My family (parents + 4 young adults) rented this home for our first time visit to Barbados. We were extremely happy with our choice. I found it difficult from the pictures on-line to really assess the area ahead of time. When you walk through the front doors into the foyer area, you either proceed to the left (which takes you either to one of the bedrooms or kitchen), to the right (the other 3 bedrooms) or straight ahead (the living area). The living area is where you relax, watch tv or enjoy one of the many meals prepared for you. Be prepared....the only areas that have air conditioning are the bedrooms. However, after the first night, we all adjusted. There are ceiling fans that along with the breeze from the ocean, provide a comfortable atmosphere outside. Be sure to bring bug spray. The grounds are lovely and the beach is literally right through the two, accessible gates. Mullins beach is a one minute walk to your right and Gibbes beach is a one minute walk to your left. There is quite a bit of rock when entering the ocean right outside the property, but if you walk in either direction, you can find a smoother area to enter the ocean. The staff, which includes a cook, housekeeper and laundress, are a fantastic addition to the home and are very willing to work with you regarding your schedule and food choices. The security guard, who worked overnight, was a very nice man. While some parts of the home show its age, it has quite a bit of charm and is located between two lovely areas, Holetown and Speightstown. I would definitely recommend this home.
My girlfriends and I booked High Trees through a luxury villa website. We were very excited about the villa because of the pictures, but upon arrival we were deflated. The pictures do not reflect the wear of the villa as it was extremely dated. We were not expecting the only rooms enclosed to be the bedrooms, which also happened to be the only air conditioned rooms. The furniture was stained and somewhat dingy. During our stay our bathroom toilets clogged and even overflowed. The staff had to unclog it several times and even call a plumber when our bedroom flooded. We were overrun by mosquitos and could not really enjoy the open air sitting room. We dealt with this because the cook, housekeeper and the other staff members were so wonderful and the highlight of High Trees.
The one thing that stands out and really offended us was the decor that was chosen for the master bedroom. While looking at the wall paintings we noticed the pictures reflected colonial era Barbados. This included a painting of the flying fish industry that included a stereotypical and exaggerated drawing of Africans and referred to them the men as SAMBOS! It also described the women in the marketplace in a insulting manner that refelected colonial prejudices and attitudes of the time. This was unacceptable and I am shocked that the paintings were part of the decor.
In an upscale luxury range of villas, High Trees missed the mark. The only redeeming characteristic was the staff.