Two courageous women & a vision of plenty
- March 6th, 2023
- in Lifestyle
Situated in a secluded area of Virgin Gorda sits The Inn at Cornucopia. A boutique, 5-room hideaway just two minutes walk from Little Trunk Bay, a small beach within Virgin Gorda’s dreamy Baths National Park, with its huge majestic granite boulders, sugar-like sands and cleansing aqua coloured water.
Cornucopia, from the Latin term “cornu copiae”, meaning “horn of plenty” perfectly describes what this hideaway is all about – the visual representation of the horn flowing with fruits and flowers brings visions of goodness, friendship and plenty.
Inns are smaller and more charming than hotels and this is certainly the case at The Inn at Cornucopia, whose Innkeepers are Virgin Gorda locals, Inge Judd and Rose Giacinto. These two clever ladies have a passion and commitment to the island they have both called home for over four decades.
Friends, entrepreneurs and dog lovers – Rose, owner of renowned bar, restaurant and cafe Chez Bamboo/Bath & Turtle (not to mention a construction company – more on that later!) and Inge, originally from Vienna, businesswoman, extensive traveller and collector of fine antiques and curios. Their boundless energy and 7-day a week work ethic is something to admire.
How The Inn came to pass
After the destruction of hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, Rose and Inge purchased a badly damaged villa with the goal (and dream) of turning it into a beautiful Caribbean/French country-inspired Inn that is unique to the BVI – catering to the individual needs of small groups of guests with bespoke service, tranquility and exclusivity.
“In 2020 when we first saw the villa, it was flooded with water, the roof had been torn off and there was mud everywhere” says Inge “Furniture left by the previous owners was rotting in deep water, but the building had good bones” she continues.
Inge and Rose could see beyond the destruction. The property, perfectly positioned in prestigious Little Trunk Bay, is in an unbelievable location. So they set to work, starting construction in 2021.
Rose brought in a talented team from her construction company, Princess Quarters Construction who peeled the building back to those good bones and then lovingly restored and expanded it to what it is today.
“Importing construction materials from overseas, especially during a pandemic made no sense, so we sourced everything we possibly could locally and up-cycled wherever possible” says Rose. “We believe strongly in sourcing and supporting local for so many reasons” she continues.
For instance, the huge 10 x 10 inch beams that originally held up the main balcony were reused as central feature beams in the vaulted ceiling. Original 40-year old brass hardware was carefully revived and refinished to be reused throughout. Hardwood doors were restored, the old wicker furniture that had been left to decay in flood waters was carefully restored to a shine and all of the cabinetry was built from scratch using local timber wherever possible.
The master wood crafters from Princess Quarters Construction built mahogany bench tops for each of the king rooms and installed many of the detailed features from the sweet little shutters in the master suite, right down to toilet tissue holders. Every single detail has been carefully thought out, in what is now a stunning building with intricate finishing that is a credit to all involved.
When it came time to put together the interior style Rose and Inge worked as a team utilising both up-cycled furniture mixed skillfully with antiques and curios from Inge’s own collection. Clean white walls with stand-out black beams on the vaulted ceilings create a light, clean, sophisticated look that is timeless.
In each of the five king rooms the bed linen and towels are of a quality usually only seen in five-star resorts including lavish robes for each guest and Inge’s collection of sweet antique table linens scattered throughout the rooms, even reused as hand made pillow cases. Additionally, the dining area houses some pieces from her dear mother’s collection.
Stepping outside, Rose began the landscaping efforts in parallel to the rebuild and what were overgrown, muddy, unloved grounds have become a garden of visual beauty and abundance with carefully pruned fruit trees hanging heavy with fruit such as papaya and tropical succulents and flowers. A feature fire-pit area with seating is perfect for cocktail hour at sunset.
Impeccable service and fine food
Inge is supported by a small and dedicated team who serve a delicious daily breakfast which comes as a complimentary part of your stay. The breakfast at Cornucopia is fast becoming well-known throughout the community as one of the best breakfast spots on the island.
Locally sourced fresh fruit, pastries, french toast with Inge’s homemade bread and eggs benedict to name just a few options, it’s foodie heaven. Sit with your glass of fresh passionfruit juice overlooking Rose’s beautiful garden, towards the boulders – there is no better way to begin a new day in Virgin Gorda.
Inge, never far away brings her extensive local knowledge and connections to assist with every part of your stay. She has suggestions on what to do and see, all catered to the individual needs of each guest, whether its adventurous water sports, dining options, tours or simply just relaxing on nearby Little Trunk Bay with a good book and a little red beach chair and umbrella from The Inn.
Because when it really boils down to it, this hidden gem is simply the best at one thing – helping its guests to relax.