- February 28th, 2010
- in Yachting
A few years ago, the Harris family, of Harrows Dart Technology, the top dart brand in the world, were seeking a vacation home in the BVI. Their only requirements: beachfront property with a dock. Easy enough wishes to meet in the BVI, right? Not quite. After showing them several different possibilities, their agent mentioned that Cooper Island Beach Club was for sale. The family had previously visited Cooper several times during their 20 years of charter holidays with Virgin Traders and had fond memories of the island, but they hadn’t considered owning a business in the BVI. After revisiting the island, the family decided to take over the property and renovate the restaurant and resort.
The restaurant became the priority in the renovation process. BVI architects Alan Smith and Chris Tombs worked on the project along with builder Eugene Smith. Every bit of the revamp, from coral stone tiles to mahogany counters to a copper bar made by Aragorn Dick-Reade, exhibits quality craftsmanship. When the time came to furnish the restaurant, the Harris family, along with managers Samantha Baker and Andy Murrant, turned to Roy Keegan of Arawak Interiors.
“We use local companies as much as possible,” Sam said as we sat in the restaurant one afternoon. She then added, as she sipped soda from a biodegradable cup, “We also try to find eco-friendly alternatives when they’re available, even if they cost more.” Alternative Energy Systems installed 90 solar panels on the roof which provide 30-40% of the resort’s electricity.
Keeping with the theme of using recycled products, the barstools, chairs and a TV cabinet are all constructed from reclaimed Indonesian fishing boats. Each piece of wood served its purpose at sea and now serves a new one on land. Modern-looking outdoor sofas were made from recycled teak as well.
“I enjoyed working on this project,” Roy Keegan said, “because the family knows what they want.” He had many pieces designed based on combinations of other pieces the family had seen. To compliment the thatched roof and lime-washed beams, Roy added that “they wanted to keep the look rustic but with clean lines.” In the outdoor lounge, Arawak provided the couches and chairs fabricated from recycled teak, topped with made-to-order, durable Sunbrella® cushions. The beachside lounge offers an ideal setting to spend an afternoon with friends or family.
Cooper Island Beach Club presents an alternative day sail destination—somewhere between the festivity of White Bay and the exclusivity of Peter Island Resort.
The next step in the resort’s transformation includes a room refurbishment and adding a boardwalk to allow greater accessibility, an idea sparked in part by quadriplegic sailor Geoff Holt’s visit to the restaurant in January. Roy said he’s looking forward to furnishing the rooms and creating the style the Harris’ are looking for. Even if it means that they use the back of one of his pieces as a dartboard backstop.