 degrees today and it will be 75 degrees this evening. There’s a nice breeze and the water temperature is a delightful 77 degrees. Book your flights. We can help you arrange the inter-island flights from San Juan or St. Maarten. Call us for your accommodation; then we’ll reserve your car and meet you at the airport when you arrive.

View from my house on Cape Cod Jan 22 2014

View from my house on Cape Cod Jan 22, 2014

View from my house in St. Barth Jan 22, 2014

View from my house in St. Barth Jan 22, 2014

Start your day with a freshly baked chocolate croissant or a just-out-of-the-oven baguette and sip your café au lait while sitting on your private terrace that overlooks your private pool and the gorgeous view. Forget your stresses at home. Relax. You deserve it.

Lather up with sunscreen; grab a beach towel and a good book and explore the beaches. Want to have a picnic lunch on the beach? Pack a cooler. Throw in a few Heinekens, Caribs and some Perrier; make sandwiches using the remainder of your baguette and off you go. Tomorrow you might want to take a break from the midday sun and enjoy a leisurely lunch along with a bottle of Rosé. Take a nap. Jump in your swimming pool for a refreshing dip.

It’s time for sunset cocktails. Enjoy them at home or hop in your rental car and go to one of the many bistros that face the sunset. Window shop at the boutiques. See something you like? Splurge! Dinner time. One of the biggest decisions to have to make while vacationing in St. Barth is where to dine. The island is renowned for its fabulous restaurants. Need help with that? You will receive my recommendations both before you travel and once to arrive in St. Barth. Our concierge Julia in our US office as well as Magda in our St. Barth are happy to discuss them with you and reserve your table for lunch and/or dinner.

Shopping in St. Barth

Shopping in St. Barth

Sunset in St. Barth

Sunset in St. Barth

We have some beautiful villas where you can stay. Prefer to stay in a hotel? We can arrange that too. Just give us a call at 1-800-421-3396, + 1-508-528-7727 or email reservations@stbarth.com.

A Bientôt!

The 2013 St. Barth CataCup Guest Blog by 2016 Olympics Contender John Casey

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Bonjour Everyone,

As you prepare for Turkey Day, I thought you would enjoy today’s Guest Blog written by 2016 Olympics contender John Casey. St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty is proud to be a sponsor of his catamaran. Thank you John!

As I enjoy the back porch view from Villa Les Mouettes, I now have time to casually reflect on this year’s edition of the St. Barth CataCup. The current version of the CataCup, which has become one of the premier regattas of the world, is sailed on 18 foot beach catamarans. Our St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty Sailing Team started three years ago, and we’ve watched this event grow from 35 entries to the maximum allowable 57 entries. This year the entry list was overfilled in just eight minutes after online entries were open! This is partially due to the quality of competition, but is undoubtedly due to the quality of St. Barth on and off the water. Some of my U.S. friends are, let me say, a little too spoiled by this regatta; it’s the only regatta they do every year! They just simply don’t feel the desire to sail anywhere else. I love sailing a bit more than that, but I see where they are coming from.

View from Villa Les Mouettes

View from Villa Les Mouettes

This year our Team was joined by more of the sport’s heavy hitters. There were multiple world champions, Olympic medalists and future Olympic hopefuls. I have many championships under my belt, but I’m also currently in the deep heat of an Olympic Campaign myself, so this year I teamed with our Canadian training Partner, Luke Ramsay, who actually went to The Games in 2012. As it turns out, our finish of 5th place of 57 wasn’t what we hoped for, but since we are a new team, we were happy with our competitiveness against the high level of competition. We had some podium finishes along the way, but also some setbacks that saw us held up in the pack.

John Casey giving an interview during the St. Barth CataCup 2013

John Casey giving an interview during the St. Barth CataCup 2013

Unlike any event I’ve been to around the world, I’ve been drawn to this island. What is it about this place? Is it how everything is impeccably clean? Is it the perfect sailing conditions around stunning rock faces and picturesque beaches? Is it the wonderful view from almost anywhere on this mountainous island? Or is it the easy feeling I get from the locals who have now become some of my best friends? YES, it is all of it…the perfect combination to keep me yearning for my return every year.

