From long-time St Barth restaurateur, Pascal Ramette.
Welcome to PaCri, A magic feel of Italy in St. Barths.
This year, Pascal Ramette is proud to welcome you in his new unique location – right on the Ocean at Hotel Manapany where he will take you to a fantastic voyage to the south of Italy.

PaCri has been the first restaurant in St. Barths to start importing fresh products and hiring its staff directly in Italy. This is how the owner, Pascal Ramette, succeeded in giving his clients such a strong message of authenticity that you will find not just in the Decor and the ambiance, but mostly in the favors of the dishes served at PaCri.

Chef Vincenzo Architravo from Naples, who has worked beside the best Italian Chefs in Italy, has managed to preserve the simplicity and authenticity in his recipes which gives all its value to Italian cuisine.

The Menu at PaCri changes on a daily base, assuring the freshness of the ingredients used for the elaboration of the dishes. The menu has a large choice of antipasti where the buratta from Puglia and the “Grandmother’s Parmigiana’ have won their success. You will also find a daily selection of fresh seafood with local fish, carpaccios and tartars as well as warm octopus salad or “Mussels alla Marinara”.
At PaCri all the pastas, breads and desserts are home made, and it is very pleasant to stop by the restaurant in the morning to watch the chefs make all of these fabulous breads, such as olive bread andfocaccias, as well as pastas including gnocchis, tagliatelle and, of course, PaCri’s famous truffle ravioli.

Chef Architravo, who has always lived near the ocean, expresses a great interest and talent for working with all sorts of fish and seafood on the grill in the tradition of southern Italian cooking.

Reservations are highly recommended
Serving Time:
Opened everyday for lunch and dinner
payments:
Visa, amex, mastercard.

Villa MGO in St. Barths

Villa MGO in St. Barths

WIMCO represents 240 private villas on St. Barths. We are glad to report that we still have two dozen villas available for the popular 2011 New Years Eve and Holiday time-frame. It is an ideal time to visit St. Barths…festive lights ring the harbor at night, music spills out of cafes and restaurants, the ocean is warm and inviting, stylish yachts lazily swing on their moorings just off-shore, and the promise of a great day and a greater night seems so attainable.

Here is a list of villas from WIMCO that still have holiday availability, sorted by bedroom size:

  • WV CAM, 1 BR, Toiny
  • WV DRE, 1 BR, Marigot
  • WV MNA, 1 BR, Vitet
  • WV ACR, 2 BR, Vitet
  • WV MBA, 2 BR, Pointe Milou
  • WV OSS, 2 BR, Gustavia
  • WV ABB, 3 BR in Vitet
  • WV AVE, 3 BR in Mont Jean
  • WV AWL, 3 BR in Pointe Milou
  • WV FCE, 3 BR in Marigot
  • WV JAX, 3 BR in Gouverneur
  • WV KHA, 3 BR in Point Milou
  • WV LBV, 3 BR in Marigot
  • WV LMR, 3 BR in St Jean
  • WV MBR, 3 BR in Gouverneur
  • WV MGO, 3 BR in Columbier
  • WV PRE, 3 BR in Gustavia
  • WV ROC, 3 BR in Petite Cul de Sac
  • WV RVD, 3 BR in Grand Cul de Sac
  • WV VIA, 3 BR in Gustavia
  • WV WYB, 3 BR in Marigot
  • WV MOZ, 4 BR in Pointe Milou
  • WV AJF, 4 BR in Pointe Milou
  • WV BRE, 4 BR in Gouverneur
  • WV EST, 4 BR in Gustavia
  • WV FRE, 4 BR in Pointe Milou
  • WV ING, 4 BR in Columbier
  • WV JOE, 4 BR in Flamands
  • WV MAP, 4 BR in Petite Saline
  • WV SFO, 4 BR in Pointe Milou
  • WV VLK, 4 BR in Anse de Cayes
  • WV PAR, 5 BR in Mont Jean
  • WV VGR, 7 BR in Gustavia

Call WIMCO’s reservations department at 1-800-449-1553 or email them at info@wimco.com to talk to a villa specialist about vacationing on St. Barths during the holidays.

