Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rosewood Estate Suite, Jumby Bay

We sometimes search the web for photos that guests have taken while at the resort we designed in Antigua, Jumby Bay. It is interesting to see what guests felt was important enough to take a picture of and share it on the web, especially when it is the architectural or site design that caught their eye or made an impression on them. Luckily one blog we came across, Super Yacht Blogger, the blogger also was a talented photographer - Frances Howorth - who captured much of the design spirit of Estate Suite in her following shots of the room during their stay.

This view of the suite terrace above shows the primary site design concept for Jumby Bay. When relaxing on your terrace there is nothing between you and the sea, no slot views between other buildings, no walkways running in front, nothing to disturb your privacy and enjoyment of the setting. The buildings are run in a gentle arc so that each room is looking out to the view and not at each other. Here is a link to the site plan.

Each room in the suite is designed as a simple proportional space with very high ceilings. No odd angles or architectural complexities. A clear simple space makes for a much more relaxing environment. Most hotel rooms have windows only at the end of the room, we call it tunnel vision. At Jumby Bay there are windows on two or more sides to make the rooms very light and airy as well as focus on the most important quality of Jumby Bay which is it's stunning Island setting. The clerestory windows allow views up as well as out. The Caribbean sky and the blowing palms are all part of the Island experience. The plan for the Estate Suite can be seen here.

The bedroom is a smaller more intimate space with lower ceiling off of the living room.

The bathrooms at Jumby Bay are large and again simple, opening onto private courtyards. The focus is on the vanity which is treated as a piece of furniture. The rooms are air conditioned, however, swinging the double doors open brings the outdoors in and allows the bath to be naturally cooled by tropical breezes.

The outdoor bath has become part of Jumby Bay Style that has evolved over the years. In the early 80's when we started working on Jumby Bay (at that time know as Long Island Resort) most Caribbean hotels had shower curtains which grew mold in the hot moist climate and had a tendency to be blown against your skin by the wind. The first rooms we designed for the island did tiled shower rooms to get rid of the dreaded vinyl curtains. For the next larger rooms we designed for the resort we added a garden courtyard outside the shower, because the private Island infrastructure at that time could not support air conditioning and we needed to be able to open louvered doors to keep the rooms cooled with cross ventilation. The next step was to move the shower and tub outside into a larger courtyard making an outside room, which is shown above. The courtyard walls not only provide privacy, they also break the force of the trade winds so the space is comfortable. The rooms still provide an indoor shower (sans curtain) for those not adventurous enough to venture outside for their shower, but most people find the experience enjoyable, even in the rain.

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