Posts Tagged ‘Villa Les Embruns’

December 12, 2017 to January 04, 2018

Friday, January 5th, 2018

La Bagatelle, Shellona, La Guérite and Orega reopen on time!

Departing from Boston via Miami and then via St. Maarten, SBP VP and my son, Tom Smyth arrived December11th and reported a smooth transfer from SXM to St. Barth. On our way into Gustavia, we noticed that the pétanque aka boules (bocce) courts are ready for play.

St. Barth fixed the boules courts, too.

Have a seat on a bench and watch an early evening boules match.

We had lots of very productive meetings with the staff at our rental office as well as our Sotheby’s sales office. It was a bit noisy, because there were at least 10 men working on the Baz Bar’s rehab and about the same number of guys working on getting La Bagatelle restaurant ready for its reopening on December 14th.

We visited villas, beaches and drove around the island. Tom was last here in October and the further greening of the island was well-noted. Everyday looks better than the day before. The weather has been so clear the last few days, it seems as if we can touch the distant islands.

There were signs of the approaching holidays; people still booking villas at the last minute because they had to be in St. Barth to celebrate. Roman Abramovich owns a villa behind Gouverneur Beach and always throws a big New Year’s Eve party in St. Barth. We saw his yacht anchored next to, and dwarfing, a cruise ship that was next to it.

Roman Abramovich’s 538 foot yacht, the Eclipse is here. it is a beauftul sight to see.

La Bagatelle reopened December 14th and we had reservations for dinner. As I mentioned previously, a crew, including our waiter, was feverishly working to finish it on time. Tom saw the state of it and told me we would not be dining there as it could not possibly be ready in time. I left the office to see for myself and took a photo. I asked our server, JC if I needed to cancel our reservation. He said, “Absolutely not. Come back in an hour and see for yourself.” So, when we left the office about an hour and a half later, I checked it out.

At 11 minutes after three on December 14, 2017, Tom said to me that there was no way we would be dining at Bagatelle tonight.

I took this after photo of Bagatelle 2 hours and 15 minutes later on December 14, 2017 – Incredible.

Incredible! I had invited Dennis and Amy, clients of mine who were staying at Villa Les Embruns by Flamands Beach, to join us for a drink at the bar at 7:00 p.m. They were so happy that they had come to St. Barth. Dennis, said, “We have had a lovely week. I cannot recall a time when the island was more welcoming. Thank you very much for all your help these past weeks with our visit which was the most unique experience among all our other many trips to St. Barth.” An hour later, we were seated for dinner. The place was packed – totally sold out. We loved people-watching and our meals were delicious.

Bagatelle waa packed on opening night.

As the days fly by I am still discovering new changes, so each time I go to Gustavia or somewhere else, I take a photograph for you. Orega opened just before Christmas. After dining at Eddy’s, we walked by. Greg pulled us in to offer us a glass of Champagne in celebration. It looks even better than before. There is a sushi bar at the entrance and the main dining room has more subtle lighting. I wanted to wait until after the holiday rush, so we are dining there tomorrow.

I am happy to say that Orega opened Dec 21, 2017. You must dine here.

The man-made beach area in front of Villa Brise de Mer looks so inviting.

This fence is now up at the end of the runway. At least it will let the sand blow through it naturally.

Steve and I were lucky to have our son, Mark Smyth, his wife Cynthia and our granddaughter Reegan join us for the holidays. We were able to play tourist with them and spent time on the beaches during the day, and dining out with them at night. They stayed at Villa Au Petit Pont, which is freshly painted and has renovated bathrooms.

This was our view from Petit Pont on Christmas morning.

We loved having Christmas dinner at Le Tamarin.

The famous Tamarin tree at Le Tamarin restaurant survived Hurricane Irma and is showing new growth.

Things are picking up on St. Jean Beach. Tom Beach hotel has set up beach chairs, umbrellas, on a first come first served basis (20 euros) and there is a make-shift beach bar where you can get drinks and order some food supplied by Le Bouchon. The bartender takes your order, then a runner drives over to Bouchon and brings it back! Clever.

