Archive for the ‘Beaches’ Category

November in St. Barth – Trip Report by Connie Walsh

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

I am happily back on St. Barth and am based here for at least the next 5 months (poor me). Last month I was also here doing some villa inspections, spending time with friends and hosting our 25th Anniversary party celebrating the silver anniversary of when I founded St. Barth Properties. My colleague Connie Walsh was with me and I am pleased to share her trip report with you as a Guest Blog.

Connie Walsh’s Trip Report November 2013

Connie Walsh

Connie Walsh

One of the things I love best about the island of St. Barth is the charming small-town ordinary-ness of its daily life. It both belies and yet compliments the TMZ-like Jay Z & Beyoncé-ness which reaches its star-studded zenith over the Christmas and New Year holidays. But even then, residents, which include many whose families have called St. Barth home for generations, are out and about, stopping in at the post office, buying a baguette or grabbing a burger in Gustavia’s Le Select. And if they meet Mariah Carey popping out of a shop, Dave Letterman jogging the hills or are seated next to Hollywood’s latest starlet in a restaurant, it’s all in a St. Barth day.

Come August and September, many of the hotels and some restaurants shutter for an annual closing period. It’s a quiet time and one that many vacationers love, for just that reason. Come October, everything begins re-opening up with great energy. Hotels sport a range of renovations, announce new chefs and menus and everyone, residents and visitors alike are excited to see what new bistros and boutiques the season will bring.

I’ve been traveling to St.Barth in November for a number of years now with the St. Barth Properties (SBP) team for the pre-season inspection trip. I find the enthusiasm as tangible as the whiff of the scent of fresh paint. This year I added in some vacation time. Joining SBP’s president, my client and friend Peg Walsh. Together with our husbands and other friends, we shared the delightful Villa Nirvana. It was perfect for 3 couples, like many villas in the portfolio, its en suite bedrooms are privately situated and the poolside outdoor living spaces are designed to gather and socialize and take in a spectacular view. And we did.

Villa Nirvana

Villa Nirvana

My husband and I loved the Lurin location in part due to its proximity to Gouverneur Beach, one of our favorites. We could jump in the car and head down for a morning swim and be back in no time for a 2nd helping of French pastries. (Our St. Barth guilty pleasure.) The week went by all too quickly, a shopping trip combined with burgers, ice cold Caribs, and people-watching at the legendary Le Select; picnic lunches and swimming at St. Jean Beach where, end of day, we’d stroll down to La Plage’s Pink Parrot bar for a late-afternoon glass of rosé and a lovely day at the Christopher. The Pt. Milou hotel offers Day Passes and 80 euros per person will reserve you a plush poolside sunbed, umbrella and towel. The seafront pool here is the island’s largest and just gorgeous. A welcome cocktail and lunch at the feet-in-the-sand Mango is included. Spa aficionados can upgrade the Pass to include treatments at the hotel’s Spa Sisley. Check-in the with SBP’s concierge team to reserve the Pass.

Christopher pool

Christopher pool

The gang at the Christopher

The gang at the Christopher

And now on to the restaurant round-up. Our tradition is to have our first night on-the-island dinner at Andy’s Hideaway. The beloved old shanty with a view of the parking lots has been spiffed up. Brightly painted, plus new chairs and tables give it a contemporary look. Dare we say très chic? The thin crust pizza is still fabulous and the vanilla rhum, yummy. Andy belted out Sweet Caroline as he is wont to do and the crowd joined in. In short, it’s as much fun as ever.

Santa Fe has long been on my must-dine list (I always finish with the old-school Peach Melba.) and I’ve now added Le Carre Lounge. I love the way owner Franck Mathevet describes the preparations of each dish, with fingers aflutter like he is actually feeling the ingredients and I love everything on the menu starting with the truffle oil popcorn. Recommendations: the Gnocchi Maison “al pesto” and the crispy chicken rolls with ginger and lime.

Le Carre Lounge

Le Carre Lounge

We dined at Hotel Le Toiny‘s Relais Chateau restaurant Le Gaïac where on Tuesday nights they offer their popular 3 course pre-fixe Fish Market. The Mahi-Mahi was delish and I was blown away by my dessert of chocolate ganache served with a crispy biscuit, banana foam and avocado sorbet. (No, really.)

The Mahi-Mahi at Le Toiny's Le Gaïac

The Mahi-Mahi at Le Toiny’s Le Gaïac

We lunched at the Sereno and the Guanahani hotels. Le Sereno is boasting a new concept and menu and we devoured a starter of eggplant chips with tzatziki sauce and a salad of assorted melon tossed with arugula and dressed with a balsamic reduction – cool and refreshing. My favorite starter of this trip was the Guanahani’s Indigo resto’s Wahoo ceviche sprinkled with coconut.

This year, SBP upgraded their annual Beachside Bash in honor of their Silver Anniversary and everyone gathered at the Hotel Taïwana’s newly-christened restaurant Casa Flamands for an elegant buffet supper. With that as a “taste” we are looking forward to more.

My favorite of the new eateries is Gustavia’s just-opened Thai restaurant Black Ginger. The décor of the bi-level edifice is dramatic with a bold red and black color scheme. Head up to the 2nd floor and dine under the stars. Dishes are authentically prepared and we love that they incorporate the local fish. The black pepper Mahi-Mahi was a huge hit with our crowd and I loved my chicken curry in coconut milk. Newly opened on the harbor, Les Coulisses is casual, fun and a great stop for lighter fare. They serve tapas and very good pizza.

Black Ginger

Black Ginger restaurant

Our last day on St. Barth was a busy one and we planned to fit in lunch at a little restaurant that we heard was a favorite of locals, Le Jardin. Housed in a garden pavilion and tucked away in the shopping plaza across from the airport, it was simple, bright, airy and absolutely charming. I was delighted to see gazpacho on the menu and it was perfectly chilled and seasoned. However, I did have my eye on the two-fisted juicy burgers that were served up to the guys at the table beside us. Next time. We slowed down, ordered a glass of rosé and “hung out with the locals”. Put it on your list. It’s open for breakfast if you fly in early and it works well for a pre-departure cocktail. And who knows the crowd that day might include a celeb like Mick Jagger or a “special” local like Jimmy Buffett. But in St. Barth. everyone feels, well, special. Enjoy!

Wake Me Up When September Comes

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Now is the Time to Plan your St. Barth Vacation!

I hope that your summer went well and that you had time to relax a bit. Per usual I spent my summer on Cape Cod working remotely with both my US office and my St. Barth office. The bulk of my time was spent preparing and editing our new Live Your Dream® catalogue. It just went to press and I can’t wait for you to see the finished product – It is our 25th Anniversary edition! I will be unveiling it at our Annual Beachside Bash which this year is being held on November 14th at the gorgeous beachfront hotel Taïwana on beautiful Flamands Beach. I would really love to see you there. Of course the party is our treat in appreciation of you, our valued St. Barth Properties clients. Invitations will be sent out very soon, so if you have not booked your accommodation yet, now is the time to do so. Just email reservations@stbarth.com or better yet, pick up the phone and call 1-800-421-3396 (or +1-508-528-7727). We would be happy to chat with you about the Bash and help you plan your St. Barth trip around it.

Live Your Dream Catalogue

The 25th Anniversary Edition of Our Live Your Dream Catalogue is Being Printed in France

If those November dates don’t work for you, now that the kids are back in school and the summer is winding down, it is time to think seriously about booking your fall or winter vacation to St. Barth. While the island might be in its annual hibernation period, it is not too early to make your reservation. Right now and until December 14th, it’s Value Season; many people take advantage of the extra savings that traveling during this period of time affords them. Have a look at our Specials Page to see what villas offer even more bang for your buck. Tradewind Aviation resumes their regularly scheduled roundtrip flights directly to St. Barth from San Juan, St. Thomas and Antigua on October 18th 2013. We are at-the-ready to get those seats booked for you and coordinate the dates to coincide with your villa or hotel reservation.

St Barth

Would you rather be here or at home buttoning up your overcoat?

If you are thinking of spending the Christmas/New Year’s holidays in St. Barth, many clients have the jump on you; their villa and/or hotel stays as well as their airline and car rental reservations are securely in place. For your convenience we have a direct link to our holiday availability on-line. It is really important to reserve now while we can still offer several villa options, obtain rental cars for you and assist you with the inter-island flights.

My husband Steve and I will be back on the island fulltime by then. We really enjoy the festivities and for the second Christmas in a row, my son, Mark Smyth (the dentist) and his family will be celebrating Christmas in St. Barth with us. Just as we do, you will love taking an evening stroll along the quai to marvel at the wondrous yachts docked along Gustavia Harbor; it’s a must. And, of course window shopping soon brings you into the gorgeously decorated boutiques to have a look; eventually you end up purchasing that perfect gift for yourself and/or for someone special.

