I'm a European Winter resident in Eleuthera and this five star Cotton Bay Villas project attracted my attention in 2006 because it's large and it's in South Eleuthera where there are no hotels of any importance until now (2009).
However in 2008 the project was put on hold due to the general economic climate.
Here is an artist's rendering of the hotel complex which will be completed at an unspecified time. Cotton Bay Villas will be run under a Starwood franchise. If you've never heard of Starwood, it's a five star international hotel chain.
Villa prices start from US$2,000,000 (subject to change at any time).
After my tour of the building site together with the Managing Director, we had a long interview in Rock Sound, 5 miles north of the construction site.
If you'd like to read all 3 parts of our interview, click here.
Here is Wim Steenbakkers standing on one of the beach front lots of Cotton Bay Estates & Villas.
We are looking north. This is the Atlantic side, the breezier one of the two sides of Eleuthera.
Wim is Dutch. He has developed several unique European style properties, including Château du Sureau, near Yosemite National Park.
And for five years he was proprietor of the Five Star Hotel du Lac Carling of Quebec, Canada.
In July 2005, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced that Cotton Bay would be added to its Luxury Collection, making it the first Bahamian property to earn this distinction.
Starwood operates over 750 properties in more than 80 countries around the world.
Interviewer: Wim, where exactly in Eleuthera is your building site - Cotton Bay Villas & Estates - located?
Wim: We are just 5.5 miles south of the settlement of Rock Sound which has a small international airport two miles north of it. So, we are 7.5 miles south of Rock Sound Airport.
Interviewer: Wim, please tell me about the size of the boutique hotel project.
Wim: Out of the total of 1'500 acres that we shall develop, Phase 1 encompasses 200 acres.
In the center will be the Clubhouse with a restaurant and four deluxe suites. The Clubhouse is surrounded by 24 Cotton Bay villas of one, two or three bedrooms each. There will be a total of 73 rooms available in this boutique hotel.
Now, boutique hotel is a term used to describe an intimate and luxurious hotel environments. Boutique hotels differentiate themselves from larger hotels by providing an exceptional and personalized level of accommodation and services.
The Clubhouse and the Villas will be run under a five star hotel franchise that we obtained from the internationally renowned luxury hotel chain Starwood.
Cotton Bay villas will be sold to individual owners. While owners are not using their space, meaning in their absence, we shall rent their villas as hotel rooms for our guests. A villa owner therefore makes money in his absence and we ensure that his space is free the moment he decides to come to his villa.
Interviewer: What does South Eleuthera as an area offer to Starwood hotel guests?
Wim: It's pristine. It is just like the article this last weekend in New York Times says... "You are going back in time".
You know, it's pure tranquility, it's beautiful nature. You don't come here to go to the casinos and find all the restaurants. No, here you will find tranquility and privacy and absolutely spectacular beaches.
One of the distinguishing features of the Cotton Bay Villas will be a small farm. Across the street from Cotton Bay we have reserved 10 acres for farming... to grow our own fruits and vegetables fresh off the land.
Sport fishing for example is the greatest... you know that. It's on par with Abaco in the northern Bahamas.
And then don't forget the scuba diving and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters around Eleuthera.
Interviewer: Thanks Wim, for this part of the interview. More about it is available by clicking here.
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