Posts Tagged ‘Tradewind Aviation’

How do I get to St. Barts? What are the entry requirements?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Here I am back in St Barth, lucky me! (Wish you were here). St. Barth Properties VP Tom Smyth, St. Barth Villa and Hotel Specialist Kathy Schlitzer and I arrived yesterday. We have a full calendar of hotel and villa inspection appointments on our schedules and I will report back.

On the trip down we talked about the questions that our clients often ask us and two of them are how to get to St. Barth as well as the entry requirements.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, one of the reasons that St. Barth remains so special is that it takes a little extra effort to get to this paradise. From the USA, the gateways to St. Barts are via St. Maarten (airport code: SXM) and San Juan (SJU). American Airlines, US Airways, Delta, United, Spirit, and Jet Blue fly to St. Maarten and San Juan.

The easiest way to connect to St. Barth (SBH) is directly from San Juan (SJU) on private charters with Tradewind Aviation (up to 8 passengers @$2995-$3955 each way), or Air America Caribbean (5 to 9 passengers beginning at $1950-$2500 each way). Tradewind also offers a scheduled charter service that is sold by the seat and is $420 to $520 (depending on travel dates) each way. (The 2011-2012 season began October 28, 2011 and ends May 6, 2012). The flight departs San Juan at 8:00 am and 3:00 pm daily with additional flights at 1:00pm and 4:00pm Thursday through Monday until Jan 31, 2012 (4:30 pm from Jan 31 to May 06, 2012). Departures from St. Barth are at 10:00 am and 5:30 pm daily with additional flights at 2:30pm Thursday through Monday.

Piliatus-Landing-SBH

Pilatus landing at SBH

Tradewind also offers service from St. Thomas (STT) Thursday through Monday at $420 per seat. The plane is very comfortable, with leather seats, air conditioning drinks and snacks. The flight takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes depending on the aircraft.

Air America Caribbean’s planes (not air-conditioned) hold 5-7 passengers and are $1950-$2500 each way for a private charter. St. Barth Commuter offers private charter flights on their caravan (not air-conditioned) year round for $2700 each way or via shared charter (on request) for $400 per seat.

Caravan landing at SBH

For confirmed hotel and villa clients of St. Barth Properties, airline charters can also be arranged by concierge@stbarth.com.

Many people connect to St Barth (SBH) through St. Maarten (SXM). As of November 17, 2011 Jet Blue offers service from San Juan to St. Maarten. The major inter-island carrier is Winair. The 12-15 minute flight costs about $156-$293 round trip per person (depending on availability). Allow 1½ to 2 hours to make the connection to St Barts. Be sure to allow at least 2 hrs in St. Maarten in order to make your connection home.

Winair-Plane

Winair plane

St. Barth Commuter offer several scheduled flights to/from Juliana Airport on the Dutch side and two others to/from the French side (70 euros each way). We often arrange a private charter on St. Barth Commuter for our guests. The cost is €800 euros each way and the plane holds up to 6 passengers. Air St Maarten, a nice alternative, puts together shared charters to/from St. Maarten and San Juan.

We continue to recommend that each passenger has a carry-on bag with enough clothing and supplies to get through at least 1 day as luggage has been known to arrive after its owners and sometimes not until the next day. Luggage limit is 23 kg/50 lbs per passenger, so pack lightly. Winair is charging $25.00 for the first additional checked bag and $50 for a 3rd. If you are using US Airways, you can book your flights all the way from your home city to SBH and you can check your bags all the way through (unless you are using frequent flier tickets). Once again be sure to have a carry-on with all of you first night’s needs. You may submit a request directly to Winair in St. Barth on line http://www.st-barths.com/winair/winair_intro_eng.html.

By Ferry: The Voyager is a slow Ferry (75-90 minutes from Marigot and 40 Minutes from Oyster Pond on the French side). Schedules are subject to change. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE SEAS BETWEEN ST. MAARTEN AND ST. BARTH CAN BE ROUGH. IF YOU ARE PRONE TO MOTION SICKNESS, WE RECOMMEND YOU AVOID THIS MANNER OF ARRIVAL. The new (December 2011) Voyager Dream Liner offers a first class seating section. The Voyager phone number: (dialing from the U.S.) Marigot Bay/Oyster Pond 011 590 590 87 10 68 (St. Martin).

