Posts Tagged ‘Villa Orion’

St. Barth in July 2015 – A trip report by Anne-Cécile Bedford

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Finishing off with the staff trips to St. Barth during the spring and summer of 2015, I am pleased to share Anne-Cécile Bedford’s trip report. Anne has been a St. Barth Specialist with St. Barth Properties for 16 years. Anne is a native of France who came to the US to improve her English by taking a job as an au pair, and then decided to settle here. We feel blessed to have her as a part of the team; she adds that delightful “French flavor” to the mix.

Enjoy,

Peg

St. Barth in July 2015 – A trip report by Anne-Cécile Bedford

The island of St Barth is a wonderful place to visit in the summer, to escape the crowded beaches in the US and find a warm dry tropical climate and gentle breezes. You can let yourself be seduced by a hotel stay or decide to stay in a private villa and take advantage of the low season rates. If you already have summer plans, do not worry; We extend those attractive rates until December 15.

After sending my children off to France, Brittany, where they enjoy reconnecting with family and the French way of life, I packed my stuff to travel to that special French destination that I like to call “Home”; the island of St Barth where many of you have traveled before and will return again. Yes, everybody falls in love in St Barth and you will find yourself hooked on it too!

So, I set myself up at the glamorous Taïwana hotel located on the beautiful white sandy beach of Flamands where couples can find privacy in a beachfront suite with Jacuzzi, while families may opt for the Pearl Suite composed of 3 bedrooms with private pool or the 4 bedroom penthouse located on top of the hotel. Regardless of where you are staying, you will be welcomed by a wonderful staff for an ultimate St Barth experience! From the fantastic food at their sea side restaurant to the sexy pool and romantic beach, it will be the vacation of your life. Bring your lover, family, children; everybody is welcomed at the 5 Star Taïwana hotel and don’t forget to check their fashionable clothing boutique “Poupette”.

Villa Pearl, 3 bedroom suite with private pool

Pearl, 3 bedroom suite with private pool at the Taïwana hotel

If you feel adventurous and want to discover some of the hidden beaches in St Barth, I recommend walking from Taïwana to the end of the road at “Petite Anse” through the local neighborhood of Flamands and hike along the coastline where you will witness memorable panoramic views until you reach the gorgeous beach of Colombier. Bring a bottle of water, your picnic, snorkeling gear and enjoy the beauty of the deep blue ocean. You will come across some friendly tropical fish and other types of sea creatures. If you are up to a good workout, hike back up to Colombier (It is a 25 minute steep hike) and take a pause to admire the panoramic view from the observatory…then walk back down! Hydrate and good luck!

View of Colombier Beach from the top

View of Colombier Beach from the top

After two nights at hotel Taïwana, I moved next door to the new Cheval Blanc Hotel (ex “Isle de France”) where I stayed for one night in a beach room overlooking the pool and the ocean. What a treat! Their beach rooms are so spacious, comfortable and beautiful. It was a short stay but I was happy to reconnect with the staff at the hotel and appreciate the new special amenities offered in the room – 43 amenities total – from stationery paper to beauty products and flip flops.

Cheval Blanc Hotel

Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France Hotel

My numerous villa visits included some exciting new properties: villa Infinity in Gustavia, Villa Orion, Why Not, Sagittaire in St Jean, villas Joy and Jade in Marigot, villa Chiavari in Lurin, villa Brume de Mer in Flamands.

I also revisited some properties I had not seen in a while such as villa Camaruche where I enjoyed sipping cocktails with the owner and his family while the sun set.

Villa Camaruche at sunset!

Villa Camaruche at sunset!

Villa Inspection “Anastasia”, Gouverneur

Villa Inspection “Anastasia”, Gouverneur

While I was driving through Lorient I stopped at the old “Autour du Rocher” or what is left of it after it burned to the ground in 1991. It used to be the place to gather and party all night long and it became famous with Jimmy Buffet’s lyrics; “Some say it was a planet, some say it was a rock”. Well, the news today is that a 5 star hotel composed of 30 rooms or 24 bungalows was granted permission to be built on that rock in Lorient. Will the old ghost of “Autour du Rocher” let that happen or haunt the place forever ??? Stay tuned…

View of Lorient beach from “Autour du Rocher”

View of Lorient beach from “Autour du Rocher”

“Autour du Rocher” ruins

“Autour du Rocher” ruins

I also took the time to stop by the Art Gallery located off the hill on the way to Camaruche called “Modernisme St. Barth” which has been open since 2004 and displays paintings of Miro, Picasso, Cocteau, Matisse, Art deco furniture, Chinese archeological tribal art, ethnic precious jewelry from tribes in Thailand and an amazing collection of opium pipes. Check it out! It is interesting to find those treasures on St Barth.

