Covid-19 Updates

Luxury Dining Experiences on St. Barths

The French and Creole roots are strong on St. Barths—hence why the island may just have the best food in the Caribbean. With the island’s many international influences and creative inspirations, restaurants on St. Barths offer a variety of different flavors that are sure to surprise and delight. Our Blue Sky Luxury Travels guests enjoy the myriad of upscale dining options that await them when they stay in luxury villas from our collection, and we are often called upon to reserve private dining experiences. Our team has researched and selected some of the most exquisite dining experiences on St. Barths. From casual, toes-in-the-sand lunch to elegant, Michelin-quality fine dining by the sea, the restaurants on St. Barths are as varied as they are exquisite and all of them are worth discovering. However, here’s our list of the six most exceptional, not-to-be-missed culinary experiences on St. Barths that are sure to satisfy every traveler’s tastebuds.

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L’Isola

Considered one of the best restaurants in St. Barths, L’Isola is fine Italian dining with an island twist located on the hillside in Gustavia. The head chef, who hails from Rome, serves up cuisine that’s authentically Italian in style and offers only the best dishes, prepared with the finest ingredients exclusively imported from Italy. The extensive yet extremely well established menu includes homemade pastas, thick veal chops topped with sage and Roman-style grilled artichokes. L’Isola also offers an outstanding wine list with selections from Tuscany, Sicily and many other parts of the Italian peninsula. Come for the fabulous food and stay for the warm welcome and amazing atmosphere.

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Bonito

Located in an elevated position overlooking Gustavia Harbor, Bonito is one of the island’s most famous restaurants praised by foodies around the world. Boasting stellar views and even better food, executive chef Laurent Cantineux and chef de cuisine Ronan Mahe serve up a wonderful fusion of bold French and South American flavors that work extremely well once combined. Bonito offers fresh, locally sourced seafood prepared in all sort of manners from raw to stews, grilled and salads—each delivering a modern twist on exotic flavors. The restaurant is also one of St. Barths’ hotspots. It’s not unusual to spot celeb patrons like Simon Cowell, Beyoncé and Pippa Middleton enjoying their meals right beside you.

Le Tamarin

One of the hidden secrets of St. Barths’ dining scene, Le Tamarin is set in one of the most beautiful tropical gardens on the island, full of lily ponds and sweet-smelling flowers. Named after the 200-year-old tamarind tree that marks the entrance, this quaint Saline restaurant specializes in a range of cuisines reflecting Caribbean and Swedish cultures with dishes such as pan-fried foie gras, tuna tartare, chicken and hummus salad and gambas a plancha with soba noodles. Tamarin is easygoing by day but the restaurant really comes to life at night when the gardens are beautifully lit, people have migrated to the foosball and ping pong tables and the cocktails are flowing.

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Francois Plantation

Fusing traditional French elegance with Colonial style, Francois Plantation transports you to the heart of Provence on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Open for lunch and dinner in high season, this restaurant—nestled in the hills of Colombier—serves up gastronomic delights with inspiration taken from West Indian and European cuisine. Delicacies include a beautiful homemade foie gras, pissaladieres, barigoules and a not-to-be-missed langoustes flambé. They also offer an outstanding range of old rum and wines. A true cabinet of curiosities, marvel at the tropical touches such as old wooden boat models, rare shells and Colonial woodworking that accent a refined, yet relaxed atmosphere.

Black Ginger

Serving up authentic and refined Thai cuisine concocted by a head chef and sous chef who both hail from Bangkok and were trained by the world’s best Thai chef, Vichit Mukura, Black Ginger is the place to go for Thai food in Gustavia. The food is exquisite and beautifully prepared with the freshest ingredients and spices and served in a luxurious, yet comfortable dining environment. The unique interior courtyard opens on the starry sky and boasts huge dome-shaped lights that create a wonderful contemporary atmosphere. Renowned for their knowledgable and friendly staff, you can be assured you’ll discover a new favorite dish when dining at Black Ginger.

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Eddy’s

Protected from the outside world by a courtyard garden strewn with fairy lights, Eddy’s is one of the most cherished addresses in Gustavia and one of the most romantic restaurants on the island. The affordable menu with a French Creole and Asian influence includes locally inspired dishes such as codfish fritters, wahoo with ginger sauces, roasted rack of lamb with Indian spices and wild prawns with curry and coconut milk. The inviting French Polynesian decor leaves diners with the feeling they’re not in St. Barths, but rather an even more exotic land, far off in the tropics—where parties last well into the wee hours of the night. After 9 pm, the locals start arriving and the atmosphere becomes electric.

