- Overall Impression
- Common Areas
- Property And Common Areas
The four-million dollar Sugar Beach Villa was secluded, in excellent condition, well furnished, clean, and sunlit. It was off the beaten path on Little Exuma, the island south of Grand Exuma, and set on a nearly private beach (three houses shared the beach). Surrounded by a verdant and flowering sea of oleander, hibiscus, frangipani, jasmine, corkscrew, palm trees, casuarinas, and sea grapes, it was designed to take maximum advantage of its beachfront setting. From the road, the profile of the buildings revealed little of the magic within. Once on site, we discovered a comfort oriented, colorful and homey estate.
Sugar Beach Villa consisted of several buildings set slightly apart on a hill with marvelous ocean vistas. The second story of the main building was one of our favorite places to spend time. Either on the ocean facing breezy area of the wrap around porch or indoors sitting on one of several cushy sofas, it was relaxing to just spend time looking out over the greenery of the property and beyond to the ocean blue.
Spraying liberal quantities of mosquito repellent we brought kept the swarms of mosquitoes and no-seems at bay. The air conditioning in the bedrooms worked well keeping the rooms fresh for a good night sleep. Oceanside breezes, taking a dip in the beach, a cold drink and sitting outside in the shade went a long way toward cooling us from the stifling summer heat during the day. If we had to retreat indoors to the main house living area because of the mosquitoes or the occasional summer shower, we opened all the windows and sliding glass doors.
We will recommend Sugar Beach Villa to do-it-yourself friends who like to get away from it all or are willing to pay extra for customized shopping and cooking. We particularly appreciated the property’s thoughtfully appointed design and quiet ambiance (except for two days when the cleaning lady arrived unannounced and the manager’s daily visits we were mostly alone on the expansive property). Although there were more opulently appointed, larger, and more centrally located hotels and luxury villas in Exuma, Sugar Beach Villa had the best private beach we saw and an overall superb combination of features. It’s a new island favorite for us.
Connectivity There was a hand held phone and fax machine in the dining building. Phone connections were very poor while we were there and there was no signal for our cell phone. Every time we made a call within the island the sound was garbled requiring that we repeat ourselves and speak loudly.
Handicapped Access Stairs were scattered through the entire property; at the entrance, between the house, kitchen, guest cottage, dining cottage and to access the beach.
Length Of Stay Five nights
Location In the island of Little Exuma just south of Great Exuma in The Bahamas. It was about 50 minutes by car from the airport to the house, the last mile or two on a gravel road. Sugar Beach Villa was north of Williams Town and adjacent to Cotton Creek.
Owned-Managed Liz Edlic and Dale Kinsella
Size The 6,000 square foot multi-acre property featured several stand alone buildings and a total of six sleeping areas.
There was a two-story a main house with two full size bedrooms and two bathrooms and two small bedrooms with en suite half bathrooms, a studio style guest cottage with en suite bathroom and kitchen; a kitchen building; and a dining room building with studio accommodations including a queen bed, bar and en suite bathroom.
Year Opened The Villa was built in 2000 and the most recent renovations were in 2006. It looked new when we were there.
The emphasis in the building design was centered on the view, especially in the main house which had a wrap around porch with a 360-degree view of the sea and surrounding greenery. Interior walls were painted in bright yellow, orange, blue and pink hues.
The main house floor was of over sized beige tiles throughout. The main house had a Onkyo receiver and CD player connected to two speakers hanging on the living area walls. The dining building had an Aiwa CD and cassette player.
The main house had two large and two small bedrooms, two full bathrooms and three half bathrooms, a living area including a small dining table, kitchen facilities and wrap around porches on the two levels. The cottage above the garage had a bed and living room furniture as well as a small kitchen in a studio setting.
The kitchen building was between the main house and the separate dining building. It consisted of a kitchen with a refrigerator and freezer, dishwasher, stove (oven didn’t work), and microwave oven. There was ample counter space and stools. Beyond the sliding glass doors of the entrance there was a small table with chairs for in-kitchen dining. An air conditioning unit could be turned on to cool the building.
A few steps away, the dining building was set in a studio style. It had a large (7×7) and attractive water facing “drift wood” frame bed with drawers underneath. There was also a bar with stools, fax and phone machine, dining area with seating for 10, a living area with sound system and bathroom. Attractive accents included light green wood floors, two skylights, a woven grass ceiling and bright yellow walls. There were two wood deck areas near the building; one to the left of the entrance (west) with lounge chairs and an umbrella and a lower level area in front with deck chairs.
