Posts Tagged ‘Bagatelle’

Why does the staff at St. Barth Properties keep going to St. Barth twice a year?

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

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.

The view from my Le Barth Ocean room at Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa was stunning.

Here is the view from my Le Barth Ocean room at night.

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.

Here I am sitting in the “Bird Cage” swing at Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa.

I enjoyed the Tuna Takaki salad for lunch at Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa.

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.

I loved the view overlooking Flamands Beach from Villa Léana.

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.

Picture yourself relaxing in the shade, with a cocktail in hand, at Villa Dei Sogni.

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 Acai – What a view!

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.

I loved looking out the living room window at Villa Arc en Ciel.

The path to Anse de Cayes beach and the 5-star Hotel Manapany is just beyond the pool at Villa K.

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.

Eddy’s Ghetto is always a favorite dinner spot; it has such a warm and welcoming ambience.

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.

I had a fun evening at La Cantina with Lilian, Anne-Laure, Laura and 2 friends of theirs.

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.

I was fortunate to be on St. Barth when one of my very favorite longtime clients was staying in Villa Nirvana. Here we are dining at Les Bananiers.

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.

GUEST BLOG – Read all about what we did and discovered in St Barth last month

Thursday, May 9th, 2019

This season we spent a couple of months in Gustavia and adored it. Steve and I were delighted to have SBP’s marketing consultant Connie Walsh and her husband Mike join us for a week at Suite Paradis. They loved it as much as we did and as this month’s guest blogger, Connie shares her experiences.

Trip Report St. Barth – April 2019

By Connie Walsh

As a marketing consultant for St. Barth Properties, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit this beautiful little island many times. Over the past dozen years, I’ve checked in to almost every one of its celebrated 5 star hotels and some lovely, lovely, villas. I’ve enjoyed Toiny’s dramatic coastline, the stunning views from the hills of Vitet and been within walking distance from one of my favorite beaches—Flamands. Oh, and having just a “short hop” home after some table-top dancing at Pointe Milou’s notorious Le Ti St. Barth is a plus.

In early April, husband-in-tow, I stayed in the heart of Gustavia with Peg and Steve and it was a whole new, and delightful experience. Our digs for the week were a charming apartment across the street from the little capital’s iconic harbor. View? Check.

Suite Paradis (bi-level, with 3 bedrooms and 2 and ½ baths) has a spacious living room and a compact kitchen that open to a balcony overlooking the harbor. Coffee and pastries in hand, we took a seat and watched the island come alive each morning. Joggers and dog-walkers, boaters and fisherman heading out to sea and parents bringing their children to school. It inspired us to take advantage of the cooler mornings and get in a walk around the harbor ourselves.

One of views of the harbor from Suite Paradis

And what a spot for sunset cocktails! That fiery orb pairs well with a chilled glass of Pouilly-Fumé Ladoucette 2015—recommended by the local vintners. Timing is everything in life, so guests at Suite Paradis should plan a pre-sunset stop at nearby Zagury’s for some mouth-watering nibbles. We loved the many goodies from France: cheeses, olives, patés, and chocolate. The shop does a significant amount of yacht provisioning and has shelves full of premium spirits and a nice selection of wines including the uber-popular rosé Whispering Angel and jeroboams of Champagne—should you be so inclined. You probably won’t be driving to and from dinner. Just sayin’.

Harbor sunset view from Suite Paradis

Being within walking distance of so many restaurants is a huge benefit of staying in Gustavia. Our first night we strolled down the street to Le Repaire for dinner. Located across from the ferry terminal, this casual eatery opens at 7 am for breakfast, they serve lunch and there are always appealing specials on the blackboard. I opted for a filet of pork and potatoes dauphinoise. Loved it. Reasonable prices and great people watching are a bonus.

Filet of pork at Le Repaire

We walked to some of our other favorites—Black Ginger, where they shake up a perfect Mai Tai and my husband and I always order the chicken curry and Mahi-Mahi in black pepper sauce. Dining on the top level, under the stars is special. The chichi harborside Bagatelle (location, location, location, superb service, cool vibe …) always makes our list. Bagatelle’s other jet-setter locations include its flagship in New York as well as London, Miami, Rio, and Buenos Aires. So that gives you an idea before you book your table (For clients of St. Barth Properties, be sure to do that through their concierge, and you’ll receive a complimentary apéritif.). Think French Mediterranean influenced cuisine and a south of France ambiance. Their signature dish Poulet Rôti Entier à la Truffe is de mourir pour (if I’ve conjugated the verb” die” correctly) and for me, it’s a difficult decision between this fabulous roast chicken and their linguine and clams. Consider their black truffle pizza to start.

Suite Paradis rentals come with a parking spot at a nearby lot, which is a real bonus. One evening we drove out to the Tamarin and dined in its enchanting garden We got our pizza fix at Les Bananiers—St. Barth-style with a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. And for us, no trip to St. Barth is complete without dinner at Santa Fe.

Les Bananiers— Pizza St. Barth-style with a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

On every visit, we try to include newer additions to the island’s dining scene. We enjoyed two feet-in-the-sand lunches, one, a post-site-inspection at the Hotel Manapany in Anse des Cayes (Love this hotel with its eco-friendly policy and its Dr. Hauschka- branded spa.)

The Manapany hotel thinks of everything.

The other was St. Jean’s lil’ Rock Beach Club. Just down from the Pearl Beach Restaurant, you’ll see wooden tables and chairs set under umbrellas and just behind them a faux beach shack set up for those wanting more shade. With any luck, you’ll hear everyone’s favorite island crooner—Soley. The “joint is jumpin” on the weekends and just the spot if you are looking for a party scene. Weekdays are quieter. The burgers—beef and Mahi-Mahi—are terrific and come with hand-cut fries. We recommend the salade niçoise and the barman makes a fine Planteurs.

Soley entertained us at lil’Rock Beach

Staying in Gustavia, with proximity to all those marque designer shops can be dangerous though. Le Carré d’Or Shopping area is always fun, and on the other side of town, I love the West Indies Design Store. If there’s a chance to pop into the Longchamp’s Shop and treat myself to a new purse, well, I’m there. However, we especially enjoyed browsing the boutiques tucked away in the streets adjacent to the harbor. In search of a new bikini? Pain du Sucre has a tiny outpost here.

Pain du Sucre has a tiny outpost at Case In Blue in Gustavia

Les Canebiers, a luxury swim and resort brand from Saint Tropez, has some hard to resist creations and MC2 stocks Caribbean-colored sportswear for the whole family. Anytime is a good time to stay in Gustavia, but during the annual sales – Les Soldes! (May 4-June 14, 2019) might just be ideal. The team at St. Barth Properties will be happy to help. Enjoy!

