Archive for the ‘Hotels’ Category

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 Hotel Carl Gustaf Closes Its Doors

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

It is with great sadness that I announce the official closing of the beautiful 5 Star hotel Carl Gustaf as of August 31, 2013. It was one of my favorites. Built in 1991 by successful businessman Jacques Laurent, its perch over the harbor was the ideal spot to be for sunset cocktails, a romantic dinner or a weeklong stay in one of its magnificent villa suites.

View of Gustavia from the Hotel Carl Gustaf

View of Gustavia from the Hotel Carl Gustaf

Like the rest of us, Jacques fell in love with St. Barth…for him it was in 1983, for me it was in 1986. At that time he owned PRB, the third largest paint coating manufacturer in France which he had founded at the age of 36. His love for the island meant he wanted to be a part of it. His dream was to build the Carl Gustaf and so he did. His daughter Emmanuelle became the hotel’s manager and I really enjoyed working with her. Our clients all loved the hotel; I was fortunate enough to have been a guest there on a few occasions. Jacques has since passed away and time moves on. We do hope to see the doors of the Carl Gustaf reopen in the near future.

In the meantime, do visit The Hotels of St. Barth a special collection of the island’s most distinctive hotels. The website features a wealth of information. Are you looking for a relaxing retreat or a romantic getaway? Fine dining and a wealth of services and amenities? Each hotel is exceptional in its own way and all share the ambiance of casual sophistication that is St. Barth.

Take a look. Call us at 1-800-421-3396 (outside the US + 1-508-528-7727) or email reservations@stbarth.com. We will find something special for each and every one of you.

A Perfect Day at the Carl Gustaf

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Sophisticated you, yearning to come to St. Barth for all that fabulous shopping, fine dining and French culture. You’ve taken our suggestion of a stay at the Hotel Carl Gustaf. Your bonus? A touch of Sweden – this regal hotel is named for its king – and a deliciously decadent spa.

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You’ve opted for the Deluxe One Bedroom Pool Suite with its full view of Gustavia’s picture-postcard harbor and the lush hills dotted with the iconic red-roofed villas. It’s all so St. Barth.

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You are sure to love the full-sized air-conditioned living room with plush comfy seating and all the techno amenities: LCD TV, DVD player, iPod docking station and complimentary WiFi. It opens to a private terrace with tropical foliage and your own plunge pool. The fully-equipped kitchenette is a nice convenience. The bedroom (king) is accessed through a set of French doors, and the sumptuous marble bath is en suite with a private WC.

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Start your day with breakfast delivered to your terrace while drinking in the magnificent view with your juice and café au lait. Then head out to cove-like Shell Beach. It’s a nice walk and the swimming is delightful. Stay on for a leisurely lunch at feet-in-the-sand-casual restaurant Dõ Brazil. Meander back to the hotel mid-afternoon in time for your spa appointments. The Carl Gustaf is home to the luxurious Boutique Spa. Branded by the legendary Carita sisters of Paris, it offers a full menu of services – massages, facials, mani-pedis and more.

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Sunset cocktails are a St. Barth tradition and guests at the Carl Gustaf have the best “seats on the island.” Your options are: pop the cork of a bottle of bubbly to enjoy on your private terrace with a little fromage, or join fellow guests in the Lounge. The Planteur’s Punch is rumored to be the island’s best. Dine tonight at Victoria’s and watch the chef prepare your meal in the glass-enclosed kitchen. The food is divine and their list of Caribbean rums will tempt you to linger for a nightcap. Back down to your suite, end a perfect day with a midnight dip in your private pool. Sleep well! Tomorrow those fabulous boutiques are waiting for you.

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Bonne nuit.

If you would like to pamper yourself with a stay at the Carl Gustaf, contact reservations@stbarth.com or call 1 866 617 4578.

