Posts Tagged ‘Anne-Cécile Bedford’

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.

St. Barth in July 2015 – A trip report by Anne-Cécile Bedford

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Finishing off with the staff trips to St. Barth during the spring and summer of 2015, I am pleased to share Anne-Cécile Bedford’s trip report. Anne has been a St. Barth Specialist with St. Barth Properties for 16 years. Anne is a native of France who came to the US to improve her English by taking a job as an au pair, and then decided to settle here. We feel blessed to have her as a part of the team; she adds that delightful “French flavor” to the mix.

Enjoy,

Peg

St. Barth in July 2015 – A trip report by Anne-Cécile Bedford

The island of St Barth is a wonderful place to visit in the summer, to escape the crowded beaches in the US and find a warm dry tropical climate and gentle breezes. You can let yourself be seduced by a hotel stay or decide to stay in a private villa and take advantage of the low season rates. If you already have summer plans, do not worry; We extend those attractive rates until December 15.

After sending my children off to France, Brittany, where they enjoy reconnecting with family and the French way of life, I packed my stuff to travel to that special French destination that I like to call “Home”; the island of St Barth where many of you have traveled before and will return again. Yes, everybody falls in love in St Barth and you will find yourself hooked on it too!

So, I set myself up at the glamorous Taïwana hotel located on the beautiful white sandy beach of Flamands where couples can find privacy in a beachfront suite with Jacuzzi, while families may opt for the Pearl Suite composed of 3 bedrooms with private pool or the 4 bedroom penthouse located on top of the hotel. Regardless of where you are staying, you will be welcomed by a wonderful staff for an ultimate St Barth experience! From the fantastic food at their sea side restaurant to the sexy pool and romantic beach, it will be the vacation of your life. Bring your lover, family, children; everybody is welcomed at the 5 Star Taïwana hotel and don’t forget to check their fashionable clothing boutique “Poupette”.

Villa Pearl, 3 bedroom suite with private pool

Pearl, 3 bedroom suite with private pool at the Taïwana hotel

If you feel adventurous and want to discover some of the hidden beaches in St Barth, I recommend walking from Taïwana to the end of the road at “Petite Anse” through the local neighborhood of Flamands and hike along the coastline where you will witness memorable panoramic views until you reach the gorgeous beach of Colombier. Bring a bottle of water, your picnic, snorkeling gear and enjoy the beauty of the deep blue ocean. You will come across some friendly tropical fish and other types of sea creatures. If you are up to a good workout, hike back up to Colombier (It is a 25 minute steep hike) and take a pause to admire the panoramic view from the observatory…then walk back down! Hydrate and good luck!

View of Colombier Beach from the top

View of Colombier Beach from the top

After two nights at hotel Taïwana, I moved next door to the new Cheval Blanc Hotel (ex “Isle de France”) where I stayed for one night in a beach room overlooking the pool and the ocean. What a treat! Their beach rooms are so spacious, comfortable and beautiful. It was a short stay but I was happy to reconnect with the staff at the hotel and appreciate the new special amenities offered in the room – 43 amenities total – from stationery paper to beauty products and flip flops.

Cheval Blanc Hotel

Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France Hotel

My numerous villa visits included some exciting new properties: villa Infinity in Gustavia, Villa Orion, Why Not, Sagittaire in St Jean, villas Joy and Jade in Marigot, villa Chiavari in Lurin, villa Brume de Mer in Flamands.

I also revisited some properties I had not seen in a while such as villa Camaruche where I enjoyed sipping cocktails with the owner and his family while the sun set.

Villa Camaruche at sunset!

Villa Camaruche at sunset!

Villa Inspection “Anastasia”, Gouverneur

Villa Inspection “Anastasia”, Gouverneur

While I was driving through Lorient I stopped at the old “Autour du Rocher” or what is left of it after it burned to the ground in 1991. It used to be the place to gather and party all night long and it became famous with Jimmy Buffet’s lyrics; “Some say it was a planet, some say it was a rock”. Well, the news today is that a 5 star hotel composed of 30 rooms or 24 bungalows was granted permission to be built on that rock in Lorient. Will the old ghost of “Autour du Rocher” let that happen or haunt the place forever ??? Stay tuned…

View of Lorient beach from “Autour du Rocher”

View of Lorient beach from “Autour du Rocher”

“Autour du Rocher” ruins

“Autour du Rocher” ruins

I also took the time to stop by the Art Gallery located off the hill on the way to Camaruche called “Modernisme St. Barth” which has been open since 2004 and displays paintings of Miro, Picasso, Cocteau, Matisse, Art deco furniture, Chinese archeological tribal art, ethnic precious jewelry from tribes in Thailand and an amazing collection of opium pipes. Check it out! It is interesting to find those treasures on St Barth.

I moved a third time after my hotel stays into a villa this time, located on the highest point of Vitet, where you feel like you are sitting on top of the world ! Yes, the view from villa Royal Palm will take your breath away. I loved my morning breakfast by the pretty pool and enjoyed cooling off in that pool after a day of visits and a run through the hills of Vitet. The sunsets at night were incredible and so peaceful. The property is very nicely furnished with air conditioning throughout and features 2 bedrooms, a comfortable indoor and outdoor living and dining space and a gas barbeque to dine “al fresco” while enjoying the stunning view. Villa Royal Palm is a special place to share with someone special!

Villa Royal Palm in Vitet

Villa Royal Palm in Vitet

Of course my trip to St. Barth would not be complete without an amazing culinary experience!!

The Tamarin restaurant has reopened its doors and it is better than it ever was! When entering the restaurant, you will be greeted by two very colorful caged parrots near the tall, majestic Tamarind tree. You will walk your way through an enchanted tropical garden made of Lily ponds and small palm trees before choosing a table in the main part of the restaurant or tucked away in a more private setting. If you are bringing children they will get entertained by the foos table and ping pong table located in the garden.

Tamarin, Saline

Tamarind tree

Tamarin, Saline

Tamarin, Saline

I recommend for lunch the delicious Thai Salad with prawns and ginger dressing followed by a “Café Gourmand” before being tempted by the complimentary house Rhum. Did you know that the Tamarind tree produces a yummy fruit hidden in a shell? Try their house cocktail called Tamarin and get a taste of the actual fruit. It is Tasty! For the ladies, don’t forget to check the clothing and jewelry boutique “Gipsea”! You will find unique handmade pieces influenced by the African culture from Kenya. Check that skirt I bought there!

Thai Salad with prawns and ginger dressing

Thai Salad with prawns and ginger dressing

Dessert at Tamarin

Dessert at Tamarin

The streets of Gustavia were quite lively at night and jamming to the beat of the “St Barth Jam Music Festival” celebrating its 10 year anniversary. Five days of free concert s on the harbor brought many local families and tourists to this wonderful event. They played different types of music; creole, reggae, zook and salsa. I got to see “Steel Pulse”, a reggae band from the UK that was famous in France in the 90‘s. The majority of the island was right next to me enjoying this fun atmosphere.

“Steel Pulse” on stage

“Steel Pulse” on stage

Voilà….I am now back in the office and I can’t wait to speak to you and help you arrange your next trip to beautiful St Barth. Call me at 1-508-440-9884 or email me at anne@stbarth.com

A bientôt…..

Anne-Cécile Bedford

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