The Building of Tropical Hideaway Gallery Topographical plans show a relatively flat spur protruding from the hillside Dense forest and a very small path lead forward Deciding where to have the entrance was difficult Trees can be stunted due to termites, strong winds and occasional fires Leaving the larger trees and clearing the thick bush Slowly but surely the views come as we thin out the unwanted bush Placing lines and trying to work out the best place to start building The difficult job of clearing and making sure you leave the good trees Burning was a tiring and time consuming job It was difficult to clear enough land to start burning the unwanted bush Slowly but surely the bush comes down Sam, Dani and Corrie with the start of our fantastic view behind When we left at night we had to make sure all the fires were safe Opening up the view and allowing the sun to shine through Sometimes you just don't know where to start The land is cleared enough to get a digger in A chainsaw and a patient wife makes life a little easier A panoramic view with the machine in the middle Now to decide where to put that wall Yes that view will do And this is just half of the view WOW Deciding where to build is as important as it gets The entrance from the road Digging the footings for the stone wall Our planned driveway entrance The cleared driveway Building a stone wall by the road Slowly the roadside wall is built A lovely stone wall borders our entrance And it looks good as well The grand entrance The foundation for our workshop and garage The ever changing turquoise blues of the sea Constructing the timber panels for our workshop and garage The workshop and garage slowly take shape Me and Sam laying cedar shingles on the roof Making sure every container is full to the brim is very important The container port in Portsmouth. We use the Geestline Shipping Company We even sent our car over from the UK The electric cables are laid to the property This is the heavily wooded site where Palm Cottage is now built Our daughter Sam finds a land turtle Digging the footings by hand and wheelbarrowing the soil away The footings slowly get done Laying the steel for the watertank base Pouring the concrete An octagonal base cast with concrete and steel Casting a supporting beam Pouring the concrete support beams for the cottage This is the concrete water tank below the cottage Blockwork being done A stone clad watertank with the cottage above A very complicated roof structure Our daughter Sam helping with the roof Sweat and rain but we are slowly getting there These gorgeous views can't help but distract you from work Sam and Dean laying the Cedar shingles on the roof Stunning views like this keep you motivated Dani helping me with this beautiful all jointed roof Sam & Corrie hard at work Front of cottage before the doors Constructing the steps down to the cottage Sam and Dean moving large stones for the garden This butress wall is part of the cottage The cottage and the garage Working out the site levels can be a nightmare Building the temporary access steps down to Hibiscus Cottage Digging all the footings out by hand to the height of Dani our daughter Some of the hand digging is around 8' deep The concrete mixing platform, a long way down the hill Its a long way down to Hibiscus Cottage The walls slowly go up Its hard work, but even the builders look at the view The elevated cottage built in the middle of a forest The views from here are absolutely gorgeous The surrounding patio areas are complete as is the cottage base Sam and Julie looking at the formwork for the blocks The beautiful headland Hibiscus Cottage walls go up and the supporting column and finally the main support beam Looking out at the view through the scaffolding Me and Dean putting up the main rafters and finally the roof is sealed and weathertight The cedar shingles go onwhich is a very time consuming job Sam cutting the angles for the boarded veranda and Dean fitting them A zoom lens from the bay gives a view of Hibiscus Cottage A view of our land from the other side of the bay The view from the verandah Sam chills out on the nearly finished patio The boardwalk as it leaves the Poolhouse garden area The lovely boardwalk and steps leading to Hibiscus Cottage The boardwalk as it reaches the cottage The entance to Hibiscus Cottage with a taster of the breathtaking views Sunset from Hibiscus Cottage Easter Regatta from Hibiscus Cottage Easter Regatta from the Patio At last the cottage is finished and liming (chill time) is allowed Hibiscus Cottage as seen through a zoom lens out in the bay Surveying the ground An exciting time and a couple of years to completion, or so we thought.. The formwork goes up and a shape gradually takes place The lines for ground level go in and these lines will