A Perfect Day at the Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Lucky you! You have discussed hotel options with one of our award winning St. Barth Properties Specialists and have chosen to stay at the 5 star beachside boutique property Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France It is as magical as the sound of its name with an ambiance that artfully blends its French West Indies location with the casual sophistication of its “cousin” the South of France. You were looking for a romantic idyll and you have arrived. Your spacious and lavish 1 Bedroom Beach Suite includes a full kitchen, an airy living room and comfortably elegant furnishings bedecked in cool cottons and vintage French fabrics. Your king size bed boasts a view of the sea and there’s a sumptuous oversized en suite bath with a tempting stone soaking tub and indoor and outdoor showers. A private terrace with your own infinity edge plunge pool is just steps from the brilliant blue waters of one of St. Barth’s most gorgeous beaches – Flamands.

IDF Flamands Beach

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IDF Beach Suite view living room

Your terrace is the perfect place to begin the day with a poolside breakfast discretely delivered by room service. Grab your iPod and that new novel and head to the beach. Comfy umbrella’d chaise lounges await. Take a stroll along that wide stretch of sugar-white sand and you’ve earned a libation. The beach bar staff can muddle up a mean mojito. Come lunchtime, slip on a pareo, wriggle your feet back into your sandals, and saunter up to La Case de l’Isle; it’s one of the islands’ loveliest alfresco restaurants and the rosé corks will be popping. Try the Daily Wok – fresh and delicious – with a bottle of Clos Beylesse. Everyone adores the lunch-time fashion show presented each day by the hotel’s boutique. If you’re inspired to do a bit of shopping, don’t miss the signature lacey couture by French designer José Balensi (stunning!) and the line of men’s swimwear by Gerry St. Tropez.

+PITER 10-IDF6824Isle de France Beach

clos beylesse at IDF  Feb 2013

Are you in the mood for a massage? The spa menu, in collaboration with the world renowned Natura Bissé and Intraceuticals skin care brands, is decadent and couples massages are offered in the Spa Pavilion. Ensconced in a tropical garden, it is uber romantic. Services come with dessert, a beautifully presented trio of icy fruit sorbets. We think you’ll be ready to return to the comfort and privacy of your suite and ease into the night.

IDF Spa Pavillion

Pop open a bottle of bubbly and enjoy the approaching twilight, the gentle breezes – and each other. The hotel concierge will be pleased to assist with dinner reservations and you would love PaCri, neighboring Hotel Taiwana’s upscale Italian resto – just a short walk down the beach. The Gnocchi and the entire experience here is exquisite.

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To end a perfect day, curl up on the pool-side banquette back at the La Case de l’Isle’ and sip a digestive – St. Barth Style. Vanilla Rhum. Yum.

When you return to your suite. You’ll find chocolates on your pillow. Sweet.

Bonne Nuit

For more information contact: StBarthIsledeFrance@stbarth.com

A day at Hôtel Le Toiny – St. Barth

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Lucky you! You’ve just checked into one of the oh-so-secluded one bedroom villa suites at the gorgeous 5 star Hotel Le Toiny. These free-standing romantic little cottages offer a chic and comfortable separate living area, a compact kitchenette and a luxurious en suite bedroom graced with a draped 4 poster bed. Just outside your door? A lovely terrace with your own private pool and breathtaking ocean views. Close your gate and put up the red mailbox flag so all will know to “Do Not Disturb.” Le Toiny is all about the privacy.

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Bonjour! It’s Sunday morning. Your terrace is the perfect place to start your day with a breakfast of fresh fruit and French pastries that will provide sustenance for you to explore the Pointe of Toiny via a two-mile walking path. Your sound track will be the Caribbean surf. If you finish up early you may have time for a yoga lesson on the beach and even a swim in your private pool. Au naturel

Brunch time! The hotel’s restaurant Le Gaïac is famous for its Sunday Brunch so block off at least two hours and enjoy the food – and the view. It’s an experience. The buffet is beautiful and bountiful. Eggs are cooked to order and a chef mans the grill. May we suggest a bottle of Rosé? Esprit de Sainte-Marguerite Château Sainte-Marguerite (2010).

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Relax a bit before visiting Toiny’s Serenity Spa Cottage for one of their special treatments. We recommend booking the St. Barth Chill – the island’s version of a hot stone massage. Think sea shells and Ligne St Barth exotic oils. Gentlemen might also enjoy an old-school shave on the Cottage’s porch.

