Posts Tagged ‘Hotel Taïwana’

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

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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.

Will Kids Love St. Barth?

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

It’s Julie Nally’s turn to share her recent trip report with you. Julie has been a St. Barth Specialist with St. Barth Properties for 18 years. When she began her career with us, she had not yet had children. Over the years, she was blessed with two very nice boys. If you are considering going to St. Barth with your family and have younger children, Julie gives some insight on what a family trip to St. Barth can be like.
I hope you enjoy it!

Sunny regards,
Peg

Will Kids Love St. Barth?

By Julie Nally

“Will my kids love St. Barth?” is a common question I get from potential clients planning their next family vacation. Well, the answer has always been “yes” for a variety of reasons. However, now I can speak from my own experience, the answer is an even bigger “YES!”

I just returned from my latest island villa and hotel inspection trip. This trip was different than any other because I was not traveling alone or with a friend but with 5 kids! That’s a “busload.” The age range was from 10 to 21 years old and included my two sons, Jack, 10, Keith, 13 and my three nieces ages 14, 16 and 21.

The initial interest in planning this trip was sparked by my son Keith. He was curious about St. Barth and always asking if he could come with me when I went for work. He was determined to be on the plane to St. Barth with me. I granted his wish and it had a domino effect for all the other kids.

We flew from Boston to San Juan on Jet Blue and then took Tradewind Aviation from San Juan directly to St Barth. The Tradewind Aviation flight is ideal for anyone traveling to the island. Convenient, quick, and comfortable – a good start to any trip.

Boarding our Tradewind Flight - Jack, Julie, Ava, Haley, Lindsey, Keith

Boarding our Tradewind Flight – Jack, Julie, Ava, Haley, Lindsey, Keith

After arriving, it was on to Villa Eclipse in Camaruche. This villa with its long lap pool, amazing view, privacy, and oversized indoor and outdoor living spaces was the perfect choice for our group. The US Satellite TV in both the living room and master bedroom didn’t hurt either. The NBA Championship games were on and I have two sports enthusiasts for sons! The owner of Villa Eclipse also owns the amazing Villa Wings located in St Jean and the convenient condominium Wahoo in Gustavia. Three different locations, three very different properties but all top-notch villas that offer great amenities for the appropriate clientele.

On Top of the World - Ava and Haley - Villa Eclipse

On Top of the World – Ava and Haley – Villa Eclipse

After some refreshing pool time, we were treated to quite a surprise – an amazing fireworks display that lit up the skies. Lucky for us there was a large high-end wedding on the island and as it turned out Villa Eclipse had the best seat in the house. The kids were so excited!

We were treaated to a Fireworks display on our very first night.

We were treated to a Fireworks display on our very first night.

After, we left for a casual first-night dinner at L’Isoletta in Gustavia. This chic little bistro offers the best gourmet pizza slices on earth and outdoor dining on comfy couches and candlelight. We ended the evening with my niece giving a toast and that started a fun tradition.

Saturday and Sunday were filled with swimming and lounging at the villa and beach exploration (Saline on Saturday and Flamands Beach by the hotel Taïwana on Sunday). We had dinner at L’Entracte in Gustavia and JoJo Burger in Lorient and kept the nightly toast tradition going. My niece Ava gave it at L’Entracte and my son Jack at JoJo Burger. I also enjoyed some needed “girl time” Saturday night with two of my nieces Lindsey and Haley, at one of my favorite local bars Sayolita. It’s owned by two free-spirited St. Barth surfers Daniel and Sylvain and the girls loved the vibe and the “chill” atmosphere.

First ones in the pool every morning - Ava and Keith

First ones in the pool every morning – Ava and Keith

The absolute highlight of the weekend was our jet ski tour around the island on Sunday afternoon. Wow! None of us had ever jet ski’d on the open ocean before and what an adrenaline rush it was. Ninety minutes of pure fun, gorgeous scenery, and lots of laughs. Jeremy at Ouanalou was our guide and he was terrific.

Come Monday morning it was time for me to start my villa visits. I felt the best spot to get the kids situated was at St Jean Beach. They could watch the planes come and go, hang out at La Plage, the beach restaurant at the Tom Beach hotel, and walk to local shops. To my surprise, my son Jack opted to come with me for the day as opposed to beaching-it with the rest of the crew. He wanted to get an inside look at these properties he had only seen on our website before. Let me tell you, it was an absolute pleasure having him with me as my “little assistant.” His eye for detail, knowledge of all the technical gadgets (I had never heard of a “launchport” before.), and genuine interest in discussing the properties after seeing them was a nice surprise. He accompanied me again on Tuesday. I now wish he could be with me on every inspection trip!

