In 1982, my wife and I honeymooned on Elbow Cay, and over the ensuing years were drawn us back on a regular basis. In July of 1999, with the interest and support of a good friend, we made the leap to island home ownership. Months later the house was damaged beyond repair by Hurricane Floyd. This happens to older homes in the paths of hurricanes. With a lovely piece of land in a prime location and a clean slate, we chose to design and build Calypso.
After nearly 2 decades of renting numerous houses on Elbow Cay, we saw a glaring deficiency in the rental market – there were no houses that would comfortably accommodate large groups or several vacationing families. Our goal became the building of a house that was designed from scratch to be our dream rental house – what we would want to rent ourselves with 2 or 3 other families, or a group of our closest friends.
Most homes on Elbow Cay were designed and built as personal residences, with the owner’s specific wants and needs taken into account, and then rented when the owner is absent. We wanted a house that could be enjoyed by a broad spectrum of people.
Every guest should have comparable accommodations, with appealing bedrooms that have their own bathrooms and storage optimized for brief stays. (Large closets simply aren’t needed, shelves are.) The bedrooms should be separated as much as possible from each other and the common areas of the house for better privacy and quiet. This is accomplished by spreading bedrooms on multiple wings and floors.
The common areas need to be large and open, so everyone can comfortably gather, and especially suited for entertaining. There must be multiple places to gather, reflecting different moods and, in the case of an ocean location, differing wind/weather conditions. A large yard, ocean deck, land-side deck, screened porch, game room, away room, and multiple dining areas allow plenty of places for spreading out, so guests never feel crowded and everyone can find a favorite spot to call their own.
Aesthetically, the ideal Bahamas rental home should be informal, relaxing, comfortable and, of utmost importance, FUN. Art, furnishing, and decor should bring smiles, not worries. Vaulted ceilings, tile floors, cypress paneling, lots of windows, and stunning views provide a sense of being in the right place – a casual and stunningly beautiful island in the Bahamas.