Posts Tagged ‘L’Isoletta’

St. Barth Post-Irma Guest Blog from a 15-year St. Barth Visitor’s Perspective

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

What a Difference Five Months Makes

Bonjour!

Many of our clients love St. Barth so much that they vacation on this tiny piece of paradise more than once a year. Today’s Guest Blog is written by Amy M. from Summit, New Jersey.

Enjoy!

Sunny regards,

Peg

My love affair with St. Barth began almost 15 years ago with a special group of friends. The idea was a girls’ trip—no husbands, no children, just friendship in paradise. Every April for 10 years my friends and I returned to “our” island. We rented villas, enjoyed long sandy lunches, explored beaches, hiked, shopped, relaxed and laughed (a lot) until life and schedules got in the way. After 2 years away, I realized how much I missed St. Barth and decided it was finally time to introduce my husband to my “other” love. Just days into our first trip he was sold—he too loved the island’s winding roads, beaches, food, wine and of course, the warmth of its people.

After a few trips together, we decided to bring our daughters for a Thanksgiving holiday. They immediately loved the island and asked on that first Thanksgiving if we were returning for the next one. Yes, of course, we all agreed, this would be our new tradition. The next Thanksgiving was last November, not long after Irma, and we were determined to keep our plans. Several plane changes and 1 villa later (thank you SBP!) we were fortunate to return. It was a very special trip, one I will always remember with a few tears—not only for what the island had endured, but also for its strength and warm embrace. While St Barth had obviously suffered greatly, it was fighting back in full force and we were touched by its courage and spirit. We didn’t mind the scarcity of WIFI or no landline, we allowed extra time to drive the darkened roads at night and didn’t mind less choices for eating out. We spent a peaceful week amidst the quiet beauty of the island slowly greening, growing and rebuilding. It seemed especially fitting to end that trip with Thanksgiving dinner in the newly planted garden at Tamarin, beside the beautiful tree, celebrating and giving thanks.

Shortly after returning home, we made plans for next Thanksgiving. Knowing I couldn’t wait that long, I had an idea. My husband’s birthday falls the last week of April, and truth be told, a few were missed over the years due to SBH trips. He never minded when the group calendar synched that way and always said “go, have fun with your friends” so I decided this was the year to finally celebrate his birthday, together, on St. Barth. I got in touch with Julie Nally, my trusted SBP villa agent, and she arranged our week at Villa Birdy in Pt. Milou.

I couldn’t wait to see how far the island had come since November and it did not disappoint! Travel through SXM was much improved—the new temporary air-conditioned tents are comfortable and the entire process more organized. I flew down a couple of days early as schedules allowed, but even separately, both JetBlue JFK-SXM flights were on time, and both St. Barth Commuter flights actually departed early. Smooth and efficient, I landed and was greeted warmly as always by Odile at Gumbs.

On the drive to Pt. Milou I could see right away how much the island foliage had grown and how many palm trees had regrowth. There are still homes and roofs to repair, hotels to reopen, and work to be done, but the island felt much more like itself. I settled into the villa, perfect for the two of us, just above the Christopher hotel, and enjoyed the sunset.

The sunsets at Villa Birdy were glorious.

After a peaceful first morning at Gouverneur Beach, it was time to stock the villa. The Oasis market in Lorient hadn’t yet reopened in November but has since been nicely redone and is very convenient to the villa. Marché U was completely stocked, the freezer sections full and I found more than everything I needed. That night, I had the pleasure of meeting Julie for dinner (she happened to be on island for SBP business) at the wine bar Le Papillon Ivre in St Jean. Just up from Le Piment, it’s a sweet casual spot with wines by the glass, an extended menu of small plates and very friendly service. The food was delicious.

The next day, after a walk around Pt. Milou, I spent a few hours on Saline Beach before picking up my husband at the airport. We toasted his birthday at sunset and headed to dinner at François Plantation located at the Villa Marie hotel, a perfect choice for a special occasion. The room is stunning, the service top notch, and the food outstanding. In conjunction with the restaurant, SBP arranged a small birthday cake for dessert, candles and all. Delicious!

The birthday dessert at François Plantarion was fabulous.

