Island Villas Property Blog

Holiday requirements: Barbados Blue Sky and Rum

Bajan Blue Sky and a Bottle of Rum

Bajan Blue Sky and a Bottle of Rum

St. Nicholas Abbey is one of Barbados’ oldest historic properties having been built in 1658. It is also one of the island’s most popular attractions and this stunning Barbados property is a ‘must visit’ whenever you are here.

Beautiful Barbados Historic Property

Beautiful Barbados Historic Property

Constructed by Lt. Col. Benjamin Berringer, St. Nicholas Abbey has a colorful past. Berringer’s wife embarked on an affair with his neighbor and business partner, John Yeamans. Yeamans then had Berringer poisoned and the Abbey acquired his name. Years later, the property was acquired by one of Berringer’s relatives and became Nicholas Plantation.

Rum making at the property started in the 1800s when the land was bought by Sir John Gay Alleyne, a Bajan. Since then, rum from St Nicholas Abbey has gone on to become world renowned for its quality and taste.

Nothing like a Rum Punch in Barbados

Nothing like a Rum Punch in Barbados

Visitors to the Abbey have the chance to walk through the ground floor of the original house, viewing interesting and quirky artifacts such as the gentleman’s chair – a mobile contraption fully fitted with footrest, reading desk and wheels to gently relocate the man of the house when he started snoring. A guided tour carries you back in time and there is even a video showcasing life on the plantation years before. The fascinating footage even shows old Bridgetown.

As well as award winning rum, the gift shop at the Abbey carries a wide range of local goods including rum truffles, molasses cookies and even rum marmalade! Be sure to have your unique St. Nicholas Abbey bottle of rum engraved before you leave.

What are the ingredients of a perfect island holiday? A Barbados blue sky and RUM!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Celebrate Barbados Heritage with the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA)

Barbados Property Rentals

Enjoying the island of Barbados – the view from Coconut Grove 3

Celebrate Barbados Heritage with the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA).

Barbados Property Sales

Life on the island of Barbados

The island of Barbados commemorates its Independence annually on November 30. This historic day is celebrated with a number of events and activities that promote Barbados heritage. The National Independence Festival of Creative Arts, better known NIFCA, is one of these celebrations.

NIFCA was first held in November 1973 and has continued to be a part of Barbados’ Independence celebrations since then. The Festival is a showcase of heritage and culture and one can often see performances and exhibits from some of the best dancers, artists, photographers and others that the island of Barbados has to offer. Schools across the island also participate in this impressive Barbados heritage event.

Barbados Heritage

Performances at NIFCA, the outstanding Barbados heritage and culture event

Some of the upcoming NIFCA events include the Literary Arts Gala and the Professional Chefs cook-off. The highly anticipated Photography Exhibition features outstanding work from some the incredible talents on the island of Barbados.

 

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Barbados Historic Properties: The Story of Sam Lord’s Castle

Famous Barbados Property: Sam Lord's Castle

Famous Barbados Property: Sam Lord’s Castle

If these walls could talk…

Many Barbados properties are filled with stories of drama and intrigue from years gone by. One such property on the island is the infamous Sam Lord’s Castle, a beautiful Georgian mansion in St. Philip.

Sharing the history of Barbados

Sharing the history of Barbados

Built between 1819-1820, this Barbados historic property was home to the controversial rogue, Samuel Hall Lord – a notorious figure in Bajan folklore. It is alleged that Lord was appointed Trustee for his family members in London before disappearing with all of the money. He resurfaced on the island of Barbados where he used his new found wealth to build the impressive mansion, Sam Lord’s Castle.

Prime Barbados Real Estate

Prime Barbados Real Estate

Known for its battlements, marble floors and plastered ceilings, Sam Lord’s Castle stood amongst other Barbados historic properties. Allegedly Lord continued to build on his wealth by hanging lanterns on the rocks below the castle, luring ships to their demise and then plundering them for their cargo.

The gardens of Sam Lord's Castle

The gardens of Sam Lord’s Castle

His criminal behaviour did not stop there as he also supposedly imprisoned his wife in a dungeon below the castle! She then escaped to England carrying their only child and filing for a separation from Samuel. He was then accused of perjury and forgery but these charges were subsequently thrown out.

