Renting a private villa is an ideal option for those concerned about social distancing while on vacation
President Bruno Magras announced a plan to re-open St. Barths’ borders to tourism starting Monday, June 22. The island’s government imposed a lockdown from mid-March to mid-May. The virus was eradicated, and there have been no active cases of COVID-19 on the island since April 20. In an official statement, President Bruno Magras said “Saint Barths is pleased to welcome you back.”
To insure that the island remains free of the virus, the government’s re-opening plan asks visitors to schedule a COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to arrival. They should bring a physical or digital copy, and present it at passport control. Those who present a negative test result upon entry can immediately move about the island freely.
If a visitor arrives in St. Barths without having a recent negative test result in hand, they will have 24 hours to go to the drive-through test center in Gustavia to be tested. Visitors will be asked to self-quarantine in their villa or hotel room until they get the test result (which will be available in less than 24 hours). Those who test negative can move freely about the island. In the event of a positive test, visitors must self-quarantine in their villa or hotel room until a negative test can be obtained.
Many of the island’s restaurants have resumed dine-in service, including popular spots Tamarin, Shellona, and Isola, with adjustments made to table spacing. See full list of open restaurants. “Life on the island has returned to normal,” added Magras. “Island beaches are open without restriction, restaurants and boutiques are operating as usual.”
Those seeking a change of scenery would do well to consider renting a private villa on St. Barths. With spacious open-air living areas, fully equipped kitchens and private pools, mentally, travelers might find the transition from their own home to a private villa the easiest. Concerns about sharing dining areas and swimming pools with groups of strangers are also abated at a private villa. WIMCO Villas, which has rented villas in St. Barths for over thirty-five years, confirms that it has modified its arrival service to reduce points of contact, and has revised villa cleaning guidelines provided to the housekeeping for the 375 private villas it represents on the island.
In tandem with renting private villas, WIMCO also offers a robust concierge service. Families can feel secure knowing that WIMCO can outfit a villa in advance to make the arrival day more seamless. “Whether you’re traveling with toddlers and need cribs and high-chairs in place, or would like to have a week’s worth of groceries pre-stocked, these are services we’ve mastered for our guests,” says WIMCO’s President Stiles Bennet. Their local WIMCO concierge team can also deliver take-out, as well as arrange private chefs, whether for seated meals, or to prep for easy self-assembly.
In terms of getting to St. Barths, San Juan Puerto Rico’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport
is currently the best hub for American clients, as St. Martin’s Princess Juliana Airport is not yet open. Tradewind Aviation flies from San Juan to St. Barths, operating a fleet of Pilatus PC-12 planes, with a flying time of roughly 50 mins. Many US cities offer direct flights to San Juan, including New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, as well as Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta. Nearby Miami and Fort Lauderdale are strong connections for those on the West coast.
Vacationers can opt-in to a suite of travel services WIMCO offers that can reduce the number of contacts while traveling. These include a luggage shipping service (less expensive than you might think) and VIP airport transfer service (for swift inter-island connections). Engage their Air Department for the best routes and book shared or private charters.
For the ultimate contact-less experience and for those who do not subscribe to membership-based charters like NetJets, WIMCO can book private jets from their home destination. WIMCO has also rolled out flexible reservation and cancelation policies to ease the mind of clients concerned about the possibility of having to change plans.
About WIMCO Villas
Recently voted one of the “Top Three” villa rental companies in the world by the readers of Condé Nast
Traveler magazine, and featured in the New York Times, and on the Today Show, WIMCO offers a selective and personally visited collection of private villas in the Caribbean and Europe. Well-traveled Villa Specialists match clients with the right villa for their preferences and needs, and then arrange every aspect of their trip, including: booking international flights, pre-stocking groceries, and meeting guests at the airport. In addition, they can arrange rental cars, restaurant reservations, and local activities, all supported by itineraries.
WIMCO’s portfolio of private villas with concierge service includes properties on eleven Caribbean islands (including St. Barths, Turks & Caicos, and Anguilla), a dozen private island resorts, and Southern Europe (including the Amalfi Coast, St. Tropez, and Mykonos). Browse villas at wimco.com or speak directly with a Villa Specialist at +1 (401) 849-8012.
WIMCO also operates a real estate sales office on St. Barths, with listings ranging from undeveloped land to spacious villa compounds. Inquiries for villa rentals or real estate sales may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org