DISCOVER

Dreaming in French

November 29, 2018

DIF Opens All Doors For You!

Visiting St Barth? Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Dolce & Gabbana, Bulgari, Carla’s, Prada, Chopard... all of these luxury boutiques intrigue you, but you don’t have time to go shopping, or the hours of the shops are not convenient for you?

With several years of experience in the universe of luxury brands and fashion around the world, and most recently in St Barth, Annelie offers her services as the perfect Personal Shopper. 

Dreaming in French provides a personalized shopping experience: 

- Reservations for fitting sessions in luxury boutiques

- Pre-selection by size and style, according to your wishes

- Extended hours for the boutiques of your choice at any time that is convenient between 1pm and 4pm

- Delivery of clothing to your villa or your yacht

- Expertise and advice on the best fashion styles

- Reservation for a lunch stop in the one of the best beach restaurants: Shellona, Pearl Beach, or Nikki Beach.

Key Points: A solid understanding of luxury, a perfect knowledge of St Barth, and the desire to present new, more seductive shopping tours 

Plus: This Personal Shopper speaks several languages: English, French, German, Dutch, and understands Italian and Spanish

By reservation

ADDITIONAL INFO:

Dreaming In French

Cell: +590 (0) 690 552 492

From US: 011 590 690 55 24 92

annelie@dreaming-in-french.com

DISCOVER

Ermenegildo Zegna: made-to-measure atelier

September 24, 2018 

A Sophisticated, Private Service

Ermenegildo Zegna has inaugurated its made-to-measure atelier right in the heart of Milan, providing a bespoke tailoring service for the luxury fashion house. This atelier is a unique place, a concept inspired by the idea of elegance: intimate and designed with a distinctly Milanese touch.

A special rendezvous for men who are invested in good taste and have the means to fill their closets in keeping with their lifestyle, their desires, and their needs. This service provides a complete made-to-measure wardrobe: from tailored suits and shirts to sportswear, by way of leather pieces, knitwear, and shoes, based on the client’s preferences. Each client has complete latitude to bring personal modifications to the characteristics of each item, as so desired. 

Every garment is made at the atelier, by hand, and with a passion for work well done. Lightness, attention to detail, extensibility, and suppleness are the key words that define the fabrication of these works of art, where savoir-faire and workmanship go hand-in-hand.

Each made-to-measure garment is created by and for the client. A bespoke suit requires 200 steps, during which time 150 pieces are assembled, representing as many as 75 hours of work. 

Key points: This new atelier offers an exclusive made-to-measure service elevated to the highest level of luxury. Impeccable cut and confection are guaranteed, with an expression of the very best in artisanal savoir-faire and a touch of modernity for such classic items of clothing.

Plus: The atelier evokes iconic references from the 1950s, the golden age of the city that recalls refinement and timelessness, and is accented with tributes to the architects that fashioned the public and private identity of modern Milan: Giò Ponti, Alberto Portaluppi, and Luigi Caccia Dominioni. 

By appointment

Location: 
Ermenegildo Zegna, 26 via Montenapoleone, Milan

DISCOVER

FRESH WEST INDIES: Good For Your Health!

August 9, 2018 

Ready to eat!

Sushi, poke bowls, tartar, bo bun, burgers, Thai specialties, colorful salads… the local Fresh West Indies caterer is at your side from breakfast through dinner and all special occasions. For picnics on the beach, private parties in villas, or quick lunches, enjoy our sweet and savory specialties!

You’ll find our homemade daily specials at the AMC Superette or contact Fresh West Indies to request at-home delivery!

It’s all fresh and perfectly seasoned, you couldn’t ask for more!

Discover: 

ST-BARTH : Fresh West Indies

DISCOVER

St-Barth: Le Papillon Ivre

May 16, 2018

A Total Gourmet Experience

For those who love excellent cuisine and enjoy fine wines, Le Papillon Ivre is the perfect place to try a new vintage paired with a selection of charcuteries and tapas for dinner. Take a seat on the terrace for an intimate moment or inside close to the kitchen for more conviviality.

Where to find the bistro:

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO>> Papillon Ivre

DISCOVER

Stratajet

April 25, 2018

Private Jets At Your Fingertips

How did you come up with this idea to revolutionize the reservation process for private jets, and develop this service?

After serving in the British armed forces, I spent some time as a freelance pilot. One day, I was flying from Nice to London, without passengers as the plane simply needed to be moved. Problems such as that, from inefficiency to wastefulness, cause prices to go up for passengers and prevent private planes from being considered a valid form of transportation.

My idea was to use technology to streamline the traditional reservation process for a private jet. I started by creating revolutionary software to help make these jets more accessible to the general public. 

How does the application work?

The major problem in reserving a private jet rests in the complexity of calculating the cost of a flight. There are millions of variables and as every flight has to be calculated from zero due to the customized nature of the industry, it takes even the most experienced professional about a half of an hour to provide an estimate.

To put this process online, we needed to assemble an enormous amount of data and code it using an extremely complex algorithm, in order to make the calculations in just a few seconds.

What are the advantages of this service compared to a traditional reservation service?

There are considerable differences between Stratajet and the more traditional private jet reservation services. 

