Posts Tagged ‘Villa Chimère’

Have You Ever Considered Traveling to St. Barth in July?

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

Bonjour Readers,

Have you ever wondered what St. Barth is like in July? It’s a fun time to go. The prices are down, the visitor numbers are less (Yes, you can walk into most restaurants without a reservation!) and, as always, the people on the island are ready to welcome you with open arms. Todays’ blog features the St. Barth July 2018 Trip Report written by our bi-lingual Villa and Hotel Specialist Anne-Cécile Bedford. Anne-Cécile is originally from Brittany and loves the connection this French island affords her.

Enjoy!

Sunny regards,
Peg

What an exciting time to be back on St Barth this past July! The island was getting ready for its annual Bastille Day party and France was getting ready to become the next soccer World Cup champions. Bravo Les Bleus!

I landed on St Barth the day prior to the beginning of the festivities and set myself up at villa Chimère, a wonderful 2 bedroom villa located in the quiet area of Petit Cul de Sac. But beforehand, I had to make a stop at the Cemetery in Lorient to pay my respects to the legendary Johnny Hallyday (Our French Elvis) who had passed away in December 2017 and is laying peacefully in St. Barth where he owned a vacation home.

Johnny Hallyday is buried in Lorient

Upon arrival at villa Chimère I was nicely surprised to see that the owner had stocked the refrigerator with goodies like cheese, fruits and wine, which was welcome after a long day of travel. I chose the purple bedroom to the right of the living room that opens to the heated pool and outdoor space and offers a spacious bathroom with a private outdoor shower. This is a nice extra feature on St Barth! The second bedroom located on the opposite end was as desirable, making it the perfect villa for 2 couples. For those looking to stay fit during their vacation, villa Chimère offers a well-equipped gym located below the villa. I chose to adventure to Toiny every morning and do my 3 mile run from the villa. The small beach at Petit Cul de Sac is also accessible by foot (a 5 minute walk), so no need to hop in your car to enjoy a morning swim in the blue lagoon.

Pool at Villa Chimère

Can you picture yourself right now floating in this gorgeous pool, gazing at the sun? I can. Welcome to paradise!

My first working day took me to the western side of the island where I inspected the beautiful villa Mer Soleil located in Gouverneur. I loved the new second master bedroom with spectacular view, decorated in beige and blue tones. I also discovered the secret 3rd bedroom downstairs with the underwater pool view; it is right out of a James Bond movie. This villa will leave you dreamy with the blue sea all around, and the view of the neighboring islands (St Kitts, Nevis, Saba, St. Maarten). As part of St Barth Properties exclusive Grand Cru Collection, you will be served with a morning delivery of French pastries and evening turn down service. See what other exceptional properties include that same package.

Mer Soleil underwater view of the pool

While on that side of the island I also took a peek at villa Gem (a great villa for small wedding parties), villa Mirage (perfect for Gouverneur beach lovers), villa Bellissima (beautiful lap pool) and the gorgeous 6 bedroom villa Lyra (perfect for couples of group of friends) and villa Papillon (cozy villa with many interesting pillow accents).

Villa Papillon pillow

Did you know that Gouverneur holds a secret grotto? I decided to come back during my time off and adventure there on a hike. I had a difficult time finding the entrance of the path until some friendly goats showed me the way. What a spectacular view and what a headache to find the grotto! After 1 hour, I finally found it, but I did not dare go down that very narrow black hole via a cord that was attached…maybe next time and more courage!

I finally found the grotto

On Saturday I celebrated Bastille Day with my wonderful colleagues from our local offices (Laura and Anne-Laure). We started off at Bonito with a delicious cocktail before heading over to Ociela (a new Mediterranean restaurant in Gustavia) for dinner. We were welcomed there with a Coupe de Champagne (the perks of the job!) and the wonderful smile of Sylvain behind the bar. We ended the night at Bagatelle where it seemed the whole island was dancing the night away…fun, fun, fun.

Bastille Day at Ociela

Sylvain at Ociela

There was no time to sleep-in the next day; France was facing Croatia in the World Cup final and I had to be in Gustavia early enough to get a spot and watch the game. A giant screen had been set on Gustavia Harbor and fans gathered in their best blue, white and red outfit. I was so happy to be living this moment on a French territory with my peers and celebrate this great victory.

Ready and psyched for the World Cup game!

