Island Hopping – St Barts and St Martin

Two islands, three villas, six friends and one Caribbean sea makes for a ton of office envy

Shayne and Fred arrived back in the office glowing like anyone coming back from a Caribbean vacation might, complete with a series of envy-worthy photos in tow. After a winter for the books that we all want to forget, a 10-day island hop from St. Barts to St. Martin was just what the doctor ordered.

It was smooth sailing from the get-go. Leaving from Montreal, there’s a convenient four-hour direct flight from YUL to SXM. Fred praises the swift journey from a practical perspective, “Traveling from the east to the Caribbean is great because you don’t have to deal with jetlag—you don’t waste time adjusting your body to the time zone.” Villa Anais in St. Barts was their first on the list. A Luxury Retreats coordinator met them at the airport, beers in hand, and took them to the dock where they had their first taste of amazing Caribbean seafood before the ferry departed. “The sun sets at the exact time the ferry crosses the island. Nature meets practicality, and it couldn’t be planned better”, notes Shayne.

Shayne, a VIP Concierge and Fred, a Villa Specialist, are anything but green to the Luxury Retreats experience. But the four friends they took along with them were in for an experience that would change the way they travel from this point forward, “This type of travel is an eye opener…everything can be customized, and the convenience of having every detail organized – from the villa, to car, private chef and activities makes all the difference in the world” notes a friend of the two, Alex.

Having every loose end tied for them allowed ample opportunity to fully dive into both islands. And they did just that: diving with Octopus Diving in St. Martin transformed the casual snorkelers into addicts, Emilie remembers, “James at Octopus Diving showed us how to navigate the incredible underwater Caribbean territory.”

The natural environment, and the many excursions were complemented by the accommodations to retreat back to and relax in after a long day’s work having fun. “Our villa in St. Barts, villa Anais, was so warm and welcoming. The Amber in St. Martin had a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous feel to it, with an infinity pool larger than most apartments, and the second villa we stayed at in St Martin, Le Mas Caraibes had an amazing Caribbean character and views to match. Three villas, three very different experiences!” says Alex.

On a trip that appears so picture perfect, it’s always curious to see if there’s any small regrets. But everyone could agree on one small problem, “Our flights back—we should have stayed longer.”

See our villas in St. Martin and St. Barts


Colleen McNamara