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Thread: Trip Report: 13-20 April 2019 Les Voiles de St. Barth

  1. #1
    Valerie is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Apr 2009 Maryland Posts: 178

    Trip Report: 13-20 April 2019 Les Voiles de St. Barth

    We have just returned from out fifth visit to our favorite island and it was quite the memorable vacation! To arrive we flew in through SJU on Tradewind and I have to say it was a lovely experience! This option will definitely be our first choice in the future if schedule and budget allow. (Leaving through SXM was a miserable experience.) We arrived just before 8:00 am Saturday morning and were able to immediately head to our fantastic accommodations for the week, Villa Micalao.

    The villa is beautiful and we all felt the pictures simply do not do it justice! You can see how much thought the owners have put in to outfitting the villa and pulling together the unique and eclectic décor. The villa accommodations were perfect for our group of six including two couples and two girlfriends traveling together. The two king bedrooms are equal in every way and the third bedroom, while smaller, has been beautifully renovated and can be made up as two twins which was perfect for our friends sharing the room.

    The views were just lovely! We loved having our coffee and pastries by the pool each morning!

    (Tip: Now that it seems all villas have a Nespresso it was so convenient to make our own lattes/cappuccinos in the morning. We have an aeroccino at home but I picked up a little $12 frothing wand on Amazon for our trip and then just left it with the villa for the next guests. It worked perfectly to froth our milk for multiple beverages at a time for our group.)

    Now I will say there was one downside in that construction had just started up during our visit. A villa is being built nearby so the noise was very prominent during the day which made lounging poolside not very enjoyable during some hours. We expressed our concern to St. Barth Properties and have to say that they along with the owners were amazing to work with and very apologetic over the issue. This villa is a fantastic property and we would definitely stay there again once the nearby construction is complete. I highly recommend this property but do check on the status of the construction when looking to stay.

    We spent much of this trip relaxing, eating, beaching and shopping but there are two days I have to mention. The first being our daysail with TopLoc to view Les Voiles from the water. Renaud and his lovely wife provided a most excellent excursion and have these trips down to a science! Our group of six was joined by SB Honey and her family and also JoR so that there were 11 of us for this trip. We boarded at 10:00 and were welcomed by a light breakfast of pastries and fruit and of course unlimited wine, beer, water and soft drinks. We headed out to the start line where we were able to watch each class start the race before sailing over to Colombier for a wonderful lunch followed by a swim. We headed back to watch the end of the race and then another quick dip at Shell Beach before heading in around 4:00. If you are on island for one of the races this is simply an excursion not to be missed!

    On another day we headed to Le Barthelemy for the day and I indulged in one of the spa/lunch packages. This package is an amazing deal at 175 Euro. I received a 60 minute massage, 3 course lunch (from the regular menu) with welcome cocktail and access the beach/pool amenities for the day. If planning a massage definitely look into the packages as this was a fantastic value! The property and spa facilities are lovely and our lunches were fantastic as well. My favorite café gourmand of the trip-beautiful as well as delicious!

    For meals we had many fantastic experiences. On our arrival night we had a private chef (arranged through SBP) from Chefs XO come to our villa and he was amazing! We selected the family style barbecue menu and everything was beautifully plated (I’ve never seen salads so lovely!) and tasted just as wonderful as it looked! We had three different salads, roasted vegetables, the most delicious marinated beef and mahi and then finished with fresh fruit with chocolate sauce and meringues.

    Other memorable dinners included our first ever visit to L’ Esprit where we enjoyed duck spring rolls and foie gras topped scallops. The setting, service and food were all top notch!

    On Thursday we headed to Pearl Beach for lobster night. I have to say this meal was a total winner and a good value as well at 3 courses for 69 Euro. I enjoyed the lobster ravioli, half grilled lobster and a lovely (and delicious) lemon tart. The service here was also the absolute best of our trip. All of the servers were spot on and very efficient though we were never rushed. We actually arrived at 7:30 and were the last to leave sometime around 10:30-11:00. Our final dinner was Bonito which was a wonderful end to our trip. The cocktails were the most inventive and delicious (of course I had to have the ‘Sex in the Bath’!) and the ceviche was outstanding as you would expect!

    Our first on island lunch was at L’Isoletta for the unbeatable 3 course lunch package. I’m pretty sure this is one of if not the best lunch value on the island! On Sunday we just had to hit Nikki Beach and thanks to advice on the forum I switched us to the 12:30 seating which was perfect in terms of the environment. Lively but not crazy over the top. I couldn’t help but wonder if the food would be worth it but it absolutely was. I absolutely loved my lobster salad and the chocolate molten cake was the best we have ever had!

