Archive for the ‘Villas’ Category

KATHY’S May 2015 Trip Report

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Bonjour St. Barth Lovers,

As you may know the staff in my U.S. office must travel to St. Barth at least twice a year to do their villa and hotel inspections, catch up on the restaurants, boutiques and new services that we offer as well touch base with the staff in my St. Barth office.

Kathy Schlitzer is one of our fabulous St. Barth Properties’ Specialists who assists you with planning your St. Barth dream vacation. Here is her Spring 2015 Trip Report:

Early on Saturday morning Julia and I were off to Boston’s Logan airport for our JetBlue flight to St. Maarten and Winair to St. Barth.  Landing in St Maarten at 11:45 A we were met by the Easyway VIP representative who immediately went into VIP mode. He took our luggage tags and directed us through the In transit security door and up to the gate – meanwhile bypassing the immigration lines, baggage pick up, and check in with Winair.  In moments we were at our gate, the Easyway person found us, handed us our boarding passes, assured us our luggage was checked in to Winair, and informed us we were booked on an earlier flight leaving in 15 minutes!  Well that was easy!

We landed in St Barth, grabbed luggage, picked up our cars from Gumbs Car Rental (we’d emailed a copy of our driver’s license prior to departure so she had the paperwork ready), and we were off to Marché U for groceries.  By 2:30 we were at Villa Everest unpacking and ready for a swim in the pool (and a cold beer)!

We were treated to glorious sunsets at Villa Everest

We were treated to glorious sunsets at Villa Everest

TIP: Easyway VIP is well worth the cost when landing in St Maarten’s rather convoluted airport.  Our concierge Julia can reserve Easyway VIP for our clients. It’s especially helpful during busy seasons or when you have a tight connection – or just don’t feel like dealing with the inefficiency that is SXM. Julia’s email is Juliahurd@stbarth.com.

We’d made a reservation at Santa Fe, a favorite of both Julia and myself, for our first night.  Julia invariably starts with the escargot and always orders Dover sole as her main! For me it was the mussels to start, and Wahoo with ginger and coriander for my main – it’s so good!  We shared a Fondant au Chocolat – after all, it’s our first night!

Fondant au Chocolat (Warm Chocolate Cake) at the Santa Fe

Fondant au Chocolat (Warm Chocolate Cake) at the Santa Fe

Sunday – After a good night’s sleep we’re ready to start our week in St Barth.  Making sure all the electronics work, WIFI set up, and emails answered, we head out to do a few necessary errands and for a drive around the island to make sure everything is as we left it!   The weather is fine and we’re excited to be back.

La Gloriette on Grand Cul de Sac beach is one of my favorite places for lunch, especially on Sundays.  The small beach restaurant is a favorite for families – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins meet there for a relaxing afternoon. Grand Cul de Sac is a lagoon, shallow and still, parents can easily watch kids playing on the shore. While we were having lunch a little girl caught a tiny fish and holding it up for all to see came running to her parents full of pride at her accomplishment. Everyone was smiling. I like that about the island culture – family time is important.

Warm goat cheese salad, a glass of rosé, and, of course, a glass of vanilla rhum completed our meal and we’re off again.

Here I am at Villa Everest - All set to begin my workday

Here I am at Villa Everest – All set to begin my workday

Monday – I had my villa visit schedule prepared and I was ready to go.  This year we’ve added some great new villas and I was pleased to match the pictures with the real thing. Some new offerings are the beautiful Chateau de Sable on St. Jean beach, Villa Ananda, Sagittaire and Orion hillside in St. Jean, Infinity in Gustavia, Belina in Colombier, Chiavari in Lurin, Jade and Joy in Marigot, Mirage in Gouverneur, and Chimère in Petit Cul de Sac.  (Editor’s note:  Be sure to check out future blogs for more info on the new villas.)

Villa Chateau de Sable on St. Jean Beach

Villa Chateau de Sable on St. Jean Beach

You will adore the view of St. Jean from Villa Orion

You will adore the view of St. Jean from Villa Orion

I also went back to old favorites that I either hadn’t seen for a while or to see changes or renovations. Casawapa added a third bedroom as did Rêve de Nuit, Ti Acerola is back for rental, and Serenity in Gustavia and Azur in Lurin.

Tuesday – Julia and I were lucky enough to be reserved on a full day boat trip with Jicky Marine.  I hadn’t snorkeled in St Barth for several years and I was excited.  The catamaran was new and extremely well maintained and captained.  Beer, wine, rum punch, water, and soft drinks, as well as snacks were offered throughout the day. Lunch was served when we reached Forchue island where we would spend the day and snorkel.  The crew set us up with very good snorkel equipment and took us to a spot where we could see turtles and rays, and, as we got closer to the rocks along the shore, colorful fish.  When not in the water we lay out on the beanbag lined “hammock” at the front of the catamaran.  It was a great day.  The water is so clear, so blue, and so beautiful. Julia can arrange this trip for you before you travel to St. Barth or our on-island concierge Magda Borne can reserve it once you are on St. Barth.

