“The USA is seen to be a significant potential market as there is excellent airlift to the island already out of NY, Miami and Dallas.”
One of the luxury holiday homes on the estate.
Interest in the listing has spiked in the last two months as investors look to buy outside the UK, concerned that a Labour-led government could clamp down on overseas bodies owning Britiah real estate.
• Double election nightmare to send Britain’s luxury listing market into gridlock
• Guy Grainger, JLL: Is the election result a NO win for the British listing industry?
Selling agent, George Hall, said: “We have had an uplift in interested parties from the UK who, pre-election, have been interested in investing outside the UK. With an average price point of around $2m, Royal Westmoreland offers an exotic alternative to paying the mansion tax on a house in London or the south east.”
Once a sugar plantation, it extends to 750 acres and has more than 200 privately owned villas and cottages, 11 under construction and permission to build 150 more on vacant plots.
It’s rare for an entire Caribbean resort to come on the market. This one occupies a plum position on the stretch of sandy beach along the west of the island that is known as the Platinum Coast.
The Robert Trent-Jones-designed golf course.
It has a Robert Trent Jones-designed golf course overlooking the Caribbean, the best equipped gym in Barbados, tennis courts and a beach centre with a private spa. The estate is located above Sugar Hill where former Prime Minister Tony Blair famously spent holidays in a villa belonging to Sir Cliff Richard.
The Royal Westmoreland has been exceptionally popular with sporting stars. Cricketers Michael Vaughan, Andrew Flintoff and Mike Gatting, boxer Joe Calzaghe and footballers including Gary Lineker and Rio Ferdinand are among those likely to be rubbing shoulders with Manchester United and England striker Rooney and his wife Coleen.
The mansions hugging the palm-fringed, sandy beaches of the west coast were built by the Cunard company when it the island was the Caribbean’s most popular cruise-ship destination.
Among the stars likely to be spotted at the Sandy Lane Golf Cub’s Sunday brunch these days are villa-owner Lord Lloyd-Webber, and the model and TV personality Jodie Kidd – tipped to be a new host of Top Gear – whose family are long-time residents.
• Top Gear could face more trouble of use of the word “pikey”
Barbados has long been a popular bolt hole for wealthy Britons.
Simon Cowell is a regular visitor to the west coast where magnates who own second homes include the Rausings, the family who made billions from the invention of Tetra Pak packaging.
The pop star Rihanna, who was born on the island, is reported to have paid $22 million (£15 million) for an apartment at One Sandy Lane, Barbados’s answer to One Hyde Park. First-class seats on flights to Barbados are invariably full in high season.
Agent Kieran Kelly of Chesterton Humberts said the past two years have been buoyant. “We’ve had two good seasons. Barbados has a 30-year tourism record and great infrastructure with lots of fine restaurants. Simon Cowell comes here every year and he’s notoriously fussy, so we must be doing all right.”
• For the best boutique hotels in Barbados and Telegraph Travel reviews of the island, click here.
At the Royal Westmoreland, mid-range villas sell for £5m and rents in high season are astronomical. Rio Ferdinand’s modest but nice three-bedroom Royal Villa costs £10,000 a week to rent.
The resort’s private beach on the Platimum Coast.
Morphet, who bought the estate from a local businessman, by chance also called Rooney, in 2004, wants someone to take on the next stage. The Royal Westmoreland has consent for a 100-bed hotel and another nine-hole golf course. “Six months ago I reached a crossroads and decided I don’t want that amount of work,” says Morphet, who has homes in the Lake District and on the Isle of Man.
At 60, he is getting tired. “I’ve taken 96 flights to Barbados over the past 10 years. I want to wake up in the same bed two days running,” he says.
Well that’s one first-class seat freed up, presumably? “No,” says Morphet, “I usually travel premium economy.
Mid range villas sell for £5m.