Posts Tagged ‘trip report’

St. Barth Trip Report by Connie Walsh, June 2015

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Bonjour St Barth Devotees,

Continuing the trip report series, today’s blog was written by Connie Walsh, our very talented Marketing and Travel Industry Consultant, who traveled to St. Barth with me last month. We had two very important missions to accomplish: 1) Meet with various people and interview them for the articles you will be reading in the 20th edition of our upcoming Live Your Dream catalogue and 2) Inspect several new villas as well as write up their descriptions for our website.

Here is Connie’s trip report:

Enjoy-
Sunny regards,
Peg

St. Barth Trip Report, June 2015 by Connie Walth

I’ve stayed at Villa Everest so many times now, settling in there is always a bit like coming home. It’s comfy-cozy and I never tire of its panoramic view. Peg Walsh and I spent the first few nights of a very busy workweek at Everest but, happily had the time to toast a glorious sunset from its lovely pool terrace.

Villa Everest

Villa Everest

We spent three nights at the brand new, two-story, two-bedroom Villa Brume de Mer – its rental is exclusive to St. Barth Properties and we were eager to give it a test-stay. Perched on a bluff overlooking Baie de Flamands, Brume de Mer lays claim to a stunning view from several vantage points. A solar-heated pool, a Jacuzzi and a gazebo shading a living-dining area are among the features that make this a special vacation spot. The contemporary décor is coordinated with a soothing gray and crisp white color palette brightened with pops of color. There is exceptional attention to detail here that ensures guests’ comfort and convenience. Expansive well-laid out closet space, perfectly positioned bedside reading lamps, and both waffle and plush terry robes are worth noting. Towel hooks adjacent to the pool and Jacuzzi and a bar for drying beach towels are just of few of the nice little touches. The kitchen’s stock of dishes and glassware and wealth of culinary tools and gadgets are color coordinated.

Villa Brume de Mer

Villa Brume de Mer

I love that Brume de Mer is just a three-minute walk to Flamands Beach – one my favorites. Guests have a choice of three beachfront restaurants that they can walk to for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Up early one morning, I walked the length of the beach and enjoyed a swim before we headed out for a day of villa inspections.

St. Barth Properties has added several new luxurious villas to its portfolio. I think these latest additions will really peak some interest.

Villa Jade, the eight bedroom vacation home of legendary French Rocker Johnny Hallyday is a stand-out even on St. Barth, where villas-to-die-for are as prolific as celebrities. A private Marigot location offers sweeping views of its bay and expansive outdoor living space complete with a super-sized heated infinity pool, Jacuzzi, king-sized canopied day bed and party-sized alfresco dining area. Indoors, there’s a state-of-the-art gym with a steam and sauna and a home-cinema with theater-style tiered seats and access to 4,000 movies. Sleeping accommodations include a three-bedroom family suite (a master and 2 children’s bedrooms) three additional en suite bedrooms, one suitable for staff and a private studio-style bungalow facing the sea. The Asian-themed décor is striking.

Villa Jade

Villa Jade

Villa Joy, also located in Marigot, has a contemporary architectural style similar to Villa Jade and shares the same stunning views. Joy is more compact with less square footage and six en suite bedrooms. However, it boasts many of the same wow features including the infinity pool, Jacuzzi, super-gym and the theater-style home cinema. I love the combination of the modern décor with whimsical accessories and the homage to mid-century movie stars.

Villa Joy

Villa Joy

We inspected two fabulous – and very different properties – in Gustavia. Cassiopée is a two-level three bedroom penthouse apartment that comes with a garaged parking spot and an elevator. Chic and modern, it overlooks the iconic harbor with all its hustle and bustle. Two en suite bedrooms are upstairs; an additional main level room can serve as a third bedroom or a TV room.

Villa Cassiopée

Villa Cassiopée

Villa Infinity is a lovely four bedroom luxury villa that sits above the harbor. Newly built, yet it has a gracious old plantation house feel. Its outdoor living space is fabulous with a terrace and a lower level pool deck with a kitchenette housed in a gazebo.

Villa Infinity

Villa Infinity

In St Jean, Villa Sagittaire wows it guests with a stunning vista of the bay and chaise lounges are queued up along the extra-long infinity pool to take it all in. The four bedrooms have charming 4-poster draped beds and their en suite bedrooms have indoor and outdoor showers. The pool deck is gorgeous and I loved the rear deck – set up for BBQing and relaxing – and how it architecturally frames the view.

Villa Sagittaire

Villa Sagittaire

The main mission for the week was compiling the content for the upcoming issue of the company’s catalog Live Your Dream®. We had a fun interview with Hafida Amezian, who has taken over Hideaway the beloved open-air pizza parlor. She shared her plans for this iconic eatery and changes already implemented. They include the addition of fresh fish to the menu and upgrading the fries – from frozen to hand-cut. And they were yummy.

One of our evenings included a long, delicious over-dinner chat with Bagatelle’s GM Jean-Mathieu Sablier. The sophisticated harbor side eatery serves up contemporary French cuisine in a sexy, so St. Barth setting. What many island visitors may not know is that the menu includes Les Pizzas – thin crust and divine. In fact, black truffle pizza is one of its signature dishes and Peg and I shared one, and tucked-in to another, yellowfin tuna tartare nicely citrusy with a little avocado. Bagatelle will be the new venue for next season’s weekly cocktail party.

And speaking of sophisticated settings, no island restaurant deserves that description more than Bonito. What a view! I enjoyed it with a Tiki cocktail – their drinks menu is really creative – and we had a scrumptious dinner starting with a chilled pea soup. We went casual one night at Le Repaire and took a street-side table. I had a juicy two-handed burger and indulged in a little people-watching. As always, too many great restaurants too little time.