Tom Beach’s Beach Bar
Click above to view video

More towards the middle of St. Jean Beach, the new Lil Rock Beach Bar opened on December 23, 2017. Its lounge chairs are much plusher, and can be reserved by calling our concierge, Aurélie Janvier, at 35 euros per day. Their drink menu is less expensive than Tom Beach’s. If you are just looking to go there for a drink or some sushi and other fresh items, they offer tables and chairs where you may sit to enjoy the shade while having a drink and/or food.

Further up, in the middle of St. Jean Beach, Lil Rock Beach Bar debuted December 23, 2017.

Lil Rock Beach Bar on St. Jean Beach opened December 23, 2017.

Lil Rock Beach Bar has tables, free of charge, where you can enjoy your drinks as well as sushi and other items.

The drink menu at Lil Rock Beach Bar is very reasonable.

December 27th, 2017: We had a lovely early dinner at L’Entracte because, as promised, Jimmy Buffett gave a free concert on the quai to support the people of St. Barth who worked so hard on the recovery of the island. Residents, tourists, including parrot heads, flocked to the quai to hear Jimmy and Soley belt out fabulous tunes. Jimmy sang songs about St. Barth, like Autour de Rocher (a nightclub I remember well, before it burned down many years ago). Most of us sang along. Thank you, Jimmy and Soley!

We enjoyed a pre-concert dinner at L’Entracte.

12-27-17 Jimmy Buffett gave a fabulous free concert on the quai.

Just before New Year’s Eve, Shellona reopened with great fanfare. The place has been full ever since. I am sure that this Shell Beach bar and restaurant will have a very successful season. You must try it!

As of December 28, 2017, Shellona is open for business. Enjoy!

New Year’s Eve was as festive as ever. The fireworks did not disappoint, and it seemed as if the entire island came down to Gustavia with a bottle of Champagne to toast in the New Year and wish Bonne Année along with giving kisses on each cheek to anyone who passed by.

I know that so many of you are suffering from bitter cold and lots of snow – it is only early January. Why not book your St. Barth vacation right now? Email me or If you are looking to stay in a 5-Star hotel, the Christopher is reopening February 20, 2018! We will be pleased to book a room for you.

Happy New Year! Bonne Année!

Happy New Year from the on-island St. Barth Properties real estate sales and rental teams. It is fun to work in St. Barth! (photo taken by Laurent Benoit at Villa Nirvana)

What does St. Barth look like 8-9 weeks post Hurricane Irma?

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

A St Barth first-person Experience November 02-05, 2017

My passion has always been St. Barth. My heart was aching for the people who experienced the wrath of Hurricane Irma and I longed to get back. Finding flights from Boston had become a huge challenge. I would book flights only to have them canceled. Finally, I found a flight through Miami to St. Maarten. Today’s blog covers my first few days back in paradise.

November 02, 2017:

My husband and I flew on America Airlines to Miami. Fortunately, the flight was on time and we made it to our connecting gate to St. Maarten in time. Both flights were full. I was surprised that so many people wanted to fly to St. Maarten because the recovery there is going at a snail’s pace.

I had heard that the terminal at Princess Juliana Airport was not open and was badly damaged. Make-shift arrangements had been made. That bit of news meant that I was clueless as to how to transit through to St. Barth. We had four heavy checked bags because we packed knowing that we would be here until May. I relied upon my fabulous concierge in our US office, Julia Hurd to arrange VIP services for us. What a smart move!

As soon as we touched down on the tarmac in SXM, I saw the devastation on both sides. I was so used to seeing pictures of how well St. Barth is recovering, it was a bit of a shock. It was as if Irma had hit only 3 days ago instead of 8 weeks ago. Our pilot parked the plane near some tents and we deplaned via a stairway. We were told to go to the “FOB” building. I had no idea what that was, so I asked a friendly guy at the bottom of stairs. He said, “Is your name Walsh?” He took me to Jerry who was handling my Easyway VIP service. Thank you, Jerry!

We deplaned in St. Maarten via a stairway.

We stood in line to clear immigration while Jerry retrieved our luggage, He then escorted us to another tented area where they had some counters and checked us in at Winair. Then we went to a booth to get our passports stamped again, this time for departure, and we went through a security checkpoint in a hangar serving as the departure lounge. It had some places to buy drinks and snacks and a restroom. Soon after, Jerry came to get us, and we were on our way to St. Barth.