I moved a third time after my hotel stays into a villa this time, located on the highest point of Vitet, where you feel like you are sitting on top of the world ! Yes, the view from villa Royal Palm will take your breath away. I loved my morning breakfast by the pretty pool and enjoyed cooling off in that pool after a day of visits and a run through the hills of Vitet. The sunsets at night were incredible and so peaceful. The property is very nicely furnished with air conditioning throughout and features 2 bedrooms, a comfortable indoor and outdoor living and dining space and a gas barbeque to dine “al fresco” while enjoying the stunning view. Villa Royal Palm is a special place to share with someone special!

Villa Royal Palm in Vitet

Villa Royal Palm in Vitet

Of course my trip to St. Barth would not be complete without an amazing culinary experience!!

The Tamarin restaurant has reopened its doors and it is better than it ever was! When entering the restaurant, you will be greeted by two very colorful caged parrots near the tall, majestic Tamarind tree. You will walk your way through an enchanted tropical garden made of Lily ponds and small palm trees before choosing a table in the main part of the restaurant or tucked away in a more private setting. If you are bringing children they will get entertained by the foos table and ping pong table located in the garden.

Tamarin, Saline

Tamarind tree

Tamarin, Saline

Tamarin, Saline

I recommend for lunch the delicious Thai Salad with prawns and ginger dressing followed by a “Café Gourmand” before being tempted by the complimentary house Rhum. Did you know that the Tamarind tree produces a yummy fruit hidden in a shell? Try their house cocktail called Tamarin and get a taste of the actual fruit. It is Tasty! For the ladies, don’t forget to check the clothing and jewelry boutique “Gipsea”! You will find unique handmade pieces influenced by the African culture from Kenya. Check that skirt I bought there!

Thai Salad with prawns and ginger dressing

Thai Salad with prawns and ginger dressing

Dessert at Tamarin

Dessert at Tamarin

The streets of Gustavia were quite lively at night and jamming to the beat of the “St Barth Jam Music Festival” celebrating its 10 year anniversary. Five days of free concert s on the harbor brought many local families and tourists to this wonderful event. They played different types of music; creole, reggae, zook and salsa. I got to see “Steel Pulse”, a reggae band from the UK that was famous in France in the 90‘s. The majority of the island was right next to me enjoying this fun atmosphere.

“Steel Pulse” on stage

“Steel Pulse” on stage

Voilà….I am now back in the office and I can’t wait to speak to you and help you arrange your next trip to beautiful St Barth. Call me at 1-508-440-9884 or email me at anne@stbarth.com

A bientôt…..

Anne-Cécile Bedford

KATHY’S May 2015 Trip Report

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Bonjour St. Barth Lovers,

As you may know the staff in my U.S. office must travel to St. Barth at least twice a year to do their villa and hotel inspections, catch up on the restaurants, boutiques and new services that we offer as well touch base with the staff in my St. Barth office.

Kathy Schlitzer is one of our fabulous St. Barth Properties’ Specialists who assists you with planning your St. Barth dream vacation. Here is her Spring 2015 Trip Report:

Early on Saturday morning Julia and I were off to Boston’s Logan airport for our JetBlue flight to St. Maarten and Winair to St. Barth.  Landing in St Maarten at 11:45 A we were met by the Easyway VIP representative who immediately went into VIP mode. He took our luggage tags and directed us through the In transit security door and up to the gate – meanwhile bypassing the immigration lines, baggage pick up, and check in with Winair.  In moments we were at our gate, the Easyway person found us, handed us our boarding passes, assured us our luggage was checked in to Winair, and informed us we were booked on an earlier flight leaving in 15 minutes!  Well that was easy!

We landed in St Barth, grabbed luggage, picked up our cars from Gumbs Car Rental (we’d emailed a copy of our driver’s license prior to departure so she had the paperwork ready), and we were off to Marché U for groceries.  By 2:30 we were at Villa Everest unpacking and ready for a swim in the pool (and a cold beer)!

We were treated to glorious sunsets at Villa Everest

We were treated to glorious sunsets at Villa Everest

TIP: Easyway VIP is well worth the cost when landing in St Maarten’s rather convoluted airport.  Our concierge Julia can reserve Easyway VIP for our clients. It’s especially helpful during busy seasons or when you have a tight connection – or just don’t feel like dealing with the inefficiency that is SXM. Julia’s email is Juliahurd@stbarth.com.

