Posts Tagged ‘Julia Hurd’

Julia’s Trip report May 2017

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

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

Best Job in the World!

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

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

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

Dining under a shade tree at the Beach Club restaurant

The view from the Beach Club restaurant

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

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

The park has plenty of parking

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

The Catholic church in Lorient

Above the front door of the Catholic church

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

A cocktail on the beach at Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa

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

My chicken club sandwich at Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa

Aurélie had ceviche for lunch at Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa

Aurélie tried the Crêpes Suzette for dessert at Le Barthélemy

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

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

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

The Dover Sole at Santa Fe

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

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

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

Sunset in Gustavia harbor

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

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

Julia Hurd (left) and Allegra Pawlowski (right)

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.

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”.