Private jets, at first glance, are a hassle-free luxury, but the means to reserve them were not always so easy. Brokers are in charge of supervising all requests for a flight. They submit these requests to a network of operators who must manually calculate the cost of each flight, case by case. A certain number of companies claim that they have automated this process by offering a website that transmits the request for a flight, but these requests are still transmitted to the operators.

On the other hand, the Stratajet technology eliminates the need for a broker and does all of the calculations directly for the operators. As a result, clients are not subject to these intermediary steps and can retain total control of their own reservation.

What is the average time to reserve a flight?

Thanks to the technology running behind the scenes, the reservation process for a flight on this system is incredibly simple. Because we know the exact placement of all the planes in the system at any given moment, in just a few seconds clients can search and compare the exact prices for private jets and make immediate reservations with a credit card or even a digital imprint via Apple Pay. The entire process can be done in less than two minutes based on the connection to the site or the app.

For last-minute requests, it is also possible to reverse a plane as little as three hours before take-off.

What kinds of planes are available to your clients?

Two-seaters, turbo-props, every high-end, and long-range... There are 1,250 planes in the Stratajet system. For example, the Cessna Citation Mustang, a rather lightweight plane with a capacity for six passengers, is perfect for a group of friends! For onboard service, Stratajet maintains staff 24/7 to meet all supplemental requests made by travelers.

Key points: Stratajet is a reservation platform for private jets. Available on the web as well as a mobile app, for instant access to private jets with going through a broker and reserve your flight at attractive rates.

Plus: The beauty of Stratajet is that you can reserve a private jet to and from any airport. Stratajet is operation 44 countries across Europe and while there are but 500 airports available in these countries for commercial planes, private planes can use more than 1,200 airfields. This gives clients greater flexibility in terms of where they can travel and get closer to their final destination. 

Contact: 

charter@stratajet.com

Interview with Jonny Nicol, Founder and CEO of Stratajet

DISCOVER

25 QUARTER

November 13, 2017

A Unique Gastro Pub Concept 

A homerun since it reopened, 25 Quarter features a unique Gastro Pub concept with a choice of tapas, updated tacos, ceviche, boa bun... and the staff awaits you in a relaxed ambiance right in the heart of Gustavia. 

Definitely worth stopping in for drinks, snacks, or dinner as of 6pm, and enjoying the creative menu.

DISCOVER

Euro Gourmet

October 13, 2017

So difficult to resist the temptation!

Euro Gourmet is overflowing with Italian treasures, each more delicious that the next: wine, charcuterie, cheese, terrines, and olive oil. So difficult to resist the temptation! Those who do not yet know Euro Gourmet, the exclusive distributor of fine Italian products on the island for the past 10 years, will want to make it their favorite detour.

 

 

 

 

DISCOVER

Bohemia : new gypsy chic restaurant in St Jean

Bohemia was born in December 2016, in the heart of Saint Jean, through the desire to create a restaurant in harmony with the authenticity and beauty of the island. Avoiding mass press, promotion & PR, they wanted to offer an exclusive experience for their guests— fresh homemade food in a simple & chic atmosphere—creating an elevated, multi-sensory experience and not just ‘another meal.

Bohemia presents fresh food in a chic tropical atmosphere. The menu is under the direction of executive chef Matthieu Savariaud, executed daily by Nicolas Bisani. Savariaud has worked at the famous Connaught in London, in Helene Daroze’s Kitchen, and owns and runs his own restaurant, Es Terral in Ibiza, bringing to the island a fusion of French Mediterranean cuisine with strong influences from Spain & Ibiza.

Daily in the kitchen, the chef creates dishes that blend classic French techniques and local ingredients. Fresh cuisine and a ‘Gyspster’ chic atmosphere make you feel at home enjoying a good meal with friends & family. 

DISCOVER

Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa

As pretty as a postcard! 
Shimmering blues of a lagoon, a beach of soft white sand, a tableau of small, multi-colored boats bobbing at anchor. Farther out, the coral reef and the small island of Tortue, where the waves dance off the rocks in an impressive display of white foam.

Welcome to the world of natural beauty at Le Barthélemy, the magnificent 5-star hotel and spa that recently opened in Grand Cul de Sac.

This exceptional environment is reflected in the hotel’s beautiful guest rooms, where renowned interior designer Sybille de Margerie has created a stunning mix of modernity and authentic West Indian style. Elegant and refined, the décor is inspired by the traditions of the island. Headboards in woven straw, sculptures of coral and resin, bleached driftwood. The harmony of colors, turquoise and fuchsia, evoke the sea and local flowers. The rooms are luxurious, spacious, and luminous with magnificent views of the ocean, the garden, or nearby hillsides. The lovely, peaceful atmosphere of the hotel continues right out onto the terrace, and a pool deck that looks toward the horizon.

Le Barthélemy entrusted the creation of the menus for its restaurant to Guy Martin, the prestigious chef at Le Grand Véfour in Paris. For the clients of the hotel, as well as island residents, he crafted a very interesting menu with a blend of French, West Indian, and international flavors. The ambiance is both chic and relaxed. In the evening, soft light and the quiet presence of the ocean right outside add a note of magic to your meal. A lighter cuisine and rotisserie set the mood at lunch, while executive chef William Gérard elaborates a delicious Sunday brunch.

