Wimco St Barth Properties: A New Era In Villa Rentals

A new era of real estate in Saint Barth (left to right): Carl Colletti, CFONocturne Villas; Stiles Bennet, president-WIMCO St Barth Properties; Marshall Calder, president-Nocturne Villas; Tom Smyth, president-Sotheby’s
Real Estate; Scott Simmons, CEO-Nocturne Villas. Photo by Hugo Allard.

 

Wimco St Barth Properties: A New Era In Villa Rentals

 

Two of the island’s largest and longest-tenured villa rental agencies officially merged on October 1, 2022 into a single company under the new name Wimco St Barth Properties. The original companies, which both trace their start back to the 1980’s, now operate as one at La Savane complex across from the airport in St Jean. “Our merged concierge teams and villa owner relations staff will now be working together in St Jean,” says Stiles Bennet, the US-based president of the new entity. As he points out, the new company is 100% focused on villa rentals.

CEO Marshall Calder speaking with St. Barths villa owners.

“Wimco St Barth Properties (WSBP) will now represent approximately 380 private villas for rent on St Barth, a portfolio that offers a tremendous range of options for our clients,” Bennet adds. “The company’s combined client base consists mainly of US residents who vacation in St Barth one time a year.”

One of the goals of the new company is to make the lives of the villa owners and managers easier, with one point of contact for reservations and accounting, and a larger concierge service to liaise with housekeepers to insure smooth check-ins and check-outs. “In addition, our parent company, Nocturne Villas, has made significant investments in our technology stack, which will improve the productivity of the reservations department and our local concierge operations,” points out Bennet.

Other managers in the new company’s US office include Anne-Marie Caye, director of sales, Donovan White, director of IT, Tim Dutra, controller, and Michael Bowers, operations manager. The management team in St Barth includes David Thyssen, director, Florian Solimaic, head concierge, and Benoit Meesmacher, controller and gerant.

WIMCO St Barth Properties Concierge team

 

“The new company is committed to continuing its support of good works in St Barth,” notes Bennet. “We will continue as lead sponsors of the St Barth Gourmet Festival, the Caribbean Rum Awards, The Bucket, and also the St Barth Music and Film Festivals. The company also is committed to year-round support for St Barth Essential and the youth sailing program of the St Barth Yacht Club.” On a related note, WSBP will continue to fund operations of the online forum, www.sbhonline, a non-commercial digital community of St Barth devotees.

US-Based President Stiles Bennet toasting the merger.

While this new company, Wimco St Barth Properties, focuses solely on villa rentals and concierge service, the real estate sales arms of the formerly independent companies are now completely separate: Sotheby’s Real Estate is now a separate unaffiliated company, run by Tom Smyth, with Pascale Minarou Baudouin as the head broker; and Wimco Real Estate is now a separate unaffiliated company, run by Lionel Garaix, with Doug Foregger as commercial agent.

In terms of trends, Bennett says both companies had record years for villa rentals in 2022, and the outlook for 2023 is promising. “The season in St Barth opening earlier and lasting longer. It’s become a 10-month season,” he explains. “What we used to call “the off-season” is getting stronger and it doesn’t appear that low-season demand is dependent on the island staging cultural events as a draw. The destination is so appealing in itself, with the Caribbean’s best selection of restaurants, with no mega-resorts or cruise ships, and no jumbo jets landing every hour, all of which makes it seem far more intimate than other islands.”

 

To celebrate this historic merger of leading villa rental companies in St Barts, on November 2 the management team of WIMCO St Barth Properties hosted a by invitation only cocktail party at GypSea to honor its most important local partners – the owners and managers of the villas it represents on the island.

 

 


 

Article Links:

Le Journal de Saint Barth [en Francais]

Le Journal de Saint Barth [English PDF]

Comments

Back to Top