We’d made a reservation at Santa Fe, a favorite of both Julia and myself, for our first night.  Julia invariably starts with the escargot and always orders Dover sole as her main! For me it was the mussels to start, and Wahoo with ginger and coriander for my main – it’s so good!  We shared a Fondant au Chocolat – after all, it’s our first night!

Fondant au Chocolat (Warm Chocolate Cake) at the Santa Fe

Fondant au Chocolat (Warm Chocolate Cake) at the Santa Fe

Sunday – After a good night’s sleep we’re ready to start our week in St Barth.  Making sure all the electronics work, WIFI set up, and emails answered, we head out to do a few necessary errands and for a drive around the island to make sure everything is as we left it!   The weather is fine and we’re excited to be back.

La Gloriette on Grand Cul de Sac beach is one of my favorite places for lunch, especially on Sundays.  The small beach restaurant is a favorite for families – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins meet there for a relaxing afternoon. Grand Cul de Sac is a lagoon, shallow and still, parents can easily watch kids playing on the shore. While we were having lunch a little girl caught a tiny fish and holding it up for all to see came running to her parents full of pride at her accomplishment. Everyone was smiling. I like that about the island culture – family time is important.

Warm goat cheese salad, a glass of rosé, and, of course, a glass of vanilla rhum completed our meal and we’re off again.

Here I am at Villa Everest - All set to begin my workday

Here I am at Villa Everest – All set to begin my workday

Monday – I had my villa visit schedule prepared and I was ready to go.  This year we’ve added some great new villas and I was pleased to match the pictures with the real thing. Some new offerings are the beautiful Chateau de Sable on St. Jean beach, Villa Ananda, Sagittaire and Orion hillside in St. Jean, Infinity in Gustavia, Belina in Colombier, Chiavari in Lurin, Jade and Joy in Marigot, Mirage in Gouverneur, and Chimère in Petit Cul de Sac.  (Editor’s note:  Be sure to check out future blogs for more info on the new villas.)

Villa Chateau de Sable on St. Jean Beach

Villa Chateau de Sable on St. Jean Beach

You will adore the view of St. Jean from Villa Orion

You will adore the view of St. Jean from Villa Orion

I also went back to old favorites that I either hadn’t seen for a while or to see changes or renovations. Casawapa added a third bedroom as did Rêve de Nuit, Ti Acerola is back for rental, and Serenity in Gustavia and Azur in Lurin.

Tuesday – Julia and I were lucky enough to be reserved on a full day boat trip with Jicky Marine.  I hadn’t snorkeled in St Barth for several years and I was excited.  The catamaran was new and extremely well maintained and captained.  Beer, wine, rum punch, water, and soft drinks, as well as snacks were offered throughout the day. Lunch was served when we reached Forchue island where we would spend the day and snorkel.  The crew set us up with very good snorkel equipment and took us to a spot where we could see turtles and rays, and, as we got closer to the rocks along the shore, colorful fish.  When not in the water we lay out on the beanbag lined “hammock” at the front of the catamaran.  It was a great day.  The water is so clear, so blue, and so beautiful. Julia can arrange this trip for you before you travel to St. Barth or our on-island concierge Magda Borne can reserve it once you are on St. Barth.

Julia and I relaxing after snorkeling

Julia and I relaxing after snorkeling

The Sunset Cruise with Jicky Marine was so relaxing

The Sunset Cruise with Jicky Marine was so relaxing

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday – Julia and I went our separate ways, me to visit villas and hotels and Julia to meet with vendors and try things like yoga and a ride in a mini Moke, peruse the new organic food shops and juice bars – and taste Gelato.  Tough job!

Julia had our dinner reservations set and just told me where we were going each night – I didn’t argue, they’re all good! Isola is elegant and wonderful Italian, Black Ginger fun and friendly Thai, Tamarin a magical garden setting with lily pad pools and romantic tables tucked throughout.

After dinner on our last night we popped into Bagatelle to catch the excitement. It was packed, music glaring, dancing everywhere, the wait staff adeptly delivered food and drink in the middle of it all. Evidently, there were a lot of birthdays and anniversaries being celebrated with champagne. Bottles topped with sparklers were paraded to the tables conga line fashion and, in one case, delivered by someone on a scooter driven through the restaurant! We stayed long enough to want to return another time when we didn’t have an early morning flight!

All in all, it was a good trip and we accomplished everything we needed to – and had some fun.

Au revoir St. Barth – jusqu’à la prochaine fois.