Imagined as a sanctuary of wellbeing, the spa is a cocoon of calm and relaxation. Equipped with a sauna, a shower with essential oils, and a fitness center with a staff of expert therapists and professional estheticians that use the restorative properties of seawater to optimize the quality and efficacy of their treatments. An extraordinary experience to enjoy with total serenity in the magical setting of this hotel paradise!
 

DISCOVER

Villa Marie saint-barth

It is a delicate business to take a legend from the past and bring it successfully into the present.

In the 90s, the Béret family dedicated itself to François Plantation, a boutique hotel in today’s terms. In reality, a large home with a dozen bungalows discretely scattered on a magnificent property in the hills of Colombier. Clients were received as if they were old friends, gathering in the evening, along with island residents, in the elegantly designed dining room that had a reputation for excellence.

One family’s story is now that of another, as in late 2016, François Plantation was replaced by Villa Marie Saint-Barth, named after the daughter of the new owners, Jean-Louis and Jocelyne Sibuet, French hoteliers who have properties in The Alps, Provence, and along the Mediterranean coast.

Villa Marie Saint-Barth is an exceptional property. A vibrant testimony to the success of maintaining its authenticity and a lovely blend of the timeless charm of Saint Barth’s past and the refined sophistication of the island today.

The setting is still every bit as gorgeous, in the heart of a tropical garden lush with bougainvilleas, traveler’s palms, and mango trees. The villas, now completely renovated, are naturally integrated into this private oasis. The terraces are designed as open-air living rooms, the views are beyond breathtaking, overlooking the bay of Flamands down below, with its long stretch of white sand and enchanting shades of blue, and the nearby and far-off hillsides reveal the sumptuous landscapes of Saint Barthélemy.

The rooms are beautifully decorated with soft and bold colors—sky blue, vibrant turquoise, bougainvillea pink, and luminous yellow. Colors that are bright, yet harmonious, reflecting a bohemian, tropical sprit. Jocelyne Sibuet traveled the world seeking small things that work well together in the larger picture. Fabrics from India, Pakistan, and Peru, lamps from Indonesia and North Africa, or fabulous chests of drawers from Syria—the interior design adds elegant ethnic touches to the Provencal style and Colonial charm of the rooms. The large leather armchairs were carefully restored and the soul of François Plantation was respectfully honored.

The restaurant has kept its legendary name and its sophisticated cuisine. The chef, Emmanuel Motte, has used his talent to create an elegant, modern menu that marries French gastronomy with traditional West Indies cuisine: house-made foie gras, Miéral poultry, spicy red tuna, or lobster flambéed with aged rum.

This magnificent gourmet experience transforms the nostalgia for the past to the pleasure of the present, while promising a brilliant future for this incomparable five-star hotel.

DISCOVER

Saint-Barthélemy-Rémy de Haenen Airport

The island has paid homage to Rémy de Haenen, an illustrious character in the history of Saint Barth, by renaming the Gustav III Airport as the Saint-Barthélemy-Rémy de Haenen Airport, as of October 30, 2015.

 

Until 1945, the year when Rémy de Haenen landed the first airplane on the island, the residents of Saint Barth had only seen these “winged beasts” up in the sky. The rugged topography of the island did not make it easy to envision the construction of an airport, with the only possible site that could be used for such an infrastructure in Saint Barth being the savannah in Saint Jean. It was there that the future mayor of Saint Barth touched down, on a narrow strip of land bookended by a hillside on one end and the sea on the other.

 

Rémy de Haenen greatly advanced tourism and economic development in Saint Barth. A larger-than-life character, he arrived on the island by chance yet became an important political figure on the local scene. For 21 years he served as the island’s departmental representative, as well as mayor from 1962-1977. He was also the first to promote a special legal status for Saint Barth, a position which Bruno Magras, president of the Collectivity, mentioned in a public tribute to Remy de Haenen at his funeral in August 2008, recalling that this former mayor was the first to request—on behalf of his municipal council—a special status when French president Charles de Gaulle visited Guadeloupe in 1964.

 

The months following Remy de Haenen’s initial landing saw the clearing of this plain for an airstrip. The only tree standing in the middle of the future runway was cut down and the swamp along the beach was drained. Improvements were made little by little to this small strip of land that sat beside a small departmental road. First came the construction of a hangar, not far from the hillside that dominated the site called “the chateau,” where the two or three private planes that used the runway were parked in bad weather. Next, the grass landing strip, also popular with grazing sheep, was transformed into a paved runway about a half a mile long in the 70s. This runway is one of the shortest in the Caribbean, after that of Saba, and is why pilots who land here today need special certification to do so. 

 

In the early years, the landing strip was only used by those privileged few who had their own planes, but with the development of regional airlines, two aviation buffs formed Windward Islands Airways in the early 60s. This first airline in Saint Barth had regular flights to and from Saint Thomas, with passengers contentedly awaiting their planes by sitting in the shade of a large tree off the to the side. Not far from there, the first offices for Windward Islands Airways were built, followed by those of Air Guadeloupe and Virgin Air. The control tower did not exist until the construction of the terminal in 1984. Before that time, the control tower was a car that moved from place to place for landings and take-offs.