Inside this Historic Barbados Property

Inside this Historic Barbados Property

Upon Lord’s death, the storied Barbados property was sold along with its deer park to the Trollope family who owned it until 1942.

This piece of Barbados heritage was then run as a luxury hotel for many years but was tragically destroyed by fire in 2010.

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Barbados Historic Properties: The Charm of the Chattel House

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This week our tour of Barbados historic properties continues and Island Villas is stepping back in time at Tyrol Cot. After our walk through the impressive main house, we venture in to the Chattel House Museum, a collection of structures depicting traditional Barbados properties from the 1800s right up to when slavery was abolished in Barbados.

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The term chattel house dates back to the days of the plantations when plantation workers lived in moveable structures, modest wooden buildings that could be lifted as needed. They were moveable because the land did not belong to the workers so you had to be prepared to move at a moment’s notice.

An interesting feature of the original chattel house was that the windows and door were always open as a way of welcoming people. Visitors could literally let themselves in, giving new meaning to the term ‘make yourself at home.’ Cooking and bathing were done on the outside of the home, with splashes of water on the face and hands sufficient for during the week and full baths once a week on Sundays (water conservation at its best).

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As time passed, the Barbados chattel house became more architecturally advanced. With the abolition of slavery and the opportunity to now purchase a Barbados property and land, the moveable structures now took root and people expanded, adding rooms and other touches. Intricate wooden detailing at the front of the house was done to welcome people and several beautiful designs can be seen at the Chattel House Museum.

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From then to now, the chattel house remains an integral part of Barbados heritage. As part of our tour we stop and chat with Gregory , a barber who has now set up shop within one of the chattel houses at the museum. It is a perfect blend of old and new!

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Other highlights include the replica of a slave hut which has been done to the exact dimensions, a Bajan Monkey Jug (cool water without a fridge!) and the Blacksmith shop.

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Our tour has now come to an end but we will most definitely be back to visit the Tyrol Cot Heritage Village. After all, where else would we learn about ‘Blowing in the Goose Batty’ (check our Facebook page for that meaning and more Bajan tidbits).

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Investment is presently being sought to restore sections of the property as it is in need of some repair. Island Villas strongly supports the work of the Barbados National Trust and we encourage you to check out our next post when we continue our tour of the Tyrol Cot Heritage Village.

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Exploring Barbados Historic Properties: A Visit to Tyrol Cot

Barbados historic properties, Barbados Heritage site

Tyrol Cot Main House

The island of Barbados has a rich history and vibrant culture beckoning travelers from near and wide to our shores. Visitors to the island are encouraged to stop at any of the Barbados heritage sites that tell our unique story and provide a glimpse into the history of this piece of paradise.

Barbados properties, Barbados Heritage site

Inside Tyrol Cot, a Barbados Historic Property

This week we take a tour of Tyrol Cot Heritage Village, a stunning architectural achievement that is the creation and property of the Barbados National Trust. The main house, Tyrol Cot, stands out among other Barbados historic properties as this was the home of Sir Grantley Adams, leader of the Barbados independence movement.

Barbados historic properties

The house contains mementos of the Adams family

The house is an interesting combination of Palladian architecture with distinct Caribbean influences. Constructed in 1854 using native coral stone and ballast bricks, Tyrol Cot houses numerous beautiful antiques and keepsakes of the Adams’ family. Like many other Barbados historic properties, there are numerous mahogany pieces, including a beautifully crafted Regency-style double-ended couch and a Regency-style dining table.

Sir Grantley Adams' mahogany desk

Sir Grantley Adams’ mahogany desk

Visitors can stroll through the bedrooms admiring the cordia wood bedroom suite in the Master bedroom, a wedding gift from Sir Grantley to his wife, Lady Adams, or view the bedroom of Sir Grantley’s son, Tom, who became a celebrated Prime Minister of the island of Barbados.

