Posts Tagged ‘Taïno’

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

St. Barts Hotel News and more St. Barth info

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

I left St. Barts 3 weeks ago so that I could host Thanksgiving at home. (My 22 pound fresh turkey that I carefully prepared and stuffed was outstanding, if I do say so myself.) December brought me back to paradise as it was time to leave chilly Cape Cod, Massachusetts in favor of warm and sunny St. Barts where I will be based until late spring 2012. I will fill you in on all of the latest happenings.

I enjoy a close relationship with many of the hotels on St. Barts because, in addition to offering our guests a villa vacation, we have other people who prefer to stay in a hotel. I have been working with these St. Barth hotels for 23 years which means that I witnessed many changes in both management and transformations and over the years, I have seen a few hotels come and go. I follow our hotel partners with great interest as they make various renovations and wonderful additions to their properties.

Last Thursday, I was invited to the hotel Christopher’s weekly cocktail party. It was held poolside and the evening was perfect. Strategic lighting highlighted the waves as they lapped along the shore.

Pierre-Alexandre Maillard had issued the invitation which included an after-the-cocktail-party delicious dinner with him at the hotel’s well-renowned Taïno restaurant. Pierre-Alexandre was the former GM at St Barth’s hotel Carl Gustaf. He left to the property so that he could manage a gorgeous hotel on a private island in the Seychelles. Happily, St. Bart’s uniqueness lured him back and I am pleased to announce that Pierre-Alexandre will be the new GM at the Christopher as of January 15, 2012!

Peg with Sandrine and Christian Langlade and Pierre Alexandre Maillard December 2011

Peg with Sandrine and Christian Langlade and Pierre Alexandre Maillard December 2011

The Christopher has undergone an amazing renovation with gorgeous new suites, a new spa and a new fitness room. All of this was overseen by the present GM Christian Langlade who came to St. Barts from Sandy Lane in Barbados 2 years ago. His wife Sandrine was in charge of the marketing and excelled at it. Luckily the Langlades will not be leaving St. Barth. Christian has accepted the General Manager position at the wonderful Le Sereno Hotel on Grand Cul de Sac Beach. Sandrine has also accepted a position at Le Sereno. I stayed there last month and enjoyed it immensely. It is quite chic, the staff is so friendly and the setting is dreamy. For our villa lovers, Le Sereno has three luxurious four bedroom villas on the property.

Congratulations and I wish them all much success!

Other hotel news:

La Banane is closing December 15, 2011 and will no longer be a hotel. I will keep you posted on any transformation that may occur.

The very reasonably priced Tropical Hotel is conveniently located just up the hill from St. Jean Beach and is quite charming. The hotel is now managed by family member Aurélia Vial.

SBH news:

The new pier on the other side of the harbor is almost finished and they are dredging the harbor (even on Sunday when I took this photo) to prepare for the onslaught of the mega-yachts that are arriving daily in order to get their much-sought-after-berth and prepare for the always amazing St Bart New Year’s Eve celebration. Many stay for the season.

Dredging Gustavia  Harbor by the new Quai Dec 11, 2011

Dredging Gustavia Harbor by the new Quai Dec 11, 2011

While I was on my morning walk, I saw the new Voyager Dreamliner ferry coming into the harbor. It looks so luxurious. I will take a tour one of these days and fill you in. Traveling by ferry could become the preferred and most affordable mode of inter-island transportation. I hear rumors that this new ferry hopes to be able to leave from the Dutch side of St. Maarten turning the transfer into only a 30 minute trip! If that happens I will buy a roundtrip ticket and test the waters for you, so to speak.

The new Voyager Dreamliner ferry December 2011

The new Voyager Dreamliner ferry December 2011

Quick Trip to St. Barth Part 3: Summer Sessions and other tidbits on St Barth

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

On Sunday I went to visit a brand new 2 bedroom villa that is located in St. Jean. It is 90% finished but some of the accessories like the lamps will not arrive at the decorator’s boutique until November. The pictures that we have up on our website now are just to give you an idea of the view and some of the furnishings. Villa Coco de Mer is a luxurious 2 bedroom 3 bathroom villa located on the top of St. Jean. It boasts incredible views of the entire Baie de St. Jean, the whole airport runway and the sea behind it. The owners have spared no expense.

