Waking up one morning in a palatial three-bedroom abode in Port Ferdinand, Barbados, I found the view deliciously mind-boggling. From the grand oceanfront terrace, there was electric-blue Caribbean sea, a 120-berth marina and lustrous white yachts. But the windows on the other side of my unit told an altogether different tale: Here were simple chattel houses and far-off sugarcane fields swaying in the breeze—a typical snapshot, in other words, of rural Barbados. Humble or haughty? Depends which side I peered from.
“Yep, sounds like Barbados,” affirmed Randy, an affable bartender at the resort, when I shared my observation. “We got plenty of both, that’s for true.”
That, for true, is why I love the posh-yet-still-down-home island that is Barbados—I never miss its annual Carnival celebration, Crop Over—and why I’ve had my eye on Port Ferdinand from the moment I heard of its construction, five years ago. Possibly the most significant development to debut in Barbados in over a decade, the luxury marina property was literally carved into land and rock, creating a stunning oasis in the heart of a bucolic parish, St. Peter. It’s just ten minutes up the road from the tony parish of St. James, home to feted West Coast properties like Sandy Lane, but it feels altogether different—in the best possible way: Exit the gates of Port Ferdinand and you will, quite happily, be reminded of exactly where you are. The closest town is historic Speightstown, a small fishing village known as “Little Bristol,” home to a beloved local fruit market and charming traditional storefronts.
Hitting the market in January, the 32 units representing phase one of Port Ferdinand—all but two have three bedrooms; phase two will feature 14 three- and four-bedroom units—are available for ownership or holiday rental. They boast a villa-style experience with all the amenities of a resort: concierge, restaurant, spa, kids club, pool, top-notch gym, personal training services and more. The concept is simple: a full-service home-away-from-home for yacht owners—or yacht lovers, like me.
View from balcony, Port Ferdinand
Indeed my unit did feel like a home—a supremely luxurious one. My state-of-the-art kitchen was stocked with groceries, beckoning me to make eggs and bacon in the morning. The décor was my aesthetic to a tee: modern and minimalist with the limestone-esque walls, wood accents and rounded high arches evoking traditional Barbadian architecture. Owners are offered one of four modish design schemes, and they’ll discover, as I did, that size indeed matters: I was awed by the spaciousness of my unit until I laid eyes on the mammoth Penthouse suite, which has a wet bar, tiled hot tub and a balcony that seems to go on for miles, offering a bird’s-eye view of the entire marina.
Baz Dreisinger ,
Travel Tales: Where Luxury Meets Local & Wanderlust Meets Culture-lust
I am: writer, globetrotter, professor, culture-hound. Born and raised in New York City, with one foot fixed in the Caribbean, I have written about travel, the arts and identity politics for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and many more; I produce on-air segments about global music and culture for National Public Radio (NPR). I am ceaselessly curious, fearless in my journeys, relentlessly ravenous to see and learn more. My global routes marry luxury with local, which is the essence of this travel blog: Welcome to a place where wanderlust meets culture-lust, where otherworldly high-end meets rootsy down-home.