Yachts in Gustavia Harbor

A favorite before or after dinner pastime: Walking along the quai in Gustavia to marvel at the yachts

Drop into the Baz Bar after dinner and you just might catch Jimmy Buffet picking up a guitar and singing a few songs with the band that is featured there at that time. Where to dine Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day? Our concierges Julia and Magda will give you the inside scoop as soon as the proposed menus are received. Would you like an in-villa massage? Do you need a babysitter? What about a day trip to Colombier Beach or a sunset cruise? We will happily set that all up for you.

Baz Bar.

Look who made an impromptu appearance while I was at the Baz Bar. You too can sing along with Jimmy.

Give us a call and Live Your Dream®

Anne-Cécile Bedford’s Trip Report July 2013

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

I hope that your summer is going well. Don’t forget to plan ahead for your St. Barth vacation! Continuing with the trip reports of my staff, today’s Blog is written by Anne-Cécile Bedford who has been with St. Barth Properties in her role as a St. Barth Villa and Hotel Specialist since 1999. Born in France’s region of Brittany, Anne-Cécile revels in that “French Connection” when she visits St. Barth.

Anne-Cécile Bedford’s Trip Report July 2013

Anne-Cecile Bedford

>Anne-Cécile Bedford

Being a French native, traveling to St. Barth is like finding a little piece of what we call “maison” or “home”. When I land on St. Barth, I feel in my element, ready to have a wonderful week visiting villas, inspecting hotels and truly connect with the island by speaking French. I understand my clients’ needs and expectations and I am able to communicate those details to our villa owners and hotel managers. In a way, I have the advantage of knowing both worlds!

On this trip I decided to stay in a hotel to reinforce my knowledge about hotels and get a feel for what it is like to be a special guest in some of the most sophisticated places. My stay at the 5 star Christopher hotel was beyond expectations! It is in a unique spot, nestled in Pt Milou with a gorgeous infinity pool and open view of the Caribbean Sea. A truly romantic spot even when alone and the sunset views are just amazing.

The Hotel Christopher - No matter what the weather, the view is sensational

The Hotel Christopher – No matter what the weather, the view is sensational

I was welcomed into an Ocean Deluxe Terrace room located quietly at the far end of the hotel with beautiful views of the ocean and only the sound of the surf to rock me to sleep at night. A true luxury! The newly renovated rooms are elegant and simple, made with stone and wood. My room also offered a bathtub in addition to a rain shower. What a treat! Complimentary mini bar with soft drinks as well as sweet pastries are included with each arrival. Honeymooners and repeat guests get a bottle of Champagne on arrival and if you are celebrating your anniversary a complimentary glass of Champagne is offered with your first meal at the hotel. The two restaurants at the Christopher are wide open to the sea; you can chose to have a casual lunch, feet in the sand at their Mango restaurant or a romantic dinner at their Taïno restaurant. Remember to dine at the hotel on Tuesday evening for their Brazilian night and try the cuisine from their new chef, Lucas Leonardi who enjoys sharing his culinary passion. The local music group “Au Soleil” entertains that night and will play any request you want to hear.

Ocean Deluxe Terrace room at the Christopher

Ocean Deluxe Terrace room at the Christopher

If you like to keep in shape during your vacation or just want to try something new and fun, the hotel proposes Aqua Biking in the pool. You will also find Yoga and Pilates classes twice a week. I tried the new gym, fully air conditioned and got a great work out facing the sea. Who needs a TV? If you like to get pampered, discover the Spa’s Phyto-Aromatic treatments (massage rituals from all over the world with aromatherapy) and let yourself be transported to an exotic and sensual world. They use one of the most prestigious cosmetic brands called Sisley.

During my stay I inspected some wonderful new properties; one of them, Villa Blue Diamond is located high up in Vitet. If you stay here, you will feel like you are sitting on top of the world. The views from the villa are amazing. You will experience ultimate privacy and the gorgeous infinity pool will leave you dreamy. I say, “Marry her! And surprise her with a blue diamond”!