I knew I wanted to capture this family vacation on film in some form or another. How could I not take advantage of this opportunity of our all being together in paradise?! Of course, there was collectively hundreds of selfies taken by the kids but I wanted something more. I made arrangements with island photographer, Chrystele Escure to come to the villa for a photo session. On Monday evening with cool music playing on the Bose surround system throughout the villa, we started what turned out to be a real (and fun, and exciting) photo shoot. Chrystele gave every person their time in the spotlight and a chance to be a “supermodel” – and captured their spirit. Seeing just how much fun everyone was having and the unique pictures that Chrystele was taking of us as a group and individually was priceless!

Chrystele getting ready for photoshoot with Julie

Chrystele getting ready for photoshoot with Julie

I highly recommend booking a photo shoot. It’s a fun and creative way to shed inhibitions and capture your time on St Barth. It’s a once in a lifetime experience! Just ask Julia or Magda, our concierges to arrange it for you.

Before our vacation together came to an end on Wednesday, the kids were able to get in a few more midnight swims at the villa, browse the shops in Gustavia, and enjoy their last delicious meal at Bar L’Oubli -followed by yummy gelato of course. I didn’t want to see them go because, of all the trips to the island, this was the one that brought me the most joy and happiness. I loved that they picked up on the true spirit of St Barth …the people, the beauty, and that “mysterious vibe” that floats in the air and puts a smile on your face. Anyone who has been to St. Barth knows exactly what I’m talking about.

Before they left on their Tradewind Flight back to San Juan, the girls and I recalled that classic movie Wizard of Oz we all know and love. However, instead of clicking ruby slippers, they were clicking summer sandals and flip flops thinking “There’s no place like St Barth…there’s no place like St Barth.”

Julie Nally

Julie Nally

Guest Blog – A working week in St. Barth

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Bonjour St. Barth Lovers,

Connie Walsh and her husband Michael came to St. Barth to visit us at the end of March. Connie is our St. Barth Properties marketing and travel industry consultant and has been with us for 10 years. Connie and I had work to do while Mike and my husband Steve enjoyed their daily routine of going to the bakery for their just-baked baguettes and a few pastries, grocery shopping and then preparing our lunches to put in the cooler just in case we could sneak a few hours in with them at the beach.

Today’s guest blog was written by Connie – Enjoy.

Sunny regards,
Peg

Connie Walsh – Trip Report

I’ve always looked forward to visiting sunny St. Barth but never more than this March. I’m from Boston and if that doesn’t prompt an “enough said”, the painful fact is, we suffered through a winter of record cold, howling winds and 110.6 inches of snow! Hubby in tow, I flew to St. Maarten and hopped on the “puddle-jumper” for a working trip in paradise. We joined St. Barth Properties’ President Peg Walsh – she and her husband are in residence for the season. Peg had set up a week’s stay for all of us at Villa Azur. We had a busy agenda planned with some time built in to relax a bit and enjoy the island’s charm, its gorgeous beaches and its world-class dining.

Villa Azur

Villa Azur

St. Barth’s balmy temperatures and tropical breezes never felt so good and within an hour of arriving at Villa Azur we were floating in the solar-heated infinity pool. Contemporary in style and décor the villa is nicely private with a terrace outside each of its three en suite bedrooms. A chic, spacious living room opens onto a covered alfresco dining terrace and adjacent sprawling pool deck. A bonus roof deck features a pavilion with a day bed perfect for a shaded snooze, and chaises for sunning. It’s one of the many spots from which to enjoy the panoramic view that embraces the sea and neighboring islands. The sunsets here are spectacular and observing the island tradition, we toasted the fiery sphere and our first night on the island with a chilled glass of crisp Sancerre. Ahh, St. Barth. Then we were off to meet friends for a seaside birthday celebration dinner at the Hotel Taïwana.

Villa Azur Living Room

Villa Azur Living Room

I love this villa’s Lurin location – just a short drive to Gustavia’s shops and boutiques and one of my favorite beaches – Gouverneur. We headed down one day with a picnic lunch and happily secured a spot beneath the entrance’s spreading sea grape tree. We swam, strolled and just sat enjoying all that undeveloped beauty. No wonder it’s the fave of oligarchs and local families alike.

Villa Azur is also just around the corner from one of my favorite restaurants, the perennially popular Santa Fe and so, of course we dined there. My husband’s go-to is the exquisitely prepared Dover sole; Me, I Iove almost everything on the menu and adored the gnocchi starter – delish with a gorgonzola cream sauce. I often end with the old-school classic dessert Peach Melba but always have to have a little taste when my companions order the profiteroles – shaped as swans.

