Posts Tagged ‘Tradewind Aviation’

Guest Blog – Kathy Schlitzer Trip Report

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

I am in transit to St. Barth and am delighted to share Kathy Schlitzer’s trip report with you in this Guest Blog. Kathy is one of our very experienced and talented St. Barth Specialists. Rest assured that Kathy will be pleased to lend her expertise when helping you plan your trip so that you, too can Live Your Dream® in beautiful St. Barth.

St. Barth
November 9 – 16, 2012 Trip Report

Kathy Schlitzer
St Barth Specialist

Kathy Schlitzer

Kathy Schlitzer

Our November trips to St Barth are always exciting. The island is coming alive for the season, and there are new shops, restaurants, villas, and newly refurbished hotels to experience. Not to mention the annual St Barth Properties November BASH, held this year on November 10, and our Beaujolais Nouveau party on November 14. A great week to be in St Barth!

For this trip I decided to try the new Tradewind Aviation flight from St Thomas to St Barth. I flew direct from Boston to St Thomas on JetBlue then easily made the connection on Tradewind to St Barth. It worked perfectly and because the St Thomas airport is so small I breezed through the airport with time for a stop in the bar for a snack. Tradewind flies directly to St Barth from San Juan, Antigua, and St Thomas.

On arrival in St Barth my Gumbs car was waiting and I headed to my first accommodation, two nights at the Hotel Christopher. After settling in a was off to La Plage at the Tom Beach Hotel to join my colleagues for great food, music, and entertainment (pole dancing and fire juggling!) Always a nice way to spend a first night in St Barth.

The Christopher hotel’s new manager Sebastien Maingourd was pleased to show me further room refurbishment that had taken place since my last visit. My Ocean Terrace room was very comfortable and I slept well. At breakfast the next morning I watched an aqua biking class in the pool, had I not had appointments I would have joined in, it looked like fun. The manager joined me for coffee and I learned that the restaurant is featuring a new chef from Brazil who promises to shake up the menu with a Brazilian twist. Later I toured the new Sisley brand spa and the gym, no time for a treatment or workout today. C’est dommage. All in all I was pleased with the Christopher and look forward to recommending it to clients for the coming season. HINT: If you’re looking for a great place to have a cocktail and watch the sunset, the Christopher is the place to go. Stay for dinner at their restaurant Taïno then go up to Le Ti St Barth for the cabaret!

I spent the rest of the day looking at villas, notably Lys Blanc in Lurin. All I can say is what a view! This villa is newly renovated, comfortable, and very convenient to Gustavia, St Jean, and both Gouverneur and Saline beaches. The layout is good for kids too.

Villa Lys Blanc

Villa Lys Blanc

Villa Blue Diamond is under construction but even looking over an empty pool I was blown away by the view. Blue Diamond will be ready in mid January and will be spectacular. We have preliminary pictures on the website with more to come.

Villa Blue Diamond

Villa Blue Diamond

Villa Lilu is a two bedroom in Petite Saline. The view is beautiful with lush greenery and ocean views in a wide arc. The owner has designed the house for comfort and style. She mixed old and new successfully and result is brilliant.

Villa Lilu

Villa Lilu

Casa del Mar is a villa we represented in the past but a new owner has shaken it up – a lot! Massive work indoors and out has resulted in a truly spectacular result. While I was there the workers were everywhere, as well as piles of material and tons of shrubbery waiting to be planted. The owner showed me multiple new outdoor spaces for drinks and dining, as well as large Jacuzzi overlooking spectacular views. We’ll have pictures of the end product soon. Watch for them.

Villa Casa del Mar

Villa Casa del Mar

I don’t have space to mention all the villas I saw but special mention must be made of my other accommodations.

Two nights in Villa Nirvana was a treat. I’ve stayed at this villa in the past and I’ve never been disappointed. Clean and comfortable with an amazing sunset view, the owner has added everything to make her guests feel like home away from home. Two nights wasn’t enough.

Villa Nirvana

Villa Nirvana

Two nights in a Garden Bungalow at the Hotel Isle de France was a treat. After a great sleep I was treated to a massage at the spa by one of their highly trained therapists and it made for a wonderful start to my day. Later I had drinks by the beach and watched the weekly fashion show. Even if you aren’t staying at the Isle de France, don’t miss eating at their restaurant La Case de l’Isle right on Flamands Beach – dinner, or a long lunch on the beach, I opted for both!