We stood in line under a tent, in order ito go through immigration in a temporary building.

We waited for our Winair flight in a hangar that had become the departure lounge.

I admire St. Maarten for adapting to the aftermath of Irma by opening the airport to people like me. SXM is a gateway to many other destinations. I admire American Airlines for flying from Miami and Jet Blue from JFK every day, too. FYI If you are transiting through St. Maarten, please be sure to ask Julia to arrange the VIP service, you will be so happy that you did.

Vive La Différence! As we approached the island, we could see how green St. Barth is – already! We cleared immigration and headed to the St. Barth Properties booth that we share with Gumbs Car Rental. Odile was waiting for us with her always pretty smile and showed us to our rental cars. (Yes, we have two so that I can go off and work without stranding Steve.) 0ff we went to Villa Everest.

I tried to look at the surroundings as I drove. Yup, definitely, a hurricane had hit, the most obvious indication being the almost-naked palm trees. Otherwise, there were many signs of repairs and recovery that impressed me. Even the palms’ fronds had sprouted new growth showing that they were well on their way back to their stately beauty. We unpacked, showered and headed out to dinner. I had vowed that we would frequent every restaurant whose staff had busted their tails to reopen as soon as possible and show my support by dining there. We are always a bit tired on our first night and chose the casual Le Grain de Sel by Saline Beach; it was busy; they had blackboard specials, and we enjoyed the food, the friendly staff as well as the nice breeze.

November 03, 2017

I love waking up my first day back in St. Barth. Feeling rested, I grabbed my camera-phone and took a picture from the pool deck. The island looked nice and green and I remarked that Lorient beach looked beautiful. My mission is to give you firsthand knowledge of how St. Barth looks in real time but to also let you know how the people who lived through this nightmare felt and now feel.

My first morning view from Villa Everest was different but still stunnng.

Steve (aka “Doc”) went to his favorite warehouse in Lorient to stock up on supplies. In case you do not know my husband, he is Dr. Chatter and loves to talk to anyone. Maybe that is because he is a dentist and he was great at distracting his patients with banter between his dental assistant and him. He and the warehouse owner had a long conversation after the guy in front of him had bought every last bottle of Heineken out from under us!) The owner said that the guy owns a restaurant and people like him will go wherever they can to get what they need. Steve settled for Amstel Light and chatted away.

The owner said he had never experienced anything like Hurricane Irma. It was a category 5 but that is as high as the rankings go, and he thought of it as a category 7. In 1995, I remember when Hurricane Luis stalled over St. Barth for 36 hours. He said Irma was fast moving but was much stronger. Some people has lost part of their roofs and windows and when the eye hit at 7:00 am on September 6th, it was a blessing in disguise because people were able to go to the homes of friends and relatives and be safe. The backside was even worse. On September 7th, the island immediately began the recovery process. Everyone showed solidarity and pitched in to help one another. No one was going to sit back and wait for France to send help. The French didn’t think we needed it anyway because, “rich people come to St. Barth.”

Later, I met Anne laure and Laura from my rental office at Villa Les Embruns in Flamands so that I could visit it for a client of mine who is arriving in December. I saw people as well as the villa owner working on the villa, readying it for the first arrival on November 28th. Stonework was being done on a wall as well as repairs on the deck’s gazebos. When we went inside, it was perfect. The furniture looked as if nothing had happened. Laura successfully tested a “flybox” that enabled the Internet connection at the villa. I am going back next week to see the difference and report back.

I stopped at my offices in Gustavia to see everyone and to look at the damages. We have lots to do but both offices are open and ready to welcome you.

I stopped by my new St Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty sales office to check out the damages and to say hi to Benoit, Pascale, Nadine and Melissa.

That evening, we dined at another casual place, Bistro Josephine, which is on the road towards Shell Beach, not far from my offices. As soon as I opened the door, I saw my dear friend Audrey Ferrari who was the owner of Carpe Diem restaurant until the landlord decided to tear it down in favor of more shops. Audrey described the menu and the specials to us as we sipped our Coupes de Champagne. Once again, we had a delicious meal and had the chance to talk to Jean Paul, the owner. The bistro features a band once in a while; it also has a rear garden where you can dine alfresco. Try it, you’ll love it. We will make the reservations at any of the restaurants for you.

