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Building a Sustainable Barbados

02.04.22

Having been named as one of Condé Nast Traveller's top sustainable travel destinations in December 2021, Barbados has made a promise to become the first 100% green and fossil-fuel free island-state in the world by 2030. To support this goal through sustainable tourism, the island has implemented several initiatives including the Mindful Travel Campaign and offers many opportunities for guests to give back to the environment during their stay.

Anyone that saw Barbados' prime minister Mia Amor Mottley's hard-hitting speech at the Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow will be left in no doubt that the government in Barbados takes climate change very seriously. Beating to the same drum is Apes Hill, one of the largest tourism projects currently under development on the island. Due to open in November 2022, the integrated golf and villa community shares this same commitment to sustainability and has put it centre stage in the re-development of its golf course, and in the building of new villas and leisure facilities.

At Apes Hill, the commitment comes from the top and is driven by its unique and precious natural location; a landscape meandering across 475 acres of tropical vegetation, that encapsulates the rich natural heritage of Barbados. At 1000 feet above sea level and just a few meters below the island's highest point, Apes Hill has simultaneous panoramic views of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

Being one of the oldest parts of the island in the Scotland District, it is also one of the most unspoiled areas with jungle-like vegetation providing an excellent visual record of what Barbados would have looked like hundreds of years ago, before it was settled by the British. Some of the distinctive characteristics include coral caves, a network of fascinating gullies – some of which dip as low as 200 foot- which are home to indigenous flora and fauna and large troops of green monkeys.

To keep the carbon footprint to a minimum Apes Hill is committed to becoming power neutral within three years of opening by building a solar energy farm.

The resort will feature a superlative range of luxury resort and lifestyle villas with spectacular vistas across the golf course and Caribbean Sea. The commitment to preservation and sustainability is further reflected in the environmentally friendly and sustainable architectural designs. The ultra-contemporary villas have been designed and developed by local design consultants utilizing the latest sustainable building design practices and materials, with particular attention being paid to natural fenestration, passive ventilation, insulation, energy efficiency, water use efficiency, photo voltaic electrical generation and the use of non-toxic, green, and sustainable materials. These are complemented by electric vehicle charging points and charging stations for electric golf carts which will transport guests around the resort.

The Ron Kirby renovation and redesign of the 18-hole championship golf course also puts nature preservation and sustainability at centre stage. The design of the course has integrated the surrounding gully system and generally works around and throughout the expansive natural environment to protect, preserve and sustain it.

Roddy Carr, a consultant overseeing the golf course development says: “Sustainability isn't something we just talk about. We've invested in drought tolerant grass to reduce water consumption, cut the number of sprinkler heads on the course by 56% and established 77 acres of farming on site. We're far from finished, but we're one step ahead.”

 

An artificial lake is being installed to collect rainwater for future irrigation and the latest technology is being used on the irrigation system to minimize watering with weather forecasting and remotely controlled watering. The artificial lake has a watershed of roughly 246 acres for the harvesting of stormwater runoff. This not only feeds Apes Hill but reduces the impact of water flowing downstream and settling in flood prone areas on the coast like Holetown and Weston, St. James.

Twelve acres of 'out of play' pockets around the golf course have been set aside for growing indigenous fruits and vegetables including pineapple, mangos, coffee, aloe and sweet potatoes. Apes Hill will be creating more farmland for hosting livestock and growing fresh produce on the east coast side of the golf course bordering holes 12, 13 and 14. In addition, beehives will be established in the gullies and habitats created to promote butterfly breading in ponds around the course.

Upon completion, Apes Hill will have a fully renovated 18 Hole, Par 72 championship golf course, a new Par 3 course, a state-of-the-art Golf Performance and Teaching Centre and short game practice facilities, a clubhouse with bar and veranda restaurant, a luxury spa, a 2,600 sq. ft. fitness and sports centre with lap pool and swim-up Bar, tennis and padel-tennis court, hiking and biking trails with outdoor calisthenics gym, pro shop and farm shop, which will sell the fresh produce grown on site.

New three and four-bedroom villas are available to purchase with prices starting from £1.15 million. There is also a turn-key land and build service available throughout the resort with stunning golf and sea views.  The resort is due to open in November 2022.

For more information visit www.apeshill.com

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