My last night was spent in one of the newly renovated suites at the Hotel Carl Gustaf. Over the summer everything was refreshed and renewed with new furniture, linens and accessories to complete the transformation. By that time I needed a good sleep to get ready for a day of travel and that’s just what I got. A lovely breakfast overlooking the harbor and I was off the airport after another successful working (wink,wink) trip to paradise.

SBH Trip Report November 2012

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Bonjour Everyone,

I’ve just returned from Cannes where I attended the ILTM (International Luxury Travel Mart). I met with many travel agents from all over the world in order to tell them how wonderful St. Barth is. I am off to St. Barth next week and I can’t wait to get there.

Sunset view from my room at the Majestic Hotel in Cannes

Sunset view from my room at the Majestic Hotel in Cannes

I have asked colleague Connie Walsh who traveled with me to St. Barth last month, to write a guest blog describing her trip.

Enjoy!

SBH Trip Report November 2012

By Connie Walsh

Connie Walsh

Connie Walsh

We had a smooth late afternoon landing, courtesy of Tradewind Aviation, and in no time we were settled in at Villa Everestand enjoying some wine and cheese. (I highly recommend pre-arrival villa provisioning!) Dinner at Andy’s Hideaway is our first tradition and as always it was rollicking fun with locals and vacationers who have it on their gotta-go list. I adore their thin crust pizza – and their house-made vanilla rhum.

Villa Everest

Villa Everest

Our schedule was chock a block with villa and hotel inspections and, trying new-this-season restaurants and the company’s annual Beachside Bash. The venue was again Shell Beach’s Dõ Brazil where songstress Christine Gordon had the crowd up dancing.  The Champagne corks were popping and everyone enjoyed a buffet with samples of new menu items. My favs were the Mahi-Mahi sliders and the ribs.

New restos on the scene include La Tables de Jules in Lorient offering dinner staring at 29 euros for 2 courses  and a very cool – and cozy – sushi bar corner and in the heart of Gustavia, island restaurateur Franck Mathevet formerly of the Wall House has brought his culinary magic to the covered courtyard of Rue du Port. He has named it Le Carré and everyone in our group loved it…from the first kernel of truffle oil popcorn to the last spoonful of sorbet. Tucked between Hermes and Cartier the sidewalk café ambiance is tres chic.

There’s a brand new chef at Le Sereno, Jean Louis Brocardi and we were delighted to meet with him when we dined there one evening.  He is just as charming and engaging as he is talented and we had quite a feast!  Could one have too much freshly caught mahi-mahi?  We think not.  He presented us with a gorgeous appetizer platter of tuna prepared in different – and delicious ways.

We visited Hotel Le Toiny’s poolside Le Gaïac – for a “working lunch.” The pool itself has had a do-over in lava stone and the restaurant is resplendent with a new classic decor. We also lunched at Santa Fe, feet-in-the-sand Gloriette (fab chicken curry and rice) and of course, stopped for a cheeseburger in paradise at Le Select.

Armed with a list of villas newly added to the portfolios we were pleased with what we saw. Here’s a sample:

Villa Imagine – 3 bedrooms:  A beautiful Marigot location! A domed skylight floods the living area with light and a classic picture window frames the view. I loved the comfy contemporary furnishings and the artful combination of chic industrial and whimsical accessories. A striking extra long pool sparkles in the sun all day.

Villa Imagine

Villa Imagine

Villa A – 3 bedrooms:  A formal French maison, its grand salon must be seen to be believed and it opens to an expansive pool terrace facing the sea. Villa A features a huge eat-in kitchen with every culinary amenity and would be a WOW setting for a wedding or event.

Villa A Grand Salon

Villa A Grand Salon

Naturelle 34 bedrooms:  Worthy of an Architectural Digest layout, and like its two “sister villas”, the name comes from its gorgeous but natural tropical landscaping. A sprawling main-level deck features an extra long infinity edge (and heated) pool. The views are spectacular! Two en suite bedrooms are on opposite ends of the villa and the other two, also en suite, are situated just down the hill in a bi level pavilion. Each has its own plunge pool. A spacious open air mini-gym is just one of many special features.