Photo Credit Pierrick Contin

John Casey and Luke Ramsay sailing behind the rocks of St. Barth- Photo Credit Pierrick Contin

We were also lucky enough to enjoy the 25-year anniversary party this month where I saw how far St. Barth Properties has come. We really enjoyed their Beaujolais Nouveau party too. I’m so proud to be part of the Team!

-John Casey-

Peg with Luke Ramsay (L) and John Casey (R) at our St. Barth Properties Beaujolais Nouveau party November 20, 2013

Peg with Luke Ramsay (L) and John Casey (R) at our St. Barth Properties Beaujolais Nouveau party November 20, 2013

Wake Me Up When September Comes

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Now is the Time to Plan your St. Barth Vacation!

I hope that your summer went well and that you had time to relax a bit. Per usual I spent my summer on Cape Cod working remotely with both my US office and my St. Barth office. The bulk of my time was spent preparing and editing our new Live Your Dream® catalogue. It just went to press and I can’t wait for you to see the finished product – It is our 25th Anniversary edition! I will be unveiling it at our Annual Beachside Bash which this year is being held on November 14th at the gorgeous beachfront hotel Taïwana on beautiful Flamands Beach. I would really love to see you there. Of course the party is our treat in appreciation of you, our valued St. Barth Properties clients. Invitations will be sent out very soon, so if you have not booked your accommodation yet, now is the time to do so. Just email reservations@stbarth.com or better yet, pick up the phone and call 1-800-421-3396 (or +1-508-528-7727). We would be happy to chat with you about the Bash and help you plan your St. Barth trip around it.

Live Your Dream Catalogue

The 25th Anniversary Edition of Our Live Your Dream Catalogue is Being Printed in France

If those November dates don’t work for you, now that the kids are back in school and the summer is winding down, it is time to think seriously about booking your fall or winter vacation to St. Barth. While the island might be in its annual hibernation period, it is not too early to make your reservation. Right now and until December 14th, it’s Value Season; many people take advantage of the extra savings that traveling during this period of time affords them. Have a look at our Specials Page to see what villas offer even more bang for your buck. Tradewind Aviation resumes their regularly scheduled roundtrip flights directly to St. Barth from San Juan, St. Thomas and Antigua on October 18th 2013. We are at-the-ready to get those seats booked for you and coordinate the dates to coincide with your villa or hotel reservation.

St Barth

Would you rather be here or at home buttoning up your overcoat?

If you are thinking of spending the Christmas/New Year’s holidays in St. Barth, many clients have the jump on you; their villa and/or hotel stays as well as their airline and car rental reservations are securely in place. For your convenience we have a direct link to our holiday availability on-line. It is really important to reserve now while we can still offer several villa options, obtain rental cars for you and assist you with the inter-island flights.

My husband Steve and I will be back on the island fulltime by then. We really enjoy the festivities and for the second Christmas in a row, my son, Mark Smyth (the dentist) and his family will be celebrating Christmas in St. Barth with us. Just as we do, you will love taking an evening stroll along the quai to marvel at the wondrous yachts docked along Gustavia Harbor; it’s a must. And, of course window shopping soon brings you into the gorgeously decorated boutiques to have a look; eventually you end up purchasing that perfect gift for yourself and/or for someone special.

Yachts in Gustavia Harbor

A favorite before or after dinner pastime: Walking along the quai in Gustavia to marvel at the yachts

Drop into the Baz Bar after dinner and you just might catch Jimmy Buffet picking up a guitar and singing a few songs with the band that is featured there at that time. Where to dine Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day? Our concierges Julia and Magda will give you the inside scoop as soon as the proposed menus are received. Would you like an in-villa massage? Do you need a babysitter? What about a day trip to Colombier Beach or a sunset cruise? We will happily set that all up for you.

Baz Bar.

Look who made an impromptu appearance while I was at the Baz Bar. You too can sing along with Jimmy.

Give us a call and Live Your Dream®

Anne-Cécile Bedford’s Trip Report July 2013

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

I hope that your summer is going well. Don’t forget to plan ahead for your St. Barth vacation! Continuing with the trip reports of my staff, today’s Blog is written by Anne-Cécile Bedford who has been with St. Barth Properties in her role as a St. Barth Villa and Hotel Specialist since 1999. Born in France’s region of Brittany, Anne-Cécile revels in that “French Connection” when she visits St. Barth.

