Archive for the ‘St. Barth Trips’ Category

Arrival night dinner – worth the money. Start your St. Barth vacation on the right foot!

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

Bonjour!

Today’s blog was written by our St. Barth Properties USA office’s St. Barth Villa and Hotel Specialist Allegra Pawlowski. Allegra was lucky enough to start her time on St. Barth as a vacationer before swinging into work mode.

As many of our repeat guests know, vacationing in St. Barth is worth the extra effort it takes to get there. Occasionally, a glitch or two, through no fault of our own, can make for a very long travel day. Allegra shares her story.

Enjoy!
Peg

GUEST BLOG BY ALLEGRA PAWLOWSKI

Allegra

Allegra Pawlowski

I went to the island for some vacation time with my mom and best friend and then I was to stay on for another week for my bi-annual inspection trip. The vacation portion was first and as it was a special getaway for my mom after a very tough year with medical hurdles and a death in the family, I arranged to have her pampered a bit on this trip. The first step was to hire a chef for our arrival night. Little did I realize that this was to be way more appreciated than originally planned… FOR ALL OF US.

Our travel day started with rising in Boston at 2 a.m. for a flight leaving at 5:30 a.m. followed by a connection in NYC and landing on St Maarten in a rain storm. This kind of weather is infrequent, so it was my first experience. Instead of waiting out the storm, we decided to jump in a taxi, cross the island at rush hour and head to the ferry.

You can take a ferry from St. Martin (the French side) instead of flying to St. Barth

Let me take a moment here to add that our Director of Concierge Services, (located in the US) Julia Hurd is a godsend! With one quick call to Julia, she reassured us that all would be ok on the island – she swiftly arranged to have the rental car waiting at the dock (rather than the airport), the chef was to arrive later and the manager of the property was alerted of our delay. I could sit back and enjoy the ferry ride to the island (a VERY rough, but fun ride, especially with a Planteur’s Punch in hand!).

Once we disembarked, we jumped in the car, drove to the Marché U to get the requisite (and much needed) bottles of wine, water and a few things to get us through the night. The chef, Christophe was hard at work already in the spacious kitchen of GORGEOUS Les Etoiles (our home for 2 of our 6 nights on the island). We were welcomed to the scent of parmesan crisps being toasted in the oven! We parked ourselves at the bar in the kitchen, watched the rain through the glass windows surrounding the living and kitchen area, poured ourselves some rosé and enjoyed the show in front of us with Christophe!

Chefs X.O. – Christophe Moreau preparing our first night’s meal

This was the agreed upon menu:

  • Amuse Bouche de la chef
  • Burrata di bufala with heirloom tomatoes, pear capers tartare, crispy prosciutto and parmesan chips
  • Beef Wellington, mushroom duxelles, grenaille potatoes, Mediterranean ratatouille
  • Roasted pineapple with citrus and honey syrup

Amuse Bouche de la Chef

Burrata by Chefs X.O., Christophe

HEAVEN! The zombies we were, sitting at the bar allowed us to watch Christophe work his magic and magic it was! He kept refilling our glasses with the rosé we picked up at the market (He can provide the cocktails and wine if you wish) and we watched with our eyes wide and mouths drooling. What a fantastic way to end an adventure-filled day! I strongly suggest that you ask Julia to arrange your first night’s dinner on your arrival day.

Dessert – Roasted pineapple with citrus and honey syrup

Thank you and sunny regards,

Allegra Pawlowski
St Barth Specialist

A Client Captures the Magic of St. Barth on Video

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

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

Happy viewing,

Peg

Julia’s Trip report May 2017

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

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

Best Job in the World!

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

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

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

Dining under a shade tree at the Beach Club restaurant

The view from the Beach Club restaurant

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

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

The park has plenty of parking

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

The Catholic church in Lorient

Above the front door of the Catholic church

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

A cocktail on the beach at Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa

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

My chicken club sandwich at Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa

Aurélie had ceviche for lunch at Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa

Aurélie tried the Crêpes Suzette for dessert at Le Barthélemy

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

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

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

The Dover Sole at Santa Fe

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

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

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

Sunset in Gustavia harbor

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

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

Julia Hurd (left) and Allegra Pawlowski (right)