Villa Coco de Mer view

Villa Coco de Mer view

The living room and gourmet kitchen as well as a full guest bath are adjacent to the front deck that has outdoor living and dining spaces and guests can enjoy that great view. The rear deck is very private, has a waterfall, sitting and sunning areas, two en suite king bedrooms and a fabulous warm Jacuzzi. There is a private gate that leads to the huge community pool at Les Terrasses where Coco De Mer’s guests can swim laps and then return to their private deck. I think you will love it!

Villa Coco de Mer Living Room

Villa Coco de Mer Living Room

Sunday night we went to the Hotel Christopher’s Taïno restaurant to enjoy the food and the ambience as well as Tais, the Brazilian singer. She and her band played by the hotel’s gorgeous swimming pool and we really loved her music.

Tais-performing-over-the-pool-at-the-Hotel-Christopher

Tais performing over the pool at the Hotel Christopher

Monday was another holiday in St. Barth, so almost all businesses and offices were closed. The restaurants were open so I took the opportunity to meet with the above mentioned Xavier Pignet a co-owner of Dõ Brazil to discuss the menu at our November 10, 2011 Beachside Bash. I hope that you have booked your accommodation with us by now because the party promises to be lots of fun. For those of you who have never been to Dð Brazil which is located on Shell Beach, the restaurant has two levels. The beach level serves late breakfast and lunch and has a bar. The upstairs level serves lunch and dinner and also has a bar. And…believe it or not there will be a full moon that night so you can enjoy the moon beams reflecting off of the water—how romantic.

Planning-the-menu-with-Xavier-Pignet-for-St-Barth-Properties-November-10-2011-Beachside-Bash-at-Do-Brazil

Planning the menu with Xavier Pignet for St Barth Properties November 10 2011 Beachside Bash at Dõ Brazil

Our SBP Beachside Bash is a private party just for you and we have taken over both levels. We’ll start with Une Coupe de Champagne to welcome you followed by an apéritif… (Mojitos anyone?) and some hors d’oeuvres. Then on to the main courses that will include the Catch of the Day, ribs, a special chicken dish and lots of sides. We’ll provide beer and wine too. Soley will be entertaining you as will Christine Gordon and we’ll have a mix of DJ music for your dancing pleasure. If you have already reserved your accommodation, send an email to Julia, concierge@stbarth.com, to RSVP. If you still need to book your villa or hotel, please contact reservations@stbarth.com.

St. Barth Summer Sessions last night took place at Tom Beach Hotel’s restaurant, La Plage that evening. We went there for dinner and the place was packed. The grande finale, BIG JAM featured Project K-Paz, Tom Howie Band, Adam Lasher Band Tais plus DJ’s Alex Merrill and Jimmy Valance. We were treated to a fashion show as well. I’ll tell you about my delicious meal in another blog.

Fashion-Show-at-La-Plage-(That's-my-favorite-Maitre-D'-Georges-in-the-background)

Fashion Show at La Plage (That's my favorite Maitre D' Georges in the background)

If you missed this year’s Summer Sessions, try to attend in 2012. You won’t be disappointed!

What Can Teenagers Do During Family Vacations in St Barth? (Part Two)

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Day 3

The girls were up fairly early and decided that they wanted to go to a different beach; they wanted to go that morning. As I mentioned to you Reegan has such fair skin that she burns within minutes of being in the sun. Andrea on the other hand, told me that she never burns because she is Greek and her skin tans easily. First things first I said, “Let’s go to the pharmacy and get some sunscreen”. They like the spray kind and had decided upon Gouverneur Beach which is a gorgeous undeveloped beach. There is no shade, however. They made their lunches, packed the cooler and we dropped them off at 10:30. We picked them up at 1:30. They had really enjoyed swimming and sunning there.

Get-that-Sunscreen!

Get that Sunscreen!

Gouverneur-Beach

Gouverneur Beach

What’s next? I had made plans to dine that evening with my long time (11 visits with SBP!) wonderful clients Mike and Bonnie long before I had surprised Reegan with this trip. Not a big deal as these teenage girls love to shop and wanted to wander around Gustavia and get their bearings before doing some serious shopping later in the week. They also wanted to go to the famous Le Select for a Cheeseburger in Paradise. We made plans, dropped them off in Gustavia and then picked them up at about 7:00. They were glad to spend the evening alone at the villa. (Yes, they were sunburned, too.) They had their laptops and were happily posting their activities on Facebook!