Julia and I relaxing after snorkeling

Julia and I relaxing after snorkeling

The Sunset Cruise with Jicky Marine was so relaxing

The Sunset Cruise with Jicky Marine was so relaxing

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday – Julia and I went our separate ways, me to visit villas and hotels and Julia to meet with vendors and try things like yoga and a ride in a mini Moke, peruse the new organic food shops and juice bars – and taste Gelato.  Tough job!

Julia had our dinner reservations set and just told me where we were going each night – I didn’t argue, they’re all good! Isola is elegant and wonderful Italian, Black Ginger fun and friendly Thai, Tamarin a magical garden setting with lily pad pools and romantic tables tucked throughout.

After dinner on our last night we popped into Bagatelle to catch the excitement. It was packed, music glaring, dancing everywhere, the wait staff adeptly delivered food and drink in the middle of it all. Evidently, there were a lot of birthdays and anniversaries being celebrated with champagne. Bottles topped with sparklers were paraded to the tables conga line fashion and, in one case, delivered by someone on a scooter driven through the restaurant! We stayed long enough to want to return another time when we didn’t have an early morning flight!

All in all, it was a good trip and we accomplished everything we needed to – and had some fun.

Au revoir St. Barth – jusqu’à la prochaine fois.

Introducing Villa Brume de Mer, an Exclusive New St. Barth Properties Listing

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

As you might remember, Steve and I left St. Barth last month after spending 6 marvelous (and warm) months on the island so that we could attend our grandson Tyler Smyth’s graduation from Xavarian Brothers High School. Tyler is the son of my son and SBP VP, Tom Smyth.

We live on Cape Cod in the summer. Returning to the northeast was a bit of a shocker as it was really chilly and, so far, it has not warmed up.

I was delighted to have to return to St. Barth to work. Connie Walsh (no relation) who works with us accompanied me because this is the time of year that we need to gather information for the new edition of our Live Your Dream catalogue and Connie helps me write the content. We had lots of interviews to do. As it turns out, I also had new villas to inspect, so the week was quite hectic but profitable because most of what I saw, I liked. I thought you would enjoy staying in anyone of them, depending on your needs and budget so we are adding them to our portfolio. I will be presenting them to you in future blogs but the villa I am featuring today is Villa Brume de Mer.

Villa Brume de Mer Pool

Villa Brume de Mer Pool

Connie and I were fortunate to be able to spend 3 nights in this brand new two bedroom villa that is located just past the far end of Flamands Beach, a favorite of so many. It’s a classic wide Caribbean beach with sugar white sand and some surf. You can walk to it easily from Brume de Mer. It takes about 3 minutes. Stroll to the other end where you will find the five star hotels, Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France and the Taïwana. Stop info a drink or perhaps a leisurely lunch or gourmet dinner. If you enjoy Creole food and fresh Caribbean Lobster (Langouste) enjoy lunch or dinner at the casual, reasonably priced La Langouste restaurant.

Villa Brume de Mer Living

Villa Brume de Mer Living

Brume de Mer sits on a bluff overlooking the Baie de Flamands; we loved listening to the sound of the surf while we were sitting in the outdoor living area and typing away on our laptops. As the sun was setting, I turned on the pool light and was dazzled by the ever-changing colors we saw.

Villa Brume de Mer at Sunset

Villa Brume de Mer at Sunset with the pool in green

We watched the solar heated pool at Brume de Mer change colors under the full moon while we were there. This blue one is my favorite.

We watched the solar heated pool at Brume de Mer change colors under the full moon while we were there. This blue one is my favorite.

The air-conditioned living area, dining area, and kitchen are glass enclosed with sliders that open if you prefer to have breezes instead of using the AC. My bedroom, located on the main level has a king bed that can be converted to twins which is ideal if you are vacationing with your children. The bathroom has two doors. It is en suite if you access it through the bedroom and walk-in closet or it can serve as a guest bath if you access it from the kitchen area. It has double sinks and a delightful rain head shower.

Villa Brume de Mer Bedroom 1

Villa Brume de Mer Bedroom on the main level can be converted to a king bed

Villa Brume de Mer Bathroom 1

Villa Brume de Mer Bathroom 1

Connie stayed in the upstairs bedroom. It features a king bedroom with a loveseat and an outdoor balcony that looks out to the sea. It too has a walk-in closet and two accesses to its en suite bathroom.

