Archive for the ‘Beaches’ Category

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

Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa has made its debut!

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Do any of you remember the St. Barth Beach Hotel?

The first time I set foot on St. Barth in 1986, Steve and I stayed in what was called the Grand Cul de Sac Cottages at the St. Barth Beach Hotel. This is where my love affair with the island began. Who would know that I would create St. Barth Properties three years later? The beachfront hotel offered a pool, tennis and the oh-so-delicious restaurant, Le Rivage which was owned by Hervé Chovet. The salads they served were huge and yummy. It was also our first introduction to the island’s now signature Rhum Vanille that is traditionally served in a shot glass after the meal. Several years ago the hotel’s owner, Guy Turbé sold the property and it was demolished. (You can still get that vanilla rum, La Pinta, and some of the signature Le Rivage dishes at Hervé’s Côté Port on Gustavia harbor.)

Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa

Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa

After several stops and stops, the beautiful Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa had a soft opening on October 01, 2016 and officially opens it doors to guests October 15th. We are very pleased to add it to our collection of Preferred Hotels. Boy, is it gorgeous! Its 46 rooms and suites, all with terraces, are exquisitely decorated with comfort in mind. Accommodations at Le Barthélemy include several options: Le Barth Jardin, with their garden views; Le Barth Lac offering lake views; and the ocean view rooms Le Barth Ocean and Lux Ocean Piscine Privée; the latter boasts a heated plunge pool. And the pièce de résistance: the split-level beachfront La Plage Suites. Some rooms connect making it ideal for families with younger children.

One of the stunning rooms at Le Barthélemy

One of the stunning rooms at Le Barthélemy

This is a special spot for kids. They love swimming in the lagoon’s warm shallow waters and infinity pool ‒ and the easy access to a wealth of water sports. There’s fun-in-the-sun galore from sand castle contests to kite-flying, but on any given day, family activities like hands-on cooking lessons are agenda choices.

The infinity pool overlooks the lagoon

The infinity pool overlooks the lagoon

On an island renowned for its cuisine, Le Barthélemy has the Michelin starred French Chef Guy Martin. The seaside restaurant Le Barth is open for breakfast and lunch. At sunset, it transforms itself into the sophisticated Aux Amis offering Caribbean-inspired French cuisine. There’s always a barista on duty at Le Café and the pool bar Le Turquoise offers snacks to go with beverages of all sorts, including vanilla rum. Chef Martin’s creations can be enjoyed poolside, beachfront, on your private terrace or in your room.

The seaside restaurant

The seaside restaurant

Le Spa at Le Barthélemy is the culmination of a partnership with the world-renowned luxury skincare brand, La Mer. It’s a true oasis that leverages its location and includes a blow-dry bar, hammam (steam room), and a signature rain shower with essential oils experience. Think girlfriends’ getaway.

The hotel is part of the Réserve Naturel of St. Barth committed to protecting the island’s environment so that all can share in its beauty. Having the opportunity to marvel at iguanas, turtles, starfish, and colorful corals is special. That happens here.

Le Barthélemy is part of the Réserve Naturel

Le Barthélemy is part of the Réserve Naturel

For reservations, please call 1-800-421-3396 or email our Villa and Hotel Specialists at reservations@stbarth.com. Once you have experienced Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa, please let me know how you enjoyed your stay.

VIP Beach Time with a Taste of Taïwana

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

An Exclusive St. Barth Properties Client Experience

I have some very exciting news for our St. Barth Properties’ clients!

We put our heads together with the 5 star Taïwana Hotel to deliver some delicious Flamands Beach time. Enjoy a beachside breakfast or lunch together with the hotel’s luxurious amenities. You’ll have access to one of the island’s most beautiful and popular beaches with lounge chairs, towels and umbrellas, as well as the hotel’s heated pool lined with cherry red super-comfy sunbeds – perfect for a post-lunch siesta. These VIP experiences include a 10% discount at the hotel’s hair salon, Corner of Taiyo by Taïwana (perhaps an end-of-day shampoo and blow-out?) and the Taiyo Boutique. This chic shop has an extensive selection of branded clothing and accessories – a nice souvenir of your time at the Taïwana.

taiwanabeach

Beach-y Breakfast €40
Fresh fruit juice, pastries and coffee, tea or hot chocolate.
Eggs, pancakes, crepes and other breakfast items are offered at a supplemental discount of 10%. Children’s Breakfast €25
Breakfast is served from 7:00 to 10:30 a.m. Use of the loungers, towels and sunbeds is available till 11:15 a.m.

