Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

You Can't Beat Barbados; for PS174k You Can Buy a Flat and Live the Caribbean Dream with All Those Billionaires, Says Cathy Hawker

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

You Can't Beat Barbados; for PS174k You Can Buy a Flat and Live the Caribbean Dream with All Those Billionaires, Says Cathy Hawker

Article excerpt

Byline: Cathy Hawker

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 PS23 million last year, but a few hundred feet back from the shore you'll find new-build one- to three-bedroom homes from only PS174,200.

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 supersmart Sandy Lane Estate has 169 plots, with a few still for sale from PS1,294,000. 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 fivestar 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 PS174,200 to PS300,000. 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. …

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