It’s that time of year. High Season is over, and St. Barth is quieter which means it’s the period when our staff makes one of their bi-annual inspection trips to St Barth. (They will go again in November). They do this because they love to take in the vibe again and to be able to give you the best advice on where to stay when you go. I could call it taking another course in continuing ed.
Today’s Guest Blog in written by bilingual Villa and Hotel Specialist, Anne-Cécile Bedford who has been a member of the St. Barth Properties team since 1999!
Anne-Cécile’s St. Barth May 2019 Trip Report
Traveling to St Barth during the month of May is my favorite time of year. The rush of the high season is over, the weather is beautiful and just right, and the island’s pace slows down a bit, which allows me to visit many properties that are on my radar. As always, flying to Puerto Rico from Boston is an easy 4 hour flight with a smooth connection on Tradewind directly to St Barth from San Juan.
I arrived on St Barth on a late Saturday afternoon and settled down at the 5-star Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa, just in time to catch the end of a beautiful sunny day. This elegant and sophisticated hotel sits directly on the beach at Grand Cul de Sac, facing the blue colors of the lagoon. My room, Le Barth Ocean was located on the second level of the hotel, facing both the infinity pool and the ocean with a wonderful terrace to enjoy the view and relax. The room is in perfect harmony with the ocean theme and the decor is stylish and inviting. I enjoyed the complimentary Hermes products and their small welcome gift.
On Sunday, I woke up and experienced a fantastic breakfast buffet at the hotel restaurant before relaxing by the pool and taking a dip in the lagoon. Their new beach restaurant Aux Amis Plage, feet in the sand, is a wonderful place to enjoy a tasty lunch while watching a fashion show. I had the Tuna Takaki salad with a detox cocktail for the glow. Their unique new rooftop bar called “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” awaits you with a large list of delicious cocktails. They have a DJ playing from Monday to Sunday starting at 5pm.
As a guest of St Barth Properties staying in one of our private villas, you can take advantage of our 5-star perks and privileges at Le Barthélemy hotel when booking a breakfast or lunch. Once you are on the island, contact our local concierge, Aurélie Janvier who will set you up for a unique experience.
On Monday, I said goodbye to Le Barthélemy and moved to a romantic little 1 bedroom, hillside in Colombier called Léana. The views from the villa looking down to Flamands beach are spectacular! The villa has kept the original St Barth architecture and is made up of 3 independent cottages. The first main cottage has a modern kitchen and living room that opens to a terrace facing the view and pool. The bedroom that was just refurbished in a second cottage by the pool opens up to its own private terrace where you can enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning gazing at the pretty view. The third cottage houses a separate bathroom that has a shower with a view! Villa Léana is only a 3 minute drive to the Colombier bakery for morning pastries and coffee. The beaches and shopping are within a 10 minute drive. This is a great spot for honeymooners and for cat lovers. For those looking for a good exercise experience and exploring the island by foot, you can walk from Léana to the Colombier observation point and admire the breathtaking views of the ocean and nearby island. From there, follow the direction to get to Colombier beach and hike down. It is quite steep and challenging on the way back up, so be prepared and bring some water with you. (The other path to Colombier begins after Flamands beach and is less challenging, but still a nice 20 minute hike. You can also go from Gustavia by catamaran, which we can arrange for you.
My week on St Barth went by pretty quickly as I had many new villas to discover. Some of my favorite were the following:
Villa Del Sogni, a 6 bedroom villa, located directly on the beach of Lorient will sweep you away from the technical world as soon as you enter this property. The name translates to “of dream” and one can really live the dream staying in this private gem, feet in the sand and surrounded by lush tropical foliage. Each bedroom is named after the island beaches and surrounds the pretty pool. There is ample living space and a gazebo and BBQ by the beach. A heated jacuzzi and outdoor showers in the sand are a plus at this bohemian-style villa.
Villa Edunia, located hillside in Lurin, is a 4 bedroom villa fully air conditioned, offering splendid views and sunset. It is decorated in a chic, modern style and the heated infinity pool is delightful. This is the perfect place for couples or a family wanting to be close to Gustavia harbor and Gouverneur beach. The villa gets its name from the Brazilian artist Eduardo Kac who had the genius idea to create a flower genetically modified by incorporating his gene to the plant. The Edunia flower shows the artist DNA in the red veins of the flower.
Villa Acai is a fantastic 3 bedroom (2.5 bath) property overlooking the bay of Flamand and its beach. For those looking for proximity to the beach, it is a 5 minute walk down to one of the most beautiful beach on the island (my favorite) and the famous 5-Star Cheval Blanc hotel. The villa is built on 3 levels and is fully air conditioned. The lovely heated pool sits on the lowest level, while the bedrooms are on the middle level and the main living area is on the top level. This property can be rented in combination with villa Camalie next door to make 6 bedrooms total. This is the perfect set up for families or friends traveling together.
Villa Esprit de Roche in Colombier is perfect for those looking for privacy and quietness. The villa is composed of 3 bedrooms housed in separate pavilions with view of the ocean from every room. The pretty pool sits on a lower level with 43 steps from the main level of the villa. Sunset lovers will enjoy this completely renovated property. It is an easy access from the main road and there is ample parking.
Amongst the villas I already knew, but that I needed to see because of renovation or changes, I enjoyed touring Villa Arc en Ciel in Anse des Lézards, Villa K in Anse des Cayes, Villa Kuban in Colombier and, Villa Moulin on St Jean beach.
Villa Lili, located high up in St Jean, was my coup de coeur. You enter the villa thru a wooden door to find yourself by a delightful infinity pool and a gorgeous view! This is the perfect romantic spot for honeymooners. I like the gazebo on the side of the villa to have dinner and the small fitness room below. Villa Bonbonnière in Pt Milou is another sweet honeymoon villa that I highly recommend.
St Barth is also a culinary experience! Amongst the places I ate, I recommend the Pearl Beach hotel’s beach front restaurant; very Romantic for a candlelight dinner by the ocean. Dinners chez Eddy’s are always fantastic, especially when Eddy comes around with a smile and sits with you at the end of dinner for a shot of Rhum.
For a casual night on the harbor, if you are keen on Tapas, the new La Cantina is a fun and loud spot to try small plates of cold cuts. Cheeses and pâtés. This is where I spent an evening with my local team. It was a fun time and good to catch up on our lives outside the office.
Restaurant Bagatelle is always the place to experience a tasteful dinner. They are running a special gastronomic dinner every Tuesday (5 new courses) with wine pairing for 89 euros. A true culinary experience! If you feel like chilling at your villa one night and order pizza, Les Bananiers in Colombier is the place to order. The Italian Pizzaiolo makes the best pizzas on island. I also enjoy casual places for lunch such as JoJo burger, Le Bouchon, La Crêperie and L’Isoletta.
It is still time to book your next dream villa on St Barth for the summer. Check our special offers on our web site at https://www.stbarth.com/villas/rental-villas-current-specials-packages. I look forward to helping you find the perfect place.