Villa Brume de Mer Bedroom 2

Villa Brume de Mer Bedroom is upstairs with a king bed and a balcony

Villa Brume de Mer Bathroom 2

Villa Brume de Mer Bathroom 2

The terrace also features an outdoor dining area under the same gazebo as the living area and a Jacuzzi is at-the-ready when you feel like experiencing pure relaxation. Did I mention that the swimming pool is solar heated? – Delightful

Villa Brume de Mer Jacuzzi

Villa Brume de Mer Jacuzzi

Here is what the first guests had to say about their stay, “…We had a great time and the villa Brume de Mer was fantastic. We can’t wait to go back there. Our worries are it will become so popular we will have trouble booking it. The setting can’t be beat. Waking in the morning and looking out on the ocean that appeared to be at your feet crashing into the rocks was an experience we had not had in the 12 years we have been going to St Barth. And in all those years we never went to La Langouste. We’ll we went twice it was that good. My wife said the Dover Sole was better than Eden Rock’s. And being able to walk there along the beach from the villa made it all the better. We are so glad Villa Wide View was unavailable because we would not have experienced Brume De Mer. After all the apprehension Deb had, she just loves this villa. Had everything we want in a villa, a pool that is actually heated, a separate Jacuzzi, great sound system, quiet, walking distance to the beach and to Colombier, I could go on and on. The owner was great as was our housekeeper. Thanks for recommending this place. We will be coming back.”
Bruce W
Fogesville, PA

I wish that we could have spent much more time enjoying the villa but we were on a working trip and running around the island like crazy. I do know that you will love it. The villa is exclusively listed with St. Barth Properties, so if you would like to experience Villa Brume de Mer, just contact me at pegwalsh@stbarth.com, mention that you read this blog and I will pay the 5% island tax for you.

Don’t forget to tell me how much you enjoyed you stay!

See you in St. Barth.

Kathy’s Trip Report – Guest Blog

Friday, June 20th, 2014

As most you know our stateside team at St. Barth Properties visits St. Barth at least twice a year to do their villa and hotel inspections and re-inspections as well as to keep up with the latest dining options and happening on the island so as to better assist you with your trip planning to paradise. Kathy Schlitzer one of our very capable St. Barth Specialists and Julia Hurd our US office Concierge came down here last month. I was happy to see them both and we enjoyed some great dinners together.

Trip Report May 10 – 17, 2014
by Kathy Schlitzer – St Barth Specialist

Kathy Schlitzer

Kathy Schlitzer

Julia, our US concierge and I started our working trip to St Barth on May 10 traveling from Boston to St Maarten on Jet Blue. We were met in St Maarten by Easyway VIP, walked through immigration, helped with luggage, and brought to the taxi Easyway had arranged to transfer us to the ferry dock. Love the ease of Easyway!! You never know how the seas will be when you take the ferry from St Maarten to St Barth. Fortunately, having grown up with boats I was pretty sure I could weather the bumpy ride – but not so some of my fellow travelers on the Voyager. I’ve taken the ferry previously but this time the seas were higher and the rolling more pronounced. Staying glued to your seat is recommended, some say being on the outside seats is better than inside, but I think it depends on the person.

Voyager passengers

Voyager passengers

When we arrived at the ferry dock in St Barth Viviane from Gumbs Car Rental was there, as always, with the keys to our cars and off we went to the Hotel Taïwana, our home for two nights.

At the Hotel Taïwana Julia and I stayed in the Two bedroom Jade Suite with private pool. The views over Flamands Beach with its deep Caribbean blue water and white sand were inspiring. The hotel has done an amazing job renovating the suites and rooms, the décor is clean, the quality pure luxury. We enjoyed breakfast overlooking the beach, cocktails from our beach chairs, valet parking, free WIFI, immaculate housekeeping, and lets face it there is nothing like a fluffy bath robe and quality bath products. The staff was attentive and friendly. The two nights went by too quickly.

Suite

Our two bedroom suite at Hotel Taïwana

Monday morning we started our work week in earnest. Up early for breakfast and checkout, we each went our separate ways for the day. Unfortunately the weather was unusually rainy and overcast due to a front going through the area, but the sun peaked out enough and the rainy spells were short. A good day for reading on the beach as long as you have some shelter available for the periodic passing showers. Julia and I met at the end of the day at villa Méli Mélo our home for the remainder of our stay. Méli Mélo is located at the top of St. Jean with killer views from the front and back. The pool side overlooks Baie St Jean, the airport, and distant islands, the other side overlooks Saline. The Saline side is mostly protected land and we were visited by a goat family in our back yard several times. This villa has one of the best views on an island of spectacular view. Lucky us!

View over St. Jean from Villa Méli Mélo

View over St. Jean from Villa Méli Mélo

Overlooking Saline from Villa Méli Mélo

Overlooking Saline from Villa Méli Mélo

The days are busy going from villa to villa doing inspections and taking inventory, but the evening are for wonderful restaurants. Here’s Julia at Santa Fe in Lurin, she usually gets the Oyster entrée and the Dover Sole, and she has been known to love the Profiteroles for dessert. We also enjoyed the new restaurant Me Gusta on the harbor in Gustavia specializing in tapas influenced by Portugese flavors. Another new restaurant is Ocean. As the name implies they specialize in fresh fish, beautifully served.

