Island Villas Property Blog

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

 

Posted in Best of Barbados, Green Business | 3 Comments

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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Terrific Top Gear in Barbados

F1 cars, drifting, racing and all of the thrills, spills and excitement of a day at the track. That was the talk when popular BBC Programme, Top Gear, rolled into town. The Barbados Top Gear Festival was a HUGE success – after all, how often do you get to see 2 LEGENDS, the one and only Lewis Hamilton, in his V8 Mercedes F1 car and the street sensation Ken Block, in his Rallycross Ford Fiesta, going head to head? We still get goosebumps just thinking about it…WOW!

Other highlights from the weekend included The Stig, classic Top Gear moments and the Red Bull Rallycross drivers. It was AMAZING and Barbados was the perfect venue. The newly renovated Bushy Park track has been hailed as a motorsport masterpiece and there are plans to bring even more elite drivers to the island.

For those of you who missed it -PLAN EARLY. The Top Gear Festival returns next year and we guarantee it will be BIGGER and BETTER.

 

Royal Westmoreland Resort Barbados

Destination: BARBADOS

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She Said YES! A fish cutter leads to a ring in Barbados

Say YES to Barbados

Say YES to Barbados

So it’s been a while since the IV team has added to our blog. What does this mean? That now we have even more updates and exciting things to fill you in on. Barbados is BUZZING and the IV team is readier than ever for the summer #IVcountdown #stay&play 

To kick things off let’s start with a bit of romance, excitement and a whole lotta LOVE. The IV team wants to send CONGRATULATIONS to NY Post reporter, Stephanie Smith, and her partner, Eric Schulte!!!

300 Sandwiches lead to a ring in Barbados.

Stephanie is the creator of popular blog 300sandwiches.com. Three years ago, Eric uttered the now famous line, “Honey, you’re 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring!” Not one to back down from a challenge, Stephanie jumped in feet first and started creating some culinary masterpieces.

Fast forward to sandwich #257 – Stephanie and Eric were in BARBADOS and Stephanie whipped up The ‘Fishkiller’ Fish Cutter. Now, you can’t come to Barbados and not have a fish cutter so we are fully on board with Stephanie’s choice of sandwich – plus her’s was served with rum on the side, EVEN BETTER!

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Well, Eric was completely bowled over and TA-DA! He popped the question! With all the planning involved we know that it wasn’t just the sandwich BUT we like to think that a little bit of Bajan food, sunshine and rum had something to do with it.

Congrats again to the happy couple and come visit us sometime at Island Villas #anniversaryparty #welikesandwichestoo

http://nypost.com/2014/05/21/300-sandwiches-blogger-is-finally-engaged/

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World’s 50 Best Beach Bars – CNN list

Holiday Rental Barbados

And you thought we may have been kidding when we said Barbados has it all.

Guess who made the list of the World’s 50 Best Beach Bars (http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/06/travel/worlds-best-beach-bars/index.html?hpt=hp_c4)???

According to CNN, Ju Ju’s Beach Bar in Barbados proudly sits at number 39 and is described as

“Small but perfectly formed, it offers great food and a rustic, simple beach bar vibe.”

JuJu’s is in close proximity to Lantana, Barbados newest holiday rental development. Each condominium provides the perfect spot to lay your head before walking to JuJu’s for a drink or some fresh fish.

And if you don’t believe us when we say you’ll be back, CNN goes on to say that their list includes, “…spots that range from the chic and the elite with smooth lines and mesmerizing cocktail waiters, to the haphazard, thrown-together shacks constructed from scavenged driftwood.”

“The only thing these places have in common is that once you’ve been, you inevitably start planning to get back there someday, somehow.”

Anyone care to meet me for a drink at Ju Ju’s Beach Bar? I’ll save you a spot…

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