Chaconia Suite - Review Page 2
Chaconia Suite is located on the lower of Black Rock Dreams’ two accommodation storeys. The glorious views over Stonehaven Bay and Grafton Beach are one of the building unique selling points. The upper floor apartments benefit from better views at the cost of an extra flight of stairs. Mind you, it would be mean-spirited to argue over the differences.
The apartment is accessed by a single flight of stairs from the underground car park. Alternatively, a narrow access road at the rear of the building leads directly up to the lower apartment level and can be used for unloading, etc. Apart from two small steps on the terrace leading to the main door, the apartment is on a single level and could be a viable option for those with mobility issues.
The complex assumes a quiet, unassuming ambience. Security is clearly important, but thankfully unobtrusive. The building and grounds are maintained to the highest standards, although some of the exterior paintwork was starting to show the inevitable effects of proximity to the corrosive sea air. However, I am confident that this will soon be dealt with. Regardless of this, visitors are left in no doubt that this is a very upmarket property and ‘good taste’ the prevailing ethos.
The Chaconia Suite certainly does not disappoint. It is one of the larger condominiums in the Black Rock Dreams complex, offering some 150sq.m./1,640sq.ft.of luxurious, under-stated, holiday accommodation, plus a 27sq.m./300sq.ft covered front balcony. Forget the word holiday; this is somewhere that most of us would be happy to move into permanently!
The apartment is serviced six mornings a week by friendly housekeeper Lenore. She handles all normal domestic duties such as making beds, changing linen and towels and washing up, but can be hired privately for personal laundry or cooking. No welcome pack, as such, is provided for arriving guests, but basic groceries and supplies can be arranged before arrival and will be waiting for the party on arrival.
A wide entrance hall provides access to the second and third bedrooms, guest bathroom and laundry closet with washer and drier, before opening out into a hugely spacious open-plan kitchen, dining and living area. Dusky beige and oatmeal colours dominate and act as a wonderful backdrop to the vibrant local art that adorn the walls throughout the apartment. It was all very tasteful, very appropriate and very easy on the eye.
No matter how attractive the furnishings and décor, your eyes are automatically drawn to the beautiful view presented through the 12-foot glazed sliding doors that dominate the front of the room and which lead to the front balcony. Oh, what a view! The vibrant orange-red flowers of the African Tulip tree and other lush foliage of the front garden, framing the foaming, turquoise waters of Stonehaven Bay. This is the Caribbean at its best.
A spacious lounge area is located in front of the balcony doors. A semi-circle of deeply cushioned suedette-faced sofas and chairs are arranged around a low coffee table, facing a 37-inch LCD flat-screen television with DVD player. The local digital cable service offers a variety of local and North American television. So, lots of choice but nothing to watch!
A small Sony micro hi-fi component system is also available, together with a small collection of CDs and films for the DVD player. Telephone services are provided, with an extension in the master bedroom. Complimentary wireless broadband is available throughout the apartment.
The apartment is fully air-conditioned throughout. A single remotely controlled unit discreetly and unobtrusively services the main living areas, supplemented by ceiling fans above the main seating and kitchen areas. However, it just so much nicer to dispense with the mechanical aides, throw open the massive glazed sliding doors and let the sea breezes cool the apartment. Each of the bedrooms has its own remotely-controlled air-conditioning unit.
Dining Area & Kitchen
A central island neatly separates the dining area from the more utilitarian kitchen space. Mind you, I hope that use of the word ‘utilitarian’ does not give the wrong impression. This is not a simple self-catering kitchenette – it is a kitchen for serious catering.
The kitchen island is fitted with a double bowl stainless steel sink, hot and cold water and a soap dispenser. An electric dishwasher is mounted beneath the island.
The working area of the kitchen is configured in a practical u-shape and, being a maximum of three paces across, is of ideal and efficient size. I have to say that few properties more than a few months old look as well maintained and ‘new’ as any of the apartments we have reviewed at Black Rock Dreams. Everything worked as expected, was immaculately clean and all equipment easy to use. These are not rental properties where everything looks superficially clean but where you get the feeling that perhaps you ought to wash things before use. It is also very obvious that the owner has equipped this kitchen for their own pleasure as much as for rental guests; the range of equipment, crockery, glassware and ancillaries was excellent.
A large side-by-side stainless fridge-freezer, with filtered water and ice dispenser, ensures that you will never be short of a ‘beastly cold’ beer and is large enough to ensure that trips to the supermarket can be kept to a minimum, even if the nearest is little more than 5s minute away.
The large built-in oven/grill is supplemented by a large microwave and four-ring electric hob. Ancillary items include a filter coffee machine, kettle, blender/liquidiser and toaster. The range of pots and pans, crockery, cutlery and glassware is far too extensive to detail here; all of it of top notch quality, condition and cleanliness. A small fold-up barbeque is stored in the cupboard in the main bathroom but I have to confess that we never noticed this and so used the built-in oven grill to grill the lovely steaks available from the Golden Grove Farm Shop, just a short drive away.
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