Posts Tagged ‘Grain de Sel’

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

After 11 Months, One of My Most Favorite St. Barth Restaurants Re-Opens!

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Like so many of you who keep asking me for Post-Irma updates on the reopenings of the restaurants that are so much a part of The St. Barth Experience, I have waited and waited to hear news on one of my most favorite. Well, the time has come!

I am so happy to announce that the newly refurbished Santa Fé restaurant reopened on July 29, 2018.

The Santa Fé restaurant in Lurin reopened its doors on July 29th, 2018! I sent a congratulatory note to the very charming owner, David Mouton. He excitedly responded, “Hi Peg, Thank you for your nice words. You can imagine how happy we are after 11 months to open our doors again; I needed to open to feel that vibe back in my heart and also for my bank account…lol.” The restaurant will close again for its annual closure on August 25, 2018. I asked David about the reopening and he said, “We’re thinking of opening around Oct. 20th to be ready for a wonderful season; I hope your past season was not too bad and wish the next one will be magnifique!!…and looking forward to your visit asap. Thank you for your help. My best to Doc and Tom & family, Bisous.”

I love the entrance and bar area at the Santa Fé.

The menu is exciting, and I am happy to say that my very favorite dish, Dover sole meunière, is on it. Mark your calendars for Moules-Frites (mussels and fries) @29 euros every Friday (based on their arrival). We will make the reservation for you! View menu

The view at lunch is just as wonderful as ever.

The view from the Santa Fé is just as stunning in the evening.

September is the quietest month of the year for tourism. The annual closing of most of the restaurants, boutiques and hotels is drawing near. The reason? Not only is it the peak period for hurricanes, employees of France (therefore, St. Barth) are automatically guaranteed 5-6 weeks vacation every year, unlike in the US where vacations are usually based on the number of years a person has worked at the company. So, closing for 5-6 weeks works well for enterprises in St. Barth. They take advantage of the time to refresh their establishments. Who on St. Barth does not take these September vacations? The government, some enterprises, including several restaurants and parents with school-age children because the schools in St. Barth reopen the first week in September. Both of our St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty sales and rental offices remain open to serve you.

Many of our clients love to go to St. Barth during this period because they are seeking quiet relaxation. Although, the majority of restaurants will be closed, the good news is that you can dine at a different place every day.

What’s Open:

Le Bouchon
Café Gloriette (Closed Sunday)
Grain de Sel (Closed Sunday and Monday)
Vietnam (Closed Tuesday)
Quartier Général
Le Repaire
25 Quarter (Reopens Sept 5. 2018)
Le Select (Only closed September 7-16, 2018)
Les Bananiers (Closed Sunday)
Bar de L’Oubli (Closed Sunday)
L’Ardoise (Closed Saturday lunch and Sunday)
Au Régal (Closed Sunday and August 25-September 01, 2018)
Le Jardin (Closed Sunday)

So, if you vacationing on the island during the quiet period, you can still dine at a different restaurant every day if you wish. Bon Appétit!