Posts Tagged ‘Villa Marie Saint Barth’

Just back from St. Barth June 2017

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

A whirlwind trip full of new St Barth information that I gathered for our next Live Your Dream catalogue.

THE PRIVATE CHEFS OF ST. BARTH

My week in St. Barth was full of appointments and new experiences, even for a veteran like me who has been going there for 31 years. Connie Walsh who works with me (no, we are not related) and I had a mission: Obtain as much new and interesting material as possible for our next Live Your Dream catalogue. Although it will be unveiled at our Beachside Bash on December 02, 2017, we needed lots of lead time in order to meet the deadlines for publication.

We began by acting like a client to see what it is like to stay at the new 5 star Villa Marie Saint Barth. Tucked away on the Colombier hillside where the former François Plantation hotel used to be, we were charmed by our suites. Like all of the suites, Connie’s Family Suite and my Prestige Bungalow were decorated differently, which is a nice touch. My suite had a king bedroom, spacious living room with sliders leading out to a big deck furnished for outdoor living and sunning. Connie’s was similar but had a small child’s room with bunk beds and small 2nd bath. The view over Flamands was stunning. The en suite baths had both a shower and a clawfoot bathtub. We enjoyed our first night’s dinner in their gourmet restaurant, aptly named François Plantation. It was pricey but delicious. Breakfast is served by the swimming pool and is included in the very reasonably priced rate at this Sibuet boutique hotel.

Villa Marie St Barth has a view over Flamands

Our next stay was at the 5 star Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa which sits directly on Grand Cul de Sac beach. Our Ocean Luxe Suites were on the 2nd story and gorgeous. The en suite bathroom has louvred doors over the sink, so I always had a sea view even when I was brushing my teeth! A comfortable sitting area is at the foot of the king bed and sliders open to the covered balcony where I could sit at a table for 2 or on a comfy chair. To me, the pièce de résistance is the amazing automatic screen that is invisible to the eye. Just click a button to open it to the breezes or leave it down. The colorful water view is the same. I was up early one morning as were the kite surfers playing with the wind over the lagoon. We enjoyed dinner at their Aux Amis beachfront gourmet restaurant. During the day, it is more casual and this is where we had breakfast (included) and lunch. Another day we decide to have lunch at the Le Turquoise bar and restaurant near the pool.

Le Barthélemy Hotel & Sp sits directly on Grand Cul de Sac beach

Don’t get the idea that we just lounged around all day. Unlike you who are on vacation to relax, we had plenty of work to accomplish on this trip. We interviewed the private chefs with whom we collaborate and book for you when you want to just chillout at your villa. For starters, we interviewed Pascal Preynat of PASCAL COOK. His favorite cuisine is Provençale. We learned that he makes his own Foie Gras. We loved it! If you are lucky enough to spend the holidays in St. Barth with us, you will receive this as a gift from St. Barth Properties.

We interviewed Pascal Cook in the conference room at our new waterfront St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty office.

Homemade Foie Gras by Pascal Cook

Then there was Philippe Masseglia, the former Executive Chef of 22 years at Le Guanahani who created his new services as a private chef under the name, Food Square. From tataki to tangine to pasta puttanesca, Philippe has clients’ cravings covered. Italian food is one of his passions, but he recognizes that many people today prefer to eat lighter, healthier fare. Clients love him so much they often ask him to go with them when they travel elsewhere. He happily obliges.

We interviewed FOOD SQUARE owner Philippe Massegilia at Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa on a French holiday when nobody else would work. Philippe was happy to work that day. Merci beaucoup, Philippe.

Another chef with whom we often work is CHEF XO. Christophe Moreau loves interacting with the clients, he answers questions and lets them get involved if they wish – chopping vegetables and stirring bowls and pots. Christophe is often the chef that we use for Our Drive Dine & Relax package. Our clients always rave about the meal that he prepared for their complimentary candlelight dinner.

CHEF XO, Christophe Moreau, loves cooking for you in your villa.

On our last evening, LOLO’S PRIVATE CATERING wanted to cook for us! By this time, Connie and I had moved to Villa Sur Le Port in Gustavia. The owner had kindly offered us two complimentary nights, so that we could experience a stay there. If you do not mind a short but steep walk down a hill, it’s a perfect villa for Gustavia lovers. It even comes with a parking space! Lolo (Laurence Philippot) walked in at about 5:30 with loads of food and equipment for the job at hand. We sat at the bar and watched her do her magic while we interviewed her. She told us that the Lacanche stove at the villas was “The Rolls Royce” of ranges and she thoroughly loved using it. As we have new staff at our St. Barth offices, they needed to sample her cooking, too. Her culinary repertoire encompasses Indian and Asian cuisine and some of her special dishes offer creative innovative fusion. We have vegan clients who book her year after year, as well.