Just back from St. Barth June 2017

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

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

THE PRIVATE CHEFS OF ST. BARTH

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

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

Villa Marie St Barth has a view over Flamands

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

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

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

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

Homemade Foie Gras by Pascal Cook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Julie Nally’s St. Barth Trip Report

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Discover some new St. Barth favorites

Julie Nally

Julie Nally

Our St. Barth Villa Specialist, Julie Nally (20 years with SBP) just returned from her spring inspection trip to St. Barth. She stayed at various places for a night or two, as is customary when the staff is on one of their reconnaissance tours that occurs twice a year. Julie spent a few nights at the new 5-star hotel, Villa Marie Saint Barth. (Loved it!) She said, “Standout Hotel: Villa Marie – Brand new boutique hotel located in Colombier. One of the room amenities I loved the most was the super soft bathrobe provided for all guests.  Bathrobes are obviously not a new item offered. However, this specific robe was the most comfortable and best fitting I have ever had. I wanted to buy one to bring home, but unfortunately, they are not for sale. Their branded Pure Altitude facial and body products provided are lovely as well.”

Villa Marie

Julie loved having breakfast, poolside, at the hotel Villa Marie

Julie continued to say, “The ambiance at the property is very nice…tropical, lots of vegetation, hillside.” The restaurant at the hotel is called, François Plantation in tribute to the former restaurant that used to occupy the same spot when the hotel with the same appellation was there many years ago. Julie dined there and said, “It was very good (gastronomique) a bit expensive, also.  Of course, right?!  LOL.” I’ve dined there a few times myself and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s well worth it and it’s always full, so please make sure to ask us to make a reservation for you.

François Plantation restaurant at Villa Marie

François Plantation restaurant at Villa Marie

Julie then checked into Villa Aronnax – This luxurious one bedroom pied-à-terre is in the heart of Gustavia. Julie loved it for its views, infinity pool and location. She said. “Aronnax – Great for a couple or solo traveler who wants to experience the heart of Gustavia and all it has to offer…delicious food, tasty treats, fabulous shopping, and lovely people to meet and converse with.  Being able to keep my car parked in its own designated spot and walk to Shell Beach earns Villa Aronnax extra stars!” Its proximity to Tom’s Natural Juice Bar was perfect. Julie would start her day with one of their fresh fruit & vegetable smoothies or acai bowls. She’d pick up some house-made hummus and sunflower crackers to fuel her for a morning full of villa inspections.

Gustavia sunset

Julie captured this Gustavia sunset while walking back to Villa Aronnax

Other tidbits from Julie. “Standout spots for the health-conscious traveler: In addition to Tom’s Juice bar, there is a new place in St Jean, Chez SO, specializing in organic salads made fresh daily at 6 euro/bowl as well as smoothies, sandwiches, and desserts.”

Julie inspected, many, many villas on her trip and told me her, “Standout villas: Villa LAO – Brand new, located high on the hillside in Corossol with three en suite bedrooms, all with a private Jacuzzi. The view is amazing and the location is private, peaceful, and convenient.” She also loved Villa Clés des Vents that is located in the gated community of Mont Jean. In her own words, “Incredibly private, serene, tranquil.   Furnishings and décor are classic but luxurious.  A ‘home away from home’ style and comfortability.”

Villa Clés des Vents

Villa Clés des Vents is one of Julie’s new favorites

I am heading back to St. Barth on Sunday to gather information for our next Live Your Dream magazine and looking forward to writing articles for your enjoyment. I will also be organizing and planning our beachside party when we unveil the magazine and launch the new season. It will be in the late fall. I can give you the exact date when I return. I hope to see you there!

Our New Harbor Front Office Opens – Meet the Staff

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Introducing our new St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s international Realty harbor front office and our St. Barth Properties on-island villa rental team and real estate sales teams

We have expanded our offices! Over the summer, we purchased and totally renovated what used to be the Piment Vert linen boutique across the courtyard from our present office. We now have an office for our villa rental clients and owners, and a second office to greet our real estate buyers and sellers. So many people fall in love with St. Barth for its uniqueness and realize that they want to purchase property here. It is indeed a sound investment. Our rental and sales volume has increased so exponentially that we needed to buy a second office.