Breaking news – testimonial from St. Barths vacationer who dropped in to the new Bagatelle, St. Barths on its opening weekend: Looks like it is off to a good start.

“This stylish, hip, trendy bistro located on Gustavia harbour (next door to Baz Bar) will likely be a hit restaurant of this year’s season. At a time when the island is generally quiet, Saturday night’s opening brought out a beautiful crowd and the place was packed and rocking.

Great bar, great music, excellent food and a staff that was clearly accustomed to providing the very highest level of service. World class.

When we arrived, we had several cocktails at the comfortable and well laid out bar. Later in the evening, people were several deep and clearly having a great time. The DJ was set up neatly behind the bar and the music was very now and hip. The bar staff was right there and were on top the needs of the well heeled clientele.

Dinner was super. We started off with tuna tartare and gazpacho soup and our mains were the salmon and scallops with endive. Clean, nice, well presented and perfectly cooked. We split a caramelized apple pie-ish creation with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream – very nice. We were having so much fun that we didn’t want to leave.

Net, net, if Bagatelle St. Barths was a stock, I would be long (like 13D long). Great experience, excellent & professional service, solid food and a real scene. This place gets all our stars. Can’t wait to come back here in February. Make your reservations early – you’ll need to.”

Reservations can be made in advance through WIMCO Villas’ offices in St. Barths or the US. WIMCO villa rental clients get a complimentary glass of champagne when they say “WIMCO”.

A recent trip report from a villa rental client…enjoy!

“This past July, I was transported to the island of St. Barths, which is one of the smallest islands in the Caribbean. I was raised by an active family in a sailing world so found myself somewhat reluctant to consider spending what little vacation time I had to go to some little island that many refer to as “enchanting”. What in the world was I thinking? Ok, for one or two days maybe I could sit on a beach, read a book, swim, go for a walk…go for another walk…but then what? For an entire week? Who was I kidding!? I thought for sure I would be bored, restless and simply thirsting for something to do such as pulling up a mainsail, trimming a jib, setting a course, and feeling the motion of the sea as it pounded on the hull of a sailboat. I had heard from many others about the charming allure of St. Barths and how it could capture your spirit, so I decided to see and experience first hand just what all the fuss was about.

The first challenge was to pick the best villa that suited the requirements of all the people traveling with me. We were a group of sailors and ocean lovers so the beach was our first priority. One of St. Barths’ charms is all the hillside villas with fantastic views and breezes, but we wanted to be on the beach, to be able to easily walk to it. The challenge was this precious little island has very few villas located directly on the beach; however, with the help and expertise of a seasoned villa specialist at WIMCO Villas, I was able to find the perfect villa that fit my every little need …on the beach, on the beach, on the beach, and on the beach.

The villa of choice was named WV MLI, and sat directly on Flamands Beach. The villa was recently renovated and has a clean and modern feel, tastefully decorated, with a private pool, a large deck overlooking the beach, and stairs down to the inviting sand. I trusted WIMCO’s suggestions and presented the choice to my fellow travelers, rolled the dice, and took the chance that this was going to all work out. Was I ready for this pressure? Vacations are fun but can often present tricky situations when trying to keep everyone happy. If I chose the villa, the accountability would be all my own!

Months prior to departing, I gathered information and pictures of St. Barths from a variety of sources to share with the group. I hoped to build their interest and capture their enthusiasm for their vacation as they anticipated this brief moment in their lives. As the days grew closer, the momentum and excitement grew. From previous conversations with a host of people who had traveled to St. Barths, there appeared a profound infatuation with the island resounded. I seriously wondered how could this be possible… it was nothing more than a volcanic island devoid of any natural resources. Common sense and conventional wisdom would question how anyone could become so enraptured by such an environment?

