Archive for the ‘Getting There/Arrival’ Category

What Happens When I Arrive in St. Barth? How do I find my villa or hotel?

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Never fear. St. Barth Properties is here!

Finally! The day has arrived. You’ve just landed in St. Barth! It’s time to relax, swim, dine, shop, explore.

Landing in St. Barth

Landing in St. Barth

First things first. What happens now?

Proceed from the tarmac to the arrival hall where you will be greeted by a very nice gendarme. Say, “Bonjour”; he will stamp your passport. Your luggage should be circulating on the nearby carousel. If you don’t see your bags, they will probably arrive on a later flight. It is no big deal because you read our 10 pages of Helpful Hints before you left home advising you to pack your carry-on with enough clothes, as well as a selection of 3-ounce liquid necessities in your quart-size transparent toiletry baggie, to get you through the first night and the next day.

If you are staying in one of our villas, our St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty on-island team takes the helm. Upon exiting the baggage area, you will see someone with a welcoming smile holding a St. Barth Properties sign.

Greeters

Franck awaits your arrival while holding our sign right outside of immigration.

Your greeter will happily welcome you and escort you to our booth where you will see your name displayed. If you arrive ahead of schedule, just look over to your right and proceed to our booth in the car rental area. We share it with Gumbs Car Rental – 3rd booth on the left.

You will most likely meet Odile Gumbs when you arrive at our booth. She (or her sister Viviane) will offer you a cool towel, a bottle of chilled water and a welcome envelope with useful information. If we arranged for you to rent your car with Gumbs, you will fill out your paperwork for your villa and the paperwork for your car. If we reserved your car with another agency, you will go to their nearby booth.

Check in at our booth, which we share with Gumbs Car rental. Your name will be on the board. (Pictured Odile Gumbs and Franck Roche)

Check in at our booth, which we share with Gumbs Car rental. Your name will be on the board. (Pictured Odile Gumbs and Franck Roche)

Our greeter will escort you to our booth, then take your luggage to your villa and show give you a tour. Just hop in your car and follow him to your villa. He will walk you around, show you how the TV, A/C, etc., work and answer any questions you may have.

luggage

The “big guys” Philippe and Christophe take over the greeting and manage the luggage transfer to your villa.

Odile and Franck put the luggage into the car. Just follow your greeter to your villa, get a tour, settle in and Live Your Dream®!

Odile and Franck put the luggage into the car. Just follow your greeter to your villa, get a tour, settle in and Live Your Dream®!

If you took advantage of our “Pre-Arrival Shopping List” opportunity and filled out the special form we sent you just before your travel dates, you will find your order in the villa. This will enable you to enjoy your first day without worrying about shopping or dinner reservations if you chose the “first night” light meal. If you choose to shop on arrival day and you are a bit unsure of how to get back to the grocery store, you can ask the greeter if you can follow him back to the airport where Marché U is located. If we made dinner reservations for you and you are uncertain of its location, please ask him how to get to the restaurant. (If you arrived by ferry and we have your arrival information, we will meet you at the immigration dock. We will have arranged for your car to be there, too.)

Hotels

If your hotel provides transfers and you have given us your arrival details, a representative will be at the airport to greet you as you leave the arrival hall. Otherwise, your car rental agency will give you directions. You may also contact your hotel by using the service telephone located in the arrival area.

The most important detail for you to remember is our local phone number which you will be given. Feel free to call us and/or stop by our office in Gustavia. We are there to serve you and to assist you. Our concierge services are extensive. All you need do is ask.

Getting to St. Barth

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

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

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

The Experience

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

Landing in St. Barth

Landing in St. Barth

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

International Air

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

Flight Connections

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

Piliatus Landing

Piliatus Landing

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

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

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

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

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

Winair landing

Winair Landing

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

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

St. Barth Commuter landing

St. Barth Commuter Landing

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

Helicopter Transfers

Helicopter Transfers

Note: The airport in St. Barth closes at dusk

Ferry Connections

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

Voyager Ferry

Voyager Ferry

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

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

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

What’s New at the St Barth Airport? Plus Good News for Spring Travel to Barts!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

I am back from a great trip to South Africa. I left St. Bart March 02, 2012 and I have been itching to tell you some great news: St Barts Gustaf III’s airport has gone retro!

Remember the good old days when we were able to check in for our flights and casually go in and out of the departure lounge at will? Friends could even accompany us while we waited for our flights to depart. Those informal and friendly days are back! The security procedure in St. Barts Is history! That’s right – no x-ray machine- no scanner- no more removing shoes, belts and laptops. New regulations exempt St Barts from those formalities due to the size of the airport and number of passengers passing through it.