Our first real estate clients visit our new office on opening day to consult with St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty realtor, Pascale Minarro-Baudouin

Our team has changed a bit, too. I am pleased to introduce them to you. After many, many years, Ted and Mai left the island to pursue new careers. Anne-laure Amy and Aurélie Janvier have very competently taken over their positons in the rental office and are pleased to assist you during your entire stay.

St. Barth Properties rental team, Pascale Minarro-Baudouin, Aurelie Janvier, Benoit Meesemaecker, Anne-laure Amy, Peg Walsh, Magda Borne

Our sales team has increased as well. In addition to our manager Benoit Meesemaeker, who also manages the rental office, realtor Pascale Minarro Baudouin, real estate assistant Nadine Rolland and newly hired real estate sales consultant Melissa Appandoo round out the team in the St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty new real estate office.

St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty real estate sales team, Melissa Appadoo, Pascale Minarro-Baudouin, Peg Walsh, Benoit Meesemaecker, Nadine Rolland

Please do stop by both offices to say Bonjour. We would love to see you!

The entire St. Barth Properties-St. Barth team wishes you a healthy and happy 2017!

Anne-Cécile Bedford’s May 2016 Trip Report

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

BONJOUR! As many of you know, our staff travels to St. Barth at least twice a year in order keep up-to-date on all that is happening on our favorite little island. It is extremely important that we inspect and re-inspect our Properties, dine at the restaurants, participate in activities and meet with our on-island colleagues. That way, we can better serve you when planning your St. Barth vacation.

Today’s Guest Blog is written by our Bilingual St. Barth Specialist Anne-Cécile Bedford.

Enjoy.

Sunny regards,
Peg

Anne-Cecile Bedford

Anne-Cécile Bedford

I just returned from a week on St Barth, my favorite place to work! As you all may know by now, I take two trips a year, in the spring and fall, to inspect our new properties and revisit villas I have not seen in a while as well as the one that went through renovation. I must have full knowledge to report back to all of my clients and be able to match them with the best property!

There are so many to choose from that it can be a bit overwhelming, so my job is to make it easy for you and guide you through the selection process. From a romantic villa for two perched high up on the hill to a family-friendly place by the beach or a luxurious 5 star villa or hotel, you can rely on my expertise to find your dream place on this little piece of paradise.

Villa Inspection

Villa Inspection at Villa Jade, a 5 star villa in Marigot

This time my trip was a bit bittersweet because I had to say goodbye to two of my long time coworkers who are moving on with their lives and leaving the island for a new promising future. I will miss Ted’s “Joie de vivre” and Mai’s Zen attitude but I was happy to welcome Anne Laure who tagged along with me on some of my visits. Many of you will have the chance to meet her on the island; she is very professional and simply gorgeous.

On my first night I had dinner with Peg at the Les Bananiers restaurant located in Colombier. It is a casual but wonderful restaurant, adjacent to La Colombe bakery where they bake the best baguettes on the island. Les Bananiers serves French and International cuisine; the perfect place to chill out after a day of travel! Their pizzas are as good as the ones at The Hideaway and I had the best Mahi-Mahi dish I have ever had on St Barth. I could not resist having “Escargot” (snails) as an appetizer of course; it is very French. This place is open for lunch, dinner but closed on Sundays.

Mahi-Mahi at Les Bananiers

Mahi-Mahi at Les Bananiers

This time I stayed at villa Mon Cheri, a deluxe property located hillside in Lurin with incredible views. For those looking for proximity to town, this is the ideal place to be. Both St. Jean and Gustavia are within a 7 minute drive. The villa features a large living area and kitchen with two equal bedrooms on both sides and a third little bedroom perfect for a child or a nanny. As a plus, the villa is fully air conditioned.

The living room opens up to a nice covered terrace where guest can dine by the pretty edge pool while watching the sunset. To my surprise the owner has added a Jacuzzi which was perfect for me to relax after longs days of visits and standing on my feet.

Villa Mon Cheri

Villa Mon Cheri

Mon Cheri Jacuzzi

Mon Cheri Jacuzzi

From Mon Cheri, I enjoyed the convenience of walking to one of my favorite restaurants, “Santa Fe” to say a last goodbye to Manu the owner. He is off to the South of France where he spent his childhood attending school there and seemed pretty happy about it. Do not worry, the Santa Fe will remain but with a new owner.