Villa Naturelle 3

Villa Naturelle 3

And for honeymooners – Ti Acerola. This very private mini-compound’s main pavilion has a kitchen, dining area, bedroom and bath. The 2nd pavilion houses a cozy air-conditioned living room. Both are adjacent to a delightful pool. And what a view!

Villa Ti Acerola

Villa Ti Acerola

Our hotel inspections included the Carl Gustaf.  The suites’ plunge pools have been retiled in sparkling white and new contemporary furnishings and décor give the living rooms and the bedrooms a fresh new airy – and 5 star look. The Hotel Saint-Barth Hotel Isle de France is boasting new white marble flooring in it iconic breezeway.  We toured the newly refurbished rooms as suites on the beach as we; as the garden bungalows and they are gorgeous. We checked in at the Hotel Taïwana and its new top-level bedroom suites are nearing completion.

It was a busy and productive trip with a nice Sunday break in the middle. We began with a breakfast of ham and cheese croissants  at La Petite Colombe and a morning swim at Gouverneur Beach; and then on to St. Jean Beach for a picnic lunch – and some great people watching. Parfait.

St Barts Trip Report June 2012 by Kathy Schlitzer

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Many of us have just returned from another great trip to St. Barts where we did our homework for you by inspecting and re-inspecting our villas and hotels in order to ensure that you Live Your Dream® on beautiful St. Barth while you vacation there. Kathy Schlitzer, one of our very experienced Villa and Hotel Specialists, shares her trip report in this guest blog.

Merci beaucoup, Kathy

End of High Season Lunch with the St. Barth Properties US Team and Celebration of Tom Smyth's 20 Years wiith SBP

End of High Season Lunch with the St. Barth Properties US Team and Celebration of Tom Smyth's 20 Years with SBP

St Barts Trip Report June 2012

By Kathy Schlitzer

It’s a good travel day when all your connections are on time and everything goes smoothly. Such was the case for my recent working trip to St Barth.

I arrived in St Barth on Tradewind Aviation from San Juan. You’d think after all these years it would be old hat but I’m always excited to be landing on this beautiful island. The weather was glorious and seeing all the familiar faces at the airport is like coming home. Odile at Gumbs Car Rental and our St Barth Properties booth had my car ready and I was off to my first accommodation, the Hotel Taïwana on Flamands Beach.

The Taïwana is under new management and I was anxious to experience the hotel, the rooms, beach, common areas, and get to know the staff. Felipe, the manager, took me on a tour of the rooms and explained the changes planned during the September and October hotel closing. He was excited about new furniture, painting, renovation of the remaining bathrooms, and pointed out the already completed improvements to the gardens.

Carl, the beach manager, had my beach chair saved and ready for me each morning. Jeremy at the bar was a delight. I was his tester for several newly created cocktails; he is an artist behind the bar! All in all I had a wonderful experience and highly recommend the Hotel Taïwana for our hotel clients wanting to be on Flamands Beach. With the addition of the Hotel Taïwana we now have two great luxury hotels on Flamands Beach, and congrats to the Hotel St Barth Isle de France for recently receiving 5 star status.

After three too short vacation days I was ready to commence my villa visit schedule and move to Villa Privée with my colleague Julia Hurd, our St. Barth Properties US office’s Concierge. I started my visits with a bang at Villa Vitti, a 5 bedroom Grand Cru villa located above Shell Beach. Vitti is a fabulous house in a great location. The villa is perfect for couples and families and has the unique ability to host large events and parties as well. The chef’s kitchen has table service for 100, and on the lower level there is a ballroom set up with professional disc jockey equipment and even a disco glitter ball! The morning after party guests needing peace and quiet can escape to the peaceful Zen garden off the living area.

I wish I could give you a rundown of all the villas I saw but there were far too many to list in one trip report. I typically concentrate on houses that are new to us, newly renovated or added to, and houses I haven’t seen recently. Villa Seascape for instance is a fabulous new 6 bedroom modern and comfortable villa in Pointe Milou. The views in that area are breathtaking. The bedrooms are large and each one has an ocean view. The pool is infinity and heated, and for the active there is a staircase down the cliff to a small beach – but be prepared to climb back up after your swim! If you prefer to get your exercise the conventional way, Seascape has an air-conditioned very well-equipped fitness room.

