Polo Lifestyles May 2019: St-Barths - Ready Jet-Set, GO

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VO LU M E I I I / I S S U E V / M AY 2 0 1 9

THE GAUNTLET OF POLO: THE US OPEN POLO FINAL · LAGOS INTERNATIONALS · AL HABTOOR POLO

COLLECTOR'S ISSUE ST-BARTHS

ST-BARTHS READY JET-SET, GO THE BEAT IS BACK

OUR BESPOKE GUIDE TO ST-BARTHS WHERE TO EAT, SLEEP AND RELAX IN PARADISE ISLAND-INSPIRED SUMMER STYLE IT TAKE A VILLAGE - REBUILDING ST-BARTHS

$27.95 USD

UNPLUG TO ENJOY YOUR VACATION IT'S GOOD TO BE ANGRY - HERE'S WHY UNAPOLOGETIC PORTRAITS OF SARAH OWUSU








VOLUME III / ISSUE V / MAY 2019

Ambassador Claude-Alix Bertrand

Contributor

Joshua Jakobitz

Kelly Caldwell

Editor-in-Chief

Contributor

Sara Ali

William Smith

Luxury & Culture Adviser

Contributor

Mark Wine

Brand Representatives Anne-Isabelle Saint-Pierre - Dubai

Fitness Columnist

Joey Velez

Wellness Columnist

Kemissa Racine

Fashion & Style Contributor

Hans Ebenman

Travel Contributor

Cezar Kusik

Wine Contributor

Jyoti Paintel

Spiritual Guidance Contributor

Raphael Dapaah Art Contributor

Stanley Pierre-Etienne Fashion Contributor

Tara Cummins

Fashion Contributor

Jennifer Sims

Style Contributor

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Susan Wise

Publisher

a.isabellesaintpierre@gmail.com

Rudy Volel - New York volel.me@gmail.com

Contributing Photographers Claire Barrett Global Polo Entertainment Deji Atte Ibrahim Lawal Kenny Carrion Rob Foldy Polo Lifestyles is a publication of HT Polo Publishing Co. 995 Detroit Avenue, Suite A Concord, CA 94518 Copyright Š Polo Lifestyles 2019 All Rights Reserved. For information or to advertise Contact editor@pololifestyles.com Read online at www.pololifestyles.com Cover Photo by Claire Barrett featuring Aida Jahić and Diego Brin Aida wears 100% Capri.


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Royal Co. of Berkshire Polo Club Prince of Wales Cowdray Park Trippetts Challenge Gold Cup for the British Open Guards Polo Club Queen's Cup Cirencester Park Warwickshire Cup Sentebale Charity Polo Polo de Paris Tournoi de Printemps Tournoi de la Ville de Paris 125th Open de Paris Polo Club St-Tropez Sun Trophy Silver Whips Golden Weave Open de Gassin Ghantoot Polo & Racing Club British Polo Day Polo Club Chantilly PGH Cup Bourbon Trophy Charity Cup Inanda Polo Club Inanda High Goal

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$1 MILLION DREAM COME TRUE page 24

POLO LIFESTYLES EDITORS & CONTRIBUTORS

Ambassador Claude-Alix Bertrand

Publisher Polo Lifestyles @haiti_polo_captain

Cezar Kusik

Wine Contributor Twenty Five Lusk @cezarkusik

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Josh Jakobitz

Editor-in-Chief Polo Lifestyles @joshuajakobitz

Anne-Isabelle Saint-Pierre Brand Representative Polo Lifestyles-Dubai @isasaintpierre

Kemissa Racine

Fashion & Style Contributor KEMISSA RACINE @kemissa

Joey Velez

Mental Wellness Columnist Velez Mental Performance @velezmentalhealth

Mark Wine

Fitness Columnist Functional Muscle Fitness @functionalmuscle

Tara Cummins

Fashion Contributor Teryn Grey @teryngrey

Raphael Dapaah Art Contributor Dapaah Gallery @dapaahgallery

Jyoti Paintel

Spiritual Contributor Polo Lifestyles

William Smith

Philanthrophy Contributor Santa Fe Community Foundation @willismith_2000


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Chic Mardi Gras in StBarths pg 46

The Future of the Cul-deSac page 152

Really Unplug on your Vacation page 190

Artist Sarah Owusu's battle to create page 143

READY JET-SET, GO!

Back and better than ever, St-Barths is an island for escape, rest and relaxation, French dining and living your best life, page 66

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Rest and relaxation, the goal of every planned time off from our normal schedules. Yet, the complications of delays, travel disruptions, meal planning, organizing activities and finding some time to actually read the book you brought leave little actual time for rest and relaxation. Enter the travel concierge. My new best friend and yours, a travel concierge service picks you up and drops you off, whisks you through the airport lines and immigration systems, delivers bags to your door, makes dinner reservations, stocks the fridge with anything you desire and climbs up on the roof to fix the WiFi connection. On my latest travel experience to St-Barths, we engaged the services of multiple concierges in San Juan, St-Marten and Gustavia. We put them to the test with our group of 11 that arrived on different days on different flights in different terminals on different islands. “Just send us your itineraries,” they told us. It was flawless. Not only did we feel like VIPs, we were VIPs who never filled out a customs form or carried a bag. In St-Barths, our concierge arranged dinner reservations for our group of 11 during peak season, sometimes on the same day. Simply mentioning our concierge by name to the maître d’ initiated a nod and smiling welcome while being escorted to our table. As we explored every angle of the island to bring you this month’s Bespoke Guide to St-Barth, we not only appreciated the work that’s gone into the development of St-Barths over the years, but the Herculean efforts to rebuild following the devastating Hurricane Irma. Inspiring chefs, hotel owners and management companies, whose stories we explore in this months edition, touched our hearts. “It Takes a Village,” by William Smith recounts the critical days and months after the storm passed, focusing on the island community that joined forces to clean up and build back better. Having just visited some of the newly re-opened hotels and restaurants, as well as seeing the progress on other construction sites, we bring you our top destinations for hotels, spas, beaches, restaurants, fitness and nightlife. That way you can simply give your concierge our list and let him or her to the hard work. Best, Josh Jakobitz josh@pololifestyles.com

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alltooshiftyswiftie Trevor Noah, Taylor Swift, Glenn Close and Gayle King at the #time100

cartier Rami Malek and Lucy Boynton are a perfect match at the #cartierparty in Paris

robbreport A 100 percent animal-free material that's more premium than real leather @vonholzhausen page 20

anickvorbe_official Nostalgic beauty styled by @elysze for @indulgemiami

espnpolo #POLOxESPN La Esquina will face La Chavita La Navidad in the final of the Copa Republica

sailgpusa The countdown is on: The San Francisco SailGP begins May 4

quelarenee The South Florida stylist's work with @beadlangeles for @aubreychandler

fabiofogninifansclub Champion Fabio Fognini at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis @ atp

sowusu Polo Lifestyles featured artist Sarah Owusu's work with @moetchandon


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Click and comment on our choices... tag @pololifestyles. We will share noteworthy comments with you next month.

bbc Oil rig workers with rescued dog off of the coast of Thailand after he was spotted paddling near a platform

emiliouribebeauty Polo Lifestyles shoot with @aubreychandler @quelarenee @beadlangeles and @maggiekrebs

vodkabeluga Beluga Epicure by @lalique for true vodka and crystal connoisseurs

bergdorfs Take spring to new heights with @the_attico platform metallic sandals

newbridgepoloclub Malia Bryan made history by being the youngest female polo player to play in the US Open Polo

aubreychandler Do blondes have more fun? Shooting fashion in West Palm Beach

blackbird Experience the freedom of flight for less than the cost of driving from San Francisco to Tahoe

rittigers @tigerwoods captured his fifth @themasters championship / photo credit @jasongetz11

snoopypolo Curtis Pilot and Facundo Pieres win the US Open Polo Championship @gauntletofpolo page 21





GAUNTLET OF POLO US OPEN POLO CHAMPIONSHIP April 22 , 2019

International Polo Club - US Polo Association Field Pilot Polo 12 / 7 Las Monjitas Curtis Pilot, Facundo Pieres, Gonzalito Pieres and Mathias Gonzalez claimed the $1 million purse


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US OPEN POLO CHAMPIONSHIP

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or the first time ever in the sport of polo, Pilot polo team secured its place in history as the inaugural winner of the GAUNTLET OF POLO title with a score of 12-7 over Las Monjitas by winning the U.S. Open Polo Championship, the third leg of the GAUNTLET series, which took place at the International Polo Club

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on the U.S. Polo Assn. stadium field in Wellington, Florida. Over the past three months, Pilot played against the highest level of skilled athletes and ponies and managed to clinch wins in all three GAUNTLET events -- the C.V. Whitney Cup, the USPA Gold Cup and

the U.S. Open Polo Championship -as well as capture the $1 million purse, the GAUNTLET OF POLO trophy and the GAUNTLET Champion title. “It’s amazing to win, it’s like a fairy tale for all of us, the whole team. It’s been an amazing three months and I have to give a shout-out to Mia Bray, a young


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US P O LO ASSO C I AT I O N FI E LD

Left: Facundo Pieres, Gonzalito Pieres, Mathias Gonzalez and Curtis Pilot celebrate their victory in the US Open Polo Championship Gauntlet of Polo. This page, top: The US Polo Association Field on Sunday, April 21; above: Las Monjitas battled Pilot Polo on the field, but Pilot Polo claimed a decisive victory 12-7 in six chukkers.

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up-and-coming female polo player, who covered the first three games so I could handle some personal issues,” said Curtis Pilot, team owner. Pilot received the “Winner Take All” prize money of $1 million along with the GAUNTLET OF POLO trophy. The hand-crafted, three-foot trophy features three horses representing each GAUNTLET event guarding a tower glorified with the GAUNTLET logo and an inlaid onyx polo horse head to recognize the sport's equine partner. This trophy will remind future generations of polo competitors, fans, media and sponsors of the strategy, skill and commitment it takes to have your team name inscribed on the trophy and be crowned the GAUNTLET Champion. “The GAUNTLET challenged the world’s top polo players and ponies to strive to achieve a new goal. We’re thrilled that Pilot earned the first-ever GAUNTLET OF POLO Champion title,” said David Cummings, president and CEO, Global Polo Entertainment. “We created the GAUNTLET OF POLO as a sports property that will grow in value through player participation, spectator attendance, viewership and sponsorship involvement. In addition, we delivered a positive economic impact to Palm Beach County by hosting thousands of fans, players and horses from around the world over a three-month period and by showcasing the competition to millions of fans on air and online.” The final game of the U.S. Open Polo Championship aired on CBS Sports, on Sunday, April 28 at 2:00pm EDT, and on Eurosport on April 29 at 6:30pm CET and Dsport to more than 250+ million households in more than 66 countries. page 28


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U S O P E N P O LO C HA M P IO N S HIP

“The GAUNTLET challenged the world’s top polo players and ponies to strive to achieve a new goal. We’re thrilled that Pilot earned the first-ever GAUNTLET OF POLO Champion title,” said David Cummings, president and CEO, Global Polo Entertainment.

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U S O P E N P O LO C HA M P IO N S HIP

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S I N GA PO RE URB A N P O LO

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US OPEN POLO C H A M PI ON S H I P GAUNT LE T OF POLO

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ASTON MARTIN




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LAGOS INTERNATIONALS POLO TOURNAMENT Lagos, Nigeria

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L AGO S IN T E RN ATIO NALS P O LO TO URNAM E NT

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L AG OS IN T E RN AT IO NALS P O LO TO URNAME NT

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L AG OS IN T E RN AT IO NALS P O LO TO URNAME NT

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COLORFUL ST-BARTHS MARDI GRAS • CARNAVAL St-Barths, French West Indies

A familial Carnival down Rue de la Republique in all of the colors and energy of the Caribbean.

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Amazonian sisters Margaux and Lou page 47


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M A RD I G RAS IN ST- B ARTH S , F RE NC H W E ST INDIE S

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t-Barths’ Mardi Gras, locals promised, was a familial Carnaval in true Caribbean fashion. Every shop and business closed by 2 pm in order to participate. Carnaval began in the heat of the day page 48

and finished that evening at Le Ti StBarths. The parade brought out groups of friends and family in coordinated costumes: traditional and national costumes mixed with super hero themes, a little BDSM, and more. The industries of the island and their lavish floats “chars”

complete with blasting music, dancing troupes, confetti and drinks, headlined the Mardi Gras parade. Behind the makeup and costumes, we recognized employees from shops and hotels.