Bon Appétit!

Fine Dining in Florida’s 30A Area

The Gulf-front beach communities of South Walton, FL, affectionately known as 30A, are known for their friendly people, clean beaches, small-town feel, and the signature blue, white and yellow stickers stuck on cars across the country. While driving through, the scenery along the stretch of South Walton road might just be enough to make you want to pull over and take a second look. From Grayton Beach to Rosemary Beach, you’ll find charming accommodations, diverse shopping, and local food options from classic Southern fare to bustling rooftop bars to seafood dives. However, if you’re looking for a nice restaurant for a date night or anniversary or even just a reason to dress up and eat some good food with your family, here are seven fine-dining options that are sure to make your mouth water.

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Pescado Seafood Grill & Rooftop Bar
Located in the beautiful coastal town of Rosemary Beach, Pescado offers a dining room, inside bar and outside rooftop overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Boasting extraordinary service and cuisine by Chef Ken Duenas, Pescado incorporates subtle coastal colors, clean lines, and soft lighting to create a space that invites and complements the elements and scenery of the Emerald Coast. Come enjoy delicious cocktails, stunning sunset views, and a dining experience like no other.

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Cuvee 30A
Located in the 30Avenue development directly north of Rosemary Beach, Cuvee 30A is a 2020 OpenTable Diners’ Choice Award winner and brings celebrity Chef Tim Creehan’s wildly popular cuisine to South Walton. Come savor Tim’s award-winning signature dishes, such as Amy Grant’s Seared Tuna Rare and Vince Gill’s Pecan Crusted Grouper, and a wine list honored with 30A’s only Wine Spectator “Best of Award of Excellence”. As seen on Emeril’s Florida, this DiRoNA awarded restaurant also features their “Best of the Emerald Coast” voted Happy Hour with live music by Beachcomber Music Award winner Space Junkie.

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Borago
Back in its original location in Grayton Beach, Borago is a local favorite. This classic trattoria with a contemporary flair serves homemade food that is the heart and soul of Italy. Enjoy hearty and robust cuisine that delivers an authentic take on traditional Italian cooking while sipping on expertly made cocktails. In fact, Borago is known for their signature drinks with juice that’s fresh-squeezed by their bartenders daily. Entrees like the Three Meat Bolognese with cheese tortellini and the Grouper Nicoise inspired by the Gulf will show you why this place is consistently voted one of 30A’s hottest spots for Italian cuisine.

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Cafe Thirty-A
Located on the soothing shores of Seagrove Beach, Cafe Thirty-A is a consistent crowd-pleaser. This restaurant delivers casual fine dining in an airy, upbeat yet sophisticated atmosphere and serves up a contemporary eclectic menu of local seafood, meats, poultry and wood-oven pizza. Their award-winning wine list and famous martinis make Happy Hours a hit. While Cafe Thirty-A is consistently voted on of 30A’s hot spots for dining, flip-flops and shorts fit in just fine here. Make no mistake, this is the happening place to be on 30A and, no matter how much your appetite begs for mercy, don’t leave without trying the banana beignets. Cafe Thirty-A is open for dinner seven days a week.

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Vue on 30a
Looking for one of the best dining views along 30A? Look no further than Santa Rosa Golf and Beach Club’s Vue on 30a restaurant. Located in Dune Allen Beach, this restaurant was voted “Best Waterfront Dining” by Florida Travel + Life Magazine, as well as “Best Place to Watch a Sunset” and “Best Place to Pop the Question” by Destin Magazine. Executive Chef Isley White brings to the table an array of cooking techniques with different spices and flavors passed down to him from family in Jamaica, in addition to his culinary training in the US. The restaurant also features Celebrity Chef Giovanni Filippone from Season 5 of Hell’s Kitchen. Vue on 30a is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 9pm and on Sunday from 11am to 6pm.

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Restaurant Paradis
Another Rosemary Beach favorite, Restaurant Paradis is a small fine dining restaurant with a comfortable and inviting full service lounge. This hidden gem evokes a warm neighborhood feel and is committed to serving local produce with an abundance of fresh Gulf seafood, prime steaks and fine wine. Paradis draws from rich flavors of the coastal area as well as various other regions to create its tantalizing dishes that change with the seasons. Whether you’ve just came in from the beach or are ready for a night out on the town, the welcoming staff here is happy to have you.