Doc and I are with Audrey and Jean Paul at Bistro Josephine.

November 04, 2017

Another day of reconnaissance found us driving past Grand Cul de Sac Beach, then turning left to view the lagoon from the righthand side. I wanted to see Le Barthélemy hotel and in the distance Le Sereno and Le Guanahani. The colors of the lagoon were as beautiful as ever; the beach looked inviting, too. The hotels are already in recovery – mode but it will take time before they can reopen. We have plenty of villas ready for your arrival. Maybe it’s time you try the Villa Experience. We can arrange every kind of service you may wish to have while you are there.

Next stop: Lorient Beach. We parked in our usual spot and took the footpath by the cemetery onto the beach. I looked to my left to see a very, very wide sandy beach. We walked the beach and realized that it was as wide as it is because the vegetation in front of the houses was gone. I saw homes that I had never seen before. It should all grow back soon. I spotted a woman with her two children playing on the beach near where the surf shack used to be and, as we approached, I realized that it was Hafida, the owner of The Hideaway restaurant. She told us that she is doing her best to reopen in December. I’ll be there in a heartbeat.

Lorient Beach is looking good too.

We had dinner at Eddy’s which had just reopened October 30th. It was quite busy, and we enjoyed seeing Brigitte, Eddy and their son Mahé again. The restaurant itself didn’t suffer any damage. The front garden lost its big tree. Eddy remarked that they were very fortunate because the tree fell across the street instead of onto the restaurant. Our meals were delicious, and I can’t wait to go back.

It is always a pleasure to see Eddy.

November 5, 2017

Today is Sunday. The day of rest is taken seriously by the islanders, so most places are closed. I put on my sneakers, put my Fitbit on my wrist and we headed off to Gustavia for a combination power walk and reconnaissance trip. The bakery in Lorient was open and a coveted parking space was free, so we parked and went in to buy our baguette for sandwich-making, so we could head to the beach with them later.

We stopped to buy our daily fresh baguette at La Petite Colombe in Lorient.

We decided to start our walk towards the other side of Gustavia. A cruise ship was anchored outside of the harbor and passengers had come in by tender. Therefore, a few shops were open. We headed to my offices and saw both the Bagatelle and the Baz Bar were under renovation. They plan on being open in December. Yay! As we continued on, we saw a few places that had been harmed by Irma. The harborside buildings that once held Hervé’s Coté Port and Carole’s Yacht Club were already scheduled to be torn down in favor of more dock space for boats, so no need for repairs there. We walked past the Hôtel de La Collectivité, as handsome as ever, and turned around at the end of that side of the harbor. Minor things such as benches need repair and the palm trees need more fronds.

The Hotel de la Collectivité (city hall) looks great

Reversing our steps, we walked down the other side of the harbor past the ferry dock and fish market. Everything seemed normal. The Voyager ferry had just arrived from St. Martin, taxi drivers were offering island tours to the cruise ship passengers, Le Repaire was open for breakfast and the fish market was intact but not open because it was Sunday. I did see a piece of plywood on the window at Longchamp’s but not much more. Further up the Bar de L’Oubli was open, too.

The Voyager ferry arrived on this quiet Sunday.

The fish market showed no sign of damage.

The afternoon reconnaissance: St. Jean Beach. After packing the cooler, putting beach chairs and an umbrella in the car, we headed to the parking lot across from the beach. The path at the end of the runway, going onto the sand, was wide, once again, because the foliage was gone. Believe it or not, we found a tiny piece of beach where we usually sit, that was shaded by some rejuvenating palm trees.

The sand on the Les Ilets de la Plage side of the beach has come back nicely. I think it is because most of the fence washed away.

We walked the beach towards Eden Rock and saw the damage to Tom Beach, Emeraude Plage and Eden Rock. Lots of work to do there. Tom Beach is already on its way back and expects to be open in December. We saw piles of sand waiting to be spread in various spots along the beach.

The sand at the Eden Rock side of St. Jean Beach is recovering well.