Voyager Ferry

Voyager ferry

The Great Bay Express is a faster ferry that travels from Bobby’s Marina in Dutch St Maarten to Gustavia in St. Barth. Crossing time is approximately 40 minutes from/to Bobby’s Marina in Philipsburg to Gustavia. 011 599-542-0032 and the phone number from the US is: 1-347 568 0574.

st-barts-ferry-great-bay

Great Bay Express ferry

For confirmed hotel and villa clients of St. Barth Properties, private boat transfers and airline charters can be arranged for you. Please Contact: concierge@stbarth.com.

A valid passport is required for U.S., Canadian, Brazilians and EU National citizens, regardless of what others may tell you. All other nationalities MUST have visas. (This includes nannies and staff traveling with you, who must also have proper documentation or they will be sent back.) Even if you previously cleared immigration without incident, proper documentation is now necessary. For information on U.S. passports, go to the website: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html. Remember that children’s passports expire every 5 years.

To book your hotel or villa in St Barth, contact reservations@stbarth.com.

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

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Day 6

The Birthday!!

Today Reegan turned sweet 16!

What does that mean? In St. Barth, it means she is old enough to operate a Jet Ski! Magda had arranged for the girls to take a Jet Ski tour around the island on Reegan’s birthday. We took them to Grand Cul de Sac where Ouanalao Dive has their Dive Center booth (by O’Corail restaurant). The company also rents Jet Skis. Reegan and Andrea signed the forms, were fitted with their life jackets and went down to the water to get on their jet skis. The instructor gave a demonstration on how they work, had them get familiar with the mechanics and off they went.

Getting-Ready-fora-New-Adventure

Getting Ready for a New Adventure

Off They Go

Jet-Skiing-around-St.-Barth-as-seen-from-our-terrace

Jet Skiing around St. Barth as seen from our terrace

An hour and a half later they were back! I couldn’t believe that they could go all the way around St. Barth in that short a period of time. They must have been speed demons! Is there a speed limit in the Caribbean Sea?

That evening I gave Reegan her present and we headed out to celebrate her birthday at Nikki Beach. This very “in spot” with beds on the beach no less, had a cabaret of their own that was performing that evening so we chose to surprise Reegan and treat her to a special night as not only was it her birthday, it was also the girls’ last night in St. Barth.

Mimi, Reegan (with her new birthday skirt) and GrandDoc

Mimi, Reegan (with her new birthday skirt) and GrandDoc

Andrea-gives-Reegan-her-Birthday-Present

Andrea gives Reegan her Birthday Present

We had a great table overlooking both the beach and the stage. The food was delicious. The show was fun and a bit risqué…very French but not at all offensive. The audience was able to join in at the end and everyone jumped on stage to dance.

The-16th-Birthday-at-Nikki-Beach

The 16th Birthday at Nikki Beach

Bed-on-the-Beach-at-Nikki--Beach

Bed on the Beach at Nikki Beach

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

Dancing-After-the-Show-at-Nikki-Beach

Dancing After the Show at Nikki Beach

Day 7

All good things must come to an end and the next morning we sadly brought Reegan and Andrea back to airport to begin their journey home to Massachusetts. I had booked them on Tradewind Aviation so that they could fly directly to San Juan where they were able to connect to their Jet Blue Flight back to Boston. Surprise, surprise they were able to fly in Tradewind’s ultra luxurious Pilatus both ways. What a treat!

Time to Say Goodbye

Time to Say Goodbye

Departure-Day-on-Tradewind's-Pilatus

Departure Day on Tradewind's Pilatus

Au-Revoir

Au Revoir

We had a great week and it was wonderful to watch Reegan blossom into an independent young lady in such a short period of time. She has already decided that she loves everything about the French, wants to return again and again (as we all do) and I am sure she will be speaking French fluently in the not too distant future. À bientôt, Reegan.

The 2011 St. Barth Bucket

Friday, March 25th, 2011

I am back in Beautiful St. Barth after traveling from Hong Kong to JFK (15 hours) then a 9 hour layover in New York followed by a flight from JFK to San Juan and then Tradewind from San Juan to St. Barth. The island is really hopping because The Bucket weekend officially began last night.

I went for my morning walk around Gustavia and the harbor was bustling with activity. Most of the island came down to watch the boats as they set out for their first race which takes them counter-clockwise around St. Barth. These sailing yachts are gorgeous and it is a sight to behold as they race by with colorful sails.

Leaving the dock

Leaving the dock

Leaving the harbor

Leaving the harbor

One by one the harbormaster sets the boats free and they head out of the harbor, turn left toward Shell Beach and wait for the First Gun at 11:00am signaling it is time to begin.

