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.
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.
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 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.
It was truly a pleasure to celebrate with our valued clients and friends in an effort to thank them for their continued support. Our Managing Director, Tania Wallace, Leader Residential Property Management – Gina- Lee Johnson, Team Manager – Rashida Lynch and Concierge Manager – Shernelle Brome and other valued members of the team were on hand to mingle with our valued guests.
It goes without saying that our team enjoys a close relationship with our owners and our guests mean the world to us. As a full service vacation rentals company we often share client relationships with our sister company Terra Luxury and their team was on hand to mix and mingle as well. Sea Shed provided an excellent venue and our guests had an excellent time. A delectable selected of Sea Shed fishcakes, Beef Tartare and their signature Margherita Mina Pizzas were available to nibble on.
We’re excited to continue to work with our clients and to support our guests in 2020. We relish any reason to celebrate, spend time and truly extend a heartfelt thank you.
Do you have the travel bug in 2020?
Barbados has been named as one of the 50 best places to visit this year by Travel + Leisure. The magazine reports that in putting this list of destinations together they “hit the books, scouring tourism statistics, scoping out major events, charting new flight routes, and logging hotel debuts.” Getting further insight from their A-List travel advisors, trusted writers, hospitality insiders, and other industry pros, Travel + Leisure was able to secure the scoop on the best vacation spots for 2020. They’ve got their sights set on Barbados and so should you – add a Barbados holiday to your travel plans for 2020!
Make your travel experience even better by booking with us! Our Concierge Can team can provide you with all the tools you need to create lasting memories. Also, be sure to check out our Specials page for fantastic offers.
View all of our holiday homes here!
Barbados is very easily reachable from most countries in the world. The Grantley Adams International Airport offers direct links to a variety of markets, and several major hub destinations. The frequency of international flights ensures that you can travel with ease. Popular airlines like Jet Blue with the addition of their premium flight option complements British carriers. The recent addition of a direct flight from Panama to Barbados was a historic partnership for the island. The island also features many additional seasonal routes to the UK and Europe during the peak season.
Choice of Accommodation
The range of accommodation on offer in Barbados has something for everyone. From luxury hotels to the more budget conscious offerings with value as a priority, travellers can choose their ideal holiday experience. A growing number of hotels are offering all-inclusive options with the completion of planned branded hotels, the options in this segment would be further enhanced. Complementing this range of hotels is a diverse range of vacation rental properties, with on-island providers – like our sister company Blue Sky Luxury – offering several staffed and managed homes and private estates, and modern beachfront apartments. Online marketplaces round out the choice of offerings to ensure that there is truly something for everyone. It’s no wonder Barbados has the highest repeat visitor percentage in the region at 39%.
Transport & Infrastructure
The paved road network along with the island’s relatively flat terrain and extensive public transport, make Barbados’ infrastructure one of the best in the region. The ABC Highway stands out as a vital route from the airport to the west coast and points along the south coast. The island’s modern telecoms options ensure that visitors are never out of touch with their home base. This extends to the island-wide cellular offering which facilitates the use of navigation apps which makes travel around the island easier.
Things to Do
When it comes to sun, sea, and sand, the Caribbean as a region offers this in abundance, and while Barbados is regularly recognised for having some of the region’s best beaches, there is so much more on offer to visitors and residents. These include: Bushy Park Barbados, the only Grade 3 FIA racing circuit in the Caribbean; the Garrison Savannah, a six-furlong grass horse-racing course which hosts the Barbados Gold Cup, one of the most prestigious thoroughbred classic horse race events in the Eastern Caribbean; a variety of polo fields which host several tournaments with international teams competing during the January to May season, and golf courses ranging from the affordable to the exclusive and many in between, several designed by internationally renowned course architects. Once the sun goes down, Barbados continues to shine, with world class restaurants and nightlife that include international hospitality brands like Nikki Beach.