We stopped by Les Canebiers, a luxury swim and resort brand from Saint Tropez

Tom Smyth Guest Blog Presidents’ Week 2019

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

Today’s Blog is written by St. Barth Properties Vice-President Tom Smyth who went to St. Barth on vacation (instead of for only work) during Presidents’ Week. (Full disclosure: Tom is my son) Happy Reading!

Most often, my time in St. Barth is comprised of days filled with meetings and property inspections. Don’t get me wrong, any time in St. Barth is quality time. But this February trip, business was put aside, and the week was all about enjoying St. Barth with our very good friends, Scott & Julie. We chose the Presidents’ Day week in February which is school vacation week in the Northeast, and which worked perfectly for Scott who is a school superintendent. The flights down from Boston went smoothly as we chose to connect via San Juan utilizing the services of Tradewind Aviation and their comfortable Pilatus PC-12 aircraft which zipped us to St. Barth in just 50 minutes.

Upon arrival our St. Barth Properties representative, Romain, greeted us with a friendly Bonjour. While we picked up our Mini Cooper from GUMBS car rental, Romain was already off to the villa with our luggage. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to stay in the beautiful and luxurious Villa L’Adrech.

L’Adrech pool at dusk

Set high on the Lurin hillside, this property sits on an acre and a half of beautifully manicured grounds and offers a panoramic view of St. Jean Bay. As the wooden entry gate swung upon, we knew we were in for a special stay as the entrance is framed with beautiful mature palm trees guiding us to a circular driveway meticulously detailed with impressive stone work. It was like a scene straight out of Jurassic Park! “Spacious” and “private” can’t begin to describe the gorgeous design of the villa. Let’s just say the master bedroom closet requires its own air conditioning zone. We quickly settled in, freshened up from the day’s travel, and were off to see David at the Santa Fé restaurant just around the corner for a Valentine’s Day dinner to start our vacation. If you have not yet dined at Santa Fé, be sure to do so. As always, the dinner and service were impeccable.

The dramatic entry at Villa L’Adrech.

We awoke Friday to a beautiful day with clear blue skies which would become our weather pattern for the full week. The heated pool at Villa L’Adrech resembles an oasis you may find at a luxury resort. With a zero entry as if walking in from the beach, access is a breeze. It is surrounded by natural stone and beautiful landscaping with hidden waterfalls and even a nook with spa jets for total relaxation. The infinity edge blends perfectly with the sea of St. Jean Bay as you lounge in the water.

My wife Amy and Julie were college roommates and as Amy an I were dating at that time, I became their third wheel by default. Needless to say, we all have some history together. In those days a competitive evening playing the card game “Pitch” was a regular activity. This tradition carried on when Julie met Scott some years later and now when the four of us get together it is boys vs. girls with bragging rights on the line. The cards are always available, and a game may pop up anywhere, including this trip while spending an afternoon at the Pearl Beach restaurant. Many years ago, we started keeping a log with the history of our scores along with notes of funny antics that may occur. It is always hilarious to go back and read them and to remember all the places we have been and the memories we’ve made together. (Yes, the girls won more games this trip… but we’ll have our chance again).

The trip was an equal balance of relaxation in the villa, activities around the island and of course wonderful dining experiences. A few nights out included Santé Fe, Bonito and Bagatelle restaurants and all where wonderful. A full day Catamaran trip with Miguel of “St. Barth Sailor” followed by a “Jo-Jo Burger” that evening is a tradition of ours and as always did not disappoint.

Loved using the SBP beach towels that our guests also use when on a St. Barth Sailor catamaran trip.

Another day we enjoyed the “St. Barth Properties Beach Picnic” on Gouverneur Beach where a private chef setup chairs, an umbrella and a cooler stocked with items from a preset menu (2 menus to choose from). All we had to do was arrive and sit to enjoy the day. They even saved us a parking spot right up front for when we arrived!

Relaxing and enjoying the St. Barth Properties picnic on Gouverneur Beach.

A hike to Colombier Beach and Sea Bob rentals in front of Nikki Beach (where we cruised with about a dozen sea turtles) rounded out our week’s activities. When it came time to say Au Revoir, we did so with the knowledge that we will be back again to make even more memories. Until next time!

We hiked along the goat path to Colombier Beach.

Here I am at Nikki Beach with my wife, Amy.

Our friends Scott and Julie at Nikki Beach.

Have You Ever Considered Traveling to St. Barth in July?

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

Bonjour Readers,

Have you ever wondered what St. Barth is like in July? It’s a fun time to go. The prices are down, the visitor numbers are less (Yes, you can walk into most restaurants without a reservation!) and, as always, the people on the island are ready to welcome you with open arms. Todays’ blog features the St. Barth July 2018 Trip Report written by our bi-lingual Villa and Hotel Specialist Anne-Cécile Bedford. Anne-Cécile is originally from Brittany and loves the connection this French island affords her.

Enjoy!

Sunny regards,
Peg

What an exciting time to be back on St Barth this past July! The island was getting ready for its annual Bastille Day party and France was getting ready to become the next soccer World Cup champions. Bravo Les Bleus!

I landed on St Barth the day prior to the beginning of the festivities and set myself up at villa Chimère, a wonderful 2 bedroom villa located in the quiet area of Petit Cul de Sac. But beforehand, I had to make a stop at the Cemetery in Lorient to pay my respects to the legendary Johnny Hallyday (Our French Elvis) who had passed away in December 2017 and is laying peacefully in St. Barth where he owned a vacation home.

Johnny Hallyday is buried in Lorient

Upon arrival at villa Chimère I was nicely surprised to see that the owner had stocked the refrigerator with goodies like cheese, fruits and wine, which was welcome after a long day of travel. I chose the purple bedroom to the right of the living room that opens to the heated pool and outdoor space and offers a spacious bathroom with a private outdoor shower. This is a nice extra feature on St Barth! The second bedroom located on the opposite end was as desirable, making it the perfect villa for 2 couples. For those looking to stay fit during their vacation, villa Chimère offers a well-equipped gym located below the villa. I chose to adventure to Toiny every morning and do my 3 mile run from the villa. The small beach at Petit Cul de Sac is also accessible by foot (a 5 minute walk), so no need to hop in your car to enjoy a morning swim in the blue lagoon.

Pool at Villa Chimère

Can you picture yourself right now floating in this gorgeous pool, gazing at the sun? I can. Welcome to paradise!

My first working day took me to the western side of the island where I inspected the beautiful villa Mer Soleil located in Gouverneur. I loved the new second master bedroom with spectacular view, decorated in beige and blue tones. I also discovered the secret 3rd bedroom downstairs with the underwater pool view; it is right out of a James Bond movie. This villa will leave you dreamy with the blue sea all around, and the view of the neighboring islands (St Kitts, Nevis, Saba, St. Maarten). As part of St Barth Properties exclusive Grand Cru Collection, you will be served with a morning delivery of French pastries and evening turn down service. See what other exceptional properties include that same package.