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M A RD I G RAS IN ST-B ARTH S , F RE NC H W E ST INDIE S TH E GAUNTLE T O F P O LO: THE USPA

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A GOLD C U P

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M A RD I G RAS IN ST-B ARTH S , F RE NC H W E ST INDIE S

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DUBAI SILVER CUP 2019 Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club UAE Polo 10 / 9 Ghantoot Polo

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t was an excellent day for polo fans at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club during the Silver Cup Final 2019. Attended by His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum, spectators were treated to a brilliant display of the Sport of Kings as the UAE Polo competed with Ghantoot

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Polo for the Silver Cup title and trophy. Guests of the Final enjoyed watching from the sidelines under gazebos while the little ones got on free pony rides and played in the kids area. Prizes with a total value of AED

10,500 were given away to fortunate guests at the Run-N-Hunt game and the picnic area was in full swing with vendors serving delicious treats. The Final of the Silver Cup 2019 was intense, fast-paced, with equally strong teams and well-mounted


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horses. The first chukker had seen the teams in a tie at 2 – 2 and UAE polo had the lead at the end of the second chukker. Ghantoot brought in a consecutive goals and took the game in their favor with 7 goals to 5 by half time.

crowd cheered as Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the team’s patron, closed in on Ghantoot with a goal followed by another one from Alejandro Muzzio, which had the teams tied at 9 goals each.

As the fourth chukker rolled, Tomas Panelo from UAE Polo team scored 2 goals only to be matched by Ghantoot which kept them in the lead. The

With three minutes left on the clock, both teams raced to break the tie and ultimately, Muzzio scored the winning goal for the UAE Polo team.

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His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum awarded the winners of the Silver Cup 2019. Martin Donovan was given the Most Valuable Player award and Ariel as the Best Playing Pony. The Silver Cup is sponsored by Marmi Group, a company that operates in the marble & granite industry that satisfies the demands from the luxury end of the market; its sister company PROW,


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D U B AI S ILVE R CUP

a One-Stop Services Provider that offers a comprehensive set of services and solutions and offers system integration and professional IT and ICT services; and Hildon Water, an English Natural Mineral Water which lies deep within the chalk hills of Hampshire, giving it the highest quality of bottled water. The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series held in the UAE is one of only five tournaments in the world played in

the World Polo Tour Championship Cup category, on a par with worldclass events held in Argentina, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States. The Silver Cup falls under the World Polo Tour Challenge Cup Category awarding the winners of the Silver Cup with 50 points, the finalists with 25, semi-finalists with 10 and the rest of the players with 5 points; and Dubai Challenge Cup winners with 20 points.

The Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club a state-of-the-art polo and equestrian community devoted to equine sports is the home ground of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series. Check out the Polo Calendar 2018-2019 for upcoming international-standard polo tournaments or contact +97144362222 | info@dubaipologoldcup.com | contacts@alhabtoorpoloclub.com for more information on other events scheduled at the Club. page 59


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D UB AI S ILVE R C UP

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Imagine a place that

feels like home

©Laurent Benoit

...and so much more

Villa AXL, St. Barths

P R I VAT E V I L L A R E N TA L S , AT T E N T I V E C O N C I E R G E S E R V I C E , T R U S T E D E X P E R I E N C E For more than 30 years, we have helped craft remarkable villa vacations, from St. Barths to St. Tropez (and more). WIMCO’s personal concierge service does so much more than “Meet & Greet.” Our on-island staff are experts at customizing your experience to give you exactly the vacation you dream of. Discover more at wimco.com +1 401 849 8012

@wimcovillas

Above: Villa AXL, St. Barths

For real estate: realestate@wimco.com


READY J

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JET-SET, GO! W W W.P O LO LI FESTYL ES .COM

THE BEAT IS BACK IN

ST-BARTHS

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Tommy Wilson for Team Peroni and Jeremy Jones for Team Lone Bee fight for line of the ball

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ST-BARTHS

Signs in custom ceramics welcome visitors to each beach in St-Barths

THE TROPICAL PARADISE PLAYGROUND CELEBRATES ITS RENAISSANCE

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urrounded by sparkling blue water, the island of StBarthelemy, or St-Barths as it’s better known, first appeared as a speck on the horizon from the window of our Tradewind Aviation jet that took off from San Juan only 45 minutes earlier.

Descending closer, we circled the tiny

island once as the pilot informed us that afternoon winds dictate an alternative landing pattern on the super-short runway at the Gustavia (SBH) airport. The typical landing pattern is a westward approach over the harbor of the perennially chic Gustavia and small mountain range that separates downtown from Saint-Jean. Once the planes are just over the grassy green peaks of Saint-Jean, they descend rapidly, nearly grazing the heads of tourists gathered

Story by Josh Jakobitz, Photos by Claire Barrett, Assisted by Kenny Carrion and Eric Brown

at the roundabout above the airport to photograph the famous landing. Our landing from the east; however, included an aerial tour of the Saint-Jean Beach and a gentle landing as the sun was low against the western hills and mountains. Within minutes, we were off of the plane and whisked through customs where smiling officers welcomed us to the French West Indies. On the other side of customs, our bags were neatly page 69


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ST-BARTHS

"Delivering high-end personal care and confidence to client since 1995."

YACHT SERVICES VIP SERVICES TRAVEL SERVICES page 70

Your Concierge Awaits: saintbarthservices.com


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THE VIP SECRETS OF FLAWLESS ARRIVAL IN ST-BARTHS

ARRIVE (AND DEPART) IN VIP STYLE One of the services we always opt for in St-Barths is VIP arrival and departure with St-Barths Services. Brice Cagan, who's been our VIP handler for decades, strongly recommended our arrival and departure vis-a-vis San Juan, Puerto Rico. The jet charter service serving the San Juan to St-Barths route, Tradewind Aviation, had excellent reviews from everyone. "It's the new way to go," said Stiles Bennet, president of WIMCO. As it turned out, our group of 11 was split between arrivals in San Juan and St-Marten. All on different flights and many on different days. "No problem," said Brice. "Send me the information." There is simply no other way to start or end your vacation in St-Barths than with Service St-Barths VIP options for porter service, customs and immigration expedition, airport to ferry transfers, guided check in and luggage retrieval services. For those opting to arrive via St-Marten, the VIP services are especially life-saving given the ongoing reconstruction around the airport area from Hurricane Irma. Take our advice, call Brice.

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sorted by concierges from the island’s varied hotel and villa rental companies. The concierges were crisp in their polo shirts, shorts and white tennis shoes. The other passengers from the flight, still chic from our layover in the private lounge of the San Juan airport where we had met only hours earlier, bid me adieu as my concierge from West Indies Management Co. (WIMCO) introduced himself. Jules would be our concierge for the week in St-Barths. He was assisted, surely, by an unknown number of assistants and helpers, as he navigated our tricky requests (restaurant reservations for a group of 11 twice a day), our schedules and particular needs, grocery shopping and other essentials like magically making the WiFi work on multiple occasions. He hoisted my bags into the trunk of the car and assured me we were only minutes from the villa we’d rented for the week. With only minutes until dusk would really set in, we sped toward the villa on page 72

the charming narrow and winding roads of St-Barths. Up the mountain pass above the airport, we hooked a right at the roundabout that doubles as a lookout for planes landing over the island, and headed over to Flamands, passing the bakery La Petite Colombe, where we’d pick up our morning essentials daily. One hairpin turn later, we arrived in front of a modern gate that slowly opened as we approached. Ambient lighting on stone walls, a water feature and the name, Villa Eternity, mounted and lit on the wall welcomed us to the villa – and we’d only arrived in the parking area. I was the last one of our group to arrive; the others having come in on earlier flights from San Juan or via the ferry from St-Marten. The entrance to Villa Eternity was placed above the compound by a designer who surely never planned to arrive with the number of bags I did. An ultra-wide staircase of 12 stairs led to the main part of the compound: kitchen

and living areas, a few of the independent bedrooms and the first of two pools. A master bedroom with deluxe bathroom and attached massage room was placed at the end of the pool for to-die-for-views from sunrise to sunset. Pool loungers with perfectly placed, rolled towels dotted the perimeter of the pool. The rest of our group greeted me with champagne and hassled me about the number of bags I had brought from San Francisco. Flashback: I left San Francisco 15 hours earlier on the red-eye flight to Charlotte, N.C., where I connected to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Everything was fairly smooth for domestic, red-eye travel and I was glad to land in San Juan on-time for my connection to St-Barths with Tradewind Aviation. As I disembarked at the gate in San Juan, a very friendly Puerto Rican in a Services St-Barths yellow polo shirt approached me as though we were old friends. Services StBarths had arranged for our VIP trans-


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ST-BARTHS UPON ARRIVAL

fer from American Airlines to Tradewind in San Juan. Grabbing my bags, he whisked me through the airport to the elevator that would take me up to the Tradewind lounge. Pointing out important airport real estate, like bathrooms and where to get the best food, the porter was charming and efficient at the same time. My checked bag would be arriving shortly, but he took me up to the lounge, promising to bring the bag by once he claimed it and before he rechecked it. The lounge was simple, but private and well-stocked with snacks and drinks. Everything was help-yourself, but a mindful staff was careful to replace any items running low in the fridge or in the snack

Opposite page: The entrance of Villa Eternity This page: A welcome drink and Tradewind Aviation private jet charter service from San Juan to St-Barths

baskets. Wary of having a glass of wine on an empty stomach, I ventured back downstairs in search of the airport’s “best food.” I found friendly locals serving up traditional Puerto Rican specialties. Back upstairs in the lounge with my local fare, a glass of Chardonnay and my feet up, I mingled with other travels heading to various Tradewind destinations. The porter re-appeared with my checked bag. Slightly apologetically, he told me he’d have to check both of my limited edition carry-on bags. “It’s basically a private jet,” he reassured me. “Your bags will be very safe.” I grabbed my zipper pouch with my passport and cash and surrendered the rest.

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WIMCO'S VILLA ETERNITY IN FLAMANDS


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ST-BARTHS

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This page: Le Barthelemy; opposite: La Saline Beach page 76

Ten minutes prior to our scheduled departure, an agent appeared to summon us individually. How did these people know exactly who we were time and time again? I still don’t know, but I loved it. Out a side door, we walked through a basic security set up where a guard mostly just smiled and waved us through, because, well we were about to board a private jet to St-Barths.

took drink orders and passed waters and Heinekens back and forth to other passengers, we compared notes on where we’d be staying and what we’d be doing for the duration of our respective visits. Given the size of St-Barths, I should have known that Connie would re-appear on the scene multiple times over the next few days. Just about the time we were settled in, we began our descent into St-Barths.

Our shiny jet sparkled in the full Caribbean sun and staff indulged us while we posed for photos in front of the aircraft. Hashtagging @ flytradewind with my selfie before boarding has to be great for business referrals; no wonder the staff had all the patience in the world for the perfect snap.

I toasted my first sunset in StBarths with Nicolas Feuillate and Instagramed it @wimcovillas because that’s what you do, right?

On board, we were a group of six. I sat in the back near the cooler next to Connie from New Jersey. As we

My bedroom with en suite bath was on a lower level that included another independent bedroom with bath, a fitness center and our own pool. When the drapes were open, I had a front and center view of the lush landscape dotted with white houses with red and green


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ST-BARTHS RELAXING

tin roofs along with the Caribbean Sea in the distance. It was heaven. From what I had seen about St-Barths, I expected colonial charm but Villa Eternity was very modern: square lines, sparkling white stucco walls, an all-white kitchen, white dining room table and white leather furniture in the living room. The accents and modern art provided welcome pops of color. The villa felt enormous, with plenty of room for all of us. Whenever I needed a moment of tranquility, I escaped to our private pool downstairs. Following Hurricane Irma, it was the local population that managed to re-open the airport and clear roads sufficiently so that supplies could be flown in and distributed. The damage to St-Barths was mind-boggling: hotels, homes, stores, roads, ranches, farms – all gone. While there is still evidence of destruc-

tion, so much has already been built back that you can say St-Barths is truly better than ever. Power lines across the island have been buried and new construction has been built to updated codes to withstand another natural disaster. The property that we visited the next day was a testament to that.

a smile. The island’s only rooftop bar, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, is perched above the main building and outfitted with swanky lounge chairs, suspended tear drop cabanas, a bar and DJ booth. The views of the entire property, the island’s hills and the sea are second-to-none.

Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa was the recommendation of Jules for lunch on Sunday. Served beach-side on long, umbrella-covered tables, it was picturesque. It was also completely, utterly brand new. Rebuilt from the ground up after Hurricane Irma, “Le Barth” sparkles in a low profile of white bungalows to one side and a two-story, traditional hotel complex to the other. The extensive spa was completely booked even on a Sunday.

And there was Connie, whom I sat by on the Tradewind flight from San Juan, at the next table. St-Barths is like that you see people out and about over and over again. It truly creates a community within a destination.