Julia at Santa Fe

Julia at Santa Fe

NOT SURE WHAT THIS IS

Les Profiteroles at the Santa Fe

Wednesday night Julia and I headed to our St Barth Properties weekly (in season) cocktail party at La Plage. It’s always a pleasure meeting clients and putting a face to the voice on the phone! Our island concierge, Magda, was celebrating a birthday so Julia and I took her to dinner at La Plage after the party. Magda’s young daughter Valérie joined us but was soon fast asleep on one of the banquettes. The location of La Plage is amazing, but having great food, good service AND be right on one of St Barth’s best beaches is outstanding!

La Plage restaurant

La Plage restaurant

Our concierges at La Plage

Our concierges at La Plage

I saw many villas during the week, some I was seeing again and some (newly acquired) I was seeing for the first time. I was especially pleased to see Villa O My, a great house for couples or family, and Artifact in Corossol is new, and luxurious with a view overlooking Corossol, the fishing boats, and turquoise water. Of course I always like seeing old favorites like Royal Palm, Nirvana, Blue Diamond and Au Soleil.

Our last night was at Bagatelle, another great meal ending with my favorite Molten Chocolate cake.

As usual I didn’t see everything I wanted to see, but it will be there when I get back. I look forward to returning in November.

À bientôt St Barth.

Kathryn Schlitzer
St Barth Specialist

Hike to the Washing Machine and Natural Pools in Grand Fond

Friday, April 4th, 2014

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

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

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

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

Villa Lilu living area

Villa Lilu living area

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

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

Parking area by the path that goes to the shore

Parking area by the path that goes to the shore

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

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

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

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

Head to the right to access the trail

Head to the right to access the trail

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

Along the trail the surf crashes against the rocks

Along the trail the surf crashes against the rocks

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

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

Washing Machine

Washing Machine

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

You may need to share the path with Mother Nature

You may need to share the path with Mother Nature

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

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

Discover The Natural Pools in Grand Fond

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

The water in the Natural Pools is crystal clear

The water in the Natural Pools is crystal clear

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

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

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

Checklist for your backpack:

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

Enjoy the hike!

Some Morsels of St. Barth news

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Bonjour from sunny St. Barth!

The “Season” is in full swing and I wish you were here. As you may know we host a cocktail party for our guests each Wednesday evening at Tom Beach hotel’s La Plage restaurant on St Jean Beach. This past Wednesday, the place was packed with lots of happy clients who are enjoying their getaway and are extra grateful to be here and missing the horrible weather at home.

In fact, I met one couple who had just arrived a few hours earlier because they had been creative and proactive with their flights when their original flight was canceled due to the storm in the Northeast. The couple who is staying with them at Villa Manonjul was not as fortunate and arrived a day later. Fortunately they purchased the accommodation insurance that we offer, so they will be reimbursed for the missed nights. If you are delayed by weather check with us to see if your villa is available after your original scheduled departure date because we may be able to adjust your dates so that you do not miss any of your days in paradise.

Peg with Clients from Diaco and Rosebud - SBP Cocktail Party at La Plage - Steve is in the background (again) chatting it up with other happy clients

Peg with Clients from Diaco and Rosebud – SBP Cocktail Party at La Plage – Steve is in the background (again) chatting it up with other happy clients

What’s happening ?

For those of you who have never been here, we have a famous bar in the heart of Gustavia. Le Select was founded by Marius Stakelborough in 1949. This is THE place to go for drinks, meet friends, make new friends and have a Cheeseburger in Paradise while you are at it. I was fortunate to have been able to attend both Le Select’s 50th anniversary and 60th anniversary parties. Marius’ good friend Jimmy Buffett entertained us with a free concert on each occasion. Marius turned 90 last year. You would never know it. Most days he walks to Le Select to have a Ti Punch for which the bar is famous. It keeps him young, try it! One day in early December, I had been filming with a German TV crew and after we finished we met Marius there. He proceeded to jump behind the bar to concoct one of his Ti Punches for each of us. He has not lost his touch.

Shortly after that day Marius was missing from the scene. His brother Vianny cuts my husband Steve’s hair told him that Marius was in the hospital in Guadeloupe. He had problems with one of his eyes in the past. This time he had a detached retina in his good eye and spent the better part of 3 weeks recovering in Guadeloupe before being able to come back to St. Barth. To add insult to injury, he had fallen and hurt his back. He was confined to his house. He had plenty of visitors but it was very important that he get out of the house and keep his vitality. To me, the only way to do that would be to get him back to Le Select. So, that is what his friends and family decided to do. It was the best thing that could happen to him and to us. I stopped by to say Bonjour and he thanked me for putting his picture in the 25th Anniversary of St. Barth Properties edition of our Live Your Dream catalogue. (If you would like us to mail you one, please send a note with your mailing address to info@stbarth.com.) Welcome back, Marius!