Over the next few days we explored our favorite beaches. Gouverneur again was sparkling, a bit windy with perfect waves. The tree at the entrance is slowly growing back and there was ongoing dune restoration with great progress over several days. The path to Saline looked greener, and while the descent down was significantly steeper in November, it now seemed slightly less so. The lower hike to Colombier was as picturesque as ever and we finally found new access paths down to the beach after years of scaling the big rock. We noticed fewer rocks in the water and definitely less at the far end of the beach where many had accumulated post Irma. Several boats were docked, and, despite some wind, we found a nook and enjoyed a peaceful afternoon before hiking back and stopping at Shellona for drinks. It was fairly full at late afternoon and understand they have recently closed until June to expand their kitchen. Earlier that day we stopped in to see the recently opened beautiful Hotel Manapany in Anse de Cayes. A very pretty spot on the beach for lunch, drinks or dinner.

Colombier Beach

The main pool at the Manapany hotel is beachfront.

Loved the feet in the sand restaurant at the Manapany hotel.

That night we met Julie at the re-opened Bonito for sunset cocktails. Such a stunning room, very happy to report it is as beautiful as ever post Irma. We sat at the bar and enjoyed a perfect sunset over the harbor.

St. Barth Properties Villa and Hotel Specialist Julie Nally took this picture of us when we met her for drinks at Bonito.

Since we had a little time before dinner, we walked down to Baz Bar to see its re-do, always a special spot for drinks along the harbor. It looks very much the same, though miss the loungey feel of the original. We then walked up to L’Isoletta for delicious pizza, red wine and great service, perfect for a casual night. Another excellent dinner was Orega—one of our favorites. Everyone so friendly and welcoming with wonderful food, the tuna with foie gras a must. Greg, the owner, was as hospitable as ever, the restaurant beautiful. The next day we hiked to the natural pools at Grand Fond—something I’ve wanted to do for years. There are a few spots where you might not want to look down for too long (!) but it is a breathtaking hike and well worth the effort.

We walked to the Natural Pools at Grand Fond.

Another photo of the Natural Pools in Grand Fond.

After a quick change we walked down to a gorgeous lunch at Mango at the Christopher hotel. While rebuilding Taïno restaurant, the hotel has done a great job managing the construction while keeping Mango and the hotel spa open. We enjoyed the seaside setting and some of the best food I’ve had on St Barth. The chicken gyoza, soft boiled egg in mushroom crust, crispy chicken leg with tabbouleh, and yellowfin tartar were all excellent. We spoke with one of the staff who said the pool is scheduled to reopen in June, fingers crossed!

We enjoyed having lunch at the Christopher hotel’s feet in the sand Mango restaurant that is just a short walk from Villa Birdy.

That afternoon it was time to shop. Most stores in St. Jean and Gustavia have reopened (with a few to come) and after a quick run to Kiwi, we drove into Gustavia to M’Bolo for our favorite vanilla rum. The bottles we bring home never last long, so fortunately Sandy and Christian have started selling online at mbolo-rum.com. We stopped at Bijoux de la Mer to pick up a repair which Marie sweetly sealed in an envelope for our daughter, then visited a few other favorites like Baya before drinks at Bar L’Oubli. We restocked our wine supply at Le Cellier du Gouverneur and La Cave du Port-Franc on the way out of town and headed back to the villa for sunset, a casual dinner and a St. Barth full moon!

Sweet packaging by Bijoux de la Mer.

After service at the Anglican church Sunday morning, we drove up to the park by the hospital and took in the views before heading to Saline for our last afternoon. On the way back, we stopped at Eden Rock’s pop up on Lorient Beach for a glass of rose. It was very quiet that day, and we enjoyed seeing their temporary set up for lunch, drinks and lounging. We had a long chat with one of the staff who said the hotel plans to re-open just before Christmas. Later we walked down to meet a friend for cocktails and another gorgeous sunset at the Christopher. It was then on to dinner at Tamarin— the gardens as beautiful as ever. The restaurant was quite busy and the food, wine and service excellent. After dinner, back to the villa for vanilla rum and one last night of stargazing.

The view from the park behind the hospital is breathtaking.

Our last sunset from Villa Birdy was beautiful.

All in all, my plan worked! A very special birthday celebration and a perfect trip—travel, weather, villa, restaurants, shops, hikes, people—all fabulous. We are so fortunate to have been to St. Barth twice since Irma and very encouraged by, and in awe of, all that’s been accomplished. For those who know St Barth, do not hesitate to come back, you will find it as beautiful as ever and its spirit unchanged. For those considering a first trip, now is the time. In these months of rebuilding the island is quieter and more like its older self, while well on its way to becoming better than ever!

Hurricane Irma Update 4

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

The latest news plus, how do you see photos of St. Barth in real time?