After much anticipation and genuine curiosity, our villa and experience in St Barths transformed into one of the most relaxing and peaceful experiences of my life time. The villa, WV MLI, was the perfect choice. The beach was pristine and more relaxing than I could have ever asked for. As a matter of fact, I found myself actually sitting still for hours on end and I read five books. A majority of our day was spent simply standing in the water and talking as the waves came crashing in on the shoreline. It was without a doubt, one of the most peaceful times in my life where I was not distracted by a series of outside events, but allowed to focus on the moment and the people I was with.

Much of our surroundings in the United States have become overrun by restaurant chains, (lousy ones at best), and huge hotels where every room is the same. This is not the case in St. Barths. We discovered fabulous restaurants that are scattered throughout the island. It became an adventure to tingle our taste buds with new foods that were so elegantly prepared. My days of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the boat where long forgotten. The island was filled with legendary chefs who have developed an intensity and passion for food. Great care was taken in selecting the perfect ingredient for every meal. The presentation of each dish was a work of art …how could I even begin to compare it to an American “Happy Meal.” Eating on the island was not something you simply did because you were hungry, but something you did because you had such a respect for the talent of preparing good food and sharing the experience with friends and family.

My pretty half and I managed to sneak away for few hours to experience the new spa at the Hotel Guanahani. The new spa at the Hotel Guanahani was a sanctuary that provided refuge from the stress of the world. The appointment was scheduled for day two of the vacation and was perfect timing to help relieve the body from the tension built up as a result of preparing to relax. We couldn’t wait as we felt that this full body massage would be the beginning of inner peace. We were not disappointed. The spa facility was hidden behind a discreet door that opened up into a world that exuded a sense of calm and well being. We could have stayed for hours and were invited to do so by relaxing by the private pool or simply dozing in one of the cushioned lounge chairs. The massage was heaven. We were pampered and revitalized and then returned back into reality to enjoy the enchantment of St. Barths.

Would I ever consider doing this vacation again?… In a heart beat. My fellow travelers would join me as well. And how could anyone complain?…. Great villa, great beach, great weather, great food, a spa treatment at the Guanahani Hotel, new shoes and bathing suites from fabulous shops, and a wonderful relaxing week on an intimate, enchanting and truly captivating island.”

WIMCO St. Barths is pleased to announce the opening of a new restaurant in St. Barths:  Bagatelle, which is located on Rue Samuel Fahlberg on Gustavia Harbour, in the former Le Bistro location.

Bagatelle, a lively French bistro from NYC, is excited to introduce its signature dining experience to St. Barths’ locals and tourists just in time for the holiday season. Bagatelle’s new international location will feature decor and cuisine influenced by the French Mediterranean, specifically the glamour and allure of Saint-Tropez. Bagatelle’s patrons will be treated to signature and seasonal menu items as well as a selection of hand-crafted, refreshing cocktails. In perfect South of France fashion, guests can gather at sunset for an aperitif to wind down after a long day at the beach or shopping. Staying true to its roots, Bagatelle St. Barths will also feature renowned DJs from all over the world, as well as unexpected surprises, giving guests the energy and ambiance that will keep them coming back for more.

The décor pays homage to the original location in NYC, infusing touches of elegance, paired with bold and eye-catching artwork, all set against a luxurious yet comfortable backdrop of white, beachy tones. At Bagatelle, comfort and excellent service is paramount. We want our guests to feel at home every time they dine with us.

Bagatelle will be open Monday through Friday from 12-11pm and Saturdays from 6-11pm, and will offer both indoor and outdoor dining. The restaurant seats 85 inside and 20 outside, with a relaxing additional bar area for 30. The outdoor patio offers magnificent panoramic views of Gustavia Harbour, complete with 4 slips for those arriving by boat, making it the quintessential vacation dining destination.