Amongst the new villas I visited, I absolutely loved Villa Kelly, a chic three bedroom villa, located near Gustavia and perfect for families. From the villa you can enjoy the panoramic view of St. Jean and a constant ballet of planes in the distance. The villa is beautifully designed in a nice contemporary style and features 3 bedrooms (2 bedrooms can communicate), a fitness room, a nice outdoor living space with a bar/kitchenette and a large barbecue to dine alfresco! The indoor living area and kitchen is fully air conditioned for those who cannot handle the heat. The long infinity heated pool (58 by 11 feet) is gorgeous with a shallow part where you can lay on chaise lounges. You will enjoy the convenience of being near your favorite restaurants and shopping spots in Gustavia.

Villa Kelly

Villa Kelly in Lurin

While you are strolling the streets of Gustavia, take the time to stop at the “Eden Fine Art Gallery” located near L’Isola restaurant and owned by Cathia Klimovsky. The gallery, hosted by Lynda Jacques, specializes in artwork and sculptures from selected leading International artists. They have several boutiques in the world; 3 in New-York, 1 in San Francisco, 2 in Tel Aviv and 1 in St. Barth. You will recognize the amazing work of the brilliant Yoel Benharrouche. Check it out! You may find your next piece of art or recognize yourself through the art piece.

Eden Fine Art GalleryEden Fine Art Gallery

Don’t forget while parking in Gustavia to put your Blue Disc on the windshield of your car and indicate the time you have parked, as there is a limited time (90 minutes) authorized. I omitted to put mine on there for a quick stop and ended up having to pay a parking ticket of 17 Euros. If this ever happens to you, the thing to do is to go to the Collectivité Locale (located by the stop sign on the corner that goes up from Le Select and is near the police station in Gustavia). Go there first to get a stamp and then go next door, to the police station but it closes at 5:00 (because our island is so safe!). It’s on the right, not too far past the Choisy bakery on the upper exiting road in Gustavia.

The Blue Disk that is used for parking in certain areas of St. Barth

The Blue Disk that is used for parking in certain areas of St. Barth

On other villa news, I am happy to announce that Villa Arrow Marine in Mont Jean is back in our inventory. It is a wonderful property for families or group of friends and the sunrise views from this villa are just stunning. Villa Arrow Marine features 4 bedrooms and can be rented as a 5 bedroom villa in combination with Villa Alphane located on top of the property. It is a breezy area and the view is gorgeous.

Villa Arrow Marine

View from Villa Arrow Marine in Mont Jean

On my last day, I had to make a stop at La Gloriette restaurant, open for lunch (every day except Wednesday) and for pizza and burgers but only at dinner. This is the perfect spot to enjoy a relaxing Sunday lunch, feet in the sand, facing the lagoon at “Grand Cul de Sac”.

I was happy to run into Albert the owner whom I had not seen in many years. I purchased their wonderful vanilla rhum to take home and I was glad to find out that they now ship to the US (shipping fee starts at Euro 40), France and Europe. Check their web site rhum-lagloriette.com.

Quick news: L’Oasis supermarket in Lorient has reopened, under new management, offering a variety of Bio products. If you are a wine lover check Le Papillon Ivre located in St. Jean up from Le Piment. They serve salads, sandwiches and fresh homemade products. In Gustavia, Le Quarter 25 is a fun place to start the night and enjoy a cocktail. They also have a dinner menu and offer delicious fish tacos and zesty popcorn. Their selection of bourbons is quite impressive.

My trip to St. Barth would not be complete without a swim in the beautiful warm ocean. Clients often ask, “What is the best beach to go to”? Which one do you recommend?” It is true that as tiny as St Barth is, the island offers 16 beaches! They are all beautiful and easy to access with free parking. My favorite is Saline Beach simply because it is unspoiled and just spectacular, a place where nature meets with the ocean and where part of my heart will remain always…

Saline Beach

Saline Beach

I can’t wait to share with you all of villas I have inspected. Call me at 508-570-4477 or email me at anne@stbarth.com and book your trip now to take advantage of the low season rates.

A Beautiful Way to Burn Calories and Stay in Shape While on Vacation in St. Barth

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Bonjour and Bonne Année from beautiful St. Barth to all of my loyal readers! I hope that you enjoyed the holidays and I wish you a very healthy and happy 2016.