Mer Soleil underwater view of the pool

While on that side of the island I also took a peek at villa Gem (a great villa for small wedding parties), villa Mirage (perfect for Gouverneur beach lovers), villa Bellissima (beautiful lap pool) and the gorgeous 6 bedroom villa Lyra (perfect for couples of group of friends) and villa Papillon (cozy villa with many interesting pillow accents).

Villa Papillon pillow

Did you know that Gouverneur holds a secret grotto? I decided to come back during my time off and adventure there on a hike. I had a difficult time finding the entrance of the path until some friendly goats showed me the way. What a spectacular view and what a headache to find the grotto! After 1 hour, I finally found it, but I did not dare go down that very narrow black hole via a cord that was attached…maybe next time and more courage!

I finally found the grotto

On Saturday I celebrated Bastille Day with my wonderful colleagues from our local offices (Laura and Anne-Laure). We started off at Bonito with a delicious cocktail before heading over to Ociela (a new Mediterranean restaurant in Gustavia) for dinner. We were welcomed there with a Coupe de Champagne (the perks of the job!) and the wonderful smile of Sylvain behind the bar. We ended the night at Bagatelle where it seemed the whole island was dancing the night away…fun, fun, fun.

Bastille Day at Ociela

Sylvain at Ociela

There was no time to sleep-in the next day; France was facing Croatia in the World Cup final and I had to be in Gustavia early enough to get a spot and watch the game. A giant screen had been set on Gustavia Harbor and fans gathered in their best blue, white and red outfit. I was so happy to be living this moment on a French territory with my peers and celebrate this great victory.

Ready and psyched for the World Cup game!

Besides being a dedicated reservation agent, I also must keep up with the hotels as some of my clients do prefer being pampered and have access to a restaurant and Spa onsite. I had the pleasure during my trip to meet with the all new hotel Manapany Reservation Director who conducted my visit. The first thing that appealed to me entering the hotel was the luxurious vegetation and the beauty of the blue ocean caressed by a gentle breeze. The hotel offers 43 suites from a standard ocean deluxe to a beach prestige suite, 2 cottages, and a 2 bedroom beachfront villa, all made in tropical woods with exotic islandly colors, combining nature and luxe. The beach invites guests to take a romantic walk and is a great spot for windsurfers.

Manapany’s outdoor restaurant

Hotel lobby where guests are welcomed

The Manapany hotel is also an eco-friendly resort using solar panels to produce electricity, offering electric cars as the only way to get around the hotel, growing fresh fruits and vegetables to provide organic cuisine at their restaurants. Even the hotel towels are made of bamboo. Their SPA located on the beach only uses organic products as well from Dr. Hauschka. There is a spa room, a duo cabin for a massage for two, a hairdresser and a long lap adults-only pool with lounge chairs by the beach to relax after a pampering day. Have I said enough?

Relax in one of Manapany’s lounge chairs

I ended my tour with a lovely lunch by the beach, savoring a Creole Style poached red snapper with risotto and sipping on a Pomegranate Margarita. The exotic fruit salad for dessert left me breathless!

Creole Style poached red snapper with risotto at Manapany

Manapany exotic fruit salad

My favorite new villa to discover this time was villa Golden located hillside in Marigot with a stunning view of the water. This is the perfect villa for 6 couples or a group of friends to enjoy together. All bedrooms are equal and offer a sea view with many features like Apple TV and a Bose sound system. There is ample space to sit around the heated infinity pool and enjoy a cocktail. The décor is appealing and contemporary-looking with a gorgeous fully equipped kitchen, a large living area and dining area.

Restaurant “Grain de Sel” in Saline remains one of my favorite places to dine. Make it a date! A deux c’est mieux” 😊

Vivaneau (Red Snapper) prepared by Eddy, former chef of Mayas to go

And don’t forget that July is the time to head to St Barth simply to take advantage of all the wonderful les soldes (sales) offered for a 2 week period!

St. Barth is a shopper’s paradise, especially during Les Soldes!

‘Til later, Namaste……

Namaste

Anne-Cecile Bedford
Bilingual St. Barth Villa and Hotel Specialist
St Barth Properties, Inc
+ 1 508-570-4477
anne@stbarth.com

More fantastic St. Barth Villa and Restaurant Recommendations

Thursday, September 13th, 2018
Allegra

Allegra Pawlowski

St. Barth Hotel and Villa Specialist Allegra Pawlowski’s Guest Blog and Trip Report

I hope that you enjoyed your summer and are thinking about going to St. Barth, now that Labor Day is behind us. To get you in the mood, I am presenting a guest blog written by our fabulous St. Barth Hotel and Villa Specialist Allegra Pawlowski. Happy reading!

Hope to see you in St. Barth,
Peg

This past May I took my spring inspection trip to the island with our US based concierge, Julia Hurd. Julia is not comfortable with flying (she outlined her experience in her trip report a few months ago) but she did great! We flew Tradewind Aviation (her first time) and she was a total pro. Here she is upon landing in St Barth with the pilot:

Upon landing, we collected our rental cars. We picked up two cars as Julia had plans to check out new restaurants, services etc. on the island and I had a separate one which I used to explore the island and perform my villa inspections. We drove straight up to our villa, L’Adrech which would be home for 3 nights. L’Adrech has an outstanding view over St. Jean (from Lurin). I could spend the whole day sitting on the terrace or in the pool and watching the planes come and go from the airport in the distance below. This is a wonderful spot for a multigenerational family. The master bedroom (which is HUGE) is located in the main villa with a large walk-in closet and massive en suite bathroom. Next to it, there is also the TV room which could be considered part of, or separate from, the master suite. The suite also has its own access to the pool terrace and the view. Stunning! In this same building, you will find the fully AC’d living, kitchen and dining rooms – all of which are open to the view.

View from Villa L’Adrech

The pool is a few steps down from the main building and has a small waterfall and lovely mature foliage framing the view. The pool has a beach feeling entry – no stairs and is very gradual making it great for little ones or older guests (beware, there is no railing). Surprise! Julia had rented a giant inflatable flamingo and a pizza slice for us to lounge on while drifting in the pool. The second building on the property houses the two other bedrooms which have their own en suite bathrooms and face the view. These two bedrooms can also be joined if you have a nanny traveling with you or a few kids who want to have connected rooms and be separate from the parents in the master. This is a fantastic property for a family to stay and take in the view while giving everyone some space. It is still available for the holidays and the owner will allow a 7 night stay! Please ask me more if you can see your family here for Christmas or the New Year.