SPECIAL OFFER TO WIMCO CLIENTS:
To toast the opening, Bagatelle will offer WIMCO clients a complimentary glass of champagne/rose when they visit.
Please mention “WIMCO” to redeem. Valid through January 3rd, 2012

For reservations, call the WIMCO office at 0590-51-07-51, or contact the restaurant directly:

• Phone – 59.059.027.5151
• E-mail – sbh@bistrotbagatelle.com

A cultured team from VogueFrance visited St. Barths a few months ago for a photo shoot featuring Giselle Bundchen. While they were there they took time to capture their thoughts about this enchanted isle…

St Barth quietly maintains its VIP reputation from one New Year’s Eve to the next. A well deserved reputation, where serenity and a protected environment shape a discreet and fashionable “art de vivre”.

The island hopper plane seems to be lost in all of the shades of blues surrounding it, from the azure skies to the turquoise seas all you can see are blues, to the left or to the right, beneath or above you, with only a few fluffy white clouds lazily floating by. From St Martin, the trip lasts less than 10 minutes and yet you can cross path with the rich and famous of the world: Beyonce, Demi Moore or Gwen Stefani have all traveled it. Less than ten minutes and then St Barth appears; emerald green, with pristine beaches and dotted with red roofs. Others prefer to arrive by the way of the sea, as did Christopher Columbus in 1492. And if old fashioned schooners are sometimes seen in the harbour, it is now in mega yachts that business tycoons choose to arrive on this enchanted island.

At the end of the 1950’s, David Rockefeller is the first to be mesmerized by this brilliant spec of an island in the French Antilles. He will bring with him the jet setters of his era. Thirty years later, Patrick Demarchelier transformed the island onto his personal open-air studio; the likes of Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer and Christy Turlington are often seen on one of the 14 picture perfect beaches enjoying the year round 80 degrees weather.

Today, nothing seems to have changed… Roman Abramovitch bought the estate of an American billionaire (his New Years Party there for 250 guests, with private concert by Prince will not be forgetten any time soon) and Kate Moss is still among the faithful. But it is rare that the billionaires, top models and other showbiz stars in search of serenity go to one of the few hotels of the island. They will not settle for anything other than a private villa, away from the hubbub, to lounge by a cobalt pool or on a shaded terrace with a breathtaking view. These gems would be hard to find in any other place than on this enchanting island. Away from the harbour of Gustavia, where the boats gently bob and sway in front of the windows of Chopard or Bulgari, these confidential addresses are hidden away in the 21 square kilometers of the island.

To find them, there are a few solutions. Word of mouth is an option, but the surest bet is to contact WIMCO Villas, one of the island’s rental agencies. In one phone call, Wimco will organize it all, from flights to your arrival and transfers. Feet in the sand or perched high on a mountain, the choice is yours. Lovers can cloister themselves mountain-side hideaways, in a nest of rough stones, precious woods and cream walls, surrounded by a tropical garden of palm trees and other exotic plants. Larger families – or groups of friends – may choose to stay at a villa on Lorient beach: five bedroom, five bathrooms, lap pool and on the horizon the silhouettes of Anguilla and St Martin.

With another phone call, Wimco will reserve for your pleasure a private chef or a table in one of the fabulous restaurants, a yacht for a nautical picnic or a private snorkeling adventure. A custom fit service to enjoy the best of what St Barth has to offer, namely: a protected environment, peaceful serenity, talcum fine white sandy beaches or a shopping spree at the Carré d’Or – The rare pleasure of perfect freedom.

Written by Sophie Volanges. Photos by Mario Sorrenti
Informations: http://www.wimco.com/sbh. Tél. 0800 901 620. or info@wimco.com

The latest newsletter from WIMCO Villas highlights villas on the beach around the Caribbean. Two of them are on St. Barths, the appropriately named Villa La Plage (WV VLP) on Lorient beach (right in front of where the surf breaks) and the Palm Beach-esque villa at the far end of Lorient beach – Villa ABV, whose entire front yard is sand.

There is a link from the newsletter to a page that lets you see which villas are available for the holidays and other popular travel windows. It is very user-friendly, and great eye candy on a rather brisk fall day.