The centerpiece of the property was the water facing main house. The top floor housed a sunlit living area painted in bright yellow and orange and surrounded by large windows and sliding glass doors to take optimum advantage of the magnificent sea view and ocean breezes. In the area nearest the sea facing window the cloth furniture was comfortable and arranged close together, inviting guests to socialize and listen to music (there was a sound system). There were two cloth sofas, an armchair, a cloth footstool, two glass covered rattan tables, a wood table and two upright lamps. Three white fans hung from the exposed wood ceiling keeping the incoming fresh air circulating. Although there was no air conditioning in this room, three sliding glass doors and three small windows permitted allowed cross currents to freshen the room.
On the other side of the room there was a four-seat dining set. This is where we enjoyed our meals while soaking up the view. Wood arm chairs with pale green cloth cushions circled around a glass table with a bamboo shoots center. Adjacent to the table there was a rattan sofa and armchair set and a wood table. A large wood framed mirror hung in the back wall reflecting the view and light into the room. There was a door less kitchen with green tiled counters and matching wood cabinets. It had a refrigerator and sink. Although there was a gas stove and oven they didn’t work and there were no kitchen utensils, cutlery, crockery, pots and pans or glassware in the cabinets. These were in the kitchen building. At meal times, we would make the food in the kitchen building and bring it back to the main house. The only time this was a bit cumbersome was at breakfast during a particularly long lasting thunderstorm.
One of our favorite areas was the upstairs wrap around porch of the main house. Cushiony rattan arm chairs, love seats and tables allowed us to relax while enjoying the sea breeze and view of the property, beach, and ocean. There was a four-seat white rattan dining set on one side. On the other side, six wood rockers and chairs faced east toward the guest cottage in the foreground and Williams Town beyond it.
The second bedroom and two smaller rooms shared a full bathroom (each of the small rooms had en suite toilet and sink) with a shower. Upstairs, there was a half bathroom at the top of the stairs with a pretty ceramic sink set. There was also a shower head outside the master bedroom allowing us to rinse off the sand and salt prior to entering the house.
Rooms The master bedroom in the main house was comfortably furnished and chilled with the help of an air conditioning wall unit. The salient feature, as with the common room upstairs, was its magnificent 180-degree view of the ocean. A king bed with a beautiful “drift wood” frame occupied the middle of the room facing sliding glass doors toward the beach. Wood night tables and lamps were on either side of the bed and a similar “drift wood” bench was at the foot of the bed facing the ocean. There was a cloth love seat and table near the entrance of the room, and a wood armoire on each side of the room. There was also a cloth and rattan seat with matching footstool next to a book case, facing the bed.
Beach A two-minute walk from the buildings led us through the property to the narrow beach. The sand was nearly white like refined sugar and powdery to the touch. When the tide was low, the shallow water was like a swimming pool. At high tide the turquoise waters claimed the beach. One of the things we enjoyed most about the property was having the magical turquoise clear shallow water beach almost completely to ourselves. Although we shared the beach with three other homes, only once did we see or hear anyone on our part of the beach.
We received the incidentals bill half an hour before our afternoon departure. Credit card dependent creatures that we are, we had minimal cash on hand. We also had to pay for groceries in cash early in the week because the credit card processor was down due to an island wide phone outage.
The house, in a remote area, remained unlocked during our stay and we never received a key to the doors. Twice we noticed a man on the property who said he was looking for “Jolly.” There was no lock box or secure area so we kept our passports and other valuables with us.
To reach the house from the main road it was necessary to drive through a gravel road. Although we had no trouble with our small and low to the ground rental car, we met neighbors who damaged a tire driving on the gravel road. We heard the previous guests rented a jeep and would consider renting a jeep ourselves the next time.
Although it was at the shop during our stay, ordinarily it was possible to go tooling, snorkeling on the owner’s boat with “Jolly” for a supplementary fee.
Date Of Review June 2006
Reviewers© 2006 Simon and Baker, Inc.
Article by Elena del Valle
Photographs by Gary Cox
Service We were, for the most part, on our own. Bernard Jolly, “Jolly,” the grounds keeper, cook, boat captain and all around man, met us at the airport. We followed him in our rented car to the house where he showed us around before leaving for the night. Audrey, the cleaning lady, came by unannounced for a couple of hours one morning and again at 8 a.m. the day we departed. There was a $60 charge for each time the cleaning lady was at the house, including preparing the property for the arriving guests.
Would You Stay There Again? Yes