We know many people are confused by some information that has been reported in the media. It is true we were hit by a very powerful storm. Some media have lumped St. Barth together with other islands that had certainly suffered greatly and are not as fortunate to possess the resources for such a rapid recovery like St. Barth. Our hearts go out to our neighbors and we wish them the best in their efforts towards recovery. We know they will all rise up again.

Gustavia 10-12-17

Irma before and after 10-13-17

Below you can see the current list of updated business and restaurant openings as well as airport/ferry information. All of this can be found on our Hurricane Irma update page on which we have posted nearly every day. We invite you take a moment to read this page. Be sure to start from the bottom of the page to see all updates. We think you’ll be impressed with the progress.

Business/Restaurant/Airport/Ferry Info

  • Private Villas:
    • We have assessed all of our properties and are pleased to report that many are ready for their November or December arrivals and most ready for high season. A few may take a bit longer but with 250 beautiful homes in our inventory we have plenty of great choices to offer you.

Villa Royal Palm in Vitet received its first guests October 23, 2017. They are thrilled! Photo taken 10-22 17.

  • Shops & Businesses:
    • The majority of shops in Gustavia and St. Jean are open now or will be re-opening as originally scheduled in October & November.
  • Restaurants:
    • Open now or by the end of November: Bakeries island wide, Le Select, Bar de L’Oubli, Galawa (former Pipiri), 25 Quarter, Le Jardin, Le Vietnam, Island Flavors, Au Regal, Bistro Josephine, Le Bouchon, Les Bananiers, Modjo, Yo Sushi Mania, L’Esprit de Saline, La Langouste, La Cantina, Le Piment, Papas Pizza delivery, Le Rendez-Vous, Eddy’s, Le Tamarin, Black Ginger, François Plantation, L’Isola, L’Isoletta, Orega, Chez Rolande, L’Entracte, Spice of St. Barth, Jo-Jo Burger, Mayas to Go.
    • Opening in December: Mayas, Le Ti St. Barth, La Bagatelle, La Plage, Shellona (former Dð Brazil), La Guérite (former Wall House), Kiki é Mo, Baz-Bar.
  • Airports/Airlines/Ferries:
    • St. Barth Airport: OPEN Re-opened in September and is fully functional.
    • St. Maarten Princess Juliana International Airport: OPEN Re-opened Oct 10 to commercial flights.
    • San Juan Airport: OPEN Tradewind Aviation is currently flying daily flights between St. Barth and San Juan and will maintain a full schedule for the high season.
    • Antigua Airport: OPEN Tradewind Aviation will resume its flights between Antigua and St. Barth and expects to add additional flights for the high season.
    • St. Thomas Airport: OPEN Tradewind Aviation will resume its flights between St. Thomas and St. Barth for the high season.
    • St. Kitts/Nevis Airport: OPEN Tradewind Aviation will resume its flights between St. Kitts/Nevis and St. Barth for the high season.
    • Great Bay Express: Ferry service between St. Martin and St. Barth resumed October 13.
    • Voyager Ferry Service: Ferry service between St. Martin and St. Barth resumed October 13.

The residents of St. Barth have worked hard so that they can welcome you back this season. If you are considering a St. Barth vacation and support our beloved island, everyone there will be happy to see you! I would be delighted to assist you in securing the right accommodations. Some who know St. Barth are saying this could be the perfect year to visit as it may be a bit quieter than recent years, a nice reminder of the St. Barth in simpler times. I look forward to assisting you. Contact me pegwalsh@stbarth.com or our St. Barth Specialists at reservations@stbarth.com, 1-800-421-3396.

Many of you have asked for photos of the island. Everyday it gets greener and greener. For a live update 24/7, check http://www.st-barth.com/livecam5.html. You can follow along to see the improvement right up until your day of travel.

The greening of St. Barth continues…10-22-2017

Post Irma, only 7 weeks later, the palm trees that looked like Q-tips as described by Tom Smyth 2 weeks ago are now coming back with gusto 10-22-2017

Hate to Cook but Prefer an Occasional Night-In to Enjoy Your St. Barth Villa?

Friday, February 24th, 2017

Delicious Places for Take-out in St. Barth, just for you

As fabulous as St. Barth restaurants are, there are nights you’d just like to relax in that gorgeous villa you rented. Oh, and you don’t feel like cooking. On a recent visit, armed with notebooks and iPhones, we went on a culinary walking tour to give you a few delicious takeaway options.