The race begins by Shell Beach

The race begins by Shell Beach

Racing by Villa Everest on March 25, 2011

Racing by Villa Everest on March 25, 2011

They should all be back in time to see the air show that is taking place over Shell Beach each day. Then it is party time. The Bucket Bar opens at 6:30; the daily awards are given at 7:00 and then Solely (the singer) will perform live on the dockside stage. More fun to follow Saturday and Sunday when the top prizes will be awarded.

I hope that most of you are on-island to join in on the festivities. If not, maybe next year…

Peg Loves St. Barth and Loves to Travel, Too

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Samuel Johnson said it all in this quote, “When you are tired of travel, you are tired of life.”

It goes without saying that my very favorite destination in the world is the tiny, sophisticated, unique and wonderful island of St. Barth. However, I do love to travel. If I did not, I never would have discovered St. Barts the way I did in 1986.

My travels have made me a five million miler with American Airlines. So, if you don’t mind, I may be blogging from different areas of the world.

Our adventure began when we left St Barth on Tradewind Aviation to San Juan. The Franklin Smyth’s were on board with us for that leg. We then parted company as they headed back to Boston and we continued on our journey by flying first to Miami, then to LAX and finally reaching our destination 31 hours later (losing both a day and lots of sleep).

Tyler and Mimi leaving St Barth via Tradewind

Tommy-Jr-and-GrandDoc-on-Tradewind

Tommy Jr and GrandDoc on Tradewind

We began in Sydney and strolled along Circular Quay to the very impressive Sydney Opera House where I had prebooked a tour. This magnificent piece of architecture was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on October 20th, 1973 and our guide showed us all of the various venues. I had also prebooked an event so we were able to attend a wonderful play in the Drama Theater that evening.

Sydney-Opera-House-from-the-water

Sydney Opera House from the water

We toured The Rocks, Sydney’s birthplace, on foot and learned how Sydney grew from a fledgling outpost full of notorious prisoners who were sent to Australia by Great Britain and turned into the thriving metropolis it is today. We walked past old pubs, terraced homes, sandstone cottages and sites of crime and punishment.

We are both afraid of heights so we marveled at the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and looked on in awe as we witnessed people who were brave enough to walk across the very top (and spend $200 each for the privilege).

Sydney is a wonderful city.

Sydney-Harbour-Bridge-from-the-water

Sydney Harbour Bridge from the water

Baby, it’s cold outside (and snowy)? Cheri, it’s warm in St. Barth (and sunny)

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Have you had enough of winter? Why not do what my son, Mark Smyth and his wife Cynthia did last week? They hired a babysitter and escaped from the frigid cold of Massachusetts.

As many of you already know I am married to a dentist. My son, Mark is also a dentist and bought my husband’s dental practice a few years ago. The St. Barth Dental Association held their annual meeting at the Capitainerie January 17-21, 2011, so Steve and Mark took the course and learned a lot. (I will have more details on the 2012 meeting in a future blog for any of you dentists who may be interested.) The course finished at 11:30 am each day, so there was plenty of time left to play and Thursday evening the SBDA hosted a cocktail party followed by dinner and a fashion show at La Plage.

Mark wanted his picture taken with the model at  La Plage

Mark wanted his picture taken with the model at La Plage

Mark and Cynthia arrived via Tradewind Aviation from San Juan. The first order of business was to clear immigration by showing their passports to a friendly gendarme. Then on to the luggage carousel to retrieve their bags and head out the door, turn right and walk to the car rental area and check in at our booth.

Mark and Cynthia at SBH immigration

Mark and Cynthia at SBH immigration

Mark and Cynthia ouside of arrival hall

Mark and Cynthia ouside of arrival hall

Mark checks in at our booth

Mark checks in at our booth

It was great to have them here. They haven’t been to St Barth since their last child was born in 1990, so they really noticed the changes and loved the fact that the island remains as charming as ever.

February is fast approaching and the groundhog will soon be reminding you that there are still 6 more weeks of winter ahead of you. Do you need an incentive to come down here with your honey?

Surprise your significant other for Valentine’s Day! Book Villa Bamboo for any stay in February and a Suzuki Jimny car rental will be included in the rate! That is a savings of 450 euros per week! Just think of how many romantic dinners you can have with that extra 450 euros in your pocket. Villa Bamboo is lovely and private. Guests love to listen to the sounds of the sea as they sit on the pool deck and marvel at view and the ever-changing colors of the crystal clear water on Grand Cul de Sac Bay. For more information, please call 1-800-421-3396 or email info@stbarth.com.

Villa Bamboo

Villa Bamboo

NYC quick trip Nov 17 2010 and Beaujolais Nouveau

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU ALL!

If you still haven’t made your plans to spend Christmas and New Year’s in St. Barth, check out our availability online.