Property: Clifton Plantation
These two departments of the Terra Group work very closely together. Blue Sky Luxury is the holiday rental side of the business and they rent properties tailored to holiday rental stays. Terra Luxury is the West Coast brokerage side of the business that rents long term rental properties as well as buying and selling of real estate. Terra Luxury is the local affiliate of Knight Frank, which though based in London has a Global Network of 512 offices worldwide in 60 territories.
Many owners choose to rent their properties to offset the running costs and presently Blue Sky Luxury has 130 villas, apartments and townhouses in their rental portfolio; there are four property classification categories “Flagship”, “Luxury” , “Classic” & “Essential”. Most of the homes are rented with a full staff complement in place and it’s not unusual for guests to return to a particular property due to the friendly and great service they have received.
Blue Sky Luxury reservations specialists book rental properties directly as well as through 140 overseas agents and travel agents. Many guests have become long-time repeat clientele and a large part of their business – well over 50% have enjoyed more than one visit.
Holiday rental guests are a good source of business for Terra Luxury especially as these guests have already experienced the island first hand. They may be attracted to the laid-back, yet sophisticated lifestyle; the great weather all year round encourages outdoor living and by extension good health; the relatively safe surroundings and maybe even the attractive resident tax rates if clients make Barbados their home. The real estate market is currently a buyer’s market and the experience of the Terra Luxury brokerage agents will make the process of finding the right property, at the right price a smooth and straightforward process.
Yes, pack your swimwear – The Caribbean awaits! Whether you prefer the intimacy of a condo or the ease of a staffed villa, just for you, 7-night bookings are available at some of our most coveted vacation accomodations.
Really enjoy taking winter off by lounging poolside or on the beach deck at the newly renovated High Trees. With a cook and housekeeper on staff and a short drive to shopping and dining options, this villa makes a good choice for a group getaway. View Availability
Sandy Lane – Jamoon
Palm Beach 405
Relax at the elegant and comfortable Palm Beach 405. With its breezy open-plan living and gorgeous garden and sea views, this condo leaves very little to be desired for an intimate Christmas in the Caribbean. View Availability.
Enjoy stunning sea views from the well-appointed Waterside 402. The shimmering resort lap pool with its expansive sun deck offers the perfect opportunity to grab a last-minute glow for winter. View Availabilty
Barbados beckons…get the details on these and some more of our most coveted vacation villas available for the Christmas and New Year by viewing the special here!
Tucked away in the popular community of 2nd Street in Holetown, St. James, you’ll find The Mews. The ‘not so typical’ restaurant showcases a unique layout that’s a true time capsule of traditional Barbadian architecture and its preservation allows for guests to sit in a truly quaint environment. Enjoy the view and your meal on the balconies overlooking the active nightlife below, the interior courtyard, private dining rooms, or the quirky nooks and crannies scattered about this one of a kind gem.
Inside the kitchen, you’ll find a team championed by new Executive Chef Anife Best, who has put his personal spin on the Euro-Caribbean cuisine that the restaurant is known for with a focus on ‘farm-to-table’ fine dining. As a locally owned restaurant, the Mews celebrates flavours of Barbados with fresh, local ingredients and produce all sourced in Barbados.
The Mews offers a Farm Fresh Special Menu that is curated based on that availability of fresh produce. You’ll find delicacies such as the Pickled Codfish or Local Pumpkin Soup along with Mahi Mahi Aglio e Olio or Clifton’s Pork Chops. From their traditional menu, you’ll find starters such as Lemon Butter Scallops & Shrimp and Confit of Duck, sumptuous entrées including Curried Rabbit and even a 28 Day Aged Grilled 10 oz Ribeye Steak … and if you can still fit dessert, we’d recommend the Sticky Caramel Bread Pudding or the Chocolate Tart with warm Coffee Ganache.
In addition to promoting Farm-to-Table fine dining and an overflowing wine list, guests will enjoy a wide variety of local art on display throughout the restaurant featuring spectacular pieces by local artists. If you’re looking to be entertained, look no further as you’ll be serenaded by local musicians and artists as you enjoy your meal…. especially on Friday night when you’ll be guaranteed live entertainment in any season.
