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Blue Sky Luxury is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation. View our policies, list of approved quarantine villas, and learn about our new relaxed booking policies. Read More >

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Rover, wayfarer, iterant, hodophile, solivagant. Whatever term you use, these are all names for people who love to travel. Yes, we learned some of them today. No, we are not ashamed. Travel terms aside, with the buzz on vaccines bringing a return to near normal, we can only wonder “will international travel return by Summer 2021?” If you self-identify as one of the 5 above, then you must be as excited as we are.

We’re in this together

Our stance at Blue Sky Luxury has always been the same. We are in this together. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on lives and livelihoods. The green shoots signaling the return of international travel please us immensely because we’ve felt the effects here in Barbados and we’ve seen it internationally. Whatever wins we can get, we’ll take it.

Vaccinations & Return to Normalcy

The UK and USA have had positive updates regarding their vaccination programs. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised that all adults will receive a COVID shot by the end of July. The US current rate by end of fall. At a faster pace, which should be possible based on the promised supply, would allow Americans to enjoy the Fourth of July. President Joe Biden and top public health aide Dr. Anthony Fauci talked about a return to normalcy for Christmas. (USATODAY) Barbados leads the way as the most vaccinated country in the Caribbean and is well on the way toward herd immunity. Read our blog Barbados racing towards herd immunity and the progress of Barbados’ Vaccination Programme

What’s your take?

The successful rollout of the vaccination programmes in these countries means that restrictions can be lifted but most importantly lives can be saved. Barbados is doing quite well and is rolling out a successful vaccination programme. We hope that the international travel will reopen safely so we can spend more time with our loved ones and create new memories together. With the estimated date of the end of the vaccination programme, do you think international travel will reopen for Summer 2021? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

Stay in touch, we love to hear from you!

Direct Barbados: 1.246.622.4466

Freephone UK: 0800 0885574

Toll Free US/CND: 1 866 404 9600

Email: experts@blueskyluxury.com

 

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Find a villa here

This inimitable private estate boasts 7 luxurious, air-conditioned suites with king and twin beds and 7 bathrooms.

This five-star, tropical paradise dating back to the eighteenth century; was redesigned in the late 70’s by renowned English theatrical designer Oliver Messel, whose distinctive style takes island living to new heights. Perched on a ridge with panoramic views of the spectacular Caribbean shoreline, this 11-acre estate provides exceptional beauty both inside and out: thick coral stone walls, statues/sculptural art and an enticing lagoon-style rock pool (a Messel masterpiece), together with its sun deck overlooking a tropical ravine, is equally magical at night when it is transformed by spectacular lighting into a romantic rendezvous under the starlit sky.

Enjoy tranquil days where attentive staff take care of your every need and savor delectable meals prepared by a world-class chef. Relax and rejuvenate – spa treatments, private trainers, catamaran cruises, even day trips to neighboring islands can be arranged.

Take a carefree stroll through the tropical ravine and voila, you arrive at the tranquil beach by Half Moon Fort.

Fustic’s enchanting surroundings, embraced by cooling trade winds and stunning sunsets, is also picture perfect for intimate weddings or entertaining groups al fresco-style.

 

Stay in touch, we love to hear from you!

Direct Barbados: 1.246.622.4466

Freephone UK: 0800 0885574

Toll Free US/CND: 1 866 404 9600

Email: experts@blueskyluxury.com

 

Go back to our website

Find a villa here

The Blue Standard has become the criteria that we use to look after homes in the property management portfolio at Blue Sky Luxury. This encompasses:

 

We have found that using these methods guarantees that all properties under our care are maintained to the highest standard. Putting the proper preventative maintenance processes, systems and checks in place will ensure that the property is well maintained and always ready and welcoming for any arrival.