Marius and Peg at Le Select while hubby Steve looks on February 5, 2014 (Photo by Ed Gudenas)

Marius and Peg at Le Select while hubby Steve looks on February 5, 2014 (Photo by Ed Gudenas)

What else?

You have witnessed it or are even guilty of doing it. What? Snapping pictures of the planes taking off and landing to and from our infamous little landing strip. I can’t tell you how many times I see people foolishly standing at the end of the runway with their cameras at-the ready to capture the scene. Many have to dive onto the sand to avoid being hit by a low flying plane.

Winair Jan 24, 2014

Winair Jan 24, 2014

Airport police often shoo people away.
Warning signs posted but they do not obey.
My photographer friend Ed shows all of you
Standing above the runway is hazardous too.

Ed was extremely lucky to survive with minor injuries. One more inch and no more pictures from the very talented Ed Gudenas. His coffee table book is full of gorgeous St. Barth photos so I am very happy to have him around to take more. Please be careful. I want all of you to be around for a long time too.

Peg with Ed at the Normandie hotel's cocktail party 6 days after the near fatal acciident - Lookin' good Ed!

Peg with Ed at the Normandie hotel’s cocktail party 6 days after the near fatal accident – Lookin’ good Ed!

The Ultimate St. Barth Christmas Gift to Put Under the Tree

Friday, December 20th, 2013

SURPRISE HER/HIM WITH A LAST MINUTE TRIP TO PARADISE

You’ve surfed the web, you’ve pounded the pavement but you just can’t seem to find the perfect gift to give to your loved one, friend(s) or family. This time of year can be quite stressful because you have so many things to do in such a short period of time. You are tired, you have worked hard at your job all year long, it’s cold outside for most of you and you are already tired of shoveling snow, scraping off your windshield and slipping on black ice. YOU DESERVE A VACATION IN ST. BARTH! So why not reserve a villa for a January getaway and surprise your significant other(s) by gift wrapping it and putting it under the tree?

Here I am in beautiful St. Barth looking out at the view as I type and thinking about all of you and how great it would be if you could join me down here. So I did a little research and came up with some nice options.

Would you like to stay directly on St. Jean Beach and have a swimming pool too? Villa Crystal Dream has a 7 night opening January 09-16, 2014! It has 3 bedrooms so you can surprise 5 people or just travel as a twosome and pay less money. (Choose your bedroom and the other two would just be locked off. You still get to use the whole rest of the house.)

Villa Crystal Dream

Villa Crystal Dream

Are you looking for a romantic gift for you and someone very special? Villa Blue Diamond is the perfect choice. It is brand new, has a gorgeous infinity pool, a fantastic view and every techno amenity you can imagine. It has availability January 05-18, 2014.

Villa Blue Diamond

Villa Blue Diamond

If Blue Diamond’s price is a stretch, we have Villa Diaco which sits on the highest peak of St. Barth. The view is incredible. You can reserve it between January 06 and 18, 2014.

Villa Diaco

Villa Diaco

The luxurious Villa Noé is a perfect villa for one or two couples. Listen to the sound of the surf or better yet go surfing! You can walk to the path that leads you down to that special spot where the serious surfers go. You may end up surfing with Jimmy Buffett! Villa Noé is available between Jan 03 and 17, 2014.

Villa Noé

Villa Noé

One or two couples could also enjoy the less expensive Villa Bet Yam with two equal king bedrooms and is even closer to the surfing area. It’s all yours between January 13 and 29, 2014.

Villa Bet Yam

Villa Bet Yam

Do you prefer to be closer to Gustavia and Gouverneur Beach? Book the luxurious Villa Mer Soleil between January 05 and 12, 2014 and make your dream come true. The sunsets from here are spectacular.

Villa Mer Soleil

Villa Mer Soleil

Do you want to splurge? Stay in the top-of-the line three bedroom Villa Méli Mélo between January 05 and 15, 2014 and enjoy sensational views of St Jean from the front and Saline from the back. St. Jean beach is a 2 minute drive away.

Villa Méli Mélo

Villa Méli Mélo

Both Villa Mer Soleil and Villa Méli Mélo are part of our Grand Cru collection offering you extra services. To gather more information on any of the above gift suggestions, please call -1-800-421-3396 or +1-508-528-7727 or email reservations@stbarth.com. If you decide you want to purchase your gift after hours or over the weekend, email me directly and I will do my best to start the reservation process for you.

See you next month!

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

Julia’s Trip Report for SBH June 2013

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Bonjour!

On occasion, I mention that the St. Barth Properties team members travel to the island quite often in order to inspect and re-inspect our villas and hotels so as to ensure that each and everyone one of you receive the best service and advice when planning your dream vacation to St. Barth.