One of my sons, Mark Smyth (the dentist vs. son, Tom Smyth, V.P. at St. Barth Properties) along with his family were, once again, able to join us in St. Barth for the holidays.

He wrote this guest blog. I hope you enjoy it.

Peg

A BEAUTIFUL WAY TO BURN CALORIES AND STAY IN SHAPE WHILE ON VACATION IN St. BARTH

My name is Mark Smyth. My family and I have been fortunate enough to be at least annual visitors to this beautiful island of St Barth. Brother Tom Smyth and mother Peg Walsh as well as the entire St. Barth Properties team have made this possible. The magnificent landscapes, quaint villages, and friendly islanders are amazing allures to this little slice of paradise; the world class cuisine is one its finest pleasures, thus the point of my blog.

We enjoyed Christmas Eve dinner at Le Repaire in Gustavia. (L to R) My daughter Reegan, my wife Cynthia, me, my mom Peg , daughter Lilia, my stepdad Doc and son Nate.

We enjoyed Christmas Eve dinner at Le Repaire in Gustavia. (L to R) My daughter Reegan, my wife Cynthia, me, my mom Peg, daughter Lilia, my stepdad Doc and my son Nate.

After indulging in some French and Caribbean delicacies for a few days, I typically feel the need for some cardio exercise. Normally, I would find a less busy part of the island and partake in a 30-45 minute jog. Over the past few years, the wear and tear on my knees plus a few extra pains au chocolat have made running less practical. Walking has become my exercise of choice.

In the early morning, I embarked on a walk that took me from L’Oasis in Lorient down through St. Jean looping back along the stadium and recreational areas and returning to L’Oasis. It is exactly a 5 km course taking about an hour (depending on how many stops one makes to drink in the gorgeous scenery and snap a photo or two). Very importantly, it is 95% sidewalk accessible. It’s hilly too which gets the cardio going.

I began my early morning trek by starting out at the L'Oasis Center  in Lorient.

I began my early morning trek by starting out at the L’Oasis Center in Lorient.

The reason I am writing this blog is because during my walk at 7am, I rediscovered the absolute stunning beauty of this French piece of Eden. Over the years we’ve tended to get into our rented vehicles and drive to the beach, then back to the villa, or to Gustavia to shop and back, or out to dinner and back. Cruising the island at 30-40 km/hr., I’ve missed out on some of the subtle idyllic nuances of St Barth. Being the driver nearly all of the time, I have had to focus on keeping our car on the wonderful, narrow local roadways. While on my walk that day, I rounded a bend at the top of one of the hills high above St. Jean and, suddenly, I was looking across to the little airstrip which was illuminated by the rising sunshine.

The tiny airstrip is bathed in the early morning sunlight.

The tiny airstrip is bathed in the early morning sunlight.

Further along, I could see all the way across the Baie de St. Jean and hear the surf lapping against the rocky shoreline below as well as some birds singing from nearby flowering trees. The occasional bleat from a goat and a call from a rooster all joined in to enhance the spectacular vistas I was taking in. I genuinely felt a calmness and reconnection with this lovely isle.

Stop for a moment.  The breathtaking view of the Baie de St. Jean is not to be missed.

Stop for a moment. The breathtaking view of the Baie de St. Jean is not to be missed.

A flat stretch brought me by St. Jean Beach and peek at Eden Rock. I kept going (Be aware that the sidewalk disappears for a bit and it’s not really pedestrian-friendly which is another reason to go early). I crossed the street and continued to the gas station, bought a bottle of water at the Superette de L’Aéroport and took that road to begin my loop back passing by the fire station, stadium, municipal tennis courts and pool and then along the Étang (salt pond) that is parallel to the main road, then took a left to end back at Eden Rock and reversed my direction.

Eden Rock divides the Baie de St. Jean into two parts.

Eden Rock divides the Baie de St. Jean into two parts.

And, of course, when I returned to my car at the L’Oasis parking lot, a visit to the new boulangerie Choisy for a pain au chocolat was well deserved.

The Choisy bakery in Lorient

The Choisy bakery in Lorient

The Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate Croissant) at the new boulangerie Choisy in Lorient is hard to resist.

The Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate Croissant) at the new boulangerie Choisy in Lorient is hard to resist.