Island Flavors
Private chef and caterer Jean-Paul Adley showcases his skills in the creation of French and Creole dishes. You can sample his wares at his little shop in Gustavia. Choose from a selection of salads and daily special dishes. Do try the Conch Christophine. Take-away to your villa or maybe to nearby Shell Beach. 10 rue Victor Hugo, Gustavia; Hours – Mon-Fri 9:00 am – 7:00 pm; Sat: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Island Flavors by Jean Paul is located at 10 rue Victor Hugo, the intersecting street across from our office in Gustavia

St. Barts Food Lounge
Part sophisticated grab & go and part charming French café, St. Barts Food Lounge has a mouth-watering selection of Mediterranean-influenced dishes and decadent desserts displayed in glass cases. We ogled their Caribbean-colored macarons, reportedly the best on the island and as good as any found in Paris. Sweet. In every sense. You may be tempted to pass on your take-away plans and wine & dine in their pretty portico under a whirling fan. Their pièce de résistance are themed picnic meals and, wait for it – they’ll deliver to the beach of your choice! Picture that. And wouldn’t make a great one? We’re loving their Apéro Picnic. Pick it up after a beach day or that Gustavia shopping spree. Unpack it at your villa, pour that beverage and voila! Apéro ‒ and santé. 19 Rue De Gaulle – Gustavia Harbour; Hours: Daily 9:00 am–9:00 pm.

Sidewalk cafe dining or take away at the St. Barts Food Lounge

Sidewalk cafe dining or take away at the St. Barts Food Lounge

Satisfy your sweet tooth at the St. Barts Food Lounge

Satisfy your sweet tooth at the St. Barts Food Lounge

Burger Palace
When you are craving a juicy two-handed burger, the heart wants what the heart wants, and there’s a new joint in town. Modestly named the Burger Palace, it’s the size of a shoe box with a menu board listing internationally monikered double and single burgers with a dizzying choice of toppings. (After all, this is St. Barth). A 3€ upgrade gets you a side of frites or a little green salad and a drink from the cooler. There are paninis too but go for the double-burger. You order at the counter and off you go, but if you need instant gratification, there’s a couple of high-top tables just outside. Hours: Daily from 11:00 am; Closing times and late night service varies with extended hours on weekends.

The Burger Palace is across from the Gustavia post office

The Burger Palace is across from the Gustavia post office

Yo-Sushi Mania
This restaurant is located at the Villa Lodge hotel in Grand Cul de Sac and offers Japanese cuisine. Yo is famous for his sushi boats. Pioneering, passionate, demanding, he was the first to import Japanese food in St. Barth. In 20 years, he has become the best in sushi catering and Asian cuisine: tempura, yakitori, Japanese skewers, fried Thai rice…Yo Sushi Mania, is both a restaurant and a catering service. They deliver as well. Open every day in high season for lunch from 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm; dinner from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. (Closed Mondays in Value Season). As to delivery, they deliver mostly in the evening; you must place your order before 5:00 pm.

Yo-Sushimania at Villa Lodge

Yo-Sushimania at Villa Lodge

Enjoy lunch poolside at Yo-Sushimania

Enjoy lunch poolside at Yo-Sushimania

Kiki-é Mo
Located across from Nikki Beach, this cute little place offers breakfast lunch and early dinner to eat there as you watch the world go by or to take out. The menu varies with daily specials as well as sandwiches. Open: 7:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Kiki et Mo is located across from Nikki Beach

Kiki et Mo is located across from Nikki Beach

Le Papillon Ivre Wine Bar
This très chic little wine bar has much to offer – cheeses, charcuterie, fois gras, salads and tapas-style dishes of this and that. All good-to-go. Proprietor and sommelière Sophie knows her wine, and she’ll have some excellent suggestions to pair with your choices. Sophie makes a mean mousse as well. Night owls take note – they are open most nights ‘till midnight. Alternately, you can take your vino and find a seat at the long bar or claim one of the tables, indoors – in the AC – or on the little awning-sheltered terrace. Les Amandiers, St-Jean; Hours: Mon-Sat: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am; Note – If you have time for a little shopping pre-or-post your visit, (And why wouldn’t you? You’re on vacation.) check out the browse-worthy French Indies Design shop next door, and we think you’ll find the neighboring concept store Sea Spice St. Barth, well, delicious.