be the bottom of the pool The levels are dug out and the base is graded to prepare for footings The footings for the Poolhouse structure Pipework is put in place Steels are put in place, together with numerous conduits The pool wall is cast to floor level Casting the pool floor Casting the pool floor Pouring the concrete The concrete slowly covers the double layer of steel and once you start it has to be cast in one go even it means working into the night The next morning and everything is cast Strong shuttering for the steel re-inforced pool walls The pool wall as seen from the outside The pool is absolutely gigantic, the largest on Bequia I think The shuttering for the pool walls is nearly complete and what a fantastic view we have The footings for the cat house and Gazebo house From bottom to top, water tank, cat house and Gazebo Construction of the Gazebo, or look out tower Windows for the cat house Steps leading up to the pool patio The cat house with the Gazebo above The pool and its structure slowly comes together It's a complicated job involving hundreds of detailed plans Pool steps and the many seats make for an interesting design Sunset from the viewpoint Curved, wide and shallow steps make entry into the vast pool easy Me and Corrie dreaming about the day we will have water in the pool A special waterproofing membrane is applied to the pool Beautiful coral seats compliment the natural pebble tiles Corrie sitting at the poolbar with the Villa construction in the background Pool construction with the incredible view behind Starting the natural pebble tiling The tiling became very complicated but they did an excellent job and the pebble tiles look so beautiful These seats seem about the right height and size Me and Corrie laying the cedar shingle tiles on the poolbar The pool is nearly complete Laying the natural non slip coral tiles on the pool patio and steps With another grand super yacht behind Looking up from the pool towards the main Villa Celebrations as the pool starts to fill In the deep end, but it's only 2' deep Wow! That water feels good and its warm too The pool is full Make sure you don't float over the edge Dani Lovely clear water shows up the pebble tiles Some of the builders enjoying a celebratory Rum and Coke Be careful you don't go over the edge The floor above the Poolhouse and its someone elses birthday a few weeks later The steps above the Poolhouse leading up to the Villa Pouring the concrete The steps are complete. At the top there is a 14' drop Me and Julie as seen from the other side of the steps The curved shape makes for a grand flight of stairs The Poolhouse and it's mezzanine are underthe pool patio and the steps Inside the Poolhouse The Poolhouse, with the mezzanine at the top of the stairs The tiled floor in the mezzanine Paths and gardens in front of the Poolhouse Views from thePoolhouse patio A lovely arched door leads down to Hibiscus cottage Building a path in front of the Poolhouse Stone paths and gardens are nearly complete Plants are ready to go in The machine behind is placing massive stones into the garden Banana plants grow well here Looking down onto the patio and gardens This serious fire destroys around £80,000 of property and materials The footings and the steelwork are laid for the Main house Concrete is poured into the footings There are many tonnes of steel in the footings and walls Steel rises out of the ground in preperation for the watertank walls Preparing the floor for the concrete and pipework The floor area is absolutely massive Steel is everywhere There is so much steel and so many pipes The quality of work is outstanding These rising conduits will be for the plug circuits built into the walls Plywood formwork for the watertanks and columns There are literally hundreds of plywood sheets needed for the formwork Bracing ensures the filling concrete will not distort the plywood Mixing all the concrete and pouring it in one day takes around 30 men All these concrete bags will be used by the end of the day Boatbuilders would be proud of this work of art The plywood being peeled off reveals a perfect concrete wall These tanks will be around 11' high Two layers of formwork have to be used to get the full 11' height And look what a perfect curve we have in the concrete Plywood and support beams being positioned to support the concrete above Starting the blockwork in the Infinity bedroom The Infinity bedrooms two patio door entrances The Infinity bedroom covered walkway with all it's timber supports Looking into the Infinity bedroom from the outside The blockwork and supporting timbers for the beam go up Looking down into the Infinty bedroom with the pumproom on the right Looking at the Infinty bedroom bathroom Arches in front of the Infinity bedroom The curved wall is where