Villa Privée was our home for 3 nights and we enjoyed the sunset view and the proximity to the Hotel Christopher for cocktails and dinner. It’s a very comfortable and charming villa for two couples or a family with older children.

Last fall I toured Villas Naturelle 1 and Naturelle 2 hillside in Gouverneur but they weren’t completed at the time so I was anxious to go back to see the finished product. These two – 4 bedroom villas beside one another are perfect for a large group wanting 8 bedrooms, or individually for a family or couples looking for 1 to 4 bedrooms. The villas are large and luxurious with all the extra amenities; several of the bedrooms have private pools and large private deck space.

Villa Colombe in Colombier is a nice addition to our inventory. Moderately priced for those wanting a 1 to 3 bedroom house, the villa has amazing views of Gustavia and the surrounding islands, a large pool, and all the comforts indoors and out.

Also newly added are Clair de Lune and Reflet de Lune in Colombier. These two villas are near each other and can be rented separately with two bedrooms each or together for a family or couples needing 4 bedrooms. Both offer spectacular sunset views.

From Villa Privée Julia and I moved to Crystal Dream on St. Jean Beach for three nights. Crystal Dream is a very popular villa and for good reason. The villa has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, its own private swimming pool and is near Hotel Tom Beach with its famous La Plage restaurant and Pink Parrot bar. Villa Crystal Dream is known for having direct access to a great beach while still maintaining privacy. -Perfect.

My trip report wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the wonderful meals we shared during our stay. One of my all time favorite restaurants is Le Gaïac at Hotel Le Toiny, chef Stephane Mazieres is a culinary artist. The beet ravioli starter and the chocolate mint ice cream dessert were not only beautiful but delicious.

Beet Ravioli with Goat Cheese starter at Le Toiny's Gaïaic Restaurant

Beet Ravioli with Goat Cheese starter at Le Toiny's Gaïaic Restaurant

Le Toiny Gaïac Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Dessert

Le Toiny Gaïac Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Dessert

I could go on and on about the meals we ate, every one of them a treat, but you need to experience the cuisine in St. Barth yourself to fully appreciate the talent of these fine chefs.

It was another successful trip to my favorite island and I was, as always, sad to leave. I look forward to going back in November. Until next time! … À la prochaine!

Kathy
kathy@stbarth.com

What’s New at the St Barth Airport? Plus Good News for Spring Travel to Barts!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

I am back from a great trip to South Africa. I left St. Bart March 02, 2012 and I have been itching to tell you some great news: St Barts Gustaf III’s airport has gone retro!

Remember the good old days when we were able to check in for our flights and casually go in and out of the departure lounge at will? Friends could even accompany us while we waited for our flights to depart. Those informal and friendly days are back! The security procedure in St. Barts Is history! That’s right – no x-ray machine- no scanner- no more removing shoes, belts and laptops. New regulations exempt St Barts from those formalities due to the size of the airport and number of passengers passing through it.

The change in the  departure lounge at St Bart's Gustav III airport March 02 2012

The change in the departure lounge at St Bart's Gustav III airport March 02, 2012

More good news:

After my 6 months stint in St. Barts, I traditionally go back to the States in May. Then, I travel back and forth with staff in the off season. That is the time when we do our villa and hotel inspections. Our team is required to go to St. Barts at least twice a year (poor them). They travel individually so that we still have plenty of coverage in the US office in order to assist you with the planning stages while arranging your dream vacation to St. Barts. The staff does these on-island inspections once in the spring and then again in November before the high season begins.

Getting to and from St. Barth in May and June can sometimes be a challenge because we like to travel through San Juan and then take Tradewind Aviation directly from San Juan to St. Barts on its scheduled charters. Each passenger pays for the individual seat ($420 to $620 each way depending on the day of the week); it is much more affordable than flying on one of their private charters and much easier than connecting through St. Maarten.

Traditionally Tradewind stopped flying this route in early May in favor of their Nantucket route and then resumed the San Juan to/from St. Barts route in late October, so we had no choice but to connect via St. Maarten.