Staff abounded, checking on tables, picking up minuscule pieces of debris, changing out loungers and towels, and answering any and all questions with

With our lunch only just served beach-side, we felt the first sprinkles of afternoon rain on our backs and heads. Was this the premature end of our beach-side lunch? Suddenly, it was a deluge out of nowhere. Staff appeared with more umbrellas and trays, escorting us to their indoor restaurant, Aux Amis. We were reseated and more or less dry considering the weather. Our page 77


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ST-BARTHS GUSTAVIA

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The predicted rain was lighter than expected, but Veuve Clicquot umbrellas kept some attendees dry early in the day. Attendees and guests posed with mounted teams, relaxed in the VIP lounge areas and watch the nail-biting final between Team Tiger and Team Semco PDL. page 80


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ST-BARTHS SHOPPING

Shopping in downtown Gustavia

food wasn’t as lucky. The restaurant manager replaced anything cold, soggy or questionable with new, hot food a few minutes later. This kind of service and attention was paramount throughout our visit – from our WIMCO concierge to the Services St-Barths VIP porters in San Juan and St-Marten, and from restaurant servers and boutique managers who not only welcomed us into their places of work but greeted us on the street a few days later when everyone on the island, it seemed, descended upon downtown Gustavia for Mardi Gras and the Carnaval parade. It would be remiss to not brag about downtown Gustavia. Imagine a portside main street in colonial fashion, with a fashionista’s dream-come-true of luxury shops side-by-side. There are hanging baskets of ferns and flowers, bright window displays and the parking

is street-side but not unmanageable. On the harbor side, yachts and boats of every size and shape imaginable line the waterfront. As passengers descend and crews carry on more champagne, locals mix with vacationers in the boutiques, cafes and shops. There is Cour Vendome, a four-story shopping complex with the luxurious Italian linen brand, 100% Capri and a two-story Vilebrequin, where the store manager convinced me that I needed the limited-edition St-Barths trunks. Venturing further into downtown, the streets split and double and the high-end shopping continues. Toward the end of the shopping area, Le Bar de L’Oubli dominates the intersection of Rue de la Republique and Rue de la France on two sides. We grabbed sandwiches and cold drinks at L’Oubli several times during our week. L’Oubli was also the site some of our celebrity spotting on Mardi Gras. Cleverly

hidden behind masks, several of them almost went unnoticed but the keen eye of Eric spotted Bono and his entourage from across the restaurant. St-Barths’ Mardi Gras, locals promised me, was a familial Carnaval in true Caribbean fashion. Every shop and business closed by 2pm in order to participate. Carnaval began in the heat of the day and finished that evening at Le Ti St-Barths. The parade brought out groups of friends and family in coordinated costumes: traditional and national costumes mixed with super hero themes, a little BDSM, and more. The industries of the island and their lavish floats “chars” complete with blasting music, dancing troupes, confetti and drinks, headlined the Mardi Gras parade. Behind the makeup and costumes, we recognized employees from shops and hotels. Drinks were shared and spilled from one cup to another. page 81


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Before the afternoon was over, our group broke and headed to the beach by way of the furthest outlying grocery store that was still open on Mardi Gras. We headed to La Saline Beach, accessible only by climbing up a not-too-steep sandy incline and then back down to where the waves meet the shoreline. Since it was Mardi Gras, the beach was quiet and our group was nearly alone. We broke out our supplies and made a picnic of cheeses, bread and drinks on the beach towels. The sun was hot and the water was refreshingly cold on our page 82

skin. The water’s salt level on this cove made floating in the water the most enjoyable way to enjoy the waves. That evening, in search of the island’s best party, we arrived at Le Ti St-Barths, home to a raucous nightly cabaret show. Le Ti St-Barths is another example of building back better after Hurricane Irma. The restaurant and its shops and bars expanded their blueprint with the rebuild. The famous costume shop, where decked-out locals will assist you in finding the perfect get-up for the evening,

operates on a tips-only basis, meaning the costumes are free to use and return; clients are encouraged to tip generously. Claire and I were tickled with our finds in the costume shop, even picking up a few things for the more reserved members of our group. When I showed back up at our table in a venetian mask and dreaded wig, no one even recognized me for a moment. Claire’s Marie-Antoinette wig towered above her as we joined the crowd dancing on a cabaret stage. While there would be no cabaret show that night, the Mardi Gras after party went strong


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ST-BARTHS

Tradewind Aviations arriving in Gustavia's SBH airport.

JET CHARTER

until the wee hours of the morning, though. Every table at Le Ti St-Barths, it seemed, was VIP. Magnum and Jeroboam bottles were hoisted on the backs of the most handsome servers on the island and their bubbly contents poured into the eager flutes of equally gorgeous party-goers. For a cabaret restaurant and party scene, I didn’t expect much from the food, so I ordered filet mignon, thinking you can’t really goof that up. It was delicious. In fact, everyone at our table bragged about their own plates. For a group that was big into sharing

and trying each other’s entrées, I don’t think there was much sharing that evening.

La Petite Colombe – picking up mini quiches, croissants, pains aux chocolat, baguette and two custom-ordered cakes.

As the next day was starting early for us, we didn’t make it until dawn, but Le Ti St-Barths is a night no one will soon forget (but do take plenty of photos in case the bubbly is hard on your memory).

That night, we headed to La Guerite at Jules’ suggestion. This waterfront, Mediterranean-inspired restaurant served up all of our favorite mezza plates and entrées to share. On our end of the table, four of us split a whole fish that was presented to us and expertly filleted at the table prior to serving steaming hot with rice and vegetables.

The next morning, half of us headed to Form Fitness in Lurin for our 7:30am sessions while the others enjoyed a private yoga session at Villa Eternity organized by Nanda Yoga. After sweating out last night’s sins, we carb-loaded from

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Pastries and decadent delights from La Petite Colombe in Flamands.

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ST-BARTHS DAILY BREAD

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finish the meal. Similar to the rhum bottled by La Gloriette, our only disappointment that night was that La Guerite doesn’t bottle their own recipe for sale. Before we left, we stopped by La Gloriette to purchase several bottles similar to the version served at La Guerite. Before we knew it, our trip had wound to an end. I was the first to depart. Jules picked me up and we chatted on the short drive to the airport. As he handled my check in, someone handed me a coffee and a selection of magazines. Every transaction was like this: simple and flawless. It was a joy to vacation where you can simply revel in the experience without having the hassles of lines, paperwork or bags. Upon arrival back in San Juan, the Services St-Barths porter took me through a private customs and immigration office where my passport was scanned and the paperwork – already filled out for me – was stamped. Services St-Barths escorted me all the way to the American Airlines checkin counter. With a nearly five hours layover, he suggested I take a cab to Old San Juan for breakfast. Before I could barely agree, he had flagged a cab and negotiated the price. I was off to breakfast with a fresh tan, a smile on my face and not a worry in the world – thanks to St-Barths, WIMCO, Services St-Barths, Tradewind Aviation and my 11 travel companions, who made the experience all the more memorable.

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ST-BARTHS VIP SERVICES

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BREATH-TAKING BEACHES SALINE BEACH A long, deep virgin beach undisturbed by development. Pack a picnic.

ST-JEAN BEACH The busiest, most popular beach in St-Barths situated at the end of the airport runway

COLOMBIER BEACH The most famous and a tour boat stop

LORIENT BEACH A favorite beach for surfers and those wanting surf lessons

GRAND CUL-DE-SAC Perfect winds for kite surfing and shallow waters make it family friendly

FLAMANDS BEACH Peaceful turf near Cheval Blanc Isle de France

SHELL BEACH A peaceful and popular retreat a few minutes outside of Gustavia

TOINY BEACH A tucked away and undeveloped sanctuary

pageNikki 88 Beach in St-Jean

GOUVERNEUR BEACH Boasting dramatic landscapes and water color


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ST-BARTHS SUN & SAND

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ST-BARTHS: A BESPOKE GUIDE TO DINING


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ST-BARTHS RESERVATIONS

MAKE YOUR

RESERVATIONS FOR THE ISLAND'S FINE DINING SCENE

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A

h, fine dining: the joys and the frustrations. Sumptuous bites and novel entrées. Navigating the process of getting the table you want with the maître d’hotel. Wine pairings and specialty cocktails de la maison. St-Barths is a haven for all of the above, and with a few perennial favorites and fresh, can’t-miss hot spots, you definitely won’t go hungry or dissatisfied. Armed with our knowledgeable and connected WIMCO concierge Jules, we planned out our dining reservations daily based on Jules’ insider information as well as holiday schedules (we visited St-Barths over Mardi Gras). From fresh and light beach-front service at Shellona to unexpected Thai fusion food at Black Ginger and late-night sliders

Top: Shellona and La Guerite; Above: Le Turquoise page 92

at La Cantina, here’s what we ate and where.

BLACK GINGER

Located in the heart of Gustavia, Black Ginger serves authentic and refined Thai fusion cuisine. The interior’s courtyard opens to the moon and sky. Contemporary design mixes with minimalistic furniture with a palette of red and black colors in a softly lit atmosphere. Signature dishes include the Crying Tiger (grilled beef fillet) and the Massaman curry-coconut milk.

L’ESPRIT L’Esprit’s completely renovated location in La Saline delivers a modern eclectic cuisine that blends traditional cooking with innovative techniques. Chef Jean-Claude, formerly of Eden Rock, oversaw the complete rebuild of L’Esprit. He constantly changes his menu to offer the seasons freshest ingredients. We loved the rotisserie pigeon.


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ST-BARTHS RESERVATIONS

SHELLONA

LA GUERITE

OCIELA

Shellona may be known as a party spot in the evenings, but we went there for lunch. The service and presentation is perfectly curated and executed – from the perfectly grilled calamari to drinks served in polished half-coconut husks. The atmosphere is created by celebrity sightings, upbeat music, beach-side dining, and breathtaking views of yachts on the sea scape.

Nestled in the harbor of Gustavia, La Guerite is another excellent choice for Mediterranean cuisine. With entrées to share for two, three, or four people, this was a perfect restaurant for our group of 11. The service was excellent and appropriately friendly. The restaurant organized a cake for dessert for the birthday boy in our group. We ended the meal with their traditional spiced rhum made in-house. Our only complaint is that they don’t sell the rhum.

Ociela serves up a Mediterranean culinary journey in a chic dining room perched on a hillside of Gustavia with views over the port. At night, the yachts twinkle in the distance. Ociela’s secluded off-the-beaten-path location ensures a private dining experience. No one on foot is going to walk by and snap your photo here. Enjoy the set menu that includes Foie Gras and Tuna Mille Feuille.

Top and above right and center: Shellona; Above left: La Guerite page 93


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PEARL BEACH

BAR DE L’OUBLI

LA CANTINA

This restaurant situated on Saint-Jean beach is a stone’s throw away from your beach chairs. After indulging in a delicious lunch here, you can take a long walk on the beach, crossing near where planes land and take off at the SBH airport every 20-30 minutes during peak season. Playing the shallow waters in front of Pearl Beach is another great way to work up an appetite or burn off the calories you consumed at lunch, either way you look at it!

This establishment at the intersection of Rue de la Republique and Rue de la France dominates the daily social scene. The menu is simple and the food arrives quickly.

Another pleasant surprise! We found La Cantina on Ash Wednesday after most of the other restaurants and bars had closed. La Cantina is a dancing-onthe-tables, swinging-from-the-chandeliers kind of place where you also can bring your kids. Enthusiastic servers, a straight-forward menu of sliders, charcuterie and cheeses; along with their location right on the Bord de Mer create an atmosphere that’s fun – whether you dance on the tables or watch from your seat on the patio.

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The drinks are cold and strong. We parked ourselves here for the Mardi Gras parade and enjoyed the sights from the shade. Bar de L’Oubli may not be fancy, but it’s a must-have for lunch while you’re in St-Barths.


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ST-BARTHS RESERVATIONS

Left: L'Esprit and above: Le Ti St-Barths

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Above: Aux Amis at Le Barthelemy; right: Le Ti St-Barths

ALL-STAR DINING EXPERIENCES IN ST-BARTHS AUX AMIS Light and casual fair served beach-front at the newly renovated Le Barthelemy

NIKKI BEACH The island’s best known place for sushi, enjoyed in their famed party atmosphere

BONITO Serving sophisticated Peruvian-style dishes with French accents

OREGA Featuring elaborate dishes driven by the fusion of French and Japanese ingredients

LE TOINY One of the best in St-Barths with award-winning chef Jarad McCarroll

QUARTER Winner of the 2018 St-Barths Gourmet Festival Cocktail Concours: the Zion cocktail

MANGO Beach-side cocktails paired with light choices of grilled seafood and salads

SERENO Flavors of the Mediterranean seamlessly mix with local specialties

MAYAS Since 1984, the daily market menu is built around fresh local ingredients

TAMARIN An exquisite setting and impeccable service with an unexpected menu

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ST-BARTHS NIGHTLIFE

Since the ‘90s, Le Ti has hosted a nightly cabaret show centered around outrageous costumes, Jeroboams of champagne and celebrity guests. The costume room is stocked with wigs, crowns, masks, hats and accessories to borrow for the evening. We decked out our table mates as pirates, Rastas and ladies in the court of Marie Antoinette. Excellent food accompanies a rip-roaring good time. Other venues boasting nightlife include Shellona, La Guerite and Ociela.