 

However, Jo Félix’s bar, currently upstairs at the airport, already existed, allowing passengers the opportunity to enjoy a cool drink, or even better a popular Ti-Punch, while waiting for their flights.

 

The new Gustav III Airport in Saint Barthélemy opened its doors on October 1, 1984. Worthy of its royal name, the facility comprised a terminal with updated arrival and departure halls. Little by little, the airport has since grown to what it is today: a modern, public space of 8,500 square feet, that has seen an increase in passengers for the past five years, with an increase of 29.5% since 2010. In 2015, for the first time since 2000, the number passed the threshold of 180,000 passengers, representing a 6.9% hike over 2014. 

The cause of this good news includes an increase on the international level (+7.4%) with 136,815 passengers, and nationally (+5.4%) with 43,282 passengers. 

Throughout 2015, in terms of connections, Juliana Airport represented 85% of international traffic and 65% of global traffic, or an increase of 5.8% in one year. Other international destinations on the upswing are San Juan (+21.8% in one year), St Thomas (+8.9%), Antigua (+8.8%), and Anguilla (+2.6%). 

As for national traffic, flights from St Barthélemy/Pointe-à-Pitre were strong (+9%) with 30,242 travelers. Only the connection St Barthélemy-St Martin Grand Case showed a light decrease of 1.9%. 

In 2015, there were 91,666 passengers departing, compared to 86,172 in 2014 (+6.4%). As for arrivals, there was an increase of 7.4%, with 88,431 passengers landing on the island.

By the end of 2015, there were 35,555 takeoffs and landings, for a spike of 3.2%, With maximum of 258 flights recorded on January 3, 2015, and the busiest time at the airport from 5pm-6pm on December 27, with 38 flights coming and going in just one hour.

The tonnage of freight reported is also on the rise with an augmentation of 13.7% for a total of 274 tons transported, primarily arriving on the island (176 tons), compared to just 98 tons listed as leaving St Barth. 

The only thing that has not changed is the thrill of excitement when coming in for the spectacular landing at the Saint-Barthélemy-Rémy de Haenen Airport.

© A c c e s s Keno Gauvrit Beblo

DISCOVER

The Port of Saint-Barthélemy

Not much more than 60 years ago, Saint Barth was a quiet little island with hardly a car or plane. All imported merchandise came in by boat, along with the mail. As the population grew, the size of the main town grew as well, and with the implementation of modern techniques, the port developed into the island’s active Port of Gustavia.

In The Old Days

The harbor of Gustavia was always formed in the shape of a U. In the early days of the 20th century, a schooner, the "Marie Stella,” ensured mail service and made a weekly trip between Guadeloupe, Saint Barthélemy, and Saint Martin, then back to Guadeloupe. The town did not yet have electricity, but oil lamps were lit as daylight faded. At precisely 8pm, the Swedish clock tower rang to announce the time to return home. Families had their own little docks along the port, as well as a rowboat, which was used to go back and forth from the larger vessels to the shore, carrying merchandise that was then stocked in a family warehouse next to the dock. The Beal family dock, for example, was located near the old sailing school at the far end of the dock, not far from the Anglican Church. From the rowboats, certain sacks of goods were loaded onto the shore then carried to outlying neighborhoods on the backs of men or a donkey. The roads, made of gravel or dirt, were rare at the time. Only one road led from Gustavia to Lorient, then Lorient to Saline. It wasn’t until 1939 that the first car appeared on the island, brought by boat from Martinique. For its owner, a resident of Gustavia, the drive to Lorient took one hour. To reach the windward side of the island, one had to walk along paths, or for the lucky ones, go by horseback or on a donkey. Animals were purchased on neighboring such as St Kitts, St Martin, or Tortola, and brought back by boat.

Only sloops, small single-hull sailboats with shallow draft, could pull up to the small stone dock located where dQuai du Général de Gaulle is found today. Other boats, of larger tonnage, were obliged to anchor at the mouth of the harbor, as the port was too shallow for them. To enter the port at night, the sloops used two small lights as indications as the lighthouse did not yet exist. Where the port office is now located, there were two lanterns that served as signals that allowed the boats to enter the port. Every evening, Mr. Cagan, the person in charge of these lanterns, was sure to light them. At dawn, he returned to extinguish these signals that were of utmost important to sailors. It wasn’t until 1950 that the residents of Saint Barth requested the deputy for the region, Mr. Valentino, to do what it would take to have a lighthouse built at the entry to the port.

Transforming The Port

The lack of depth to the port made it impossible for large ships to come to the dock. It was Rémy de Haenen, former mayor of Saint Barthélemy (see article about Gustave III Airport) who had the idea to dredge the harbor after hurricane "Dog" in 1950. The sand removed from the harbor was placed on a nearby shoreline to create a beach where there were only rocks. As this sand was filled with thousands of tiny shells that could be seen on the new beach, it took on the name of Shell Beach, as it is still called today. After dredging the port, a solid dock built of concrete replaced the old one, which had become too narrow. Ships of all sizes could now easily anchor and unload their merchandise. The area around the port was still fairly undeveloped, and other than several warehouses and public toilets, the streets were not built up as they are today. There were just a few Swedish building in ruins, such as the Wall House, two or three businesses between La Pointe and the center of town, as well as a few private houses. The locals did not usually build their homes too close to the shore in order to protect them from tropical storms and hurricanes. Few of today’s businesses existed back then, other the Le Select, the island’s first bar, which was already up and running. It was then located where the jewelry store Goldfinger is currently, and later moved to the building that we all know today.