Le Papillon Ivre offers indoor and outdoor seating in a little shopping plaza off the Route de Saline in St. Jean

Le Papillon Ivre offers indoor and outdoor seating in a little shopping plaza off the Route de Saline in St. Jean

Le Papillon Ivre's proprietor and sommelière Sophie prepares each order from scratch

Le Papillon Ivre’s proprietor and sommelière Sophie prepares each order from scratch

L’Isoletta
Pizza is often the first thought when it comes to take out and two options to pick-up thin-crust pies include L’Isoletta, the sophisticated little sister of the acclaimed island Italian restaurant L’Isola. While you are waiting, enjoy a glass of wine on the lounge-y like covered terrace. Just up from the harbor in Gustavia, it’s a see-and-be-seen kind of place. Rue du Roi Oscar II; Hours Daily 11:00 am – 11:00 pm. Closed Monday.

l'Isoletta in Gustavia, St. Barth

l’Isoletta in Gustavia, St. Barth

Les Bananiers
If everybody’s hungry and you’re in a hurry, swing by Les Bananiers located adjacent to the famous La Petite Colombe bakery in Colombier. It’s not-for-nothing that you see folks hustling those boxes out their door. The pizza menu is extensive but our favorite is the old-school pepperoni. We love to have lunch or dinner in their restaurant too because their menu items are not only yummy, they are reasonably priced. Les Bananiers, Colombier 97133; Mon-Fri: 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm; 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm.

We love the pizzas (as well as the regular menu) at Les Bananiers

We love the pizzas (as well as the regular menu) at Les Bananiers

Black Ginger
When you have a yen for Asian food – preferably poolside at your villa – check out Black Ginger’s menu for authentic Thai cuisine and call their TO GO line : 001.590 52 92 32. This Gustavia hotspot makes pick-up easy with a separate entrance and counter. Chicken satay makes for a perfect app to go with your sunset cocktails. Their curries are divine and don’t miss their signature dish Pla Pik Thai Dom – which is local fresh-caught Mahi-Mahi with black pepper. Rue Samuel Falhberg, Gustavia; To Go: Open daily from 11.30am to 2:30 pm and 5 pm to 8.30 pm except Sunday.

Black Ginger to-go in Gustavia

Black Ginger to-go in Gustavia

The Baz Bar (Bête A Zailes)
Located on the harbor between our St. Barth Properties rental office and our St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty sales office, the Baz Bar offers Sushi to go. If you prefer to dine there, you will be entertained by visiting bands and, if you’re lucky, a chance to see Jimmy Buffett pick up a guitar and sing a set…just because he loves doing it. Open Monday-Saturday 7:00 pm to 1:00 am.

Jimmy Buffett loves to stop by the Baz Bar once in a while to give us an impromptu set of songs. Hope you are lucky enough to see him.

Jimmy Buffett loves to stop by the Baz Bar once in a while to give us an impromptu set of songs. Hope you are lucky enough to see him.

Delivery:
BAZ BOATS TO YOUR DOOR – MINIMUM 4 PERS.
STANDARD BOAT MENU FOR 4: Price: 194 €; Deposit 100€ Delivery included;
4 Miso Soups, – 2 Wakame, – 2 Sushi Appetizers, 1 Sashimi Moriwase; 1 Roy’s Special or Dragon Roll; 1 Shrimp Tempura Roll or Dancing Eel Roll; 1 Spider Roll or Rainbow Roll; 1 Bagel Roll or Eel Roll or Nagihama.

Sushi at the Baz Bar

La Bagatelle
The fabulous harbor front restaurant and bar, La Bagatelle offers their fabulous full menu to go as well as pizzas to go. The truffle pizza is outstanding and worth the 35 euro price. Located next to our St. Barth Properties rental and sales offices on rue Samuel Fahlberg. Open from 7:00 pm. Closed Sundays.

Delicious pizzas to go from La Bagatelle

Delicious pizzas to go from La Bagatelle

Bon Appétit!

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

Anne-Cécile Bedford’s Trip Report July 2013

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

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

Anne-Cécile Bedford’s Trip Report July 2013

Anne-Cecile Bedford

>Anne-Cécile Bedford

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

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

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

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

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

Ocean Deluxe Terrace room at the Christopher

Ocean Deluxe Terrace room at the Christopher

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

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

Villa Blue Diamond view

Villa Blue Diamond view

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

Villa V

The summer pool at Villa Véronèse

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

Villa B

Villa Bellissima

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

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

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

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

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

I tried paddle boarding for the first time and loved it

I tried paddle boarding for the first time and loved it

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

Merci beaucoup