Anne-Cécile Bedford’s Trip Report July 2013

Anne-Cecile Bedford

>Anne-Cécile Bedford

Being a French native, traveling to St. Barth is like finding a little piece of what we call “maison” or “home”. When I land on St. Barth, I feel in my element, ready to have a wonderful week visiting villas, inspecting hotels and truly connect with the island by speaking French. I understand my clients’ needs and expectations and I am able to communicate those details to our villa owners and hotel managers. In a way, I have the advantage of knowing both worlds!

On this trip I decided to stay in a hotel to reinforce my knowledge about hotels and get a feel for what it is like to be a special guest in some of the most sophisticated places. My stay at the 5 star Christopher hotel was beyond expectations! It is in a unique spot, nestled in Pt Milou with a gorgeous infinity pool and open view of the Caribbean Sea. A truly romantic spot even when alone and the sunset views are just amazing.

The Hotel Christopher - No matter what the weather, the view is sensational

The Hotel Christopher – No matter what the weather, the view is sensational

I was welcomed into an Ocean Deluxe Terrace room located quietly at the far end of the hotel with beautiful views of the ocean and only the sound of the surf to rock me to sleep at night. A true luxury! The newly renovated rooms are elegant and simple, made with stone and wood. My room also offered a bathtub in addition to a rain shower. What a treat! Complimentary mini bar with soft drinks as well as sweet pastries are included with each arrival. Honeymooners and repeat guests get a bottle of Champagne on arrival and if you are celebrating your anniversary a complimentary glass of Champagne is offered with your first meal at the hotel. The two restaurants at the Christopher are wide open to the sea; you can chose to have a casual lunch, feet in the sand at their Mango restaurant or a romantic dinner at their Taïno restaurant. Remember to dine at the hotel on Tuesday evening for their Brazilian night and try the cuisine from their new chef, Lucas Leonardi who enjoys sharing his culinary passion. The local music group “Au Soleil” entertains that night and will play any request you want to hear.

Ocean Deluxe Terrace room at the Christopher

Ocean Deluxe Terrace room at the Christopher

If you like to keep in shape during your vacation or just want to try something new and fun, the hotel proposes Aqua Biking in the pool. You will also find Yoga and Pilates classes twice a week. I tried the new gym, fully air conditioned and got a great work out facing the sea. Who needs a TV? If you like to get pampered, discover the Spa’s Phyto-Aromatic treatments (massage rituals from all over the world with aromatherapy) and let yourself be transported to an exotic and sensual world. They use one of the most prestigious cosmetic brands called Sisley.

During my stay I inspected some wonderful new properties; one of them, Villa Blue Diamond is located high up in Vitet. If you stay here, you will feel like you are sitting on top of the world. The views from the villa are amazing. You will experience ultimate privacy and the gorgeous infinity pool will leave you dreamy. I say, “Marry her! And surprise her with a blue diamond”!

Villa Blue Diamond view

Villa Blue Diamond view

Villa Véronèse is a new 3 bedroom villa located in the beautiful gated community of Domaine du Levant in Petit Cul de Sac. Its hilltop location allows you to enjoy a lovely view from the front and back of the villa. One of the outstanding features of this villa is that it offers a winter pool located in the front of the villa and a summer pool in the back so that, depending on the season, you are always experiencing a pool with a pleasant water temperature. The 3 bedrooms are all identical and finely decorated in a contemporary style with an en suite bathroom and a rain shower. Two bedrooms are on either side of the winter pool and next to the outdoor covered dining area, while the master bedroom is privately situated by the summer pool in the rear of the villa. There is a comfortable air conditioned media room that can also be used as an office. This property comes with continental breakfast delivered daily by the villa manager as well as free use of their kayaks and beach chairs; they will be placed – just for you – on the beach below. (If you are feeling ambitious, you can walk down to the beach from Villa Véronèse in 5 minutes.) Tennis addicts can also enjoy the privilege of using the two courts located by the beach.

Villa V

The summer pool at Villa Véronèse

I also re-inspect villas when I am on St. Barth so I returned to Villa Bellissima; it is conveniently located in Lurin, a few minutes’ drive from Gouverneur Beach and Gustavia and I was nicely impressed with the entire picture. It was even better than I had remembered! Designed by the French designer Christian Liaigre this property will give you the feel of elegance and comfort that you expect from a luxurious property. The main pavilion is composed of a beautiful gourmet kitchen and a large living and dining area from where you can see nearby islands in the distance and the sea where the sun sets.