Lady Adams' bedroom suite

Lady Adams’ bedroom suite

Other treasures include a collection of photographs documenting key moments in Barbados’ history as well as other souvenirs and collectibles. The infamous collection of Wedgwood china acquired by Lady Adams is proudly on display and one can readily paint a picture of the fancy dinner gatherings that must have occurred. Her husband’s traditional liquor chests are also on show – these ingenious, handmade structures still contain bottles (rum not included).

Barbados heritage site

The Booze Box is on display at Tyrol Cot

Stories abound throughout the house and it is easy to envision Sir Grantley Adams engaged in intense political discussion about Barbados while sitting on the patio peering through the large jalousie windows or imagine Lady Adams and her young son, Tom, crouched in the basement hiding from Sir Grantley’s political opponents as they shot at the house.

Looking out the windows at Tyrol Cot

Looking out the windows at Tyrol Cot

A tour is most definitely a trip back in time and Tyrol Cot remains a significant Barbados heritage site. Investment is presently being sought to restore sections of the property as it is in need of some repair. Island Villas strongly supports the work of the Barbados National Trust and we encourage you to check out our next post when we continue our tour of the Tyrol Cot Heritage Village.

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Barbados’ Property Market Boom

Royal Westmoreland Resort Barbados

Tranquility, Royal Westmoreland

Barbados properties continue to attract significant interest from overseas investors. Recent reports from local real estate experts, Island Villas, indicate that sales in the last 12 months have grown by as much as 25%, a welcome boost to the Barbados property market.

The most popular properties for sale fall in the multi-million dollar range, however, the island has a wide range of offerings for different budgets. As the only independent boutique real estate company with international experience on the island, Island Villas has a diverse portfolio and it is expected that sales will experience a further boost in the coming year.

Barbados Property for Sale

Green Living with Island Villas

Barbados’ popularity is due in part to the island’s range of activities throughout the year. Hailed as a fantastic golfing destination, Barbados has also developed a name for itself in the areas of sailing, cuisine, music and much more.

This November, the island will once again host the Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival. This is an excellent opportunity to visit the island, enjoy some fantastic food from a range of local and overseas chefs and check out some of our beautiful island villas.

 

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Island Villas Driving into the Future with Megapower

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Local real estate company, Island Villas, has teamed up with Megapower to promote the use of electric vehicles in Barbados.

“As a company that works within the tourism and hospitality sector we believe that it is our responsibility to incorporate more energy efficient and environmentally friendly practices into our daily operations,” says Richard Eames, Managing Director of Island Villas, “We support the efforts of Megapower because not only are they introducing the zero emission Nissan leaf to the island, they have also constructed a large solar panel recharging centre providing owners free clean energy.”

Speaking at the unveiling of Island Villas’ new Nissan Leaf, Richard also highlighted the great strides the company’s Go Green initiative has made over the years. “We have undertaken several substantial projects including the introduction of eco-friendly cleaning products, paperless billing and the installation of energy efficient lighting both in our main office and at some of our developments, including West Coast development, Lantana. It is our hope that we can lead by example and encourage others in Barbados to embrace environmentally friendly initiatives.”

Megapower Business Manager, Rohan Ford, echoed these sentiments stating, “We are extremely excited about the incredible response to the zero emission Nissan LEAF. As ‘Bajans’ become more conscious of our impact on the environment and as people seek to find energy efficient and cost reducing alternatives to vehicles powered by imported fossil fuels; we believe Megapower’s electric vehicles and charging stations can meet this need. We congratulate Island Villas on making the step forward and acquiring a Nissan Leaf and we look forward to charting their progress as we welcome them to the Barbadian electric vehicle community.”

Electric vehicles have been hailed as one of the most promising green industries and Megapower has successfully installed charge points across the island. Users are invited to download the plugshare app or visit the plugshare website www.plugshare.com which identifies the locations of charge points as more of them continue to be installed.

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Battaleys Mews: A Real Estate Success Story

Battaleys Mews a Winner!

Battaleys Mews a Winner!

The year is 2009 and Barbados, like much of the world, is in the throes of the economic recession. Sales of real estate have slowed and many developments on the island are struggling to attract interest from investors and visitors alike.

