On Barbados, west is best. The Caribbean island’s prime west coast has the loveliest sunsets, the finest hotels, smart but unstuffy waterfront restaurants and, of course, the most luxurious homes.
The best beachfront house sold for £23 million last year, but a few hundred feet back from the shore you’ll find new-build one- to three-bedroom homes from only £174,200.
COOL FOR CATS AND DRAGONS
For many seriously wealthy people, this is the location of choice, with a reported 19 billionaires. “That’s not bad for an island 21 miles by 14,” says Chris Parra of Chestertons.
The super-smart Sandy Lane Estate has 169 plots, with a few still for sale from £1,294,000. Residents include Cats composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose home covers six plots, and Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones.
“Barbados is raising the bar at all levels from build quality to services and restaurants,” says Parra. “It’s just outside the hurricane belt with an excellent reputation for safety and security. It has friendly, well-educated people and white sand beaches.”
DOWN TO THE BEACH
Those lovely beaches are all public, so you can lay down your towel next to the millionaires reclining on the vivid pink loungers at five-star Sandy Lane Hotel.
But there are plenty more coves with affordable, reggae-playing beach bars to choose from. Mullins Beach is a west coast favourite and 200 yards away, Chestertons is selling Mullins Grove, 14 new one- to three-bedroom flats ranging from 680sq ft to 1,300sq ft in two three-storey buildings with rooftop gardens. Prices are from £174,200 to £300,000. Owners have three months’ personal use but then must rent out their flat through the developer.
The Barbados rental market is dynamic, with the average west coast villa achieving 35 to 40 weeks a year, says Chestertons.
Battaleys Mews is a prime example. Also an easy stroll from Mullins Beach, this attractive development of 30 spacious three-bedroom townhouses was completed in 2007. Since then, they have successfully rented for up to £560 a night. The homes are newly for sale priced £416,300 with Chestertons.
Communal facilities include a tennis court and coral-stone clubhouse with small gym and pool. Furniture packages are £17,500 and annual service charges are £9,000, covered by renting for three weeks. Half of phase one has sold in the past two months, in another sign that the sun is shining on Barbados.
IT’S MY ESCAPE FROM LONDON
For Diane Charlton, chief executive and co-founder of a Soho-based advertising company, Barbados is a “complete antidote to busy urban London living”.
So after 10 years of holidaying there, including owning a fractional property, she took the plunge last October, buying a three-bedroom home at Battaleys Mews.
“Barbados is one of the most developed and politically stable islands in the region,” she says. “I love its noisy, offbeat island vibe.”
Her island highlights include driving to the more remote areas of Bathsheba on the east coast and Saint Lucy in the north, and leisurely Sunday buffets at the Atlantis Hotel.
Charlton’s front door is just steps from the beach and she will use her new home three times a year, letting it for four or five months to offset service charges.