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Not that you ever have to leave the hotel on your perfect Sunday but you might be tempted to shop a bit at the boutiques in St. Jean and continue on to Gustavia to enjoy a sunset cocktail at Shell Beach’s Dð Brazil.

End your day with a very private dinner pour deux on your terrace (or elsewhere on the hotel’s property). Chef Stéphane Mazières is the only chef in the Caribbean to have been awarded “GRAND CHEF RELAIS & CHATEAUX.” He will be pleased to meet with you and to create your personal menu and advise you on the wine.

Time to put up that red flag.

Bonne nuit

Visit http://www.stbarth.com/hotels/LeToiny/home.htm for more information and for reservations please contact letoiny@stbarth.com.

Thinking of renting a villa instead of staying in a hotel?

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

This video explains what you should expect (and deserve) from your villa rental company

You have worked hard, sacrificed downtime and have finally decided to take that well-deserved vacation. You really want to unwind, have time to just “hang out” without ever looking at your watch. You have always stayed in a hotel but this time you want to have much more privacy. If you want to meet other people you can do that on the beach, in a boutique or in a restaurant. Dream about having lots of space – a living room, indoor and outdoor dining, your very own swimming pool and gorgeous views from your terrace – that is what renting a villa is all about.

BUT you say, “How do I do that”? Buyer Beware: Choose your villa rental company carefully. Be certain that the company knows each villa personally and will take care of you from the moment of your first inquiry until you leave you destination.

We decided to produce a video that we hope will explain what your villa rental company should do for you.

I hope you enjoy it and I would appreciate any feedback. Do you know more about renting a villa than you did before you read my blog?

Merci beaucoup

St Barts Trip Report June 2012 by Kathy Schlitzer

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Many of us have just returned from another great trip to St. Barts where we did our homework for you by inspecting and re-inspecting our villas and hotels in order to ensure that you Live Your Dream® on beautiful St. Barth while you vacation there. Kathy Schlitzer, one of our very experienced Villa and Hotel Specialists, shares her trip report in this guest blog.

Merci beaucoup, Kathy

End of High Season Lunch with the St. Barth Properties US Team and Celebration of Tom Smyth's 20 Years wiith SBP

End of High Season Lunch with the St. Barth Properties US Team and Celebration of Tom Smyth's 20 Years with SBP

St Barts Trip Report June 2012

By Kathy Schlitzer

It’s a good travel day when all your connections are on time and everything goes smoothly. Such was the case for my recent working trip to St Barth.

I arrived in St Barth on Tradewind Aviation from San Juan. You’d think after all these years it would be old hat but I’m always excited to be landing on this beautiful island. The weather was glorious and seeing all the familiar faces at the airport is like coming home. Odile at Gumbs Car Rental and our St Barth Properties booth had my car ready and I was off to my first accommodation, the Hotel Taïwana on Flamands Beach.

The Taïwana is under new management and I was anxious to experience the hotel, the rooms, beach, common areas, and get to know the staff. Felipe, the manager, took me on a tour of the rooms and explained the changes planned during the September and October hotel closing. He was excited about new furniture, painting, renovation of the remaining bathrooms, and pointed out the already completed improvements to the gardens.

Carl, the beach manager, had my beach chair saved and ready for me each morning. Jeremy at the bar was a delight. I was his tester for several newly created cocktails; he is an artist behind the bar! All in all I had a wonderful experience and highly recommend the Hotel Taïwana for our hotel clients wanting to be on Flamands Beach. With the addition of the Hotel Taïwana we now have two great luxury hotels on Flamands Beach, and congrats to the Hotel St Barth Isle de France for recently receiving 5 star status.

After three too short vacation days I was ready to commence my villa visit schedule and move to Villa Privée with my colleague Julia Hurd, our St. Barth Properties US office’s Concierge. I started my visits with a bang at Villa Vitti, a 5 bedroom Grand Cru villa located above Shell Beach. Vitti is a fabulous house in a great location. The villa is perfect for couples and families and has the unique ability to host large events and parties as well. The chef’s kitchen has table service for 100, and on the lower level there is a ballroom set up with professional disc jockey equipment and even a disco glitter ball! The morning after party guests needing peace and quiet can escape to the peaceful Zen garden off the living area.

