Nelson Gay, fronting one of Barbados’ best beaches, is discreetly screened by its own tropical gardens for total privacy

Built in the finest colonial style, Nelson Gay makes the most of probably the best location on the favoured west coast of Barbados. Next to the celebrated Cobbler’s Cove Hotel, and located on a half-mile crescent of pristine coral sand, this house is one of Barbados’ best kept secrets.

Built in the ‘60s for US Ambassador Robert M. Scotten, a personal friend of President F.D. Roosevelt, the house was designed by British architect Barbara Hill. Inspired by a book on life in the Windward Islands, she moved from England to Barbados in 1958.

Erté visited Nelson Gay numerous times, staying in what the owner now calls the Erté Bedroom. As a gesture of gratitude and friendship, Erté painted a black mermaid on the bedroom wall, which remains there to this day.

Mature landscaped tropical gardens

This elegant beachfront coral stone Palladian mansion is set in nearly two acres of mature, landscaped tropical gardens with many fine trees, fronting the immaculate Cobbler’s Cove beach. An impressive 50’ pool leads the eye naturally from the house to the beach. Tiled in Italian green mosaic, the swimming pool blends beautifully with the lush tropical vegetation. At the far end of the garden alongside the beach is an octagonal “Chinese” gazebo, a wonderful place for sunset cocktails and long, leisurely meals cooled by the ocean breeze.

Formal or al fresco dining

The elegant garden gazebo by the beach seats up to 14. It is equipped with a wet bar and fridge. A dining table on the partly covered terrace can seat up to 20. The coral stone formal dining room features a glass topped table by Oliver Messel and seats up to 12.

Restrained good taste

Nelson Gay is impressive but never pretentious. A unique blend of elegance and good taste makes it a very special house for discerning guests. The dining table was designed by Oliver Messell with 12 French antique chairs and a large Messell mirror. There are 5 different place settings, including Wedgewood, Rosenthal and Mikasa. Dinner is by candle light and is served by your own uniformed butler, chef and maid.

The rooms are airy and mostly decorated in white with some green to complement the tropical surroundings. The beds are new and comfortable with lOO% high count cotton sheets and soft hypoallergenic pillows. The house is child friendly as all sofas, and beach loungers are covered in washable Sunbrella fabric.

Five Star Service

The well-trained and friendly core staff consist of a butler, chef, housekeeper, maid/laundress, two gardeners, a night watchman, all supervised by a part-time house manager. The staff will help you to plan your meals, shop, cook, serve, do your laundry, and make your holiday truly relaxing, stress-free and unforgettable.

Nelson Gay Villa Floor Plan

Nelson Gay at a glance


  • Main house: 5 bedrooms, Cottage: 1 bedroom
  • Garden house – Chattel Houses with king size bed, ensuite
  • Media Room with day bed
  • All with A/C and en suite bath or shower


  • Nearly two acres of mature tropical gardens right on Cobbler’s beach, with safe and excellent swimming
  • 50ft x 12ft heated (on request) Italian mosaic tiled pool
  • Beautiful gazebo, garden dining for 14 or as a living and seating area
  • Covered terrace, dining for up to 18
  • Formal dining room seating 12
  • Child friendly furniture, slip covered in Sunbrella/cotton towels
  • Medical kit
  • Tennis, gym and spa at the next-door Cobblers Cove Hotel subject to availability and at extra cost


  • 55″ flat screen TV in Media Room with surround sound, PS3 and cable TV with multi- standard DVD player
  • About 400 DVDs
  • Sonos Sound System in living room
  • 42″ plasma TVs in 2 master bedrooms (cable TV + DVD)
  • 32″ plasma in 3 other bedrooms (cable TV + DVD)
  • DVD in 2 additional bedrooms
  • Broadband, fax, 2 phone lines
  • Snorkels, masks, numerous games and a small library

Core Staff

  • Butler, Chef (2 in winter), Housekeeper, Maid/Laundress, 2 Gardeners, Night Watchman. Supervised by part-time house manager overseen by West Coast Villas, part of the Sotheby’s group.

(The staff levels can be varied to suit the number of guests and season).