Pool at Villa L’Adrech

We had a chef-prepared lunch at the villa with our on-island office on our first full day and it was the perfect spot for breezes and views. I had to leave the lunch early to meet and show some clients some potential villas for the holidays but here are a couple of mouth-watering photos of the delicious menu:

Some other great family villas I saw that week were: Brise de Mer (located just a short walk from gorgeous and the calm part of Lorient beach with two bedrooms under one roof with a pool – great for a family with little ones), Gros Ilets (Fab sunset views and both bedrooms under one roof on a lower level), Fabrizia (gorgeous views over the harbor and well equipped for a large family), Sur le Port (located in Gustavia so you can walk to dinner, shopping and Shell Beach), Sea Sand & Sun, Caribbean Breeze, Moulin (at the end of the runway on St. Jean Beach), Vie en Rose (very comfortable villa with lots of land for kids to play and explore with water access from the property and a short walk to the beach and tennis courts within the gated neighborhood).

Villa Caribbean Breeze

Villa Fabrizia

Villa Moulin

After a few nights, we switched to another villa. This one was located a bit lower on the hillside in St Jean and had a more modern décor than where we had been. We loved the set up of Le Diamant (which is perfect for two couples as we each had a bedroom flanking the living, dining and kitchen area. The large zero edge pool was warm and a great place to end our days before heading out to dinner. Going to dinner and our daily excursions were made easy with the central access to all parts of the island from Le Diamant. Julia had arranged a surprise for our last afternoon, massages by the pool. A PERFECT way to end our tough week (wink wink). Merci beaucoup Julia!

Pool area at Villa Le Diamant

From IN the pool at Villa Le Diamant

While on the island, as is always the case – some FANTASTIC meals were had – we loved Tamarin, fishCorner (we went there twice in 6 days and Julia raved about the meal already so I will only show you some photos), L’Esprit, Le Repaire, Bagatelle, Le Piment, 25 Quarter, Quarter Général, François Plantation, Ociela, and the staple, Les Bananiers. Let us also not forget the chef at the villa and the chef-prepared picnic lunch to accompany our Sea Bob outing on Sunday. (Please see Julia’s rave review of the Seabob adventure – This is now something I will do each trip!)

Strawberries and millefeuille at L’Esprit

fishCorner…again – repeat offender

The now highly revered lemon meringue pie at fishCorner

Chocolate soufflé at Villa Marie St Barth’s François Plantation

Wild mushroom raviolo and grilled prawn at L’Esprit

François Plantation at Villa Marie St Barth’s take on our new infatuation, the lemon meringue pie – deconstructed

Eddie crafting and igniting cocktails at 25 Quarter

Lunch selection at fishCorner

Some of the other villas I saw that week which stood out were: Serenity (a new favorite spot high above Gustavia for three couples), LAO (outstanding views over Corossol from here – watch the boats and have a great sunset – all afternoon sun by the pool), Java (modern décor with nice views over Marigot Bay), Aigue Marine (great views over Flamands Beach – short walk to the sand or enter the water right from the property), Wide View (Sunrise lovers will enjoy this spot – also a great location if you must fit in your daily run), Sophia (wonderful spot on Marigot Bay with water access – great for three couples or a family with teens), Golden (high above Marigot Bay – wonderful view and refreshing breezes – I am “borrowing” some decorating ideas from here), La Boussole (great set up for two families traveling together), Aronnax (convenient in town location – everything at your doorstep), Colony Club E2 (great for the solo traveler), Colibris (perfect for honeymooners), Sucriers (great for two couples or a small family), Lyra (idyllic spot for extended family or a group of couples traveling together with stunning Gouverneur Beach views) and the island’s newest addition, Neo.

View from Golden over Marigot Bay

Villa Golden

Looking down at Lyra’s levels and gorgeous Gouverneur beach below

Dreamy pool at Villa Sophia

Pool view at Villa Wide View

Irma has certainly left her mark on the hearts of St Barth lovers, but the island has done an incredible job dusting herself off to welcome all of us. I think we may always have little reminders of Irma and Maria’s wrath, but hopefully we will be able to grow to have a sense of humor about some parts of it as evidenced by a property owner in Gustavia.

After the tough week, it was time to say our “ à bientôts and “au Revoirs” to our favorite spot in the Caribbean. Once again, Julia was a pro and remarked that she will ONLY fly this way now.

Boarding Tradewind

Post script – Right after I got home, I attempted the lemon meringue pie. While a valiant effort, it’s just not the same. It must be the butter….

Attempt at the lemon meringue pie in the US

Ever Wonder Why Our St Barth Properties-USA Concierge Knows How to Personalize and Enhance Your St Barth Vacation Experience?

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Today’s blog is written by our amazing SBP-USA office concierge, Julia Hurd who has been with the Company since 2007. For those of you who have traveled with us in the past, you know how perfectly Julia assists you with any extra service you may desire. For those of you who have yet to book their St. Barth vacation with St. Barth Properties, you are in for a treat. Here is how Julia keeps on top of things for you. Enjoy.

Sunny regards,
Peg

Julia’s Trip Report St. Barth May 2018

It has been a year and a hurricane since I have been to the island of St. Barth, so I was very excited to see how the island and my colleagues have been doing along with the friends I have made since I have been with St. Barth Properties. I set off from Boston on a JetBlue direct flight into San Juan with my coworker Allegra Pawlowski, a St. Barth Properties Villa and Hotel Specialist. Now, here is the funny part, anyone who knows me is very aware of my fear of flying, so I have never in the 11 years of working as the St. Barth concierge ever flown on Tradewind Aviation. Yes folks, that is correct I always fly into SXM and take Winair, St. Barth Commuter or one of the ferries, Voyager or Great Bay Express, The ferry being my first choice.

Well, after a stern talking to myself, I decided I would give it a try. We arrived into San Juan and we were met by a Tradewind Aviation VIP Service agent who took us right to the Tradewind Aviation lounge to relax, have a cold drink and snack while the agent retrieved our bags and got us both checked in – what a breeze. I highly recommend the additional cost of $150.00 for this service; there is no additional charge if you are a party of one or eight.

I met Tom, one of the Tradewind Aviation pilots, in their VIP Lounge.

Once the plane was ready for takeoff, they let me board first and pick a seat I felt comfortable in. Tom, one of the pilots, was so kind and often looked back to make sure I was ok. I have to be honest I am mad it took me this long to fly Tradewind Aviation; it was such a smooth flight on the aircraft, a Pilatus PC-12, an 8 seater providing two pilots, a pressurized cabin, AC, cold drinks and snacks. I was NOT going to look out the window on my inaugural flight, so I got to watch 2 episodes of a 30 min show on my iPad. One hour later I was in St. Barth not even realizing we had landed. Two thumbs up to the crew and Tradewind Aviation for making this the best first-time experience ever.