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CHEF SPOTLIGHT

L'ESPRIT'S JEAN-CLAUDE DUFOUR

OFTEN REDUCED TO ONE LINE ON A MENU OR REVIEW, ST-BARTHS' CHEFS ARE DRIVING FORCES BEHIND RENEWAL Around 10pm we headed to our dinner reservation at L’Espirit in La Saline at the recommendation of our WIMCO concierge. The narrow and winding roads between Flamands and La Saline felt devilishly exciting in the pitch black. L’Espirit, in the dark, was a bit innocuous from the street parking, but once inside, a warm ambiance was cultivated with gorgeous greenery, rough cut lumber, chic white table cloths, furniture from local boutiques and the welcoming ways of our host Chef Jean-Claude Dufour. We started with a Jeroboam of Rose and small plates of appetizers. Never one to shy away from the local specialty, I ordered the pigeon as my entrée, and let me tell you, Chef Jean-Claude makes excellent pigeon. A very animated waiter explained me that the pigeon was finished rotisserie style – crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. L’Esprit is one of the restaurants that existed prior to Hurricane Irma, but was nearly completely devastated as a result of the most powerful storm in history to pass through the Caribbean channels. Chef Jean-Claude’s story about the re-envisioning and rebuilding of L’Esprit was one of the highlights of our trip. As the former chef from Eden Rock – previously the most exclusive property on the island that was also completely destroyed by Irma – he immediately recognized the need to provide employment to local staff after the hurricane. With the hotels and restaurants devastated and closed, waiters, concierges, and bartenders were out of work. Chef Jean-Claude’s team of labors was comprised nearly exclusively of local hospitality professionals. The re-opening of L'Esprit represented a major milestone for him, the hospitality community, and the entire island. It's one thing to weather the storm, but it's another to put mind and muscle together to build back better, and that's exactly what he and his team did. page 99


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STAY AWHILE LUXURIOUS VILLAS PERSONAL CONCIERGES & STUNNING REAL ESTATE

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ST-BARTHS ACCOMMODATIONS

Villa Eternity in Flamands, St-Barths is perched on a hillside with sweeping views of the surrounding area and the Caribbean Sea in the distance.

PUTTING A FACE ON CONCIERGE SERVICES

gluten-free snacks, SIM cards – you name it.”

Today’s market for concierge services demands the highest attention given to the smallest detail. And in the world of luxury villa rentals, concierge reputation is everything. West Indies Management Co., or simply WIMCO, whose portfolio of properties in St-Barths continues to become more and more luxurious, found that making concierge services more personable is key to happy, returning customers.

In St-Barths, concierges are the single largest booker of reservations at restaurants. Upon arrival at many restaurants in Gustavia, it’s easier to find the reservation under the name of your concierge than that necessarily of your party. Just mention that Jules from WIMCO made your reservation for 9pm and you’ll be whisked over to Jules’ favorite table.

“At WIMCO, our principle of concierge service is to form a bond with and be accountable personally to clients,” explains WIMCO president Stiles Bennet, who’s been with the company for 11 years. “From behind the traditional hotel desk, to your front door delivering champagne,

WIMCO rents their luxury villas yearround and our group was fortunate enough to experience life in two of them: Villa Eternity and Villa La Plage. Villa Eternity is a modern marvel in all white with pops of color in modern sculpture and art throughout the property. Perched on a hillside, it overlooks Flamands and is a two minute drive to the local bakery, La Petite Colombe. The bedroom arrangement of independent units with en suite baths was perfect for our larger party of people who wanted page 101


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privacy. With two pools and a hot tub, a common kitchen and open-concept dining room-living room combo, it was easy to gather for breakfast, plan for the day and go.

the beach and the private beach front property.

Villa La Plage, in Lorient, was beach front with more traditional Caribbean features. A long low profile along the water and a steeply pitched roof to resist damage from hurricanes contained a traditional, separate kitchen great for a private chef to work without interrupting; a large common room with three sitting areas and a grand piano. Along the front, the pool paralleled the ocean. Five independent bedrooms with en suite baths were situated behind the main living areas. Down a few steps from the pool and deck was the path to

“The St-Barths real estate market attracts a diverse, global collection of affluent clients,” said Bennet, who is active on the St-Barths real estate side as well. Doug Foregger, director of WIMCO International Real Estate confirmed the spike in real estate activity.

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THE STATE OF REAL ESTATE IN ST-BARTHS

“Additionally, under French law, there are zero comparables. This creates an imperfect market as well as opportunity,” he said. Purchasing property in StBarths is easy and the process can take as little as four months. More than 50%

of real estate sales are to Americans, Foregger said. “We’re seeing a record number of sales and we’re on track for our best sales year in 30 years.” With a few transactions over $75 million this year, it’s easy to see why. Almost everyone can agree: St-Barths is one of the world’s most unique places. The sense of safety and security you feel because of the seclusion of the island, the quality of people who vacation here and the reputation as a luxury destination all correlate into villa rentals and real estate sales. “St-Barths has no private clubs,” Foregger said. “Once you’re here, you’re in the club.” And that is exactly the feeling you get during your time in St-Barths.


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ST-BARTHS ACCOMMODATIONS

Villa la Plage in Lorient is positioned beach-front, with traditional architecture and finishes.

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HOTEL

RENAISSANCE

EITHER REBUILT OR BRAND NEW, 10 OF ST-BARTHS' EXCLUSIVE HOTELS DELIVER FIVE STARS

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ST-BARTHS ACCOMMODATIONS

The spa at Le Barthelemy invites clients and visitors for its impressive menu of offerings on-site.

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HOTEL CHRISTOPHER

HOTEL MANAPANY

Located on St. Barths’ northern coast, Hotel Christopher provides luxury-seekers with an intimate getaway. Each of the 42 guest rooms and suites features neutral decor with pops of bright orange throughout and comes outfitted with a private terrace, free Wi-Fi, a minibar and Sisley toiletries.

The first eco-resort to open on St. Barths, Hotel Manapany debuted in spring 2018 and is situated on the beach on Anse des Cayes. Electricity here is partially powered by solar panels, and the hotel uses electric cars, produces its own water, maintains a vegetable and fruit garden, and provides towels made from natural products.

Visitors leave this Preferred LVX hotel feeling completely relaxed as a result of the property›s isolated location. Highend amenities like the full-service Sisley Spa and the stunning seaside infinity pool are bound to help you unwind, while the two on-site dining venues, Christo Lounge Restaurant and Mango Beach Club, are sure to satiate your appetite after a long day of swimming, sailing, hiking or lounging.

LE SERENO With only 39 suites and three four-bedroom villas, Le Sereno is especially exclusive. This boutique resort – flanking Anse de Grand Cul-de-Sac’s sands on St. Barths’ northeastern coast – is ultra-chic, with suites displaying bright white hues and dark wood accents. Along with the sumptuous accoutrement, accommodations come equipped with decks with private gardens or pools, free Wi-Fi, Ex Voto Paris toiletries and iPads and Nespresso machines upon request. But even with all of these luxe amenities, guests agree that Le Sereno doesn’t feel pretentious, saying that they were greeted by hospitable staff members. During your stay, you can stretch across the bay’s chalky white sands or indulge in a refreshing treatment from Spa Le Sereno. When it comes to dining, visitors heap praise on the menu at Restaurant Le Sereno, citing its delectable cuisine, romantic atmosphere and unbeatable ocean views as highlights. What’s more, the hotel is part of The Leading Hotels of the World family, meaning Leaders Club members have access to perks during their stays. page 108

The 4.2-acre property houses 43 rooms and suites, all of which include sun decks, mini bars, free Wi-Fi and tea and coffee amenities. Travelers praise the hotel’s cool vibe, comfortable rooms and friendly staff members. Plus, guests have access to two pools, one of which is adults-only, a fitness center, complimentary yoga and Pilates classes, a spa and a shopping boutique. Hotel Manapany also offers two game rooms equipped with video games and a billiards table, and the staff can arrange off-site excursions, such as snorkeling, sailing and hiking.

HOTEL VILLA MARIE The luxurious Hotel Villa Marie offers boutique, independent villas and suites featuring bright colors and gorgeous views. Treat yourself to elegant French cuisine at the restaurant before retiring with a rum and cigar from the bar. An utterly spoiling coastal spot.

HOTEL TAIWANA Many of the rooms at this beach-front property, which sits at the eastern edge of Flamands Bay, are set high in the hills. But the higher you go, the better the views from your balcony come sunset. Inside, the decor is sleek and supremely comfortable: think wooden floors, white-linen covered sofas, and slate bathrooms. Eight of the 24 rooms also have private pools, which is great for honeymooners. The hotel is just steps from the sand, where there are plenty of white loungers with red towels so that all guests can claim their own piece of paradise.

CHEVAL BLANC ST-BARTHS ISLE DE FRANCE Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France’s white-washed walls and marble foyers feel almost palatial; guests say the breathtaking views of northern St. Barths’ Flamands Beach push this property into the realm of luxury. And the boutique hotel’s accommodations aren’t too shabby, either. Guest rooms and suites feature bright white decor, hardwood floors and gray, pink or orange accents, while those willing to splurge on a villa will find a private infinity pool and an open-air kitchen. If you can part from your lavish abode, pamper yourself with a treatment at the Cheval Blanc Spa or head to the water for some sailing and water skiing.

LE BARTHELEMY HOTEL & SPA The first new construction hotel on St. Barths in 20 years, Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa started welcoming guests in 2016 and reopened fully in October 2018 after repairing damage caused by Hurricane Irma. The luxury resort is perched directly on the beach, overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Le Barthelemy’s rooms and suites feature garden, lake or ocean views and are decorated in neutral hues of tan and white with pops of green and blue or pink. The property is home to a fitness center and a spa with traditional services and amenities, plus a blow-dry bar, a nail salon and yoga classes. When it comes to dining, travelers can indulge in French-Caribbean fusion cuisine and take in the views at the al fresco Aux Amis or Le Turquoise. Meanwhile, those looking to enjoy drinks can head to the rooftop bar. Overall, previous travelers were blown away by the hotel’s understated elegance, impressive service and inviting atmosphere. Thanks to its Small Luxury Hotels of the World ties, INVITED rewards program members can cash in accrued reward night vouchers for stays here. Villa Aqua at Le Barthelemy


5 STAR HOTELS

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ST-BARTHS ACCOMMODATIONS

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COMING SOON... HOTEL ESTABLISHMENTS SET TO RE-OPEN IN LATE 2019

EDEN ROCK

LE GUANAHANI

HOTEL LE TOINY

As the first hotel to open on St. Barths, Eden Rock has been welcoming sun-seeking vacationers for more than 60 years. A-listers like Greta Garbo and Howard Hughes graced this hotel’s hallways; and up until Hurricane Irma, Eden Rock remained just as elegant. The property is scheduled to re-open in late 2019.

Overlooking Anse de Marigot and Anse de Grand Cul-de-Sac from its peninsula perch on St. Barths’ northeastern shore, Le Guanahani entices visitors with its pastel decor and plush cotton linens. Cottages range in size – they are able to accommodate couples and families – and feature hardwood floors, plush furniture and private terraces complete with gardens.

Hotel Le Toiny first opened in 1992 and underwent a multi-million dollar renovation in 2015. It is scheduled to reopen again in 2019 following extensive renovations after Hurricane Irma. Le Toiny is located in an area with an abundance of lush natural vegetation. Le Toiny’s 15 villa suites are comprised of 13 one-bedroom villa suites; one junior suite, and La Villa, a three-bedroom villa that includes a master suite and two bungalows. All accommodations offer breathtaking ocean views with a private heated pool. Bleached wood-inspired floors, fine Belgian linens, textured accessories, and handmade furnishings finish the comfortable spaces.