Besides being a dedicated reservation agent, I also must keep up with the hotels as some of my clients do prefer being pampered and have access to a restaurant and Spa onsite. I had the pleasure during my trip to meet with the all new hotel Manapany Reservation Director who conducted my visit. The first thing that appealed to me entering the hotel was the luxurious vegetation and the beauty of the blue ocean caressed by a gentle breeze. The hotel offers 43 suites from a standard ocean deluxe to a beach prestige suite, 2 cottages, and a 2 bedroom beachfront villa, all made in tropical woods with exotic islandly colors, combining nature and luxe. The beach invites guests to take a romantic walk and is a great spot for windsurfers.

Manapany’s outdoor restaurant

Hotel lobby where guests are welcomed

The Manapany hotel is also an eco-friendly resort using solar panels to produce electricity, offering electric cars as the only way to get around the hotel, growing fresh fruits and vegetables to provide organic cuisine at their restaurants. Even the hotel towels are made of bamboo. Their SPA located on the beach only uses organic products as well from Dr. Hauschka. There is a spa room, a duo cabin for a massage for two, a hairdresser and a long lap adults-only pool with lounge chairs by the beach to relax after a pampering day. Have I said enough?

Relax in one of Manapany’s lounge chairs

I ended my tour with a lovely lunch by the beach, savoring a Creole Style poached red snapper with risotto and sipping on a Pomegranate Margarita. The exotic fruit salad for dessert left me breathless!

Creole Style poached red snapper with risotto at Manapany

Manapany exotic fruit salad

My favorite new villa to discover this time was villa Golden located hillside in Marigot with a stunning view of the water. This is the perfect villa for 6 couples or a group of friends to enjoy together. All bedrooms are equal and offer a sea view with many features like Apple TV and a Bose sound system. There is ample space to sit around the heated infinity pool and enjoy a cocktail. The décor is appealing and contemporary-looking with a gorgeous fully equipped kitchen, a large living area and dining area.

Restaurant “Grain de Sel” in Saline remains one of my favorite places to dine. Make it a date! A deux c’est mieux” 😊

Vivaneau (Red Snapper) prepared by Eddy, former chef of Mayas to go

And don’t forget that July is the time to head to St Barth simply to take advantage of all the wonderful les soldes (sales) offered for a 2 week period!

St. Barth is a shopper’s paradise, especially during Les Soldes!

‘Til later, Namaste……

Namaste

Anne-Cecile Bedford
Bilingual St. Barth Villa and Hotel Specialist
St Barth Properties, Inc
+ 1 508-570-4477
anne@stbarth.com

KATHY’S May 2015 Trip Report

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Bonjour St. Barth Lovers,

As you may know the staff in my U.S. office must travel to St. Barth at least twice a year to do their villa and hotel inspections, catch up on the restaurants, boutiques and new services that we offer as well touch base with the staff in my St. Barth office.

Kathy Schlitzer is one of our fabulous St. Barth Properties’ Specialists who assists you with planning your St. Barth dream vacation. Here is her Spring 2015 Trip Report:

Early on Saturday morning Julia and I were off to Boston’s Logan airport for our JetBlue flight to St. Maarten and Winair to St. Barth.  Landing in St Maarten at 11:45 A we were met by the Easyway VIP representative who immediately went into VIP mode. He took our luggage tags and directed us through the In transit security door and up to the gate – meanwhile bypassing the immigration lines, baggage pick up, and check in with Winair.  In moments we were at our gate, the Easyway person found us, handed us our boarding passes, assured us our luggage was checked in to Winair, and informed us we were booked on an earlier flight leaving in 15 minutes!  Well that was easy!

We landed in St Barth, grabbed luggage, picked up our cars from Gumbs Car Rental (we’d emailed a copy of our driver’s license prior to departure so she had the paperwork ready), and we were off to Marché U for groceries.  By 2:30 we were at Villa Everest unpacking and ready for a swim in the pool (and a cold beer)!

We were treated to glorious sunsets at Villa Everest

We were treated to glorious sunsets at Villa Everest

TIP: Easyway VIP is well worth the cost when landing in St Maarten’s rather convoluted airport.  Our concierge Julia can reserve Easyway VIP for our clients. It’s especially helpful during busy seasons or when you have a tight connection – or just don’t feel like dealing with the inefficiency that is SXM. Julia’s email is Juliahurd@stbarth.com.

