In an age when everything is being torn down and rebuilt from scratch usually bearing absolutely no resemblance to what preceded it, the restoration work completed last year on Bayfield House just off Mullins Gap is truly remarkable. It retains all of the charm of the old sugar plantation house that controlled all of what today is referred to as Mullins Beach and Mullins Terrace. Located just behind the Suga Suga Condos and the Royal Westmoreland Beach Club and Spa the property could have easily been converted into another of the ubiquitous condos going up everywhere on the west coast, and as is currently in the works for the old Skinner residence just across the gap from it.
The property has been converted into a 10-room boutique hotel with a restaurant and swimming pool added. It is the first true hotel in Mullins since the demise of the Eastry House and Sunset Lodge hotels what now seems like eons ago. Everything was tastefully done looking to the future with a bow to the past. Even the guestrooms instead of just numbers carry the names of some of the old sugar factories of Barbados when sugar was king - Haymans, Fairfield, Porters, Vaucluse, etc.
Swanns (the factory where this blogger's late grandfather worked as an engineer) didn't make the list but that's okay when you only have 10 rooms and scores of old factory names from which to choose. But having only 10 rooms presupposes a level of attention, service and intimacy that is hard to find in any hotel in Barbados these days. This blog salutes Bayfield House, wishes them success, and hope they serve as a role model for future development in the area.
P.S. This blogger was born next door to what is now Cable & Wireless' Speightstown Telephone Exchange in Road View on lands that formerly constituted the old Bayfield Plantation.