A designer friend was given the task some years ago of changing the interior décor of a stuffy London ‘Gentleman’s Club’ without its members noticing.
Something similar has been going on at the redoubtable Cobblers Cove, just outside Speightstown on the north-west coast of Barbados — a much-loved hotel which the Godsals, a British family, bought in 1968 and which has changed little over the years, much to the delight of its more mature guests.
But as the baton has passed from one generation to the next, even the matriarch of the family, Lady Elizabeth Godsal, accepts that a freshening up is no bad thing to catch the eye of a younger crowd.
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Consider it done, with the help of Soane Britain, the London-based interior design studio, which has added splashes of colour that blend in with the gorgeous pink colonial-style building that echoes the style of the great architect Oliver Messel.
Each of the 40 suites scattered in the garden and on the sea front has been given a subtle nip and tuck but the wicker furniture remains.
The drawing room behind the bar has new wispy curtains that pick up the breeze and billow all day, providing what Soane Britain calls ’emotional air-conditioning’.