Villa Blue Diamond view

Villa Blue Diamond view

Villa Véronèse is a new 3 bedroom villa located in the beautiful gated community of Domaine du Levant in Petit Cul de Sac. Its hilltop location allows you to enjoy a lovely view from the front and back of the villa. One of the outstanding features of this villa is that it offers a winter pool located in the front of the villa and a summer pool in the back so that, depending on the season, you are always experiencing a pool with a pleasant water temperature. The 3 bedrooms are all identical and finely decorated in a contemporary style with an en suite bathroom and a rain shower. Two bedrooms are on either side of the winter pool and next to the outdoor covered dining area, while the master bedroom is privately situated by the summer pool in the rear of the villa. There is a comfortable air conditioned media room that can also be used as an office. This property comes with continental breakfast delivered daily by the villa manager as well as free use of their kayaks and beach chairs; they will be placed – just for you – on the beach below. (If you are feeling ambitious, you can walk down to the beach from Villa Véronèse in 5 minutes.) Tennis addicts can also enjoy the privilege of using the two courts located by the beach.

Villa V

The summer pool at Villa Véronèse

I also re-inspect villas when I am on St. Barth so I returned to Villa Bellissima; it is conveniently located in Lurin, a few minutes’ drive from Gouverneur Beach and Gustavia and I was nicely impressed with the entire picture. It was even better than I had remembered! Designed by the French designer Christian Liaigre this property will give you the feel of elegance and comfort that you expect from a luxurious property. The main pavilion is composed of a beautiful gourmet kitchen and a large living and dining area from where you can see nearby islands in the distance and the sea where the sun sets.

Villa B

Villa Bellissima

Two bedrooms with good size dressing areas are in a separate pavilion facing the wonderful lap pool while the third bedroom is located in a separate cottage at end of the Bellissima’s private entrance. Each bedroom is equipped with a Bose stereo system, Wifi and screened doors. The bathrooms are spacious and made of polished stones with Occitane products and bathrobes. The villa has comfortable outdoor furniture where you can relax by the pool, feeling the gentle breezes. The large parking area is convenient should each couple wish to rent their own car.

So many people from all over the world come to St Barth to enjoy a relaxing vacation on this exclusive island and share good times with friends and family but there is another important element that brings people close together: Food! – And unique culinary experiences – St Barth offers it all! Traditional French cuisine as well as gourmet offerings, local Créole dishes, Sushi restaurants – even the finest Italian food served by true Italians. Let yourself be tempted by the most succulent risotto at L’Isola and for lunch, I recommend their nearby L’Isoletta snack bar where you will find the best pizza on St. Barth and a fine selection of fresh salads.

L'Isoletta's Mixed Greens with Italian cheese, legumes and tuna on top

L’Isoletta’s Mixed Greens with Italian cheese, legumes and tuna on top

Oh! I want to add how wonderful and a good workout paddle boarding is. I tried it on the lagoon at Grand Cul de Sac and it is a lot of fun. You can do it standing up on the board or on your knees. Try it, you’ll love it. Our concierges Julia and Magda can make the arrangements for you.

I tried paddle boarding for the first time and loved it

I tried paddle boarding for the first time and loved it

The next time that I will be in St. Barth doing my inspections will be in November. I hope to see you there! If you would like to contact me, please don’t hesitate. I will be pleased to assist you with the planning of your St. Barth vacation anne@stbarth.com

Merci beaucoup

The Truth About St. Barth

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Its actual location is clearly defined

After 27 years of being in St. Barth, I learned that what we thought was a fact is actually a factoid! Now, convincing people of this newly discovered information is going to be a huge challenge because people won’t believe me. I am hoping that you can help spread the word.

It started out this way: Last week we took an island tour with Hélène Brenier, the owner of St. Barth Easy Time Tours. Our clients have raved about the various tours that she offers and I wanted to experience one for myself. Hélène was born in St. Barth and knows her island well. She is also the founder of St. Barth Essentiel a non-profit organization dedicated to “protect that which creates diversity, the originality, the beauty and the harmony of St. Barthélemy.” In other words, she is the “watch dog” whose main interest is protecting our precious island and preserving the environment.

Connie, Peg and Hélène in front of the St. Barth Essentiel office on the top of Gustavia

Connie, Peg and Hélène in front of the St. Barth Essentiel office on the top of Gustavia

We began our around-the-island tour by going to Saline and stopping at the salt pond where we learned about the island’s history of making salt. It was a difficult job but it brought in some income. The salt production stopped in 1972 when the island decided to rely on tourism as its major industry. We heard lots of tidbits about the people who settled here as we continued our tour. Most of the men had to go to St. Thomas to make a living. One such gentleman went home to see his wife once a year and as a result they produced 23 children! Phew! We saw the little “case” (house) where they were born and lived. Today, the siblings range from 50 to 90 years old.

