-- NEWPORT, RI, November 2001 -- Word is just in from St. Barts that hotels there have gussied up for the 2002 season, 15 new villas have been added to WIMCO’s St. Barts’ villa inventory, and another six have been renovated to “brand new” status.

WIMCO, the world’s leading source for luxury villa rentals, highlights include:

Eden Rock has recently been classified a Relais & Chateaux. A new suite has been added, cabins Jade and Saphir are now cottages, and the spa is open to the public.

Filao Beach has renovated guest rooms and is enjoying their status in Travel & Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2001, ranking first in the French Caribbean and 9th for the Caribbean overall.

Carl Gustaf has a fresh coat of paint, new furniture and air conditioning in the bedrooms.

François Plantation has added a fitness area near the pool and is bringing in a new chef and expanding its wine selection.

St. Barts also has a wonderful array of events planned for its 2002 season:

January 11-22 - Music Festival: Features chamber, jazz, ballet and opera music.

February 8-13 - Carnival: A Lenten, family-oriented carnival featuring festive children’s parade.

April: 2 through 7 - Caribbean Film Festival: Features the best of the best films covering Caribbean themes and created by Caribbean producers.

May 2002 - AG2R Transat Lorient to St. Barts: Single-handed mono and multi-hull catamaran race beginning from Lorient, Brittany, to St. Barts.

July 12 through 14 - St. Barts Open Fishing Tournament: Set sail by hiring your own boat and crew and cast away for fabulous Marlin fishing.

August - Boubou’s Music Festival: Boubou’s is the hip place to go. With a Moroccan flair, this restaurant, located at the Sereno Beach Hotel features Jazz, Rock and Latin-infused music.

WIMCO recently issued a 25th anniversary issue of its popular Vendome Guide to St. Barthelemy featuring over 200 distinctive private villa rentals on the island and the “inside” word on the hot restaurants that have earned St. Barts the reputation as the Gourmet Capital of the Caribbean.

WIMCO offers over 1,000 luxury villas and distinctive hotels and resorts internationally in such select areas as Italy’s Umbria region, France’s St. Tropez and elsewhere in the Caribbean (680 villas on 10 islands including St. Barts, Barbados, Mustique, Nevis, Anguilla, St. Martin and others).

For further information, write WIMCO, P.O. Box 1461, Newport, RI 02840; Tel: 401-375-4598, Fax: 401-847-6290, or visit the website at