It's old news. It’s been a record cold and snowy winter in the city. For me, it’s about time to end this long hibernation. I would like to blame the winter storms, my newborn daughter, all of my three girls, or family matters for my hiatus, but I won’t. Truth is life dumped a lot of stuff on me - some sad, some good- and forced me to check out of this blogosphere. But now I’m back.
Talking about the cold, I did manage to escape it, as I traditionally do every January or February to Saint Barthelemy, a quick plane ride from JFK. This French island is my favorite in the Caribbean for several reasons: the food, the scene, the stores, the service. The latter comes as a surprise I know, (let’s face it, the combo service + French are not to be taken for granted), but compared to other islands in the Caribbean, they are so much more professional and friendly in Saint Barts.
This time we took a day trip to Anguilla, to Cap Juluca to be precise, and were greeted by the worse customer service I’ve ever encountered. Our concierge at Eden rock reserved tee times for our husbands at their property and made sure my friend and I could use their beach chairs while they played golf and before we had lunch there (awful, btw, or ok - if you go by Aruba standards.) We were treated as if we were fugitives arriving on an illegal boat, and had to beg to sit in one of their many empty chairs. And when asked for a towel, were told they were not authorized to do so. And that coming from the concierge! Wow. No comments.
Bad experiences aside, here are my top tips for St Barts, after a decade of yearly short visits:
Rent a boat: Best way to go snorkeling and visiting all the beaches in one day. Do NOT use Master Pilou, bad experience as well. This time we met the guys from St Barth Sailor. Our captain actually left Master Pilou because he “was tired of unhappy customers”. I have to second that. www.happysail.fr +590 690 18 60 66
My list is in order of personal preference. Everything on here is fantastic. You have to see for yourself.
Maya. The most authentic and delicious of all. My favorite by far.
Tamarin : magical atmosphere in the garden, have a drink under the tamarind tree before dinner
L’esprit de saline: nice outdoor seating, all open and relaxed
L’Isola: very good Italian, but feels like you are in a posh city restaurant
Le Gaiac at Le Toiny: formal, around the pool, romantic
Pacri: Italian in a cute villa (same owners as Villa Pacri in the Meat Packing District)
Dearly missed: Francois Plantation, which closed a few years ago. Is there a sign up sheet requesting resuscitation somewhere?
1 Nikki Beach on a Sunday. Party time.
2 La Plage
3 La Case at L'Isle at Isle de France
4 Do Brasil. Casual and beachy
1 Top $tars:
2 Eden Rock
3 Le Toiny
4 Isle de France
5 Le Sereno
Chic décor, lovely properties:
1. La Banane
3. Emeraude Plage
There are more than words to express what St Barth represents. I made a small movie that tries to capture the unique ambiance of this special piece of heaven in the ocean. I hope you enjoy it.