A benefit from Irma is that the better parts of the fences washed away. You can walk the entire beach again. Hope it lasts.

I noticed a few chaise lounges with umbrellas at the spot where Carib Water Play’s booth used to be and stopped to chat with Lucas, Jean Michel’s son. He was open for business! Good to know – 15 euros for a lounge chair and 10 euros for an umbrella – well worth it.

Carib Water Play is open for business.

Lucas is ready to set up your chaise lounge and umbrella, rent you a surf board or give you a windsurfing lesson.

To end the day, we enjoyed a casual Sunday night dinner at Le Vietnam restaurant in Gustavia.

My next blog will be shorter, I promise, and I will tell you more about my adventures post-Irma.

Just back from Brazil

Friday, April 26th, 2013


I just returned to St. Barth after attending the 3rd annual Travelweek trade show that was held in Sað Paulo, Brazil. Pascale Minarro from my St. Barth office was with me and we enjoyed meeting top South American travel agents whose clients want to come to St Barth for vacation. It was mostly all work but we did get a chance to shop for our Havaianas flip flops – a must.

Dining with my colleagues: From center:  Sebastien Maingourd – Hotel Christopher, Sabine Masseglia – Hotel Guanahani; Pascale Minarro- St Barth Properties St Barth office; Gonzalo Pena – Hotel K2 in Courchevel; Peg; Aymeric Bourdin – Hotel Tom Beach; Anne Dentel – St. Barth Tourism Committee; Christiane Chabez – Brazil’s’ rep for St. Barth Tourism

Dining with my colleagues: From center: Sebastien Maingourd – Hotel Christopher, Sabine Masseglia – Hotel Guanahani; Pascale Minarro- St Barth Properties St Barth office; Gonzalo Pena – Hotel K2 in Courchevel; Peg; Aymeric Bourdin – Hotel Tom Beach; Anne Dentel – St. Barth Tourism Committee; Christiane Chabez – Brazil’s’ rep for St. Barth Tourism

The significance of the Havaianas brand is that they are made in Brazil – The country is famous for them; they last forever and come in all sorts of colors and patterns. The Company has a huge store in Sað Paulo where throngs of people rush to purchase their very own. Many of them buy 10+ pairs for themselves, their friends and their family members. I did my part and bought enough to replace the brochures I had packed in my suitcase with loads of flip flops which I plan on giving as gifts. (I noticed that TSA was curious enough to go through my bag; I wonder what they thought when they saw all of them?)

Peg's Havaianas at Travelweek in Sao Paulo

Peg’s Havaianas at Travelweek in Sao Paulo

Every year Travelweek gives each person a pair and asks them to wear them on the last day of the show which is always called “Havaianas Day”. This year, we were given a pair with the 2013 slogan and theme of the event, “Feel the World” written on them in bright pink. It was fun to relax a bit while wearing them.

Pascale and I in front of our booth on Havaianas Day - Our feet said, Oh what a relief it is

Pascale and I in front of our booth on Havaianas Day – Our feet said, Oh what a relief it is!

I came back to beautiful St. Barth on Sunday in time to share the good news that it’s official…April 16 was the day our villa rates went down and will stay that way until December 15, 2013. It’s Value Season. Some villa prices are almost 40% less than their High Season rates. Spring temperatures in most of the US can be very fickle. – Not so in St. Barth where it is about 85 degrees during the day and 75 degrees in the evening and to top it off, we have nice breezy trade winds. I just love it here. If you are interested in staying in one of our hotels, there are some terrific packages available. Our Specialists can help you choose the one that is just right for you. Do you prefer a villa? Consider reserving one of our villas that offer our Drive, Dine and Relax package which includes your rental car and an evening when a private chef will come to your villa to cook and serve a very romantic dinner.

Villa Les Embruns

Villa Les Embruns – available as part of the Drive, Dine and Relax Package

If you time it just right, you can be here for Les Soldes when everything in the boutiques goes on sale. There is no competition in France (therefore not allowed in St. Barth either) so all of the shops must have their sales at the same time; the government determines the dates. In France the sales are in January. However, that is High Season in St. Barth so, naturally, the dates are chosen carefully so as to ensure that the boutiques have the opportunity to make the most euros before Les Soldes can begin. This year the sales period is from May 04 to June 06, 2013. The prices are further reduced as time goes by, so you can take your chances and come down towards the end but you won’t have the selection you would have if you go in early May.

