Flamboyant Suite - Review Page 2
Flamboyant Suite is located on the lower of Black Rock Dreams’ two accommodation levels. The glorious views over Stonehaven Bay and Grafton Beach are arguably the property’s strongest unique selling point. The upper floor apartments benefit from slightly better views, at the cost of an extra flight of stairs. However, it would be a mean-spirited person who argued over the difference.
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 external 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 Flamboyant Suite certainly does not disappoint. It is one of the largest condominiums in the Black Rock Dreams complex, offering some 170sq.m./1,850sq.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 three times a week by the friendly and helpful Agatha (pronounced Agartha). A small welcome pack of groceries, tailored to the guests’ requirements, is normally supplied to incoming guests.
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 with vibrant Caribbean wall prints dominate. 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 amazing view presented through the two 11-foot sets of glazed sliding doors that dominate the front of the room and which lead to the front balcony. Oh, what a view! The foaming, turquoise waters of Stonehaven Bay combined with the dark sands of Grafton beach. It doesn’t get better than this.
A spacious lounge area is located next to one set of balcony doors. A semi-circle of deeply cushioned and very comfortable rattan sofas and chairs are arranged around a glass-topped coffee table, facing a 32-inch LCD flat-screen television. The local digital cable service offers a variety of local and North American television. So, lots of choice but nothing to watch!
Behind the seating area, a small desk is flanked by open display units with a small library of novels and local information leaflets, plus a miniature CD-player and telephone. The phone accepts incoming calls, and the outgoing service can be enabled by prior arrangement. 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. 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. A portable fan is provided and proved ideal for keeping the kitchen area cool when the oven and stove were on but the air-conditioning off. Each bedroom has a remotely-controlled air-conditioning unit.
Dining Area & Kitchen
A large glass-topped dining table with six comfortable cushioned rattan dining chairs is situated adjacent to the second set of balcony doors. With the doors open, you could be dining al fresco.
Adjacent to the dining table are four matching padded rattan stools positioned in front of the breakfast bar/kitchen island that neatly separates the dining area from the more utilitarian kitchen space. Mind you, the word ‘utilitarian’ does tend to give the wrong impression. Eight metres of work surface and utilities are arranged in a square, about three paces across and with two access points. This is not a simple self-catering kitchenette – it is a kitchen for very serious catering.
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 everything should perhaps be washed before use. It is also very obvious that the owner has equipped this kitchen for their own pleasure and use, rather than just the minimum needed for rental guests; the range of equipment and ancillaries available was unsurpassed.
The kitchen is beautifully equipped with top-of-the-range equipment. 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 keep trips to the supermarket to a minimum, even if the nearest is little more than a 5 minute drive away.
The large built-in oven/grill is supplemented by a large microwave and four-ring electric hob. 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. Ancillary items include a filter coffee machine, kettle, blender, juicer, liquidiser, toaster, waffle iron and a small indoor grill. 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. Flamboyant Suite is the owner’s holiday home, not just a rental property. This always seems to make a material difference in terms of the way that the property is furnished and equipped.
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