Posts Tagged ‘Winair’

Arrival night dinner – worth the money. Start your St. Barth vacation on the right foot!

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

Bonjour!

Today’s blog was written by our St. Barth Properties USA office’s St. Barth Villa and Hotel Specialist Allegra Pawlowski. Allegra was lucky enough to start her time on St. Barth as a vacationer before swinging into work mode.

As many of our repeat guests know, vacationing in St. Barth is worth the extra effort it takes to get there. Occasionally, a glitch or two, through no fault of our own, can make for a very long travel day. Allegra shares her story.

Enjoy!
Peg

GUEST BLOG BY ALLEGRA PAWLOWSKI

Allegra

Allegra Pawlowski

I went to the island for some vacation time with my mom and best friend and then I was to stay on for another week for my bi-annual inspection trip. The vacation portion was first and as it was a special getaway for my mom after a very tough year with medical hurdles and a death in the family, I arranged to have her pampered a bit on this trip. The first step was to hire a chef for our arrival night. Little did I realize that this was to be way more appreciated than originally planned… FOR ALL OF US.

Our travel day started with rising in Boston at 2 a.m. for a flight leaving at 5:30 a.m. followed by a connection in NYC and landing on St Maarten in a rain storm. This kind of weather is infrequent, so it was my first experience. Instead of waiting out the storm, we decided to jump in a taxi, cross the island at rush hour and head to the ferry.

You can take a ferry from St. Martin (the French side) instead of flying to St. Barth

Let me take a moment here to add that our Director of Concierge Services, (located in the US) Julia Hurd is a godsend! With one quick call to Julia, she reassured us that all would be ok on the island – she swiftly arranged to have the rental car waiting at the dock (rather than the airport), the chef was to arrive later and the manager of the property was alerted of our delay. I could sit back and enjoy the ferry ride to the island (a VERY rough, but fun ride, especially with a Planteur’s Punch in hand!).

Once we disembarked, we jumped in the car, drove to the Marché U to get the requisite (and much needed) bottles of wine, water and a few things to get us through the night. The chef, Christophe was hard at work already in the spacious kitchen of GORGEOUS Les Etoiles (our home for 2 of our 6 nights on the island). We were welcomed to the scent of parmesan crisps being toasted in the oven! We parked ourselves at the bar in the kitchen, watched the rain through the glass windows surrounding the living and kitchen area, poured ourselves some rosé and enjoyed the show in front of us with Christophe!

Chefs X.O. – Christophe Moreau preparing our first night’s meal

This was the agreed upon menu:

  • Amuse Bouche de la chef
  • Burrata di bufala with heirloom tomatoes, pear capers tartare, crispy prosciutto and parmesan chips
  • Beef Wellington, mushroom duxelles, grenaille potatoes, Mediterranean ratatouille
  • Roasted pineapple with citrus and honey syrup

Amuse Bouche de la Chef

Burrata by Chefs X.O., Christophe

HEAVEN! The zombies we were, sitting at the bar allowed us to watch Christophe work his magic and magic it was! He kept refilling our glasses with the rosé we picked up at the market (He can provide the cocktails and wine if you wish) and we watched with our eyes wide and mouths drooling. What a fantastic way to end an adventure-filled day! I strongly suggest that you ask Julia to arrange your first night’s dinner on your arrival day.

Dessert – Roasted pineapple with citrus and honey syrup

Thank you and sunny regards,

Allegra Pawlowski
St Barth Specialist

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.

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.