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Agencies:Wimco, Marla, Premium Island, or Luxury retreats???

Los Angeles...
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Agencies:Wimco, Marla, Premium Island, or Luxury retreats???

I honestly can't figure what agency to go with as they all offer the same or similar properties. Can people please share experiences good or bad with booking with Wimco, Marla, Premium Island vacations, or luxury retreats :) :)? Wimco came highly recommended but when I called and was connected to the St. Barts destination expert she was extremely rude and disinterested...:(

NY
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794 posts
11 reviews
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1. Re: Agencies:Wimco, Marla, Premium Island, or Luxury retreats???

I think these are all fine, and yes, most owners list their properties with all the agencies.

Very surprised about the Wimco response. This is not usual.

You can also try "Saint Barth properties" also, or "Ici et La", or "Sibarth".

Note: Wimco and Saint Barth Properties used to be the same company. They split recently. They and Sibarth are the largest agencies on the island. This has pluses and minues.

Mequon, Wisconsin
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266 posts
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2. Re: Agencies:Wimco, Marla, Premium Island, or Luxury retreats???

I use Glennie at Wimco and love her. I too am surprised at the rudeness.

columbus
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979 posts
13 reviews
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3. Re: Agencies:Wimco, Marla, Premium Island, or Luxury retreats???

Too funny! The last Wimco rep I "worked with" was a real piece of work, too. After I had her look up a property, and it wasn't available, she offered absolutely no assistance finding something comparable and kept pestering me with e-mails, even after I booked elsewhere, She even asked me where we booked, as if that's any of her business. I have not been enamoured with them lately to say the least.

I suspect it's the same person.

Check out St. Barth's Properties. Always professional.

Binti

columbus
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979 posts
13 reviews
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4. Re: Agencies:Wimco, Marla, Premium Island, or Luxury retreats???

Oh, and Wimco & St. Barth Properties have never been "the same company". Wimco and Sibarth were affiliated, and recently split.

Pittsburgh...
Destination Expert
for St. Barthelemy
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1,994 posts
14 reviews
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5. Re: Agencies:Wimco, Marla, Premium Island, or Luxury retreats???

Yes, Binti is correct that Wimco and Sibarth just parted company. Sibarth is local and Wimco is worldwide. Wimco was never affiliated with SBP.

We prefer local agencies if they have the villa we like. Also, while we have had good service from St Barth Properties, we do not like their additional fee for using a credit card, especially since other agencies do not charge it.

NY
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794 posts
11 reviews
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6. Re: Agencies:Wimco, Marla, Premium Island, or Luxury retreats???

Sorry, my mistake on Sibarth vs. saint barth properties.

Los Angeles...
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23 posts
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7. Re: Agencies:Wimco, Marla, Premium Island, or Luxury retreats???

Thanks all! Binti that was my exact experience with Wimco. Marla's Villas, Luxury Retreats, and Premium Island Vacations have all been very responsive BUT have told me conflicting information and prices. Since the properties I am interested in aren't listed directly through the owners I have to decide on one agency. I like that Marla's is local but I think a few of the properties listed through them they said were new listings and thus they had limited information. Premium Island Vacation and Luxury Retreats seem to have had more immediate replies and in-depth information possibly because the agents are not abroad. Does Luxury Retreats have a reliable and onsite St. Barts presence? If not, I just need to decide between Marlas and Premium Island. Does Premium Island have a better car discounts and concierge services? Do some of the agency get better prices on the villas and that accounts for the different in prices?

columbus
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979 posts
13 reviews
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8. Re: Agencies:Wimco, Marla, Premium Island, or Luxury retreats???

I think going with Marla or PIV is a good option. PIV has only been in the villa biz a couple of years, if that is of any importance to you, but has had a strong presence in the concierge biz handling VIP's for quite a while. The only concern I would have is they tend to cater to "sky's the limit" type of clients, and may not work as hard for you if you have a budget.

As for the differences in villa prices, many agencies are lax to update their tsites with current pricing information. I've noticed this too, and called them on the property less expensive, and they up the price once they check it.

As for cars, ask them what their best rate is and then check it out for yourself booking separately. I've always booked my own car, so I am assured the type of vehicle I want. And I like getting the points from my preferred rental agency.

Good luck! B

Los Angeles...
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9. Re: Agencies:Wimco, Marla, Premium Island, or Luxury retreats???

Thanks everyone! I am deciding between renting an automatic Jeep Wrangler or a Terios? Anyone recommend one to handle better on the mountains and when in rains for St. Barts? Also, Binti who is your preferred car rental agency? Anyone use Top Loc?

NY
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794 posts
11 reviews
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10. Re: Agencies:Wimco, Marla, Premium Island, or Luxury retreats???

Definitely Terios. Jeep Wrangler is way too big for Saint Barth roads. You won't be able to park, will scratch the car in manoeuvering in tight spaces, will have to slow down and pull over to let incoming traffic go through, etc.