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Caliza serves contemporary American cuisine in a relaxed, al fresco setting overlooking Caliza’s stunning pool at Alys Beach. Retreat here after a day at the beach for quality food and drink paired with polished, friendly service. The menu centers on artisan, seasonal ingredients sourced from regional purveyors, showcasing our Gulf Coast locale. Expect an equal mix of healthy and indulgent sharable plates presented simply with bright, bold flavors that let the ingredients shine. The open-air bar is the perfect spot for happy hour, offering artisanal cocktails designed for poolside sipping and a thoughtfully curated list of craft beers and wines by-the-glass.

 

 

 

Caribbean Locations for Trips with Friends

Once the world gets back to normal and it’s safe to stop considering trips from our bedroom to our kitchen “vacations”, there are two things I’m sure we’ll all want to do: hang out with our friends (in person) and travel (around the world). One of the best destinations to bond with your besties has to be the Caribbean. The Caribbean is a melting pot of cultures, with 13 sovereign states and 17 dependent territories in the mix. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, traverse the great outdoors, or anything in between, these five locations truly deliver in terms of making the most out of quality time.

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Harbour Island, Bahamas

Harbour Island is a quick getaway for East Coasters ideal for many reasons—the biggest one being that it’s entirely surrounded by water. The island’s lifestyle revolves around the ocean: playing in it, eating by it, drinking by it, and fishing in it. Plus, a large amount of vacationers from NYC that always make their way here give the island a pretty sizable social scene. Fine dining and nightlife can be found at the luxury resorts on the shoreline. When it comes to your vacation headquarters, I’m partial to Rosalita, a new beachfront villa. Rosalita sits on beautifully landscaped oceanfront grounds. The villa features six bedrooms and sleeps twelve guests. Five of the bedrooms are located in the villa’s main house. The sixth bedroom is located in the guest house and features a king bed. All bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms, and four have alfresco showers. Both the master and the guest house bedroom suites have private terraces with fantastic views, while the other bedrooms have private entrances from the veranda or garden.

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Sugar Beach, Saint Lucia

Once you arrive in Sugar Beach, you won’t want to leave. Surrounded by St. Lucia’s twin volcanic Pitons, the Beachfront Collection villa blends seamlessly into Sugar Beach’s untouched beauty, with sweeping views of the Pitons and the Caribbean Sea. This four-bedroom villa has an infinity pool and suites has floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors for an unobstructed view. You and your friends can relax, take in the epic views and enjoy the private walled garden. Make sure to connect with Blue Sky Luxury Travels to make plans ahead of time, we can arrange for private chef and spa services and luxury catamarans for a day on the water.

MSI/Interiors Ingrao Villa

St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

St. John is an exclusive enclave that offers the convenience and flexibility of staying within the U.S., with the tropical splendor of the Caribbean. Located on the north shore of St. John, Estate Solenborg is a luxury Caribbean vacation rental villa overlooking the Sir Frances Drake Passage and Denis Bay. This secluded estate is a private paradise with seven bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms and ocean views. Gather with friends and enjoy the luxe modern design, two heated pools, an expansive terrace, and outdoor living and dining areas.

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Sailing Catamaran, British Virgin Islands

Island hopping in the BVIs is the ultimate way to enjoy the Caribbean with friends. Ten guests can explore the coves, go diving, fishing, and paddleboarding among the islands in the spectacular Bella Vita sailing catamaran. This super luxury catamaran offers an all-inclusive crewed yacht charter experience with a crew of six. It was formerly named Necker Belle, was owned by Richard Branson, and won a World Superyacht Award in 2010. In true Branson spirit, the Bella Vita was built to maximize fun, featuring a spacious trampoline, a diving board, and a unique crow’s nest that can lift you to the top of her mast.

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West End, Anguilla

With easy access to St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and Antigua, Anguilla attracts a high-end, sophisticated crowd. It also boasts more than 30 beaches (some of the best in the entire Caribbean), a wealth of fine dining and enough outdoor activities to satisfy any nature lover. For groups who want the ultimate private villa and spa experience, the Four Seasons Villas are the only choice. The oceanfront villas with private pools combine the privacy of a villa with the luxury of a world-class resort. Your group of up to 13 guests can relax at the indoor and outdoor bars while the Four Seasons’ legendary staff caters to your every desire. Whether you want to spend your days relaxing at the beach club, working on your cardio on private tennis courts or vacationing like celebrities in a private spa, the Four Seasons Villas certainly won’t disappoint. Savor tailored luxury, privacy and service on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

Celebrate the New Year in the Virgin Islands

If you’re lucky enough to be in the Virgin Islands for the holidays, you’re sure to be looking for a place to celebrate. We have several clients who rent villas year after year for the coveted week between Christmas and New Years, and we always love helping them make plans for holiday celebrations. There’s no better way to ring in 2020 than on the beach with friends and family in a tropical paradise. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite events to celebrate the turning of the calendar from 2019 to 2020.