the Infinty spiral staircase will go The timber shuttering is nearly ready for the beams to be cast The beams and arches are ready to cast The first column for the Ocean bedroom Taking the plywood off the watertank adjacent to the bedroom The blockwork goes up between the bedroom and the Laundry Blockwork in the Laundry room The blockwork slowly gets higher and higher The blockwork is nearly complete Columns being constructed to support the roof The columns go up for the Ocean bedroom The beams over the Ocean bedroom patio doors Nearly ready to cast the beams in the bedroom Steel and pipework above the Ocean bedroom and Laundry room. Arches above the Ocean bedroom Arches being prepared This is less than half of the 60 x 60' floor Pipework and conduits being placed into the beams The beams and arches are now all cast The beams and columns have now been cast One side of the plywood removed reveals some lovely arches An exact size has to be constructed for the spiral staircases Sometimes I just wonder why I did this. I must have been mad Our steelworkers take great pride in doing their job. Theres a lot of steel in this floor and a lot of pipes as well More pipes and more steel but what a lovely view Julie and Corrie on top of the steps with the floor about to be cast You can see the void for the spiral staircase Pouring the concrete over the steel and the pipes We use a ramp and a pipe to get the concrete to the far edges The concrete floor is finished and the house looks like this from the pool This giant stone bath has to be moved into the Infinity bedroom The stone bath with theInfinity bedroom behind Around 10 guys try to move the bath Eventually it moves a little with the aid of winches Now it's on roller bars it can move a lot easier It's finally in it's resting place and we try it out for size Building steps around the bath Stonework around where the spiral staircase will be Stonework on the walls The stone steps to the bath are complete The natural stone wall with conch shells built in This is the finished room Casting the steps and path leading up to the bedroom and pool Laying the stone outside the Infinity bedroom The path being laid from the bedroom to the pool. The gardens and stepping stones in front of the Infinity bedroom The gardens outside the bedroom Filling in the garden areas with topsoil Garden paths in front of the Infinity bedroom Scaffolding in front of the bedroom allowing work to proceed upstairs This is the pumproom floor, hence the complicated array of pipework Looking down into the pumproom The pumproom between the two downstairs bedrooms The Ocean bedroom complete with a stone clad wall and coral tile floor. The large open shower en-suite next to the Ocean bedroom Getting ready to put in the large glass patio doors The patio doors go in and the room is completed The Laundry room ready for the spiral staircase to go upstairs The Laundry room spiral stairs go in Large doors in the Laundry room allow breeze and light to enter The lovely vented mahogany doors as seen from the outside We start re-building the garage and workshop and quickly get the roof on Some of the columns have a few conduits in but others have several conduits and several pipes Always trying to find that little bit of shade Sometimes you just have to work in the sun but the views are great Columns go up for the kitchen and living room areas and some blockwork soon follows This is the kitchen door leading into the living room and this is the office door leading into the living room One of the patio doors in the office The project is a huge undertaking but slowly the Villa rises up out of the ground allowing in the all important breeze and light The main house area has huge patios but the Villa is slowly taking shape The kitchen side of the Villa and the office side of the Villa Each arch has to be accurately measured before it can be cast and each beam has to have all the conduits and pipes put in Sometimes the complexity can be bewildering Most of the structural steelwork and pipework has been done so we should be ready to cast soon We've had to build a ramp to wheelbarrow the concrete up and more plywood walkways The stunning views from this level The evening before we cast the beams and a quick check to make sure we have all the pipes in Lovely eliptical arches are revealed when the shuttering is taken down Most of this will be the ceiling of the large wrap around Verandas The views looking forward are amazing Me with Dani and Corrie This is the ceiling above the gym and reception area More conduits and even more pipes The floor is cast The plywood decking and most of the supporting timbers removed Genuine Thai cartwheels imported in from Thailand These make lovely feature windows between the snooker table and the gym As seen from