Posts Tagged ‘JoJo Burger’

Allegra Pawlowski – St. Barth Trip Report May 2019 What’s happening on St. Barth

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

Our wonderful St Barth Hotel and Villa Specialist, Allegra Pawlowski shares her St. Barth experience with you today. She has lots of good information about places to stay, things to do and where she dined.

Happy reading!

Sunny regards,

Peg

Allegra Pawlowski

I always look forward to my spring inspection trip as I usually get to travel with Julia Hurd, our US-based concierge. This year, on the way to St Barth, we planned an overnight stop in Puerto Rico to test out a new hotel on Condado Beach, the Serafina Beach Hotel. This made our travel day so easy – a direct flight from Boston to San Juan and jump in a taxi to the hotel.

Since neither of us had ever spent any time in San Juan before, we checked into our room (oohed and ahhed over the fabulous sea view) and then took an Uber to Old San Juan to explore that part of the city. What a treat! I loved this part of our stay here – we stumbled on a crafts fair at the fort, watched some traditional performances and then continued our exploring.

Charming Old San Juan

Parasols in San Juan

Starving, we found a nice spot called Rosa de Triana to get some tapas, located on a beautiful park. We overordered and enjoyed having the place to ourselves. Stuffed, we continued wandering the cobblestoned streets and then late in the afternoon, returned to the hotel to rest a bit before enjoying our dinner outside at the hotel’s restaurant, Amare.

Serafina hotel San Juan at night

This is a great hotel to split up your trip to St Barth, especially if you are traveling from the West Coast of the US. It is a short taxi ride from the airport and is located in an area with many options for dining and some shopping. The views from here are gorgeous to wake up to as the waves crash on the beach below the hotel. They also make a yummy Pina Colada. Please let us know if you would like to try this hotel as we will be happy to help secure it for you.

Good Morning, San Juan

The next morning, we returned to the airport for our scheduled Tradewind flight to the island on one of their 8 seat Pilatus air-conditioned aircraft. Besides flying privately, this is truly the best way to get to the island. It was a clear day and I love looking out the window to see all of the Virgin Islands as we fly over them as we approach the legendary landing on St. Barth, which is always thrilling. Upon landing, we were greeted by Romain, our wonderful and always welcoming team member who escorted us through getting our car rental and then we proceeded to our home for the next few nights. We had a nice surprise with the car – instead of getting what I usually prefer, a Terios, we got a bright orange mini cooper convertible for the week. I am now dreaming about this for my next car at home 😊. It really was a treat to explore for the week with the mini! However, some villas have accesses where the mini won’t work because it sits too low on the road. We will let you know if your villa qualifies when it is time to book your car.

Home for the first three nights was Fleur de Cactus, located in Lurin. It is a totally air conditioned 3 bedroom villa facing the sunset. What a spot! There are two bedrooms and a sitting area on the entry level and then an interior staircase to the lower level where you find the kitchen, living room, dining area and another bedroom, all facing that view! We loved this for the ease of getting to work in the morning in Gustavia and then getting to finish the day there taking in the view. From here, it is a VERY easy drive into town, Gouverneur Beach or one of our favorites, Santa Fe for dinner! We also have some other villas in close proximity, if your group is larger than 6 people and need other properties in the same area.

I love the bar that is inside the pool at Fleur de Cactus.

On the weekend, we visited the new addition to St. Jean beach, L’il Rock Beach Bar/restaurant. We enjoyed the beach with their lounge chairs and lunch with some members of our team on Sunday. The island’s famous, Soley performed while we ate and enjoyed the day lazing on the beach.

L’il Rock sits on St. Jean Beach.

Monday morning meant the start of the work week and after getting Julia set up with her car, I was off to the office to get my marching orders for the day. Luckily, we were to start a bit slowly. During these twice a year trips, I always have a long list of villas I want to revisit or see for the first time. On this trip I really wanted to visit our cottages, DahouëtVal André and Cap Fréhal and in the Sable d’Or area of St. Jean as well as the boutique hotel, Les Îlets de la Plage next door.

Surprisingly, I had actually never been on this side of the runway before and instantly felt transported in time to “old St. Barth” once you pass through the gate. These properties are all equipped with modern conveniences but have maintained the island charm which keeps people coming back to this island year after year. The Sable d’Or cottages are situated at the waters edge, but do not have a beach. To access the sandy beach, you will have to walk down the road a bit, back towards the runway, but there is water access from the cottages (remember your water shoes!).There is also a tennis court included with the cottages if you feel up to an early morning workout. The nearby hotel, Les Îlets de la Plage also has a step back in time feeling with comfortable rooms and cottages with or without sea views. They also have a hotel pool and are a short walk to the sandy area of St. Jean beach.