    Another day found us at the Manapany which seems to be quite underrated. All of us thoroughly enjoyed our meals and found the property and restaurant to be quite lovely. My beef ribs were perfectly seasoned and very tender. Our final lunch we decided to try out the Toiny Beach Club and while we enjoyed it, I won’t consider it a must do. Our meals were good but both items couldn’t compare to items earlier in the week. Frank ordered ribs which I don’t think came close to what I had at the Manapany and my lobster salad wasn’t nearly as good as my earlier one from Nikki Beach.

    Finally, for evening drinks/cocktails we headed to Le Select, Victoria, Cheval Blanc, Santa Fe and the race village bar. Victoria was beautifully done and of course has a fantastic location. We enjoyed cocktails before picking up Black Ginger to eat back at the villa. Our first visit to Cheval Blanc for the fashion show and we will definitely be back! We loved the setting and watching the show. Cocktails seemed ridiculous even by St. Barth Standards (30 Euro!) but wine was reasonably priced. We also had the opportunity to visit Santa Fe for the forum get together which was a fantastic time! We loved getting to meet other members and put faces with screen names! Lastly, if on island for a race, the village is a great place to swing by in the evening. Great environment with live music and cheap drinks-where else can you get a glass of Veuve Clicquot for only 8 Euro?!

    We did do a bit of shopping and came home with some perfect souvenirs. Frank added to his linen collection with some new shirts and shorts from Linen in Gustavia. We then headed into M’Bolo for rum but along with our two bottles I ended up with a beautiful scarf as well! I also scored one of the Veuve Clicquot SBH tins I’ve had my heart set on. They had them at the race village but they were 10 Euro less at Marche U.

    This trip was quite a memorable one and my sailor husband and friends were ecstatic to be able to visit during Les Voiles. We decided we won’t be waiting six years between trips again and are considering returning next year and bringing our children for their first visit!

  2. #2
    Tiffany is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2014 Virginia Beach, VA Posts: 746

    Re: Trip Report: 13-20 April 2019 Les Voiles de St. Barth

    Wonderful report! Sounds like you had a fantastic time and lots of yummy meals. Isoletta is one of my favorite meals too...I crave their lasagna between visits.

  3. #3
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 26,713

    Re: Trip Report: 13-20 April 2019 Les Voiles de St. Barth

    Valerie..a wonderful write up and a delight to read. Thank you. I am so glad to see you we planning ahead.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  4. #4
    dadto6 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2013 Northern Virginia Posts: 2,183

    Re: Trip Report: 13-20 April 2019 Les Voiles de St. Barth

    Hi Valerie,
    Awesome report filled with valuable info.

  5. #5
    GMP62 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2015 Martinsville, NJ Posts: 1,797

    Re: Trip Report: 13-20 April 2019 Les Voiles de St. Barth

    Great report, Valerie! I’m sorry we didn’t actually meet/speak in person at the Forum gathering at Santa was a fun evening for sure. You had a very nice trip, for sure - thanks for sharing!

  6. #6
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 9,169

    Re: Trip Report: 13-20 April 2019 Les Voiles de St. Barth

    We agree with all of your comments including Toiny Beach which was a disappointment as well for us. 30 Euros for a cocktail at Cheval Blanc is just silly. Tradewind is the way to go. Sorry about your issues with SXM. Live and learn!

  7. #7
    Jim A is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2017 NY Posts: 480

    Re: Trip Report: 13-20 April 2019 Les Voiles de St. Barth

    Fun time and good read

    Where is the race village bar located? Is it a FT place or a temporary place set up for the races

  8. #8
    KevinS is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Posts: 20,585

    Re: Trip Report: 13-20 April 2019 Les Voiles de St. Barth

    Valerie, nicely written!

    Jim, there is usually a temporary bar on the quay during major events, as a part of the race village. For Les Voiles, there was both the usual race bar and a Veuve Clicquot booth/bar.

  9. #9
    Jim A is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2017 NY Posts: 480

    Re: Trip Report: 13-20 April 2019 Les Voiles de St. Barth

    Thanks Kevin. That makes sense.
    I don't think I have ever been during a major event, but look forward to in the future. What's not to like about a Veuve Clicquot bar...

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