Villa B

Villa Bellissima

Two bedrooms with good size dressing areas are in a separate pavilion facing the wonderful lap pool while the third bedroom is located in a separate cottage at end of the Bellissima’s private entrance. Each bedroom is equipped with a Bose stereo system, Wifi and screened doors. The bathrooms are spacious and made of polished stones with Occitane products and bathrobes. The villa has comfortable outdoor furniture where you can relax by the pool, feeling the gentle breezes. The large parking area is convenient should each couple wish to rent their own car.

So many people from all over the world come to St Barth to enjoy a relaxing vacation on this exclusive island and share good times with friends and family but there is another important element that brings people close together: Food! – And unique culinary experiences – St Barth offers it all! Traditional French cuisine as well as gourmet offerings, local Créole dishes, Sushi restaurants – even the finest Italian food served by true Italians. Let yourself be tempted by the most succulent risotto at L’Isola and for lunch, I recommend their nearby L’Isoletta snack bar where you will find the best pizza on St. Barth and a fine selection of fresh salads.

L'Isoletta's Mixed Greens with Italian cheese, legumes and tuna on top

L’Isoletta’s Mixed Greens with Italian cheese, legumes and tuna on top

Oh! I want to add how wonderful and a good workout paddle boarding is. I tried it on the lagoon at Grand Cul de Sac and it is a lot of fun. You can do it standing up on the board or on your knees. Try it, you’ll love it. Our concierges Julia and Magda can make the arrangements for you.

I tried paddle boarding for the first time and loved it

I tried paddle boarding for the first time and loved it

The next time that I will be in St. Barth doing my inspections will be in November. I hope to see you there! If you would like to contact me, please don’t hesitate. I will be pleased to assist you with the planning of your St. Barth vacation anne@stbarth.com

Merci beaucoup

St. Barth is a lot about the food

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

My husband Steve and I played tourist when my son and SBP VP Tom Smyth brought his family down here for Presidents Week. He did his best to be in vacation mode and I tried to take some time off from work to spend time with them. My grandsons Tommy Jr. and Tyler as well as my daughter-in-law Amy and Amy’s parents, Bob and Barbara were here too. It was Bob and Barbara’s first time to St. Barth and I loved watching them discover just what makes this island so special.

Sunday lunch at Nikki Beach: Ok, so what is the hype all about? I saw it firsthand. If you want to party all afternoon, this is the place to go. Be ready to spend big euros – they recommended that my daughter-in-law select a 345 euro magnum of Rosé when she asked about the wine. She kindly declined and ordered a much less expensive bottle. If you do order the expensive stuff, they make a big deal out of it and come running out with sparklers on the bottle when they deliver it to your table. We enjoyed our wine, took our time and shared appetizers before ordering our main courses. I love people-watching so it was entertaining to see diners get up and dance and then later end up dancing on the tables while the DJ’s decibels steadily increased.

Sunday Lunch at Nikki Beach

Sunday Lunch at Nikki Beach

By contrast, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch at the Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France’s beachfront restaurant, La Case de L’Isle on another day. The setting is gorgeous; it has a view of Flamands Beach. My crispy chicken salad with fresh ginger, cashew nuts and poached eggs breaded with coconut was delicious. My grandson Tommy Jr. especially enjoyed the shrimp & marinated chicken wok (not to mention the gorgeous young woman who constantly walked by our table modeling some very sexy swimwear). Actually all the guys at our table were quite enthralled with the fashion show. (The restaurant has one every lunchtime and features another one on Tuesday evenings.)

Dinner at the Santa Fe was, as always, a fabulous experience. Almost everyone ordered the Langouste (aka Caribbean Lobster) Thermidore while I had their famous Dover Sole. Andy’s Hideaway is always a must for a fun casual dinner with pizza and their signature Pierrade when we all cook our combo platter with duck, chicken and beef on the hot stone in front of us and then we dip the cooked results in one of 4 yummy sauces (Think fondue [but without the oil] that we “more mature” folks used to have at dinner parties).

Dinner at the Santa Fe

Dinner at the Santa Fe

One evening, our St. Barth Properties Concierges arranged for us to have private a chef, Manu. He cooked and his assistant served us at Villa Au Soleil where Tom and his family were staying. Appetizers were served while we looked out over the pool to the view of the twinkling lights of St. Jean. We then moved to the dining area for our meal. This particular evening was a real highlight of the week. We spent a leisurely evening wining and dining and having great conversation. Manu topped it off with an incredible Soufflé Grand Marnière with ice cream vanille.

