They say in the real estate world ‘location, location, location’. The location of Settlers Barbados and its name clearly stating its origin has substance in every sense – history and a great, well-known location. This is where the settlers first landed in Barbados and the site of battles between the Roundheads and the Cavaliers. Hard to believe when you look at the beautiful mature gardens and serene beach that will be Settlers Barbados, starting construction in 2015.
Our family is fortunate to have owned this land twice in one lifetime. My parents, Budge and Cynthia O’Hara, originally developed this beautiful spot in the 1960s, with partners, into small 2 bedroom villas. In the recent past, the existing ‘team’, being Budge and Cynthia’s children; myself and my two brothers, Patrick and Mark and their wives, Sharon and Maria, and my husband, Wayne Capaldi, became aware that the owners of these villas, many quite elderly now, who had enjoyed many happy years holidaying in Barbados, wanted to sell. Owning the neighbouring luxury hotel property, The Sandpiper, it was in our best interest to control what would happen at Settlers and we had a common vision as a family about what we would like to see in this prime location. Hence the creation, over the past 2 years, of spectacular plans to completely re-develop the property with stunning new, modern beach villas. We have worked with architects Gillespie and Steele for years, David Spink having done sterling work for us at both Coral Reef Club and The Sandpiper and latterly at The Spa at Coral Reef Club. David worked on Settlers with us, bringing in a younger member of the team, Doug Luke, who seamlessly took over on David’s recent retirement. It’s not always easy faced with so many family members but ultimately we all have the same vision and it’s just the details that have to be ironed out. We have healthy debates and ultimately make good decisions with great guidance from our team. Settlers Barbados will be a collection of 12 villas of the highest quality, around 5,000 square feet, designed with great attention to detail and upscale fittings.
Our experience in running hotels has assisted us to develop a concept of making decisions based on practicality in terms of maintaining these properties. Running hotels is as much about maintenance as it is about service and we have learnt a lot over the years! Those who will make these villas their homes will have a freehold property that will benefit from those years of experience. Buyers are enthusiastic that we are committing to running the property as they have witnessed us as hoteliers first hand. Having The Sandpiper and Coral Reef Club either side of Settlers, we are committed to maintaining the villas to the highest standard. Our aim is that these 3, 4 or 5 bedroomed villas, which will each have their own pool and share a stunning central pool and gym, will all be of the same quality and as most owners will wish to rent, those renting will find a very consistent style, allowing us to market the property in a unique way that some developments find it difficult to do.
We have developed an excellent relationship with Helen Green Designs of London over many years, with our last project being The Spa at Coral Reef Club. They have designed the interiors for the computer generated images of Settlers Barbados and have assisted with the interior architecture, ensuring that the flow and design of the villas are second to none. With attention to detail seldom seen in a development, we have taken painstaking care to design these as one would one’s own home, ensuring the practical issues such as storage are also well thought through. Kevin Talma who is the landscape architect for Coral Reef Club and The Sandpiper is designing the gardens that are benefitting from existing mature trees.
The villas will also benefit from their association with Coral Reef Club and The Sandpiper, with special access to The Spa – luxury car transfers and special offers, signing privileges at the hotels and concierge facilities. This is an exciting, unique development that will add another level of luxury to beach living on the Platinum Coast.