In the beginning of the 1980s, faced with growing tourism and an important increase in shipping traffic as well as sailboats and motor yachts, local politicians decided it was time to build a commercial port. Container ships and oil tankers could now unload their cargo in Public, while the docks and moorings in Gustavia were reserved for pleasure boats. And the town itself began to develop quickly. The building of businesses and homes multiplied at a rapid rate, the Swedish ruins were restored, and Gustavia became a proper portside town in just a few years, with its new town hall, its tourist office, its port offices, its museum, and elegant shops and restaurants.

The Anchor At The “Place du Centenaire”

In the early 1980s, the captain of a ship remarked to the harbor pilot that would guide his boat into the Port of Gustavia that a weight had been pulling on his cable since the boat left Saint Thomas. Arriving in front of Corossol, the object got stuck on the bottom of the sea and the cable gave way. At the time, harbor pilot Romon Beal made a mental note to remember where this object had disengaged itself under the water. After unloading its cargo, the ship sailed toward other islands without further incident. But Beal did not forget the misadventure and wanted to know what kind of object had weighed down this vessel. Remembering the points of reference to locate the spot, he dove 18 meters under the sea, and to his great surprise he found a gigantesque anchor. After much difficulty in bringing it to the surface, Beal decided to donate the anchor to the municipality. To this day, the anchor remains at the “Place du Centenaire,” in front of the Anglican Church in Gustavia. The origin of this anchor, which weighs close to 15 tons, is still visible. As you approach it, you can see the words "Liverpool, wood, London" on the side. Historians think that it belonged to an English ship that carried goods from island to island in the 19th century.  

For additional practical information about the Port of Gustavia: www.portdegustavia.fr

DISCOVER

St Barts with Kids

Are you planning on coming to St Barth and wonder what to do on the island with your kids? Don’t worry! St Barth is a great place for a family vacation with lots of fun activities for old and young alike. Check out our insider info on the beaches kids like best, as well as playgrounds, hikes, and restaurants perfect for family meals.

 

Beaches For Kids

Beaches such as St Jean, Lorient, and Grand Cul-de-Sac are the safest places to swim with kids. In St Jean, there are two beaches to visit; on the airport side, a windsurfing club rents boards for kids, and on the side referred to as “Pelican beach,” the calm, sheltered waters are perfect for families with young children, who can also play in the sand along the water’s edge. In Lorient, just a few minutes walk to the left of the surfing club, there are magnificent natural pools along the beach that allows youngsters to swim in shallow, clear warm water protected from the waves by the coral reef. By putting their heads under water for a second, they can see tiny, multi-colored reef fish. Older kids might want to try surfing or paddle boards, and can ask at the surf shack about classes taught by professional instructors. The whole family might enjoy snorkeling to observe the underwater flora and fauna seen close to the shore. In the late afternoon, it is very picturesque to watch the fisherman come in to unload the catch of the day.

At the lagoon in Grand Cul-de-Sac, kids as young as five or six can take a look at the sea turtles and fauna in the seabed thanks to the transparent bottom of the kayaks rented by the à Ouanaloa Dive club, while older kids can try kite-surfing. There are also the popular pedal boats that make for lots of family fun. Other beaches also have paddleboards and Seabobs to add to many hours of fun in the sun or on the waves.

The fiery sunsets are not to be missed at Shell Beach, where the sand is covered with small shells and the rocky cliffs are of great interest to kids, who like to scale them while their parents enjoy cocktails and tapas. A perfect beach for swimming in the winter when the water is calm, while the waves in St Jean and Lorient are too rough.

When spending a day on a boat, don’t forget to plan a stop in Colombier, where the bay is part of the marine park, and the small beach lends itself to games on the sand, swimming, and snorkeling. You are likely to meet a sea turtle and see plenty of starfish.

For a lovely walk in the late afternoon, the little beach in Grand Fond allows you to enjoy the most undeveloped side of the island. The beach is made of coral and a great place to visit, but it is also the beginning of a hike that takes those adventurous enough to the natural pools along the coastline. This hike should only be done during the day, with the proper shoes, sunglasses, a hat, suntan lotion, and a bottle of water. Please make sure your kids are old enough to walk for a half an hour along a narrow trail along the edge of a cliff.

The small village of Corossol has a little beach where the calm water lends itself to swimming as well as games for kids, and local families enjoy this beach at the end of the afternoon. It is also a good place to see the traditional handiwork that uses woven palm fronds that have been dried and braided, a craft that seems to be dying out but is kept alive by a few older women in the neighborhood who make lovely hats, baskets, and other items.

 

What Restaurants Are Kid Friendly?

Most hotel restaurants are set up to welcome kids with families staying at the hotel (kids’ menus, highchairs, beach games, babysitter…). Don’t hesitate to ask the concierges about special kids’ programs, and be sure to make reservations early enough to jive with your schedule.