Saline Beach

Saline Beach

Back to the point of my blog. We stopped at the top on Grand Fond to admire the view. There is a lookout spot with a large map detailing the area. Soon after this map was put up, an old-time local fisherman telephoned Hélène to tell her that the map was wrong. The artist had called the body of water on this map the Atlantic Ocean. The fisherman said that St. Barth is surrounded entirely by the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic is much further to the east of here and that the map needed to be corrected. What??? I was always told that the wave action that connects Grand Cul de Sac Lagoon and Marigot Bay is caused by the fact that this is the very spot where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea. Hélène thought so too. Everyone thinks this factoid is true.

The Lookout at Grand Fond

The Lookout at Grand Fond

A Close Up of the Lookout's Map with the Incorrect Information

A Close Up of the Lookout’s Map with the Incorrect Information

Hélène researched and researched but each person she consulted insisted that the fisherman was wrong. Finally she decided to ask for assistance from a geologist who is a real authority on the subject. He reported that, indeed, the islands in the Lesser Antilles (which includes St. Barth) are solely in the Caribbean Sea. “According to the definition of the IHO (International Hydrographic Organization), the only islands that officially have Caribbean and Atlantic coasts are: Cuba, Haiti, Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico and Trinidad.” He went on to say, “In conclusion, officially, the island of St. Barthélemy is not washed by the Atlantic Ocean but by the Caribbean Sea only. Custom, says otherwise.” I was thrilled to learn this new fact. I always knew that some islands such as the Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos claim that they are in the Caribbean but they are too far north and are actually in the Atlantic Ocean but for some reason no one seemed to know that St. Barth is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea. Until now, that is…

Grand Cul de Sac View

Grand Cul de Sac View

A few days after our island tour, I had a site inspection at the Hotel Guanahani & Spa. I was admiring one of their newly refurbished suites and when I went out onto the suite’s deck to admire the view, the staff member who was escorting me pointed to that very spot in the lagoon and said, “That is where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea.” …Not! When I corrected her, she was not at all impressed and looked at me as if I had lost my marbles. That factoid has been circulating for so many years that it is a real challenge to convince people otherwise. Hélène and I now know this new fact is true and now you know it too. Spread the word, s’il vous plaît.

Hotel Guanahani & Spa

Hotel Guanahani & Spa

P.S. Once you have selected your accommodation in St. Barth by contacting one of our Specialists at reservations@stbarth.com, our concierges can arrange an island tour with Hélène. It is a must do!

Good news for Flamands Beach Lovers – Villa La Sirène

Friday, January 18th, 2013

A few days ago a phone call brought me to beautiful Flamands Beach because a villa owner wanted to list his villa with St. Barth Properties. I always inspect a villa before agreeing to add it to our portfolio (and my staff always makes their own inspections when they are here, too). I had visited this particular house a year ago and told the owners what they needed to do to prepare it for seasonal rental. So off I went with notebook in hand. Directrice Pascale Minarro was with me and as soon as we approached the villa we were psyched. We have so many requests for a villa on the beach. I was pleased and impressed with the results of their efforts. I saw a refurbished beach house that would be perfect for clients who are looking for a casual beachfront villa.

Flamands Beach

Flamands Beach

Villa La Sirène

Villa La Sirène

I love the way they redid the living room; they added a sectional sofa and there’s a mirror on the wall which means that you can actually see the view when you are facing it; the kitchen has all the bells and whistles including a Nespresso machine; the air-conditioned master bedroom has a king bed and there’s a second king bedroom with AC off of the living room. Both bedrooms share a bath.

Villa La Sirène Living Room

Villa La Sirène Living Room

The outdoor dining terrace has folding glass doors so you can dine outside and enjoy the view even if it is a bit windy. The swimming pool is delightful so you will have to decide if you want to sit poolside or go down to the beach and lounge amongst the palm trees before taking a dip in the sea. If you don’t feel like leaving the beach, you can walk to the Hotel St. Barth isle de France and/or the Hotel Taïwana for a delicious lunch or dinner.

Villa La Sirène Dining Room

Villa La Sirène Dining Room

Generally I am the person who decides what to name our villas. I noticed that the owners have a mermaid at one end of the pool and a statue of a mermaid on the dining terrace so I decided to name it Villa La Sirène. If you would like to vacation at Villa La Sirène, call us at 1-800-421-3396 or + 1-508-528-7789. You can also email reservations@stbarth.com. See you on the beach!