 

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There will be a myriad of events on St. John to ring in the New Year, from dance and costume parties to live music performances. In Cruz Bay, the Beach Bar will feature live music from 7:30-10:30 p.m. while Drink! will offer DJs, dancing, fire dancers and a screening of the Times Square Ball Drop that goes from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. For a big New Year’s Eve party, head to Morgan’s Mango for free champagne and a $500 prize for the fanciest hat. The festivities here will go from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Heading over to Coral Bay, check out the Indigo Grill which will be hosting a masquerade party with live reggae music from 5 p.m. until the last partiers go home. Skinny Legs will be featuring live music by “The Digs” for a funk/soul/dance party. Ready to get decked out? Skipper’s Brit Pub will be offering costume prizes, free champagne at midnight and the legendary music of the Beatles performed by Poet’s Lounge. For those who want to hit the sack a little early, Oasis is hosting Old Timers Night with prime rib and a DJ, and a ball drop at 8 p.m.

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Moving to St. Thomas, Busspipe Records presents Pressure Busspipe at 9 p.m. at Chicken N Bowling, including additional performances by Verse Simmonds, Jada Kingdom, Monea, Th3rd, Jahman & King Lion. Early bird tickets are available for $25 online at www.PressureBusspipeNYE.com.

Breathe St. Thomas is hosting a Conscious New Year’s Celebration at 4 Elements on Water Island. This uplifting event features yoga, breathwork, meditation, a DJ fire party and more!

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Foxy’s Old Year’s Night on Jost Van Dyke is a legendary party every year. The 2019/2020 party theme is “Arabian Nights” and party guests can expect whimsical décor, complete with a flying carpet photo booth, belly dancers, genies and other themed performers. Partygoers are encouraged to participate and dress in costume to reflect the theme. As always, out-there or barely-there attire is encouraged!

If you want to join the island celebrations on NYE, we can arrange private boat charters so you can cut down on travel time, avoid ferry crowds and be on your own schedule.  Or you can skip the crowds, charter a yacht and go island hopping to ring in 2020! Blue Sky Luxury Travels team wishes you a Happy New Year. Where will you celebrate this year?

 

Recommended Caribbean Villas

The Suites at Paradise Ridge
Mariposa
Sentosa

Blue Sky Luxury Concierge Announces Rebrand to Blue Sky Luxury Travels

Top Caribbean Luxury Travel Provider Expands Services and Scope for Worldwide Reach

Today, Blue Sky Luxury Concierge, Inc., the leading provider of luxury travel services in the Caribbean and Bahamas, announced the company’s rebrand to Blue Sky Luxury Travels. The comprehensive rebrand elevates the focus on bespoke travel planning services to individuals, families, groups, and corporations across the globe. With the rebranding effort, the company will continue to offer personal travel planning, while investing further in both global expansion and expert support for corporate clients.

The new corporate name for the longtime trusted travel provider signals a shift in the company’s vision and strategy in the travel market. “The Blue Sky Luxury Travels name represents the expansion of the company’s reach, increasing the service level at every touchpoint of the customer travel experience. “We are proud of the new vacation and corporate retreat offerings we are building for our clients as we work to become the foremost boutique luxury travel group worldwide,” said Shanna Dickerson, Blue Sky Luxury Travels CEO. “From our humble beginnings in 2010 as a grocery delivery service on the island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands to today’s global full-service travel experience design company, Blue Sky has grown with our customers’ needs. This new name reflects the company’s worldwide reach, and now we can bring the personalized service of our experienced team to each step of our clients’ travel planning process.”
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In addition to the company’s core offerings of full-service luxury concierge travel and event planning, Blue Sky provides housing logistics for corporate clients. Blue Sky Global Logistics is the company’s newest division, providing corporate and workforce housing for disaster relief staff. They are currently at work in the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico housing workers who are helping to rebuild and restore areas affected by natural disaster.

Blue Sky has also expanded their villa rental portfolio and now offers properties throughout the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Hawaii, Fiji, and South Carolina. Every day, Blue Sky spotlights a different villa on the company’s popular Blue Sky Luxury Villas Facebook page. The company provides tailored and unique itineraries for personal travel and corporate retreats, including yacht charters, and private island rentals. The Blue Sky Luxury Travels blog publishes all types of information, travel tips, memories and suggestions to empower informed luxury travelers.

