Posts Tagged ‘Venus Institute’

A Concierge’s Perspective of St. Barth from St Barth Properties’ USA Concierge Julia Hurd

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

I hope that your summer is going well, and you are dreaming of your next trip to St. Barth. The island has finally received some much-needed rain and is greening up nicely. Today’s blog is written by our USA office’s very friendly and well-informed Concierge Julia Hurd who has been with St. Barth Properties since 2007. Julia along with Villa Rental and Hotel Specialist Allegra Pawlowski went to St. Barth together with different missions in mind. While Allegra was busy inspecting villas and hotels, Julia was busy visiting all of our partners so that she can enhance your stay while you are vacationing in St. Barth. Julia is also in charge of making restaurant reservations for you before you travel; Allegra needs to try them, too, so they happily dined their way through the trip.

Happy Reading!

Peg

Julia Hurd

St. Barth Properties Concierge Julia Hurd’s May 2019 Trip Report

Another trip under my belt, and what an amazing trip I had. I traveled with Allegra Pawlowski, one of our St. Barth Villa Specialists, and she makes any trip interesting and fun. We were scheduled to fly—out of Puerto Rico —with Tradewind Aviation and spent our first night in San Juan at the Serafina Beach Hotel. We are pleased to represent the Serafina—a boutique property with a cool vibe— and feel it’s just perfect for a planned pre or post night stay in conjunction with a St. Barth vacation. And it’s a real haven for anyone who has just missed their flight. You can read more about the Serafina in Allegra’s guest blog.

That evening we walked around Old San Juan, which I love, and came upon an amazing tree. It reminded me of the Tree of Life, so I took a photo.

The Tree of Life in San Juan

Once I arrived on St. Barth, I exhaled. I knew I was in for a great week.

Our favorite greeter Romain met us at the St. Barth Airport and escorted us to Villa Fleur de Cactus, a stunning 3 bedroom villa in Lurin. We loved it.

On Sunday, our colleague St. Barth Properties’ island concierge Aurélie and her children joined us for a feet-in-the-sand lunch at Lil Rock on St. Jean Beach. New this past season, it’s very popular. I was so happy to meet Aurélie’s children— her daughter Gabriella and son Alexis— and we tried flying a kite on the beach. Such fun!

Here I am on St. Jean Beach

I love to meet new people, and on this trip, I really enjoyed getting to know Dom from Jet Ski Racing in Gustavia. He was kind enough to offer Aurélie and me an island tour on Jet Skis. What a blast! I was in the rear and going a bit slower than Aurélie and our guide, but I still had a great time. Sorry no photo on that one, I was too busy driving.

Dom from Jet Ski Racing and I just before the ride.

Contact me to arrange a great island tour.

The week with Aurélie went by so fast, in addition to Lil’ Rock, we lunched at Santa Fe, Le Toiny Beach Club and Nikki Beach. And, we had a yummy breakfast at the Hotel Manapany. Our dinner at Maya’s was amazing—compliments to the chef—and the service was outstanding. We dined at La Guérite and gave it high marks. Despite a week full of eating fabulous food, I still had to go to fishCorner to have their Lemon Tart, my all-time favorite island dessert. I had been dreaming about it since my last visit a year ago. And it was soooo good.

Nikki Beach is such a great spot for lunch. I will happily make the reservation for you.

The Breakfast Buffet at the Manapany Buffet has lots or delicious selections.

The Lemon Tart at fishCorner is my favorite dessert.

Often clients will ask me if there is an organic store. Well there certainly is, and I went to visit. It is called La Vie Claire St. Barth and it is located in Anse des Cayes. It is an Organic Store that sells everything from baby and adult items, diapers, all baby foods, nuts, flour, juices, fruit, wide variety of items. All organic products for the family who is looking for more Organic – Very nice!

La Vie Claire St. Barth

More items at La Vie Claire St. Barth

La Vie Claire

Later in the week, Allegra and I moved to beautiful Villa K, located in Anse des Cayes. There’s an abundance of outdoor living space and it is lovely to sit there and listen to the sound of the surf.

We loved the evening ambience at Villa K.

Aurélie said she arranged a surprise—I had no idea what to expect. We were relaxing at Villa K, when a tall man walked in. He introduced himself as Grégoire and set up two massage tables. He provides sound(s) nature-type sounds like surf and/or “plays” or gongs these different type bowls – usually Tibetan – and brings on deep meditation. He told us to lay on our backs, placed differently shaped bowls on top our bodies and led us through a sound meditation. I closed my eyes and saw the clear blue ocean. I really was in “another place.” Later, Aurelie informed me I woke her up with my snoring. Oh well.

Sound Healing by Grégoire

I have to say, if you need to relax, from a stressful life or job, this is something you must try. Contact me to arrange this unique experience.

I also enjoyed an in-villa massage courtesy of Ivana, a skilled a therapist from Venus Institute. Why not plan an in-villa massage on your next St. Barth visit. Please contact me at juliahurd@stbarth.com.

We arranged a staff afternoon catamaran trip with Top Loc on the Wayayai. Captain Renaud took the helm. Lilian, Laura, Aurélie and Allegra and I had a fun time snorkeling and saw gorgeous fish, turtles and stingrays. It was one of the week’s highlights.

Julia, Aurélie and Captain Renaud of Top Loc

The Top Loc catamaran approaches undeveloped and gorgeous Colombier Beach.

I’ve been working with a personal trainer Geoffery—our clients love him— but we had not personally met. I caught up with him at the stadium and talked about the training he offers, cardio, running, hiking, walking and water fitness. He also shared his own dream— to run the Boston Marathon. Geoffrey can meet clients at their villas or anywhere on the island. He makes a great running partner!

I will be happy to arrange personal training sessions for you with Fitness Trainer Geoffrey.

Our week ended with a staff dinner at Villa K. The talented Chef XO Christophe did the honors. I adore Christophe and his staff. And the food, as always was beyond delicious.

We all enjoyed a gourmet candlelight dinner prepared by Chef XO at Villa K. I’ll be happy to arrange one for you, too.

Rack of lamb, morels mushrooms juice, small glazed carrots & truffle oil mashed potatoes! At Villa K

I must say my island visits are one of my favorite parts of the job. Spending time with our island staff, especially face-to-face time with my “counterpart” Aurélie is special. I consider them all family.

I am already looking forward to my next visit and to finding more adventures and experiences for our clients. A Dream Vacation is waiting!

I always enjoy the view of Gustavia Harbor just outside of our Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty office.

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

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

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

Sunny regards,
Peg

Julia’s Trip Report St. Barth May 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pascal the Chef

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

We dined at:

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

fishCorner Fish n Chips

The Lemon Pie at fishCorner is out of this world.

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

25 Quarter’s fantastic Rum Room.

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

Aurélie devoured the pizza combo at L’Isoletta.

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

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

The Manapany is on Anse des Cayes Beach.

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

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

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

Allegra and I loved dining at the Tamarin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

St. Barth has so many coiorful flowers.

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

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

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

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

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

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