One of the week’s highlights was a sunset cruise with Top-Loc. We set sail with Captain Eric on the 45 ft. Wayayaï catamaran at 5:00 pm and loved every minute. Top Loc also offers full and half day cruises and with the use of snorkling gear, kayaks and paddleboats make for a fun experience especially for families with kids.

We loved our Top Loc sunset sail with Captain Eric

We loved our Top Loc sunset sail with Captain Eric

We interviewed the owners of H2O St. Barth and gathered all the pertinent info on the Seabob, an underwater scooter that is all the rage. Seabob has partnered with St. Barth Jet Ski to create what they call the James Bond Experience. It incorporates the Seabob, Jet Ski, an introductory scuba dive – wait there’s more – a “trip” on a flyboard. Flyboard is a device that propels you into the air as well as below the waves. Full disclosure, we didn’t give it a try, but we’re sure there are lots of SBP clients that would love it and we’d love to hear all about it and see pictures.

Try the new Seabob sport on your next St. Barth vacation. The concierges at St. Barth Properties will make all of the arrangements.

Try the new Seabob sport on your next St. Barth vacation. The concierges at St. Barth Properties will make all of the arrangements.

Guest Blog St Barth Properties St. Barth Specialist Kathy Schlitzer’s Trip Report June 2013

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Steve and I left St. Barth May 8 to attend several family graduations; I have made two trips back to paradise in between. I was going to write a blog about the family milestones but I figured that was way off-topic and I didn’t want to bore you. I just got back from vacationing in France where I took most of the family to celebrate.

Today’s blog is a Guest Blog written by our St. Barth Specialist, Kathy Schlitzer. Enjoy!

Kathy Schlitzer

Kathy Schlitzer

I often ask clients what it is that brings them back to St Barth year after year. Certainly they travel to other parts of the world as well, but they say their annual time in St Barth is sacred. They tell me it’s the only place they can truly relax in their hectic world. They love their daily routine that may include picking up fresh croissants and a baguette at the local bakery, reading and napping around the pool or on a favorite beach, a long lunch (preferably with feet in the sand) and no one hovering with the check, and dinner in or out, usually decided at the last minute. Actually they say most everything is decided at the last minute! No plans, no rush, no stress.

Having just returned from my semi-annual working trip I didn’t exactly have that experience but I’ve been to St Barth on vacation in the past and can corroborate. It’s best to go to St Barth often and without a list of things to do, if you’re coming to relax just chill and let it happen.

I stayed at two amazing villas this time. My colleague, our US concierge Julia Hurd, was with me all 8 nights, and the St Barth Properties President, Peg Walsh, for the first 4 nights. First stop – Villa Valentina, located on the windward side of Pointe Milou you can always count on a really nice breeze. We left the sliders open when we were there, three of us sitting around on our computers – if you have to work the breeze is very welcome. Valentina has the most interesting entrance, an amazing Balinese wooden door opens into a lobby with an ornate antique ceiling and both door and ceiling were shipped from Bali when the villa was built – the sound of a fountain and a Buddha complete the feeling of serenity! Very unique – very cool. The house was comfortable and the view is amazing.

Villa Valentina Balinese wooden door

Villa Valentina Balinese wooden door

Villa Valentina lobby with Balinese ceiling

Villa Valentina lobby with Balinese ceiling

After 4 nights at Valentina we were reluctant to leave but off we went to Villa Belle Bague in Colombier. Belle Bague is also a 4 bedroom villa with an amazing view and comfortable indoor and outdoor space. It too has a consistent breeze and Julia and I spent all our down time on the comfy couches on the deck. After touring the villa with the manager, both of us commented on the outstanding amenities included in this villa – the kitchen is a chef’s dream, every pot, pan, serving dish, cutlery, stemware, appliance and cooking gadget was there. Clearly the owner spends time at his villa and wants to be comfortable – happily the renters reap the benefits too. I could picture a large dinner party on the deck with candles and stars and the sound of the fountain and soft music in the background.

Villa Belle Bague deck

Villa Belle Bague deck

The bedrooms are mostly equal and all have television with cable and Hopper (a DVR for Dish customers), DVD – and WIFI router. WIFI reception was excellent and watching movies on my bedroom television put me to sleep after a long day. There wasn’t a thing we could think of that was missing. Unfortunately the weather turned cloudy so my personal pictures don’t do the villa justice but this is a very special villa. Did I mention the large, heated (in winter) pool with fountain!

Villa Belle Bague pool

Villa Belle Bague pool

From personal experience I highly recommend both Villa Valentina and Villa Belle Bague for families or couples.

I saw many villas during my stay, too many to mention here, but I visited several that are new to us and notable. Our two new villas on Flamands Beach – Micela and La Sirène are a wonderful option for those looking for beach front villas. Colibris is a new studio villa tucked away in Camaruche and perfect for honeymooners. La Côte Champagne in Petit cul de sac has 4 bedrooms, a huge pool, stunning view and connecting bedrooms. I can see either couples or families with kids enjoying this villa. I saw several new luxury villas that were over the top amazing – notably Villa Les Étoiles in Pointe Milou. This villa was designed to capture both sunrise and sunset and the view takes your breath away.

When I visit villas I picture the type of client I would recommend for the villa based on layout, location and amenities, for Les Étoiles I could see couples or family enjoying this villa for many reasons. For instance when I entered the chef’s kitchen with the large island I could picture an evening with a chef, a cooking class while sipping a good wine, dining al fresco under the stars. That is St Barth!

Villa Les Étoiles kitchen

Villa Les Étoiles kitchen

I could go on and on about the villas I saw, the meals I enjoyed, and the people I met but I’d better get back to work. Au revoir St Barth, à la prochaine fois.