Royal Westmoreland, Barbados, Celebrates its 20 Year Anniversary
The 10th tee in 1994 (left), and 2014 (right).
Royal Westmoreland, the exclusive private estate on Barbados’ west coast, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this April and reflecting on the changes that have taken place over the years. The golf, beach and spa resort set across 750 acres of lush, tropical landscape has become a coveted address on Barbados and barely recognisable from the original site of sugar cane fields in 1994. Whilst there has been extensive development in Barbados over the last 20 years it remains the only gated golf community with completed amenities on the island today.
The land was originally purchased in 1994 by Yorkshire businessman Bill Rooney who commissioned Robert Trent Jones to design and build the championship golf course and a building programme of luxury villas commenced. In 2004 UK leading leisure entrepreneur John Morphet purchased the estate, and has since spent £50 million improving and adding to the existing facilities.
To date 200 homes have been built and sold on the estate with only 5% of the land constructed upon. The estate continues to develop and sell a variety of apartments, villas and development opportunities which are largely purchased by the British, Canadians and Americans.
The original site of the Clubhouse (left), and how it looks today
Reflecting on original photos of the 1994 site with those of present day, John Morphet says: “I think everyone who has been involved with Royal Westmoreland can all be extremely proud of its development. The long standing appeal for home owners has been that it’s an established development, and therefore a less risky investment for overseas buyers. They love the golf course, the community of like-minded people and the privacy. When you add the wonderful lifestyle, the friendly local people and fabulous weather, it’s a winning combination.”
The world class golf course and Clubhouse has over the years attracted royalty, captains of industry and stars from the stage, screen and sporting world including Prince Andrew, Sir Richard Branson, Tony and Cherie Blair, Brian Ferry, Caprice, Kiera Knightley, Rihanna, Hugh Grant, Lord Taylor, Lord Peter Elliott-Hughes, Mark Thatcher and Lord Lloyd-Webber.
Ian Woosnam, one of the first high profile sports professionals to buy a home at Royal Westmoreland in 1995, says: “It has been nice to see how the estate has improved over the years, to see how it has developed and what it has become. I have seen new homes being built and many new facilities added; the golf course has improved, especially with regards to the bunkers and the cutting has got better. The design of the golf course is fantastic and has the best layout of all the courses on Barbados.”
Other stars from the world of sport who have purchased a property at Royal Westmoreland include Michael Vaughan, Mike Gatting and Andrew Flintoff, whilst the fairways are regularly occupied by legendary West Indian cricketers Brian Lara, Sir Garfield Sobers, Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes. World class golfers Nick Faldo, Darren Clarke, Sam Torrance, Gary Player and Bernard Gallagher have also added their names to the exclusive list of visitors to play the course.
To mark the occasion of its 20th birthday Royal Westmoreland has pulled together some interesting facts and figures to demonstrate the extent of their activities.
- On average there are 500 rounds of golf played per week and there are approximately 12 hole-in-ones per year, with 240 recorded in the 20 years of operation.
- 62 is the lowest recorded score on the golf course, shot by Masters Winner Ian Woosnam and 90 is the average 18 hole score at Royal Westmoreland
- There are 40 golf events on average each year
- The estate employs 235 staff
- The housekeeping staff change 1,500 beds a week, the beach team at Mullins Beach serve approximately 1,800 drinks on average each week, the Clubhouse staff serve approximately 350 rum punches each week and the Elite Concierge Team receive 100 requests each week.
Many awards have been bestowed on Royal Westmoreland over the years. In 2013 the estate was delighted to receive a ‘Certificate of Excellence’ from the leading travel review site Trip Advisor having consistently earned high ratings from guests visiting on holiday. This puts Royal Westmoreland in the top 10% of all Trip Advisor businesses worldwide.
The estate has also been independently recognised and awarded for its outstanding development of its various new homes in recent years. The International Property Awards, in association with Bloomberg Television and Google, is the world’s most prestigious property competition. Awards won over the last few years include in 2011 – Best International Golf Development and Best Multiple Development for The Caribbean and Americas for the Royal Apartments.