Several years ago, Tom, Tommy Jr. and Tyler took a Scuba diving course and were certified here in St. Barth; they dive whenever they are in St. Barth. So, on Wednesday, we had arranged for them to meet us for lunch at Le Select after their dive. A Cheeseburger in Paradise is a “must” when you are vacationing in St. Barth.

Le Select

Lunch at Le Select

Every vacation should include a night out at Le Ti St. Barth. Our St Barth Concierge Magda Votava reserved an excellent table for us and we had an up-close-and-personal view of their sexy fashion show followed by a very professionally done cabaret show. Steve and I go there often when we have guests; this particular night we saw a totally new show and it was really great.

Le Ti St. Barth on Tuesday night

Le Ti St. Barth on Tuesday night

Friday – their last day. Magda had booked a full day catamaran trip with Miguel, the St. Barth Sailor. Unfortunately I had some last minute and urgent work to do so I had to back out at the last minute and I was not able to go out with them as planned. However, Tom called me about 12:30 to check in with me and see if I could join them. I told him I would love to, so they arranged for a dinghy to come and get me in Gustavia at 2:00 pm and take me to meet them at their mooring by Colombier Beach. I held onto the sides of the dinghy for dear life as we sped to meet them. When I made the transfer from the dinghy to the catamaran, I was happy to see that I had made it just in time to join them for a late lunch. They had anchored off of Forchue Island earlier where they snorkeled and had been served hors d’oeuvres before heading to Colombier. Miguel served us a fantastic lunch that had been prepared by one of my most favorite chefs, Jean-Claude Dufour, the owner-chef of L’Esprit restaurant in Salines. (We all had dined at L’Esprit a few nights earlier and loved the alfresco experience.)

Lunch by Colombier Beach aboard the St. Barth Sailor's catamaran

Lunch by Colombier Beach aboard the St. Barth Sailor’s catamaran

Of course beach time and boutique shopping filled out the rest of their week. If you get a chance to vacation in St. Barth with your family, it will create memories of a lifetime. Live Your Dream®.

Hurricane Sandy and the St Barts 2012 CataCup

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

To those of you who suffered the wrath of Super-Storm Sandy, I am thinking of all of you and hope that the damage it caused can be repaired and that life will get back to normal in the coming days. We had clients that were scheduled to go to St. Barts this week and had to cancel because their house was flooded and they could not leave the country at this time. Unfortunately they did not take out the optional insurance that we offer. If they had, their trip would have been covered and their expenses would have been reimbursed by the insurance company. However, we at St. Barth Properties went to bat for them to see if the owner of Villa Enfin would agree to allow them to reschedule their stay to another date. He generously agreed. I am sure these clients will look forward to being able to relax in St. Barts once they have recovered from the storm damage. I hope that you will want to do the same when the time comes to start thinking about a vacation.

I am heading to St. Barts on Wednesday to attend meetings, do hotel and villa inspections and to host our annual Beachside Bash November 10 as well as our Beaujolais Nouveau tasting on November 14, 2012. The CataCup race will begin November 14. St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty is again sponsoring a fantastic catamaran that is captained by multi-hull champion, John Casey. Dalton Tebo will once more be his very talented sailing partner.

John has contributed this guest blog:

“The St. Barth CataCup, the most exciting catamaran event of the year, is right around the corner and our St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty Sailing Team has been training all year for this very moment. The container, full of fast, sleek catamarans, left Miami on October 29th and is bound for St. Barth. The sailing race will start at Nikki Beach on November 14th. This event is chock-full of world champions and Olympic athletes ready to make their mark in sailing history. Look for the St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty catamaran on the beach and come say hello.

Our team won two years ago and finished a close second last year. We have a new boat and are excited to come back to the window pane clear water to race, but just as excited to visit with Peg and the whole team!

Of course, we will be at the Beaujolais Nouveau Party on November 14th at 7:01 PM. We hope to see you at this very tasty event!”

Note from Peg: John Casey and Sarah Newberry are going for the Gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Read all about it here http://www.usamultihull2016.com/. Why not support them in their endeavor and donate to the cause?