Quality control is a very important part of the Isle Blue experience. We never go on anyone’s word, and instead do our own in-depth field research to be sure that each villa lives up to its description, that each area is as luxurious, enjoyable and appealing as expected, and to determine how or where we can help to improve upon your experiences.
We also develop solid relationships with local vendors and service providers, all to ensure that our clients get the very best and most attentive treatment. To do this takes ongoing work, and we put our teams on the ground in each destination in order to build the connections needed to guarantee our client’s happiest holidays.
Recently, our concierge field team did a three-day research visit to St. Barts, riding the high speed ferry, conducting lengthy walking and driving tours, learning the quality of local providers and shops, and discovering any fascinating insider’s tips to share with our clients. Inspiring holidays that refresh, rejuvenate and re-energize travelers is our goal, and we hope this description of our recent field research provides an understanding of our competitive advantage and emphasis on unparalleled expertise.
Arrival and Day One of Our St Barts Inspection
We booked passage aboard the Voyager high-speed ferry from St Martin to St Barts. Arriving in the utterly charming harbor town of Gustavia, we eagerly stepped ashore and into the busy heart of town. Full of locals and visitors, it is the ideal point of arrival. Our team had a rental car, and we easily walked to the pickup point and headed into the hills towards the villa.
Driving in St. Barts is unique, and some say it requires a lot of confidence. Narrow, windy roads and some steeper inclines can demand your attention, but for those who enjoy scenic drives, it can be a delight whether you hire a car and driver or handle the driving yourself.
Our villa was a delight, tidy and with great views, it was the perfect base for our research trip. We were fortunate to stay at villa Blue Rock, in Vitet, whose owner was a gracious and warm host that took us in as family.
Energized by our journey, we decided to head to popular Nikki Beach to take in some scenery and grab lunch. Since a member of the team had already visited, the hostess in the restaurant greeted us like old friends and led us to the beachfront dining area. A popular locale, it is busy at almost all times, and yet we were delighted by the attentive and professional service.
As this visit was for research, we had several pre-arranged meetings with vendor partners in Gustavia, as well as an opportunity to head to Le Guanahani, in order to meet with our concierge team. We toured this luxury property, visited the spa, saw the villas, and wondered at the beauty and magnificence of the setting.
Dinner that evening was at the famous Bonito. There we met with the manager, who also works with our team to provide client reservations in the restaurant too. Sitting along the terrace, gazing out at the harbor, it was little wonder just why so many visitors rave about this spot. However, the signature drinks and the amazing food, ceviche was on the menu that evening, only enhanced our sense of satisfaction.
Day Two on St Barts
Today, we were to enjoy a guided tour of the island provided by our villa’s owner. Having lived for three decades on St. Barts, he is the ideal host and tour guide, and was even a founder of the original Isle de France Hotel on the opulent Flamands beachfront.
We learned a great deal about St. Barts and the many changes it has experienced in such a short time. From shifts in tourism to the rapid development of unique villas and resort properties, he helped us recognize some of the finest spots and sites. We visited our airport team, EASYWAY, who enable us to provide VIP services and streamlined flights into the island for our clients. Their dedication made it easy to see why they receive compliments from our travelers.
Back on the road, we headed to Flamands Bay in order to visit the prestigious Cheval Blanc property. We enjoyed a remarkable luncheon at their restaurant, La Case de L’Isle. Overlooking the pool, we savored our delicious meal as we enjoyed a fashion show highlighting some of the current looks available in the hotel’s exclusive boutique.
A private tour of the grounds completed our visit, and we finished up with an in-depth experience of the specialty spa. Featuring the prestigious Guerlain line of products, it is but another of the wonderful features of this property. This visit served to reconfirm precisely why Isle Blue and St. Barts Blue have partnered with Cheval Blanc and Le Guanahani to extend access to these spa services during their holiday.
So, after a day of dining and exploring the finest amenities, it was time to hit the water. Aboard the Intrepid 37, we were booked for a sunset coastal cruise as guests of Jicky Marine. Our tour took us past the village of Corossal, where we saw a few of the fisherman bringing in their daily catch from shore. We passed gorgeous Columbier Bay, Flamands, and St. Jean Bay. Tom’s Beach in La Plage and Eden Rock’s Sand Bar were busy with early evening patrons as we passed by, and we were soon in site of Gustavia, enjoying the beauty of sunset on the water as we glided back into the harbor.
Our pace picked back up when we arrived in town, and we made the quick trip to Eden Rock in order to sample the offerings at On the Rocks. We were fortunate to enjoy the newest menu items at one of the finest tables; overlooking the sands and waters of St. Jean Bay.
A beautifully paired menu featured excellent vintages and deliciously prepared foods, and the service was (as usual) flawless.
Day Three- Leaving St Barts
It was a sunny Saturday morning as we set on our journey to St Martin for another few days of inspections. We bid Marigot a fond farewell until our next trip, knowing that we could report that the destination was still impressive and full of luxurious experiences for our guests to easily enjoy.