Beach-y Lunch €65
A two course lunch (starter and main course or main course and dessert) with a range of options from which to choose.
A liter of water and a glass of wine per person is included. A Children’s Menu is priced at €25.

Lunch is served from 12 noon to 3:30 p.m. Use of the loungers, towels and sunbeds is available from 11:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Would you like a full day at the beach? Reserve both the breakfast and lunch packages!

There’s fine print written in the sand. Read it here first.

These packages are exclusive to St. Barth Properties’ clients.
Packages must be booked through the St. Barth Properties’ office concierge. Reservations and loungers and sunbeds are subject to availability.
Blackout Dates: December 25 to January 5 and during Taïwana’s annual closing September 1 – October 15. Children are welcome, but loungers and sunbeds are for adult use only.
Offers are subject to change.

My June 2014 stay at the “new” Hotel Taïwana and the annual St. Barth Properties Beachside Soirée

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Mark your calendars for November 14, 2014

I couldn’t stay away. After wintering in St. Barth I arrived back in the US and to my house on Cape Cod May 18. I went back to St. Barth June 17…I needed my fix. (Oh yes, and I desperately needed to see my hairdresser.) Connie Walsh, our marketing and travel industry consultant accompanied me this time because the main purpose of our trip was to gather information for our next Live Your Dream catalogue. (Connie and I have the same last name but we are not related. Everyone still thinks we are anyway.) We also inspected a couple of hotels and I added a fabulous villa to our portfolio (More on that in the July edition of our newsletter, Le Bulletin). We interviewed some very interesting people who will be featured in this year’s publication. I hope you enjoy the read.

We were very fortunate to have been invited to stay at the hotel Taïwana for three nights. We had stayed there when it first reopened under new management but it was before the renovation began. It was a lovely hotel but it was dated. The rooms were dark, had terracotta floors and old fashioned bathrooms. The hotel closed for Value Season last year and the rejuvenation began. What a difference a few months makes! Witnessing the transformation from a somber hotel to a cheerful resort was a real pleasure. The rooms and suites exude a casual elegance using a palette of grays and whites.

I stayed in the gorgeous Beachfront Suite with Jacuzzi (#3). It features a king bedroom with satellite TV, a separate living room with a desk area for my laptop, a second TV, a Nespresso machine and a complimentary mini bar filled with juices, sodas and beer. The en suite bath has a separate WC, a large rain head shower and a bathtub. The outdoor space boasts both dining and living areas on the terrace, while the sandy area has two chaises for sunning. Connie and I enjoyed our complimentary Continental Breakfast on my terrace. I was even able to walk right out to the beach from my front yard.

I walked out from my Beach Front Suite's private yard and took this early morning photo of gorgeous Flamands Beach. June is a wonderful time to visit St. Barth.

I walked out from my Beach Front Suite’s private yard and took this early morning photo of gorgeous Flamands Beach. June is a wonderful time to visit St. Barth.

Taiwana Beach Front Suite Bedroom 3

Taiwana Beach Front Suite Bedroom 3

Taiwana Beach Front Suite with Jacuzzi living room 3

Taiwana Beach Front Suite with Jacuzzi living room 3

Connie’s Ocean View Amber Suite (#4) was accessed by going up a couple of sets of stairs. This suite features a guest toilet off of the living room. This area also has the same amenities as mine did. The bedroom has a second TV and en suite bath. There is a terrace with an outdoor living area and a fabulous view.