Caravan Landing in SBH

Caravan Landing in SBH

The Pilatus just landed in San Juan

The Pilatus just landed in San Juan

We are in luck this year! Tradewind has announced that it will continue flying through June 25 2012! St Barth Properties is pleased to offer our clients an add-on package that is valid for any 7 night (or longer) stay that occurs between April 16 and June 25, 2012. This package includes round trip air for 2 from San Juan to St. Barts and back, a Jimny car rental, plus a 100 euro voucher towards a fun evening at Le Ti St. Barth. If you are planning a trip (or have already booked a villa or hotel with St. Barth Properties) please let us know if you would like us to arrange the Tradewind flights for you and/or you wish to purchase this package. Contact reservations@stbarth.com.

Caravan Interior

Caravan Interior

How do I get to St. Barts? What are the entry requirements?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Here I am back in St Barth, lucky me! (Wish you were here). St. Barth Properties VP Tom Smyth, St. Barth Villa and Hotel Specialist Kathy Schlitzer and I arrived yesterday. We have a full calendar of hotel and villa inspection appointments on our schedules and I will report back.

On the trip down we talked about the questions that our clients often ask us and two of them are how to get to St. Barth as well as the entry requirements.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, one of the reasons that St. Barth remains so special is that it takes a little extra effort to get to this paradise. From the USA, the gateways to St. Barts are via St. Maarten (airport code: SXM) and San Juan (SJU). American Airlines, US Airways, Delta, United, Spirit, and Jet Blue fly to St. Maarten and San Juan.

The easiest way to connect to St. Barth (SBH) is directly from San Juan (SJU) on private charters with Tradewind Aviation (up to 8 passengers @$2995-$3955 each way), or Air America Caribbean (5 to 9 passengers beginning at $1950-$2500 each way). Tradewind also offers a scheduled charter service that is sold by the seat and is $420 to $520 (depending on travel dates) each way. (The 2011-2012 season began October 28, 2011 and ends May 6, 2012). The flight departs San Juan at 8:00 am and 3:00 pm daily with additional flights at 1:00pm and 4:00pm Thursday through Monday until Jan 31, 2012 (4:30 pm from Jan 31 to May 06, 2012). Departures from St. Barth are at 10:00 am and 5:30 pm daily with additional flights at 2:30pm Thursday through Monday.

Piliatus-Landing-SBH

Pilatus landing at SBH

Tradewind also offers service from St. Thomas (STT) Thursday through Monday at $420 per seat. The plane is very comfortable, with leather seats, air conditioning drinks and snacks. The flight takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes depending on the aircraft.

Air America Caribbean’s planes (not air-conditioned) hold 5-7 passengers and are $1950-$2500 each way for a private charter. St. Barth Commuter offers private charter flights on their caravan (not air-conditioned) year round for $2700 each way or via shared charter (on request) for $400 per seat.

Caravan landing at SBH

For confirmed hotel and villa clients of St. Barth Properties, airline charters can also be arranged by concierge@stbarth.com.

Many people connect to St Barth (SBH) through St. Maarten (SXM). As of November 17, 2011 Jet Blue offers service from San Juan to St. Maarten. The major inter-island carrier is Winair. The 12-15 minute flight costs about $156-$293 round trip per person (depending on availability). Allow 1½ to 2 hours to make the connection to St Barts. Be sure to allow at least 2 hrs in St. Maarten in order to make your connection home.

Winair-Plane

Winair plane

St. Barth Commuter offer several scheduled flights to/from Juliana Airport on the Dutch side and two others to/from the French side (70 euros each way). We often arrange a private charter on St. Barth Commuter for our guests. The cost is €800 euros each way and the plane holds up to 6 passengers. Air St Maarten, a nice alternative, puts together shared charters to/from St. Maarten and San Juan.

We continue to recommend that each passenger has a carry-on bag with enough clothing and supplies to get through at least 1 day as luggage has been known to arrive after its owners and sometimes not until the next day. Luggage limit is 23 kg/50 lbs per passenger, so pack lightly. Winair is charging $25.00 for the first additional checked bag and $50 for a 3rd. If you are using US Airways, you can book your flights all the way from your home city to SBH and you can check your bags all the way through (unless you are using frequent flier tickets). Once again be sure to have a carry-on with all of you first night’s needs. You may submit a request directly to Winair in St. Barth on line http://www.st-barths.com/winair/winair_intro_eng.html.