St. Barth Properties’ Annual Beachside Bash set for November 10, 2012

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Join us at Dð Brazil on Shell Beach in beautiful St. Barts for drinks, dinner and music. All of our confirmed hotel and villa guests are invited.

We’ve set November 10, 2012 as the date to launch the 2012-13 season with our 4th annual beach party at Shell Beach’s Dõ Brazil. If you missed it last year, we hope you can join us this year. It promises to quite a party!

Enjoy drinks and dinner on Shell Beach

Enjoy drinks and dinner on Shell Beach

We call it the Beachside Bash and the idea came to us in 2009. That year, the iconic bar and burger shack Le Select was celebrating its 60th anniversary in early November, and its biggest fan, Jimmy Buffett, announced that he would give a free concert. Requests poured in from friends and clients who wanted to come down and join in. It was so much fun that we decided to have a pre-season party every year. And we have.

This year’s Bash will again include great food, wine and cocktails; the company of old and new friends and clients (who then become friends) and live entertainment that we hope will get everyone up dancing. The island’s favorite songstress, Christine Gordon, and the popular guitar-strumming vocalist Soley will be entertaining us!

Christine Gordon will get you to shake your booty!

Christine Gordon will get you to shake your booty!

You will love Soley!

You will love Soley!

Soley and Christine

Soley and Christine at St. Barth Properties Beachside Bash November 10, 2011

As is now our tradition, we will unveil the new issue of our Live Your Dream® publication. It’s our 17th edition and we hope you will be delighted with it.

If you are staying in St. Barts the following week, please join us at Le Cellier du Gouverneur wine shop in Gustavia on November 14 at exactly 7:01 pm where we will taste this year’s vintage of the Beaujolais Nouveau. (We are allowed to do it on Wednesday because it will be 12:01 am on Thursday in France which is the exact time that the first bottle can be opened). It will be a pleasure to see you there.

Beaujolais Nouveau

Join us for the Beaujolais Nouveau tasting
November 14, 2012 at precisely 7:01 p.m.

Actually, November is a great time to come to St. Barts. Everything is fresh and new, it’s not too crowded and Value Season pricing is in effect. The Beachside Bash and the Beaujolais Nouveau are two more reasons to come and are complimentary for our valued friends and clients.

Let it all hang out

Let it all hang out

If you have not booked your accommodation yet, please email reservations@stbarth.com. If you are already booked, please contact Julia Hurd at concierge@stbarth.com to RSVP to one and/or both events.

Pave Paradise – Put up a Parking Lot

Friday, May 4th, 2012

For those of you who have never been to St. Barts and/or those of you who haven’t been back here this season, the parking at St. Jean Beach has changed. Everyone used to have to scramble to find parking (there wasn’t any) so people just parked along the curb by pulling onto the sidewalk, putting the right front and rear tires up there and letting the left tires stay on the road. Things really got hairy over the holiday period when the island is full and the St. Bart children are on vacation because everyone wants to go to the beach. So, anarchy set in for some people who simply decided to park on the sidewalk on the other side of the street making it impossible for 2 cars to get by. Throw in a taxi driver who doesn’t care about blocking traffic and we had gridlock. At times, the Collectivité (aka The Com) would make that stretch of road one way which helped a lot but that was just a temporary solution.

No more! The Com decided to build a parking lot across the street from the runway end of St. Jean Beach. Environmentalists were disappointed because they had to construct it on virgin land but St. Jean Beach lovers are grateful to have it. Note the photo also shows the posts that have been put up on the sidewalk just in case those anarchists don’t get the message.

The new parking lot across from St. Jean Beach

The new parking lot across from St. Jean Beach

Another concrete area was built on the water near the Hôtel de la Collectivité (aka City Hall). It’s a beautiful new extension of the quai on that side of the harbor thus creating more places where the local people can dock their boats. Whatever company won the landscaping contract must have had a huge budget because the area has towering palm trees and flowering bushes. There is a compass rose made up of small stones and it lies in front of built-in benches where you can sit and enjoy the view of the harbor; there’s a wall of stones that holds a sign welcoming people to St. Barthélemy. My morning walks that take me over there make exercising a bit more tolerable because the scenery is so appealing. I hope that you will take the time to go there the next time you are in St. Barts.