We arrived and went to our SBP booth where we picked up our rental cars at Gumbs Car Rentals. We said hello to Odile who kindly lets us share the booth with her; Our greeter Romain was there to escort us to our villa L’Adrech and treated us just as if we were clients of SBP. Allegra will tell you all about this gorgeous villa in Peg’s next Guest Blog detailing her trip report.

The first night we ate at Les Bananiers; Aurélie Janvier, our St. Barth office Concierge, and Laura Commaret our St. Barth office Villa Rental Specialist, surprised us by walking in. We all had dinner together; it was great fun catching up.

I love working with St. Barth Properties-St. Barth Concierge Aurélie Janvier.

The Royal Wedding happened to be taking place that Saturday, May 19th. I thought it would be fun to arrange a Chef Lunch at the villa for our island staff along with some Tiara’s and Top Hats. We had Pascal, of Pascal Cook, one of the wonderful chefs we use on-island, prepare a Royal Feast.

Royal Lunch at Villa L’Adrech L to R- Laura, Allegra, Pascale, Me-Julia, Nadine, Romain and Benoit.

Pascal the Chef

I was lucky to be able to spend time with Aurélie our island Concierge, as we speak daily and work very closely together. It was wonderful to be able to spend every day doing new things and dining out at all the great restaurants that St. Barth has to offer.

We dined at:

fishCorner is only open for lunch; they sell freshly-caught fish daily from 8:30am to 12:00pm then again from 3:30pm to 6:00pm; they are open 12:00pm to 3:00pm for lunch and are located in Gustavia in the alley by the Bar de L’ Oubli. I had the Fish and Chips and the most amazing Lemon Meringue Pie for dessert. I went back twice just for the pie. I even contacted the pastry chef Margaux Bellorgey and asked if I could have the recipe. NO SUCH LUCK, I will have to meet her next time; maybe she will allow me to be her assistant and we can make it together.

fishCorner Fish n Chips

The Lemon Pie at fishCorner is out of this world.

L’Esprit, located in Saline, Jean Claude DuFour is the owner and chef, such a great meal wonderful to see him and his staff. Ociela located in Gustavia has a wonderful view; it just so happened that Soley the musician was singing there that evening, which was a wonderful treat. Bagatelle located in Gustavia -always a wonderful time; 25 Quarter was also a great spot; we visited the new Rum Room after dinner and had a rum tasting, it was amazing. So many rums from all over the world.

25 Quarter’s fantastic Rum Room.

L’Isoletta was a restaurant I have never been able to fit into my schedule but this trip Aurélie and I made a point to have lunch; we had pizza, a salad, dessert and coffee for 20 euro pp – can’t beat that price. It was delish. Located on the upper road in Gustavia.

Aurélie devoured the pizza combo at L’Isoletta.

My Berry Ricotta dessert at L’Isoletta was very good.

We also were able to spend a day at the hotel Manapany pool and have a wonderful lunch; we toured the Spa and some suites at the hotel. What a tough job I have.

The Manapany is on Anse des Cayes Beach.

You can have lunch by Manapany’s main pool or use the adults-only pool at their spa.

Tamarin located in Saline – what a great restaurant. I love Heart Rocks and collect them in my travels, I simply fell in love with the one in the lily pond. I wish it fit in my luggage. The dinner was fantastic, everyone was happy and the tables where full. What a delightful night.

Here is Tamarin’s heart rock in one their lily ponds.

Allegra and I loved dining at the Tamarin.

I also wanted to try the St. Barth Properties Beach Picnic and some of the other activities that we offer, so we arranged a Beach Picnic with Chef XO Christophe and a lesson with Cyril Reymann to try the Seabobs. The St. Barth Properties Beach Picnic lunch was set up on Shell Beach as our lesson was there. The food from Christophe was outstanding as always, it was a pleasure to see him and one of his helpers. I highly recommend the SBP Beach Picnic; simply contact me and I will arrange everything for you. It was a great day. The Seabob was so much fun. You must try it!

Try the St, Barth Properties Beach Picnic next time you go to St. Barth.

While we were picnicing on Shell Beach, Allegra and I had a blast learning how to swim with the Seabob.

One item on my bucket list was to have a massage at a villa and boy oh boy was I one lucky and happy lady. It seems being a concierge can be stressful at times, believe it or not. So what other choice did I have but to have a massage? Allegra and I moved to the beautiful and very private Villa Le Diamant in St. Jean. (All of us at SBP love to experience the Villa Lifestyle just the way you do so that we can give you first-hand knowledge of the accommodation.) Nadine from Venus Institute set up her table poolside and within minutes I was in heaven. I can’t think of anything better to arrange for you than a fabulous massage to help you relax.

Nadine from Venus Spa came to our Villa Diamant to give me an excellent in-villa massage.

Nadine was fantastic. Venus Institute is a wonderful Spa in Gustavia that has many services from hair, makeup, mani, pedi, massages and so many more services, simply contact me at juliahurd@stbarth.com and I will give you all the details. In-villa or at the spa can be arranged.

I could not get over how wonderful the island looked and how green and beautiful it was. Other than a few obvious observations (such as the fronds on the palm trees not being 100% back), you would never think a category 5 hurricane visited. The people of St. Barth have worked so hard and are so grateful to bring the island back to its splendor.

St. Barth has so many coiorful flowers.

Another activity that Aurelie and I tried was Janzu, with Body and Soul. We met Nanda at the far end of smaller side of St. Jean Beach. Janzu is a type of water massage; it is practiced in the pool or ocean (but your villa pool can’t be too deep). It induces a state of deep relaxation, allowing energy blockages to emerge. Nanda places a nose water clip and tells you to breath out of your mouth, she listens to your breathing and tells you to close your eyes. The session was not only relaxing and calming, it was very emotional at the end; both of us found ourselves moved to tears, in a good way. Thank you, Nanda at Body and Soul. I still feel your energy. For more details contact me at juliahurd@stbarth.com.

Nanda and I are on the quieter side of St. Jean beach for Allegra’s and my Jenzu experience.

Right after Hurricane Irma hit St. Barth, the citizens began cleaning the island of debris. Each weekend a different spot is chosen. Trash bags and gloves are provided. Allegra and I volunteered to pick up trash along the roads of Corossol on a Sunday morning along with our island office; we did a great job. The more hands the better.

Benoit, Aurélie, Laura, Alllegra and I went to Corossol to join in the cleanup on Trash Day.

I can’t get over how fast the week went by, it was great to see everyone and see how well the island is doing. I am thankful to all the wonderful people and places I visited while I was there. It is one amazing island. Thank you to everyone in St. Barth for making my work week so enjoyable, it is always sad to say goodbye. Thank you to my copilot Aurélie, you’re a great partner.

Aurélie bid us goodbye. We will be back very soon.