Part of the job (no complaints) is assessing new restaurants and keeping updated on changes in ownerships, chefs and menus. We dined at the newly reopened harbor side Provença (formerly the Wall House) where they are doing a fine job focusing on dishes of France’s Provence region. Le Tamarin, on the road to Saline Beach, also reopened under new ownership and it’s worthy of all the buzz it’s garnering. The garden oasis setting is chic and so St. Barth-y. My deconstructed warm goat cheese salad tasted as divine as it looked. Saline Beach lovers – Le Tamarin is open for lunch and libations so consider a pre-or-post visit and they do a Sunday Brunch.

The deconstructed warm goat cheese appetizer at Le Tamarin

The deconstructed warm goat cheese appetizer at Le Tamarin

The only difficult aspect of spending a week in St. Barth is that there are always more than seven fabulous restaurants and it’s so hard to choose. We did get to include some of our favorites, Le Carré, with its sophisticated and eclectic menu and Thai food at Black Ginger – love their chicken curry.

A good portion of the days were busy with villa inspections including the new Ananda with its wow pool and meetings. We got all the history of the Moke and how and when these beloved vehicles will be reintroduced to the island. Fun! Stay tuned.

The Moke is back in St. Barth!

The Moke is back in St. Barth!

Happily, we worked in some beach time on Saturday afternoon at St. Jean and later secured a couple of empty bar stools and some cold Caribes at La Plage’s Pink Parrot bar. We made it just in time to observe the tail end of their Bikini Brunch – complete with pink plastic flamingos, bowls of Planters Punch, Jeroboams of rosé and loads of happy, dancing patrons. Woo – hoo.

A highlight of the trip was a Sunday afternoon catamaran excursion to Colombier Beach. Joined by some long-time clients we were a group of six and we couldn’t have had a more gorgeous day. Miguel, owner of St. Barth Sailor, was our captain – and crew. We set off at 1pm from the dock in Gustavia, drinks in hand – and in the cooler – Planteurs Punch, wine, soft drinks and icy cold beer. The 52 ft. Catamaran is sleek and luxurious with lots of room for lounging on deck (picture yourself – feet up on a built-in day bed) an air-conditioned cabin cum kitchenette and the all-important “head”. The beautiful and secluded Colombier Beach is only accessible by hiking or by boat. We chose the boat. Good choice.

After a delightful sail, we dropped anchor just off the beach and noodled about in those brilliant blue warm waters; some of us swam in and walked along the shore. Others relaxed on board and did some people and yacht watching while sipping rosé and noshing on gourmet goodies. Happily they saved some for the swimmers!

We anchored off of Colombier Beach and jumped into the gorgeous water with our noodles

We anchored off of Colombier Beach and jumped into the gorgeous water with our noodles

Our half day trip to Colombier included an open bar and delicious snacks

Our half day trip to Colombier included an open bar and delicious snacks

After a bit, we sailed on, mooring just off Shell Beach, popped open a bottle of Champagne and listened to Dõ Brazil’s DJ spinning tunes. What a great day. St. Barth Properties’ concierge team can book a variety of full and ½ day excursions for you. You’ll love it.

We made a late afternooon stop off of Shell Beach before returning to port

We made a late afternooon stop off of Shell Beach before returning to port

And so back to Boston and a little more snow. Looking forward to my next visit.

St. Barth Properties US office Concierge, Julia Hurd’s Trip Report

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Did you ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes that makes your trip to St. Barth so remarkable?

Here is one of the reasons:

Bonjour Everyone,

Julia Hurd

Julia Hurd

I hope that you had a very enjoyable summer. Today’s blog was written by our fabulous Concierge Julia Hurd from our US office. If you have not already had the pleasure of working with Julia, you will be very impressed when you do. Julia helps all of our clients arrange any services they may wish her to organize for them…car rentals and dinner reservations, private chef and spa services, babysitters, birthday parties etc. Basically, everything on a person’s wish list will magically be set up and ready upon arrival.

In order for Julia to accomplish this feat, traveling to St. Barth to touch base with our St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty office’s Concierge, Magda Votava and meet all of our service partners is a must.

Enjoy,
Peg

Julia’s Trip Report

by Julia Hurd
US Concierge, St Barth Properties

Kathy Schlitzer, one of our St. Barth Villa Specialists, and I travel well together and this trip was no exception. We departed Boston, MA with JetBlue direct to St. Maarten. Once we arrived Easyway VIP Service was waiting for us to assist us through the St. Maarten airport to the Voyager Ferry.

Photo of Easyway VIP Agents in SXM

Easyway VIP Agents in SXM

Once we arrived into St. Barth we headed off to the Hotel Taïwana and we had the most beautiful two bedroom Jade Suite with a private pool. We settled in after a long day of travel and Sunday woke up and walked the beach of Flamands. The hotel is stunning and everyone there was so generous and kind. I wish I could have stayed longer.

Monday morning I went to our office in Gustavia to start my work week with Magda, our on island concierge. We speak daily and it is nice to see her in person. My first order of business is to collect updated information of the new and exciting things that the island has to offer, so we headed off to the Tourist Office in Gustavia.