So, come on down! For assistance with your trip, please contact me at or one of our St. Barth Specialists at

Mid January 2012 in St Barts

Friday, January 20th, 2012

The weather here in St. Barts is beautiful; it is about 80 degrees today and will be about 72 degrees tonight. The water temperature is in the high 70’s. We do get occasional showers and 5 minute downpours which helps keep the island so lush. The rainbows here are outstanding. Here is a picture of one that I took this morning.


Rainbow in St Barts January 20, 2012

Last week I went to check out the “new” Les Embruns, one of our most popular villas. In fact, the villa was so booked that this was my first chance to see it. Our photographer was taking new photos during a 4 day opening so it worked out perfectly. New decks have been added. One is open for sunning while the other one is covered and offers outdoor living. That deck is located across from the existing outdoor dining gazebo. Who wouldn’t like to spend the most time possible outside on gorgeous St Barth? During the day the sun is shining and the view is gorgeous. Return from dinner in the evening, relax in the new heated Jacuzzi and then enjoy a digestif while gazing up at the stars. For more information on Villa Les Embruns, please contact

Villa Les Embruns deck

Villa Les Embruns deck

This week the annual meeting of the St. Barth Dental Association is taking place. My son Dr. Mark Smyth arrived here on Sunday to attend the meeting. For those of you who don’t already know, my husband Steve is a dentist so he is taking the course with Mark as is an orthodontist friend of ours Dr. Patrick Assioun. The lecture takes place each morning at the Capitainerie in Gustavia. When they take their breaks, they can go outside on the balcony and look at the mega yachts in the harbor. Their afternoons are free to enjoy St. Barts. What a nice way to get CEU’s! If you are a dentist and interested in attending the SBDA meeting in 2013, let me know and I will send you information once the speaker is announced.


The meeting takes place in the Capitainerie

After the course, Mark, Patrick and Steve enjoyed having a beer at Le Select while waiting for their chesseburgers in paradise

After the course, Mark, Patrick and Steve enjoyed having a beer at Le Select while waiting for their chesseburgers in paradise

Coincidentally, my other son and VP, Tom Smyth arrived here on Tuesday. Tom is the liaison for people who wish to buy property in St Barts through our company St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty. He is here to inspect new listings and we also are meeting with the on-island staff to go over business matters.

Steve and I are leaving warm and sunny St. Barts tomorrow and flying back to snowy and cold Boston because I want to go the Patriots AFC Championship game on Sunday. It is supposed to snow so I hope our flights won’t be canceled. My daughter gathered up all of my winter gear so that I can be warm during the game. I hope I won’t be disappointed in the outcome. The last time I flew back for a playoff game, the end result was not good, so I hope I don’t jinx the game. We are flying back to St Barth on Tuesday. By the time I write my next blog we will al know which teams are going to the Super Bowl.

It keeps getting better! The New Suites at Hotel Guanahani & Spa

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Connie and I checked out of Villa Les Embruns on Thursday and later that day we headed to the Hotel Guanahani & Spa where we had been invited to stay for our last two nights. As I mentioned to you before, our staff inspects and re-inspects the villas and hotels that we represent so that we can provide you with the best possible service and up-to-date information as possible when assisting you with finding the perfect accommodation that will suit your particular needs.

I had been trying to see the Four Star Luxe Hotel Guanahani & Spa’s new Admiral Suite and Serenity Suite ever since they were completed last December, but each time I tried, they were always booked (a very good sign as far as I was concerned). We arrived at the reception desk around 5:30 and guess what? We were going to be staying in the Admiral Suite! – What a nice surprise. I drove my car to the lower parking lot while one of the very nice members of the staff accompanied us to our suite and brought us our luggage. All that I can say is, “Wow.”