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“Blue Sky helped us to plan our most successful company retreat from start to finish. Their planning advice was invaluable, their recommendations were spot on, and their service and support were smooth and professional throughout the entire outing. Blue Sky helped us with finding the ideal accommodations for our group, meal planning and reservations, transportation throughout our stay, arranging group activities (on land and on the sea!), and designing team-building events. I would highly recommend them for any corporate event and would love an excuse to use them again!” writes Scott Berman, President, HawkPartners.

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Blue Sky Luxury Travels stands ready to assist individuals, families, weddings, and corporations with every aspect of travel and event planning. The Blue Sky business is connecting people to their travel destinations wherever that might be. The company has perfected this model to be an all-inclusive operation with an emphasis on client service, offering personal attention and availability around the clock. Blue Sky Luxury Travels provides outstanding service, enabling people to create memories and better enjoy their travel experiences.

Recommended Caribbean Villas

Mariposa
Lazy Lizard
Evangeline

Necker Island is BACK!

I’ve spent many busy, blissful days at Necker Island, leading group trips and managing entertainment, and sometimes just enjoying connections and relaxation with friends.  It was heartbreaking to see the island in ruins after Hurricane Irma almost two years ago, but I’m happy to say that Necker is back in business. I took a group to Sir Richard Branson’s private island in the British Virgin Islands a couple of months ago, and Necker is gorgeous and the lemurs are as playful as ever.

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After being shuttered in September 2017 after the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma the luxurious resort has been completely restored and updated with new additions. Branson, who rode out the hurricane in the wine cellar with family and staff, has been very involved to support Unite BVI and the BVI community as the whole of the British Virgin Islands recover after the devastating storm. Now completely rebuilt, Necker Island offers an enhanced experience that’s ideal for corporate, social or family groups looking for a luxurious retreat.

Virgin Limited Edition, Necker Island, 2019

Virgin Limited Edition, Necker Island, 2019

Ready for a new chapter, the Great House, where people come to dine, party or just relax together, has been completely re-created with the addition of 2 new rooms (11 rooms total) in a Balinese style. New completely freestanding, the Leha Lo house sleeps two adults with panoramic sea views, private sundeck, hot tub and an improved and expanded Bali Hi complex offering private plunge pools in each of its houses.

Virgin Limited Edition, Necker Island, 2018

Virgin Limited Edition, Necker Island, 2018

Situated in the picturesque British Virgin Islands, Necker Island’s 74-acre estate has all the ingredients for a holiday of a lifetime. One of the most exclusive and private-island destinations in the Caribbean, guests can look forward to the gorgeous white sandy beaches, a full array of exciting watersports equipment (scuba, sailboats, paddleboards, wakeboards), refreshing drinks timed perfectly to sunset views and multiple gorgeous freshwater infinity pools. From private tennis lessons with a resident professional coach and top-class watersports to relaxing on your own stretch of private beach, guests have everything they need to truly enjoy the tranquility of the island.

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The fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down! Necker Island has held some of the most legendary parties that you can offer to your guests while staying on this private island. From Casino Night, complete with poker and roulette tables, to Disco Fever with a setup including a variety of colored disco lights, Necker Island is ready to give your guests a memorable experience they will be talking about for years to come.

Virgin Limited Edition, Necker Island, 2018

Virgin Limited Edition, Necker Island, 2018

Unsurprisingly, one of the most common questions asked when booking a luxury vacation on the idyllic island is about the weather. In the British Virgin Islands, the average monthly temperature ranges from highs of around 82°F (28°C) in January to highs of roughly 95°F (35°C) in July. In short, it’s pretty much sunny pleasant weather year-round!

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Regardless of when you plan your next visit to Necker Island, you can expect warm and sunny beach weather in an island paradise, a fully stocked bar, meals served on the roof terrace and a stunning array of wildlife from flamingos to lemurs to giant tortoises! Experience the world’s most exclusive island retreat and savor inspiring beauty from amazing panoramic views of the Caribbean, the Atlantic, and neighboring islands. One word of warning, once you’ve experienced the astounding beauty and luxury of Necker Island, you may never want to leave!