What is St. Barth like Post-Hurricane Irma? Should you go? A Client’s Perspective

Monday, January 29th, 2018

Bill and Cathy Fuchs from Scottsdale, Arizona shared their late December to early January 2018 St. Barth experience with us.

What a fantastic trip (our tenth), and though there are some post Hurricane differences, there’s no reason to avoid St Barth. We enjoyed two weeks at the Villa Blue Diamond with little evidence Irma had visited three months earlier. Around the island, where power lines were damaged, now stand temporary poles, and it seems most lines are attached by rope, but there’s reliable power! Occasional roof damage is visible, but is not the norm. Roads are as they’ve always been, in good condition, and Odile with Gumbs Car Rental equipped us with a Jimny with only 24km – we like new! Grocery stores are well stocked. All Seaside restaurants except Shellona are under renovation, and they are open and very busy for a great vibe; reservation required. La Plage and Lil Rock Beach Bar at St Jean offer basic beach services to get your party started. Colombier, Saline, Gouverneur, St. Jean, and Shell beaches are as beautiful as ever.

With many of our regular restaurants under renovation, we sought new dining experiences. We visited Orega twice, so that’s obviously our top pick. Tamarin, L’Esprit, YoSushiMania, 25 Quarter, Bagatelle, and of course Le Select continue to exceed expectations. This was the best weather streak we’ve ever had with some rain at night and sunny days with occasional puffy clouds being blown by the trade winds. We could have done without the Christmas Eve M5.2 earthquake, but still found it interesting. Jimmy Buffett’s wharf-side free concert December 27th adds to the bragging rights of being in St Barth. Travel through SBH is no different; the terminal looks and functions the same.

For those of you connecting via St Maarten, the terminal will likely be closed for a year. All operations are run from tarmac-based tents with many employees anxious to give directions and assist. Arrivals are at the end of the terminal closest to the sea, departures are at the opposite end of the terminal, near the employee parking lot, and you enter a gate with a sign stating only ticketed passengers beyond this point. Inside, we find tents to obtain our tickets, clear immigration and security, and find a basic waiting area with some food. Presently there are three USA flights per day (San Juan, Miami, Atlanta), so it’s very easy to navigate and crowds were negligible as our departure flight of less than 200 passengers isn’t much of a crowd. We overnighted at the Atrium Resort, for a clean room and comfortable bed; they did a nice job. A local we spoke with, estimates they’ve lost 90% of their tourist traffic, I would agree, there’s not too much going on, and unlike St Barth, here the damage is extensive and apparent, but Driftwood, and Sunset Beach Bar are open and must not be missed for a cold bucket of Carib while watching the big jets take off as tourists try to withstand the jet blast.

Thanks Bill and Cathy. Come back soon!

What does St. Barth look like 8-9 weeks post Hurricane Irma?

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

A St Barth first-person Experience November 02-05, 2017

My passion has always been St. Barth. My heart was aching for the people who experienced the wrath of Hurricane Irma and I longed to get back. Finding flights from Boston had become a huge challenge. I would book flights only to have them canceled. Finally, I found a flight through Miami to St. Maarten. Today’s blog covers my first few days back in paradise.

November 02, 2017:

My husband and I flew on America Airlines to Miami. Fortunately, the flight was on time and we made it to our connecting gate to St. Maarten in time. Both flights were full. I was surprised that so many people wanted to fly to St. Maarten because the recovery there is going at a snail’s pace.

I had heard that the terminal at Princess Juliana Airport was not open and was badly damaged. Make-shift arrangements had been made. That bit of news meant that I was clueless as to how to transit through to St. Barth. We had four heavy checked bags because we packed knowing that we would be here until May. I relied upon my fabulous concierge in our US office, Julia Hurd to arrange VIP services for us. What a smart move!

As soon as we touched down on the tarmac in SXM, I saw the devastation on both sides. I was so used to seeing pictures of how well St. Barth is recovering, it was a bit of a shock. It was as if Irma had hit only 3 days ago instead of 8 weeks ago. Our pilot parked the plane near some tents and we deplaned via a stairway. We were told to go to the “FOB” building. I had no idea what that was, so I asked a friendly guy at the bottom of stairs. He said, “Is your name Walsh?” He took me to Jerry who was handling my Easyway VIP service. Thank you, Jerry!

We deplaned in St. Maarten via a stairway.

We stood in line to clear immigration while Jerry retrieved our luggage, He then escorted us to another tented area where they had some counters and checked us in at Winair. Then we went to a booth to get our passports stamped again, this time for departure, and we went through a security checkpoint in a hangar serving as the departure lounge. It had some places to buy drinks and snacks and a restroom. Soon after, Jerry came to get us, and we were on our way to St. Barth.

We stood in line under a tent, in order ito go through immigration in a temporary building.

We waited for our Winair flight in a hangar that had become the departure lounge.

I admire St. Maarten for adapting to the aftermath of Irma by opening the airport to people like me. SXM is a gateway to many other destinations. I admire American Airlines for flying from Miami and Jet Blue from JFK every day, too. FYI If you are transiting through St. Maarten, please be sure to ask Julia to arrange the VIP service, you will be so happy that you did.

Vive La Différence! As we approached the island, we could see how green St. Barth is – already! We cleared immigration and headed to the St. Barth Properties booth that we share with Gumbs Car Rental. Odile was waiting for us with her always pretty smile and showed us to our rental cars. (Yes, we have two so that I can go off and work without stranding Steve.) 0ff we went to Villa Everest.

I tried to look at the surroundings as I drove. Yup, definitely, a hurricane had hit, the most obvious indication being the almost-naked palm trees. Otherwise, there were many signs of repairs and recovery that impressed me. Even the palms’ fronds had sprouted new growth showing that they were well on their way back to their stately beauty. We unpacked, showered and headed out to dinner. I had vowed that we would frequent every restaurant whose staff had busted their tails to reopen as soon as possible and show my support by dining there. We are always a bit tired on our first night and chose the casual Le Grain de Sel by Saline Beach; it was busy; they had blackboard specials, and we enjoyed the food, the friendly staff as well as the nice breeze.

November 03, 2017

I love waking up my first day back in St. Barth. Feeling rested, I grabbed my camera-phone and took a picture from the pool deck. The island looked nice and green and I remarked that Lorient beach looked beautiful. My mission is to give you firsthand knowledge of how St. Barth looks in real time but to also let you know how the people who lived through this nightmare felt and now feel.

My first morning view from Villa Everest was different but still stunnng.

Steve (aka “Doc”) went to his favorite warehouse in Lorient to stock up on supplies. In case you do not know my husband, he is Dr. Chatter and loves to talk to anyone. Maybe that is because he is a dentist and he was great at distracting his patients with banter between his dental assistant and him. He and the warehouse owner had a long conversation after the guy in front of him had bought every last bottle of Heineken out from under us!) The owner said that the guy owns a restaurant and people like him will go wherever they can to get what they need. Steve settled for Amstel Light and chatted away.