SBP Office in Gustavia

SBP Office in Gustavia

The island of St. Barth has so much to offer, each time I visit, I learn something new.

I was excited to dine at some new restaurants on the island: Black Ginger, Ocean and of course my all time favorite Santa Fé.

Here is my Dover Sole that I enjoyed at Santa Fe

Here is my Dover Sole that I enjoyed at Santa Fé

I love fish, so I heard that the grocery store in Lorient called L’Oasis now has a Fish market for those guests that want to sleep in and not meet the local fisherman in Gustavia to see what the daily catch is. I took a ride to check it out. WOW if you want to stay in one night and cook, then I would suggest taking a look at their beautiful array of fish. They have many choices and all are packed on ice to stay fresh.

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I wanted to take a ride around the island to explore, so Magda and I decided to take a little excursion in Grand Fond; many clients enjoy hiking to see the Washing Machine. Make sure you wear sneakers; no flip flops for this hike.

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We also took the hike to Fort Karl, 63 steps up to the most spectacular view overlooking Gustavia harbor on one side and Shell Beach on the other.

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After that Magda and I hopped in the car to explore; we came across some new friends on the road. I also saw some ponies at the stables in Gouverneur.

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After our adventure I headed to the beautiful villa Méli Mélo where I would stay until I departed. This villa has the most stunning views from the front and the back. The front view overlooks St. Jean, the sea and the planes landing over the mountain; the villa was provided with binoculars, so I took advantage of using them. It was amazing to see the planes land and take off. The rear view looks out to the beautiful water at Saline Beach.

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I was lucky to be on the island for our last cocktail party of the season held at La Plage on St Jean Beach, I was happy to meet so many of our clients that I talk to and assist in planning their dream vacations on St. Barth. It was nice to spend time getting to know them better and in person. It just so happened to be Magda’s birthday, so Kathy and I invited her and her beautiful daughter Valérie to join us for dinner.

It was, as always, sad to leave, but I had to get home to make sure that I could share all my adventures and new knowledge of St. Barth with all of you. Call me anytime. I love my job!

A bientôt, St. Barth.

My June 2014 stay at the “new” Hotel Taïwana and the annual St. Barth Properties Beachside Soirée

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Mark your calendars for November 14, 2014

I couldn’t stay away. After wintering in St. Barth I arrived back in the US and to my house on Cape Cod May 18. I went back to St. Barth June 17…I needed my fix. (Oh yes, and I desperately needed to see my hairdresser.) Connie Walsh, our marketing and travel industry consultant accompanied me this time because the main purpose of our trip was to gather information for our next Live Your Dream catalogue. (Connie and I have the same last name but we are not related. Everyone still thinks we are anyway.) We also inspected a couple of hotels and I added a fabulous villa to our portfolio (More on that in the July edition of our newsletter, Le Bulletin). We interviewed some very interesting people who will be featured in this year’s publication. I hope you enjoy the read.

We were very fortunate to have been invited to stay at the hotel Taïwana for three nights. We had stayed there when it first reopened under new management but it was before the renovation began. It was a lovely hotel but it was dated. The rooms were dark, had terracotta floors and old fashioned bathrooms. The hotel closed for Value Season last year and the rejuvenation began. What a difference a few months makes! Witnessing the transformation from a somber hotel to a cheerful resort was a real pleasure. The rooms and suites exude a casual elegance using a palette of grays and whites.

I stayed in the gorgeous Beachfront Suite with Jacuzzi (#3). It features a king bedroom with satellite TV, a separate living room with a desk area for my laptop, a second TV, a Nespresso machine and a complimentary mini bar filled with juices, sodas and beer. The en suite bath has a separate WC, a large rain head shower and a bathtub. The outdoor space boasts both dining and living areas on the terrace, while the sandy area has two chaises for sunning. Connie and I enjoyed our complimentary Continental Breakfast on my terrace. I was even able to walk right out to the beach from my front yard.

I walked out from my Beach Front Suite's private yard and took this early morning photo of gorgeous Flamands Beach. June is a wonderful time to visit St. Barth.

I walked out from my Beach Front Suite’s private yard and took this early morning photo of gorgeous Flamands Beach. June is a wonderful time to visit St. Barth.

Taiwana Beach Front Suite Bedroom 3

Taiwana Beach Front Suite Bedroom 3

Taiwana Beach Front Suite with Jacuzzi living room 3

Taiwana Beach Front Suite with Jacuzzi living room 3

Connie’s Ocean View Amber Suite (#4) was accessed by going up a couple of sets of stairs. This suite features a guest toilet off of the living room. This area also has the same amenities as mine did. The bedroom has a second TV and en suite bath. There is a terrace with an outdoor living area and a fabulous view.