I wish I could give you a rundown of all the villas I saw but there were far too many to list in one trip report. I typically concentrate on houses that are new to us, newly renovated or added to, and houses I haven’t seen recently. Villa Seascape for instance is a fabulous new 6 bedroom modern and comfortable villa in Pointe Milou. The views in that area are breathtaking. The bedrooms are large and each one has an ocean view. The pool is infinity and heated, and for the active there is a staircase down the cliff to a small beach – but be prepared to climb back up after your swim! If you prefer to get your exercise the conventional way, Seascape has an air-conditioned very well-equipped fitness room.

Villa Privée was our home for 3 nights and we enjoyed the sunset view and the proximity to the Hotel Christopher for cocktails and dinner. It’s a very comfortable and charming villa for two couples or a family with older children.

Last fall I toured Villas Naturelle 1 and Naturelle 2 hillside in Gouverneur but they weren’t completed at the time so I was anxious to go back to see the finished product. These two – 4 bedroom villas beside one another are perfect for a large group wanting 8 bedrooms, or individually for a family or couples looking for 1 to 4 bedrooms. The villas are large and luxurious with all the extra amenities; several of the bedrooms have private pools and large private deck space.

Villa Colombe in Colombier is a nice addition to our inventory. Moderately priced for those wanting a 1 to 3 bedroom house, the villa has amazing views of Gustavia and the surrounding islands, a large pool, and all the comforts indoors and out.

Also newly added are Clair de Lune and Reflet de Lune in Colombier. These two villas are near each other and can be rented separately with two bedrooms each or together for a family or couples needing 4 bedrooms. Both offer spectacular sunset views.

From Villa Privée Julia and I moved to Crystal Dream on St. Jean Beach for three nights. Crystal Dream is a very popular villa and for good reason. The villa has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, its own private swimming pool and is near Hotel Tom Beach with its famous La Plage restaurant and Pink Parrot bar. Villa Crystal Dream is known for having direct access to a great beach while still maintaining privacy. -Perfect.

My trip report wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the wonderful meals we shared during our stay. One of my all time favorite restaurants is Le Gaïac at Hotel Le Toiny, chef Stephane Mazieres is a culinary artist. The beet ravioli starter and the chocolate mint ice cream dessert were not only beautiful but delicious.

Beet Ravioli with Goat Cheese starter at Le Toiny's Gaïaic Restaurant

Beet Ravioli with Goat Cheese starter at Le Toiny's Gaïaic Restaurant

Le Toiny Gaïac Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Dessert

Le Toiny Gaïac Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Dessert

I could go on and on about the meals we ate, every one of them a treat, but you need to experience the cuisine in St. Barth yourself to fully appreciate the talent of these fine chefs.

It was another successful trip to my favorite island and I was, as always, sad to leave. I look forward to going back in November. Until next time! … À la prochaine!

Kathy
kathy@stbarth.com

Where can you watch the Super Bowl in St Barts?

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

If you read my last blog, you know that Steve and I went back to the New England winter for 3 days so that we could watch the AFC Championship football game. It was a real nail-biter and, for us, the outcome was just what the doctor ordered (except that Steve and I both picked up that nasty cold that is going around). The final score was the New England Patriots 23 – Baltimore Ravens 20. The score was only determined during the last few seconds of the game. In the other league, The New York Giants won the NFC Championship game. The final match between these two winners takes place at Super Bowl XLVI February 5, 2012.

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Peg with son Mark at Gillette Stadium before the Pats vs Ravens game Jan 22, 2012

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Game Over - Baby It's Cold Outside

Are you a Super Bowl fan? Are you going to Indianapolis to watch the Game? Are you having a Super Bowl party at home? Or are you one of the lucky ones who is vacationing here on St. Barts and enjoying the sunshine, beaches, restaurants and boutiques? You say “Yes, BUT I still want to be able to catch the Super Bowl game Sunday night.”

Have no fear Andy is here! Yes Andy is having his own tailgate party right here at the Hideaway Restaurant in St. Jean. His motto is, “Warm, Beer, Lousy Food and a View of the Car Park.” Of course that is tongue-in-cheek. The beer is ice cold; the food is great and, well, the car park view is kind of true but well-hidden so no one even notices. We all love Andy’s Hideaway. We dine there very often.