Each accommodation is unique, with simple neutral tones and private terraces, and guests describe a stay here as worth every penny. Splurge on a specialty villa and you’ll have access to such extras as a private art gallery in the Villa Nina or a recording studio in the Rockstar Villa. Eden Rock sits on St. Jean Bay on the island's northern shore, granting visitors access to pristine sands and a nearby coral reef. When you need a break from the sun, indulge in an in-room spa. Because this is a Relais & Châteaux property, Club 5C members can earn and use their rewards here.

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Guests say that this is a great resort for travelers with children: activities like snorkeling, windsurfing and Jet Ski tours cater to all ages. Parents in need of some R&R can retreat to the Spa by Clarins while the youngsters participate in the hotel’s kid-oriented programs. At the end of the day, sit down to family dinner at Bartolomeo or Indigo, the hotel’s restaurants. And as a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, this property participates in the Leaders Club rewards program.

The hotel’s secluded beach has been refurbished and landscaped and features a coconut grove, tamarind field, and pineapple orchard, offering full beach service to hotel guests and nonguests alike, with a small bar and beach loungers in the shade of the paillottes. The beach is accessible by hotel shuttle. And if you can’t get a room there, the Toiny Beach Club is popular for the day visitors who want to see-and-be-seen.


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ST-BARTHS WELLNESS

ST-BARTHS GUIDE SIX SPAS FOR TOTAL REJUVENATION Sisley Spa Hotel Christopher Spa Le Sereno Le Sereno Cheval Blanc Spa Cheval Blanc St-Barths Isle de France Le Barth Spa & Blow Dry Bar Le Barthelemy Spa by Clarins Le Guanahani (Opening late 2019) In-Room Spa Treatments Eden Rock (Opening late 2019) page 111


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ST-BARTHS

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IT TAKES AN ISLAND THE ROLE OF CHARITABLE GIVING & PHILANTHROPY IN REBUILDING ST-BARTHS In this month’s focus on philanthropy, we look more deeply into the people, organizations, and businesses that contributed to the rebuilding of beloved St-Barths.

William Smith, philanthropy contributor

You are no doubt familiar with the concept of “It takes a village.” Perhaps your reference point is the originating African proverb. Perhaps its from the 1996 book by former US First Lady Hillary Clinton. Whatever the case, the underlying sentiment is the same: the best problem-solving requires collective action by all members of a community. And in the page 114

case of addressing the unprecedented devastation wreaked upon St-Barths when Hurricane Irma unleashed her wrath on September 6, 2017, it has truly taken a village – in this case, an island – to bring the Caribbean paradise back. In this month’s focus on philanthropy, we look more deeply into the people, organizations, and businesses that contributed to the rebuilding of beloved St-Barths. First, it’s important to summarize the profound nature of the damage, as it

makes the recovery all the more miraculous. Hurricane Irma was the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. Packing winds up to 180 miles per hour and accompanying horrific storm surges, the storm was so devastating the losses were calculated at over $1.4 billion – this in a small French territorial island collectivity of only 10,000 full-time residents and a total land mass of 10 square miles. From roofs torn from homes to entire luxury hotels virtually destroyed, very little remained unscathed, especially as


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it related to the all-important tourist industry and its paramount impact on the economy. I have fond memories myself of arriving at Gustavia’s port, enjoying some shopping at the wide array of boutiques in town, indulging in a quick, but civilized lunch, and then setting off for Anse du Gouverneur. A large segment of visitors and products typically arrive via that quaint port, but for more than a week following Irma, the waters were unnavigable. Sunken vessels and the lack of ability to properly survey the waters for such dangers in the immediate aftermath of the storm, meant the small airport in the village of St Jean was the only real lifeline for supplies. Within a day, the runway had been cleared and the airport reopened. Tradewind Aviation, based in Connecticut, jumped at the opportunity to help. Tradewind operates regularly scheduled service into St-Barths from San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Related: they also serve other destinations in the

Caribbean including Nevis, Anguilla, and Antigua and are an excellent option for weekend getaways to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard via New York City). Tradewind flew about 60 flights into StBarths at their own expense, delivering the commodities in need. The deliveries that originated from Tradewind’s hangar in San Juan represented a mammoth effort. Doug Foregger, Director of International Real Estate for WIMCO and a leading realty agent in St-Barths, was part of the larger effort. He related that the immediate focus was on finding generators to ship to the island, given the electrical network was wiped out. “This was important, but it was only helping two or three families at a time,” said Foregger. “On the ground so early, we thought the solution was generators, when it was really chainsaws, tarps, and gloves.” In other words, the equipment to do the clearing of damage needed to come first and so the efforts shifted in that direction. Thousands of pairs of

gloves were sent to help ensure safety in removing sharp debris that littered once posh neighborhoods and placid streets. Untold numbers of tarps purchased by volunteers in the northeast US at hardware stores made their way to cover homes where roofs were in tatters, if not wholly gone. One hundred chainsaws were also flown in to clear the fallen forest of once lush vegetation. And of course, food supplies also took precedence. “People from all over the world bonded together,” said Foregger. Jimmy Buffet lent his plane and gave a free concert for solidarity three months after the storm, boosting the spirits of locals. Jet Blue also flew in relief materials for free. In time, roads were cleared. Electricity was restored. Glimmers of hope were found, like two newly constructed hotels: the Hotel Manapany and Villa Marie, which, due to higher constructions standards, went mostly unscathed. Within a week, French President Macron set foot on St-Barths, assessed the damage, and granted a waiver for page 115


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INFLUENTIAL PHILANTHROPY

the 2.9 million Euros annual payment to France for services. Several Go Fund Me pages solicited funds for relief. Even the luxury French retailers who call St-Barths home joined in, with Hermes funding the replanting of vegetation at the island’s airport. The co-founder of Tradewind Aviation, David Zipkin, summarized it well in the publication Stuff, saying “What was amazing is how quick they got it together. They started rebuilding right away.” Beyond the more spontaneous and heartfelt impulses shed upon St-Barths in the aftermath of the storm, more official efforts also took hold. The StBarths Fondation was established by the Collectivity of St-Barthelemy and officially chartered to coordinate longer term efforts to rebuild. page 116

On the civil society front, Foregger teamed up with his partner in business and life, Mai Norton, and Annelisa Gee, wife of one of the most notable builders on St-Barths. Together they moved from immediate relief to creating the longer-term-focused Help St-Barths (www.helpstbarths.org). Established as a legal nonprofit in both the US and in France, the trio remain committed to not just addressing the impact of Irma, but establishing a long-term philanthropic vehicle to enhance the quality of life on St-Barths. At present, Foregger said they are still building seven homes in partnership with others such as the Red Cross for families without wealth or who are experiencing other challenges. The financial need to finish this current slate of homes is in the neighborhood of a quarter million euros.

As is the human condition, we frequently look for some silver lining even in the face of such incomprehensible loss as that which befell St-Barths and its residents. For example, construction standards have been elevated to ensure newer structures are better able to withstand future storms. All electrical lines are now buried below ground. And many villas and hotels, while already luxe before the storm, have been completely renovated from top to bottom. Finally, in a piece such as this, I have no doubt missed contributions both big and small that were part of the recovery and quickly facilitated St-Barths’ return as the hallmark luxury destination in the Caribbean. To the point, it’s taken an entire island and the people who love it to see St-Barths bounce back. And bounce back it has.


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FASHION & STYLE

ST-BARTHS IN LINEN & SEQUINS CHRISTIAN DIOR: DESIGNER OF DREAMS ISLAND STYLE FOR 2019

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FASHION & STYLE

ST-BARTHS IN LINEN & SEQUINS

Models Ada Jahić, Diego Brin, Orane Ragot and Mailis Febrissy were shot on location in St-Barths wearing 100% Capri, Wild Side of St-Barths and carrying Clic accessories like the St-Barths FWI shopping bag. page 120


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ZUHAIR MURAD'S

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OCEAN FANTASY

From Wildside St-Barths: Sequined Hermes dress: 465 Euros Macro Sequined top: 505 Euros Pink skirt: 990 Euros Bamboo bag: 315 Euros From 100% Capri: Tuta Angelica: 1,400 Euros Hot pants Zip: 290 Euros Camicia Vittoria: 1,200 Euros From Clic: St-Barths FWI Shopping Bag

His broad, marine-infused lineup kicked off with a shimmery, fish-scaled dress, dark in color, with salmon, yellow and green sequins. Shell-shaped pleats fanned up the front, their scalloped edges quivering above the chest. Nearly 60 looks followed, reflecting the designer’s range — one after another, the gowns swept out sparkling and flowing.

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STYLE

CHRISTIAN DIOR

DESIGNER OF DREAMS ON DISPLAY AT THE VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM Tara Cummins, style contributor

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I

f someone asks me what truly made me fall in love with fashion, my answer would be: one exhibition of over 500 pieces and 200 haute couture gowns.

It all began a few weeks ago as I, along with hundreds of other fashion-seeking women, descended upon the world’s leading museum of art and design. With our tailored jackets and classic handbags in arm, we anxiously gathered at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum for an event worthy of a trip across the pond. We were all there for the highly anticipated Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition, an expansion on last year’s couture exhibition in Paris

and an experience that promised some serious wow-factor. The presentation of rare couture garments, vintage perfume, accessories, fashion photography, illustrations, magazines, and personal possessions all on display certainly did not disappoint. It didn’t take long to understand why this particular event is so highly regarded. From breathtakingly beautiful gowns to ethereal settings that inspire every fairytale dream, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams is a true celebration of glamour and fantasy. Visitors are taken on an evolutionary journey that traces one of the most influential couturiers and his six successors. The exhibit unfolds historically starting with Dior’s birth in 1905 to a wealthy French family in Normandy, but we are quickly reminded of just how much an Anglophile Dior truly was. He said so himself, “There is no other country, besides my own, whose way of life I like so much. I love English traditions, English politeness, English architecture.

I even love English cooking.” In 1947, Dior introduced his first collection and most famous invention. The “New Look” offered a new sense of style for the fashion-starved, post-World War II women. With rounded shoulders, a cinched waist, and a full skirt, it celebrated femininity. It was adored by British aristocrats, including the Royals. Of all the exquisite gowns on display, perhaps the most enchanting was Princess Margaret’s 21st birthday gown designed by Dior in 1951.

STYLE

While Christian Dior had a great appreciation for the grandeur of British life, he was also deeply inspired by travel, history, and gardens. The entire exhibit brings this to life with 11 elaborately decorated sections. From roses cascading from the ceiling, a ballroom featuring a seven-minute reel of shooting stars, and lavish interiors that resemble the great houses of Britain, the entire

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layout is a sensory delight. It not only pays tribute to Dior’s lifetime, but it also spotlights the work of those who collaborated with the house including his six successors: Yves Saint-Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and Chiuri. Each brought a different interpretation yet successpage 134

fully incorporated their own creative sensibilities while keeping in line with the “codes of Dior.” To this day, Dior’s designs are still reinterpreted again and again. The Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition was more than a collection of perfectly placed dresses. It was a history

lesson of sorts - an experience. I’ve always had a great appreciation for fashion, but it was through Dior’s brilliant vision, technical mastery, and admirable craftsmanship that proved me a true fashion enthusiast. Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams is at the V&A until July 14 vam.ac.uk


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ISLAND STYLE DRESSED FOR SUMMER

Outlook: Take some notes from the trending collections of this season and try out some fluorescent fabrics and playful patterns.

