LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- Luxury tour operator Island Destinations unveiled a commissionable villa collection of 50-plus properties on St. Barts for the winter season.

The move makes the company the first tour operator to have an agents-only villa inventory on the island, according to Pascale Gherardi, vice president and chief operating officer.

As Gherardi explained it, the usual procedure is that agents work with villa rental companies that also go directly to consumers and that offer only published air fares.

However, agents who work with Island Destinations' villa portfolio are offered "a combination of first-class villas on St. Barts and bulk air fare in coach and business class," she said.

"Our clients are travel agents, and their goals are our goals: boost productivity, increase commissions and fulfill clients' vacation desires," Gherardi said.

Weekly villa rates range from $2,500 to $55,000; commission is 10%.

Villas range in size from one to six bedrooms; each features views and amenities that include pools, Jacuzzis and barbecues.

All villa stays include a meet-and-greet reception and daily maid service.

Some of the properties are:

• Villa Bamboo. Completed a year ago, this one-bedroom villa overlooks the lagoon of Grand Cul de Sac. The king bedroom, living area and open-air kitchen lead onto a covered deck, which surrounds the pool on two levels. Weekly rates start at $2,380.

• Villa Ladine. The three-bed-room unit sits high above Columbier on the island's west coast. Clients are greeted with champagne and flowers on arrival, Bose radios in each room, a DVD player and video library, indoor and outdoor dining areas, a living room and a large pool. All bedrooms and baths are separate and private. From June through mid-November, villa rentals include a car and a 10% discount on stays of two weeks or more. Weekly rates range from $8,085 for a one-bedroom unit to $10,085 for the entire villa.

• Villa Le Roi Soleil. The four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath villa, situated on Mount Lurin, was renovated and redone recently. Amenities include sunset views from multiple terraces, a two-level infinity pool with a veranda and views overlooking the beach at St. Jean Baie. Behind the villa are a garden, a river and a fountain. Weekly rates begin at $20,090.

Island Destinations' properties include resorts and hotels in the Caribbean, Mexico, French Polynesia and Fiji. The addition of the St. Barts villas more than doubled the number of the firm's Caribbean villa resorts.

For reservations or more information, contact Island Destinations at (877) 902-2525 or visit the company's Web site at www.islanddestinations.com.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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