Le-Select

Le Select

In the meantime, Steve and I took Bonnie and Mike to dinner at Taïno restaurant at the Christopher. It was as if we had been friends for life! We had such a good time and they have already booked Villa Le Perchoir for their 12th visit (in 2012 no less).

11-time-SBP-repeat-clients-Bonnie-and-Mike-from--Petoskey-Michigan

11 time SBP repeat clients Bonnie and Mike from Petoskey, Michigan

What is Oeil de Boeuf?

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

No sooner had Mark and Cynthia left when my other son and VP Tom Smyth arrived. Tom and I often meet with the staff down here so as to ensure that both offices are running in sync with each other and to touch base with the local management. At the same time, Tom had two buyers who had contacted him through our sales division, St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty and they were here to visit properties. Each buyer quickly found just what they were looking for and both villas went under contract yesterday. For further information on buying or selling property in St. Barth, contact tom.smyth@sothebysrealty.com.

Tom and Peg at St Barth Properties island office Jan 27, 2011

Tom and Peg at St Barth Properties island office Jan 27, 2011

Steve and I had an outstanding dinner at the Christopher’s Taïno restaurant. Our table for 2 overlooked the pool and the sea and the sound of the waves complemented the romantic ambience. We began with a complimentary apéritif which is kindly offered by the hotel to every client of St. Barth Properties dining in their restaurant. (All you have to do is to ask either of my offices to make your dinner reservations for you either before you go, by contacting concierge@stbarth.com or locally when you are here by calling 0590 29 75 05).

Peg and Steve at the Christopher's Taïno restaurant

Peg and Steve at the Christopher's Taïno restaurant

Everything on the menu as well as the Specials Board looked so good that it was hard to choose. We decided to share the tomato and mozzarella as an appetizer and it did not disappoint! The tomatoes were so fresh as was the mozzarella. I decided to try the Filet d’Agneau (Lamb Filet) along with the Christophine and string beans with peas for my two side dishes. Steve was in the mood for fish, so he selected the Œil de Boeuf (Red Snapper); his sides were potato purée with garlic as well as a dish of mushrooms. We were both thrilled when we tasted our fare. The lamb was so tender and perfectly cooked that it seemed to melt in my mouth; Steve’s fish was wonderfully prepared and very moist. We finished the meal by sharing their yummy Tarte au Chocolat avec Pistache (chocolate tart with pistachio ice cream).

Taïno's tomato and mozzarella appetizer

Taïno's tomato and mozzarella appetizer

Taïno's Filet d'Agneau with Colombo Sauced Haricot Verts with Pois

Taïno's Filet d'Agneau with Colombo Sauce, Christophine and Haricot Verts with Pois

Taino's Oeil de Boeuf with beurre blanc and garlic potato purée

Taino's Oeil de Boeuf with beurre blanc and garlic potato purée

Taïno's Tarte au Chocolat avec Pistache

Taïno's Tarte au Chocolat avec Pistache

I am always trying to improve my French and I could not figure out why Steve’s fish was called Œil de Boeuf. After all, boeuf means “beef” and œil means “eye”. Our waiter disappeared into the kitchen and reappeared with the answer! Œil de Boeuf means “bull’s eye” and this particular species of Red Snapper indeed has a huge eye. Imagine that…I learn something new every day.

Oeil de Boeuf means bull's eye

Oeil de Boeuf means bull's eye

Still haven’t booked your villa for a February stay? Villa Sky is available between February 05 and 18 at an unpublished very special price.

Dream About: Having one of the island’s biggest pools – 44 sq. ft. – and heated. Great bragging rights!

It’s in the Details: Spacious and luxurious, Sky features a home cinema, a mini-gym and loads of outdoor living space.

SBP Loves: The formal indoor dining room and the panoramic view!

Villa Sky

Villa Sky

Call 1-800-421-3396 or email info@stbarth.com Mention Peg’s Blog and we’ll give to the great news on pricing that is available for 2, 4, 6 or 8 people.