On the beach in St Jean, Tom Beach and Eden Rock are among the hotels that welcome families for a memorable day at the beach, with lunch with feet practically in the sand, swimming, and relaxing on chaise lounges until sunset. The Cheval Blanc Isle de France on the beach in Flamands, like the Christopher Hotel in Pointe Milou and Le Guanahani and Le Barthélemy in Grand Cul-de-Sac, welcome families for lunch and the kids can alternate taking swims in the ocean or in the pool, as well as play on the beach.  

Many of the restaurants on the island have great menus for kids. We recommend La Gloriette in Grand Cul-de-Sac, which has delicious pizzas and cheeseburgers for dinner, which kids love, and a varied menu for lunch. The restaurant is along the beach, so while waiting for the meal the kids can play amongst the tables or in the sand. With an ambiance more on the chic side, yet still relaxed and welcoming, Le Tamarin in Saline with its playroom for kids with little cars, a fire station, children’s books, and coloring books. In the garden you might find a friendly cat or two brightly colored parrots, as well as small turtles that swim in the lily ponds. There is also a ping-pong table, foosball, and seating under the hundred year-old Tamarind tree, and you could easily spend an afternoon in this restaurant whose friendly staff pays great attention to the clientele.  A must on your island itinerary! Another spot not to miss is the beach restaurant for lunch at Le Toiny, where you will often see surfers riding the waves. Kids can play on the beach or in a coconut grove, but please note swimming is not allowed here due to strong, dangerous currents that only the surfers can safely navigate as they practice their sport.

 

Playgrounds and Arts & Crafts

In St Jean, close to the sports stadium, a playground is open for kids 3 to 10 years old, every day 9am-7pm, and it can get surprisingly crowded in the late afternoon. Popular with local families, it’s a great place for moms to meet each other while the kids play. Also in St Jean, the Blue Gecko is a studio for painting on ceramics and other arts and crafts for kids accompanied by an adult. In Flamands, Vicky’s Féérie is a fun spot for various activities including drawing, painting, collages, etc. Run by Vicky, the originality of things offered appeals to both boys and girls. Vicky is an adorable, capable young woman to whom you can safely entrust your children for these three-hour ateliers, and they won’t want to leave when you come to pick them up (as I found out myself with my 7 year-old son). In Lorient, there are films in the outdoor “cinema” at AJOE, which attract the teenagers on the island. Visitors are always welcome to watch a film under the stars and experience movies St Barth-style.

 

Hiking With The Family

From Flamands you can hike along the cliffs to get to the beach in Colombier, and it’s a great activity with kids who are old enough to walk a half an hour along a trail that is not too difficult. On the other hand, the walk starting in Colombier and leading down to the beach is too steep and difficult to attempt with young kids and their little legs. But you can drive out to the overlook in Colombier where there is an orientation table. There is also a pretty orientation table in front of the lighthouse that stands watch over the entrance to the harbor of Gustavia. It’s easy walk to the lighthouse for the family to take in the late afternoon to watch the sunset from a vantage point with a perfect view of the port. This walk also leads to Fort Gustav where you can admire the two historic canons given to the island by the Swedish Naval Museum in December 2012 in tribute to the links that remain strong between Sweden and Saint Barth, which was a possession of the Swedish crown from 1784 to 1878. On the other side of Gustavia, Fort Karl overlooks Shell Beach and its bay. A succession of wide steps allows access to the outlook point, where there is also an orientation table with the names of all the neighboring islands that are more or less visible depending on how clear or cloudy it is.  

A promenade along the docks is lovely and easy to do even with a small child in a stroller. You can walk all the way from the entry of Gustavia (near the fish market) as far as the Territorial Museum, where there are interesting exhibits of contemporary art and island heritage, plus upstairs at the territorial library you can borrow books for kids as well as adults. Kids will also have fun playing in front of the Hôtel de Ville, or town hall, where many families bring their children at the end of the afternoon with scooters, bicycles, or rollerblades. Halfway around the port, there is a huge ship’s anchor across from the Anglican Church, and both the anchor and the church are worth a visit. At the entry to town, the fish market is active early in the morning and quite interesting to see. And feeding on the fish guts in the water, large fish such as tarpon   gather near the fish market, which is also a hangout for young apprentice fishermen at the end of the day.

Starting from the ferry terminal in Gustavia, the Yellow Submarine takes you and your kids on an outing to see the underwater world, with colorful fish and shipwrecks in the harbor of Gustavia without having to get wet!

As this article points out, you can see there are lots of things for your kids to do and not be bored during your stay on the island. Have a great vacation!

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Running in St Barts

There are several options for running and jogging in St Barth.

First, the territorial stadium in St Jean, located not far from the firehouse behind the gas station in Saint Jean, is open daily as of 6:00am. It’s an ideal place to run or jog in perfect safety on a Tartan track.