November 17, 2010 was an eventful day —

A mix-up regarding a St. Barth event being held in New York City made for a very hectic day last Wednesday. You see, I received an email at noon reconfirming a Champagne reception and dinner that was to take place at 6:30 pm that very night! What was this all about? I had heard rumors that some sort of gathering promoting St. Barth was going to take place but did not have the details.

I spoke with David Zara (one of the owners of Tradewind Aviation with shuttle service from San Juan to St Barth) who had organized the event and he did not understand why I had not received the invitation because every member of the St Barth Hotel Association of which SBP is a member, was invited. He proceeded to tell me that I was on the guest list and was hosting a table! Yikes! I had to go as I did not want to miss it. I booked a flight, secured a hotel room and packed a bag. (Lucky for me that my carry-on is always packed).

As I was scurrying around to get ready for the 1.5 hour trip from my house on Cape Cod to Logan airport, to catch a 4:30 pm flight to La Guardia, one of David’s partners, Eric Zipkin called me to say that he had heard about the snafu and that he was able to send a plane to pick me up in Hyannis at 5:00 pm and take me to White Plains New York! Needless to say, I jumped at the chance and asked them to arrange for a limo to take me from there to Villa Pacri restaurant where the cocktail reception and dinner was to take place.

Tradewind Aviation Pilatus

Tradewind Aviation Pilatus

Precisely at 5:00 pm I hopped one of their beautiful Pilatus planes and in an hour I was in White Plains, whisked to the restaurant and voilà I was there in time to meet people and talk-up our fabulous little island. Tradewind’s other partner David Zipkin as well as David Zara were there to greet me. Villa Pacri is a multi-level venue and due to officially open today, November 23, 2010 and Pascal Ramette who owns Pacri restaurant in St. Barth is one of the owners. The atmosphere was wonderful as was the food.

At the same time, the Beaujolais Nouveau tasting was taking place in St. Barth. Clients and invited guests of St Barth Properties had the opportunity to taste the 2010 vintage of the Beaujolais Nouveau five hours earlier than their friends in France! Thanks to the time difference, we did not have to wait until 1 second after midnight on November 18th to imbibe. On the contrary, the bottles of this very young wine were opened just one second after 7:00 pm on the 17th – and the tasting began. Clients and friends of St Barth Properties gathered at the Cellier du Gouverneur in Gustavia and were the first to enjoy the tasting.

Beaujolais Nouveau tasting - SBP clients

Beaujolais Nouveau tasting - SBP clients

Beaujolais Nouveau tasting - SBP staff

The verdict? Wonderful!…it was a good vintage with a nice strawberry flavor. I hope you will try it.

Santé!

Traveling to Paradise

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Tom, Kathy and I traveled to our favorite piece of paradise and touched down around 4:20 yesterday —Ahh just feeling the warm air as we deplaned and walked towards the arrival area put a big smile on my face. I really do love St Barth! Tom and I are staying in Villa Everest and Kathy is staying in Villa Les Embruns and then moving to Villa Crystal Dream.

Villa Everest

Villa Everest

Villa Les Embruns

Villa Les Embruns

At this time of year we can take advantage of being able to fly directly from San Juan to St. Barth on Tradewind Aviation. We fly from Boston to San Juan and then take the 3:00 pm flight which is a shared charter (Pay by the seat). Their 8 passenger Caravan is air-conditioned and as a bonus, there are snacks and drinks on board! Sit back, relax and enjoy the view as you fly over the beautiful blue water and gaze down at the Caribbean islands below.

Tradewind Aviation Caravan landing in St Barth

Tradewind Aviation Caravan landing in St Barth

Tradewind’s shared charter prices vary depending on the day of the week and range from $395 to $595 + tax each way. The charter schedule includes 2 trips from San Juan to St. Barth (8:00 am and 3:00 pm) and 2 trips form St Barth to San Juan (10:00am and 5:00pm). Private charters on a Caravan or Pilatus are also available. Once you have reserved your accommodation with us, you may contact concierge@stbarth.com to book.

We have a full schedule ahead of us and I am very excited to see the updates that some owners have made. I will be inspecting some potential new villas and determine if we will add them to our portfolio. I will report back to you on my findings as well as any new restaurants and/or new enterprises that may be in the works.

Of course, the highlight of the trip is our Land Shark Beach party at Dö Brazil on November 06. Our guest list is growing and I will give you the low down.

Poor me, I have to work… not a bad job, though? Temperature is about 85° and if I get time to put my toes in the water, it will be about 75°. I would love to see you in St. Barth.

Villa Crystal Dream

Villa Crystal Dream