Nestled among coral cliffs, overlooking a private beach and offering panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea, Cove Spring House provides the perfect marriage between the opulence of a boutique hotel and laid back Caribbean luxury.
As we make our way through understated electric gates, tall mahogany trees create a canopy of shade while their leaves sway to the rhythm of the cool breeze and the therapeutic drum of the fountain. It is this garden that nestles and softens the stately coral stone walls that welcome us into Cove Spring House.
This villa almost needs no further introduction; it has been the holiday home of stars such as Rihanna, Prince Harry, Elton John, Tom Cruise, Sting, Simon Cowell and Princess Margaret, but we choose to give you our personal tour.
As we approach the porte cochere, the butler extends a pleasant Caribbean greeting and guides us inside.
The Georgian-style grand foyer of the vast property offers a breathtaking passage into the museum-esque open-plan living and dining areas. What was once a stolid plantation house has been enlivened with bold Georgian and Asian accents and contemporary limestone and tropical Caribbean finishes. The magnificent columns of the thirty-foot entrance are the epitome of palatial grandeur and lead directly to the stair hall and the seaside Western-facing covered terrace that runs across the full length of the house.
Our access to the terrace is ushered by a statement-making horse sculpture, reminiscent of the legendary designs used in the off-Broadway show, The War Horse. Horses are indeed a central element of inspiration to the owner, who offers us some wine as he chuckles over his love for everything equine, while casually guiding us through the magnificent entryway to the pool and alfresco dining areas.
Our charismatic host is also the former proprietor of one of the most exclusive boutique hotels in Old Montreal— a regular stop for celebrities such as Madonna and the Rolling Stones— and is enthusiastic about sharing his aesthetic inspirations and how his experience as an hotelier influenced the interior design.
“The home came completely empty,” he remembers, as he takes a sip of wine. “For me it was like decorating my hotel— a really fun exercise.”
Well-known for his love of art, our host tells the story of how he pieced together an eclectic mélange of artwork, accents and furnishings, or what he refers to as “secret finds,” including a Chinese cabinet and a clock both dating back to the nineteenth century, during his many travels abroad. The result: a balanced assortment of rich European and Asian flavours that provide a tasteful pop against the Barbadian coral stone interior.
We can’t help but imagine an evening laying out on the Balinese loungers, alongside the crescent-shaped pool and Jacuzzi or in the oak-trimmed bar, sipping a glass of wine or a freshly blended Caribbean cocktail made with local produce by the kitchen/bar staff and topped up upon request.
We imagine what it would be like to have a private chef at our disposal; to have the freedom to entertain on this scale. We can almost taste the haute cuisine that we would share with our closest friends at the 24-seater ironwood table in the main alfresco dining area. Or perhaps we would treat our friends to a meal prepared at the Tepenyaki grill in another outdoor dining area, while enjoying the relaxing murmur of the adjacent Zen fountain. We exchange a nod as we consider our options.
The “Tepenyaki Gazebo” as we have coined it, located to the North West of the property, overlooks a coved beachfront that provides the closest approximation to a private beach that we have ever seen in Barbados. The owner, who was also a film producer some years prior, tells us about film shootings that have taken place at that very spot. This private beach, with white sand and crystal clear waters, creates the perfect romantic alcove, accessible down a narrow, stone staircase carved in the rock face, perfectly set with lounge chairs for two, wine on ice and beach staff, at your service or not!
We produce a collective sigh as we make our way back to the main house, as we are pulled away from losing ourselves in luxurious indulgence; however, every step back inside reveals another focal point, another feature, another masterpiece on display which we are drawn to.
The seven rooms of the main house, located on the second level, and the three rooms of the adjacent cottage, are each outfitted with their own name and door-plaque and are designed for comfort as much as for show, with particular emphasis on the Master bedroom, which, with its Daniel Gelis art and Timothy Oulton accents, is our personal favorite.
As we meander through each room, we marvel at the elevated views of the Caribbean sea and the added luxury of a well-furnished veranda, where creatives such as us can be inspired, or the early morning riser can enjoy a warm cup of coffee in the arms of a loved one with waves crashing on the sands and the birds creating the perfect melody in the surrounding wooded areas.
We peek around the doorways of the hidden treasures of the house that include a twenty-seat home theatre, decorated in the theme of an old fashioned cinema with plush red reclining chairs, and a fully equipped professional gym, situated in a hidden basement-like setting.
Cove Spring house is a home for dreamers—an exercise in opulence— a lavish treat for aesthetes and an escape for creatives.
It is impossible not to fall in love.
For further details visit www.barbadossothebysrealty.com or
call (246) 432 5050