The change in the  departure lounge at St Bart's Gustav III airport March 02 2012

The change in the departure lounge at St Bart's Gustav III airport March 02, 2012

More good news:

After my 6 months stint in St. Barts, I traditionally go back to the States in May. Then, I travel back and forth with staff in the off season. That is the time when we do our villa and hotel inspections. Our team is required to go to St. Barts at least twice a year (poor them). They travel individually so that we still have plenty of coverage in the US office in order to assist you with the planning stages while arranging your dream vacation to St. Barts. The staff does these on-island inspections once in the spring and then again in November before the high season begins.

Getting to and from St. Barth in May and June can sometimes be a challenge because we like to travel through San Juan and then take Tradewind Aviation directly from San Juan to St. Barts on its scheduled charters. Each passenger pays for the individual seat ($420 to $620 each way depending on the day of the week); it is much more affordable than flying on one of their private charters and much easier than connecting through St. Maarten.

Traditionally Tradewind stopped flying this route in early May in favor of their Nantucket route and then resumed the San Juan to/from St. Barts route in late October, so we had no choice but to connect via St. Maarten.

Caravan Landing in SBH

Caravan Landing in SBH

The Pilatus just landed in San Juan

The Pilatus just landed in San Juan

We are in luck this year! Tradewind has announced that it will continue flying through June 25 2012! St Barth Properties is pleased to offer our clients an add-on package that is valid for any 7 night (or longer) stay that occurs between April 16 and June 25, 2012. This package includes round trip air for 2 from San Juan to St. Barts and back, a Jimny car rental, plus a 100 euro voucher towards a fun evening at Le Ti St. Barth. If you are planning a trip (or have already booked a villa or hotel with St. Barth Properties) please let us know if you would like us to arrange the Tradewind flights for you and/or you wish to purchase this package. Contact reservations@stbarth.com.

Caravan Interior

Caravan Interior

How do I get to St. Barts? What are the entry requirements?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Here I am back in St Barth, lucky me! (Wish you were here). St. Barth Properties VP Tom Smyth, St. Barth Villa and Hotel Specialist Kathy Schlitzer and I arrived yesterday. We have a full calendar of hotel and villa inspection appointments on our schedules and I will report back.

On the trip down we talked about the questions that our clients often ask us and two of them are how to get to St. Barth as well as the entry requirements.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, one of the reasons that St. Barth remains so special is that it takes a little extra effort to get to this paradise. From the USA, the gateways to St. Barts are via St. Maarten (airport code: SXM) and San Juan (SJU). American Airlines, US Airways, Delta, United, Spirit, and Jet Blue fly to St. Maarten and San Juan.

The easiest way to connect to St. Barth (SBH) is directly from San Juan (SJU) on private charters with Tradewind Aviation (up to 8 passengers @$2995-$3955 each way), or Air America Caribbean (5 to 9 passengers beginning at $1950-$2500 each way). Tradewind also offers a scheduled charter service that is sold by the seat and is $420 to $520 (depending on travel dates) each way. (The 2011-2012 season began October 28, 2011 and ends May 6, 2012). The flight departs San Juan at 8:00 am and 3:00 pm daily with additional flights at 1:00pm and 4:00pm Thursday through Monday until Jan 31, 2012 (4:30 pm from Jan 31 to May 06, 2012). Departures from St. Barth are at 10:00 am and 5:30 pm daily with additional flights at 2:30pm Thursday through Monday.

Piliatus-Landing-SBH

Pilatus landing at SBH

Tradewind also offers service from St. Thomas (STT) Thursday through Monday at $420 per seat. The plane is very comfortable, with leather seats, air conditioning drinks and snacks. The flight takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes depending on the aircraft.

Air America Caribbean’s planes (not air-conditioned) hold 5-7 passengers and are $1950-$2500 each way for a private charter. St. Barth Commuter offers private charter flights on their caravan (not air-conditioned) year round for $2700 each way or via shared charter (on request) for $400 per seat.

Caravan landing at SBH

For confirmed hotel and villa clients of St. Barth Properties, airline charters can also be arranged by concierge@stbarth.com.

Many people connect to St Barth (SBH) through St. Maarten (SXM). As of November 17, 2011 Jet Blue offers service from San Juan to St. Maarten. The major inter-island carrier is Winair. The 12-15 minute flight costs about $156-$293 round trip per person (depending on availability). Allow 1½ to 2 hours to make the connection to St Barts. Be sure to allow at least 2 hrs in St. Maarten in order to make your connection home.