One such development is the attractive Battaleys Mews, a community of luxury townhouses situated steps away from Mullins Beach. At the time of construction Battaleys was hailed for its spacious rooms, modern kitchens, plunge pools on the patio of each unit and other unique details that made the development stand out from others on Barbados’ Platinum Coast.

Battaleys Mews Luxury Development

Battaleys Mews Luxury Development

As the economic situation worsened Battaleys Mews went into administration and the development became a ghost town facing financial ruin. In 2011, real estate and property management company, Island Villas Ltd., was awarded the contract to manage Battaleys Mews and they were tasked with managing the units and stimulating interest with limited resources.

No one could have predicted what happened next.

In the space of one year Island Villas increased the revenue generated by Battaleys by 3 times! The figures document this dramatic rise and give some insight into the dramatic transformation that Island Villas was able to bring about. At one point reservation enquiries were coming in at the rate of several times a day outstripping the demand for other similar developments on the island.

What then was responsible for this turnaround?

Some of the highlights achieved by the Island Villas team include:

  • Green Globe certification of Battaleys Mews – this prestigious designation has attracted interest as well as brought about cost savings for the development
  • Excellent ratings across the board on all of the popular online travel sites – Battaleys Mews has been rated excellent on TripAdvisor and has received the prestigious TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2014!
  • A strong local interest in reservations and events
  • The establishment of Battaleys Mews as a venue for intimate weddings, business retreats and other activities
  • Promotion of the units as attractive long-term rental options – this was of particular interest to the expatriate community
  • The creation of an on-site poolside Bar & Bistro branded as ‘The Galley’ – this modularized food and beverage outlet has become popular outside of just Battaleys guests and has attracted a wider clientele

In December 2013, Battaleys Mews was closed to renters and guests by the receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers in expectation of a pending sale. For further details on Island Villas services please contact richarde@island-villas.com; www.island-villas.com; Tel: +1 246 422 3333 or UK: (0) 80 0097 0886 or US (866) 978 8499.

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Island Villas Celebrates World Environment Day 2014

 

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June 5 is World Environment Day and the IV team is proud to reinforce its commitment to going green. Since establishing its Go Green campaign several years ago the company has successfully incorporated many eco friendly practices into their daily operations. 

Some of our successes to date are:

  • The installation of recycling bins at the IV main office, at the Lantana resort, the Battaleys Mews development and other properties
  • The use of eco friendly cleaning products in all IV properties
  • The installation of LED lighting
  • Promotion of a paperless office – encouraging the use of e-billing and limited use of paper
  • The installation of energy efficient air conditioning units

Our Go Green efforts continue and we look forward to accelerating our efforts in the year ahead. Today especially we encourage everyone to join us in committing to a greener lifestyle.

This World Environment Day Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level

 

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What about a Barbados ‘Babymoon’?

Pregnant Woman On The Beach

Every expectant mother deserves a luxury vacation that includes sun, fun and not having to lift a finger except to ask for another foot rub. Barbados ticks all those boxes – just ask Rachel Bilson, one of our favourite celebs and a longtime fan of the island.

Rachel and her longtime love, Hayden Christensen, were spotted lounging on the beach in Barbados shortly after it was made public that she is indeed pregnant with the couple’s first child.

Barbados beach view - on the doorstep of Lantana

Following Rachel’s lead we wanted to figure out what exactly makes Barbados the best spot for a ‘Babymoon’. Here are our top 5 reasons:

1) Nothing says ‘Happy Momma’ like a baby bump on the beach and Barbados definitely has no shortage of fantastic beaches.

2) Number 1 was so important that we thought it should take the number 2 spot as well!

3) Mums to be need to eat for 2 so good food is a requirement. Barbados has a wide range of hot spots with great cuisine including fine dining and beachside fare (Rachel and Hayden were spotted getting ‘fish cutters’ at Cuz – a local ‘MUST TRY’)

4) Relaxation is key – your body is about to go through dramatic changes so it is important to remain calm and stress-free. Barbados is the perfect place to unwind. When planning your vacation let the IV team organise the ultimate spa getaway as well as other activities designed to wash your worries away.

5) Selfies! What better way to document your growing bump than sunbathing on the beach or sipping fruit juice poolside!

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