Amber Ocean View Suite

Amber Ocean View Suite

Amber Ocean View Suite with outdoor living

Amber Ocean View Suite with outdoor living

The restaurant, Casa Taïwana is outstanding and is one of my favorite places to dine for both lunch and dinner. The setting overlooking the beach is incomparable and the food is delectable. Last year, the Casa Taïwana reopened just in time for my 25th anniversary party in November. The celebration was such a success that I rebooked the venue for this year’s St. Barth Properties Beachside Soirée. (We have graduated from a “Bash” to a “Soirée”!)

2013 Beachside Bash:

Our St. Barth office Concierge Magda Votava is the coordinator of this annual event and does a fantastic job. Magda, Connie and I were scheduled to have a lunch time “tasting” with restaurant manager Alexandra Ruiz so that we could select the menu. We tasted, and tasted and tasted for most of the afternoon. I had to ask them to slow down in between courses. Keeping our dinner reservation for that evening became less and less likely with each and every delicious morsel that we sampled. Canapés such as Sesame Tuna Tataki and Langouste Tartare with orange and vanilla dressing were delicious as was one of the main course’s options a savory roasted Lamb chop with thyme and garlic gravy sauce.

St Barth Properties on island Concierge Magda Votava (left rear), Casa Flamands restaurant manager Alexandra Ruiz (left front) join Connie (right front) and me at the tasting

St Barth Properties on island Concierge Magda Votava (left rear), Casa Flamands restaurant manager Alexandra Ruiz (left front) join Connie (right front) and me at the tasting

Magda looks over the menu suggestions for the stations I plan on having at our SBP Beachside Soirée

Magda looks over the menu suggestions for the stations I plan on having at our SBP Beachside Soirée

Three and a half hours later we were stuffed but had successfully chosen our menu. We’ll begin with cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres followed by appetizers, a large selection of main courses followed by dessert and dancing to tunes spun by the very talented and popular DJ Yo-One Sutter. The famous singer and guitar player Soley will be serenading us, too. Mark your calendars and book your accommodation with us to include the evening of November 14, 2014 so that you can join other wonderful clients of St. Barth Properties, our villa owners and our hotel partners for a fun evening. If you have not already made your reservation with us, contact reservations@stbarth.com or 1-800-421-3396. You will then receive an invitation from us. We will be honored and thrilled to see you there.

Canapé tasting for the annual St. Barth Properties Beachside Soirée

Canapé tasting for the annual St. Barth Properties Beachside Soirée

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

November in St. Barth – Trip Report by Connie Walsh

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

I am happily back on St. Barth and am based here for at least the next 5 months (poor me). Last month I was also here doing some villa inspections, spending time with friends and hosting our 25th Anniversary party celebrating the silver anniversary of when I founded St. Barth Properties. My colleague Connie Walsh was with me and I am pleased to share her trip report with you as a Guest Blog.

Connie Walsh’s Trip Report November 2013

Connie Walsh

Connie Walsh

One of the things I love best about the island of St. Barth is the charming small-town ordinary-ness of its daily life. It both belies and yet compliments the TMZ-like Jay Z & Beyoncé-ness which reaches its star-studded zenith over the Christmas and New Year holidays. But even then, residents, which include many whose families have called St. Barth home for generations, are out and about, stopping in at the post office, buying a baguette or grabbing a burger in Gustavia’s Le Select. And if they meet Mariah Carey popping out of a shop, Dave Letterman jogging the hills or are seated next to Hollywood’s latest starlet in a restaurant, it’s all in a St. Barth day.

Come August and September, many of the hotels and some restaurants shutter for an annual closing period. It’s a quiet time and one that many vacationers love, for just that reason. Come October, everything begins re-opening up with great energy. Hotels sport a range of renovations, announce new chefs and menus and everyone, residents and visitors alike are excited to see what new bistros and boutiques the season will bring.

I’ve been traveling to St.Barth in November for a number of years now with the St. Barth Properties (SBP) team for the pre-season inspection trip. I find the enthusiasm as tangible as the whiff of the scent of fresh paint. This year I added in some vacation time. Joining SBP’s president, my client and friend Peg Walsh. Together with our husbands and other friends, we shared the delightful Villa Nirvana. It was perfect for 3 couples, like many villas in the portfolio, its en suite bedrooms are privately situated and the poolside outdoor living spaces are designed to gather and socialize and take in a spectacular view. And we did.