Winair-Plane

Winair plane

St. Barth Commuter offer several scheduled flights to/from Juliana Airport on the Dutch side and two others to/from the French side (70 euros each way). We often arrange a private charter on St. Barth Commuter for our guests. The cost is €800 euros each way and the plane holds up to 6 passengers. Air St Maarten, a nice alternative, puts together shared charters to/from St. Maarten and San Juan.

We continue to recommend that each passenger has a carry-on bag with enough clothing and supplies to get through at least 1 day as luggage has been known to arrive after its owners and sometimes not until the next day. Luggage limit is 23 kg/50 lbs per passenger, so pack lightly. Winair is charging $25.00 for the first additional checked bag and $50 for a 3rd. If you are using US Airways, you can book your flights all the way from your home city to SBH and you can check your bags all the way through (unless you are using frequent flier tickets). Once again be sure to have a carry-on with all of you first night’s needs. You may submit a request directly to Winair in St. Barth on line http://www.st-barths.com/winair/winair_intro_eng.html.

By Ferry: The Voyager is a slow Ferry (75-90 minutes from Marigot and 40 Minutes from Oyster Pond on the French side). Schedules are subject to change. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE SEAS BETWEEN ST. MAARTEN AND ST. BARTH CAN BE ROUGH. IF YOU ARE PRONE TO MOTION SICKNESS, WE RECOMMEND YOU AVOID THIS MANNER OF ARRIVAL. The new (December 2011) Voyager Dream Liner offers a first class seating section. The Voyager phone number: (dialing from the U.S.) Marigot Bay/Oyster Pond 011 590 590 87 10 68 (St. Martin).

Voyager Ferry

Voyager ferry

The Great Bay Express is a faster ferry that travels from Bobby’s Marina in Dutch St Maarten to Gustavia in St. Barth. Crossing time is approximately 40 minutes from/to Bobby’s Marina in Philipsburg to Gustavia. 011 599-542-0032 and the phone number from the US is: 1-347 568 0574.

st-barts-ferry-great-bay

Great Bay Express ferry

For confirmed hotel and villa clients of St. Barth Properties, private boat transfers and airline charters can be arranged for you. Please Contact: concierge@stbarth.com.

A valid passport is required for U.S., Canadian, Brazilians and EU National citizens, regardless of what others may tell you. All other nationalities MUST have visas. (This includes nannies and staff traveling with you, who must also have proper documentation or they will be sent back.) Even if you previously cleared immigration without incident, proper documentation is now necessary. For information on U.S. passports, go to the website: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html. Remember that children’s passports expire every 5 years.

To book your hotel or villa in St Barth, contact reservations@stbarth.com.

Traveling to Paradise

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Tom, Kathy and I traveled to our favorite piece of paradise and touched down around 4:20 yesterday —Ahh just feeling the warm air as we deplaned and walked towards the arrival area put a big smile on my face. I really do love St Barth! Tom and I are staying in Villa Everest and Kathy is staying in Villa Les Embruns and then moving to Villa Crystal Dream.

Villa Everest

Villa Everest

Villa Les Embruns

Villa Les Embruns

At this time of year we can take advantage of being able to fly directly from San Juan to St. Barth on Tradewind Aviation. We fly from Boston to San Juan and then take the 3:00 pm flight which is a shared charter (Pay by the seat). Their 8 passenger Caravan is air-conditioned and as a bonus, there are snacks and drinks on board! Sit back, relax and enjoy the view as you fly over the beautiful blue water and gaze down at the Caribbean islands below.

Tradewind Aviation Caravan landing in St Barth

Tradewind Aviation Caravan landing in St Barth

Tradewind’s shared charter prices vary depending on the day of the week and range from $395 to $595 + tax each way. The charter schedule includes 2 trips from San Juan to St. Barth (8:00 am and 3:00 pm) and 2 trips form St Barth to San Juan (10:00am and 5:00pm). Private charters on a Caravan or Pilatus are also available. Once you have reserved your accommodation with us, you may contact concierge@stbarth.com to book.

We have a full schedule ahead of us and I am very excited to see the updates that some owners have made. I will be inspecting some potential new villas and determine if we will add them to our portfolio. I will report back to you on my findings as well as any new restaurants and/or new enterprises that may be in the works.

Of course, the highlight of the trip is our Land Shark Beach party at Dö Brazil on November 06. Our guest list is growing and I will give you the low down.

Poor me, I have to work… not a bad job, though? Temperature is about 85° and if I get time to put my toes in the water, it will be about 75°. I would love to see you in St. Barth.

Villa Crystal Dream

Villa Crystal Dream