Once you have chosen your accommodation, then what happens? You hear from our super-friendly and very well-informed U.S. Concierge, Julia Hurd who is at-the-ready to make any and all arrangements including car rentals, air charters, transfers, private chef bookings, restaurant reservations, snorkeling trips, massages, private yoga lessons, babysitters etc. You name it – Julia will do it for you. And, once you are on St. Barth our Concierge in our St. Barth office, Magda Votava takes over.

In order to make recommendations Julia must also travel to St. Barth. Here is her trip report:

Julia’s trip report June 5, 2013 through June 13, 2013.

On June 5 I reported for work – on St. Barth – and I assure you it’s a pretty awesome place to work! As the St. Barth Properties US-based Concierge, my regular island visits are critical to serving our clients well and (shhh) lots of fun for me too! This year was no exception. I was excited to see Magda, our on-island Concierge. She is my counterpart and we are in daily communication by phone, email and IM so it’s great to spend “real time” together and she was a great help in fulfilling my mission – catching up on all the new places to dine on the island and all of the activities that I recommend to our clients.

Photo of me with Magda

Photo of me with Magda

I wanted to experience the Voyager Ferry from St. Martin to St. Barth as it’s an alternative to flying and we often have requests for that option. And as I frequently do for our clients, I booked a transfer with Easyway VIP Service from St. Maarten Airport (SXM) to the ferry dock. They were waiting with smiles in the transit area, handled my luggage and drove me to the ferry dock. Their name, Easy Way VIP says it all and I highly recommend them. The best way to travel is to have Easyway VIP Service assist you through SXM airport whether or not you are flying or taking the ferry to St. Barth.

My ride to the ferry was waiting for us as we exited the airport

My ride to the ferry was waiting for us as we exited the airport

Easyway VIP Team in Sint Maarten from left to right Jeffrey, Leslie, James and Shawn

Easyway VIP Team in Sint Maarten from left to right Jeffrey, Leslie, James and Shawn

Once we arrived into the port of Gustavia and after having settled in at the villa, my first stop was Andy’s Hideaway to join colleagues Peg Walsh, Kathy Schlitzer and Julie Nally for pizza. It’s a first-night-on-the-island tradition. They changed up the menu a bit but I was glad to see they were serving my favorite pizza mushroom and ham. Delish!

The week was filled with meetings but my agenda also called for experiencing some spas. I had a facial at Venus Institut, located in Gustavia; they offer a full menu of services. The owner Anne Picard assessed my skin and then I was treated to one of the most relaxing experiences, I ever had. It was just what a concierge or any island vacationer needs… And I was glowing when I left! Contact me and I will be happy make your appointment(s) for any of their services. juliahurd@stbarth.com.

Magda and I also booked a spa & lunch package at the Manapany Hotel’s Spa Payot. Sophie was my massage therapist and she was just the best. A full body massage followed by lunch at the hotel restaurant for 80 euro per person was exactly what I needed. Magda and I both had the Caesar Salad for a starter and I followed that with a big bowl of pasta with red pepper ragu. Yummo. Magda loved her spaghetti and meatballs.

Like everyone else, I love the restaurants on St. Barth and this trip I dined at Santa Fé, Dð Brazil, L’Esprit, La Table de Jules, Les Bananiers, Andy’s and for lunch, La Gloriette.

My lunch at La Gloriette, the Mahi Mahi

My lunch at La Gloriette, the Mahi Mahi

For my accommodations I was lucky enough to stay in two beautiful villas with stunning views. I divided my time between Villa Valentina, a beautiful four bedroom villa located in Pointe Milou and Villa Belle Bague a warm and inviting 4 bedroom villa located in Colombier.

From the moment I opened the beautiful large wooden door at Villa Valentina I felt as though a Garden of Eden awaited me. The large Buddha Fountain welcomed me to this incredible villa. The living room is fully screened, so a refreshing breeze was always swirling as I sat on the sofa and gazed out at the large pool and fantastic sea view. The bedrooms are spacious and lovely with large bathrooms and comfy beds. The pool area offers a wonderful pergola with a large sunken dining table. The property is large enough to host a great party amongst the luscious gardens that this villa offers. Villa Valentina is perfect for families or just a romantic getaway for two.

Villa Valentina gardens

Villa Valentina gardens

Villa Belle Bague also had an incredible feel from the moment I walked through the door. It is such a warm and inviting villa. Stop at the fully stocked bar, make yourself a cold cocktail and enjoy the beautiful views. It boasts a magnificent fit-for-a-chef kitchen which is perfect for me because I love to cook! The pool has a fountain, which at night has several color options, blue, white, yellow, green and even Disco. The bedrooms are elegant with 4-poster beds fitted with top-of-the-line linens and en suite bathrooms. Each bedroom has instructions on the use of the satellite TV; I found this to be extremely helpful. On top of it all, there’s a mini-gym for those who like to maintain their fitness routine while on vacation.