For those who don’t like running in circles and prefer sweating on the island’s roads, try these spots to get started: the long, flat stretch from Grand Fond to Toiny, which provides a great way to enjoy the magnificent, unspoiled landscape on the “wild” coast and the fresh air of the ocean. Or try the Route de Saline, also rather flat, as far as the beach, in a beautiful natural environment. Be careful when running, as these roads don’t get a lot of traffic, but you are sharing them with cars and trucks that always present a danger, especially at dusk, when it is important to have a light or reflectors. If you have more experience, try running up and down the famous steep hills of St Barth, especially in the neighborhoods where there are sidewalks, such as the road that goes from Saline to Grand Fond. Without sidewalks, running and jogging are much more dangerous.

A word of advice: make sure to wear proper running shoes, as the concrete doesn’t make it any easier for your joints or your back.

For a softer surface, running on the sand may be more difficult but it has numerous benefits. The best beaches for running are Saline and Flamands, which are long, and wide enough not to bother anyone, especially early in the morning. You can also walk out to Colombier from Flamands and take advantage of the beautiful beach to get some exercise. The small beach in St Jean is also a nice place to run and the sand is harder close to the water.

There are other options such as hotel fitness rooms, Form Fitness, Ultimate Center, and Le Studio, where you can take advantage of the advice provided by a personal trainer. Or you can rent a treadmill at the Wellness Shop, which will deliver it directly to your villa. Once it is set up, all you have to do is run at your own speed while looking out at the ocean. This is a great option, as all you have to do after working up a sweat is take a refreshing dive into the swimming pool to cool off.    

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Tom's juice bar

Located in the center of Gustavia since December 2015, Tom’s Juice Bar serves delicious, energizing, and detoxifying beverages. Carole and Frédéric Pernelle have created their little oasis in a Creole cottage, renovated all in white with natural wood furniture. Their juice bar had already been open for a year in the corner of a restaurant, but today they have their own space with a terrace, much to the pleasure of their clients.

Here, one can enjoy food and beverages that are good for a healthy body! After traveling for two years in Australia, Carole and Fred discovered a new means of nutrition, and returned to the island with their heads full of new ideas. They each put their original career aside to jump into the fabrication of juices and other beverages made from fruits and vegetables. They use energizing, high-vitamin ingredients popular with Americans. And to all those involved in sports, from surfers to yogis, don’t wait another minute to try these drinks!

On the menu: smoothies (made with mangos, bananas, orange juice, and handmade vegetable milk), fruit juice, and green vegetable juice (cucumber, celery, spinach, ginger). These are all made without sugar, and perfect for detoxification! There are also salads, and snacks with dry fruit, but the real star is the acai bowl: a smoothie made with this fruit from Brazil with its antioxidant benefits, also found in fresh juice and granola. The perfect breakfast to give you a boost…for 12€!

Carole and Frédéric Pernelle will also sing you the praises of raw food. The use vegan recipes developed with chef Christophe Berg, and based on fruit, vegetables, sprouts, flowers, seeds, and oils.

For a snack or quick lunch, don’t look any further. Head right on over to Tom’s Juice Bar.

Monday-Saturday 8am–7pm

Passage de la Crémaillère, Gustavia

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Practical Information

Area/Population

Located over 5,000 miles from Paris and 1,500 miles from New York, St Barthélemy—or Saint Barth for those in the know—is located at 17°55” North and 62°50” West, to the south of the island of St Martin.

Just nine square miles (25 sq km), the island might seem miniscule, but its varied topography with numerous hills and valleys, as well as its unique lifestyle, give it a surprising and seductive charm. The most recent census in 2007 recorded 8,398 habitants, or 335 inhabitants per square kilometer.

Regarded as one of the oldest volcanic islands in the Lesser Antilles chain, Saint Barth is just as mysterious as its rugged landscape surrounded by beaches of soft white sand.

Agriculture was never possible due to dry, rocky soil, yet there is an abundance of typically tropical vegetation as well as fauna: iguanas, sea and land turtles, birds such as the pelican—mascot of the island—or the little hummingbirds that gather nectar from flowers in the gardens.

Climate/Seasons

The island enjoys a tropical maritime climate. The air temperature varies between 80°F in winter and 86°F in summer, with highs of 89/91°F in July/August.

The water temperature, rarely below 78°F, can be has high as 84.2°F during the summer months.

As is typical of tropical climes, the year in St Barth is divided into two periods, known in French as “Carême” and “Hivernage.”

The period of “Carême” runs from December 1 to May 30, with cooler air and lower temperatures. This is followed by “Hivernage,” a warmer period from June 1 through November 30, which includes the hurricane season.

Languages

The official language of the island is French, but English is also widely spoken. Certain local dialects are still in use, such as the patois heard on the leeward side of the island, and Creole, as spoken on the windward side.

Currency

The euro is the official currency of Saint Barth but US dollars are accepted almost everyplace. In Gustavia, in addition to the banks, there is a change bureau for exchanging international currency.

Time Zone/Time Difference

St Barthélemy is in the Atlantic Standard Time Zone, GMT-4.

Metropolitan France is +6 hours in the summer and +5 hours in the winter

The United States (East Coast) is- 1 hour in the winter and the same time during the summer

Russia is + 8 hours

Telephone

To call Saint Barth from France, one simply has to dial the six-digit number

To call Saint Barth from the USA, dial:

011 590 590 plus the six-digit number for a landline

011 590 690 plus the six-digit number for a cell phone

To call the USA from Saint Barth, dial 001+ area code + the phone number

Electricity

Voltage is 220 volts and 60 Hz on the entire island;

Most of the hotels and villas have 220V/110V transformers.