I may try and scout out some other walkable courses around the island, but for this trip, I continued walking the loop that helped me rediscover the beauty that has drawn us all to St Barth.

p.s. I would recommend embarking on this 5K walk early in the morning (before 8am). I do so because there will be less traffic noise cruising by as you walk and the rising sun bathing St. Jean is inspirational!

Mark Smyth's Exercise Route Festive Season 2015

Mark Smyth’s Exercise Route Festive Season 2015

Connie’s SBP Trip Report November 2015

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Bonjour from sunny St. Barth!

Steve and I made it back to paradise on Tuesday and are now based here until May (poor us). I have some last minute newly constructed villas to inspect in the next few days and will be adding them to our website shortly thereafter. For all of you procrastinators, yes we do still have some villas available over the holidays. Just follow this link to see http://stbarth.com/christmas-and-new-year-availability.

Last month, I was here with some of my US office’s staff, including Marketing and Travel Industry Consultant Connie Walsh. I am pleased to share her trip report.

I hope to see you at Bagatelle on Wednesday evenings for our weekly cocktail party.

Happy Holidays,
Peg

Trip Report, November 2015 by Connie Walsh

connie1

Connie Walsh

I’ve made some eighteen trips from Boston to St. Barth over the past decade, each as smooth as the sand on its gorgeous beaches. But this time, a flight delay – the dreaded “mechanical” – put us in Puerto Rico too late to catch our flight on Tradewind Aviation, the day’s last. Friends would be dining without us at the harbor’s new Carpe Diem and we would not be laying our heads down that night at Villa Everest. Tant pis indeed.

We’d arranged for VIP service through Tradewind and found their indomitable Lizbeth waiting for us at the gate when we deplaned. And she had a plan B. She confirmed availability at a nearby hotel, arranged transportation to-and-from, and seats on the first flight out the next morning. We were whisked off to the old grand dame, El San Juan. That lobby is still gorgeous. We checked in, took a walk on the beach, through the casino, enjoyed a cocktail at the bar and dined at the La Picola Fontana. Excellent northern Italian food. Coulda been worse.

Villa Everest

Villa Everest

As promised, the next morning Lizbeth was at the check-in counter to take us up to Tradewind’s VIP lounge. Two espressos later, hubs and I were winging our way to St. Barth, arriving in time to settle in and make an early lunch reservation at the Santa Fe. It was a Thursday and at Santa Fe that means moules-frites – divine as always. I ordered a starter of gazpacho which was chilled to perfection. Nice to be back!

On Thursday, November 12, St. Barth Properties launched the season and the latest edition of Live Your Dream® in style with a cocktail party, seaside at the beautiful Hotel Taïwana. One could really sense the excitement. Love St. Barth in November.

Taïwana Hotel

Taïwana Hotel

As always, the week was a hustle-bustle of villa visits, hotel inspections, and meetings but we happily incorporated some down time. Our Saturday afternoon picnic lunch at St. Jean Beach and our traditional Sunday morning swim at Gouverneur were delightful interludes.

One of the highlights of this trip was our site inspection at Le Toiny. The hotel reopened with the first phase of the extensive renovations completed. The villas French Colonial décor is gone, replaced with a chic and cool contemporary coastal style. Bleached white wooden floors anchor a palette of sandy-soft neutrals and crisp whites with pops of tropical color. The entrance, reception area, and restaurant have been reconfigured creating more of lobby-like feel. That gorgeous half-moon pool remains and now there is an adjacent open-air oyster shell bar. We lunched at the newly named Le Toiny Restaurant. Chicken Creole for me – and it was divine.

Hotel Le Toiny

Hotel Le Toiny

Below the hotel, the new sprawling Beach Club was just being completed. It’s surrounded by a coconut grove and furnished with comfy chaises. Lunch and libations served and transportation to-and-from provided. Looking forward to enjoying a glass of rosé with my toes-in-the-sand there – next trip.

We checked out the progress on the sure to be gorgeous 52 room Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa. Located on the lagoon of Grand Cul de Sac with its 600-foot beachfront, it slated to open in 2016 and already generating lots of buzz.