Amber Ocean View Suite

Amber Ocean View Suite

Amber Ocean View Suite with outdoor living

Amber Ocean View Suite with outdoor living

The restaurant, Casa Taïwana is outstanding and is one of my favorite places to dine for both lunch and dinner. The setting overlooking the beach is incomparable and the food is delectable. Last year, the Casa Taïwana reopened just in time for my 25th anniversary party in November. The celebration was such a success that I rebooked the venue for this year’s St. Barth Properties Beachside Soirée. (We have graduated from a “Bash” to a “Soirée”!)

2013 Beachside Bash:

Our St. Barth office Concierge Magda Votava is the coordinator of this annual event and does a fantastic job. Magda, Connie and I were scheduled to have a lunch time “tasting” with restaurant manager Alexandra Ruiz so that we could select the menu. We tasted, and tasted and tasted for most of the afternoon. I had to ask them to slow down in between courses. Keeping our dinner reservation for that evening became less and less likely with each and every delicious morsel that we sampled. Canapés such as Sesame Tuna Tataki and Langouste Tartare with orange and vanilla dressing were delicious as was one of the main course’s options a savory roasted Lamb chop with thyme and garlic gravy sauce.

St Barth Properties on island Concierge Magda Votava (left rear), Casa Flamands restaurant manager Alexandra Ruiz (left front) join Connie (right front) and me at the tasting

St Barth Properties on island Concierge Magda Votava (left rear), Casa Flamands restaurant manager Alexandra Ruiz (left front) join Connie (right front) and me at the tasting

Magda looks over the menu suggestions for the stations I plan on having at our SBP Beachside Soirée

Magda looks over the menu suggestions for the stations I plan on having at our SBP Beachside Soirée

Three and a half hours later we were stuffed but had successfully chosen our menu. We’ll begin with cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres followed by appetizers, a large selection of main courses followed by dessert and dancing to tunes spun by the very talented and popular DJ Yo-One Sutter. The famous singer and guitar player Soley will be serenading us, too. Mark your calendars and book your accommodation with us to include the evening of November 14, 2014 so that you can join other wonderful clients of St. Barth Properties, our villa owners and our hotel partners for a fun evening. If you have not already made your reservation with us, contact reservations@stbarth.com or 1-800-421-3396. You will then receive an invitation from us. We will be honored and thrilled to see you there.

Canapé tasting for the annual St. Barth Properties Beachside Soirée

Canapé tasting for the annual St. Barth Properties Beachside Soirée

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!

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!

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

The Truth About St. Barth

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Its actual location is clearly defined

After 27 years of being in St. Barth, I learned that what we thought was a fact is actually a factoid! Now, convincing people of this newly discovered information is going to be a huge challenge because people won’t believe me. I am hoping that you can help spread the word.

It started out this way: Last week we took an island tour with Hélène Brenier, the owner of St. Barth Easy Time Tours. Our clients have raved about the various tours that she offers and I wanted to experience one for myself. Hélène was born in St. Barth and knows her island well. She is also the founder of St. Barth Essentiel a non-profit organization dedicated to “protect that which creates diversity, the originality, the beauty and the harmony of St. Barthélemy.” In other words, she is the “watch dog” whose main interest is protecting our precious island and preserving the environment.

Connie, Peg and Hélène in front of the St. Barth Essentiel office on the top of Gustavia

Connie, Peg and Hélène in front of the St. Barth Essentiel office on the top of Gustavia

We began our around-the-island tour by going to Saline and stopping at the salt pond where we learned about the island’s history of making salt. It was a difficult job but it brought in some income. The salt production stopped in 1972 when the island decided to rely on tourism as its major industry. We heard lots of tidbits about the people who settled here as we continued our tour. Most of the men had to go to St. Thomas to make a living. One such gentleman went home to see his wife once a year and as a result they produced 23 children! Phew! We saw the little “case” (house) where they were born and lived. Today, the siblings range from 50 to 90 years old.

Saline Beach

Saline Beach

Back to the point of my blog. We stopped at the top on Grand Fond to admire the view. There is a lookout spot with a large map detailing the area. Soon after this map was put up, an old-time local fisherman telephoned Hélène to tell her that the map was wrong. The artist had called the body of water on this map the Atlantic Ocean. The fisherman said that St. Barth is surrounded entirely by the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic is much further to the east of here and that the map needed to be corrected. What??? I was always told that the wave action that connects Grand Cul de Sac Lagoon and Marigot Bay is caused by the fact that this is the very spot where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea. Hélène thought so too. Everyone thinks this factoid is true.