One of the many ocean views and fabulous porches at the Admiral Suite

One of the many ocean views and fabulous porches at the Admiral Suite

We entered by the main door. (There are 3 separate ways to enter the suite.) My bedroom was on the left. It featured a huge walk-in closet/dressing area, a super comfy king size bed that looks out to the wonderful porch with 2 rocking chairs, a dining table and an amazing view of Grand Cul de Sac. The bathroom is something else! It has a Jacuzzi tub and a big picture window that also looks out to the lagoon. There’s a separate shower and a double sink vanity.

My Bedroom in the Admiral Suite

My Bedroom in the Admiral Suite


The Jacuzzi tub in my bathroom

Connie’s room offered an en suite bedroom with an option of having either a king size bed or 2 twin beds. She had her own desk for her laptop as well as a porch with rocking chairs and a completely different view of another area of Grand Cul de Sac. Each of us had access to the fabulous living room with wet bar, mini bars and an espresso machine. Another desk was available for me to use and we had free Wifi throughout the suite. (Don’t you just hate it when luxury hotels nickel-and-dime you to death by charging for Wifi?). There are sliders to 2 additional porches with more rockers and outdoor dining.

Connie's Bedroom that can be made up with a king bed

Connie's Bedroom that can be made up with a king bed

Admiral Suite Living Room

Admiral Suite Living Room

Our butler (included with Prestige Suites) came to show us how everything worked and told us that she was available until 10:00 pm every day. By the way, The Admiral Suite was named in honor of Christopher Columbus who discovered St. Barthélemy on his second voyage to the Caribbean in 1493. He named this beautiful little island after his brother Bartoloméo. It was on this second voyage that Columbus was made an Admiral.

We had dinner reservations at Bartoloméo (Bar’tô for short) the hotel’s famous gourmet restaurant. Elegantly styled, its all-white décor complements the dark wood of the lounge and bar area. Their famous chef Philippe Massaglia’s menu selection was so divine that it was difficult to choose our courses. I finally settled on two appetizers, the Goat Cheese Soufflé followed by the Lobster Ravioli. Connie began with the Lobster Ravioli then followed that with an Angus Beef with Gorgonzola Sauce and mushrooms – All that I can say is that everything was outstanding.


Goat Cheese Soufflé


Lobster Ravioli


Angus Beef with Gorgonzola Sauce and Mushrooms

The next morning we had a delicious breakfast at their wonderful beach front restaurant Indigo which overlooks the pool, the beach and the lagoon. (Try lunch on the beach at Indigo’s on the Beach-yummy).


Our breakfast table at Indigo


Poached eggs on toast anyone?

Then, Carole gave us a very informative site inspection. I was finally able to see the Serenity Suite which sits on top of the hotel grounds and features two bedrooms one of which is 6 steps down from the main level and has a sunken Jacuzzi in the bathroom. A nicely furnished living room with sliders leading to the deck and private swimming pool look out to the colorful hues of the sea.

The Serenity Suite's pool and view

The Serenity Suite's pool and view

The living room at the Serenty Suite

The living room at the Serenty Suite

Master bedroom in the Serenity Suite

Master bedroom in the Serenity Suite

We continued on to see the very private Marigot Suite that is a 2 bedroom Pool Suite which is adjacent to the spa. It boasts a private spa treatment room for 2 in a garden setting and a private swimming pool in the front that looks out to a view of Marigot Bay. There’s a master bedroom (king size bed) and a second bedroom with king and/or twin beds located on either side of the living room. The best part? Four Spa treatments are offered to the suite’s lucky guests each day.

The private spa area in the Marigot Suite

The private spa area in the Marigot Suite

We finished with the 2 bedroom (king and King/twin) Pelican Suite which has a living room with convertible sofa, a deck without door dining, a Jacuzzi and a lovely view of Grand Cul de Sac…a very productive morning indeed.


The living room in the Pelican Suite

Merci beaucoup to the management and the entire staff at Hotel Guanahani & Spa for your hospitality and for welcoming us at your magnificent hotel.

For more information contact,

Here I am back in St. Barth!

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Lucky me! Connie Walsh and I arrived in St. Barts Sunday afternoon with a full calendar in place in preparation for the publication of our annual Live Your Dream® catalogue which will arrive on the island in early November. I am the editor in chief and Connie is the assistant editor and we are in St Barth gathering information for our articles and other content.