Stanley Pierre Etienne, style contributor

F

or years, when critics referenced fashion in the tropics, it all came down to white linen, toes-out footwear and sunglasses. Not anymore. Here in the heart of the Caribbean, we are catching up to high resort trends from fashion's sunny capitals. In the Caribbean, we have our own aesthetics, our own style insight and we’re loud about it. It’s an aggressive and in-your-face kind of thing. We wear bold prints, especially Africanand Caribbean-inspired. Some like to either stay true to traditional type of dressing under the sun while otherslove to experiment with colors, prints (more quiet ones) and textures. Adding some high fashion flair to their style in order to stay original is a growing trend especially when it comes to the younger fashionistas. We live in an eternal-summer state of mind and we’re constantly dressed for it. Thanks to the fact that we don’t need

to transition from season to season, we have an advantage when it comes to shopping. The temperatures on the beaches vary about 8 degrees F all year long. We have hot and hotter. When we buy smartly and invest in solid pieces, we can wear what we buy throughout the whole year. Talk about maximizing your wardrobe. Nowadays, the Caribbean swag is an international way of dressing. It is not that we are losing our identity; we are just evolving, catching up to international trends. Currently, walking down the streets, it is noticeable to see a lot of bold solid colors, textiles and prints but with the start pre-summer here in the Caribbean, we appreciate a more international vogue of fashion and style. Neon, especially lime green is everywhere these days. There are more pastel tones right now on the boulevards than ever. We’re only few weeks into spring, so imagine what summer will bring. Monochromatic looks in bright tones and pastels are

STYLE

some of the trends I am rooting to see more here in the Caribbean at the beaches and hotels this summer. Also, wearing suits with nothing underneath is big right now – so I would love to see this here. Both Caribbean men and women have some great bodies – show some skin by wearing a blazer on nothing but a bare chest. Invest also in some tie-dye textured fabrics – they’re so in right now – and they can add freshness and versatility to a look. And one last thing, wearing one fabric from top to bottom can be chic, elegant and stylish. It can be a shirt with some tailored pants or shorts cut from the same cloth or a more casual piece like a t-shirt paired with jogger style pants. But remember the golden rule: don’t wear trends just for the sake of it. The best way to incorporate trendy items to your wardrobe is to add, study and select some pieces to elevate your personal style. page 137


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Ralph & Russo Opens at Monaco's One-Monte Carlo

STYLE

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lobal luxury brand, Ralph & Russo, continues its retail expansion with its first European flagship opening within Monaco’s prestigious One-Monte Carlo complex, designed by award winning architect, Sir Richard Rogers, and situated in the heart of Monaco’s golden triangle. Home to leading luxury brands, the opening of the Monaco boutique closely follows the unveiling of the brand’s other flagships in Doha, Qatar and Dubai, UAE, with additional boutiques expected to launch globally in key destinations over the next year. CEO Michael Russo comments, “Monaco is the ultimate luxury desti-

nation and home to the world’s leading designer brands. We are excited to be opening in such an international hub, which attracts residents and visitors from all over Europe and beyond." Set over two floors, the boutique is testament to excellence in craftsmanship and architectural savoir faire, boasting an exquisite sculptural staircase at its core and an entirely bespoke interior, as designed and personally defined by Creative Director Tamara Ralph. “Monaco is such a special and prestigious region. It was so important to us that our Monte Carlo boutique not only reflect the brand, but also the grandeur of its location,” said Ralph.

Encased by 4,700 alternating metallic strips and illuminated by a breathtaking jeweled Murano glass chandelier, the staircase leads to a private lounge on the lower level, offering a unique client experience and orchestrating the perfect balance between visibility and privacy. The ground floor, in contrast, mirrors the feeling of Monaco with a more open atmosphere. “The beauty of the Cote d’Azur and the yachts that inhabit it are so integral to the identity of Monaco,” Ralph said. “In designing the boutique I really wanted to celebrate the region’s maritime history alongside the contemporary splendor of the yachting community today.” page 139





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VERNISSAGE {PRIVATE VIEWING}

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Knowledge Identity & Power SARAH OWUSU

Raphael Dapaah | Art Contributor raphaeldapaah@hotmail.co.uk

Years ago, I learned of the Mona Lisa effect – the phenomenon in which portraits appear to direct their gaze at the viewer and follow them almost regardless of where they are positioned with respect to the painting. My initial reaction upon reading about this effect was one of generous skepticism and disbelief. That was until I visited the Musée du Louvre, and locked eyes with the mythical muse who has captured the hearts and minds of countless spectators since she was immortalized by Leonardo da Vinci in 1503. Fast forward to 2019, when I recently found myself gripped by the same eerie effect after coming face to face with a striking portrait of the Honorable Marcus Garvey at a private viewing on Carnaby Street in Central London. Unlike the soft, inviting eyes of Lisa Gherardini, the portrait that transfixed me was defiant, bold, and intimidating in its majesty and pomp. His penetrating, yet assuring, stare is accentuated by a strong mouth that seems to bellow in a deep and gravelly baritone, “Behold me!”

I can still hear the voice echoing behind me long after I broke Garvey’s gaze, and I’m reminded of a quote by the larger-than-life leader of the Pan-African movement… “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” Whereas Leonardo’s most famous work was commissioned by a wealthy nobleman and merchant; Sarah Owusu’s motivation behind what, in time, will come to be viewed as one of her most iconic paintings, is her steadfast passion for paying homage to figures who inspire and empower generations of people across the African diaspora. For Sarah, painting is both a passion and a higher calling, one she openly speaks of when she describes herself as a vessel of God – an artist on a mission to disrupt the prevalent and often ill-informed narratives around people of African heritage. More significantly, her work is intimately connected with her own personal experience of grappling with her self-identity and esteem, after being diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, a condition which causes facial paralysis and distortion. During that traumatic period, she could barely look at herself in the mirror without shedding tears of self-loathing; she summoned the courage to face the

outside world as she responded to a sudden compulsion to express her anguish the best way she knew how – through art. Armed with two canvases, acrylic paint and humble paint brushes, the artist embarked on a battle to defeat her personal demons and doubts, abstractly depicting herself on stretched linen, and sharing her story of vulnerability, pain and triumph with the world in the most open and transparent way that only an artist can. Since that first self-portrait, which inspired and moved people enduring their own personal traumas, Sarah has been on a journey to inspire, motivate, and empower viewers through the subject matters she depicts in her art, often rooted in modern history’s period of colonialism and post-colonialism politics and the socio-economic ramifications for the affected. While the artist’s style has evolved over the years, shifting from abstract to abstract figurativism and portraiture, her subject and purpose remain confidently consistent. From her questioning and spotlighting of the African continent’s pillaging and abuse in her heart wrenching piece, “‘Weeping Africa,” to her more recent stunning tribute to political activist,

Her work, although empowering to all who view it with an open mind and consciousness, is especially emboldening for women who look like the artist, as her portraiture celebrates some of the most impressive and unapologetic women in living memory: Maya Angelou and Rosa Parks just to name two. page 145


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Angela Davis – depicted in an army camouflage pigmentation, Sarah explores the full scale of Africa’s and people of African heritage’s state of vulnerability and subjugation, to their proud, tenacious and resilient qualities.

of her paintings. It felt very much like a long time coming, during which time the artist has consistently wowed viewers with work at group exhibitions, and original paintings destined for eager collectors and art patrons.

Her work, although empowering to all who view it with an open mind and consciousness, is especially emboldening for women who look like the artist, as her portraiture celebrates some of the most impressive and unapologetic women in living memory: Maya Angelou and Rosa Parks just to name two.

She openly informed me of a solo exhibition she had been planning recently, that she shelved due to her belief that the body of work, while strong, was not up to par with her high standards. I smiled, confident in the knowledge that artists are always their own harshest critics. I am elated to hear that a new solo exhibition is currently in the works, though I am not at liberty to share the details just yet. I can, however, confirm that on the basis of the subject matter alone, it will be a solo exhibition that will be well-worth the wait, and that in true Owusu fashion, will force

In the midst of my conversation with Sarah, I couldn’t help but wonder when the public and avid admirers of her work like myself would be granted the privilege of viewing a solo exhibition

the viewer to explore their perceptions of identity, standards of beauty and convention. After our conversation, which took place at my local cafe on Millbank, we walked toward the Tate Britain, and I left feeling both inspired and impressed by the artist. In another life, she could easily be an ambassador, activist or a politician as she effortlessly communicates her strong views as clearly and convincingly verbally as she does on a canvas. For the time being, Sarah chooses to affect change and inspire others through her gifts as an artist, although somehow, I sense that perhaps in the not too distant future, her work and calling will transcend that of art. I suppose only time will tell.

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THE FUTURE OF THE CUL-DE-SAC

Floating, hurricane-proof cities planned for development off of major coastal areas have been endorsed by the United Nations. Is this what the future of your neighborhood will look like?

THE WORLD'S BEST AIRPORT GETS BETTER Singapore's Changi Airport opened its newest addition "Jewel," a rejuvenation space open to both travelers and the public. We take you inside this award-winning architectural masterpiece.

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THE FUTURE OF THE CUL-DE-SAC

BEYOND THEORY:

PLANS FOR LIVABLE FLOATING CITIES

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he United Nations just unveiled a concept for a floating city that can hold around 10,000 residents. The city is built to withstand natural disasters like floods, tsunamis, and hurricanes. The design comes from architect Bjarke Ingels and floating city builder Oceanix. At a roundtable in March, the UN said floating cities could help protect people from sea-level rise while addressing the lack of affordable housing in major cities. page 152

What once seemed like the moonshot vision of tech billionaires and idealistic architects could soon become a concrete solution to several of the world’s most pressing challenges.

“Everybody on the team actually wants to get this built,” said Marc Collins, the CEO of Oceanix, a company that builds floating structures. “We’re not just theorizing.”

At the United Nations roundtable, a group of builders, engineers, and architects debuted a concept for an affordable floating city.

The company believes a floating city project would address both dire housing shortages and threats from rising sea levels. The structures themselves would be designed to withstand all sorts of natural disasters, including floods, tsunamis, and Category 5 hurricanes.

Unlike instances in the past when these futuristic designs have been met with skepticism, the executive director of the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat), Maimunah Mohd Sharif, said the UN would support and shepherd this project.

The concept, known as Oceanix City, was designed by renowned architect Bjarke Ingels in collaboration with Oceanix. Though it still needs funding,


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beneath the surface of the water. Cages underneath the platforms could harvest scallops, kelp, or other forms of seafood. Aquaponic systems would use waste from fish to help fertilize plants, while vertical farms would generate year-round produce. Both of these technologies could also help the city remain self-sufficient during a hurricane or other natural disaster. Overall, the goal is to reduce waste and produce all the food necessary to feed the city’s inhabitants. Though it’s referred to as a “floating city,” the community would actually be moored to the ocean floor. What once seemed like the moonshot vision of tech billionaires and idealistic architects could soon become a concrete solution to several of the world’s most pressing challenges.

it’s essentially a toolkit for investors brave enough to take on the project. The city would essentially be a collection of hexagonal platforms that can each hold around 300 residents. Hexagons are widely considered one of the most efficient architectural shapes. (Think of the orderly inside of a beehive.) By designing each platform as a hexagon, the builders hope to minimize their use of materials. The designers consider a group of six platforms to be a village. The entire city would contain six villages, for a total of around 10,000 residents. Ingels said 10,000 is the ideal number of residents, since it would allow the island to achieve “full autonomy” by producing its own power, fresh water, and heat. Ingels is best known for individual projects like the Superkilen public park

in Copenhagen or a pair of twisting towers in New York City. But designing an entire city gives him room to expand his vision. “At the city scale you can achieve more,” Ingels said. The villages wouldn’t allow any high-emitting cars or trucks. The city would not contain any garbage trucks. Instead, pneumatic trash tubes would transport garbage to a sorting station, where it could be identified and re-purposed. “This doesn’t look like Manhattan,” Collins told the UN. “There are no cars.” The design might allow for driver-less vehicles, however, and the city could experiment with new technologies such as drone deliveries. The concept calls for “ocean farming,” which would involve growing food

Oceanix envisions the villages within about a mile of major coastal cities. The platforms could also be towed to safer locations in the event of a disaster. The platforms would be bolstered by Biorock, a material created by exposing underwater minerals to an electric current. This leads to the formation of a limestone coating that’s three times harder than concrete, but can still be made to float. The substance becomes stronger with age and can even repair itself as long as it’s still exposed to the current. This allows it to withstand harsh weather conditions. The city could also contain an aquifer system that pulls clean water out of the air. “Cities really start and fail by how well they manage water,” engineer Bry Sarté told the UN. In a disaster scenario, machine generators could pull air from the atmosphere, condense it into water, and filter it for impurities like metal or bacteria. page 153


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JEWEL OPENS AT SINGAPORE'S CHANGI AIRPORT The "World's Best Airport" just got better with $1.25 billion glass dome mall

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he world’s top-ranked airport, Changi Airport in Singapore, just unveiled a $1.25 billion glass dome mall with a rainforest, waterfalls, and bejeweled clouds. The mall officially opened to the public on April 17, 2019. Singapore’s Changi Airport is famous for a reason. Having held the world’s number one title for six years running in the Skytrax awards, it’s clear that it’s earned its title — and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. The mall conceptualized to serve travpage 156

elers with longer layovers and time to kill, but not enough hours to explore the city. It has kiosks that allow travelers to check-in over three hours before their flight, drop off their luggage, then enjoy the mall. There are currently 26 airlines offering an early check-in service. The airport authorities unveiled its shopping mall, Jewel, to the media and some members of public on April 11, and we were blown away by how stunning it was. The mall was designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie to reflect the country’s reputation as “a city in a garden.” Before opening, the mall had already won four awards, including the

International Architecture Award. From the outside, the 38,500 square meter mall that used to be a carpark for Terminal 1 looks like a garden in a glass dome. At the mall’s main entrance, there are crystal clouds made from wire and faux gems. At night, the clouds appear to shimmer from the reflection of glass walls that make the wire and gems sparkle. After passing through the main entrance, visitors are immediately treated to a stunning view of the mall’s centerpiece: a 40 meter-tall waterfall flanked by four stories of flowering terrace gardens. The waterfall alternates between


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water and mist. Every few minutes, the waterfall switches between different displays. While the mist is intriguing, the roaring water of the waterfall display has a majestic feel. The water cascades down to the lower levels and ends in a pool. Rainwater is used to water the gardens around the waterfall. At night, the waterfall completely transforms into the backdrop for a gorgeous light show. Jewel’s landscaped forest valley houses one of the country’s largest indoor collections of plants that took nine months to obtain and two years to acclimatize in a local nursery before being moved into the mall. On the ground floor, pathways to the waterfall are covered in plants. There’s even a mini bamboo forest.

