Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday fun: Ten fave hot properties in Barbados

A drive around Barbados, especially along the west coast, will reveal a multitude of luxurious villas which can be rented by the rich and famous, or locals with a few (thousand) dollars to spend. I love architecture and real estate in general so it's a treat to drive around the island and scope out new properties. I think I'm in the wrong profession....

Anyhoo, here's a list of ten hot properties that I admire from a distance.

10. New Mansion - Paynes Bay, St. James - Over the years I've watched this property transform. It's one of the few west coast properties you can see clearly from the main road, and is located just north of Tamarind Cove Hotel and only minutes away from Sandy Lane. Its design is elegant without being overly pretentious.

9. Mango Bay - Holetown, St. James - Originally designed by renowned English artist Oliver Messel, Mango Bay keeps company with other plush accommodations such as Glitter Bay and Royal Pavilion Hotels and Royal Westmoreland. Sweet.

8. Bon Vivant - Sandy Lane, St. James - Recognised by The London Times as "one of the most gracious getaways for the well-heeled," Bon Vivant appears to live up to its name. It has a slight Turkish design about it, probably because of the arches.

7. Caprice - Read's Bay, St. James - The hubby and I discovered Caprice during a beach stroll in Weston and I was impressed with the "old" style architecture on what was obviously a relatively new property. Very elegant and cosy-looking.

6. Sandalo - Gibbes Beach, St. Peter - Owned by the Rausing family, founders of the packaging company Tetra Pak, Sandalo is another property you can glimpse from the street as you drive through Gibbes, St. Peter.

5. Bohemia - Sandy Lane, St. James - For a property called bohemia, its design is more elegant than over-the-top. If you're gonna go for massive pillars outside your home, this is the way to go.

4. Crystal Springs - The Garden, St. James - One of the four major villas in The Garden area, Crystal Springs is well hidden from the street behind a tall gate. In The Garden, like most villages on the west coast that now have villas springing up in their midst, you can see modest chattel houses next door and across the street from luxurious properties, seemingly co-existing happily. Someone needs to do some sociological research on this....

3. Alang Alang - The Garden, St. James - While you can only glimpse a little of Alang Alang from behind its massive gate, the Asian-influenced gate and decor and the landscaping outside the property is just as impressive.

2. Moon Reach - Read's Bay, St. James - Whenever I pass Moon Reach, I crane my neck to catch a glimpse of the property at the end of the long, winding driveway, without much luck. If you really want to check out this house, you gotta hit the beach in Weston and see it from the rear. It reminds me of one of those sprawling country mansions you see in movies based on Jane Austen's books. Croquet, anyone?

1. Cove Spring House - The Garden, St. James - The big kahuna of villas in Barbados, the Italian Renaissance-styled Cove Spring House is currently the most expensive villa to rent, costing US$10, 000 per night to rent in the high season (Jan. 10 to April 15) and US$6,000 per night in the low season (April 15 to Dec. 15).

This property was also in the news a few years ago when the Wall Street Journal reported that it was being sold for Bds$112 million, a claim refuted by owner, investor Ajmal Khan.

Here are a few more pics of Cove Spring House. The interior shot is the one I chose to illustrate the Trading Hearts story.

Have a good weekend, folks!


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