By Ferry: The Voyager is a slow Ferry (75-90 minutes from Marigot and 40 Minutes from Oyster Pond on the French side). Schedules are subject to change. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE SEAS BETWEEN ST. MAARTEN AND ST. BARTH CAN BE ROUGH. IF YOU ARE PRONE TO MOTION SICKNESS, WE RECOMMEND YOU AVOID THIS MANNER OF ARRIVAL. The new (December 2011) Voyager Dream Liner offers a first class seating section. The Voyager phone number: (dialing from the U.S.) Marigot Bay/Oyster Pond 011 590 590 87 10 68 (St. Martin).

Voyager Ferry

Voyager ferry

The Great Bay Express is a faster ferry that travels from Bobby’s Marina in Dutch St Maarten to Gustavia in St. Barth. Crossing time is approximately 40 minutes from/to Bobby’s Marina in Philipsburg to Gustavia. 011 599-542-0032 and the phone number from the US is: 1-347 568 0574.

st-barts-ferry-great-bay

Great Bay Express ferry

For confirmed hotel and villa clients of St. Barth Properties, private boat transfers and airline charters can be arranged for you. Please Contact: concierge@stbarth.com.

A valid passport is required for U.S., Canadian, Brazilians and EU National citizens, regardless of what others may tell you. All other nationalities MUST have visas. (This includes nannies and staff traveling with you, who must also have proper documentation or they will be sent back.) Even if you previously cleared immigration without incident, proper documentation is now necessary. For information on U.S. passports, go to the website: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html. Remember that children’s passports expire every 5 years.

To book your hotel or villa in St Barth, contact reservations@stbarth.com.

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

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Day 6

The Birthday!!

Today Reegan turned sweet 16!

What does that mean? In St. Barth, it means she is old enough to operate a Jet Ski! Magda had arranged for the girls to take a Jet Ski tour around the island on Reegan’s birthday. We took them to Grand Cul de Sac where Ouanalao Dive has their Dive Center booth (by O’Corail restaurant). The company also rents Jet Skis. Reegan and Andrea signed the forms, were fitted with their life jackets and went down to the water to get on their jet skis. The instructor gave a demonstration on how they work, had them get familiar with the mechanics and off they went.

Getting-Ready-fora-New-Adventure

Getting Ready for a New Adventure

Off They Go

Jet-Skiing-around-St.-Barth-as-seen-from-our-terrace

Jet Skiing around St. Barth as seen from our terrace

An hour and a half later they were back! I couldn’t believe that they could go all the way around St. Barth in that short a period of time. They must have been speed demons! Is there a speed limit in the Caribbean Sea?

That evening I gave Reegan her present and we headed out to celebrate her birthday at Nikki Beach. This very “in spot” with beds on the beach no less, had a cabaret of their own that was performing that evening so we chose to surprise Reegan and treat her to a special night as not only was it her birthday, it was also the girls’ last night in St. Barth.

Mimi, Reegan (with her new birthday skirt) and GrandDoc

Mimi, Reegan (with her new birthday skirt) and GrandDoc

Andrea-gives-Reegan-her-Birthday-Present

Andrea gives Reegan her Birthday Present

We had a great table overlooking both the beach and the stage. The food was delicious. The show was fun and a bit risqué…very French but not at all offensive. The audience was able to join in at the end and everyone jumped on stage to dance.

The-16th-Birthday-at-Nikki-Beach

The 16th Birthday at Nikki Beach

Bed-on-the-Beach-at-Nikki--Beach

Bed on the Beach at Nikki Beach

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

Dancing-After-the-Show-at-Nikki-Beach

Dancing After the Show at Nikki Beach

Day 7

All good things must come to an end and the next morning we sadly brought Reegan and Andrea back to airport to begin their journey home to Massachusetts. I had booked them on Tradewind Aviation so that they could fly directly to San Juan where they were able to connect to their Jet Blue Flight back to Boston. Surprise, surprise they were able to fly in Tradewind’s ultra luxurious Pilatus both ways. What a treat!