The Mews is an excellent choice for a night out, as 2nd Street becomes ‘the spot’ to ‘lime’. With quite a few bars in the area, 2nd street has a great night life with The Mews at the heart of the action.
Other than the festive season in Barbados (take a peek our winter getaways), November is one of our favourite times of the year as we celebrate Independence Day and a plethora of fun activities. If you love the water, November offers the Barbados Open Water Festival and the Live Like Zander Junior PRO WSL (World Surf League) & Thomo QS 1000 WSL.
The Barbados Open Water Festival
This annual event and draws locals and visitors alike from all countries to take part in this fun, five-day competition. Check out last year’s blog where we interviewed veteran competitor Amanda Garcia – Property Manager of luxury villa Crystal Springs. This year, participants can take part in practice swims, optional dinners, and four races. If you’re staying on the South Coast, Sapphire Beach condominiums are close to the action and lots of fine dining and entertainment options. We highly recommend checking out the nightlife in “The Gap” as well.
Dates: 6th Nov 2019 – 9th November 2019 | Location: St. Michael
World Surf League Live Like Zander Jr Pro and the WSL (World Surf League) Thomo QS 1000
This event is very near and dear to our hearts as it’s held in honour of Zander Venezia and Bill Thomson. The World Surf League (WSL) Junior is in loving memory of Zander while the homo 2019 QS 1000 in loving memory of Bill. Held at the famous Soup Bowl in Bathsheba, the event is always exciting and, a great opportunity to rub shoulders with the local Barbados community.
Dates: 7th November 2019 – 10th November 2019 | Location: St. Michael
Here are your new weekend plans so let’s get Ready, Set and Surf in Barbados! Socialising included!
*Photos compliments Global Swim Series and Barbados Surfing Association.
We’re all guilty of making those last-minute travel plans but with winter right around the corner, you’ll want to forget the freeze and stay warm at any of our stunning holiday rentals. From our intimate beachfront retreats to fully staffed luxury villas, you can decide on luxury your way.
Tucked away between the serenity of Gibbes Beach and the highly popular Mullins Beach, Hemingway House is a beautiful two-story retreat that boasts unique vantages of the ocean and is ideal for families or groups. View Availability
Sugar Hill – Illusion
A luxurious villa situated in the exclusive Sugar Hill community, Sugar Hill-Illusion wows with its grand sweeping staircase leading down to the impressive pool and fantastic view to sea. View Availability
Sugar Hill – Sunwatch
Palm Beach 405
Offering guests breezy open-plan living against a backdrop of white sand beach and turquoise ocean, Palm Beach 405 is situated on Barbados’ South Coast in a prime beachfront location. View Availability
Leith Court 16
Barbados beckons! Get the details on these and more of our most coveted vacation villas available for the Christmas and New Year by viewing the special here!
Rose in hand and toes in the sand.
We have all been in anticipation about what is happening on Mullins Beach for several weeks now. At last, The Sea Shed has arrived and has opened its doors.
Barefoot chic with an element of rustic luxury, this new seaside venue will offer a European-Caribbean beach club vibe with fresh foods inspired by French and local traditions.
“Sea to Slate” is the philosophy of this new trendy spot which simply means bringing fresh fish from the sea to your plate. Catch of the day? Yes please.
Other dishes include fresh lobster and octopus, stone-oven pizza, lasagna and the all time favourite burger, just to name a few. Mouthwatering cocktails and fine wines can also be found here.
Well known, Chef Jeremy Dupire is at the helm of this place and with him he brings a wealth of knowledge, talent and whole-hearted dedication to ensure an unforgettable food experience for you.
Beach service opens from 10am and includes beach loungers and umbrellas. The restaurant opens from 12noon and takes reservations up to 8pm daily. Closed on Tuesdays.
It’s new. It’s sexy. And the food is to-die-for. A must try!
For reservations – (246) 572-5111
Facebook – Sea Shed Barbados
Instagram – seashed_barbados