During the week, I crisscrossed the island seeing new properties and revisiting others for which I needed a refresher. Some standouts were Wish and D’zir, located in Colombier (think – sunset views over the mouth of the harbor and a short walk to Les Bananiers or the bakery, La Petite Colombe), Iris with its new sleek look,  modern feel and fun new TVs, Dei Sogni– my ideal beach house on the sand of Lorient beach (utter perfection in my estimation), Villion located high up in Petite Saline for its privacy, value and views, Au Paille en Queue and Anse Etoilée located in St. Jean with nice views and very bright, fresh feeling interiors (including morning delivery of fresh French pastries included with a 7 night stay), Beach House for the ability to walk right out your door and be on the sand in St Jean, Lumière for its fantastic renovation and views.

The view from Villa D’Zir took my breath away.

Dei Sogni is for Lorient Beach lovers.

The view from Villa Villion is gorgeous.

Imagine you are staying at Beach House – Just open the gate and jump in the water on St. Jean Beach.

On these trips, I aim to test out some of the restaurants on the island and traveling with our concierges, we certainly do. Some of the spots we tried this visit included Santa Fe (for lunch), Nikki Beach, Victoria, La Guérite (for the last night of the season), fishCorner (we had to try the dreamy lemon meringue tart again), Le Toiny (for lunch at their beach club), JoJo Burger (always a great burger) and Maya’s. I had not been to Maya’s in a few years and was very pleased to see nothing has changed and their cooking and presentation remain reliable and simply delicious. The service at Maya’s is superb and of course that view and breeze off of the water are welcome after a hot day racing around the island on visits.

Lunch at the Santa Fe never disappoints.

No trip to St. Barth is complete until I have devoured the lemon meringue tart at FishCorner

Lunch at Nikki beach

Our second home for the week was Villa K, located in Anse des Cayes. As with most areas on the island at this time, there was construction here during the day, but when it stopped, I loved hearing the waves crash at the end of our sandy path. I imagined having our concierge arrange a massage at the villa and to set it up near the path at the end of the day. This would be a perfect place, as it gets dark, to really start the relaxation part of vacation. Note to self……… 😊

One day during the week, we took an afternoon off to enjoy a catamaran excursion with our colleagues in the office on the island. We sailed to Colombier on “Wayayaï” with Top Loc and our captain. There, we snorkeled and followed turtles and sting rays. It was truly a perfect afternoon on the water.

We experienced a catamaran day, just like our clients!

At Villa K, I won the coin toss on the master suite. It is HUGE with two separate lounging areas with gorgeous sea views and a very luxurious bathroom with separate steam shower and tub. This villa is very well set up for an extended family traveling with teenagers or a nanny. We had our last night dinner with the on-island office at Villa K and dined outside while enjoying the incredible talents of one of our favorite chefs, Christophe.

Julia and Chef Christophe adore each other.

I am looking forward to the next visit in November to reconnect with our team on the island and see all the new properties at that time, as there will be much more to see!

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.

Will Kids Love St. Barth?

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

It’s Julie Nally’s turn to share her recent trip report with you. Julie has been a St. Barth Specialist with St. Barth Properties for 18 years. When she began her career with us, she had not yet had children. Over the years, she was blessed with two very nice boys. If you are considering going to St. Barth with your family and have younger children, Julie gives some insight on what a family trip to St. Barth can be like.
I hope you enjoy it!

Sunny regards,
Peg

Will Kids Love St. Barth?

By Julie Nally

“Will my kids love St. Barth?” is a common question I get from potential clients planning their next family vacation. Well, the answer has always been “yes” for a variety of reasons. However, now I can speak from my own experience, the answer is an even bigger “YES!”

I just returned from my latest island villa and hotel inspection trip. This trip was different than any other because I was not traveling alone or with a friend but with 5 kids! That’s a “busload.” The age range was from 10 to 21 years old and included my two sons, Jack, 10, Keith, 13 and my three nieces ages 14, 16 and 21.

The initial interest in planning this trip was sparked by my son Keith. He was curious about St. Barth and always asking if he could come with me when I went for work. He was determined to be on the plane to St. Barth with me. I granted his wish and it had a domino effect for all the other kids.

We flew from Boston to San Juan on Jet Blue and then took Tradewind Aviation from San Juan directly to St Barth. The Tradewind Aviation flight is ideal for anyone traveling to the island. Convenient, quick, and comfortable – a good start to any trip.

