Designed by Oliver Messel, famed English stage designer and architect, Leamington is a fine example of his distinctive style, expertly merging the interior and exterior living spaces to create an idyllic tropical setting for refined island living and entertaining. Messel discovered Leamington when he stayed at the villa in the 1950's; he found it so enticing that he persuaded his friends Dru and Jack Heinz (of Heinz Foods) to purchase the estate. Mrs. Heinz then commissioned Messel to rebuild the Pavilion, and his signature style transformed Leamington into one of the most stunning properties on the island today.
Recently renovated and... refurbished, Leamington's meticulous décor blends luxurious furnishings, noteworthy antiques and personalized touches to make the villa truly one of a kind. The villa is filled with European and Caribbean-inspired artwork, including paintings, sculptures and hand-painted furniture, as well as artisanal finishes such as sculpted cornices and coral stone archways.
While Leamington is replete with architectural and design interest, intrinsically it is a home. Recent guests described their first impressions: 'From the instant we arrived, we felt ensconced in luxury…everyone was totally hit by the 'Wow' factor of this beautiful house; it's absolutely stunning yet at the same time, calm and comfortable. You really couldn't ask for better.'
The main salon, located at the centre of the villa, opens onto a large covered terrace with casual dining and living areas, suitable for entertaining large groups and parties, yet cozy enough for a more intimate tête-à-tête. Dark wicker furniture, overstuffed white pillows and billowing curtains create a breezy atmosphere ideal for outdoor living, one of the most enticing features of a Caribbean holiday villa. There is also a separate formal dining room, decorated in the Rococo style, featuring classical statues in corner niches framed by shells and coral, surrounding a stunning marble dining table with an antiqued mirrored top. Flowering trellises adorn the entranceways, creating a romantic atmosphere ideal for candlelit dining on cool Caribbean nights.
Beyond the main terrace is the villa's classically shaped swimming pool, where crystal waters entice guests for early morning laps, midday dips to escape from the heat of the sun and evening soaks beneath the stars. Emerald green lawns flank the pool where chaise lounges await sunbathers, as well as two enchanting gazebos designed by famed local architect, Larry Warren. Painted in the trademark 'Messel Green', the gazebos are topped by two lifelike cast lead Barbadian Green Monkeys and feature Messel-inspired copper chandeliers, both created by Barbadian craftsman James Barrow. The dining gazebo is ideal for casual dining or afternoon tea, while the other features an oversized lounger, inviting chats with friends over a round of rum punches, catching up on the latest novel or sneaking in an afternoon nap. As one guest so aptly stated, Leamington is 'the perfect setting to do nothing; read, talk about things you never get 'round to, watch the sunset – and simply, chill.'
The beautifully landscaped grounds surrounding the pool feature lush, tropical gardens with hibiscus, bougainvillea, orchids, ixoras and ornamental palms. The well-established trees provide natural privacy, ample shade and a relaxed atmosphere. Whimsical bronze statues, a lily pond and inviting nooks for a few quiet moments to read, meditate or simply listen to the waves, help complete the garden's charming allure.
The garden culminates with over 200 ft. of frontage to the Caribbean Sea, where immaculate white sands entice you to sink your toes in, and crystal blue waters hold treasures of a vibrant coral reef just a short swim from shore. Snorkelers can view stunning corals and tropical fish while cavorting with visiting turtles, a delight to all who visit Leamington. For those who prefer land-based activities, there is a beautiful lawn tennis court and small gym on premises, and golf enthusiasts can play the Sandy Lane, Royal Westmoreland and Apes Hill courses, all within 20 minutes' drive.
Leamington's four air-conditioned bedrooms feature charming décor, fine-quality linens and hand-painted furnishings, enhanced by warm lighting, unique artwork and ample yet cozy space for private relaxation. Each features a spacious, en suite marble bathroom, exquisitely decorated with crystal chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling curtains and luxurious linens. Two of the guest rooms are located in one wing off the main salon, while a third guest bedroom and the luxurious master suite, featuring a stunning canopied bed, are located in another more recently built wing designed by Larry Warren. The master bedroom opens onto a trellised sitting area with comfortable seating, a flat-screen television and flowering vines, not to mention stunning views of the manicured gardens and swimming pool.
Beyond the enchanting surroundings and luxurious amenities, perhaps one of the most alluring features of your stay at Leamington is the five-star service provided by the villa's experienced staff: 'As much as the house is exquisitely furnished, designed and maintained, it excels most of all because of such wonderful, professional and engaging staff; they are the icing on the Leamington cake.' There is a butler, housekeeper, chef, maid, gardener, night watchman and dedicated property manager on hand to ensure your comfort; it is their objective that you thoroughly enjoy every moment of your holiday from start to finish, leaving with memories to last a lifetime. As a recent guest proclaimed: 'I don’t think we could ever have imagined quite how blissfully relaxing a time we'd have at Leamington. It was from the very first moment to the very last, absolute heaven. The house couldn't have been nicer, the food couldn't have been better and, most importantly, the staff couldn't have been kinder and more wonderfully thoughtful. Their friendliness, warmth and ability to second guess our every wish will never be forgotten.'
While the serene setting and luxurious pampering of the Leamington estate can make one feel miles away from the island's pulsing lifestyle, its location near both historic Speightstown and vibrant Holetown, offers easy access to shopping, fine dining, charming beachfront cafes and vibrant nightlife. Full concierge services are available to assist with reservations and other arrangements.
All rooms have ensuite bathrooms and king beds. Three of the four king beds can also be converted to two twin beds.
Leamington Cottage, set just at the water's edge, can be rented in conjunction with the main house should an additional bedroom be needed. Inquire for details.
Barbados has lots of beautiful beaches and a great climate. It is also easy to get to with many direct flights from Canada, the United States and Europe. The weather is almost always sunny and warm in Barbados, cooled by the northeast Tradewinds. Barbados sightseeing is a photographer's dream. There are many natural wonders, breathtaking scenic views, gorgeous gardens and miles of white, sandy beaches. There's so much to see and many things to do such as duty-free shopping, guided island tours, or visit one of the many beaches, nature reserves or historic landmarks.
Additional amenities include: media library, beach chairs, beach towels, private chef, butler, dining room/area/table, 4 ensuite bathrooms, 5 night minimum stay high season, pool chairs, 4 king beds, tennis court, outdoor furniture, hairdryer(s), 10 minute drive to groceries, suitable for children, holiday such as thanksgiving/christmas/new years & island events have special booking rules, laundry service included, housekeeping 6 days/week, cd player, 20 minute drive to airport, walk to beach(es), 5 night minimum stay low season, note distances to amenities are approximate, 5 minute drive to restaurants, 14 night minimum stay festive season, patio deck or balcony, professionally managed, gated, fitness room/equipment.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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