As owner of Calabash Mountain Villa, a new property listed on this site, it was with joy that we discovered Eco Tropical Resorts, a site that echoes our philosophy of how we should exist in our surroundings.
Developing a place for people to come and enjoy what I love about my homeland has been a dream of mine for years. That is why, years ago, when the opportunity to obtain this property for a decent price came about, I jumped on it.
Our initial plan was to develop a small village concept, with bungalows around the property. We put a formal business plan together and went shopping for investors. The concept was interesting to potential investors, but they wanted to invest in much larger projects than the one I was proposing. So the idea went on the back burner until I could find a way to make it happen. The fire to do something never died.
A few years ago, the embers still burning, I pulled out the old plans and began to look to see what I could do. I pared my vision down to something I could accomplish without major investors. I still wanted to focus on a natural setting that would allow visitors to see the inner beauty of St. Lucia and enjoy the natural settings I remembered from my childhood.
The actual story of the current concept for Calabash Mountain Villa can be found on our website, Calabash Mountain Villa in our blog, “Island Breezes.” To peak your curiosity I’ll just say it involved an architecture class at Purdue University, Indianapolis; and then a contractor in St. Lucia to incorporate local regulations, feasibility of various features given the actual terrain, and ways to provide the best experience for visitors.
The property was dense with trees, bushes and vines of all sorts. And because we are on a mountain-side, there are plenty of rocks and boulders. In clearing the way for our Villa, we only cut down the trees we really needed to, to provide a place for the structure. (I wanted to see trees all around us when it was done.) The trees we did remove were put to use as wood for part of the construction, and we used the wood to make charcoal. Our neighbors were allowed to take wood to make charcoal also. The bark from the spice trees was harvested and our neighbors were allowed to have what they wanted. Many of them took the cinnamon to market for sale. As we came across the boulders, we busted them up and saved them to use as part of the structure. Then, as we started actual construction, we made sure we did not do things to harm the surrounding area. For example, we did retaining walls to protect against erosion on our property and on the property around us.
The construction phase was a labor of love. Love for St. Lucia and a love of nature that we will share with our visitors. We even went with a solar water heating system (and yes, it will also save us money in the long run.)
We used local labor crews, most of who lived in the area around our site. We have hired staff from the local area too. A couple of them walk to work because it is that close. Some of these local crew members and staff are also related to me.
Many of our neighbors have come to tour our Villa and have promised to tell their friends and family members, who live in other parts of the island or in other countries, all about Calabash Mountain Villa.