The Hôtel de la Collectivité

The Hôtel de la Collectivité

The new quai - Note the partial view of the compass rose on the left

Welcome to St. Barts

Welcome to St. Barts

One more bit of news regarding one of our villas is the “new look” at Villa Bonjour. The owner has made lots of upgrades on the furnishings including new chaises on the terrace and an outdoor sitting area in front of one of the bedrooms. If you love to be centrally located in St. Jean, Villa Bonjour is a great choice for two people and also for two couples because the king en suite bedrooms are located on either end of the villa and are identical. For more information, contact reservations@stbarth.com.

Villa Bonjour

Villa Bonjour

More Neat stuff about St. Barts

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Do you remember one of my previous blog’s where I mentioned the very talented Tomas Doncker Band that was playing at the Baz Bar over the holiday period? Tomas kindly stopped my office in Gustavia to give me his latest CD, “Power of the Trinity”. It is excellent. I thanked him and told him that we would go to his last show on Sunday night before the band headed back to New York. We enjoyed it immensely. If you get a chance to see the band, you will not be disappointed. Check out their website www.tomasdonker.net.

I gave my grandson Vince a trip to St. Barth as a combination Christmas/ 21st birthday present and I invited his girlfriend Samantha (“Sam”) to join him before they return to the University of Miami where they are both top students (Yes, I am allowed to brag.) I used my frequent flyer miles to get them as far as St. Maarten and then secured the inter-island flights for them. They have been having a great time. We went to St. Jean Beach one afternoon. The next day they toured all the way around the island by Jet Ski and yesterday they hiked the goat path to Colombier Beach. (You must do that at least once or take a catamaran there. That is the only way to access this gorgeous beach and great snorkeling spot.)

Vince-and-Sam-get-ready-to-Jet-Ski-around-St

Vince and Sam get ready to Jet Ski around St Barth

The-Jet-Ski-instructor-uses-this-map-to-point-out-the-natural-reserves-where-Jet-Ski's-are-forbidden-to-enter

The Jet Ski instructor uses this map to point out the natural reserves where Jet Skis are forbidden to enter

Colombier Beach

Colombier Beach

Our evenings have been full, too. We went to some of my favorite restaurants. Tuesday evening we went to our St. Barth Properties cocktail party which we host every Tuesday evening (late November to the end of April). It takes place from 6:30 to 7:30 at the gorgeous Bonito restaurant which overlooks the harbor. We enjoyed talking to our villa and hotel clients and then stayed on for dinner. The food was excellent.

A week in St. Barth should include one night at Le Ti St. Barth. It describes itself as being “A Caribbean Tavern.” We went there for dinner and were entertained by a fashion show at 9:30 followed by a cabaret show. You should try it. Today we’ll hit the shops and tomorrow we’ll have a “cheeseburger in paradise” at Le Select.

Fashion-show-at-Le-Ti

Fashion show at Le Ti

Vince-and-Sam-at-LeTi-St

Vince and Sam at Le Ti St Barth

Last night we went to the Santa Fe restaurant (delicious as always!) and as we were leaving, a gentleman introduced himself and his wife to me. He said, “Peg? I love your blog.” Well, that stopped me right there in my tracks, “You do????” He said, “Yes I wouldn’t miss it.” It was great to hear that. So, if any of you feel the same way, I certainly do not mind if you add a comment to let me know. You can also ask me questions about St. Barth and suggest topics you would like me to explore.

Robert-and--Susan-Waite-at-the-Santa-Fe-restaurant

Robert and Susan Waite at the Santa Fe restaurant

It turns out that this couple is a longtime repeat client of SBP. They have come to St. Barth and used our services every year since 2002. Happy 10th Bob and Susan!

Julie-Nally

Julie Nally

They told me that they love working with Julie Nally who is one of our St Barth Specialists. Julie has been with SBP and assisting clients with their choice of villa or hotel since 1997. Her contact info is julienally@stbarth.com. This is the 5th time in a row that Bob and Sue stayed at Villa Sud Ouest which is a real testimony on how enjoyable it is. I hope to see them again at our cocktail party next Tuesday.

Here I am back in St. Barth!

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Lucky me! Connie Walsh and I arrived in St. Barts Sunday afternoon with a full calendar in place in preparation for the publication of our annual Live Your Dream® catalogue which will arrive on the island in early November. I am the editor in chief and Connie is the assistant editor and we are in St Barth gathering information for our articles and other content.

