ISLAND ARCH NOTES | Guanahani Beach Club
Welcome back to ‘Island Arch Notes’, a series delving into the unique geography and history of this island nation which has shaped our distinctive architectural style. From Eleuthera to Crooked Island, our buildings are as colorful as they are rich in history. Although the notion of ‘island life’ is often equated with turquoise expanses, fruity drinks and thatched roofs, The Bahamas’ architectural style has been emulated, perfected and standardized throughout the West Indies. Whether you’re scanning the horizon for an island venue or looking for your next vacation rental, here are some Bahamian architectural aesthetics to ponder in your summery daze.
In this episode we island hop south to ‘the new world’ of San Salvador. Generally, the southern islands play host to a specific grouping of hotels that usually cater to specific crowds like anglers, divers or those who want to completely escape and detach. Tucked away on the southeast coast of San Sal sits Guanahani Beach Club. Tastefully sprawled on 1.5 miles of powdered sand with the emerald waters of Snow Bay beyond, the four-villa resort ensures the utmost privacy. Only encroached on by the meandering of bougainvillea bushels or a resident hermit crab or two, you are in an environment of blissful solitude polished by the warmth of the Bahamian sun. Owners, Elena and Carlos, firmly rooted in Italian culture and quality, have accomplished the perfect marriage of design and Caribbean charm brought together with the best of Bahamian beachfront real estate. A style truly shaped by our salt encrusted existence, Guanahani’s architecture and interior design both reflect the life that ought to be led whilst residing in the minimalistic, whitewashed island villas. At the very core, the purpose was to create an unrivaled ‘zen’, one where the design and furnishings have a distinctly symbiotic existence against a tropical backdrop like no other.
Guanahani explores the very essence of modern Bahamian architecture and we’ll ponder the varying influences that have carved this sun-drenched, seaside stay.
a distinctive design.
The Italian masterminds behind the beach boutique sought out to create something very special that allowed for the perfect combination of design and island charm. They saw this being possible if they used high-quality, Italian furnishings and the unfading natural beauty of The Bahamas. The design inspiration comes from the natural surroundings — the kaleidoscopic of blues in the distance. The years of experience as an architect and interior designer guided our overall look and style. The idea was to make the guests feel very comfortable - a ‘home away from home’ if you will, with the best of both worlds at your fingertips. The majority of their guests flock from Europe and they felt that providing a luxury, boutique hotel in the most idyllic of landscapes could only be made perfect if the quality was what they were used to. Therefore, particular attention has been paid to the choice of materials including: bleached oak and teak wooden flooring, crisp whitewashed walls, solid teak furniture, louvered shutters and solid wood double-glazed french doors and windows. The abundance of windows and doors allow for bright, sunny spaces with a refreshing, salty breeze rolling through. Each villa is complete with a private patio for dining and scanning the horizon for the next water-based activity. Dabbling even further into the progressive, the resort is powered by independent solar systems, adding to the minimal flair. Both Elena and Carlo feel that minimalism is more than just a deliberate lack of decoration but rather an “appreciation of a space”. For that reason, minimalistic decor was entirely suitable.
modern bahamian architecture.
The bungalow-style villas are all complete with generous verandas designed to absorb every breath of wind. The windows and doors have traditional louvered, wooden shutters. In terms of materials, all buildings are made with solid, reinforced concrete, cement roofs and solid double-glazed windows. The restaurant and lounge area has a resin floor but the villa floors are all bleached oak. All the furniture is imported, sturdy Indonesian teak. With the rise of contemporary design and style, The Bahamas has experienced a shift towards modernity. Guanahani is without doubt a climate-complimentary structure and a stylish one at that.
why san salvador.
San Salvador plays a unique role in Bahamian history. Believed to be the first island that Christopher Columbus dropped anchor, San Salvador is dotted with artifacts of this time. The untouched, wildness of the surroundings are completely breathtaking. The peculiarity of Snow Bay, where the resort is located, makes for a unique locale for sailing and water sports galore. The uninhabited surrounding cays make for stunning sailing and kiteboarding. Kiting conditions are particularly dreamlike with consistent perennial winds and balmy water temperatures all protected by three scattered cays which shelter the bay from the roaring Atlantic swell. The sandy bottom and minimal chop make for an unrivaled Bahamian ride. The translucent blues have made outdoor, water activities integral to the hotel and the experience that can be had while there. San Salvador has an International Airport with weekly direct flights from the USA, Canada and France. As the majority of their clientele is European, having a direct flight from France on offer really strengthens their ability to effectively market to the continent.
an italian fare.
Understated elegance and an entirely relaxed atmosphere characterize Guanahani’s Patio Restaurant and Bar. The high-end dining experience is inspired by the tastes and flavors of the traditional Italian fare that the owners are so accustomed to. With Elena at the helm, Guanahani’s Italian dining experience is of the highest repute and flavored with the finest seasonal ingredients. The restaurant is open to locals and guests alike but given its intimate setting, this is based on availability. Taking full advantage of the breathtaking Snow Bay setting, Guanahani Patio Bar offers handcrafted cocktails, beer, Italian wines and a wide selection of seasonal smoothies. The intent was to build something small, private and exclusive that could be run entirely by the owners and the restaurant really speak to this.
For us at Cacique, we believe in pushing boundaries - be it food, art, music or alternate spaces. That is why we are always on the look-out for new, breathtaking venues to make experiences come alive. For enquiries about Guanahani Beach Club or a particular property or venue or about an experience with Cacique International, please feel free to contact us.