Changi Airport Group managing director Jayson Goh said the greenery helps stressed-out travelers to relax. Surrounding the waterfall, there are seating ledges offering visitors a spot to rest in between shopping. Restaurants are designed to feature views of the waterfall, particularly those on floors six to ten, boast magnificent views of the waterfall. Eateries here include London’s famous Burger and Lobster As well as Tanuki Raw and Singapore’s first Tiger Beer “global concept store”. One of the airport’s skytrains passes through the center of the mall. Though it doesn’t stop there, riders will enjoy the views of the forest area. Next to the dining area is a concierge counter nestled among the trees.

There are four play areas for children including a reflective slide. There’s also a delightful woodland area a grassy zone with dips and humps. Every few minutes, the dips fill with fog. The mist makes sitting in the dips feel like being inside a cloud. There’s also a hedge maze and a mirror maze and a quiet pond, too. The pond, teeming with tropical plants, is another calm place for travelers and visitors to take a moment to breathe and relax. Among the topiary “flower animals” is a pink flower elephant. There are also birds made from brightly-colored flowers among the decor. There’s even a stunning peacock made of flowers too. While there may not be real animals roaming this rainforest, it’s still a great spot to immerse yourself in nature without leaving the airport. page 157


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WINE

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Dessert Wine

SWEET TEMPTATIONS

Cezar Kusik, wine contributor

Like photosynthesis, which gives us air to breath, fermentation is one of those simple, yet marvelous chemical processes – a natural miracle one might say, which brings us, in one of its interpretations, a gift of life. Or at least a gift of a better life. Wine. The juice of grapes (or any fruit for that matter) is exposed to yeasts. Yeasts,

which occur in plentitude in nature, have a bit of a sweet tooth – sugar is what they thrive on and grapes offer an abundance of it. While chomping on all this sweetness, yeasts convert sugars into alcohol releasing heat and carbon dioxide as byproducts. The more sugar gets devoured, the higher alcohol level in the resulting juice. It’s as simple as that. Then, we humans intervene, with all that knowledge and technology, clarifying, fining, stabilizing, racking, and aging until that fermented goodness is

bottled. And we all know what happens after: swirling, sniffing, smacking of the lips, dancing, hollering, and praising of the gods. And it’s all because of the fermented grape juice. Hilarious. Human use of nature, or rather the manipulation of it, is exemplified at its best in the making of sweet wines. These wines are often a product of counterintuitive wine making techniques; from exposure to extreme temperatures to taming of a grape-rotting fungus, intentional oxidation and dehydration of grapes, or the manipulation of the ferpage 163


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Dessert Wines

mentation process to achieve desired sweetness levels in wines.

These days, when the obsession with “natural wines,” which taste of dirt, strive for “balance” and are “driven” by terroir, dominates the wine culture, the decadent nature of sweet wines isn’t given much attention or deserved respect. In wine’s historic infancy, the sweet versions were the preferred choice. In 40 BC, Cleopatra’s favorite wine in ancient Greece was the sweet Muscat of Alexandria. In the 1600, the most desired wines of the day were sweet white wines; Sauternes of Bordeaux, German Rieslings, and Hungarian Tokaji. Because of primitive and “uneducated” wine making practices, the dry wines were often imbalanced, harsh, and unpalatable. There was neither fermentation temperature control nor anti-oxidative substances available. Our focus here will be only wines in which the sugar occurs naturally, coming from the grapes and the grapes alone, rather than artificially added by a wine maker through the process chaptalization. Let’s start with some fizz. Champagne, which most of us

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know in its dry version has also sweet expressions: Demi-Sec and Doux labeled Champagnes should not be ignored. They have place in our culinary lives and are enticing pairings for variety of lighter desserts and cheeses. A little more frivolous are two lightly effervescent wines from Italian region of Piedmont: Moscato d’Asti and Brachetto d’Acqui. The first made from Muscat grape, the latter from a red Brachetto. Both are charmingly aromatic with a touch of tingle on the palate. Noble rot wines. Botrytis Cinerea is the Latin name for a microscopic fungus that sometimes occurs in vineyards. It requires damp, humid conditions that usually aren’t beneficial to normal wine production. Ruinous to other fruits and grapes not intended for sweet wines, if supervised accordingly, noble rot removes water from grape berries concentrating the sugar’s content, acids, and other minerals, result-

ing in decadently sweet wines reminiscent of honeysuckle, ginger-spiced quince, marzipanned, dry apricots. You find these wines in French regions of Sauternes, Barsac, Cadillac, Monbazillac, as well as in Hungary’s Tokaji area. Tokaji is one of the oldest and the first demarcated wine region. Made from indigenous grapes of Furmint and Harslevelu, the wines have legendary age-ability, especially in their sweetest form. Its sweetest version is called essencia. It is arguably the richest and rarest of all sweet wines. Typically it takes 6 to 8 years to ferment. Its alcohol level is usually less than 3% with 85% residual sugar. Traditionally a tiny amount of essencia is served on a crystal spoon. Ice Wine. Rare, expensive, and very sweet. Occasionally, in cold climate wine regions like Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and some northern parts of US, the freezing


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Fortified wines are known for their legendary age-ability. Madeira wines from the 19th century.

temperatures will invade the vineyards while the grape bunches are intentionally left hanging on the vines. Water, which constitutes a big part of grape juice, freezes turning into ice. Removing the ice from the frozen berries leaves the wine maker with all that undiluted sweetness that fermented into wine gives us: rich, syrupy nectar. German Eiswein is the best known in this category.

tation is halted by adding high alcohol spirit, usually a local brandy, disabling the yeasts and retaining some residual sugar. The result is wines of varied degrees of sweetness and spiked alcohol level around 20 percent.

Fortified wines. Alcohol levels above 17 percent kill yeasts. That’s why naturally fermented wines cannot go above that number. Fortified wines are a broad category wherein the fermen-

Madeira. This is my favorite fortified wine category. Because of its unique vinification, at its best, Madeira wines offer exotic flavors of toasted nuts, chestnuts, spiced figs and intriguing salinity of the ocean breeze. Historically,

Fortified wines are known for their legendary age-ability. I was once offered a glass of Madeira from the 1850s. It was exquisite.

during the exploratory colonial voyages of 17th and 18th centuries, the island of Madeira was an important connecting point for ships on the way to the Americas and the Indies. Barrels of wine, kept under the decks of sail ships, were exposed to dramatic temperature fluctuations of various climate zones. These conditions caused oxidation of wine. To prevent the spoilage, wines were fortified with brandy and the nutty flavors of oxidation added to the wine’s appeal. Nowadays, Madeira wines are still intentionally heated up to promote oxidation. Rather than storing it under the decks of ships, the process is conducted in specially designated warehouses called Estufas. The addition of high ABV brandy preserves the wines and allows the wine maker to regulate levels of sweetness. There are four classic Madeira wines named after the grape varieties, from the least sweet to the sweetest: Sercial, Verdelho, Bual, Malvasia (aka Malmsey). It was with Madeira that the founding fathers of the United States of America toasted the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. Port wines come from the region of Duoro in Northern Portugal. The city of Porto, the second largest in Portugal, is the spiritual center of the wine. Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Roriz are the three main, local grapes used in its production. Historically, Port

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wines were dry with small amounts of a local brandy added for stability prior to its shipment abroad. England has always been Port’s biggest market. Inadvertently the added spirit allowed and preserved the wine’s sugar, which is how the modern version of sweet Port was born. Our sense of taste is a rather primitive tool. Our palates can recognize only 5 sensations: salty, sour, bitter, umami, and sweet. It is our olfactory receptors that allow us to experience the world of flavors at its nearly limitless complexity. The human nose has roughly 400 types of scent receptors that can detect at least 1 trillion different odors. A peach doesn’t taste like peach; rather it smells like one. The only tastes in peach you detect are its sweetness, tartness, bitterness, saltiness, and umami – if any. Vin Doux Naturel. Even though labeled with a French name, these fortified wines are not geographically bound and can come from anywhere in the world. There is a Grenache grape-based Banyuls wine from the Southern French region of Languedoc, Perfumy Orange Muscat wines from Italy or Rutherglen

Muscat from Australia and let’s not forget about the seductively decadent Mavrodaphni from Greece. Straw wines, raisin wines or, as the French call them, Vin de Paille. The wines in this extremely broad category are made from grapes dehydrated (raisinated) by drying them in the direct contact with sun heat, either by leaving them on the vines or traditionally laid out on straw mats (paille). These wines are geographically ubiquitous and aren’t limited to specific grape varieties. Italian Vin Santo, Spanish Pedro Ximenez, German Strohwein, Austrian Schilfwein, and most notable, the French Vin de Paille from the Jura region, all offer unique flavors reflective of their origins, yet sharing in their scrumptious sweetness. These are just some of my favorite wines in vast family of sweet wines. Don’t hesitate to explore others. In this time and age, when sugar or anything that bears any trace of sweetness has become our nutritional public enemy number one, sweet wines fell victim of this persecution as well.

As a restaurant professional for over 25 years I’ve noticed a dramatic decline in dessert and sweet wine consumption. Yet, rich or poor, regardless of our culture, creed, race, or geographic location, traditionally our meals, especially the final one of the day, whether we call it dinner or supper, has always culminated with … something sweet. As if subliminally we choose to finish the toils of our everyday lives on a pleasant note. No matter how brain washed we may be by our weight loss influencer or the superficial, social expectations, sweet fills us with joy, sooths our existentially bruised souls and promises better days to come. So next time while dining out, when someone offers you a glass of sumptuous Sauternes with a wedge of blue cheese or Brachetto d’Aqui with raspberry chocolate mousse, set aside your reservations and dive in. And remember: human longevity is comically irrelative and cosmically irrelevant, but life’s spontaneous intensity is irreplaceable.

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SPIRITUALITY DEFINING THE DIVINE

A SPIRITUAL APPROACH TO

UNDERSTANDING ANGER Jyoti Paintel-Bowles Spirituality Contributor

‘The fault lies not in our stars, dear Brutus, but in our ‘selves.’” – Julius Caesar Most people are surprised, and sometimes even amused, when I tell them that one of the issues I’m trying to sort through in becoming a better person is my anger. One common stereotype about anger or rage is that it predominantly affects men, or more specifically, anger is only socially acceptable for men to display, since women must be seen in nurturing roles as altruistic peace-makers.

PART I

way, hence the common use of anger management as an approach in cognitive-based therapies. There is much literature surrounding the managing of anger, but I want to examine some spiritual approaches in understanding the root causes, rather than just deliver strategies on how to squelch the powerful and negative emotions that anger manifests. Since there is a plethora of material and I want to give this topic the justice it deserves, I will cover this in a two part series.

In fact, studies have shown that women are afraid of the consequences of displaying anger, so in order to cope, they suppress it, channel it toward something else, or downplay what caused it. Misconceptions aside, anger is not gender-specific but rather an universally felt emotion that most of us have never been taught explicitly how to cope with or process in constructive ways.

As humans, we develop belief systems that initially begin as observations of the way adults behaved during our in childhood. It is a widely accepted theory in psychology that the spectrum of experiences from that crucial time in childhood can shape our systems of thought and behavior as adults. Adult issues with anger can be traced to lifelong feelings of resentment, bitterness, and hostility. Thus, in order to deconstruct and break negative patterns of these belief systems, we must understand the root causes of anger.

Anger can be a source of empowerment when used to address injustice, whether it is social or personal. When it is channeled in a healthy way, anger can be used to as a tool of introspection. However, most of us haven’t been conditioned in our minds to see it that

Because anger is a symptom of a deeper issue that is buried deep within our psyche, it is rarely felt as an isolated emotion. In his spiritual approach to deconstructing anger through teaching of the Bible, Charles F. Stanley suggests the roots of anger have correspond-

ing negative emotions. Daoism and Buddhism also support this theory and expand on these roots, providing practical ways to address them. These solutions are not easy paths to freedom - they require radical honesty, critical thinking, and changing unhealthy patterns- but in reality there is no other way to a lasting inner peace. Here are a few common associations with anger.

