I’ve just returned from Cannes where I attended the ILTM (International Luxury Travel Mart). I met with many travel agents from all over the world in order to tell them how wonderful St. Barth is. I am off to St. Barth next week and I can’t wait to get there.
I have asked colleague Connie Walsh who traveled with me to St. Barth last month, to write a guest blog describing her trip.
SBH Trip Report November 2012
By Connie Walsh
We had a smooth late afternoon landing, courtesy of Tradewind Aviation, and in no time we were settled in at Villa Everest – and enjoying some wine and cheese. (I highly recommend pre-arrival villa provisioning!) Dinner at Andy’s Hideaway is our first tradition and as always it was rollicking fun with locals and vacationers who have it on their gotta-go list. I adore their thin crust pizza – and their house-made vanilla rhum.
Our schedule was chock a block with villa and hotel inspections and, trying new-this-season restaurants and the company’s annual Beachside Bash. The venue was again Shell Beach’s Dõ Brazil where songstress Christine Gordon had the crowd up dancing. The Champagne corks were popping and everyone enjoyed a buffet with samples of new menu items. My favs were the Mahi-Mahi sliders and the ribs.
New restos on the scene include La Tables de Jules in Lorient offering dinner staring at 29 euros for 2 courses and a very cool – and cozy – sushi bar corner and in the heart of Gustavia, island restaurateur Franck Mathevet formerly of the Wall House has brought his culinary magic to the covered courtyard of Rue du Port. He has named it Le Carré and everyone in our group loved it…from the first kernel of truffle oil popcorn to the last spoonful of sorbet. Tucked between Hermes and Cartier the sidewalk café ambiance is tres chic.
There’s a brand new chef at Le Sereno, Jean Louis Brocardi and we were delighted to meet with him when we dined there one evening. He is just as charming and engaging as he is talented and we had quite a feast! Could one have too much freshly caught mahi-mahi? We think not. He presented us with a gorgeous appetizer platter of tuna prepared in different – and delicious ways.
We visited Hotel Le Toiny’s poolside Le Gaïac – for a “working lunch.” The pool itself has had a do-over in lava stone and the restaurant is resplendent with a new classic decor. We also lunched at Santa Fe, feet-in-the-sand Gloriette (fab chicken curry and rice) and of course, stopped for a cheeseburger in paradise at Le Select.
Armed with a list of villas newly added to the portfolios we were pleased with what we saw. Here’s a sample:
Villa Imagine – 3 bedrooms: A beautiful Marigot location! A domed skylight floods the living area with light and a classic picture window frames the view. I loved the comfy contemporary furnishings and the artful combination of chic industrial and whimsical accessories. A striking extra long pool sparkles in the sun all day.
Villa A – 3 bedrooms: A formal French maison, its grand salon must be seen to be believed and it opens to an expansive pool terrace facing the sea. Villa A features a huge eat-in kitchen with every culinary amenity and would be a WOW setting for a wedding or event.
Naturelle 3 – 4 bedrooms: Worthy of an Architectural Digest layout, and like its two “sister villas”, the name comes from its gorgeous but natural tropical landscaping. A sprawling main-level deck features an extra long infinity edge (and heated) pool. The views are spectacular! Two en suite bedrooms are on opposite ends of the villa and the other two, also en suite, are situated just down the hill in a bi level pavilion. Each has its own plunge pool. A spacious open air mini-gym is just one of many special features.
And for honeymooners – Ti Acerola. This very private mini-compound’s main pavilion has a kitchen, dining area, bedroom and bath. The 2nd pavilion houses a cozy air-conditioned living room. Both are adjacent to a delightful pool. And what a view!
Our hotel inspections included the Carl Gustaf. The suites’ plunge pools have been retiled in sparkling white and new contemporary furnishings and décor give the living rooms and the bedrooms a fresh new airy – and 5 star look. The Hotel Saint-Barth Hotel Isle de France is boasting new white marble flooring in it iconic breezeway. We toured the newly refurbished rooms as suites on the beach as we; as the garden bungalows and they are gorgeous. We checked in at the Hotel Taïwana and its new top-level bedroom suites are nearing completion.
It was a busy and productive trip with a nice Sunday break in the middle. We began with a breakfast of ham and cheese croissants at La Petite Colombe and a morning swim at Gouverneur Beach; and then on to St. Jean Beach for a picnic lunch – and some great people watching. Parfait.