Tailgate Party at Andy's

If you are a guest of St. Barth Properties and are already on the island, call our on-island concierge Magda Votava at 0590 29 75 05 or email magda@stbarth.com. If you will be arrivng this week, call our US concierge Julia Hurd at + 1-508-570 4129 or email juliahurd@stbarth.com. They will be happy to let Andy know that you are attending.

Enjoy!!

PS. I just received word that the Village St Jean hotel is hosting a Super Bowl party too. The lounge has a wide screen TV and is featuring a prix fixe menu at 35 euros per person.

St. Barts Hotel News and more St. Barth info

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

I left St. Barts 3 weeks ago so that I could host Thanksgiving at home. (My 22 pound fresh turkey that I carefully prepared and stuffed was outstanding, if I do say so myself.) December brought me back to paradise as it was time to leave chilly Cape Cod, Massachusetts in favor of warm and sunny St. Barts where I will be based until late spring 2012. I will fill you in on all of the latest happenings.

I enjoy a close relationship with many of the hotels on St. Barts because, in addition to offering our guests a villa vacation, we have other people who prefer to stay in a hotel. I have been working with these St. Barth hotels for 23 years which means that I witnessed many changes in both management and transformations and over the years, I have seen a few hotels come and go. I follow our hotel partners with great interest as they make various renovations and wonderful additions to their properties.

Last Thursday, I was invited to the hotel Christopher’s weekly cocktail party. It was held poolside and the evening was perfect. Strategic lighting highlighted the waves as they lapped along the shore.

Pierre-Alexandre Maillard had issued the invitation which included an after-the-cocktail-party delicious dinner with him at the hotel’s well-renowned Taïno restaurant. Pierre-Alexandre was the former GM at St Barth’s hotel Carl Gustaf. He left to the property so that he could manage a gorgeous hotel on a private island in the Seychelles. Happily, St. Bart’s uniqueness lured him back and I am pleased to announce that Pierre-Alexandre will be the new GM at the Christopher as of January 15, 2012!

Peg with Sandrine and Christian Langlade and Pierre Alexandre Maillard December 2011

Peg with Sandrine and Christian Langlade and Pierre Alexandre Maillard December 2011

The Christopher has undergone an amazing renovation with gorgeous new suites, a new spa and a new fitness room. All of this was overseen by the present GM Christian Langlade who came to St. Barts from Sandy Lane in Barbados 2 years ago. His wife Sandrine was in charge of the marketing and excelled at it. Luckily the Langlades will not be leaving St. Barth. Christian has accepted the General Manager position at the wonderful Le Sereno Hotel on Grand Cul de Sac Beach. Sandrine has also accepted a position at Le Sereno. I stayed there last month and enjoyed it immensely. It is quite chic, the staff is so friendly and the setting is dreamy. For our villa lovers, Le Sereno has three luxurious four bedroom villas on the property.

Congratulations and I wish them all much success!

Other hotel news:

La Banane is closing December 15, 2011 and will no longer be a hotel. I will keep you posted on any transformation that may occur.

The very reasonably priced Tropical Hotel is conveniently located just up the hill from St. Jean Beach and is quite charming. The hotel is now managed by family member Aurélia Vial.

SBH news:

The new pier on the other side of the harbor is almost finished and they are dredging the harbor (even on Sunday when I took this photo) to prepare for the onslaught of the mega-yachts that are arriving daily in order to get their much-sought-after-berth and prepare for the always amazing St Bart New Year’s Eve celebration. Many stay for the season.

Dredging Gustavia  Harbor by the new Quai Dec 11, 2011

Dredging Gustavia Harbor by the new Quai Dec 11, 2011

While I was on my morning walk, I saw the new Voyager Dreamliner ferry coming into the harbor. It looks so luxurious. I will take a tour one of these days and fill you in. Traveling by ferry could become the preferred and most affordable mode of inter-island transportation. I hear rumors that this new ferry hopes to be able to leave from the Dutch side of St. Maarten turning the transfer into only a 30 minute trip! If that happens I will buy a roundtrip ticket and test the waters for you, so to speak.