Virgin Limited Edition, Necker Island, 2019

Virgin Limited Edition, Necker Island, 2019

 

Recommended Private Islands

Necker Island
Over Yonder Cay
Eustatia Island

Five Hotspots for Fine Dining on St. John

Of all the Caribbean islands, I spend most of my time on St. John. It’s where I started my business, and this lush, verdant island with drop-dead gorgeous beaches will always have a piece of my heart. It’s a relatively small island, with just a couple of public resorts and a small town, Cruz Bay, where most of the restaurants are located. Most of our Blue Sky Luxury Travels clients stay in private villas on the island, and our team makes all of the arrangements for provisioning and private chefs so they can enjoy their meals without lifting a finger. We love helping clients find that special place for a big night out, and fine dining restaurants in St. John are perfect for anniversary, birthday and wedding celebrations. Here are some of my best restaurant recommendations for fine dining on St. John. One thing to remember with all of these establishments is that they fill up quickly, especially on weekends. Our team here at Blue Sky Luxury Travels can help you make your reservations in advance to secure your celebration destination.

extravirginExtra Virgin Bistro

Extra Virgin Bistro is perched on a hillside overlooking Cruz Bay, and it’s a bit away from the hustle and bustle of town. The chefs are dedicated to locally grown, and sourced products and they cure their own meats, make fresh pasta daily and grow their own herbs on their rooftop garden. They purchase fish from local fishermen and print their names on the daily menu with the fish they catch each day. I love Extra Virgin Bistro’s tasty, original cocktails with house-made infusions and bitters, especially the Bird of Paradise and the Green Thumb. And the food is truly inventive, with unique dishes like Tempura-battered Pumpkin Leaf. The menu changes daily, so there’s always something new to discover, and they tempt the palate with amuses bouches between courses.

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La Tapa

With a romantic atmosphere, creative, upscale menu, and personalized service from the best in the business, La Tapa is my go-to for a special meal out. La Tapa offers a contemporary Mediterranean vibe with a variety of delicious tapas and personalized service that creates a warm atmosphere. La Tapa’s chefs prepare unique creations with local fish and vegetables from St. John fisherman and farmers. The menu changes nightly to reflect the best ingredients available locally. I especially love the wine at La Tapa, they serve mostly Spanish wine and have a more extensive selection than most island spots, with 25 wines by the glass on most evenings.

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The Terrace

Located in the heart of Cruz Bay, the Terrace offers outdoor dining on the terrace with a sweeping view of the harbor. Watch the boats come and go and admire the sparkling turquoise water while you enjoy fine dining with a view. Chef Erica Miner transforms local ingredients into contemporary dishes like Pan Roasted Wahoo and Tuna Nicoise. I love how they bring warm bread and roasted garlic butter to start the evening. The Terrace serves fun cocktails and offers an extensive wine list, including some of my Napa and Burgundy favorites. Don’t miss the desserts, especially the decadent Lemon Lavender Crème Brûlée!

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Ocean 362

OCEAN 362 is right in the heart of Cruz Bay, and the best seats in the house are at the upstairs bar overlooking the harbor. Start your evening with drinks with a view, perhaps timed to experience the sunset, and enjoy Ocean362’s Happy Hour menu from 5-7. Then, proceed downstairs for your divine meal.  Ocean 362 offers contemporary twists on traditional Caribbean dishes with ingredients that are fresh, local and sustainably sourced.  Daily specials on a recent visit included Saffron Smashed Potato, Asparagus, and Citrus Beurre Blanc Lobster Tail, and I’m always happy to celebrate with their Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake.

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Morgan’s Mango

Morgan’s Mango is housed in a pretty British colonial style building in Cruz Bay, adorned with graceful porches and billowy curtains that lend a relaxing air. The menu is focused on Caribbean and South American cuisines—Creole, Bahamian, Cuban, Jamaican, Haitian, Puerto Rican, Argentinian and Mayan. Their dishes show the influence of the original inhabitants of the islands, the Arawak and Carib Indians, as well as the Africans, East Indians, and Chinese who arrived later. Morgan’s Mango brings history to the table, sharing how these early cultures blended with Spanish, French, British and Danish settlers to create classic Caribbean cuisine. Tuesdays and Saturdays are Lobster Night at Morgan’s Mango, and they serve it Caribbean style for an authentic taste of the islands.

Here at Blue Blue Sky Luxury Travels, we make sure to sample a variety of restaurants and experiences so that our clients can look forward to the very best. Fine dining in St. John has gotten better over the years, and now there are many places to enjoy a special meal out. Looking for a villa, yacht charter, private chef or dining on St. John? We’ll be glad to help you plan your next escape!