Villa Belle Bague bar

Villa Belle Bague bar

Villa Belle Bague is very accommodating for families as it has all of the beach accessories, such as sand toys, floats, umbrellas and beach chairs. Oh and that view! On a clear day take a look through the binoculars that are conveniently hanging in the kitchen and look at St. Martin as well as the beautiful boats sailing by. Once you arrive it will be very difficult to leave this wonderful villa.

Villa Belle Bague kitchen

Villa Belle Bague kitchen

Both Villa Valentina and Villa Belle Bague are just perfect for either a girlfriends getaway a couples retreat or a family vacation.

All in all it was a wonderful trip and after 6 years of working for St. Barth Properties, I have made some wonderful friends on the island and it was great to see them all and say “Bonjour”.

Guest Blog St Barth Properties St. Barth Specialist Kathy Schlitzer’s Trip Report June 2013

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Steve and I left St. Barth May 8 to attend several family graduations; I have made two trips back to paradise in between. I was going to write a blog about the family milestones but I figured that was way off-topic and I didn’t want to bore you. I just got back from vacationing in France where I took most of the family to celebrate.

Today’s blog is a Guest Blog written by our St. Barth Specialist, Kathy Schlitzer. Enjoy!

Kathy Schlitzer

Kathy Schlitzer

I often ask clients what it is that brings them back to St Barth year after year. Certainly they travel to other parts of the world as well, but they say their annual time in St Barth is sacred. They tell me it’s the only place they can truly relax in their hectic world. They love their daily routine that may include picking up fresh croissants and a baguette at the local bakery, reading and napping around the pool or on a favorite beach, a long lunch (preferably with feet in the sand) and no one hovering with the check, and dinner in or out, usually decided at the last minute. Actually they say most everything is decided at the last minute! No plans, no rush, no stress.

Having just returned from my semi-annual working trip I didn’t exactly have that experience but I’ve been to St Barth on vacation in the past and can corroborate. It’s best to go to St Barth often and without a list of things to do, if you’re coming to relax just chill and let it happen.

I stayed at two amazing villas this time. My colleague, our US concierge Julia Hurd, was with me all 8 nights, and the St Barth Properties President, Peg Walsh, for the first 4 nights. First stop – Villa Valentina, located on the windward side of Pointe Milou you can always count on a really nice breeze. We left the sliders open when we were there, three of us sitting around on our computers – if you have to work the breeze is very welcome. Valentina has the most interesting entrance, an amazing Balinese wooden door opens into a lobby with an ornate antique ceiling and both door and ceiling were shipped from Bali when the villa was built – the sound of a fountain and a Buddha complete the feeling of serenity! Very unique – very cool. The house was comfortable and the view is amazing.

Villa Valentina Balinese wooden door

Villa Valentina Balinese wooden door

Villa Valentina lobby with Balinese ceiling

Villa Valentina lobby with Balinese ceiling

After 4 nights at Valentina we were reluctant to leave but off we went to Villa Belle Bague in Colombier. Belle Bague is also a 4 bedroom villa with an amazing view and comfortable indoor and outdoor space. It too has a consistent breeze and Julia and I spent all our down time on the comfy couches on the deck. After touring the villa with the manager, both of us commented on the outstanding amenities included in this villa – the kitchen is a chef’s dream, every pot, pan, serving dish, cutlery, stemware, appliance and cooking gadget was there. Clearly the owner spends time at his villa and wants to be comfortable – happily the renters reap the benefits too. I could picture a large dinner party on the deck with candles and stars and the sound of the fountain and soft music in the background.

Villa Belle Bague deck

Villa Belle Bague deck

The bedrooms are mostly equal and all have television with cable and Hopper (a DVR for Dish customers), DVD – and WIFI router. WIFI reception was excellent and watching movies on my bedroom television put me to sleep after a long day. There wasn’t a thing we could think of that was missing. Unfortunately the weather turned cloudy so my personal pictures don’t do the villa justice but this is a very special villa. Did I mention the large, heated (in winter) pool with fountain!

Villa Belle Bague pool

Villa Belle Bague pool

From personal experience I highly recommend both Villa Valentina and Villa Belle Bague for families or couples.

I saw many villas during my stay, too many to mention here, but I visited several that are new to us and notable. Our two new villas on Flamands Beach – Micela and La Sirène are a wonderful option for those looking for beach front villas. Colibris is a new studio villa tucked away in Camaruche and perfect for honeymooners. La Côte Champagne in Petit cul de sac has 4 bedrooms, a huge pool, stunning view and connecting bedrooms. I can see either couples or families with kids enjoying this villa. I saw several new luxury villas that were over the top amazing – notably Villa Les Étoiles in Pointe Milou. This villa was designed to capture both sunrise and sunset and the view takes your breath away.

When I visit villas I picture the type of client I would recommend for the villa based on layout, location and amenities, for Les Étoiles I could see couples or family enjoying this villa for many reasons. For instance when I entered the chef’s kitchen with the large island I could picture an evening with a chef, a cooking class while sipping a good wine, dining al fresco under the stars. That is St Barth!