  1. Upon appointment for management, your Blue Sky Luxury property manager will assess the service requirements of all systems, appliances and equipment at the property. This includes frequency (weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually).
  2. Quotations are requested from select suppliers and site visits to the property will be facilitated by the property manager who will also answer any queries.
  3. Due to the size and scale of the properties being managed by Blue Sky Luxury as a whole, quotations will be sourced for contracted services at the best possible price, quality and reliability.
  4. Maintenance contracts and service level agreements will be determined. Once appointed, the oversight of these suppliers will be the responsibility of Blue Sky Luxury to ensure timely and complete delivery.

 

Blue Sky Luxury is heavily invested in technology and the property management department has directly benefitted from this,  we use specialized property management software. All preventative maintenance schedules, routine inspections, work orders and service requests are logged to track and record the resolution of maintenance issues from submission, assignment, monitoring and through to completion (with time-stamped digital photos if needed).  The software also has a mobile app for both iPhone and Android devices making it easy for the property managers to submit these work orders. Each individual home under our management (whether rented or strictly for owner use) is added to the software.

 

Why is preventative maintenance so important?

The investment of having a home in Barbados for owners is significant. Blue Sky Luxury, along with the reputable suppliers, have a responsibility to advise and guide owners on the best systems to put in place to improve and prolong the life of the appliances and equipment at the home.  Having these systems will improve the performance of the equipment as well as the health and safety of the home in general.

Forecasting and budgeting expenses is made easier with proper, consistent, proactive programs in place. Thorough records including a full asset register for all equipment and appliances using photos, purchase dates, supplier and warranties are also kept. A periodic review of these preventative maintenance programs is also needed to ensure price competitiveness and updated practices are introduced.  For these reasons, but not limited to this, the transparency of contractor pricing is so important here; Blue Sky Luxury will ensure that the contractor is paid what they charge you; there is no mark-up applied to the bill by our firm.  This is validated further by ensuring that all owners have access to every one of their invoices including those for maintenance when monthly financial statements are made accessible to them.

 

What are some examples of equipment and services that should be included in your preventative maintenance plan for your home?

The type of equipment, location (consider the exposure to various environmental elements), the age of the equipment and how often it is used are all taken into account when developing these programs. For example, for a holiday rental home that is occupied 250 nights a year, the recommended air-conditioning servicing may be quarterly for various split system units. However, an owner use home (non-rental) that is occupied 90 days a year may have a servicing schedule of twice per year. Similarly, grease traps should be cleaned at least once per year however depending on occupancy, this can increase to two or three times per year. Other services and equipment to consider developing a preventative maintenance plan for are:

 

Contact us today for more information on what we can do to partner with you to ensure your property is looked after the way you want it to be.

management@blueskyluxury.com

(246) 622-4466

 

Blue Sky Luxury launches “Stay, safe” our International cleaning and sanitizing standards.

We constantly ask ourselves, “what wouldn’t we do to protect our family?” and the answer is “anything, we’d do anything to protect them”. The safety and well-being of our extended family has never stopped being our priority, nor will it ever. So here we are, introducing “Stay, safe,” the official international cleaning and sanitizing standards for our 150+ portfolio of Barbados vacation villas.

We’re big on information sharing and transparency, click on any link to see all the ways we maintain a safe environment for you. Staying ahead of the curve is important to us. The “Stay, safe,” guarantee lives under the already established banner of The Blue Standard, the companies forward-thinking response to the need for clear standards in the villas rental market in the Caribbean. The Blue Standard focuses on four core areas:

The emergence of COVID-19 was the catalyst to integrate new local and international standards to the already rigorous 300 pt. checklist covered by The Blue Standard.

Whenever you see the “Stay, safe” label you can rest assured that our villas are as certified clean and sanitized. Some say, they’re so clean you can eat off the floor. From health and safety, space between bookings, to protecting our staff and you, we’ll ensure that you Stay, safe.

PS: Don’t eat off the floor, there’s a table inside.

 

Blue Sky Luxury is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation. See how we’re prepared and learn about our new relaxed booking policies. Read More >

Stay in touch, we love to hear from you!