And now for the “food facts.” We joined the fun at Gustavia’s new 25 Quarter (formerly Monbart), they have a hip street food menu complete with tacos, dumplings and empanadas and exciting cocktails. Football fans take note, they’ll be showing NFL games this winter. We sampled the new Italian focused cuisine at Le Sereno as they celebrate their new sister property in Lake Cuomo. I made a return visit to harbor side Bagatelle. It’s becoming one of my gotta-go-tos. Their signature white pizza with black truffle is amazing and its scene is quintessential St. Barth. Join the St. Barth Properties’ team for a libation at their weekly cocktail party every Wednesday from 6:30-7:30, then stay for dinner!

Speaking of scenes, if you haven’t lunched at Nikki Beach, do go. Our Sunday lunch there was so much fun. Costumed waiters sashay out to deliver Jeroboams of Champagne while the DJ spins a great rock n’ roll soundtrack, so good it inspires patrons to get up and boogie – sometimes on the tabletops. The quality of the food is not sacrificed for all the merriment. It’s terrific. The comprehensive menu includes lots of fresh fish, a variety of salads (try the Niçoise) and yummy BBQ.

Lots of visits to villas newly added to the company portfolio were on our agenda. My faves included the super – sweet one bedroom beach house Maison de La Plage, just steps from the shore at St. Jean Beach and Villa Yeye, a lovely traditional four bedroom vacation home in Pointe Milou with a stunning view. Its décor pays homage to the casually elegant lifestyle of St. Barth in the ‘70s. I loved its circular plunge pool and shady rear garden.

Villa Maison de la Plage

Villa Maison de la Plage

Villa Yeye

Villa Yeye

We were impressed with the stunning seascape, from the umbrellas at Nikki Beach to Anse de Cayes, at the three bedroom Villa La Pointe du Reef in St. Jean. Its contemporary design is complemented with “old St. Barth” images and accessories. At Villa Super Ciel, a lovely three bedroom villa with loads of living space and two pools, verandahs boast some half a dozen hammocks. They sway in the breeze with a view of the verdant hillside and slivers of the sea. I took a test drive.

Villa La Pointe du Reef

Villa La Pointe du Reef

Villa Super Ciel

Villa Super Ciel

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we were wowed by the chic and modern six bedroom Villa Monaco. It celebrates Princess Grace and is as every bit as stylish. Set high above Anse des Cayes, the oversized heated swimming pool has a unique platform with chaises looking out to the eye-popping view. When we arrived at brand-new Villa Fleur de Sel workmen were busy finishing all the details. Its five en suite bedrooms are named for designers and the penthouse master suite pays homage to Louis Vuitton.

Villa Monaco

Villa Monaco

All great additions to the portfolio. Full details and pictures are on the website www.stbarth.com.

Beachside Soirée November 2015

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

A Beachside Soirée on a starlit night in beautiful St. Barth. Who could ask for anything more?

I went back to St. Barth with a laundry list of things to accomplish. November is the month that our USA staff does their second trip to do villa and hotel inspections and we launch the new season by unveiling our new Live Your Dream catalogue at our annual Beachside Soirée, al fresco, at the Taïwana hotel. The event took place on November 12th and it was the best ever, according to our guests and our St. Barth Properties’ team.

beachsidesoiree

It was a beautiful starlit Caribbean evening, the bar was hopping and there was a stream of yummy hors d’oeuvres being passed by the very attentive staff. Our fabulous DJ, Yo-One Sutter livened up the scene and singer/guitarist Soley was serenading us in style. (I especially love it when he sidles up to me and sings as if I were the only one in the place – (Swoon).

Have a look at the scene.

Volume 20 of our catalogue was a huge hit and compliments about the cover and the content are pouring in. Many say this one is the crème de la crème which is pretty nice because I am the editor in chief. Connie Walsh, the most talented writer I have ever known was there with her husband Mike. Connie and I did the interviews for the articles; she wrote them up and we both edited it back and forth until we were 100% pleased with each and every one. Good job, Connie! If you would like a copy, please click here.

lyd20portfolio2016

I had numerous villa inspections to do because we have so many newly constructed villas being completed as well as others that have been renovated or refurbished. And the hotel Le Toiny? The new owners and managers just completed phase one of its renovation as well as the new beach front sunbathing spot and toes-in-the sand restaurant. I loved what I saw and will be sharing the details with you in our next few newsletters, Le Bulletin. If you have not signed up for it yet, it’s easy to do.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!