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Enjoy a peaceful, private and luxurious holiday in celebrity-heaven

By Herald Express  |  Posted: January 17, 2013

  • award winning: Championship fairways and greens at Royal Westmoreland Golf and Spa Resort attract championship and amateur golfers alike Barbados Tourism

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STRICTLY Come Dancing contender and former England cricket Test team captain, Michael Vaughan, and England striker Wayne Rooney both have holiday homes here.

And it's easy to see why, sitting on the chaise longue in Colleen and Wayne's master bedroom in their ritzy pad: it's peaceful, private, luxurious and has far-reaching views out to sea.

"It's also available to rent," says Jonathan Jeffery, the UK sales executive for the resort, and a former South Devon College pupil, meaning it's perfectly possible to hire the property for your own holiday in celebrity-heaven.

As we walk past Rooney's large outdoor swimming pool with views over the fairways and out to sea, Jonathan adds: "He's very much a family man, Mr Rooney, and they use this house as a place to get-together with close family. But they're rarely here as he's so busy."

Which explains why there's plenty of leeway for the public to rent it out.

Wayne and Colleen are just a couple of VIPs who have been drawn to buy holiday homes here at the Royal Westmoreland Golf, Beach and Spa Resort in St James, on the sheltered west coast of Barbados.

While other A-listers like Rihanna are rumoured to have taken respite here.

It's an exclusive, five-star, gated retreat which boasts 750 acres of lush landscaped grounds which are home to Green Monkeys, ornamental lakes and the par 72, 7,045-yard golf course, designed by renowned architect, Robert Trent Junior.

"It's the best collection of par 3s I have ever seen on one course," said Masters Champion and Ryder Cup Captain, Ian Woosnam who also has a home here.

But the best news is you don't have to be an A-lister or a sporting champion to enjoy a tranche of this exclusive haven, says Jonathan: Rooney's villa is available to rent from £1,200 per night and sleeps 12 (£100 per night, per person), while and Vaughan's villa, complete with his memorabilia, starts from £650 per night (four-bed).

Jonathan, who was born in Honiton and later moved to Paignton, went to Oldway Primary School and Paignton Community College. He started his career at South Devon College, Torquay where he gained a diploma in hospitality management.

Despite moving north to Kendal with work, he retains a deep affinity for the area: "I have very fond memories of South Devon," he says, reminiscing his childhood spent on the beach at Broadsands.

"Even compared to Barbados, there's something about Devon — there's nowhere else quite like it," he adds, fondly.

There are a variety of property options available here so if renting Vaughan's or Rooney's digs doesn't quite cut the mustard then there's always the option of buying your very own Royal Westmoreland pad.

Property ranges from a one-bedroom Royal Apartment to a custom-built, entirely bespoke Royal Villa with anything up to 10 bedrooms.

Each comes with mature, landscaped gardens, large patios with verandas and can include private pools.

Once an owner, you can also rent out and manage the property autonomously while you're back at home in Devon.

"It's an investment, without a doubt," adds Jonathan, who says the value of properties has continued to rise since the resort's inception: "Properties at Royal Westmoreland have increased in value by 200 per cent since the resort was purchased by John Morphet in 2004."

The benefits of being here don't stop within the Royal Westmoreland resort perimeter.

A short, free shuttle service from the security guarded double-gates, takes you to the beachside paradise that is Mullins Beach and Beach Club with its Indulgence spa and fitness complex lying just across the road — both forming part of the Royal Westmoreland estate.

I make a point here of praising my masseuse who massages me into a state of sheer bliss with the best, most purposeful deep-tissue, full-body massage I've ever known.

On thanking her, she smiles with a knowing, humble gratitude that blushes her cheeks. It's a common sight here, to find the locals so willing, so eager to help to the extremes, yet remain baffled by your gratitude for their service: "Don't be daft," said Tyrone, our taxi driver who offers to lend me his SLR and give me his memory card after breaking my own camera — I'd only known him for a matter of minutes.

"This is Barbados," he beams, "you worry about nothing in Barbados. Everyone is here to help."

This heart-warming hospitality and sheer joy in the locals welcoming you to their island plays a huge part in what makes the destination so attractive.

Couple that with a five-star golf and spa resort which serves delectable cuisine at the Clubhouse restaurant and lip smacking cocktails at the Rum Shak, plus an abundance of other facilities and highlights — you're in heaven.

It's no wonder the likes of Wayne Rooney and Michael Vaughan choose to make this their part-time home and why Beyonce, Jay-Z, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Simon Cowell are said to frequent the exclusive restaurants here along the west coast.

And thanks to Royal Westmoreland Golf, Spa and Beach resort there's no reason why you can't join them.

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