Lolo’s Private Catering cooked for us at Villa Sur Le Port on our last night.

Speaking of having new staff at our rental and sales offices, I was very happy to meet Laura Commaret on her very first day with our St. Barth Properties – St. Barth villa rental office. Laura and Anne Laure Amy are sharing the front desk and reservation duties now that Magda has left and Aurélie Janvier has assumed the Concierge position. Aurélie has lots of innovative ideas to enhance your St. Barth experience with us. Laura comes to us from Le Sereno hotel where she handled reservations at both their St. Barth and Lake Como hotels and interacted with the hotel guests. By the end of the week, she had fully adapted to her position and told me that she loves her new job! Welcome Laura.

Here I am with our newest St. Barth Properties – St. Barth rental offce staff member Laura Commaret

I do have lots of other news but will save it for future blogs, so that you are not on overload.

Julie Nally’s St. Barth Trip Report

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Discover some new St. Barth favorites

Julie Nally

Julie Nally

Our St. Barth Villa Specialist, Julie Nally (20 years with SBP) just returned from her spring inspection trip to St. Barth. She stayed at various places for a night or two, as is customary when the staff is on one of their reconnaissance tours that occurs twice a year. Julie spent a few nights at the new 5-star hotel, Villa Marie Saint Barth. (Loved it!) She said, “Standout Hotel: Villa Marie – Brand new boutique hotel located in Colombier. One of the room amenities I loved the most was the super soft bathrobe provided for all guests.  Bathrobes are obviously not a new item offered. However, this specific robe was the most comfortable and best fitting I have ever had. I wanted to buy one to bring home, but unfortunately, they are not for sale. Their branded Pure Altitude facial and body products provided are lovely as well.”

Villa Marie

Julie loved having breakfast, poolside, at the hotel Villa Marie

Julie continued to say, “The ambiance at the property is very nice…tropical, lots of vegetation, hillside.” The restaurant at the hotel is called, François Plantation in tribute to the former restaurant that used to occupy the same spot when the hotel with the same appellation was there many years ago. Julie dined there and said, “It was very good (gastronomique) a bit expensive, also.  Of course, right?!  LOL.” I’ve dined there a few times myself and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s well worth it and it’s always full, so please make sure to ask us to make a reservation for you.

François Plantation restaurant at Villa Marie

François Plantation restaurant at Villa Marie

Julie then checked into Villa Aronnax – This luxurious one bedroom pied-à-terre is in the heart of Gustavia. Julie loved it for its views, infinity pool and location. She said. “Aronnax – Great for a couple or solo traveler who wants to experience the heart of Gustavia and all it has to offer…delicious food, tasty treats, fabulous shopping, and lovely people to meet and converse with.  Being able to keep my car parked in its own designated spot and walk to Shell Beach earns Villa Aronnax extra stars!” Its proximity to Tom’s Natural Juice Bar was perfect. Julie would start her day with one of their fresh fruit & vegetable smoothies or acai bowls. She’d pick up some house-made hummus and sunflower crackers to fuel her for a morning full of villa inspections.

Gustavia sunset

Julie captured this Gustavia sunset while walking back to Villa Aronnax

Other tidbits from Julie. “Standout spots for the health-conscious traveler: In addition to Tom’s Juice bar, there is a new place in St Jean, Chez SO, specializing in organic salads made fresh daily at 6 euro/bowl as well as smoothies, sandwiches, and desserts.”

Julie inspected, many, many villas on her trip and told me her, “Standout villas: Villa LAO – Brand new, located high on the hillside in Corossol with three en suite bedrooms, all with a private Jacuzzi. The view is amazing and the location is private, peaceful, and convenient.” She also loved Villa Clés des Vents that is located in the gated community of Mont Jean. In her own words, “Incredibly private, serene, tranquil.   Furnishings and décor are classic but luxurious.  A ‘home away from home’ style and comfortability.”

Villa Clés des Vents

Villa Clés des Vents is one of Julie’s new favorites

I am heading back to St. Barth on Sunday to gather information for our next Live Your Dream magazine and looking forward to writing articles for your enjoyment. I will also be organizing and planning our beachside party when we unveil the magazine and launch the new season. It will be in the late fall. I can give you the exact date when I return. I hope to see you there!