Villa Les Étoiles kitchen

Villa Les Étoiles kitchen

I could go on and on about the villas I saw, the meals I enjoyed, and the people I met but I’d better get back to work. Au revoir St Barth, à la prochaine fois.

My stay at Villa Valentina and Le Select’s Marius Stakelborough’s 90th Birthday

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

I went back to St. Barth for 4 days 2 weeks ago so that I could work on our next Live Your Dream catalogue and inspect a few more villas. I just came back from another 4 day trip that I specifically planned in order to meet with some travel agents from Ireland who work in an agency that specializes in villas and have clients who want to enjoy our very unique tiny island, so I lined up a bunch of villas that we could visit together. Coincidentally St. Barth Specialist Kathy Schlitzer and our US office Concierge Julia Hurd were traveling on the same day I was (June 5). I arrived ahead of Julia and Kathy because they had opted to take the ferry in order to give you their take on the experience. We were staying at Villa Valentina in Pointe Milou. As soon as I pushed open the carved wooden door I knew we would love staying there. The rear courtyard has Balinese décor with a pagoda structure. Long settees flank the shady area and a smiling Buddha fountain that is lit at night adds a soothing touch.

St Barth Properties

St Barth Properties St Barth Concierge Magda Votava confers with our US office Concierge Julia Hurd

I entered the fully screened beautifully furnished living room and was captivated by the view of the gorgeous pool that seemed to overflow into the deep blue sea beyond. There is huge new deck with lots of sunbeds and a built-in sunken gazebo with a big table making outdoor dining a must. The villa has 4 bedrooms; I opted to stay in the Master (Hey, I arrived first, after all). It has a wonderful king bed, en suite bath with a rain shower, US Satellite TV and sliders that open to the deck and the view. When Kathy and Julia arrived, they looked at the other 3 bedrooms. One has a king sleigh bed and en suite bath and is located down a spiral staircase or can also be accessed from the lower parking area. Another king en suite bedroom is located just off of the other side of the living and dining areas while the 4th en suite bedroom is accessed from the deck and offers the option of having either a king or twin beds. All of the bedrooms offer US satellite TV. If you would like to stay in Villa Valentina, please email reservations@stbarth.com. You will love it!

Villa Valentina view

Villa Valentina view

Villa Valentina Living Room

Villa Valentina Living Room

After unpacking, per tradition, we went to our favorite first night restaurant, Andy’s Hideaway where we had a delicious meal followed by some rhum vanille and headed down to Gustavia. Lucky us! June 5 was Marius Stakelborough’s 90th birthday and the all day party at Le Select was still going on when we arrived. The place was packed, the booze was flowing and a band was playing. I plied my way through the crowd to try to find Marius. It was pretty late (10:00 pm) so I wasn’t sure if he would still be there seeing as the party started at 11:30 am that day. I bumped into a friend of mine who brought me into the area in back of the bar and voilà there he was! 90 years old? You would never know it. He is so active and cheerful; he walks to Le Select everyday and I think that his daily sip of Le Select’s famous Ti Punch has certainly helped him stay and feel so young. In addition to the islanders, Marius has so many friends from all over the world; a whole bunch of them traveled all the way to St. Barth just to be at his party. He welcomed me with open arms and I gave him a big Happy Birthday kiss.

Marius

Kathy took this photo on Marius’ 90th birthday, June 5 2013. Check out the picture on the wall. Recognize anyone?

I had a successful four days which included a lunch at the Santa Fe restaurant with everyone. No one passed up the dessert even though we had more inspections ahead of us.

Santa Fe

Julia, Magda, Kathy, Peg, and Irish travel agents Alex, David, Linda, Niamh enjoy a Santa Fe lunch. The Langouste Club was a big hit.

Dame Blanche at the Santa Fe

Dame Blanche at the Santa Fe

Fondant au Chocolat (Warm Chocolate Cake with a runny chcoolate center) at the Santa Fe

Fondant au Chocolat (Warm Chocolate Cake with a runny chcoolate center) at the Santa Fe

L'Ananas Frais (Fresh Pineapple) at the Santa Fe

L’Ananas Frais (Fresh Pineapple) at the Santa Fe

I am back on Cape Cod but Kathy and Julia are still in St. Barth so that Kathy can finish her inspections and Julia can attend more meetings with Magda Votava our on-island Concierge as well as with all of our partners in order to enhance your experiences while you are vacationing in St. Barth. Of course she had to try some services for herself and raved about the massage and facial that she had at Venus Institut in Gustavia. Kathy has clients who are staying in Steve Martin’s Villa Au Soleil at the moment and she told me this morning that they invited them over for drinks last night and really loved seeing them as well as that exceptional view. They have already reserved the villa for next year.

I am heading out again tonight. Stayed tuned to know where it will be…