I picked up my car and headed toward Flamands Beach because we were lucky enough to be able to take advantage of a 4 night opening at Villa Les Embruns. The villa is so popular that being able to stay here is a real treat. As I write this I am sitting on the sectional sofa in the living area and looking out at the heated swimming pool, outside deck, the sea and the little islet of Frégate. There are 4 very nice chaise lounges and an outdoor table for 4 so that we can enjoy or morning coffee outside. The open floor plan features another sitting area for TV viewing, an indoor dining area and a fully equipped kitchen with bar.

Flamands-Beach-as-seen-from-the-front-yard-of-Villa-Les-Embruns

Flamands Beach as seen from the front yard of Villa Les Embruns

Villa Les Embruns outdoor table and view

Villa Les Embruns outdoor area

Villa Les Embruns kitchen

Villa Les Embruns kitchen

I am staying in the king bedroom with bath en suite and Connie is staying in the king/twin bedroom that also has an en suite bath. The villa is fully air conditioned and I especially love the outdoor speakers so that we can listen to music while taking a swim. The villa is very private and we can walk to gorgeous Flamands Beach in about 3 minutes.

View from Villa Les Embruns bedroom

View from Villa Les Embruns bedroom

We invited the owners for a drink Monday evening and they reminded me that Villa Les Embruns has another opening June 20-27. Why not take a last minute vacation to St Barth? The villa participates in our Drive, Dine and Relax package which includes a car and the services of a chef who will prepare a romantic dinner for you one evening. The best part? That particular week the owners are offering a 10% off promotion and St Barth Properties will contribute 100 euros per person (for anyone 18 or older, that is) towards a fun evening at Le Ti St. Barth while you are here. They are still featuring their cabaret show two nights a week and of course they continue to have their “White Angel” party one night a week. For more information contact reservations@stbarth.com.

Back to day one…Per usual, Magda (our on-island concierge) had reserved a table for us at Andy’s Hideaway for our first night’s dinner. It is a great spot to dine after a full day of traveling. In fact I saw the family of 6 who were on the same flight as we were from Miami to St. Maarten and were staying in Villa Azur enjoying their fist night’s meal there too.

Andy-greets-us-at-The-Hideaway

Andy greets us at The Hideaway

We are visiting villas and doing hotel site inspections, interviewing some very interesting people and experiencing some activities first-hand—fun! (All in the line of duty, of course). I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

What Can Teenagers Do During Family Vacations in St Barth? (Part Three)

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Day 4 finds us up bright and early because Reegan and Andrea were going out on the Ne Me Quitte Pas Catamaran at 9:00 am. They had signed up for a half-Day trip to Colombier and that beach is only accessible by a 20 minute hike along a goat path or by boat. Once owned by the Rockefeller Family, the beach has always been public and it remains untouched. There is great snorkeling just offshore.

Half-Day-Snorkeling-Trip-to-Colombier-on-the-Ne-Me-Quitte-Pas

Half Day Snorkeling Trip to Colombier on the <em>Ne Me Quitte Pas</em>

Colombier_Beach

Colombier Beach

Lathered up with sunscreen (They learned their lesson the hard way) a dingy took them out to the boat and off they went. The Catamaran had snorkeling equipment as well as kayaks which the girls used to paddle onto the beach.

Kayaking-off-of-Colombier-Beach

Kayaking off of Colombier Beach

We picked them up at 1:00 and hurried off to our luncheon date with Christine and Felix from Le Bar du Village. We met them at O’Corail which is a fabulous little place on Grand Cul de Sac Beach. (Their goat cheese salad is to die for.) We opted for a table on the beach, took off our shoes and put our toes in the sand.

Lunch-at-O'Corail-with-Christine-and-Felix

Lunch at O'Corail with Christine and Felix

(right)-with-a-Mango-Smoothie-and-Andrea-with-a-Raspberry-Smoothie

O'Corail: Reegan (right) with a Mango Smoothie and Andrea with a Raspberry Smoothie

What’s a trip to St. Barth without going to Le Ti St. Barth for dinner and a show? I made sure the girls would not miss out on that experience so asked Magda to book a great table for us. Right now Le Ti has a fabulous cabaret show on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings; we were fortunate to see it on that Wednesday. It was so professionally done and the costumes were quite remarkable.

Reegan-and-Andrea-at-Le-Ti-St.-Barth

Reegan and Andrea at Le Ti St. Barth

Le-Ti-St.-Barth-Cabaret

Le Ti St. Barth Cabaret

Le Ti St. Barth Cabaret

More Le Ti St. Barth Cabaret