We’d made a reservation at Santa Fe, a favorite of both Julia and myself, for our first night.  Julia invariably starts with the escargot and always orders Dover sole as her main! For me it was the mussels to start, and Wahoo with ginger and coriander for my main – it’s so good!  We shared a Fondant au Chocolat – after all, it’s our first night!

Fondant au Chocolat (Warm Chocolate Cake) at the Santa Fe

Fondant au Chocolat (Warm Chocolate Cake) at the Santa Fe

Sunday – After a good night’s sleep we’re ready to start our week in St Barth.  Making sure all the electronics work, WIFI set up, and emails answered, we head out to do a few necessary errands and for a drive around the island to make sure everything is as we left it!   The weather is fine and we’re excited to be back.

La Gloriette on Grand Cul de Sac beach is one of my favorite places for lunch, especially on Sundays.  The small beach restaurant is a favorite for families – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins meet there for a relaxing afternoon. Grand Cul de Sac is a lagoon, shallow and still, parents can easily watch kids playing on the shore. While we were having lunch a little girl caught a tiny fish and holding it up for all to see came running to her parents full of pride at her accomplishment. Everyone was smiling. I like that about the island culture – family time is important.

Warm goat cheese salad, a glass of rosé, and, of course, a glass of vanilla rhum completed our meal and we’re off again.

Here I am at Villa Everest - All set to begin my workday

Here I am at Villa Everest – All set to begin my workday

Monday – I had my villa visit schedule prepared and I was ready to go.  This year we’ve added some great new villas and I was pleased to match the pictures with the real thing. Some new offerings are the beautiful Chateau de Sable on St. Jean beach, Villa Ananda, Sagittaire and Orion hillside in St. Jean, Infinity in Gustavia, Belina in Colombier, Chiavari in Lurin, Jade and Joy in Marigot, Mirage in Gouverneur, and Chimère in Petit Cul de Sac.  (Editor’s note:  Be sure to check out future blogs for more info on the new villas.)

Villa Chateau de Sable on St. Jean Beach

Villa Chateau de Sable on St. Jean Beach

You will adore the view of St. Jean from Villa Orion

You will adore the view of St. Jean from Villa Orion

I also went back to old favorites that I either hadn’t seen for a while or to see changes or renovations. Casawapa added a third bedroom as did Rêve de Nuit, Ti Acerola is back for rental, and Serenity in Gustavia and Azur in Lurin.

Tuesday – Julia and I were lucky enough to be reserved on a full day boat trip with Jicky Marine.  I hadn’t snorkeled in St Barth for several years and I was excited.  The catamaran was new and extremely well maintained and captained.  Beer, wine, rum punch, water, and soft drinks, as well as snacks were offered throughout the day. Lunch was served when we reached Forchue island where we would spend the day and snorkel.  The crew set us up with very good snorkel equipment and took us to a spot where we could see turtles and rays, and, as we got closer to the rocks along the shore, colorful fish.  When not in the water we lay out on the beanbag lined “hammock” at the front of the catamaran.  It was a great day.  The water is so clear, so blue, and so beautiful. Julia can arrange this trip for you before you travel to St. Barth or our on-island concierge Magda Borne can reserve it once you are on St. Barth.

Julia and I relaxing after snorkeling

Julia and I relaxing after snorkeling

The Sunset Cruise with Jicky Marine was so relaxing

The Sunset Cruise with Jicky Marine was so relaxing

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday – Julia and I went our separate ways, me to visit villas and hotels and Julia to meet with vendors and try things like yoga and a ride in a mini Moke, peruse the new organic food shops and juice bars – and taste Gelato.  Tough job!

Julia had our dinner reservations set and just told me where we were going each night – I didn’t argue, they’re all good! Isola is elegant and wonderful Italian, Black Ginger fun and friendly Thai, Tamarin a magical garden setting with lily pad pools and romantic tables tucked throughout.

After dinner on our last night we popped into Bagatelle to catch the excitement. It was packed, music glaring, dancing everywhere, the wait staff adeptly delivered food and drink in the middle of it all. Evidently, there were a lot of birthdays and anniversaries being celebrated with champagne. Bottles topped with sparklers were paraded to the tables conga line fashion and, in one case, delivered by someone on a scooter driven through the restaurant! We stayed long enough to want to return another time when we didn’t have an early morning flight!

All in all, it was a good trip and we accomplished everything we needed to – and had some fun.

Au revoir St. Barth – jusqu’à la prochaine fois.