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High Constantia

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In Depth

High Constantia Cottage is located to the north of Speightstown on a pleasant and breezy ridge inland, with lovely views over Barbados’s North-west coastline, particularly from the gardens and pool terrace. It is a delightful two bedroom cottage positioned in the gardens of a larger house, but it is set apart sufficiently to give it an air of privacy. It looks out over its own pretty lawn and has use of the pool that lies between it and the main house.

Bearing all the hallmarks of an Ian Morrison design, High Constantia is built in rustic Spanish style with arched windows and doorways, bleached timber beams and woodwork, an exposed pickle pine roof and built-in in molded concrete seating and shelving. Set against the occasional natural coral stone wall, the effect is soft, easy and relaxed. The living area is fairly open plan. A small sitting area with built-in corner seating has simple white painted rattan furnishing with a cable TV and VCR in the corner and glass sliding doors to the outer terrace. An arch to the side of the sitting area leads to a small breakfast room from which there are views onto the garden through a screened window with white painted bars that allow airflow. There is also a separate door to the terrace. The compact, well equipped kitchen is set to the rear and is accessed by an open archway.

The two bedrooms are located off the sitting room. The first bedroom has a double bed set against an exposed coral stone wall, with built in white-painted cement side-tables and a shelf in similar style for a dressing table. The bathroom, across the hall, has a shower only and there is a door leading out to the garden. The larger Master bedroom has twin beds pushed together to make a king, and the same built-in bedside cabinets in white painted concrete. It also has an en suite bathroom with tub and a separate shower and views onto the garden. Both bedrooms have air-conditioning and ceiling fans.

Beyond the cottage is a lovely free form swimming pool with sun terrace that has excellent views of the coast below. A charming gazebo stands beside the pool, nestled amongst the shrubbery which screens the main house, and has an amusing hand painted mural of a local green monkey. The gazebo has a wet bar with fridge. It is a great spot for lunch and has a large built-in grill. A Jacuzzi tub is located next to the gazebo, raised slightly so that guests can sit and enjoy the views, particularly at sunset when the sun sets over the sea.

Beach & Swimming

The nearest beach is Heywoods just down the ridge, which is a long stretch of beach running in front of Almond Beach Resort with the beach at Port St Charles next door. A public access road with a parking area lies between the two properties, and is approximately 5 minutes by car. The beach at Mullins is also within a similar distance and is very lively, with a popular beach bar, watersports and beach chairs for hire.

The free form swimming pool at High Constantia has wonderful views from the surrounding sun terrace and is for the exclusive use of guests year round - the owners do not use the pool when guests are in residence in the cottage. The pool has depths of 3ft to 6ft with access steps to the shallow end. A separate Jacuzzi tub is located in a raised position next to the gazebo.

Sports & Recreation

The nearest golf course is Royal Westmoreland about 20 minutes drive away, which has some tee times open to outsiders in the mid morning, otherwise there are the three courses at Sandy Lane about 30 minutes away which also has tennis courts. For tennis you could also try Sugar Hill just below Royal Westmoreland.


High Constantia shares its spacious gardens with the owners' house, which is tucked behind trees and shrubs, and is one of just a few homes in this quiet residential area. Located on a ridge just up the road from Almond Beach Resort, Port St Charles and Speightstown, with the surrounding countryside still used for planting sugar cane and some ground provisions. The centre of Speightstown, the island's second largest town, is approximately 5 minutes by car. Once known as Little Bristol because of connections to Bristol on the west coast of England, Speightstown still has a feel of old time Barbados about it. There is a small fish market on the seafront, fruit and vegetable sellers known as "hucksters" on the road side, a couple of local restaurants and bars and a smattering of shops, plus a reasonably well stocked supermarket. The nearest good restaurants in the area are Mango's by the Sea in Speightstown and The Fish Pot at Little Good Harbour. The Terrace at Cobblers Cove Hotel is just south of Speightstown and the celeb favourite Lone Star about 8 minutes by car.

A simple supper in one of the fishing villages to the north of St Peter or in St Lucy at Shermans or Half Moon Fort on a Friday or Saturday is an option, for this is when freshly caught fish is cooked by the roadside - this is becoming a popular alternative to the busier Oistins Fish Fry. Here you will find the small wooden fish stalls interspersed with make-shift bars right on the beach at the side of the road, or the occasional rustic dining area perched above the sea. Local fishing boats are still built in this area and can be seen along the road side.

Useful Hints

Ask your travel organiser or the management company (if booking direct) for initial food and drink supplies to be laid in for your arrival. The cook will then prepare a welcome meal. Thereafter, staff will shop for you during your stay if you wish to delegate this chore, however it is up to the guest to provide transportation and funds for the staff to do so. Rental rates for villas in Barbados do not include 'tips', about which you will find advice in the guest information book at the villa.

Initial groceries and additional shopping, transfers, and any other incidentals such as crib, high chair, TV rental are subject to a 17.5% VAT and 15% Service Charge.

Airport Meet & Greet

If you are booking direct ask the villa management company Altman Villa Rentals to send a taxi to meet you at the airport. Once you request their transfer service, they will have a representative at the airport outside the arrivals hall holding a sign with your name on it, who will direct you to your awaiting taxi. Your airport transfers are paid for locally and take approximately 55 minutes.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to be taken care of from the minute you arrive at the airport, with a range of services that can include limousine transfers and a Concierge Service is offered by St James Travel & Tours.

If you are booking through a travel organiser, it is likely that their representative will be at the airport to meet you. This service and your return airport transfers should be included in the cost of your holiday. Please check at the time of booking.

Getting Around

Due to High Constantia's location a hired car is essential and is something that is always strongly recommended for all private villa holidays, unless you prefer staff to call taxis for you as required, which is not practical in this case. A car will be needed if you want to dine out at night or do lots of sightseeing and particularly when it comes to shopping for groceries. Book car hire via your travel organiser or direct with Stoutes Car Rentals and ask for your vehicle(s) to be delivered to the property approximately 3 hours after your scheduled time of arrival on Barbados or, if preferred, the following morning. Vehicles can be returned at the airport or be collected from the property at a pre-arranged time on your departure day.

High Constantia offers bookings via the following villa rental agents: