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Our First St. Barts Trip!


New Member
Hi everyone, I have been reading this forum for the past few months in anticipation of our first St. Barth's vacation. I am not inclined to participate in forums but I benefited greatly by reading your posts so I wanted to share our first trip with you. This was the first trip that my wife and I have taken without the kids in 6 years and was in celebration of her 40th...well we say 30-10th birthday. I told her we were going to St. Barth's but didn't give her any further details. We stayed for 6 days...certainly not enough, but all we could muster with the kids at home.

We flew in on a Wednesday, used only carry on, as suggested here, in transit was simple. We used St. Barth's commuter for $120 round trip per person. We were the only two people on the thrilling flight over. We rented a mini cooper from Turbe, it was fun and the folks were nice. Even with just carry ons we packed way more than we needed...for some reason you just don't go through as many clothes during a private villa vacation on St. Barth's.

We stayed at Villa Haute Maison in Colombier. I can't imagine it being any more perfect. I rented directly from the owner, Libby Troyer. She was terrific, gracious, honest and accomadating. She warned me about a big construction project going on behind our villa. We saw it because we drove by it every day but we never heard a single hammer bang. I appreciated that she didn't want us to be surprised. The villa is spectacular, very elegant and relaxed at the same time. The details and amenities were very classy.

What a wonderful trip we had. This was our first trip to St. Barts…now we know why everyone loves it so much, 6 days was certainly not enough. However, Villa Haute Maison put us right in vacation-relaxation mode from the moment we walked through the gate. I was amazed that in such a short period of time my wife and I got totally lost in each other…a result of the setting, the ambience, and the St. Barts – Villa Haute Maison magic. I honestly can’t remember ever seeing my wife so relaxed and care free. Right now we can’t imagine ever wanting to spend our private vacation time anywhere else…we will certainly be back. It was wonderful to experience St. Barts for the very first time...the only way I can explain…,it was kind of like falling in love for the first time.

We made it to Colombier and Saline twice, Gouveneur, Shell Beach and Petit Cul de Sac once. We also took quick peeks at, Flamands, Petit Anse and Lorient. We were intent on snorkeling at Lorient to see turtles but the wind direction never cooperated, I did, however, see one while snorkeling at Saline. We enjoyed spending the sunny morning deck time at the villa and the early evening just back from the beach in the hot tub with a couple glasses of wine. Some nights we hit the showers and made it out for dinner…some nights we didn’t and just ate bread, cheese, jambon, salad and wine. Our favorite exercise/walk was to take a loop from the villa to the bakery, get a quick cappuccino, then proceed down to Flamands, walk the beach then past petit anse, out the flat path to Colombier. We would stop at Colombier, go to the far end past the rocks…shed the exercise clothes for a quick dip to cool off. Then up the steep trail back to the villa…hot and ready for the pool followed by breakfast because it is still only 8:30 in the morning! That’s a lot to enjoy before the day has even started! We discovered that salt, sand, and bathing suits chaffe more than they need to, but our discovery of being naked in the ocean came more discreetly than others. We appreciated everybody's desire to be as they pleased.

We loved the tight rough roads and the anticipation of whether another car was coming around that sharp steep uphill turn and the friendly gestures of thanks when people gave way to each other. I was enthralled by the combination of people who must be decendants from original settlers and the high end luxury seeking guests of the island. As we were walking from Flamands to Petit Anse one morning, we watched an elderly French lady with her ankle-length dress and sun hat on…her small house was on the little hillside just next to the ocean next to Flamands, the beach she was facing as she collected eggs from the chickens and placed them in a basket. Had she looked up, she would be staring directly at a high end hotel (Isle de France, I think) at the other end of Flamands. I found this inter-twining of lifestyles intriguing. As we drove from the villa, we would pass a fenced in area where men were hand chiseling rocks that were certainly used to finish walls, terraces, or floors in local villas. I drove by slowly as I loved to listen to the cadence of the hammers…the pace reminded me of a metronome. Every day I wondered who was more fortunate, the villa owners who had local skilled trades people to craft those stones or the stoneworkers that had a beautiful place for their stone work. Probably an over-romantacized picture of people banging rocks with hammers, yet I couldn’t help but appreciate that the beautiful floors that we walked on at Haute Maison were because of this same routine.