the gym The living area gets a coat of white primer paint and some tiles go down Coral tiles in the main house bathroom His and her sinks in the bathroom The reception area with the doors now in More cartwheels for the kitchen and another cartwheel gets built into a garden wall The Spiral staircase going down to the laundry room The covered veranda in front of the kitchen with the large stone circular floor where the dining table will be Plenty wine flowed that day with fun and games had by all The dining table is now in place as are the lovely views Patio doors, tiles and fans are now fitted on the veranda The columns start to go in for the Penthouse Suite but the weather is incredibly hot The work carries on and on and on with the occasional rain shower This is where the spiral staircase will go down to the reception The roof timbers start to go on above the office The roof timbers are almost finished 30' up in the air and putting the timber decking down The timber decking is screwed on with stainless 70mm screws The roof is then felted and stuck down with permanent adhesive glue Blockwork continues for the bathroom and living areas The en-suite bathroom on the left and the bedroom on the right The plywood formwork for the arched Penthouse Suite windows Stong steel re-inforced beams are everywhere in the house The apex of the roof marked by a line Another lovely arch leading up to the apex A lovely eliptical arch with neat conduit above A large structural beam supports the roof The Villa as viewed from the road and the Villa viewed from the other side of the bay (centre of picture) Timbers support the massive roof beams until they are cast The fancy columns at the front of the Penthouse Suite Even more conduits The massive concrete beams still need support while the roof timbers go on The top of the roof as seen from the road and the emerging Villa as seen from the middle of the Bay Completion is only a few months away (or so we thought) The inside of the Penthouse Suite looking towards the bedroom Looking to where the spiral staircase will enter the Penthouse Suite Lovely timber panelling and an open design make this room especially nice Looking towards the spectacular view This is probably the nicest room in the Villa The lovely shape of the roof complete with the grand porch on the front The ornate gingerbread facia boards being painted The view from the front of the Penthouse Suite Painting the concrete columns, walls and beams One of the many Super Yachts that anchor in our 'front garden' They say 'all super yachts eventually pass though Bequia' Natural stone being laid on the floor Bending down like this can be hard and painful work Making the concrete balusters and rails for the edge but they make a pretty and strong rail All this stonework gives the place a very natural and warm ambience The view from edge is outstanding and the closer you get the more breathtaking the view becomes and you have to find time to appreciate those magic moments Tiling the floor around the spiral staircase and the lovely mahogany windows go in The all important moon shape bar is fitted and the room nears completion as the curved shower wall is finished The folding doors leading into the bedroom with the bar on the left The Penthouse Suite finished and looking out towards the Caribbean Sea Nearly there The view from the front and from in the water The gingerbread goes up All we have left to do is the entrance to the house The main front door entrance with the Penthouse Suite porch above The porch from the inside of the Penthouse Suite The grand entrance porch under construction with all the timber supports holding up the concrete beams Fitting the attractive 'tropical design'fully opening, louvre windows The nearly finished Villa looks lovely from the road The ornate gingerbread looks the part The lovely blue sky makes a perfect backdrop The Villa as viewed from the kitchen side The kitchen above with the laundry room below Steps and gardens to the Infinity bedroom The office above with the Infinity bedroom below The Villa as seen from the road Road construction with a Frangipani tree island in the middle The Island which you can drive all the way round The main entrance to the Villa is now complete The road is now concreted and the island is stoned ready to be filled with soil The garage and workshop Looking into the reception area The finished windows fitted in the walls The villa is nearly complete Tropical Hideaway as seen from the pool An aerial view of Tropical Hideaway Tropical Hideaway is surrounded by lush natural forest Accommodation at a GlanceReserve or Book Now! You can read our complimentary book ‘The Building of Tropical Hideaway’ for a fascinating insight into the realities of building and living on a small Caribbean Island.