Time to Say Goodbye

Time to Say Goodbye

Departure-Day-on-Tradewind's-Pilatus

Departure Day on Tradewind's Pilatus

Au-Revoir

Au Revoir

We had a great week and it was wonderful to watch Reegan blossom into an independent young lady in such a short period of time. She has already decided that she loves everything about the French, wants to return again and again (as we all do) and I am sure she will be speaking French fluently in the not too distant future. À bientôt, Reegan.

The 2011 St. Barth Bucket

Friday, March 25th, 2011

I am back in Beautiful St. Barth after traveling from Hong Kong to JFK (15 hours) then a 9 hour layover in New York followed by a flight from JFK to San Juan and then Tradewind from San Juan to St. Barth. The island is really hopping because The Bucket weekend officially began last night.

I went for my morning walk around Gustavia and the harbor was bustling with activity. Most of the island came down to watch the boats as they set out for their first race which takes them counter-clockwise around St. Barth. These sailing yachts are gorgeous and it is a sight to behold as they race by with colorful sails.

Leaving the dock

Leaving the dock

Leaving the harbor

Leaving the harbor

One by one the harbormaster sets the boats free and they head out of the harbor, turn left toward Shell Beach and wait for the First Gun at 11:00am signaling it is time to begin.

The race begins by Shell Beach

The race begins by Shell Beach

Racing by Villa Everest on March 25, 2011

Racing by Villa Everest on March 25, 2011

They should all be back in time to see the air show that is taking place over Shell Beach each day. Then it is party time. The Bucket Bar opens at 6:30; the daily awards are given at 7:00 and then Solely (the singer) will perform live on the dockside stage. More fun to follow Saturday and Sunday when the top prizes will be awarded.

I hope that most of you are on-island to join in on the festivities. If not, maybe next year…

Peg Loves St. Barth and Loves to Travel, Too

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Samuel Johnson said it all in this quote, “When you are tired of travel, you are tired of life.”

It goes without saying that my very favorite destination in the world is the tiny, sophisticated, unique and wonderful island of St. Barth. However, I do love to travel. If I did not, I never would have discovered St. Barts the way I did in 1986.

My travels have made me a five million miler with American Airlines. So, if you don’t mind, I may be blogging from different areas of the world.

Our adventure began when we left St Barth on Tradewind Aviation to San Juan. The Franklin Smyth’s were on board with us for that leg. We then parted company as they headed back to Boston and we continued on our journey by flying first to Miami, then to LAX and finally reaching our destination 31 hours later (losing both a day and lots of sleep).

Tyler and Mimi leaving St Barth via Tradewind

Tommy-Jr-and-GrandDoc-on-Tradewind

Tommy Jr and GrandDoc on Tradewind

We began in Sydney and strolled along Circular Quay to the very impressive Sydney Opera House where I had prebooked a tour. This magnificent piece of architecture was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on October 20th, 1973 and our guide showed us all of the various venues. I had also prebooked an event so we were able to attend a wonderful play in the Drama Theater that evening.

Sydney-Opera-House-from-the-water

Sydney Opera House from the water

We toured The Rocks, Sydney’s birthplace, on foot and learned how Sydney grew from a fledgling outpost full of notorious prisoners who were sent to Australia by Great Britain and turned into the thriving metropolis it is today. We walked past old pubs, terraced homes, sandstone cottages and sites of crime and punishment.

We are both afraid of heights so we marveled at the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and looked on in awe as we witnessed people who were brave enough to walk across the very top (and spend $200 each for the privilege).

Sydney is a wonderful city.

Sydney-Harbour-Bridge-from-the-water

Sydney Harbour Bridge from the water

Baby, it’s cold outside (and snowy)? Cheri, it’s warm in St. Barth (and sunny)

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Have you had enough of winter? Why not do what my son, Mark Smyth and his wife Cynthia did last week? They hired a babysitter and escaped from the frigid cold of Massachusetts.

As many of you already know I am married to a dentist. My son, Mark is also a dentist and bought my husband’s dental practice a few years ago. The St. Barth Dental Association held their annual meeting at the Capitainerie January 17-21, 2011, so Steve and Mark took the course and learned a lot. (I will have more details on the 2012 meeting in a future blog for any of you dentists who may be interested.) The course finished at 11:30 am each day, so there was plenty of time left to play and Thursday evening the SBDA hosted a cocktail party followed by dinner and a fashion show at La Plage.

