By WIMCO Villas Marketing Coordinator Ford Bauer
As I boarded the Tradewind flight in San Juan my excitement was at an all time high. I was very excited to step foot in the villas that I have spent so much time looking at behind a computer screen. Now I was actually there. I could sit down on the deck smell the ocean air and experience it in person. We flew into St. Barths in the late afternoon and the hills of the island were lit up with the evening sun. We jumped in our rental car and ascended the hills into Anse de Cay to Villa KAY.
We had a busy schedule for our five days in St. Barths and I was happy to have such a good guide to the island. Ben was very helpful in pointing out specific landmarks and explaining the characteristics of each neighborhood we visited.
The first morning we woke up early and took the short ride down to St. Jean beach to take a swim and check out the progress on Eden Rock. The swim that morning kicked off a busy five days of exploring and learning St. Barths.
In the first two days we had 17 villas on our schedule in Colombier, Flamands, Anse de Cay, Lorient and Camaruche. Time to get acquainted with the island!
WV BYZ, this two-bedroom villa was high up in the hills of Colombier. With one-bedroom in its own separate bungalow and the other connected to the kitchen and dining area, this villa has a good amount of privacy. Each bedroom has its own living space with large glass windows overlooking the pool deck to the view of the ocean and the master bedroom comes equipped with a sauna in the bathroom. The design of the house was very modern and clean and I thought the view was superb. Would be the perfect house for two couples.
WV DZR, With a lovely view of Gustavia harbor, this sleek, three-bedroom is perfectly nestled in the hills of Colombier. DZR was one of my favorite villas from the trip. The interior of the house is very nicely done with interesting art pieces and wood features. The infinity pool has superb views of the harbor and is a great place for sunset and watching small airplanes landing and taking off. Each room in this villa had ocean views and the lay out was the same for each. The fitness room with a view was an added plus.
WV FAY, two-bedroom located directly on Flamands beach was one of my favorites in this neighborhood. Flamands looked like the perfect beach for a nice swim. The house was very simple with two equal bedrooms with ensuite baths. This is a great house for a small family to rent.
WV LUM, two-bedroom was also a highlight in Flamands. The house had great style with black trim doors and clean interior design. It was not a large villa with the living room and kitchen in a small building and two separate bungalows. I think it would be a good house for two couples that are happy sharing space.
WV ACI The layout of this three-bedroom was different than other villas with three separate levels to the house. The first level has the kitchen and the living room, downstairs are the bedrooms and below the bedrooms is the pool deck and outside seating. Views from the pool deck were beautiful and the foliage around the house was thick and green which was important for privacy. This is a good house to rent to a small to medium sized family.
My favorite house in Anse des Cayes was definitely WV KAY because Ben and I were lucky enough to stay there for our first three nights of the trip. The seven-bedroom villa has lush gardens that give the house a relaxing, zen vibe. The views out to Isle Chevreau were the first villa views I experienced on St. Barths and they did not disappoint.
WV TAR, three-bedroom in Camaruche was one of my favorites from the entire trip. I thought the style of house was on point with modern white features and interesting artwork. The three bedrooms all had rain showers, double vanities and great views.
WV VLK, This four-bedroom in Anse des Cayes is right on the beach. This house was perfect for a big family. The large kitchen and living room opened up to a big pool. Beyond the pool is a path right on to the beach. There were two bedrooms upstairs one with a king bed one with a queen, two bedrooms downstairs one with a queen bed and one with two twins.
WV ABR, four-bedrooms. There was a great sound of the waves crashing against the rocks below at villa pelican. The house had a nice clean white design and new kitchen. The four bedrooms are separate from the living room kitchen and pool deck unit. The bedrooms are stacked two on top of two and the upper bedrooms has a view and the lower bedrooms opens up into foliage.
WV LIL, This smaller one bedroom villa in Lorient has beach bungalow vibes with the bedroom opening right into the living room. The pool deck and gazebo area were nice but it was all about the beach at this house. Although the villa is not directly on the beach it is only about a 20-foot walk to the sand. This is a perfect house for a couple that wants to be close to the water.
WV KNG I thought this two-bedroom villa was really nicely done. The floor to ceiling glass sliding doors in the living room let in a lot of light. The interior of the house is contemporary and simple but has its own charm and the bedrooms both face out to the pool. The master is slightly bigger with a king bed and the guest room has a queen bed. The views of Gustavia are enjoyable and guests can watch the planes fly into St. Jean.
