...when in St. Barths. Trust us, okay?
There's nothing quite like a sunny, balmy, beachy getaway—and there's really nothing quite like one on a Caribbean island owned and populated by the French. While we may have arrived in St. Barths anticipating a week of all of the usual hallmarks of a tropical getaway—slushie-like rum-filled cocktails, flip-flops a plenty, the works.
So you can imagine our surprise (and delight) when upon being introduced to our tour guide-slash-ultimate-St. Barths-hookup in New York, PR girl Cecilia (of MY LOLA PR), she extended an invite our way. Despite (admittedly) hemming and hawing when it came to accepting (we know, we know), Cecilia was persistent in insisting that we would love it—and almost the very moment we stepped off of our Tradewind Aviation chartered flight, we realized exactly why she’d been so insistent with us. It was also then that we realized that the entire island is in fact, decidedly French in attitude (that's not to say there wasn't plenty of rum, of course).
Born in France and raised in Tahiti, Cecilia not only hooked us up with out painstakingly stunning home for the week (miss you, Villa JEP!), but also played chaperone for us during our stay. In fact, Cecilia (and the team at Wimco Villas) covered virtually everything for us, save for tucking us in at night: stocked our fridge with a bounty of organic groceries, (flown in from France!) wine and cheese, arranged for masseuses, and even gave us a tour of a few of the other Wimco Villas available (two words, kids: bucket. list.). Oh, and she just so happened to divulge plenty of mindblowingly decadent details of parties of villa guests past—but you already know we don't shoot and tell.
It turns out that Cecilia is the kind of girl that packed up her life in Paris and got on a plane to St. Barths simply because of the weather that day—well, kind of. "I was living in Paris and my best friend, who was my neighbour in New York, was moving to St. Barths. She called me one day [in] January when it's grey and cold in Paris. I came to St. Barths and I finally stayed there! It was six years ago." While we can't say we exactly embrace the same spirited spontaneity as Cecilia (after all, we can barely commit to just one salad at lunch), we can more than get down with her daily routine, we can more than appreciate a woman whose daily essentials include two phones, sunglasses and CHANEL lipstick (along with her passport and "a picture of my daughter").
Rolling with Cecilia, we were able to experience the very best of the best, as she filled us in on her favorites, "I love l’Isola restaurant for a romantic dinner, Bagatelle, Baz Bar and the chocolate cake from Mayas. My favorite beach is Salines. I love getting massages and a flyboard ride!" Not too shabby, right? That said, it's not all play—girl also makes a point of hitting the gym every single day (her favorite guilty pleasure? "A work-out session with my coach!"). And when you never quite know when you're going to run into the likes of Robert Downey Jr. from one day to the next (he remains one of the few stars she's spotted on the island she's been starstruck by!), we can't exactly blame her.
Oh, and should you need further proof that St. Barths couldn't be further from your average getaway? Take a hint from Cecilia's last Googled for proof of the impossibly-French side of the island: "Lisa Marie Fernandez bathing suit!"