The se­cret coast where Barbados shows its best side

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - International -

Barbados isn’t all white sand and azure waves: it has some im­por­tant po­lit­i­cal prob­lems to clean up. There is the press­ing is­sue of sewage leak­ing into a busy part of the south coast, although this year’s elec­tion may speed things along. Out­side the af­fected area, the tap wa­ter is potable and the sea safe to swim in.

In­stead of the south, look to the wild and rugged east coast. This is where those who re­ally know Barbados hang out: a vast swathe of na­tional park with rocky shores, ver­dant hills and un­spoilt beaches. Along­side vil­lages such as Bathsheba and Belle­plaine, there are a few in­de­pen­dent ho­tels and pri­vate rentals strung out along the coast. For many, this area epit­o­mises the Barbados of decades ago.

“Peo­ple don’t un­der­stand this coast. It’s not just a dif­fer­ent de­mo­graphic that comes here, but a dif­fer­ent psy­chol­ogy – peo­ple who want beauty, scenery and peace,” says Paul Doyle, a Cana­dian busi­ness­man who took a chance 30 years ago when he bought the ru­ined Crane Ho­tel on the tip of the south-east coast.

With its white sand beach, spa, bars and restau­rants, The Crane is the only large-scale, pur­pose-built res­i­den­tial re­sort in this part of Barbados and is some­thing of an in­sti­tu­tion. Doyle be­lieves be­ing on the less-fash­ion­able side of the is­land is what makes it pop­u­lar. “Peo­ple don’t come here to be seen.”

Wil­liam and El­iz­a­beth John­ston, from Devon, bought a two-bed­room apart­ment at The Crane in 2014 and didn’t even con­sider the is­land’s more pop­u­lar and touristy western side. “The east coast is spec­tac­u­lar, beau­ti­ful and com­pletely un­spoilt,” says Wil­liam. “We chose The Crane be­cause it’s away from the built-up part of the is­land but not too far from the air­port, at just a 25-minute drive, with good su­per­mar­kets and ex­cel­lent beaches.”

Frac­tional prop­erty in a onebed­room apart­ment at The Crane starts from $10,000 (£7,300) for a week in low sea­son, with full own­er­ship from around $600,000. Some prop­er­ties have pri­vate pools, and most have di­rect sea views. There are also newer pri­vate res­i­dences avail­able that are more con­tem­po­rary in style than ear­lier prop­er­ties, start­ing at $676,000 for two bed­rooms.

Plans for The Crane are am­bi­tious, but Doyle is tak­ing his vi­sion and faith in the east coast a step fur­ther. He’s in­vested in an­other site that’s even more re­moved from the west coast glitz in terms of lo­ca­tion and am­bi­ence.

Beach Houses is a lux­ury de­vel­op­ment that has been de­signed for those who want the Barbados cli­mate and nat­u­ral beauty without the clubs, bars and su­per yachts.

The re­sort over­looks Skeete’s Bay, a small cove on the rocky eastern coast­line, and will com­prise 67 prop­er­ties, a res­tau­rant and store.

Res­i­dences are sleek and con­tem­po­rary, split be­tween frac­tional and out­right own­er­ship, with the lat­ter homes be­ing built to or­der. Prices start at $180,000 for four weeks’ use, with vil­las priced from $1.95mil­lion for two bed­rooms. “The Beach Houses is re­ally

Pol­lards Mill House, a plan­ta­tion house with cot­tages, is for sale at $2.7 mil­lion with Knight Frank

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