Villas ASE and APE in St. Jean are both newly built villas that I enjoyed. WV ASE is a one bedroom with a nice partially covered pool deck. ASE felt very functional and the location was great. Villa APE has two bedrooms and had a better view of Eden Rock and St. Jean beach. Very similar lay out to ASE with a partially covered pool deck. The two villas would be perfect to rent out together for a larger family.
SOU The location of this four-bedroom villa could not have been better. It is within walking distance to St. Jean Beach and has its own private dock jutting out into the harbor. The house has its own Caribbean charm to it and I can see this being a perfect villa for a bigger family.
Pointe Milou was my favorite neighborhood on St. Barths. I loved the rugged cliff sides that many of the villas sat on and thought the views were unbelievable.
CDM was on the top of my list in Pointe Milou. The five-bedroom villa is perched on the cliff side with great ocean and island views. There was so much space in this house on the pool deck and in the living room, it felt like a great house for a family reunion. I loved how you could look down over the cliff and see the waves crashing against the rocks.
Villa PYR, a three-bedroom on Pointe Milou, was also one of my favorites on the island. The double infinity pool was something I had never seen before and the high ceilings and sleek kitchen gave the house a sophisticated feel.
Le Barthelemy hotel was our first of three hotel tours. The director of Sales and Marketing, Samantha Puissant, gave us a tour of the hotel and we were very impressed with the recovery that had been made since Irma. The hotel was very busy with guests swimming in the pool and eating lunch at the hotel restaurant. I really enjoyed the rooms we saw at Le Barthelemy. The Ocean View Plunge pool rooms had their own outside deck and small pool. The rooftop bar, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot looked like a great place to enjoy a cocktail at sunset. There is a DJ or live music at the bar from Thursday to Sunday. Everyone at Le Barthelemy was extremely friendly and it felt like the perfect place for a relaxing vacation.
The Christopher Hotel in Pointe Milou was my favorite out of the three hotels we visited. I loved the setting of the restaurant right on the water looking out to St. Martin and other dotted islands in the distance. We walked through the spa, which was also located right on the edge of the ocean, and the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks was so relaxing. The “Ocean Deluz Terrace” was the nicest room we saw in the hotel with a stunning ocean view and spacious bathroom. The rooms at Hotel Christopher felt very private and had a laid back feel. Ben and I were lucky enough to enjoy lunch at the Mango Beach Club, which is right on the water and next to the hotel pool. This was my last lunch on island and it did not disappoint.
We ended our busy week on St. Barths with a tour of the Manapany hotel in Anse de Cay. The hotel has 43 rooms, each room has a sea view. The hotel has a sand beach that has swimming access. Although Le Barthelemey was located on the lagoon, and had swimming access, the beach at Manapany felt like a true Caribbean white sand beach. The rooms of the hotel are lining the hillside in Anse de Cay and there is a two-level villa offered on property called Villa Creole. The two level, two bedroom villa is located directly on the beach. I really enjoyed the style of this villa, which featured natural materials and had a Caribbean beach house feel. As a result it was much different than many of the modern white villas we saw during the week.
Our first night on-island we picked up pizza from L’Isoletta, which was delicious. The dinner highlights of the trip were Black Ginger, Orega and Bonito.
I really enjoyed the atmosphere in Black Ginger. The large portrait photos on the wall are really well done and the food is fantastic. I had the “Black Ginger Salad” to start and the Lemon Grass dish for an entre.
Orega was my favorite dinner on St. Barths. The service was attentive and the food was incredibly flavorful. The spicy Tuna roll was probably the best sushi I have ever had and the Chilean sea bass was a favorite.
On our second to last night in St. Barths we had dinner at Bonito. The atmosphere was energetic with a DJ playing music and large groups enjoying dinner. I ordered the beef tenderloin with bordelaise sauce, which was rich and perfectly cooked!
At the end of this whirlwind of a week I felt I had a much better sense of the island. Not only in the different neighborhoods on St. Barths but also a general feel for the island. Lastly I enjoyed walking the streets of Gustavia at night and seeing the lively restaurants and shops that I have heard about so often. I felt very lucky to be able to experience such a special place. Thank you WIMCO, Tim, Stiles, and Anne Marie for making this trip possible. It is a trip I will never forget!