Caribbean Heritage Hotels
The islands of the Caribbean are peppered with ruins of plantation houses, sugar mills and forts. Some of these storied buildings have been restored and reopened as characterful hotels where one can step back in time and experience the ambience of the colonial past.
Words by Natasha Were.
HODELPA NICOLAS DE OVANDO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Las Damas, a street in the colonial quarter of Santo Domingo, was the first paved road in the New World. The newly arrived Spanish, among them the city’s founder, built the first stone houses here. Today, three of those 16th century houses, linked by pretty flower-filled courtyards, have been reimagined as an upscale, urban hotel. Located within easy walking distance of the city’s historic and culinary highlights, it’s ideal for combining exploration and relaxation. In addition to a spa and gym, there’s an inviting river-view pool, a plethora of pleasant seating areas in the lobbies and lounges, and a fine dining restaurant. www.hodelpa.com
GOLDEN ROCK INN, NEVIS
Offering a fresh twist on the historic-building-turned-hotel tale, Golden Rock Inn is a whimsical mix of crumbling structures, vibrant jungle gardens and modern art gallery. Designed and owned by two New York artists, the interiors feature boldly coloured contemporary furnishings that stand out against the weathered stone walls, while the 100-acre grounds are a wonderland of palms, ponds and pools, 19th century sugar mills and hidden sitting areas. At 1000 feet above sea level, there is a constant breeze and endless views across the sea to neighbouring islands. www.goldenrocknevis.com
SWEETFIELD MANOR, BARBADOS
Once the manor house of a well to do merchant family, Sweetfield Manor sits on a ridge overlooking the south coast of Barbados. A designated Historic Building, the main house and its outbuildings have been restored and converted into a refined boutique hotel where well-appointed rooms are fitted with mahogany antiques, Persian rugs and rainforest showers. Outdoors, peacocks roam around the pretty patios, emerald lawns and the natural lagoon-style pool, and in the kitchen an award-winning culinary team creates extravagant West Indian and international feasts. www.sweetfieldmanor.com
THE COPPER & LUMBER STORE HOTEL, ANTIGUA
Built by the British Navy in the 1780s – an age of piracy and plunder, of rum-addled sailors and battles on the high seas – what was once a storehouse for ship-building materials is now a quaint 14-room hotel. A sensitive restoration has preserved the Georgian architecture and added style and comfort with polished hardwood floors and period furniture. Situated in the heart of Nelson’s Dockyard it’s the perfect place to admire yachts and sample local dining options. www.copperandlumberstore.com
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