Villa Nirvana

Villa Nirvana

My husband and I loved the Lurin location in part due to its proximity to Gouverneur Beach, one of our favorites. We could jump in the car and head down for a morning swim and be back in no time for a 2nd helping of French pastries. (Our St. Barth guilty pleasure.) The week went by all too quickly, a shopping trip combined with burgers, ice cold Caribs, and people-watching at the legendary Le Select; picnic lunches and swimming at St. Jean Beach where, end of day, we’d stroll down to La Plage’s Pink Parrot bar for a late-afternoon glass of rosé and a lovely day at the Christopher. The Pt. Milou hotel offers Day Passes and 80 euros per person will reserve you a plush poolside sunbed, umbrella and towel. The seafront pool here is the island’s largest and just gorgeous. A welcome cocktail and lunch at the feet-in-the-sand Mango is included. Spa aficionados can upgrade the Pass to include treatments at the hotel’s Spa Sisley. Check-in the with SBP’s concierge team to reserve the Pass.

Christopher pool

Christopher pool

The gang at the Christopher

The gang at the Christopher

And now on to the restaurant round-up. Our tradition is to have our first night on-the-island dinner at Andy’s Hideaway. The beloved old shanty with a view of the parking lots has been spiffed up. Brightly painted, plus new chairs and tables give it a contemporary look. Dare we say très chic? The thin crust pizza is still fabulous and the vanilla rhum, yummy. Andy belted out Sweet Caroline as he is wont to do and the crowd joined in. In short, it’s as much fun as ever.

Santa Fe has long been on my must-dine list (I always finish with the old-school Peach Melba.) and I’ve now added Le Carre Lounge. I love the way owner Franck Mathevet describes the preparations of each dish, with fingers aflutter like he is actually feeling the ingredients and I love everything on the menu starting with the truffle oil popcorn. Recommendations: the Gnocchi Maison “al pesto” and the crispy chicken rolls with ginger and lime.

Le Carre Lounge

Le Carre Lounge

We dined at Hotel Le Toiny‘s Relais Chateau restaurant Le Gaïac where on Tuesday nights they offer their popular 3 course pre-fixe Fish Market. The Mahi-Mahi was delish and I was blown away by my dessert of chocolate ganache served with a crispy biscuit, banana foam and avocado sorbet. (No, really.)

The Mahi-Mahi at Le Toiny's Le Gaïac

The Mahi-Mahi at Le Toiny’s Le Gaïac

We lunched at the Sereno and the Guanahani hotels. Le Sereno is boasting a new concept and menu and we devoured a starter of eggplant chips with tzatziki sauce and a salad of assorted melon tossed with arugula and dressed with a balsamic reduction – cool and refreshing. My favorite starter of this trip was the Guanahani’s Indigo resto’s Wahoo ceviche sprinkled with coconut.

This year, SBP upgraded their annual Beachside Bash in honor of their Silver Anniversary and everyone gathered at the Hotel Taïwana’s newly-christened restaurant Casa Flamands for an elegant buffet supper. With that as a “taste” we are looking forward to more.

My favorite of the new eateries is Gustavia’s just-opened Thai restaurant Black Ginger. The décor of the bi-level edifice is dramatic with a bold red and black color scheme. Head up to the 2nd floor and dine under the stars. Dishes are authentically prepared and we love that they incorporate the local fish. The black pepper Mahi-Mahi was a huge hit with our crowd and I loved my chicken curry in coconut milk. Newly opened on the harbor, Les Coulisses is casual, fun and a great stop for lighter fare. They serve tapas and very good pizza.

Black Ginger

Black Ginger restaurant

Our last day on St. Barth was a busy one and we planned to fit in lunch at a little restaurant that we heard was a favorite of locals, Le Jardin. Housed in a garden pavilion and tucked away in the shopping plaza across from the airport, it was simple, bright, airy and absolutely charming. I was delighted to see gazpacho on the menu and it was perfectly chilled and seasoned. However, I did have my eye on the two-fisted juicy burgers that were served up to the guys at the table beside us. Next time. We slowed down, ordered a glass of rosé and “hung out with the locals”. Put it on your list. It’s open for breakfast if you fly in early and it works well for a pre-departure cocktail. And who knows the crowd that day might include a celeb like Mick Jagger or a “special” local like Jimmy Buffett. But in St. Barth. everyone feels, well, special. Enjoy!

St. Barth Properties 25th Anniversary Celebration

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

I arrived back in St Barth November 5th in time to settle in, visit some new villas and welcome friends and family who were arriving November 9th for our much anticipated annual Beachside Bash. This year the party was an extra special one because the upcoming “Season” marks the 25th anniversary of when I founded St. Barth Properties. The party was held at the elegant Hotel Taïwana’s new Casa Flamands restaurant on Flamands Beach the 14th of November.

St. Barth Specialist Kathy Schlitzer was also on St. Barts doing inspections with me. She and I were looking at the new changes at Villa Ocean’s 5 in Flamands that included a wonderful new kitchen, a brand new heated pool and two new comfortable sofas in the living room. I love Villa Ocean’s 5 because the configuration makes it an ideal choice for families with younger children and the view is fabulous. To book, contact reservations@stbarth.com or 1-800-421-3396.

Villa Ocean's 5

Villa Ocean’s 5

It was a week before the Bash so I suggested that we swing by the Taïwana to check it out because the hotel is under a huge renovation. As we approached the hotel we could see that there was a lot of activity with construction workers everywhere. I walked into the empty restaurant and continued on towards the beach when I looked over to the right and saw the swimming pool. Yikes! It was empty! Not one to panic, I noted that there were men inside the pool painting it, so I saw that as a good sign that perhaps that meant that the pool would be filled soon. The hotel kept reassuring me that all would be fine so I stopped being concerned about it.

Everything is ready for the party!

Casa Flamands restaurant – everything is ready for the party!

Sure enough we arrived at 7:00 pm and were escorted along a candlelit path to one of the three bars where I ordered une coupe de Champagne and mingled with the guests while the Casa Flamands staff passed by with trays of delicious hors d’oeuvres. The very talented singer Soley walked around serenading the guests and continued to do so throughout the evening. We had a DJ too which made the atmosphere really festive. Silver was the theme of the party because we were celebrating the 25th anniversary of when I created St. Barth Properties so we surprised the ladies by giving each of them a silver tiara to wear. So chic!

Guests mingling and enjoying hors d'oeuvres

Guests mingling and enjoying hors d’oeuvres

Soley serenades the crowd

Soley serenades the guests

Time for my speech. The 200+ guests consisted of SBP clients, villa owners, hotel partners, service partners and staff from both the St. Barth office and the US office. Everyone was seated and I thanked them for joining us in the 25th anniversary celebration. Every guest played a part in making our company what it is today. I also thanked my son and VP Tom Smyth for his partnership and my husband Steve for allowing me to live my dream. Finally, I unveiled our Silver Anniversary Live Your Dream catalogue which is our best yet. (If you would like us to send you one, please email info@stbarth.com. I think you will love it enough to make it one of your coffee table books.)

Tom and Peg introducing the Silver Anniversary Live Your Dream catalogue

Tom and Peg introduce the Silver Anniversary Live Your Dream catalogue

When I finished my little speech, Tom surprised me with a gift. I opened it and was thrilled to see that it was a hand painted caricature of our global St. Barth Properties team. Julia Hurd, our concierge in my US office came up with the idea and, with the help of Magda Votava, our concierge in my St. Barth office, commissioned a local artist to do the painting. I love it! If you were unable to attend, I hope that I will see you at next year’s Beachside Bash.

Peg's surprise gift - a painting of the St. Barth Properties team

Peg’s surprise gift – a painting of the St. Barth Properties team

Click here to see all of the photos from our Silver Anniversary party.

Wake Me Up When September Comes

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Now is the Time to Plan your St. Barth Vacation!

I hope that your summer went well and that you had time to relax a bit. Per usual I spent my summer on Cape Cod working remotely with both my US office and my St. Barth office. The bulk of my time was spent preparing and editing our new Live Your Dream® catalogue. It just went to press and I can’t wait for you to see the finished product – It is our 25th Anniversary edition! I will be unveiling it at our Annual Beachside Bash which this year is being held on November 14th at the gorgeous beachfront hotel Taïwana on beautiful Flamands Beach. I would really love to see you there. Of course the party is our treat in appreciation of you, our valued St. Barth Properties clients. Invitations will be sent out very soon, so if you have not booked your accommodation yet, now is the time to do so. Just email reservations@stbarth.com or better yet, pick up the phone and call 1-800-421-3396 (or +1-508-528-7727). We would be happy to chat with you about the Bash and help you plan your St. Barth trip around it.

Live Your Dream Catalogue

The 25th Anniversary Edition of Our Live Your Dream Catalogue is Being Printed in France

If those November dates don’t work for you, now that the kids are back in school and the summer is winding down, it is time to think seriously about booking your fall or winter vacation to St. Barth. While the island might be in its annual hibernation period, it is not too early to make your reservation. Right now and until December 14th, it’s Value Season; many people take advantage of the extra savings that traveling during this period of time affords them. Have a look at our Specials Page to see what villas offer even more bang for your buck. Tradewind Aviation resumes their regularly scheduled roundtrip flights directly to St. Barth from San Juan, St. Thomas and Antigua on October 18th 2013. We are at-the-ready to get those seats booked for you and coordinate the dates to coincide with your villa or hotel reservation.

St Barth

Would you rather be here or at home buttoning up your overcoat?

If you are thinking of spending the Christmas/New Year’s holidays in St. Barth, many clients have the jump on you; their villa and/or hotel stays as well as their airline and car rental reservations are securely in place. For your convenience we have a direct link to our holiday availability on-line. It is really important to reserve now while we can still offer several villa options, obtain rental cars for you and assist you with the inter-island flights.