METAMORPHOSIS

On my piano in my New York apartment, Jeff and I display photos of the many trips and vacations we’ve taken, both as a couple and with our kids as they’ve grown: skiing in Deer Valley, spending a week in a Tuscan villa with another family, spring time in London…all the photos that tell stories of enjoyment, fun, pleasure. Then there’s the photo of Jeff and me in St Barts, at lunch at La Plage, which tells a more unique vacation story. You can see something on our tanned faces that is different from other happy vacation photos; we are totally at ease and serene, feet in the sand, sipping a glass of chilled Rose Champagne from Taittenger. The French call it bien-etre, and on our recent first St. Barts vacation we achieved that sublime state of well-being.

But this photo tells so much more. We both look so natural, content, and relaxed. There are qualities of bien-etre that come to you in St. Barts that are so subtle and seductive that you don’t realize how the island’s sweetness fundamentally changes you until you are well into the metamorphosis.

Months earlier we had struck up a conversation about St. Barts at a dinner party, and a friend suggested we visit the French Caribbean island to tap into something that we unconsciously craved on so many levels…renewal. I learned that the island has few hotels, so renting a villa is the norm. Our friend suggested we contact WIMCO, a company that pioneered villa rentals on St. Barts. Our reservationist, Glennie, made planning the vacation easy and fun, and we ended up booking a modest two bedroom villa with ocean views.

WIMCO Villa WV SAS, St. Barths

Villa WV SAS

My transformation began upon boarding the Tradewind Aviation flight in San Juan with direct service to St. Barts. You feel yourself going into downsize as the water below gets bluer, the islands get smaller, and the tiny St Barts airstrip reaches up to the hillside to embrace the Tradewind’s perfect landing. Tropical, clean air enveloped us as we entered the tiny terminal and glided through friendly French Customs. Time to discard the first of many layers of clothes and urbanity we brought from the States.

After checking in at WIMCO’s cool offices across the street from the terminal, where keys, a gift bag, and a welcome iced towelette helped remove more layers of the city, our Wimco guide, Zora, who doubled as our concierge for the week, led us in a Smartcar to nearby St Jean where we wound up a short hill to Villa WV SAS, our airy, modern home for this week. Clearly the look and feel of St. Barts is classy yet unpretentious, reflecting a European design ethic and the best quality of imported woods, tiles, furnishing and appliances. Immediately we felt that we were some place different and exotic. The need for “outfits”, makeup, accessories, fixed hair and even shoes just melted away. Into the pool! Au natural, of course.

Our week was enchanted and as each day passed Jeff and I both felt this metamorphosis into a more natural and even sexy bien-etre. In lazy mornings we explored Gustavia and St. Jean, or drove to discover special coves and neighborhoods, each feeling distinct from others. We would often hit the beach for a lingering French lunch, such as our afternoon at La Plage on St. Jean beach, or La Gloriette on Grand Cul de Sac beach.

Other days we’d shop in local markets for baguettes, saucisson sec, chevre and a bottle of wine, pack a picnic and head to Gouverneur or Saline Beach, where no commercial buildings or restaurants spoiled the pristine cliffs and dunes of these spectacular grande plages. My one-piece bathing suits quickly evolved into bikinis with pareos and soon into just bikinis…and I felt confident, rather than self-conscious…we’d become part of the scene, not on-lookers, and it felt so natural and simple and right.

Nights out offered dining superlatives, starting with sunset drinks and tapas at Gustavia’s Hotel Carl Gustaf, over-looking an array of sailboats and yachts docked colorfully side by side in the picturesque harbor. Afterwards we strolled to Bonito, where breathtaking views, yellow and blue banquettes and unbelievable lobster risotto awaited. One night, seeking Italian perfection, we discovered the sumptuous veal and pasta dishes at L’Isola on the upper road heading out of Gustavia. Another night, looking for something more casual, we visited Andy, the gregarious British owner of Andy’s Hideaway where we savored thin crust pizza, goat cheese salad, and a bottomless carafe of Rhum Vanille. We bumped into others we’d seen at the beach, and chatted with locals we’d met at the market earlier in the week. St .Barts felt like a cozy French village in Provence, and we didn’t want to leave.