The Lookout at Grand Fond

The Lookout at Grand Fond

A Close Up of the Lookout's Map with the Incorrect Information

A Close Up of the Lookout’s Map with the Incorrect Information

Hélène researched and researched but each person she consulted insisted that the fisherman was wrong. Finally she decided to ask for assistance from a geologist who is a real authority on the subject. He reported that, indeed, the islands in the Lesser Antilles (which includes St. Barth) are solely in the Caribbean Sea. “According to the definition of the IHO (International Hydrographic Organization), the only islands that officially have Caribbean and Atlantic coasts are: Cuba, Haiti, Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico and Trinidad.” He went on to say, “In conclusion, officially, the island of St. Barthélemy is not washed by the Atlantic Ocean but by the Caribbean Sea only. Custom, says otherwise.” I was thrilled to learn this new fact. I always knew that some islands such as the Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos claim that they are in the Caribbean but they are too far north and are actually in the Atlantic Ocean but for some reason no one seemed to know that St. Barth is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea. Until now, that is…

Grand Cul de Sac View

Grand Cul de Sac View

A few days after our island tour, I had a site inspection at the Hotel Guanahani & Spa. I was admiring one of their newly refurbished suites and when I went out onto the suite’s deck to admire the view, the staff member who was escorting me pointed to that very spot in the lagoon and said, “That is where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea.” …Not! When I corrected her, she was not at all impressed and looked at me as if I had lost my marbles. That factoid has been circulating for so many years that it is a real challenge to convince people otherwise. Hélène and I now know this new fact is true and now you know it too. Spread the word, s’il vous plaît.

Hotel Guanahani & Spa

Hotel Guanahani & Spa

P.S. Once you have selected your accommodation in St. Barth by contacting one of our Specialists at reservations@stbarth.com, our concierges can arrange an island tour with Hélène. It is a must do!

Good news for Flamands Beach Lovers – Villa La Sirène

Friday, January 18th, 2013

A few days ago a phone call brought me to beautiful Flamands Beach because a villa owner wanted to list his villa with St. Barth Properties. I always inspect a villa before agreeing to add it to our portfolio (and my staff always makes their own inspections when they are here, too). I had visited this particular house a year ago and told the owners what they needed to do to prepare it for seasonal rental. So off I went with notebook in hand. Directrice Pascale Minarro was with me and as soon as we approached the villa we were psyched. We have so many requests for a villa on the beach. I was pleased and impressed with the results of their efforts. I saw a refurbished beach house that would be perfect for clients who are looking for a casual beachfront villa.

Flamands Beach

Flamands Beach

Villa La Sirène

Villa La Sirène

I love the way they redid the living room; they added a sectional sofa and there’s a mirror on the wall which means that you can actually see the view when you are facing it; the kitchen has all the bells and whistles including a Nespresso machine; the air-conditioned master bedroom has a king bed and there’s a second king bedroom with AC off of the living room. Both bedrooms share a bath.

Villa La Sirène Living Room

Villa La Sirène Living Room

The outdoor dining terrace has folding glass doors so you can dine outside and enjoy the view even if it is a bit windy. The swimming pool is delightful so you will have to decide if you want to sit poolside or go down to the beach and lounge amongst the palm trees before taking a dip in the sea. If you don’t feel like leaving the beach, you can walk to the Hotel St. Barth isle de France and/or the Hotel Taïwana for a delicious lunch or dinner.

Villa La Sirène Dining Room

Villa La Sirène Dining Room

Generally I am the person who decides what to name our villas. I noticed that the owners have a mermaid at one end of the pool and a statue of a mermaid on the dining terrace so I decided to name it Villa La Sirène. If you would like to vacation at Villa La Sirène, call us at 1-800-421-3396 or + 1-508-528-7789. You can also email reservations@stbarth.com. See you on the beach!