Recommended St. John Villas

Ardisia
Mare Blu
Villa Sunspot

A Day In the Life: What Does a Luxury Concierge Service Actually DO?

Blue Sky Luxury Travels is based in the Caribbean and creating vacation experiences for clients in stunning destinations all over the world. We make a point of visiting each property that we represent, and we love to share our discoveries so we post photos every day of beautiful destinations and luxury experiences. We know it may all look like fun and games, island-hopping in Fiji, Hawaii, the US Virgin Islands, and the British Virgin Islands, but we promise, we are actually hard at work! Since so many people have asked, we wanted to share what a day in the life is for Shanna Dickerson, the CEO of Blue Sky Luxury Travels. Shanna stays in different islands and towns all over the world, but wherever she is, she makes sure to keep to her schedule and make sure that all of her clients’ needs are cared for.

So here’s what a day in the life of Shanna really looks like:

6am    

Shanna rises early and meditates for twenty minutes to get her head straight for the day. Next, she heads straight for the coffee machine for a nice hot cup of coffee. She checks her phone for any urgent client messages and looks over her schedule for the day, always making a point of picking a beautiful spot with a view to start the day off right.

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6:30am      

Workout time! It’s so important to keep energy high and muscles strong, so Shanna gets her exercise done, either with a hike in the hills, a trip to the local gym, or her 25-minute at-home workout routine.

8:00am

Client messages. Clients and vendors communicate with Shanna through many different means: text messages, Facebook and Instagram direct messages, emails and phone calls. When a new client comes in, Shanna sends them a Concierge document outlining the services that Blue Sky Luxury Travels has available, and clients usually email her with their specific needs. Shanna keeps track of client requests for upcoming trips on a gigantic spreadsheet, so she refers to that and fills in details as she gets new requests. She makes notes of what needs to be done for the day and answers questions for clients who are coming to the islands.

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10:00am

Vendor phone calls. In the Virgin Islands, most car rental services, grocery delivery services, and BVI Yacht Charters operate primarily by phone. This is why it’s so essential to have a travel concierge service handle planning when you’re visiting St. John, St. Thomas, St. Lucia or the Bahamas- it’s hard to get in touch with someone who can set things up. It’s not like other trip planning where you can just go online and do it all yourself. Internet service can be spotty on the islands, so Shanna makes most of her arrangements with vendors over the phone. They’re all accustomed to hearing her cheerful voice and she makes sure they stay organized and keep to the arrangements she’s made for her clients coming to the islands. Shanna makes arrangements for Caribbean villa rentals, yacht rentals, catamarans, fishing trips, grocery delivery, snorkel gear rental, kayak and paddleboard tours, and dining reservations so her clients can relax and enjoy their Caribbean vacations.

12:00pm

Shanna takes a break for lunch, usually a big salad or veggie bowl, at a restaurant on the island. She makes sure to try all the different dining options on each Caribbean island where she stays, so she can offer the best recommendations.

1:00pm

Back to work on emails and phone calls, making arrangements with clients and vendors.

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2:00pm

Client meetings. Shanna handles housing for hundreds of hurricane recovery workers through her Blue Sky Global Logistics division. She often meets with top-level officials to understand their needs and find the appropriate solutions. Some days, she’ll take a boat to another island to meet with visiting corporate clients to plan their upcoming corporate events on the islands. Other times, she’ll offer a quick island tour to visiting friends, to show off her favorite spots for paddleboarding and beach time. Face to face is always best, so Shanna makes the time to meet in person with her clients.
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6:00pm

Dinner time. Sometimes it’s a dinner meeting with clients, or a meetup with friends staying in a Caribbean villa nearby, or even a quick sandwich at home when the work schedule is intense.

8:00pm

Shanna checks her messages one more time to make sure everything is handled, then the phone goes OFF for a little meditation and quiet time before bed.

9:00pm

Bedtime! Early to bed, and early to rise, keeps Shanna energized, cheerful and ready for anything!

We hope this window into Shanna’s world has helped you understand a little more of what Blue Sky Luxury Travels really does. We take care of every trip planning detail for you from start to finish. Our goal is to make your vacation relaxing, fun and incredibly memorable. If you’d like to put our concierge team to work for your next vacation, please email us at info@blueskyconcierge.com.

 

Popular Belize Landmarks

The sunny sky, warm water, and beautiful white sand beaches are reason enough to visit Belize. This small Caribbean nation has so much more to offer though. Here we will outline some of the most popular land attractions you must visit while in Belize.