Besides our relaxed meals at the villa, our favorite lunch was at Do Brazil, we also enjoyed Santa Fe and it’s beautiful views. Our favorite dinner by far was at Eddy’s, the food was incredibly perfect. We also went to Victoria’s at Carl Gustaf and Wall House both good but Eddy’s was better. I intended to but never made it to Andy's or Le Select. I never wore shorts to dinner, but I did wear jeans dressed up one night...and yes I wore white linen pants once too...and yes I bought them just for the trip.

We did minimal shopping highlighted by a sexy new dress that I bought for my wife to wear to dinner one night (wow she looked amazing) and avocado oil from Ligne St. Barth’s for massages at the villa.

We can't wait to go back! Thanks again for everyones thoughtful information. It was a welcome resource for a new to the island couple whose trip was short enough that a wasted night at a bad restaurant would have been disappointing. Someone on this forum recommended the green papaya salad and the fresh raw fish plate at Eddy's...it was the best meal I had and the reviews of Haute Maison sealed the deal for me. We made wonderful choices because of your recommendations and reviews.




Senior Insider
You certainly made the most of your 6 days and saw alot and got to a great mix of restaurants! Sounds like a perfect trip! Now, to see if we can't lure you to stay here posting with us... }:|


Senior Insider
Wow! Kinda reminded me of the first time I stepped on the island and vowed to never stop coming back.

Thanks JL. Welcome onboard.


Senior Insider
"it was kinda like falling in love for the first time."

...it's like that EVERY time, JL! thank you for such a moving report. you obviously "felt" the island and i love that you wrote your report the way you felt it. it's a very special place. now, you are one of us...admit it!


Senior Insider
I love reports with "SBH emotion"...excellent report; can't wait till your next one!


Senior Insider
John, what a tender, heart-warming report. Yes, now you know all of our sentiments about this special place. Wonderful that you caught on to the vibe of the island immediately and enjoyed such a lovely time.




Senior Insider
Whoa! I think you've summed up just about every emotion about the island that anyone on this forum has ever felt!

Another testimonial from a satisfied customer.

Thanks for sharing, and go back to the Island, go back!


SBH Insider
Hey Man - if you like THOSE roads, you will be happy for many years on the little island.

Great report!!!

I agree, it sounds like you made the most of your time there.


SBH Insider
Great report. I can't help but want to get back myself after reading it. My wife and I have been to the Island a few times but it feels that way EVERY time. Sounds like you'll be back, and hopefully will remain an active participant in the Forum.


Senior Insider
Best trip report of the year by far! Who needs photos when one can paint word images as well as you do? :up:


Senior Insider
Great report. I especially liked the way you tuned in to the "cadence of the hammers". It's the little things, like this, which make a vacation special.
Your report made me want to go, next month...


SBH Insider
There tends to be a rotation of favorite restaurants visited with a new one or two thrown in every year. We hit Eddies I think on our third trip and have made it there twice a trip since. Great job capturing the essence of your enjoyment and the island as well.


Senior Insider
Thank you for a lovely trip report. You burnished every detail. Please stay connected to the forum---so many posters drop-in and give us a glimpse of their inner selves and then leave. We gain so much by sharing experiences & you are now not-Newbies. We'll keep the flame alive with you until your next visit.


Senior Insider

I have mentioned your trip report a couple of times to Amy today and I am hoping she is reading it now.

What an amazing recount of your trip. It is very thoughtful of you to share these memories with us. Your words are really magical and I know everyone is enjoying the post.

Best regards,


Tom Armour

SBH Member
Like you, I've never been a forum participant, and admit I "lurked" here for awhile befor joining in. You should stick around, it's a great group of people who you now share a kindred spirit with.
Beautiful trip report. It's these types of posts that get me through the periods between trips.


New Member
Wow...I'm glad you all enjoyed the report so much. These were just little snap shots of a couple of the many wonderful moments we experienced. I will try to find the time to detail some of the many others...perhaps I'll write a short story and share it with you all (that would be an experience in itself...I haven't written a story since highschool).

Be well