My husband Steve and I will be back on the island fulltime by then. We really enjoy the festivities and for the second Christmas in a row, my son, Mark Smyth (the dentist) and his family will be celebrating Christmas in St. Barth with us. Just as we do, you will love taking an evening stroll along the quai to marvel at the wondrous yachts docked along Gustavia Harbor; it’s a must. And, of course window shopping soon brings you into the gorgeously decorated boutiques to have a look; eventually you end up purchasing that perfect gift for yourself and/or for someone special.

Yachts in Gustavia Harbor

A favorite before or after dinner pastime: Walking along the quai in Gustavia to marvel at the yachts

Drop into the Baz Bar after dinner and you just might catch Jimmy Buffet picking up a guitar and singing a few songs with the band that is featured there at that time. Where to dine Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day? Our concierges Julia and Magda will give you the inside scoop as soon as the proposed menus are received. Would you like an in-villa massage? Do you need a babysitter? What about a day trip to Colombier Beach or a sunset cruise? We will happily set that all up for you.

Baz Bar.

Look who made an impromptu appearance while I was at the Baz Bar. You too can sing along with Jimmy.

Give us a call and Live Your Dream®

November 2013 Beachside Bash – Save the Date

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

One of our repeat guests contacted me to ask about the date of St. Barth Properties annual Beachside Bash before he finalized his villa reservation because he and his guests didn’t want to miss it. It’s official. We have set the date for our annual Beachside Bash. It will be held November 14th, 2013. So, if you have not done so already, it is time to book your villa or hotel accommodation.

Part of The SBP Team at the 2012 Beachside Bash: (L to R) Ted, Benoit, Magda. (Mai hidden) Connie, Nadine, Peg, Pascale, Kathy

Part of The SBP Team at the 2012 Beachside Bash: (L to R) Ted, Benoit, Magda. (Mai hidden) Connie, Nadine, Peg, Pascale, Kathy

For those of you who have never been to our Beachside Bash, it’s a fun evening party designed especially for you, our very special clients, our on-island partners and any of our villa owners who happen to be on-island at the time. It is hosted by St. Barth Properties and we use the occasion to launch the upcoming Season and unveil our latest Live your Dream catalogue. We’ll begin with an apéritif and hors d’œuvres followed by dinner and dancing. The ever popular Solely will be strumming his guitar as he sings to us.

Beachside Bash 2012 - Ted with Bob and Marilyn (Villa La Danse du Soleil)

Beachside Bash 2012 – Ted with Bob and Marilyn (Villa La Danse du Soleil)

This year’s Beachside Bash will be a very special one because the 2014 Season marks the 25th anniversary of when I founded St. Barth Properties and trademarked my mantra Live Your Dream®. When I first set foot on St. Barth for the very first time in 1986, I was living my dream and I hope all of you do the same.

logo-taiwana

What’s more? We are celebrating this special event at the elegant beachfront Hotel Taïwana. What a spot! It sits directly on one of St. Barth’s most gorgeous beaches – Flamands. It’s the perfect place to mingle while enjoying the ambience. We even offer valet parking!


Taïwana restaurant

Taïwana restaurant

The theme throughout the evening will be SBP’s 25th Anniversary, so if you want to wear something in silver you have plenty of time to shop for it. LOL – 7:00 PM is the start time. We can begin celebrating with une coupe de Champagne, a Planteur’s Punch or perhaps a Mojito.

I can’t wait to see you all on St. Barth and at the SBP Silver Anniversary Beachside Bash on November 14th 2013. If you want to make a reservation at one of our villas or hotels, just contact me at pegwalsh@stbarth.com or one of our St. Barth Specialists at reservations@stbarth.com. Our USA office concierge Julia Hurd will be sure to add you to our Guest List and send you an invitation. Please RSVP at your earliest convenience.

Part of the SBP Team at the 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau: Benoit, Peg, Ted, Mai, Magda, Nadine, Kathy

Part of the SBP Team at the 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau: Benoit, Peg, Ted, Mai, Magda, Nadine, Kathy

P.S. If you can, “Stay just a little bit longer”… our annual Beaujolais Nouveau wine tasting will begin precisely at 7:01 PM on November 20th at Le Cellier du Gouverneur wine shop in Gustavia…”Oh, won’t you stay just a little bit longer? Please let me hear you say that you will” and Julia will be pleased to send you an invitation to join us for a toast. We can be our own connoisseurs and critique the new vintage. As a bonus, the 2013 St Barth Cata Cup catamaran regatta is being held Nov 18-26 and we are hoping for first place for our sponsored boat captained by aspiring 2016 Olympic contender John Casey– What a month to be on St. Barth!