Direct Barbados: 1.246.622.4466

Freephone UK: 0800 0885574

Toll Free US/CND: 1 866 404 9600

Email: experts@blueskyluxury.com

Go back to our website

Find a villa here

The holiday rental market has grown considerably worldwide over the last five years. In Barbados the market for short term rentals has also become more competitive. Whether luxury or budget, there is a demand for well-priced and good value for money accommodation at all levels.

On a property management level, this means that efficiently maintaining the property and managing running costs is essential. This allows the owners to be flexible with their rates in order to remain competitive, while still achieving a good net yield from their rental revenue. Traditionally, vacation rentals in Barbados are staffed and this cost can account for a large portion of the running costs to an owner. With the evolution of the rental market and many new guests trying vacation rentals, there is a need to manage this balancing act of providing what the guest requires while doing so efficiently. The key to this is ensuring that we have excellent knowledge on what guests are looking for with regards to staffing.

Apartments

For smaller apartments not in the luxury segment, many guests often find the traditional staffing levels intrusive. They expect the unit to be thoroughly cleaned before their arrival, but do not want or expect staff to come to the property during their stay as is often the norm in other markets. As a result, it is recommended that owners reduce the frequency of staffing at these smaller properties. Blue Sky Luxury (BSL) provides temporary staffing for housekeeping service once or twice a week from our Smart Staffing pool. This way we can provide the staff that is required by the guests and the owner can access staff on an as-needed basis. For longer stays, it is recommended that housekeeping cleans the unit at least once per week. This allows the housekeeper to keep an eye on the property and report any issues which should be drawn to the owner’s attention.

Luxury Apartments

For luxury apartments, a housekeeper is provided for a minimum of three days per week of stay. These properties tend to be larger than their non-luxury counterparts. Guests may also require additional services such as those of a cook, chef or butler, and these can be provided as an additional service. BSL maintains a full roster of trained temporary staff for accommodating guests’ needs and are thus able to provide them in a seamless manner as needed. This enables owners to provide expected levels of service while not having the overhead associated and the owners are not burdened with retaining permanent staff.

Villas

Villas form the core of the holiday rental market in Barbados and possibly have the greatest expectation of staffing levels, but even here the influx of new guests has challenged these expectations. Many villa owners are weighing the benefits of eliminating or reducing the number of permanent staff at their properties to suit the changing needs of these new guests who desire more privacy and less frequent service. During the winter months (between 15th December to 15th April) however, rates tend to be approximately 50% or more higher than the summer months and owners tend to provide staffing as part of their rate. The reason for this is supply and demand as we have many more guests wanting to escape the cold, winter months. With the additional revenue achieved during the winter months, owners choose to offer staffing as part of their rate. From the guests’ point of view, paying higher rates not only allows them to have a regular housekeeper but they also enjoy the benefits of a cook or chef to cater their meals.

Luxury Properties & Estates

Guests staying at our larger luxury properties and estates continue to expect exceptional, full service as delivered in other luxury hospitality outlets throughout the world. It is not just about the physical accommodation, it is about service and experience provided. Many of these guests tend to come year after year and build relationships with the staff, who often become like an extended family. Most of these properties will have permanent housekeepers and gardeners. If required, BSL can cater to the elevated requests of the guest in-house, be it temporary butlers, chefs, or other specialised staff. The staff is drawn from a pool of experienced, well-trained professionals and are comprehensively vetted by BSL. This saves the owner on staffing costs, but still provides confidence in the level of service.

Property management dictates that we keep our finger on the pulse of market trends and listen carefully to what our guests require across all property levels we manage. This allows us to review costs, so that we can advise our owners on how to maximise the revenue received from their rentals. We are innovative in finding solutions to ensure that guests have the experience they are looking for, while at the same time providing staffing solutions that are economical for our owners. At BSL we are building on our core group of temporary staff, implementing annual training and working towards rolling out new temporary staffing software which will improve our ability to match our owners’ staffing needs with guests’ requirements. The short-term rental market is one of the fastest growing sectors in the holiday accommodation, we are committed to following trends, and evolving in order to be successful.

Table 1 provides a sample of staffing required for short term rentals.