After the Transformative Renovation
8th January 2018
When something is already a success you have to be very careful how you change it. In spring 2017, Curtain Bluff had again been voted the #1 resort in Antigua and one of the finest resorts in the world by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine. Guests were returning to the resort in record numbers. Yet a top-to-toe renovation was about to begin. Costing $13 million dollars and lasting half a year, it promised to transform the public spaces, the heart of the resort, and everyone was caught between excitement and anxiety.
Why renovate at all? Because the best resorts know that perfection isn’t a place, it’s a direction, and constant improvement is the only way to stay on top. Our goal was to add some sizzle: a fresh, clean and bright sophistication that was thoroughly 21st Century. Yet keep the timeless charm and friendly unpretentiousness that gave the resort the atmosphere of a private home.
It all came down to the details. To fit the colonial theme and the historic sugar mill, the designers sourced materials from around the world. The shell-stone tile came from Turkey. The pendant lights in the porte-cochere were handmade in California. The dining chairs in the Tamarind Restaurant were hand-carved in Spain. Original artwork was commissioned from Caribbean artists. Bright green and blue fabrics reflected the surrounding nature and added bursts of color to the white and cream aesthetic.
So how did it all turn out?
On October 28 Curtain Bluff opened for its winter season. Anticipation ran high as the travel media and returning guests came and cast a critical eye…and pronounced the resort’s biggest renovation for over a decade a HUGE SUCCESS. “Freshened but familiar,” wrote Gay Myers in Travel Weekly, the trusted voice of the travel industry (December 4). “Just my kind of place.” On December 9, the Times of London listed Curtain Bluff #2 among the “30 coolest resorts in the Caribbean.” Even our most loyal guests (some of whom have returned to the resort 10, 20 even 30 times) have been unstinting in their praise.