The new Voyager Dreamliner ferry December 2011

The new Voyager Dreamliner ferry December 2011

Another Quick Trip to St Barts

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

I was able to squeeze in a quick trip back to St. Barth because I wanted to check out the Summer Sessions music festival, I had some villas to inspect and I needed to attend several meetings.

I was traveling alone this time so I asked my girlfriend Paula if she would like to keep me company. She said “Sure” in a St. Barth minute!

The day of arrival, I had already taken advantage of our shopping service and ordered some goodies for the fridge (I highly recommend the homemade chicken salad) so we were all set when we arrived at Villa Everest. As soon as we walked in and Paula saw the view, she thought she had died and gone to heaven.

Villa Everest

Villa Everest

I had a full day of appointments the next day and I am happy to say that I was very pleased with my inspections. As a result we have some new two bedroom two bath luxury apartment options for those of you who love to be in Gustavia. One Villa Mahi is located on the water with a lovely view of the boats and the other Villa Wahoo is located in a brand new building one street above. Its view of the harbor is wonderful too. (The furniture has yet to arrive, so I’ll let you know when pictures are up on our website www.stbarth.com). Guests can walk everywhere. Both are on the La Pointe side of the harbor and will be available for rent in time for Thanksgiving. Don’t miss out as we are taking bookings now. Contact reservations@stbarth.com.

Villa Mahi

Villa Mahi

Then it was off to Camaruche to visit Villa Eclipse, a 6 bedroom hillside beauty with a lovely view and a magnificent pool (heated in the winter). The bedrooms which are different sizes are scattered about and if you love to cook, the kitchen is to-die-for. The outdoor spaces offer shady places to relax and dine, and sunny areas to work on that tan. If you want to have a panoramic view and see the sunset, you can hike up to the viewing platform located on the top of the property. I did my tour with the villa’s gracious owner and he told me he is redecorating some of the indoor areas and assured me all would be finished by November. Please contact reservations@stbarth.com to book.

Villa Eclipse pool

Villa Eclipse pool

That evening we had reserved seats at the bar at the very charming hotel La Banane because we wanted to see Tom Howie and DJ Jimmy Vallance perform. If you have never been to La Banane, be sure to visit it and/or consider a stay at this intimate hotel. It is tucked away amidst lush tropical gardens, has 2 pools and is close to Lorient Beach.

Tom-Howie-Duo-with-DJ-Jimmy-Vallance-At-La-Banane

Tom Howie Duo with DJ Jimmy Vallance At La Banane

We met some really nice people and enjoyed the music immensely.

Peg-with-Hotel-La-Banane's-Manager-Benjamin-Fabbri

Peg with Hotel La Banane's Manager Benjamin Fabbri

Peg-with-Aymeric-Bourdin,-Hotel-Tom-Beach's--Assistant-Manager-and-Paula-at-La-Banane

Peg with Aymeric Bourdin, Hotel Tom Beach's Assistant Manager and Paula at La Banane

Friday found me visiting the very elegant one bedroom Villa Genia. The location is right near the hotel Guanahani’s entrance and guests can walk to two beaches (Grand Cul de Sac and Anse Marechal) or enjoy a drink at the hotel’s beach bar and dine at their restaurants. Formally furnished the villa features a king en suite bedroom and there are multiple places to sit as well as to dine. The pool and deck are delightful and there’s lots of privacy (parking too!)

Villa Genia bedroom

Villa Genia bedroom

The afternoon brought me to the newly refurbished Villa Ti Moun. OMG!

The view! I could not take my eyes off of it. Everywhere I looked was as gorgeous as the next….the entire harbor and its signature red roofs, St. Maarten, Saba, Statia and way over to the right the Baie de St. Jean with an occasional plane ascending into the sky. Oh and the sunsets all year long!

Sunset from Villa Ti Moun

Sunset from Villa Ti Moun

Yes, a villa does come with this view. Ti Moun has a just refurbished large nicely furnished living room and a new modern kitchen with a breakfast bar. Two en suite bedrooms with great views are on either side of the villa and the covered terrace features a comfortable outdoor living area and a couple of options for outdoor dining. Don’t miss out on this one!

More about this trip to come in my next blog…