I picked up my car and headed toward Flamands Beach because we were lucky enough to be able to take advantage of a 4 night opening at Villa Les Embruns. The villa is so popular that being able to stay here is a real treat. As I write this I am sitting on the sectional sofa in the living area and looking out at the heated swimming pool, outside deck, the sea and the little islet of Frégate. There are 4 very nice chaise lounges and an outdoor table for 4 so that we can enjoy or morning coffee outside. The open floor plan features another sitting area for TV viewing, an indoor dining area and a fully equipped kitchen with bar.


Flamands Beach as seen from the front yard of Villa Les Embruns

Villa Les Embruns outdoor table and view

Villa Les Embruns outdoor area

Villa Les Embruns kitchen

Villa Les Embruns kitchen

I am staying in the king bedroom with bath en suite and Connie is staying in the king/twin bedroom that also has an en suite bath. The villa is fully air conditioned and I especially love the outdoor speakers so that we can listen to music while taking a swim. The villa is very private and we can walk to gorgeous Flamands Beach in about 3 minutes.

View from Villa Les Embruns bedroom

View from Villa Les Embruns bedroom

We invited the owners for a drink Monday evening and they reminded me that Villa Les Embruns has another opening June 20-27. Why not take a last minute vacation to St Barth? The villa participates in our Drive, Dine and Relax package which includes a car and the services of a chef who will prepare a romantic dinner for you one evening. The best part? That particular week the owners are offering a 10% off promotion and St Barth Properties will contribute 100 euros per person (for anyone 18 or older, that is) towards a fun evening at Le Ti St. Barth while you are here. They are still featuring their cabaret show two nights a week and of course they continue to have their “White Angel” party one night a week. For more information contact

Back to day one…Per usual, Magda (our on-island concierge) had reserved a table for us at Andy’s Hideaway for our first night’s dinner. It is a great spot to dine after a full day of traveling. In fact I saw the family of 6 who were on the same flight as we were from Miami to St. Maarten and were staying in Villa Azur enjoying their fist night’s meal there too.


Andy greets us at The Hideaway

We are visiting villas and doing hotel site inspections, interviewing some very interesting people and experiencing some activities first-hand—fun! (All in the line of duty, of course). I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Traveling to Paradise

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Tom, Kathy and I traveled to our favorite piece of paradise and touched down around 4:20 yesterday —Ahh just feeling the warm air as we deplaned and walked towards the arrival area put a big smile on my face. I really do love St Barth! Tom and I are staying in Villa Everest and Kathy is staying in Villa Les Embruns and then moving to Villa Crystal Dream.

Villa Everest

Villa Everest

Villa Les Embruns

Villa Les Embruns

At this time of year we can take advantage of being able to fly directly from San Juan to St. Barth on Tradewind Aviation. We fly from Boston to San Juan and then take the 3:00 pm flight which is a shared charter (Pay by the seat). Their 8 passenger Caravan is air-conditioned and as a bonus, there are snacks and drinks on board! Sit back, relax and enjoy the view as you fly over the beautiful blue water and gaze down at the Caribbean islands below.

Tradewind Aviation Caravan landing in St Barth

Tradewind Aviation Caravan landing in St Barth

Tradewind’s shared charter prices vary depending on the day of the week and range from $395 to $595 + tax each way. The charter schedule includes 2 trips from San Juan to St. Barth (8:00 am and 3:00 pm) and 2 trips form St Barth to San Juan (10:00am and 5:00pm). Private charters on a Caravan or Pilatus are also available. Once you have reserved your accommodation with us, you may contact to book.

We have a full schedule ahead of us and I am very excited to see the updates that some owners have made. I will be inspecting some potential new villas and determine if we will add them to our portfolio. I will report back to you on my findings as well as any new restaurants and/or new enterprises that may be in the works.

Of course, the highlight of the trip is our Land Shark Beach party at Dö Brazil on November 06. Our guest list is growing and I will give you the low down.

Poor me, I have to work… not a bad job, though? Temperature is about 85° and if I get time to put my toes in the water, it will be about 75°. I would love to see you in St. Barth.

Villa Crystal Dream

Villa Crystal Dream