Drinking Water

With no rivers or natural sources on the island, the only source of fresh water was rain collected in cisterns until Saint Barth built its desalination plant.

Water is a precious commodity and should be used in moderation, without wasting a drop.

To Get To Saint Barth

Passports

Citizens of the European Union should present a valid passport of identity card. Citizens of the United States must present a valid passport. Foreigners who have a Schengen visa are obliged to also get a DOM visa extension from the French embassy or consulate the closest to their home. This visa is required for upon arrival as well as certain obligatory documents (return ticket, proof of hotel or villa, etc.).

Other foreigners should contact the French Embassy closest to their home in order to ascertain the entry conditions for the island (French Overseas Collectivity).

Please note: If you plan to visit any other islands during your stay in Saint Barth, a passport is required.

Transport

Since the runway is too short for large aircraft or jets, many international flights land at Princess Juliana Airport on the neighboring island of Sint Maarten. To get to Saint Barth from there, several local airlines fly back and forth daily. There are also charter boats and planes, and fights via San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Nature

The Marine Park of St Barthélemy was created in 1996 by ministerial decree, as part of the French network of “réserves naturelles,” and is now part of the island’s Territorial Environmental Agency. Its goal is the protection of the marine environment in five zones located around the island, and more precisely areas where there are coral reefs and underwater plant beds.

Moorings are installed in the bays of Colombier and Fourchue, and their usage is controlled by regulations set by the prefecture. The regulations outline the conditions for using the moorings (traction, tonnage, and maximum length of boats that can moor there).  It is forbidden for boats to stay in the bays of Colombier and Fourchue on a permanent basis, and any boat anchored or moored for more than seven days is considered permanent. For additional information: contact@agence-environnement.fr

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The first inhabitants of St Barth

Both the Arawak and Carib tribes made periodic visits to St Barth, but the first group of approximately 50 French settlers didn’t come to the island until 1648.

In the beginning of the Christian era, the Arawaks, a tribe from Venezuela, made their first appearance in the Antilles archipelago. Agriculturists and pacifists, they were massacred in the 12th century by the Caribs. As a result of bloody battles, the Arawaks disappeared definitively over time. Perhaps it was due to the lack of fresh water or the inhospitable topography of the island, but the Caribs never lived permanently in Saint Barth. They did however baptize the island Ouanalao (pelican) and established temporary encampments. Traces of their visits were found during the construction of the Gustave III airport in St Jean.

St Barth remained virtually unknown until 1493, when it is believed that Christopher Columbus discovered the island on his second voyage to the West Indies, and named it after his brother Bartholomew. The Spanish did not settle on the island and the years went by… until the 17th century, when the French, English, and Spanish sought to rule the Caribbean islands. They fought over ownership with cannons, and each nation desired to establish a stronghold as quickly as possible to confirm their colonial presence. According to reports from that period in time, it was in 1648 that the first colony of 40 people arrived. They had names such as Laplace, Danet, Magras, Aubin, Lédée, Questel, Bernier, Blanchard, and Gréaux. These French settlers came from Normandy, Bordeaux, Brittany, or the South of France, seeking their fortune in the West Indies. They met up with pirates who used the sheltered harbor of Gustavia (called Carénage at that time) as a discreet refuge.

 

A peaceful co-existence lasted until 1656, when the bellicose Caribs attacked the island and massacred the settlers. The result of this carnage meant that St Barth remained abandoned for the next three years. The French had taken refuge on neighboring islands, but reassured by a peace treaty, they returned in 1659. Little by little, the island began to develop. The land was divided among the families in keeping with their aptitudes: the fishermen and carpenters stayed closer to the seas, while the farmers settled near open fields. The wood of the gaïac tree served to build cottages and boats. Many of the men went to sea to fish, while the women and children cultivated fruits and vegetables. Rainwater was a precious commodity and carefully rationed. Hurricanes, epidemics, famines, and drought made life difficult for these dedicated, hardworking people, who overcame such obstacles.

In 1784, Louis XVI negotiated with Swedish king Gustave III, to exchange the island for a commercial base consisting of warehouses in Gothenburg, Sweden. At that time, St Barth was declared a “free port,” a decision that opened the door to a period of prosperity that lasted until 1813 when the island’s fortunes began to decline. Commercial competition from neighboring islands, and recurring catastrophic weather conditions convinced Sweden to propose the retrocession of St Barth to France.  A treaty was signed on March 15, 1878 and once again the French flag flew over this tiny jewel of just nine square miles.

A hundred years later, St Barth began to develop into one of the most extraordinary tourist destinations in the world, preserving its natural beauty, its fabulous white-sand beaches, and cultural authenticity, while at the same time offering luxury hotels for an exclusive clientele. Its status as a free port is one of its assets, along with restaurants serving fine French cuisine with Creole accents, a range of nautical activities, and shopping from haute couture to young designers. It all adds up to a safe, desirable destination far from the expected.

© Histoire de St-Barth aux éditions du Latanier

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