HEROES AND VILLAS
My Villa in St-Barth is an exclusive rental and real-estate service with a distinguished family pedigree
With its glistening white sand, crystal-clear waters, stunning scenery and total tranquillity, the beautiful island of Saint Barthélemy – aka St-Barth – offers visitors a luxurious slice of Caribbean life. So how do you improve on paradise? For native Monique Turbé and her team the answer is simple. “We aim to make sure that every guest receives the perfect personal service and the closest attention to every detail,” she says, “so that their stay is as enjoyable as possible.”
Monique is the CEO and founder of My Villa in St-Barth, a rental, real estate and concierge service. It’s a role that combines her love of the island with a passion for the property and tourism business rooted in her family’s heritage. Monique’s ancestors have lived on the French territorial collectivity of St-Barth for generations. Her late father, Guy Turbé, built some of the first hotels on the island in the 1970s and ’80s. He started with the Baie des Flamands, situated in the neighbourhood where Monique and her siblings grew up. Then came the St-Barth Beach Hotel and after that, the Residences St-Barth: the island’s first villa complex.
Monique seems to have always understood that she would follow in her father’s footsteps. “I was born into the hotel and tourism business,” she says, simply. “It’s in my blood.” As early as 18 years old, Monique started work on the construction of one of her father’s new luxury developments. By the late 1980s, she had set to work on her own first villa, Monique White Sand.
Later, after 50 years in the industry, Guy retired and passed the baton on to his daughter, whom he encouraged to launch her own villa rental and real estate agency. Sadly, he died soon afterwards but in 2014, My Villa in St-Barth was born.
Today Monique’s company looks after more than 200 villas; but it is more than just a rental agency. My Villa offers 24-7 concierge assistance, personal trainers, private chefs, wedding planners – everything and anything one might need to make a stay in paradise absolutely perfect.
The company remains a family affair. Monique’s son and daughter both work for the business while her brother runs the family car rental firm. Their knowledge of the island and its history, reinforced by a locally recruited staff, means the My Villa crew can advise on anything from the right setting for a romantic proposal to the perfect spot for a relaxed beach picnic.
So what makes St-Barth special? “For me,” says Monique, “it’s the combination of so many stunning beaches, the fact that the island is so safe and secure, and that visitors are always treated well, whoever they are.” She is hinting at the fact that St-Barth has become the destination of choice for many celebrities and wealthy visitors. But for Monique and the team discretion is another important part of the service: “Guests know that as well as being extremely safe, here on the island people will respect their privacy.”
Over the past five years My Villa in St-Barth has gone from strength to strength, with a growing portfolio of properties and services matched by glowing reviews. Monique is justifiably proud of the service the company provides, and especially about continuing the Turbé family tradition. “I have great memories of working alongside my father,” she says. “He did so much good for the island and for the tourism industry here, and it’s important for me to keep his legacy alive.”