The owner said he had never experienced anything like Hurricane Irma. It was a category 5 but that is as high as the rankings go, and he thought of it as a category 7. In 1995, I remember when Hurricane Luis stalled over St. Barth for 36 hours. He said Irma was fast moving but was much stronger. Some people has lost part of their roofs and windows and when the eye hit at 7:00 am on September 6th, it was a blessing in disguise because people were able to go to the homes of friends and relatives and be safe. The backside was even worse. On September 7th, the island immediately began the recovery process. Everyone showed solidarity and pitched in to help one another. No one was going to sit back and wait for France to send help. The French didn’t think we needed it anyway because, “rich people come to St. Barth.”

Later, I met Anne laure and Laura from my rental office at Villa Les Embruns in Flamands so that I could visit it for a client of mine who is arriving in December. I saw people as well as the villa owner working on the villa, readying it for the first arrival on November 28th. Stonework was being done on a wall as well as repairs on the deck’s gazebos. When we went inside, it was perfect. The furniture looked as if nothing had happened. Laura successfully tested a “flybox” that enabled the Internet connection at the villa. I am going back next week to see the difference and report back.

I stopped at my offices in Gustavia to see everyone and to look at the damages. We have lots to do but both offices are open and ready to welcome you.

I stopped by my new St Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty sales office to check out the damages and to say hi to Benoit, Pascale, Nadine and Melissa.

That evening, we dined at another casual place, Bistro Josephine, which is on the road towards Shell Beach, not far from my offices. As soon as I opened the door, I saw my dear friend Audrey Ferrari who was the owner of Carpe Diem restaurant until the landlord decided to tear it down in favor of more shops. Audrey described the menu and the specials to us as we sipped our Coupes de Champagne. Once again, we had a delicious meal and had the chance to talk to Jean Paul, the owner. The bistro features a band once in a while; it also has a rear garden where you can dine alfresco. Try it, you’ll love it. We will make the reservations at any of the restaurants for you.

Doc and I are with Audrey and Jean Paul at Bistro Josephine.

November 04, 2017

Another day of reconnaissance found us driving past Grand Cul de Sac Beach, then turning left to view the lagoon from the righthand side. I wanted to see Le Barthélemy hotel and in the distance Le Sereno and Le Guanahani. The colors of the lagoon were as beautiful as ever; the beach looked inviting, too. The hotels are already in recovery – mode but it will take time before they can reopen. We have plenty of villas ready for your arrival. Maybe it’s time you try the Villa Experience. We can arrange every kind of service you may wish to have while you are there.

Next stop: Lorient Beach. We parked in our usual spot and took the footpath by the cemetery onto the beach. I looked to my left to see a very, very wide sandy beach. We walked the beach and realized that it was as wide as it is because the vegetation in front of the houses was gone. I saw homes that I had never seen before. It should all grow back soon. I spotted a woman with her two children playing on the beach near where the surf shack used to be and, as we approached, I realized that it was Hafida, the owner of The Hideaway restaurant. She told us that she is doing her best to reopen in December. I’ll be there in a heartbeat.

Lorient Beach is looking good too.

We had dinner at Eddy’s which had just reopened October 30th. It was quite busy, and we enjoyed seeing Brigitte, Eddy and their son Mahé again. The restaurant itself didn’t suffer any damage. The front garden lost its big tree. Eddy remarked that they were very fortunate because the tree fell across the street instead of onto the restaurant. Our meals were delicious, and I can’t wait to go back.

It is always a pleasure to see Eddy.

November 5, 2017

Today is Sunday. The day of rest is taken seriously by the islanders, so most places are closed. I put on my sneakers, put my Fitbit on my wrist and we headed off to Gustavia for a combination power walk and reconnaissance trip. The bakery in Lorient was open and a coveted parking space was free, so we parked and went in to buy our baguette for sandwich-making, so we could head to the beach with them later.

We stopped to buy our daily fresh baguette at La Petite Colombe in Lorient.

We decided to start our walk towards the other side of Gustavia. A cruise ship was anchored outside of the harbor and passengers had come in by tender. Therefore, a few shops were open. We headed to my offices and saw both the Bagatelle and the Baz Bar were under renovation. They plan on being open in December. Yay! As we continued on, we saw a few places that had been harmed by Irma. The harborside buildings that once held Hervé’s Coté Port and Carole’s Yacht Club were already scheduled to be torn down in favor of more dock space for boats, so no need for repairs there. We walked past the Hôtel de La Collectivité, as handsome as ever, and turned around at the end of that side of the harbor. Minor things such as benches need repair and the palm trees need more fronds.

The Hotel de la Collectivité (city hall) looks great

Reversing our steps, we walked down the other side of the harbor past the ferry dock and fish market. Everything seemed normal. The Voyager ferry had just arrived from St. Martin, taxi drivers were offering island tours to the cruise ship passengers, Le Repaire was open for breakfast and the fish market was intact but not open because it was Sunday. I did see a piece of plywood on the window at Longchamp’s but not much more. Further up the Bar de L’Oubli was open, too.

The Voyager ferry arrived on this quiet Sunday.

The fish market showed no sign of damage.

The afternoon reconnaissance: St. Jean Beach. After packing the cooler, putting beach chairs and an umbrella in the car, we headed to the parking lot across from the beach. The path at the end of the runway, going onto the sand, was wide, once again, because the foliage was gone. Believe it or not, we found a tiny piece of beach where we usually sit, that was shaded by some rejuvenating palm trees.

The sand on the Les Ilets de la Plage side of the beach has come back nicely. I think it is because most of the fence washed away.

We walked the beach towards Eden Rock and saw the damage to Tom Beach, Emeraude Plage and Eden Rock. Lots of work to do there. Tom Beach is already on its way back and expects to be open in December. We saw piles of sand waiting to be spread in various spots along the beach.

The sand at the Eden Rock side of St. Jean Beach is recovering well.

A benefit from Irma is that the better parts of the fences washed away. You can walk the entire beach again. Hope it lasts.

I noticed a few chaise lounges with umbrellas at the spot where Carib Water Play’s booth used to be and stopped to chat with Lucas, Jean Michel’s son. He was open for business! Good to know – 15 euros for a lounge chair and 10 euros for an umbrella – well worth it.

Carib Water Play is open for business.

Lucas is ready to set up your chaise lounge and umbrella, rent you a surf board or give you a windsurfing lesson.

To end the day, we enjoyed a casual Sunday night dinner at Le Vietnam restaurant in Gustavia.

My next blog will be shorter, I promise, and I will tell you more about my adventures post-Irma.