Caracol

Located 500 meters (1,650 ft) above sea level, Caracol is the largest Mayan site in Belize. The Caracol Mayan Ruins consist of 35,000 buildings that used to be a large Mayan city around 650 AD with an estimated population of almost 200,000, which is more than twice the size of the Belize City population today. Most of this ancient city is underground, but a small fraction of buildings left on the surface talks about the city’s majesty. The largest structure is the pyramid Canaa, meaning “Sky Place,” at 43 meters (143 ft), which is the tallest man-made structure in all of Belize. From the top one can see all the way to Guatemala. Caracol Mayan Ruins is also home of a variety of wildlife, such as ocellated turkey, keel-billed toucans, and the legendary mot-mot.

Lamanai

Once a major city of the Mayan civilization, Lamanai is a popular archaeological site, located in northern Belize. Getting here is a scenic adventure on its own and involves a 26-mile boat ride up the New River Lagoon departing from Orange Walk Town. Lamanai encompasses 950 acres and is one of the largest Mayan ceremonial sites, featuring more than 100 minor structures, a ball court and about 12 major buildings – the most popular among them are the Temple of the Mask, the Maya Sun God, the Temple of the Jaguar Masks and the High Temple. Contrary to the typical Mayan layout, which consists of plazas around a ceremonial structure, this site’s layout is quite different – most ceremonial buildings were built along the west bank of the New River and the New River Lagoon. The ancient ruins at Lamanai are not completely uncovered yet, and archaeological projects continue to work on the restoration of the larger structures of the High Temple.

San Pedro Town

San Pedro Town is located in Ambergris Caye, the largest island in Belize. The town is the typical laid-back beach town with no high-rises or traffic, making it a very attractive destination for travelers. The town offers family-style accommodation options. Even if you don’t stay in town, most of the resorts are within a mile from town. San Pedro also has a great choice of restaurants and bars.

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is known as the world’s first jaguar preserve. It is home to 60 out of 700 Belize jaguars and a must-visit for nature lovers. Here you can see beautiful waterfalls, unique flora and fauna and spend a day hiking off the beaten path, where seeing wildcats, tapir, deer, and other wildlife is not unusual. There is so much to do and see here that visitors usually stay longer. The park has basic accommodation options – cabins and campgrounds – so this is something to consider if you would like to spend more than a day here.

 

Recommended Caribbean Villas

Casa Olita
Ray Caye
Over Yonder Cay

Introducing a new Caribbean Destination – Anguilla

This year we are fully dedicated to expanding our presence in the Caribbean and are proud to present a new destination we invite our guests to check out – the island of Anguilla. This little Caribbean island has everything you are dreaming of – azure blue waters, a laid-back atmosphere, white sand beaches, warm tropical breezes, and five-star resort services and accommodations. Come here to escape the hustle and bustle of life and enjoy the numerous activities the island offers to its visitors.

The island of Anguilla has 33 beautiful beaches, and most of them are quite remote. Even popular beaches like Shoal Bay East are often empty, so don’t be surprised if you have the beach all to yourself. The best way to hop from beach to beach is by car, so if you plan to do beach exploring we recommend renting a car. Another popular water activity is to spend the day on a sailboat. A popular tour will take you to Little Bay, only accessible by boat. There you can enjoy swimming and snorkeling in crystal clear waters. For just a $10 boat ride your island adventures will continue with a trip to Sandy Island, a very suitable name for this island because there is only sand and one restaurant serving seafood here.

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In addition to the abundance of water activities and adventures we recommend you to take a day and explore the popular historic site of Fountain Cavern National Park, which is home to numerous petroglyphs created by the Arawaks around AD 300. The most impressive petroglyph is the head of Jocahu, the Arawak God of Creation, carved from a stalagmite. The Fountain Cavern National Park is believed to have been a major regional worship site and a place of pilgrimage for the Amerindians.

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Sold on visiting the island? Ok, let’s talk about where to stay. Most of the accommodation options on Anguilla are private villas, so we recommend avoiding hotels because they can get quite busy. Staying at a private villa will give you resort-like services and amenities in a private setting. Our first choice of accommodation is the villas at Four Seasons, set along the island’s northwest shore, atop coralline bluffs overlooking two of Anguilla’s most pristine beaches. The resort has 3 to 5 bedroom villas that can accommodate up to 13 guests.

If you are interested in visiting Anguilla and need help arranging your vacation, please let us know 🙂 info@blueskyconcierge.com

 

Recommended Caribbean Villas

Casa Olita
Ray Caye
Over Yonder Cay
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