Luxury rental villa beats demand expectations
An historic Bermuda property is proving popular with visitors seeking a luxurious, short-term private vacation rental.
Sandymount, situated on 2˝ waterfront acres on the north shore at Bailey’s Bay, has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, three living rooms, a large pool and pool house studio, hot tub, observation tower, multiple forts and a lagoon with ocean access. The home can accommodate nine guests.
Having structural origins dating back to the 1600s, the property was home to privateers in the 1700s. It was expanded over the next two centuries, but had become derelict by 1980 when lawyer Wendell Hollis purchased the property. Unbeknown to him at the time, Mr Hollis is descended from the original owner, Richard Algate. A photo of Mr Hollis’s great-grandfather, William Algate Hollis, is on display in the foyer of the house.
Today, the spectacular estate has been fully restored, and is decorated with artefacts from Bermuda’s maritime history and outfitted with modern amenities.
Rachel Sawden, who manages the property, said Sandymount is filling a gap in Bermuda’s luxury market for vacation villas. Within weeks of posting the property’s website and booking site listings on Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and Coldwell Banker in January, bookings began rolling in.
“It has been going great, it has exceeded all expectations,” she said. “We are one of the few properties on the vacation rental market here that can sleep a large number of people. August is pretty much full, and we are getting enquiries all the time. We are taking bookings for next year already.”
She added: “Sandymount gives visitors a unique experience where they can feel secluded as if they were on a private island, but with the convenience of being able to drive out to local attractions and restaurants.
“Guests on the property can see all of north shore from Dockyard to Ferry Reach. The property is also sitting on the edge of the longest and most scenic part of the Railway Trail, and the Bailey’s Bay area is close to many tourist attractions such as Crystal Caves, Blue Hole, Tom Moore’s Jungle and Flatts Village.”
Ms Sawden said guests have included groups of couples on golf vacation, and families. Some book for a long weekend, while others have stayed for up to two weeks.
“We have seen an uptick in wedding requests for 2020,” she said. “We require a minimum three-night booking, but that has not deterred bookings. Sandymount makes for not only a spectacular wedding venue, but a perfect place to host visiting guests, and a home-base for guests and festivities.
“Our strategic catering partnership with Fourways Catering makes Sandymount an effortless one-stop-shop for those planning destination weddings.”
Extra amenities can be arranged upon request.
“We provide a bit more of a personal service than the typical vacation rental,” Ms Sawden said. “We can arrange a personal chef, fishing or boating charters, a yoga instructor, or for a personal trainer to visit the property. We have had our first yoga request for a group visit that is coming up. Another group stayed for a week last month, and had their food catered by MEF every day. We are providing business for other people around us as well.”
During winter months, Ms Sawden said the property offers a more intimate and curated option for corporate events such as private dinners and Christmas parties, pending availability. Sandymount has five fireplaces, she said, and plenty of wood for cedar fires making for a cozy seasonal atmosphere.
Prices vary depending on length of stay and time of year. This week, the property was being offered on Airbnb for $3,500 per night.
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