Mark wanted his picture taken with the model at  La Plage

Mark wanted his picture taken with the model at La Plage

Mark and Cynthia arrived via Tradewind Aviation from San Juan. The first order of business was to clear immigration by showing their passports to a friendly gendarme. Then on to the luggage carousel to retrieve their bags and head out the door, turn right and walk to the car rental area and check in at our booth.

Mark and Cynthia at SBH immigration

Mark and Cynthia at SBH immigration

Mark and Cynthia ouside of arrival hall

Mark and Cynthia ouside of arrival hall

Mark checks in at our booth

Mark checks in at our booth

It was great to have them here. They haven’t been to St Barth since their last child was born in 1990, so they really noticed the changes and loved the fact that the island remains as charming as ever.

February is fast approaching and the groundhog will soon be reminding you that there are still 6 more weeks of winter ahead of you. Do you need an incentive to come down here with your honey?

Surprise your significant other for Valentine’s Day! Book Villa Bamboo for any stay in February and a Suzuki Jimny car rental will be included in the rate! That is a savings of 450 euros per week! Just think of how many romantic dinners you can have with that extra 450 euros in your pocket. Villa Bamboo is lovely and private. Guests love to listen to the sounds of the sea as they sit on the pool deck and marvel at view and the ever-changing colors of the crystal clear water on Grand Cul de Sac Bay. For more information, please call 1-800-421-3396 or email info@stbarth.com.

Villa Bamboo

Villa Bamboo

NYC quick trip Nov 17 2010 and Beaujolais Nouveau

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU ALL!

If you still haven’t made your plans to spend Christmas and New Year’s in St. Barth, check out our availability online.

November 17, 2010 was an eventful day —

A mix-up regarding a St. Barth event being held in New York City made for a very hectic day last Wednesday. You see, I received an email at noon reconfirming a Champagne reception and dinner that was to take place at 6:30 pm that very night! What was this all about? I had heard rumors that some sort of gathering promoting St. Barth was going to take place but did not have the details.

I spoke with David Zara (one of the owners of Tradewind Aviation with shuttle service from San Juan to St Barth) who had organized the event and he did not understand why I had not received the invitation because every member of the St Barth Hotel Association of which SBP is a member, was invited. He proceeded to tell me that I was on the guest list and was hosting a table! Yikes! I had to go as I did not want to miss it. I booked a flight, secured a hotel room and packed a bag. (Lucky for me that my carry-on is always packed).

As I was scurrying around to get ready for the 1.5 hour trip from my house on Cape Cod to Logan airport, to catch a 4:30 pm flight to La Guardia, one of David’s partners, Eric Zipkin called me to say that he had heard about the snafu and that he was able to send a plane to pick me up in Hyannis at 5:00 pm and take me to White Plains New York! Needless to say, I jumped at the chance and asked them to arrange for a limo to take me from there to Villa Pacri restaurant where the cocktail reception and dinner was to take place.

Tradewind Aviation Pilatus

Tradewind Aviation Pilatus

Precisely at 5:00 pm I hopped one of their beautiful Pilatus planes and in an hour I was in White Plains, whisked to the restaurant and voilà I was there in time to meet people and talk-up our fabulous little island. Tradewind’s other partner David Zipkin as well as David Zara were there to greet me. Villa Pacri is a multi-level venue and due to officially open today, November 23, 2010 and Pascal Ramette who owns Pacri restaurant in St. Barth is one of the owners. The atmosphere was wonderful as was the food.

At the same time, the Beaujolais Nouveau tasting was taking place in St. Barth. Clients and invited guests of St Barth Properties had the opportunity to taste the 2010 vintage of the Beaujolais Nouveau five hours earlier than their friends in France! Thanks to the time difference, we did not have to wait until 1 second after midnight on November 18th to imbibe. On the contrary, the bottles of this very young wine were opened just one second after 7:00 pm on the 17th – and the tasting began. Clients and friends of St Barth Properties gathered at the Cellier du Gouverneur in Gustavia and were the first to enjoy the tasting.

Beaujolais Nouveau tasting - SBP clients

Beaujolais Nouveau tasting - SBP clients

Beaujolais Nouveau tasting - SBP staff

The verdict? Wonderful!…it was a good vintage with a nice strawberry flavor. I hope you will try it.

Santé!