On our last romantic celebration at the end of our idyllic holiday, we headed to the iconic Maya’s, a sophisticated yet understated waterfront spot run by husband and wife team Randy and Maya that has set the standard for dining excellence on St. Barts for over 20 years. There we enjoy a Chambertin from Louis Jadot with roasted chicken and grilled asparagus, and were thrilled when Randy sat down at our table after dinner, sharing local news and talking about life as a restaurateur

On so many resort islands there is a dramatic chasm between locals and visitors; one is there to serve, the other to be served. On St. Barts, the visitor finds himself wanting to become local, to shed the trappings of home in favor of this easy going, relaxed, healthy lifestyle. In about a week the metamorphosis started to happen, and that is the bien-etre I see in our faces in this photo. Of course I’ll go back…who wouldn’t? How soon?

Bon Appetit!

Lovers of St. Barths know that the island is more than just gorgeous beaches, chic shopping and luxurious villas and hotels. For the true St. Barths traveler, it’s all about the food! The small island of St. Barths packs an impressive number of restaurants serving up gourmet food with Caribbean and French flavors. It’s not uncommon for vacationers to arrive with their weeks meals already planned out, reservations booked and already dreaming of that first luscious bite.

Here’s a taste of what you can expect of the restaurants on St. Barths,  from low-key to unforgettable.

Fine Dining

Fine Dining *Media credit: BalenceWines.wordpress.com*

Read the rest of this entry »

From the 25th to the 27th of March, 40 yachts lined the harbor of St. Barths, in honor of the 25th annual Bucket Regatta. The yachts varied in size and design, yet each one contained a crew that held the same objective; taking home the crown. In contrast to the competitive mood on the water, on land was a fun and welcoming atmosphere which enabled all of the attendees to enjoy the excitement.

St. Barts Bucket Regatta - Photo Courtesy of Pim van Hemmen

Photo Courtesy of Pim van Hemmen

This year’s Bucket attracted its greatest number of participants, with 40 yachts competing for the trophy. Each yacht was separated into three separate categories: Les Elegantes des Mers (The Elegant Seas), Les Grandes Dames des Mers (The Great Dames of the Sea), and Les Gazelles des Mers (The Sea Gazelles).

On the first day; March 25, the starter shot off his gun into the air at 11:30 in the morning, and all the yachts set sail to complete the “Around the Island Race”. The eventual winners of the day’s race each demonstrated a great sense of triumph, as each of the winning yachts was new to Bucket Racing, a rather impressive feat since many of the other participants were experienced racers.

Following the first race, an air show commenced, featuring the acrobatics of antique World War II fighter planes. The spectacle added even more delight to the event, and bedazzled the multiple onlookers below.

The remaining two races also succeeded in capturing the attention of its audience, especially with the suspense they both offered. According to the St. Bart Bucket Regatta Blog, the second and the third day of racing met with stunningly accurate starts and increasingly close finishes. On the third and conclusive day of racing, over 24 yachts finished in just over 20 minutes. The first three came in together, under just three minutes.

The three lucky yachts that ultimately ended up winning the Bucket trophies were: Virago, Hanuman, and Symmetry, all yachts that were part of the Gazelle category. This marked an exciting feat for all three, for although each had participated in past regattas, none of them had actually won in the past.

Although the competing aspect was indeed a great highlight of the event, it was not the sole purpose of the gathering. The St. Barts Regatta generally provides a chance for many people to connect, and enjoy themselves. The recent regatta succeeded in doing so. People were given the special experience of witnessing the nice spectacle of yachts cruising along the gorgeous waters of St. Barths, as well as the chance to bond with fellow attendees, and truly experience the world of sailing.

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