Boarding our Tradewind Flight - Jack, Julie, Ava, Haley, Lindsey, Keith

Boarding our Tradewind Flight – Jack, Julie, Ava, Haley, Lindsey, Keith

After arriving, it was on to Villa Eclipse in Camaruche. This villa with its long lap pool, amazing view, privacy, and oversized indoor and outdoor living spaces was the perfect choice for our group. The US Satellite TV in both the living room and master bedroom didn’t hurt either. The NBA Championship games were on and I have two sports enthusiasts for sons! The owner of Villa Eclipse also owns the amazing Villa Wings located in St Jean and the convenient condominium Wahoo in Gustavia. Three different locations, three very different properties but all top-notch villas that offer great amenities for the appropriate clientele.

On Top of the World - Ava and Haley - Villa Eclipse

On Top of the World – Ava and Haley – Villa Eclipse

After some refreshing pool time, we were treated to quite a surprise – an amazing fireworks display that lit up the skies. Lucky for us there was a large high-end wedding on the island and as it turned out Villa Eclipse had the best seat in the house. The kids were so excited!

We were treaated to a Fireworks display on our very first night.

We were treated to a Fireworks display on our very first night.

After, we left for a casual first-night dinner at L’Isoletta in Gustavia. This chic little bistro offers the best gourmet pizza slices on earth and outdoor dining on comfy couches and candlelight. We ended the evening with my niece giving a toast and that started a fun tradition.

Saturday and Sunday were filled with swimming and lounging at the villa and beach exploration (Saline on Saturday and Flamands Beach by the hotel Taïwana on Sunday). We had dinner at L’Entracte in Gustavia and JoJo Burger in Lorient and kept the nightly toast tradition going. My niece Ava gave it at L’Entracte and my son Jack at JoJo Burger. I also enjoyed some needed “girl time” Saturday night with two of my nieces Lindsey and Haley, at one of my favorite local bars Sayolita. It’s owned by two free-spirited St. Barth surfers Daniel and Sylvain and the girls loved the vibe and the “chill” atmosphere.

First ones in the pool every morning - Ava and Keith

First ones in the pool every morning – Ava and Keith

The absolute highlight of the weekend was our jet ski tour around the island on Sunday afternoon. Wow! None of us had ever jet ski’d on the open ocean before and what an adrenaline rush it was. Ninety minutes of pure fun, gorgeous scenery, and lots of laughs. Jeremy at Ouanalou was our guide and he was terrific.

Come Monday morning it was time for me to start my villa visits. I felt the best spot to get the kids situated was at St Jean Beach. They could watch the planes come and go, hang out at La Plage, the beach restaurant at the Tom Beach hotel, and walk to local shops. To my surprise, my son Jack opted to come with me for the day as opposed to beaching-it with the rest of the crew. He wanted to get an inside look at these properties he had only seen on our website before. Let me tell you, it was an absolute pleasure having him with me as my “little assistant.” His eye for detail, knowledge of all the technical gadgets (I had never heard of a “launchport” before.), and genuine interest in discussing the properties after seeing them was a nice surprise. He accompanied me again on Tuesday. I now wish he could be with me on every inspection trip!

I knew I wanted to capture this family vacation on film in some form or another. How could I not take advantage of this opportunity of our all being together in paradise?! Of course, there was collectively hundreds of selfies taken by the kids but I wanted something more. I made arrangements with island photographer, Chrystele Escure to come to the villa for a photo session. On Monday evening with cool music playing on the Bose surround system throughout the villa, we started what turned out to be a real (and fun, and exciting) photo shoot. Chrystele gave every person their time in the spotlight and a chance to be a “supermodel” – and captured their spirit. Seeing just how much fun everyone was having and the unique pictures that Chrystele was taking of us as a group and individually was priceless!

Chrystele getting ready for photoshoot with Julie

Chrystele getting ready for photoshoot with Julie

I highly recommend booking a photo shoot. It’s a fun and creative way to shed inhibitions and capture your time on St Barth. It’s a once in a lifetime experience! Just ask Julia or Magda, our concierges to arrange it for you.

Before our vacation together came to an end on Wednesday, the kids were able to get in a few more midnight swims at the villa, browse the shops in Gustavia, and enjoy their last delicious meal at Bar L’Oubli -followed by yummy gelato of course. I didn’t want to see them go because, of all the trips to the island, this was the one that brought me the most joy and happiness. I loved that they picked up on the true spirit of St Barth …the people, the beauty, and that “mysterious vibe” that floats in the air and puts a smile on your face. Anyone who has been to St. Barth knows exactly what I’m talking about.

Before they left on their Tradewind Flight back to San Juan, the girls and I recalled that classic movie Wizard of Oz we all know and love. However, instead of clicking ruby slippers, they were clicking summer sandals and flip flops thinking “There’s no place like St Barth…there’s no place like St Barth.”

Julie Nally

Julie Nally