Blame and Shame Adam blaming Eve for their expulsion from the Garden of Eden is a poignant biblical example because blaming others is a denial – a way for us not to accept responsibility for shame resulting from our own actions. When we have done something disgraceful or dishonorable, a natural reaction is to externally designate blame and internally feel shame. Although this brings some measure of temporary relief, it rarely creates a permanent resolution. According to the Dao, if we blame others, there is no end to the blame. A common misinterpretation of Buddhist instruction is one must always remain calm, which can repress anger, but the true lesson is that there is no shame in anger, because it a seed that is present in all humans. The only way to end the blame game, which has page 169


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SPIRITUALITY DEFINING THE DIVINE

A SPIRITUAL APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING ANGER PART I no real benefit, is to accept our faults because when we completely accept and forgive ourselves, it is much easier to pardon the mistakes of others.

Pride Pride is a very complex emotion: on one hand it fuels our basic need to be desired, recognized, admired, and loved. On the other hand, it can also spark unpleasant and dangerous emotions such as greed, envy, and jealousy. As children, when our needs are not met, we get upset and throw tantrums, but sometimes we never release this pattern - it becomes our modus operandi way past an acceptable age. If we decide that we must get what we want when we want, then we will feel disproportionate anger and out of control when we don’t get it. In Daoism, it is stated that when we are constantly in a state of wanting and trafficking with our desires, our heart will never unclench. Changing our belief system here is crucial because when we display this dissatisfaction through anger or bitterness, we rarely achieve good results.

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Learning to accept that it is rare in life to always have control of situations and others is done through compromise. Finding gratitude for what we already have such as good health or the support of family and friends can profoundly affect our disposition, and ease our sense of entitlement for demanding what we want. Releasing the need for constant control of our circumstances can help eliminate feelings of hostility and bitterness.

Insecurity Insecurity is at the heart of most of our fears, whether it is rejection, loss, disappointment, inadequacy or unworthiness- and it can also cause anger. This specific root is very destructive because we blame ourselves for things that we cannot change. Whether they happened in the past or are associated with how others have behaved toward us, this can lead to overwhelming frustration. Unless we examine this emotion thoroughly, it can prevent us from having lasting, healthy relationships, can withdraw us from life, or make us act out our fear by resenting the happiness or success of others.

Often, resolving deep insecurities are difficult and require us to seek help from mental health professionals, spiritual guides, or other trusted people. It is vital to seek this out because fear can prevent us from living the life we truly want. Discovering that we are valuable and lovable can turn the tide in our lives and allow us to see ourselves in our true beautiful light. When we come to see we are vulnerable creatures and understanding that all of us live with some fear builds self-compassion and empathy for others - both antidotes to insecurity.

While anger is normal and even healthy to experience, hanging onto to it is toxic. There are many more emotions that can be discussed as contributing factors, but it is important to also remember that anger is unpredictable and sometimes we must give ourselves the proper time and space to address it in a healthy and productive manner.


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VOLUME III / ISSUE V / MAY 2019

Welcome Home

COLOMBIER, ST-BARTHS VILLA LA GRANDE MAISON (LGM) $35,914,703 USD / 32,000,000 EURO

ABOUT VILLA LGM La Grande Maison is an extraordinary and impressive property sitting in the hillside of Colombier, with an exclusive and prime location in the private Domaine Les Etoiles. The villa overlooks the Caribbean Sea and its western orientation has superb views over the horizon, Saba and Statia islands, sailboats and yachts at anchorage and the sunset all year round. The large plot of land measures just over 8000 m² and is surrounded by other luxurious villas, creating an idyllic setting. A look out point offers unparalleled 360 ° views. The villa has no less than nine bedrooms: seven for guests occupancy and two for staff accommodation. Made up of several bungalows and cottages, the main villa has a large well-equipped kitchen, a beautiful dining room, an outdoor dining area, a pretty cozy living room, a gym with a massage corner and 5 bedrooms, each decorated in the spirit of a famous fashion designer. A few steps lead to the two-bedroom cottage with living room and kitchen and a lawn and playground for children. An independent caretaker’s house is found at the back. The combination of fine, elegant furniture, finishes using high-quality materials and a sophisticated decoration, all create a harmonious and refined atmosphere. The bedrooms and the living room are all equipped with the latest video and audio systems and the decorative stones covering the exterior walls have been excavated on site. The well-maintained beautiful page 176

tropical garden connects each area and enhances the whole property. The property has three pools: one at

the main terrace with loungers, a BBQ and pool bar, one at Manuel Canovas cottage and the last one is in the private terrace of the master suite.


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Completing the property, there is also another staff room, a laundry, several guest toilets and a large garage. La Grande Maison is the high-end luxury

retreat par excellence with amazing views, complete privacy and a superb location in one of the most desirable destinations in the world. page 177


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Welcome Home

LORIENT, ST-BARTHS VILLA REI $19,000,000 USD

ABOUT VILLA REI This splendid property is inspired by Caribbean traditional architecture and was completely renovated in 2009.

sqm, and it is surrounded by attractive airy verandas.

Bel Esprit is located on a wooded plateau above Lorient, set in one of the most beautiful gardens in the island.

Inside, you will find the beautiful kitchen with its high ceilings and French doors, the comfortable living room and the master bedroom with two en suite bathrooms, an outdoor shower and a bath.

The main house is in the heart of this large property that measures over 5,000

A few steps lead to the pool and the deck - the perfect place to enjoy the sun-

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set and ocean views. From here, a path leads to the guest bungalows each with two bedrooms with private bathrooms and a lovely lounge, ideal for to listening music or watching TV in peace. Continuing through the garden, you arrive at the office, a small traditional bungalow in the heart of the greenery. Lower down is the ceramic workshop, with its creations scattered around –


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ideal for turning into a caretaker’s house. Finally, the last building houses a spacious bedroom with en suite bathroom. The peaceful idyllic environment, high-standard finishings and materials and tasteful decoration are just some of the elements of this exceptional property. page 179


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Welcome Home

LORIENT, ST-BARTHS VILLA SBS $15,500,000 USD ABOUT VILLA SBS Located in Lorient Bay, this beach front property is designed for an exceptional indoor-outdoor lifestyle to meet the requirements of the most discerning of guests. Decorated in a tasteful contemporary style, this luxurious property offers stunning views of the ocean and the neighboring islands. The large sun deck and covered terrace are set in the sand and shaded by Royal Palm trees. The main living area consists of a fully equipped kitchen with breakfast bar, interior dining area for 8, and a comfortable living room. This space opens to a covered terrace featuring a mirrored effect pool and a Jacuzzi. It is an ideal spot for entertaining, with a lounge area and a second dining area. Four bedrooms with private bathrooms and walk-In showers are located on either side of the terrace, all facing the ocean. A fifth bedroom with en suite bathroom, kitchen and terrace is nestled in the rear garden. This exceptional villa, with direct access to the beach, is graced with amenities of the latest fashion and exceptional design.

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COACH WINE: FUNCTIONAL TRAINING

STRESS & ITS FATTY ROLE WEIGHT LOSS MADE SIMPLE The entire balance of your bank account and all the tips on the Internet can't help if you don't follow some basic guidelines.

Mark Wine CSCS; USAW; NASM PT, PES, CES

Stress is one of the most devious things that we as human beings can encounter. Not only is stress linked to depression, mood swings and anxiety, but studies show that it leads to increased fat levels. Stress stimulates production of the hormone cortisol, which is linked to muscle breakdown and increased fat accumulation, especially in the belly. In fact, men with more belly fat stimulate more cortisol production. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced within the adrenal gland. Cortisol is stimulated as a result of stress, both physiologically and metabolically. Metabolic stress is caused as a result of

vigorous physical exercise. Physiological stress is caused by over-working, having too much on your plate, and so on. Decreasing your cortisol levels is also advantageous for insulin sensitivity and a healthy intestinal tract. Cortisol creates a lack of sensitivity to insulin. Insensitivity to insulin allows blood glucose levels to be unregulated, if you will, and as a result more fat will be stored. Cortisol also leads to gastrointestinal tract (GI) inflammation. GI inflammation results in diarrhea, ulcers, abdominal pains and so much more. GI inflammation also leads to decreased neurotransmitter efficiency within the GI tract that leaves you feeling sluggish, depressed and suffering from anxiety. Now that we understand the dangers of stress, let’s learn how to avoid them.

Metabolic stress has both pros and cons. Working out with proper movements and exercises causes stress to increase metabolically. This form of metabolic stress is necessary for lean muscle growth or whole protein synthesis. As a result, body fat levels will be reduced. Decrease cortisol levels post-workout by supplementing with whey protein. This will stimulate insulin sensitivity within the body and send vital Essential Amino Acids (EAA) into the damaged muscles.

Physiological stress is a harder form of stress to prevent. My number one suggestion for this is to get a hobby that is relaxing. For me, it is cooking or reading research on nutrition and health. For others relaxing may be reading, talking, watching TV, yoga, or anything else that takes their mind off of the reason they are stressed in the first place. Regardless of your hobby and/or situation, removing as much stress out of your life as possible is one sure way to decrease cortisol production.

A second effective method for decreasing cortisol is supplementing with vitamin C. You can supplement with any pure form of vitamin C post-workout or get it through whole food ingestion. Roughly 2-8 grams post-workout is suggested. Choosing fruits like acerola cherries, grape fruit, or oranges could be a great alternative to supplementation with a pill.

Quick note: subcutaneous fat is not related to cortisol levels. This is the fat that is directly under the skin. The way to decrease this fat is through physical exercise and proper nutrition. However, visceral belly fat is related to cortisol levels. This fat is the most deadly.

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M U S C L E

F I T N E S S page 187



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VOLUME III / ISSUE V / MAY 2019

MOLD YOUR MIND

IT'S TIME TO UNPLUG DISCONNECT & ENJOY YOUR VACATION Joey Velez, M.A., M.B.A.

Picture yourself lying on a beach in the tropics: the clear blue skies, the warm sand between your toes, the cool, soothing fresh air; the sound of the waves rising and falling along the beach front. Sounds relaxing, doesn’t it?

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Now, maintaining the same setting, imagine your phone ringing nonstop, responding to emails on your computer, or even scrolling through social media with no apparent purpose. Doesn’t sound as relaxing, does it? Whether you are on vacation or at home after a long work week, it is important to find ways to relax, or disconnect, from the distractions that surround you.


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someone calls? What if I miss something? What’s the score of the game?” I thought to myself, but all that went away as soon as my toes sank into the sand. I was not expecting any important calls, the score of the game was not life or death, and I felt at peace laying on the beach with the birds and the waves, no phone to distract me from the gorgeous setting.

Recently, I ventured to a local beach one beautiful afternoon to relax and clear my racing mind. I brought the essentials: a blanket, a book, a light snack, and of course, my cell phone to capture it all. As I parked facing the beach, I sat and reflected for just a moment. What came to mind was, “I don’t need my phone.” I don’t need my phone… because people have seen the beach before. No need to capture the perfect Instagram post, Snapchat, Marco Polo message or Facebook story. With technology being such a major part of our lives, it felt strange leaving my phone behind. “What if

Ultimately, this trip was for self-care: a chance to clear my mind and relax in a peaceful environment. Self-care in it and of itself allows you to clear your mind of worry and be in the moment – to enjoy what you are doing. Disconnecting from the outside world by leaving the phone behind added new benefits that I never once considered. According to Vineetha Reddy, a health and wellness adviser, too much cell phone use leads to sleep disturbances, relationship stress, depression, and reduced productivity and attention. Not only is too much cell phone use a form of distraction, but it is also damaging to our mental health. Try leaving your cell phone in your bedroom and take a seat in your living room. Whether you are on a couch, a chair, or even the floor, get into a comfortable position. Start by taking five

deep breaths: in through your nose, out through your mouth, focusing on each as its own unique action. On each inhale, feel your stomach fill up with air, almost like you are filling up a balloon. On each exhale, feel the air flowing out of your body, like you are releasing any tension or unwanted stress from your body. Feel what is going on with your body when you go through this breathing exercise. Assess how you feel: Are you more relaxed? How was it being away from your phone? Initially, it may seem stressful being away from your phone, but see how long you can separate yourself from your phone. Each day, try and take one extra breath, and see how things change. I do not suggest you disconnect from the world when you are expecting an important phone call, but if you are not and have some free time to yourself, give it a try. Leave your phone inside and go sit in your backyard on a beautiful day. Turn your phone off and leave it on your bag, or better yet, leave it in your room on vacation. Sit in a relaxing position, and take a few deep breaths and let the moment sink in. Clear your mind, just breathe, disconnect from the world, and live in the moment. page 191


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