St. Barth Trip Report by Connie Walsh, June 2015

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Bonjour St Barth Devotees,

Continuing the trip report series, today’s blog was written by Connie Walsh, our very talented Marketing and Travel Industry Consultant, who traveled to St. Barth with me last month. We had two very important missions to accomplish: 1) Meet with various people and interview them for the articles you will be reading in the 20th edition of our upcoming Live Your Dream catalogue and 2) Inspect several new villas as well as write up their descriptions for our website.

Here is Connie’s trip report:

Enjoy-
Sunny regards,
Peg

St. Barth Trip Report, June 2015 by Connie Walth

I’ve stayed at Villa Everest so many times now, settling in there is always a bit like coming home. It’s comfy-cozy and I never tire of its panoramic view. Peg Walsh and I spent the first few nights of a very busy workweek at Everest but, happily had the time to toast a glorious sunset from its lovely pool terrace.

Villa Everest

Villa Everest

We spent three nights at the brand new, two-story, two-bedroom Villa Brume de Mer – its rental is exclusive to St. Barth Properties and we were eager to give it a test-stay. Perched on a bluff overlooking Baie de Flamands, Brume de Mer lays claim to a stunning view from several vantage points. A solar-heated pool, a Jacuzzi and a gazebo shading a living-dining area are among the features that make this a special vacation spot. The contemporary décor is coordinated with a soothing gray and crisp white color palette brightened with pops of color. There is exceptional attention to detail here that ensures guests’ comfort and convenience. Expansive well-laid out closet space, perfectly positioned bedside reading lamps, and both waffle and plush terry robes are worth noting. Towel hooks adjacent to the pool and Jacuzzi and a bar for drying beach towels are just of few of the nice little touches. The kitchen’s stock of dishes and glassware and wealth of culinary tools and gadgets are color coordinated.

Villa Brume de Mer

Villa Brume de Mer

I love that Brume de Mer is just a three-minute walk to Flamands Beach – one my favorites. Guests have a choice of three beachfront restaurants that they can walk to for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Up early one morning, I walked the length of the beach and enjoyed a swim before we headed out for a day of villa inspections.

St. Barth Properties has added several new luxurious villas to its portfolio. I think these latest additions will really peak some interest.

Villa Jade, the eight bedroom vacation home of legendary French Rocker Johnny Hallyday is a stand-out even on St. Barth, where villas-to-die-for are as prolific as celebrities. A private Marigot location offers sweeping views of its bay and expansive outdoor living space complete with a super-sized heated infinity pool, Jacuzzi, king-sized canopied day bed and party-sized alfresco dining area. Indoors, there’s a state-of-the-art gym with a steam and sauna and a home-cinema with theater-style tiered seats and access to 4,000 movies. Sleeping accommodations include a three-bedroom family suite (a master and 2 children’s bedrooms) three additional en suite bedrooms, one suitable for staff and a private studio-style bungalow facing the sea. The Asian-themed décor is striking.

Villa Jade

Villa Jade

Villa Joy, also located in Marigot, has a contemporary architectural style similar to Villa Jade and shares the same stunning views. Joy is more compact with less square footage and six en suite bedrooms. However, it boasts many of the same wow features including the infinity pool, Jacuzzi, super-gym and the theater-style home cinema. I love the combination of the modern décor with whimsical accessories and the homage to mid-century movie stars.

Villa Joy

Villa Joy

We inspected two fabulous – and very different properties – in Gustavia. Cassiopée is a two-level three bedroom penthouse apartment that comes with a garaged parking spot and an elevator. Chic and modern, it overlooks the iconic harbor with all its hustle and bustle. Two en suite bedrooms are upstairs; an additional main level room can serve as a third bedroom or a TV room.

Villa Cassiopée

Villa Cassiopée

Villa Infinity is a lovely four bedroom luxury villa that sits above the harbor. Newly built, yet it has a gracious old plantation house feel. Its outdoor living space is fabulous with a terrace and a lower level pool deck with a kitchenette housed in a gazebo.

Villa Infinity

Villa Infinity

In St Jean, Villa Sagittaire wows it guests with a stunning vista of the bay and chaise lounges are queued up along the extra-long infinity pool to take it all in. The four bedrooms have charming 4-poster draped beds and their en suite bedrooms have indoor and outdoor showers. The pool deck is gorgeous and I loved the rear deck – set up for BBQing and relaxing – and how it architecturally frames the view.

Villa Sagittaire

Villa Sagittaire

The main mission for the week was compiling the content for the upcoming issue of the company’s catalog Live Your Dream®. We had a fun interview with Hafida Amezian, who has taken over Hideaway the beloved open-air pizza parlor. She shared her plans for this iconic eatery and changes already implemented. They include the addition of fresh fish to the menu and upgrading the fries – from frozen to hand-cut. And they were yummy.

One of our evenings included a long, delicious over-dinner chat with Bagatelle’s GM Jean-Mathieu Sablier. The sophisticated harbor side eatery serves up contemporary French cuisine in a sexy, so St. Barth setting. What many island visitors may not know is that the menu includes Les Pizzas – thin crust and divine. In fact, black truffle pizza is one of its signature dishes and Peg and I shared one, and tucked-in to another, yellowfin tuna tartare nicely citrusy with a little avocado. Bagatelle will be the new venue for next season’s weekly cocktail party.

And speaking of sophisticated settings, no island restaurant deserves that description more than Bonito. What a view! I enjoyed it with a Tiki cocktail – their drinks menu is really creative – and we had a scrumptious dinner starting with a chilled pea soup. We went casual one night at Le Repaire and took a street-side table. I had a juicy two-handed burger and indulged in a little people-watching. As always, too many great restaurants too little time.

One of the week’s highlights was a sunset cruise with Top-Loc. We set sail with Captain Eric on the 45 ft. Wayayaï catamaran at 5:00 pm and loved every minute. Top Loc also offers full and half day cruises and with the use of snorkling gear, kayaks and paddleboats make for a fun experience especially for families with kids.

We loved our Top Loc sunset sail with Captain Eric

We loved our Top Loc sunset sail with Captain Eric

We interviewed the owners of H2O St. Barth and gathered all the pertinent info on the Seabob, an underwater scooter that is all the rage. Seabob has partnered with St. Barth Jet Ski to create what they call the James Bond Experience. It incorporates the Seabob, Jet Ski, an introductory scuba dive – wait there’s more – a “trip” on a flyboard. Flyboard is a device that propels you into the air as well as below the waves. Full disclosure, we didn’t give it a try, but we’re sure there are lots of SBP clients that would love it and we’d love to hear all about it and see pictures.

Try the new Seabob sport on your next St. Barth vacation. The concierges at St. Barth Properties will make all of the arrangements.

Try the new Seabob sport on your next St. Barth vacation. The concierges at St. Barth Properties will make all of the arrangements.

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.