With a $60 million renovation investment, the new owners of Barbados’ swanky Apes Hill Club is transforming the St James location into what is promised to be the best golfing spot in the Caribbean.
Originally opened in 2009 and subsequently closed in 2017, Apes Hill is now owned by Canadian investor Glenn Chamandy, founder and Chief Executive Officer of international clothing giant Gildan.
In a release last Thursday, United Kingdom-based public relations and marketing firm P1 Communications announced that the residential community was relaunching under its new ownership with a mission to be “the best golfing experience in the Caribbean”.
“Currently undergoing a major USD$30 million renovation, which is scheduled for completion in November 2021, the project is set to employ over 100 local people through construction, hospitality, golf course and guest service jobs,” it said.
“The project is being led by a world-class team, including renowned golf course designer Ron Kirby whose career spans countless elite courses across the globe, including the Old Head in Ireland. Set in 470 acres at 1 000 feet above sea level in the northwest of the island, Apes Hill enjoys an enviable location with views across both the west and east coasts,” it added.
When completed, Apes Hill will have a fully renovated 18-hole, par-72 championship golf course, with 12 sea view holes, two of which boast views of both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
A 19th hole is being added in front of the Clubhouse “as a bit of fun”, modelled after the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass in Florida, and features an island green.
A new par-3 course will have a relaxed dress policy with guests able to play in flip flops, should they wish – the first of its kind in Barbados.
Chamandy, who said he now has many good friends on the island as well as a family home, said he has been visiting Barbados for more than two decades.
“When Apes Hill became available last year, I felt it had the potential, with all of its natural beauty, gullies and views over both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean on the wild east coast, to create the best golfing experience in the Caribbean, and a community where family and friends can enjoy time together,” he said.
“Golfing is more than just the golf course; it is all about what you do beforehand – accessing great training and practice facilities –, and what you do when you’re not playing golf – having a great bar and restaurant to socialise in,” he said.
Chamandy said members will be able to enjoy hiking and cycling on the nature trails in the gullies, go fishing in the reservoir, and have fun at all club facilities.
“We want Apes Hill to take your breath away in many different ways – being environmentally responsible, visually beautiful, and authentically the best of Barbados,” he added.
Other golf facilities will include the Golf Performance and Teaching Centre with a state-of-the-art Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) and a swing bio-mechanics analysis bay, to bring the best physical and technical capabilities out of every golfer.
Recreational and hospitality facilities will include a renovated clubhouse with concierge, the Drunken Monkey bar and veranda restaurant, outdoor calisthenic gym, a fitness and paddle sports centre with the indoor gym overlooking the lap pool and Zen yoga garden. A new golf proshop and farm shop will complete the facilities.
New estate homes are available for sale, with three- and four-bedroom villas starting from US$1.6 million.